Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Democrats Ignore Rural Needs at Their Peril - Longstanding Activist - Matt Barron - Quits Party after 41 Years...!

Matt Barron
Democrats Ignore Rural Needs at Their Peril - Longstanding Activist - Matt Barron - Quits Party after 41 Years...!
Recently, I received the following email from an old friend, Matt Barron, Mr. Rural Democrat, if I were to characterize him...

"After 41 years, I have left the Democratic Party. Attached is my letter of resignation as chair of the Democratic Town Committee. I will continue to stay involved working for/with individual candidates who are committed to real and meaningful rural voter outreach-messaging-engagement.

As a former Democrat, I very much value and cherish the friendships I have made with people across our fair Commonwealth and the nation and will continue to honor those relationships, many of which go back decades. If you are ever in the Hilltowns, my door is always open and the beer is always cold.

Go Patriots!
#Drive for 5
Best,
Matt"


January 31, 2017

Mr. Augustus Bickford, Chair
Massachusetts Democratic Party
11 Beacon Street, Suite 410
Boston, MA 02108

Dear Chair Bickford:

On January 28, after 41 years as a member of the Democratic Party, I changed my registration to unenrolled. I did this after nine years of ever-growing frustration at the inability of the party to compete for rural and white working class voters. The results of the November 8, 2016 elections drove this situation home to the entire nation.
Peace Park, Orange, Massachusetts (Franklin County)

I am very proud of my efforts to build and grow the party in the Commonwealth’s small towns and rural communities over almost the last two decades. During that time, I:

·         Recruited members and organized DTCs in towns where they either had never existed or had not existed for many years including: Ashfield, Bernardston, Blandford, Chester, Conway, Cummington, Goshen, Granville, Huntington, Leyden, Mount Washington, New Ashford, New Salem, Otis, Peru, Plainfield (twice), Savoy, Sheffield, Townsend, Tyringham, Washington, Westhampton (twice), Williamsburg and Windsor.
·         Created the Hilltown Democratic Coalition (HDC), a regional group of rural Democrats from Berkshire, Hampden and Hampshire counties formed in 2001. The HDC sponsored pig roasts and chicken barbeques to raise funds for Democratic candidates, sponsored candidate forums and published the Hilltown Democratic Dispatch, an e-newsletter that connected folks across sparsely populated political terrain.
Petersham Country Store

·         Served on the Campaign Services Committee from 1999-2007, and led the Western Mass. Region effort in 2002 that helped elect Rep. Pignatelli and Rep. Scibak to the Massachusetts House.


·         Authored the proposal to create a Rural Subcommittee for the Massachusetts Democratic Party (MDP) in 2014.

However, in recent years I have become alarmed at how the MDP has increasingly taken rural voters for granted in blue towns and ignored them in purple and red towns. The loss of the governorship in 2014 due to the massive underperformance by our nominee in rural Berkshire, Dukes, Franklin and Hampshire counties due to a refusal by the Coakley campaign and the MDP’s Coordinated Campaign to commit to a hyper-local and cost-effective rural strategy still does not sit well with many, many rural Democrats.

In addition, the complete failure of the Rural Subcommittee to get out of the blocks on a robust and focused mission of helping to assist in the aforementioned missing rural strategy and also of an ongoing effort to build the party at the grassroots by continuing to organize DTCs in rural towns where they are absent, has left a bitter and sour taste. In my entire career in electoral party politics, I have never witnessed a more lazy and ineffective person as Rural Subcommittee Chair Lisa Moscynzki. According to current data from the Office of Campaign & Political Finance and the MDP, my state senate district ranks first in the number of towns without a recognized and legal DTC, with more than a third of the 52 communities missing a local committee.
Solar Farm in Hunt Farm cornfield, Orange, MA

Any farmer will tell you that trying to harvest a crop without applying any nutrients to the soil is a fool’s errand. In politics, failure to extend any care and feeding to the grassroots results in poor harvests of votes. Across the state, from the cranberry towns in southeastern Mass to tiny burgs in Hampden, Hampshire and Worcester counties, Trump voters left their mark last November. As the Boston Globe noted “A Globe analysis of the state’s election results showed a reddening of the state’s western counties, including a suite of rural towns that made the jump from Democrat to Republican on Tuesday." The Trump effect happened in Massachusetts, too, November 14, 2016.

Over the years, the roster of the Democratic State Committee has grown and grown to encompass members of every racial and ethnic group, sexual orientation as well as college and youth, seniors, labor, disabled and veterans. Sadly, despite having some of the highest Democratic performance in statewide elections cycle after cycle, there is not a single DSC seat reserved for rural Democrats or geographic minorities. This sends a loud and clear signal that rural Democrats are invisible to the MDP leadership.

Given the fact that nationally, Democrats at the DNC, DCCC, DSCC and in the congressional steering and policy committees are brain dead when it comes to supporting and endowing rural electoral infrastructure and that here in Massachusetts, rural Democrats are ignored and treated as second class party members, I can no longer give my time, energy and financial contributions to the Democrats.

So, because of this state of affairs, I am writing to inform you that after more than 18 years as chair of the Chesterfield Democratic Town Committee, I am resigning that position. Two of the other three members of the town committee have indicated that they have no desire to become chair.

Sincerely your,
  
Matt L. Barron
54 Stage Road
Williamsburg, MA 01096
413-296-0118
Twitter: @MrRural

Peace Statue by Joseph Pollia

TRIBUTE TO THE TOWN OF ORANGE IN RECOGNITION OF THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF 
                        THE ORANGE PEACE STATUE

                                 ______
                                 

                           HON. JOHN W. OLVER

                            of massachusetts

                    in the house of representatives

                         Thursday, May 13, 2004

  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the spirit and 
civic pride that the Town of Orange, Massachusetts and its residents 
have demonstrated over the past 70 years towards the care and 
preservation of the bronze Peace Statue by Joseph Pollia.
  The 12-foot high ``peace statue'' stands in a small park in the 
center of Orange. Designed by Joseph Pollia in 1934, this sculpture 
received national attention when it was dedicated as a memorial to 
veterans of World War I. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt sent a letter 
commemorating the event and coverage of the statue appeared in the 
Christian Science Monitor.
  The statue addresses the need for world peace through its inscription 
``It Shall Not Be Again'' and is said to be the only ``peace statue'' 
of its kind. It depicts a doughboy just returning from the war torn 
fields of France. He is seated on a stump and beside him stands a 10-
year old American schoolboy carrying a book. The statue, which weighs 
1,120 pounds, was installed on two granite blocks.
  Seventy years ago today this statue was unveiled as a memorial to the 
brave men of Orange who gave their lives to protect our country. It has 
also served as a beautiful reminder that peace is an alternative to 
war. The sculpture's inscription, ``It Shall Not Be Again'', could not 
be more timely as the nation once again honors the memory of young men 
and women who have given the greatest sacrifice to protect our nation 
and its citizens. In honor of our nation's veterans, I again ask that 
we recognize the national significance of this statue and thank the 
people of Orange, Massachusetts for keeping it safe for future 
generations to enjoy.

PHOTO CREDITS:
Matt Barron photo provided by Matt.  All other photos taken by Genevieve Fraser.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Sunday, January 29 --

Justice and the Gospel in South Africa --

Village Lyceum in Petersham

On Sunday, January 29, the Village Lyceum will feature Petersham resident, Meghan Berry, who will speak on "Social Justice and the Gospel in South Africa” at 3:00 pm in the Davis Memorial, 3 West Street, in back of the Petersham Unitarian Church. 

In the past, Meghan had participated in two mission trips to Mamelodi, South Africa with Campus Crusade for Christ, teaching middle and high school students English and Math and enrichment classes such as photography.  She recently returned from another trip to South Africa where she taught an entreprenuership class to high schoolers.

According to Meghan, “In this day and age, the term ‘social justice’ is nearly inescapable. The term gets thrown around so often, it has become incredibly difficult to define. Ask any person on the street what he or she means by ‘social justice,’ and, guaranteed, each one will give you a different answer. So how can we possibly unite to promote such an ambiguous idea unless there is a common thread?”

“In my travels to South Africa, I have learned a lot about what social justice is and what it looks like in a different cultural context,” Meghan continued. “These cross-cultural experiences of social justice have informed and continue to shape my daily life and perspectives stateside as well, with one main theme arising across cultures: the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the greatest tale of social justice we have ever know.”


Meghan Berry is a senior at UMASS Amherst's Commonwealth Honors College and is expected to graduate this spring with a B.S. in Public Health. During her most recent trip to South Africa, she was also there to gather research for her honors thesis by conducting surveys and interviewing the students in the program.

Sunday’s Village Lyceum program is free of charge and open to the public.  It will be preceded at 1:00 pm by the rescheduled “All Parish Meeting” which will also be held in the Davis.  For further information, contact Genevieve Fraser at Tel. # (978) 544-1872 or visit website: www.PetershamUnitarian.org

Monday, April 18, 2016

"Earthday Climate Change Expo" focus of day-long Village Lyceum in Petersham MA Sunday, April 24, 2016

"Earthday Climate Change Expo" focus of day-long Village Lyceum in Petersham on Sunday, April 24, 2016

One of the pressing issues facing the global community is climate change.  Despite misgivings by some, a consensus is prevalent among scientists that climate change does indeed exist - that earth’s climate is changing due to burning fossil fuels.  What does that mean in practical terms?  And if true, how can we prepare for these changes and stop or reverse the trend?  On Sunday, April 24, the Village Lyceum is presenting an “Earthday Climate Change Expo,” at the First Congregational Parish, Unitarian and Davis Memorial Center in Petersham, Massachusetts from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm.  The purpose of the all-day, family-friendly event is to examine this dilemma called climate change.

Ridge Shinn, the "Carbon Cowboy."
The expos will open with an Ode to Spring performance by the Melody Salvadore dance troop, followed by Steve Alves’ film on the history of the food co-op movement, “Food for Change,” and a presentation by Margot Parrot on the Quabbin Harvest Food Coop in Orange.  The morning session continues at 10:30 am with Ridge Shinn, dubbed by Time Magazine as the "Carbon Cowboy," who will speak on 100% Grass-Fed Beef. Jack Kittredge, representing the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) will present information on GMOs and Pesticide-Free Farming.  Tyson Neukirch, a teacher/grower at the Farm School in Athol will focus on Carbon Farming.  Following their presentations, Mick Huppert of the East Quabbin Land Trust and Rebekah Fraser, a climate change journalist, will join in for a panel discussion on farmland preservation and food security during a time of climate change.  

Starting at noon in the Memory Garden (between the church and Davis Center), For Spacious Skies’ Jack Bordon will lead a workshop on skywatching, and landscape architects, Tom Sullivan of Pollinators Welcome and Jay McCrohon of Groundworks will demonstrate gardening techniques designed to attract pollinators. Hartman’s Herb Farm will hand out free tomato plants or Johnny-Jump-Ups on a first come first served basis. The Davis Center will also host a variety of activities. Larry Buell will don a 19th century guise as Petersham farmer, Lucius Spooner and drumming circles, poster making, poetry writing and reading to children about the wonders of the natural world will take place throughout the day.

Tom Sullivan of "Pollinators Welcome"
The Earthday Climate Change Expo continues at 1:00 pm with a viewing of the Naomi Klein film, “This Changes Everything” in the church dining room.  At 2:30 pm, speakers and panel discussions will continue in the church sanctuary focusing on the “Impact of Climate Change on Habitat and Wildlife,” followed by a discussion on “Renewable Energy’s Hope for Climate Change Reversal.”  Speakers include: Rosemarie Muzika, a Harvard Forest researcher, Dave Small, director of the Athol Bird and Nature Club, retired Division of Fisheries and Wildlife action plan coordinator, John Oleary.  Mary Canning, founder of Follow the Honey, Tom Sullivan of Pollinator’s Welcome, Mount Grace Conservation Land Trust executive director, Leigh Youngblood, Janice and Steve Kurkoski of North Quabbin Energy, one of Solar City’s solar energy consultant, Chad Halliday and Charles Thompson with the Massachusetts Forest Alliance will also present and join in for a panel discussion. The day’s activities will conclude with a protest song workshop akin to the ones Pete Seeger held.  Singer-songwriter, Ben Grosscup will conduct a workshop on Singing for Climate Justice.  Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments to join in for a rousing, song-filled conclusion to the day. 

The Village Lyceum’s Earthday Climate Change Expo is sponsored by the Petersham, Athol, Barre and Orange Cultural Councils with funding provided by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.  The Athol Bird and Nature Club, East Quabbin Land Trust, Follow the Honey, For Spacious Skies, Hartman’s Herb Farm, James McCrohon’s Garden Designs, Greenworks, Many Hands Organic Farm in Barre, Mount Grace Conservation Land Trust, North Quabbin Chamber of Commerce, North Quabbin Energy, Petersham Country Store, Pollinators Welcome, Quabbin Harvest, Salvadore Auto, Solar City and the University of the Wild at Earthlands are also sponsors. 

Refreshments will be provided by Solar City and The Petersham Country Store. The Climate Change Expo is free and open to the public.  Participants are also welcomed to share pot luck food and beverages. For further information, please contact Genevieve Fraser at 978-544-1872 or email: FraserGenevieve@gmail.com




 SCHEDULE:


VILLAGE LYCEUM PRESENTS…
EARTHDAY CLIMATE CHANGE EXPO – SUNDAY, APRIL 24 – 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
UNITARIAN CHURCH AND DAVIS CENTER, PETERSHAM

9:00 am
Dance Troup welcome – Ode to Spring (outdoors, weather permitting, or Davis Memorial)

9:10 (Church Dining Hall) - Welcome and intro to the day’s activities
Steve Alves introduces film on the Coop Movement
Film - “Food for Change” (82 minutes)
Margot Parrot – Quabbin Harvest Coop

10:30 Ben Grosscup performs "This Changes Everything"
(Sanctuary) Farmland preservation and food security during a time of Climate change
Jack Kittredge
3 Keynote Speakers followed by 5-person panel discussion
          Ridge Shinn, the "Carbon Cowboy" – 100% Grass-Fed Beef
Jack Kittredge – NOFA - GMOs and Pesticide-Free Farming
Tyson Neukirch – The Farm School - Carbon Farming
Panelist Mick Huppert – East Quabbin Land Trust
Rebekah Fraser – Climate Change journalism

For Spacious Skies' Jack Borden

12:00
(Dining Hall)  Lunch
Jack Borden - For Spacious Skies presentation followed by activities outdoors

12:30
Memory Garden – (outdoors)
Tom Sullivan and Jay McCrohon – Plant pollinator-attracting shrubs
Hartman’s Herb Farm – Free tomato plants or Johnny-Jump-Ups (first come first served)

Davis Memorial (Ongoing)
Larry Buell’s Lucius Spooner – drumming circle – poster making – poetry writing– reading to children

1:00
Dining Room – Naomi Klein’s film, This Changes Everything – 1 hour, 29 minutes

2:30 Ben Grosscup performs "I'll be There"
Sanctuary - Impact on Habitat and Wildlife
Rosemarie Muzika– Harvard Forest researcher
Dave Small – Athol Bird and Nature Club
John Oleary – Div. Fisheries and Wildlife (retired)
Mary Canning – Follow the Honey – Bees in Tanzania
Tom Sullivan – Pollinator’s Welcome

Ben Grosscup performs "No More Sacrifice Zones"
Renewable Energy’s Hope for Climate Change Reversal
Leigh Youngblood – Mount Grace Conservation Land Trust
Janice and Steve Kurkoski – North Quabbin Energy
                    Chad Halliday - Solar City
                   Charles Thompson – MA Forest Alliance


Ben Grosscup
5:00 pm
Davis – Ben Grosscup Workshop – Singing for Climate Justice
BEN GROSSCUP will present a protest song workshop, "Singing for Climate Justice" at the conclusion of the day-long Village Lyceum "Earthday Climate Change Expo" on Sunday, April 24. The Climate Change Expo starts at 9 am, with the protest song workshop beginning at 5:00 pm in the Davis Memorial Center, in back of the Petersham Unitarian Church. Grosscup is an activist folksinger carrying on the tradition of Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, and Phil Ochs. Based in Greenfield, MA, Ben is the executive director of People's Music Network, a group of activists and musicians using song to promote progressive politics and social change.

The Village Lyceum’s Earthday Climate Change Expo is sponsored by the Petersham, Athol, Barre and Orange Cultural Councils, Athol Bird and Nature Club, East Quabbin Land Trust, Follow the Honey, For Spacious Skies, Hartman’s Herb Farm, James McCrohon’s Garden Designs, Greenworks, Many Hands Organic Farm in Barre, Mount Grace Conservation Land Trust, North Quabbin Chamber of Commerce, North Quabbin Energy, Petersham Country Store, Pollinators Welcome, Quabbin Harvest, Salvadore Auto, Solar City and the University of the Wild at Earthlands. 

The Climate Change Expo is free and open to the public.  For further information, please contact Genevieve Fraser at 978-544-1872 or email: FraserGenevieve@gmail.com 










Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Village Lyceum “Earthday Climate Change Expo” Planning Meeting, Wednesday, March 16

Village Lyceum “Earthday Climate Change Expo” Planning Meeting, Wednesday, March 16

Jack Borden
The public is invited to attend an Earthday Climate Change Expo planning meeting to be held on Wednesday, March 16 at 7:00 pm in the Davis Memorial, 3 West Street, in back of the Unitarian Church in Petersham.  The Earthday Climate Change Expo is part of the International Leap Year 2016 campaign to “reinvent a different future” by examining the short and long term impacts of climate change and ways to create a renewable energy-based society.  The day-long event, planned for Sunday, April 24 will offer activities for the whole family, including Jack Borden’s “For Spacious Skies” sky-watcher indoor and outdoor workshop.  Speakers, musical performances, drumming circles, on-site poetry, music and poster making, panel discussions and films will be featured.

The Village Lyceum Earthday Climate Change Conference is sponsored by the Petersham, Athol, Barre and Orange Cultural Councils, Coop Power, For Spacious Skies, Follow the Honey, James McCrohon’s Garden Designs, Greenworks, Many Hands Organic Farm in Barre, Pollinators Welcome, Salvadore Auto, Solar City and the University of the Wild at Earthlands.  The Village Lyceum also welcomes other renewable energy and renewable energy sponsors as well as clubs, organizations and businesses committed to an environmentally sustainable future. The conference will be free and open to the public.  For further information, please contact Genevieve Fraser at 978-544-1872 or email:FraserGenevieve@gmail.com

PHOTO CAPTION: Jack Borden's "For Spacious Skies" Sky-watcher activities will open the Earthday Climate Change Expo planned for April 24 at the Village Lyceum in Petersham.  A planning meeting scheduled for 7 pm Wednesday, March 16 at the Davis Center in Petersham is open to the public.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Village Lyceum Seeks Sponsors and Steering Committee for April 2016 Climate Change Conference

Genevieve Fraser
Village Lyceum Seeks Sponsors and Steering Committee for April Climate Change Conference

The public is invited to attend a climate change conference planning meeting to be held on Thursday, February 18 at 7:00 pm in the Davis Memorial, 3 West Street in Petersham, Massachusetts.  This year the Village Lyceum will be celebrating Earthday as part of the International Leap Year 2016 campaign to “reinvent a different future” by examining the short and long term impacts of climate change and ways to create a post-fossil fuel society. 

The Climate Change Conference will be held on Sunday, April 24
Prescott at Quabbin Watershed
at the Petersham Unitarian Church and Davis Memorial Building and feature speakers, panel discussions, performance and drumming circles and films such as Naomi Klein’s, “This Changes Everything,” the Steve Alves indie film on the food co-op movement, “Food for Change,” as well as short films on the blockade movement against fracking and oil and gas pipelines. The conference will also look at the impact of climate change on forests and farmlands, wildlife habitat and human health.

Village Lyceum at the Petersham, MA Unitarian
The Village Lyceum Earthday Climate Change Conference is sponsored by the Petersham, Athol, Barre and Orange Cultural Councils, Follow the Honey, the University of the Wild at Earthlands and Solar City.  However, the Lyceum welcomes other renewable energy and post-fossil fuel sponsors as well as clubs, organizations and businesses committed to an environmentally sustainable future. The conference will be free and open to the public.  For further information, please contact Genevieve Fraser at 978-544-1872 or email:FraserGenevieve@gmail.com

Genevieve Fraser

Friday, January 29, 2016

Senator Robert D. Wetmore - author of "Environmental Bill of Rights" - Passes on into History

Senator Robert D. Wetmore

MA Senator Robert D. Wetmore - author of "Environmental Bill of Rights" - Passes on into History


“The people shall have the right to clean air and water, freedom from excessive and unnecessary noise, and the natural, scenic, historic, and esthetic qualities of their environment …”
Robert D. Wetmore


That excerpt is from the “Environmental Bill of Rights,” authored by then state Rep. Wetmore, which became the 97th amendment to the Massachusetts state Constitution. Approved by vote of the citizens of Massachusetts in November 1972, Article 97 became the foundation for a myriad of environmental laws that followed, and in many ways, changed the course of history for the commonwealth.  

Bob Wetmore, who died on January 15, 2016 at 85 years, was first elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1964 and ran for the Massachusetts Senate in 1976, serving as senator for the Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin district through 1996. Whether in the House or Senate, he was known statewide as (D-Barre), a Democrat from Barre.

Born and raised in Gardner, Bob settled in Barre and was a country boy at heart — a lover of the woods and fields and streams, the wildlife, sunlight, moonlight and the smell and sounds of the outdoors. He was deeply rooted in the area, would visit ancestral gravesites in Warwick and had a deep love of history, particularly local history; Daniel Shays was his hero. Shays, a revolutionary soldier and farmer, he was summoned to court for unpaid debts, which he could not pay because he had not been paid for his military service. Shays led a rebellion against injustice, and in his own quiet but determined way, Bob Wetmore, a veteran of the Korean War, did, too.

Wetmore built a reputation on “constituent services,” being there for people of the district in whatever way he could. He was also known as the Sportsmen’s Friend and was honored by clubs and organizations with awards and by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, which named Quabbin Reservoir Gate 31, the Robert D. Wetmore Fishing Area.

I served as the senator’s aide at the Statehouse and later as the college liaison for the Mount Wachusett Community College Forest and Wood Products Institute, which he helped create and fund and also served as chair. I witnessed firsthand the dedication and public service he provided to the region and commonwealth.
I was also privy to the work he accomplished throughout his decades-long career. I perused the documents stored in his Statehouse office from the days he co-chaired the “Wetmore/McKinnon Commission,” tasked with stemming the tide of environmental degradation and urban sprawl plaguing the state in the 1960s and ’70s. The result was local, regional and state-wide land use planning initiatives, including the Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program.

Lt. Gov. John Kerry at a Wetmore function  campaigning for US Senate
Wetmore was also decades ahead in terms of women’s issues and pay equity. During his tenure, roads, bridges, schools, a courthouse and other infrastructure projects were built. But his crowning achievement was the Environmental Bill of Rights. Bob Wetmore initiated public policy that created environmental safeguards along with protections of our heritage — historic town commons and scenic byways. He created the Special Commission on Forest Management Practices to help oversee the health of forests and wildlife habitat. The list of his accomplishments would fill a book. In short, he was one of the great public policy minds of the 20th century in Massachusetts. His vision was revolutionary, his legacy enduring.

At the age of 82, Wetmore reflected on his life in a poem he wrote for the Millers River Watershed Poetry Contest.

“Going Fishing”
By Robert Wetmore

The milk train ran through Gardner
Past South Royalston headed west to Athol
Echoes of my past as a teen I’d ride my bike
But in the summers getting up at dawn
I’d walk to the train station platform in Gardner
Where you paid a nickel for the men’s room
I’d wait for the milk train
A book bag stuffed with a can
Of worms, fishing gear, sandwich
And canteen slung over my shoulder
Waiting for the train waiting to go fishing
All aboard, seated, a window’s view
Chugging past woods, crossing the Otter River
To the South Royalston Depot
I’d disembark at a stone’s throw
From the Millers River Dam rapid waters
Cool pools, wooded tannin stained, clouded
From the northern reaches of headwaters
Fish pole and bait I’d wait for a nibble then walk
Along the rail road track, sun beating down
As I searched for the perfect spot
Drafted in my twenties, boated to South Korea
With army backpack, boarded trains then back
Home again I grabbed my pole and fishing gear
Rode in my brother’s borrowed car back
To the South Royalston fishing spots now
Choked with pollution run-off from paper mills
Then and there I changed, got into politics
So the rivers might flow clean and pure
And the fish might be worth fishing for

God Bless and keep you, Bob Wetmore. May you rest in peace.

Genevieve Fraser


Bob Wetmore in his 80s at a Mount Grace Conservation Land Trust annual meeting









Saturday, January 9, 2016

Gary A. Lippincott – The Art of Making Magic in the Natural World

Gary A. Lippincott
Gary A. Lippincott – The Art of Making Magic in the Natural World

By Genevieve Fraser

Gary A. Lippincott’s talents were obvious from the time he was a small child.  He first began to draw at the age of 4.  A few years later he began playing piano and donning the red bulbous nose of a clown with a bag of magic tricks.  But what he really wanted to be when he grew up was a wizard with magical powers, exploring wee folk hidden in among the grass, brambles and woods.  By the age of 17, Gary was performing on keyboard with a rock n' roll band and had finally fixated on a future as an artist.  After graduating from high school, he enrolled in the Maryland Institute - College of Art. 
Tangle by Gary A. Lippincott

The world first knew Gary as an illustrator of children’s books.  His exquisitely detailed artwork graces book covers from A Tolkien Miscellany to On the Frontier with Mr. Audubon (with Barbara Brenner) as well as children's book covers and illustrations in The Prince and the Pauper (with Marianna Mayer), The Bookstore Mouse (with Peggy Christian), Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher (with Bruce Colville), and the critically acclaimed and much loved, Come to the Fairies' Ball (with Jane Yolen).  Today, Gary still plays keyboard and also teaches art at Workshop 13 in Ware, Massachusetts, but he is best known for his exploration into the world of fairie, or the wee folk that fascinated him in his youth.  

From the Victorian Fairy Tarot
According to the renowned writer, J.R.R. Tolkien, “FaĆ«rie contains many things besides elves and fays, and besides dwarfs, witches, trolls, giants, or dragons; it holds the seas, the sun, the moon, the sky; and the earth, and all things that are in it: tree and bird, water and stone, wine and bread, and ourselves, mortal men, when we are enchanted.” 

In many ways, Gary’s work exemplifies the world that the master story writer, Tolkien describes. A wonderful example of this can be found in a pack of 78 cards he illustrated for the “Victorian Fairy Tarot.”  Published by Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD., the deck comes with the gracefully written, The Victorian Fairy Companion by Lunaea Weatherstone which serves as a guide, sharing fairy lore and interpreting each card. Though the Victorian Fairy Tarot is at heart whimsical, it offers vivid caricatures and situation that are at times breathtaking in their intrinsic beauty and scope.

Trollbridge by Gary A. Lippincott
Lippincott’s accolades include three Chesley awards presented by the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists (which nominated him for a lifetime achievement award in 2013).  He has also been nominated for a Hugo and a World Fantasy award.  His artwork has appeared in many editions of Spectrum Annual and been shown twice at their “Best Of” show at the Society of Illustrators Museum in New York.  And soon, there will be another treasure available for Lippincott fans, his book “Making Magic: The Art of Gary Lippincott” should be available in the not 
too distant future. 
Cover art for the soon-to-be released book by Gary Lippincott, "The Art of Making Magic