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TODAY

AVON TODAY CANTON TODAY JULY 2019 — WWW.TODAYPUBLISHING.NET

SIMSBURY TODAY

HEART OF THE FARM

A PRINT-AND-DIGITAL MONTHLY MAGAZINE

For This Flamig Family, Home Is Where The Farm Is

INSIDE

AVON TODAY • CANTON TODAY • SIMSBURY TODAY – www.TodayPublishing.net – JULY 2019

HEALING MEALS — COBB SCHOOL HEAD RETIRES — REAL-WORLD ROBOTICS

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A Today Transformation

CONTENTS COVER STORY

FROM THE PUBLISHER’S DESK

AS YOU CAN TELL from the cover of this magazine, we’ve undergone a transformation at Today Publishing — moving from a three-magazine model to a onemagazine model, while retaining the branding of our original format. Avon Today, Canton Today and Simsbury Today appear on the cover and inside, and our brand-new Today Magazine contains distinct sections for each town. A couple of local business owners told me recently they would prefer one magazine, noting these three towns aren’t separated by walls and we’re all in it together. Meanwhile, Today advertisers voiced overwhelming support for a move to one magazine. One publication will streamline the editorial process, but the driving force is long-term economic stability — printing a single magazine is a significant cost savings. At Today Magazine, we remain committed to bringing you relevant and valuable local news — reporting on the underreported upside of Avon, Canton and Simsbury. Thank you for your encouragement about our efforts! Journalism Award for Today Publishing In the good news department, Today Publishing has received a Society of Professional Journalists award (third place) for the Canton Today cover story I wrote on Collinsville artist/teacher Jim DeCesare. Here’s a shout-out to our advertising sponsors for seeing the value of our award-winning journalism. WWII Cover Kudos + Correction Thank you for your upbeat reviews of our June cover story on local World War II veterans and the D-Day anniversary. We also were notified of a correction: James Keane served in Korea, not WWII — we apologize for the error. Plus, the following names should have made our list of WWII veterans in the Avon-Canton-Simsbury area: Lenny Ferri, Leonard Schumann, Joanna Vincent and Lee Williams.

8 — HOME IS WHERE THE FARM IS

For Nevin and Julie Christensen and their two sons, Pete and Chadam, Flamig Farm is both home and heartfelt vocation. NOTEWORTHY NONPROFITS

5 — Healing Meals = Healthy Impact

An Avon high schooler explains how a local nonprofit helps people with serious health concerns. SCHOOL SCOOP

7 — Real-Life Lessons From Robotics

A robotics team showed a Canton high schooler how math and science apply outside the classroom. BUSINESS BEAT

11 — Studio Fosters Passion For Dance

Connecticut Dance Academy moved to a larger, state-of-the-art studio this year. ACCENT ON EDUCATORS

13 — Cobb School Founder Ready To Fly

Technically, Mary Lou Cobb has retired as school head, but she plans to keep active in Simsbury and beyond.

LETTERS

As always, you have done a marvelous job! People are talking about how wonderful the magazine is and how happy they are with it. ... I feel so honored to be a part of this incredible endeavor that you took on, which continues to wow us all. Wendy Rosenberg • Canton Thank you for the terrific article on Save Nod Road (May issue). We really appreciate the coverage and loved your commentary. Perfect timing being paired with Roaring Brook Nature Center. Robin Baran • Co-President, Save Nod Road • Avon I’ve enjoyed getting your magazine in my mailbox! Eric Wellman • First Selectman • Simsbury Thank you for all the press you are giving to the Canton Public Schools. The community is finding your magazine incredibly informative. Thank you again! Dr. Jordan Grossman • Asst. Superintendent • Canton

Bruce Deckert — Publisher + Editor-in-Chief 860-988-1910 • Bruce.Deckert@TodayPublishing.net Today Magazine — Avon • Canton • Simsbury www.TodayPublishing.net – Digital Edition on website Facebook — @TodayPublishingCT LinkedIn — search: Today Publishing Advertising — Contact the publisher News Deadline —1st day of month for next month’s issue Editorial Associate — Kayla Tyson Contributors — Lauren Armstrong, Justin DeFina, Paula Ryan, Kathy Taylor Photographer — Seshu, Connecticut Headshots • 860-593-0850 www.ConnecticutHeadshots.com • info@ConnecticutHeadshots.com Contributing Photographer — Wendy Rosenberg • 860-305-1655 Cover Photo — Pete, Chadam, Julie and Nevin Christensen • CT Headshots

QUOTE OF THE MONTH “We all feel ... blessed to be able to work as a family on our family farm.” — Flamig Farm owner Nevin Christensen

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AVON TODAY

Schoolhouse on National Register of Historic Places Scavenger hunt beckons at Pine Grove Avon Historical Society

Courtesy Photo

THE PINE GROVE SCHOOLHOUSE, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is open from 2-4 p.m. every Sunday all summer long and through September. The historic one-room schoolhouse was built in 1865 as Schoolhouse No. 7 and is in its original location. Owned by the Town of Avon, the building is situated at the corner of Harris Street and West Avon Road (Route 167). The Pine Grove Schoolhouse served the Avon school system until 1949, when it became a branch of the town library, a nursery school and a meeting place for the Boy Scouts. The Avon Historical Society restored the building in 1976. Its interior is interpreted as a schoolhouse of 1900, with bolted desks, hand slates, textbooks and other educational memorabilia of the time. A scavenger hunt, highlighting many of the historic items in the schoolhouse and the surrounding grounds, is available for young visitors and the young at heart. Over the past decade, much work has been completed, thanks to local company and private donations, to restore this wonderful historic treasure. For example, lead paint was remediated from the exterior, the almost 100-year-old outhouse was restored and placed near its original location, and locally quarried stone steps were added to the side door.

HIGHLIGHTS OF AVON HISTORY Thanks to a grant from CT Trust for Historic Preservation and generous individual donors, 112 panes of glass in the windows of the schoolhouse, most of them original, were restored. To make an appointment to see the Pine Grove Schoolhouse at other times, or to bring in a group, call 860-678-7621 (leave a message if needed). If you’re interested in local history and genealogy, call 860673-9712 to schedule a visit to the Marian Hunter History Room at the Avon Free Public Library, 281 Country Club Road. +

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AVON TODAY

Healing Meals: Healthy way to impact community By Lauren Armstrong School Correspondent — Avon

Northwest Catholic students Justin Tavares (left) and Declan Ferrell (of Avon) help at a Healing Meals event.

Courtesy Photo

I STARTED VOLUNTEERING with Healing Meals the summer before high school as a way to learn more about healthy foods and about myself. This was one of the best choices I ever made. Healing Meals is a nonprofit organization based at Auerfarm in Bloomfield that provides healthy meals for people with serious health concerns. Founded in 2015 by Sarah Leathers and Ellen Palmer, Healing Meals impacted over 540 clients in 2018 alone. That same year Healing Meals delivered over 30,000 meals in over 45 towns, clocking over 5,970 hours of adult volunteer work and over 4,650 hours of youth work. As young as 14 years old, volunteers come together on Wednesdays and Thursdays to cook and package. By serving 100 percent organic meals, Healing Meals gives clients healthy and delicious food made with the best ingredients and love. This year Healing Meals has partnered with two Whole Foods stores in West Hartford and a third in Glastonbury. Whole Foods donates $1 for every pound of selected items bought at these locations. Volunteering for this organization impacts not only the clients but also the lives of volunteers. They learn how to cook healthy meals and practice important leadership skills, all the while knowing they are making an impact on others.  Volunteers are needed to cook, package and deliver meals. Volunteering for Healing Meals is one of the best decisions a person can make. It benefits the community while helping people learn more about themselves. Healing Meals is accepting of all skills and people, whether you are a professional cook or have

never stepped foot in a kitchen before. I continue to consider Healing Meals a second home, and I am grateful for what the experience has taught me. For more info, please contact volunteer manager Chrissy Barnard at chrissy@healingmealsproject.org or 860-778-7780. + Rising sophomore Lauren Armstrong of Avon attends Northwest Catholic in West Hartford, which had a combined 80-plus students from Avon, Canton and Simsbury in 2018-19.

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AVON TODAY • CANTON TODAY • SIMSBURY TODAY – www.TodayPublishing.net – JULY 2019

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CANTON TODAY

Little-known fact: Collins Company created Otis Reservoir in Mass. By Kathy Taylor Canton Town Historian

HIGHLIGHTS OF CANTON HISTORY

THE COLLINS COMPANY and many other manufacturers during the Industrial Period relied heavily on waterpower to run their factories. In 1826 Sam Collins, his brother David and their cousin William Wells invested $5,000 each and bought the old Humphrey sawmill and gristmill on the Farmington River in South Canton (now called Collinsville). By 1833 they had constructed 20 factory buildings, and by 1908 the company owned 50 factory buildings and 192 houses in the area. Their products included 1,300 different edge tools, including axes, machetes, swords, pickaxes, bayonets and shovels. The Farmington River flooded numerous times over the years. The first flood for the Collins Company was in 1828, and it came up almost to the second floor of the new stone shop. The historic August 1955 flood destroyed or heavily damaged many factory buildings.

Not having enough water to run machinery was also a major problem. In 1865, the company looked 32 miles to the north and created a large reservoir in Otis, Mass., on the west branch of the Farmington River. In 1867, the company and 15 other investors were granted a charter for the Farmington River Water Power Company. In his memorandums, Sam Collins states: “The capacity of the reservoir is estimated to be eight hundred million, four hundred and fifteen thousand cubic feet, sixty percent of which is estimated to be available; equal to 6,255,242,187 gallons.” The Collins Company used 12 million cubic feet of water in 10 hours to power its machinery. When the company closed its doors in 1966, it sold Otis Reservoir, covering over 1,000 acres, to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for $215,000. +

Dollars for Scholars awards scholarships

CANTON DOLLARS FOR SCHOLARS presented its 2019 scholarships at the Canton High School Scholarship Celebration in June. The nonprofit is funded through the generosity of community support and was able to award more scholarship funds this year to more students. The Collinsville Trick or Trot 5K in October is the newest fundraiser that benefits Canton Dollars for Scholars. CDFS also hopes to increase the scholarships awarded next year. Canton Dollars for Scholars seeks to honor well-rounded students who achieve their personal best grades while serving the school and community. The following students received scholarships: Sydney Anderson, Rachel Ausere, Zoe Bates, Sarah Bowman, Michael Cavanaugh, Collin Cleaves, Brian Connolly, Tyler Doyle, Abigail Ehrhardt, Lucy Enge, Sophia Gentile, Colton Glasgow, Amyah Harris, Lila Hunt, Kayla Jaeggi, Tigger Kluessendorf, Richard Kupec, Grant Lange, Nicole LaPlant, Dugan Lloyd, Sarah Marze, Maria Menoutis, Manuela Montoya, Kate Nedorostek, Diego Noriega, Charles Parchen, James Pelehach, Michael Roux, Olivia Scott, Victoria Stiegman, Morgan Vacca, Morgan Walzak and Jeremy Welcome.

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JULY 2019 – www.TodayPublishing.net – AVON TODAY • CANTON TODAY • SIMSBURY TODAY


CANTON TODAY

Real-world robotics = real-life lessons By Justin DeFina School Correspondent — Canton

Justin DeFina of Canton operates the drill press in the NWC robotics lab.

Courtesy Photo

IN MATH AND SCIENCE, I sometimes ask myself, “When will I ever use this?” Like many students, I’ve wondered when I’ll need to use the friction equation or cosine. I no longer ask this question. After weeks of intensive math, physics and construction, the Northwest Catholic Robotics Team competed for the first time in the Destination Deep Space FIRST Robotics Competition this past school year. We won the 2019 Rookie Award and posted a 6-5-1 record. In our second competition, at the New England District Hartford Event, we won six of our 12 matches. This is a strong showing for a novice team, and we were proud of our standings. When the process first began, my teammates and I were just a group of students with a rough plan but no idea how to execute. With the help of dedicated mentors ranging from engineers to NASA astronauts, our project began to take shape. During this stage our team began to understand what it feels like to be tired after a long day at work. The school day suddenly became three hours longer. Holidays and weekends became eight-hour workdays. At any time one could walk into the lab and see people talking, thinking and scribbling on a whiteboard. What our team may have lacked in experience was made up for in hard work and dedication. With every idea there were pitfalls, which required that we try something different. We were forced to persevere and realized

that there was no such thing as a perfect plan. Also important to note: Math had to be done at every stage. Tenacity, creativity, cooperation and, yes, math and science provided the real-life lessons here, and the NWC Robotics Team will be back next year even stronger. + Rising senior Justin DeFina of Canton attended Cherry Brook Primary School (Canton) and The Master’s School (West Simsbury). Northwest Catholic of West Hartford had 80-plus students from Avon, Canton and Simsbury in 2018-19.

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Flamig Farm focuses on education, agritourism By Bruce Deckert • Editor-in-Chief Avon Today • Canton Today • Simsbury Today

IS IT A SIGN? Is it artwork? Or is it both? Before you offer an opinion, listen to Nevin Christensen’s story. Nevin and his wife Julie own and operate Flamig Farm, a local outfit known for the distinctive and sizable backward EGGS logo gracing its red barn — which has served as a conversation piece for decades. “Many years ago, an artist friend of the family, Karl Edward Albert Knoecklien, told us he wanted to make something artistic for the outside of our chicken barn,” Nevin says. When Karl unveiled his creation in the farm’s woodworking shop, the family was surprised to see a huge sign comprised of four immense 8-foot-tall letters: EGGS. The family knew, Nevin says, that the town Zoning Commission wouldn’t permit a sign that size. “We debated what to do,” he recalls, “until someone said, ‘Let’s put it up backward and call it art.’ So that’s what we did.” The result is an iconic Simsbury landmark — and perhaps the most unique farm logo in New England. “Zoning came out twice within a few months and asked us to take the sign down,” Nevin says. “The second time, my brother Nord said to the zoning guy, ‘I don’t know where you went to school, but where I went to school that does not say eggs.’ Then he walked away and went back to work.” Nevin notes that his brother has dyslexia, adding a coincidental layer to the backward EGGS story. Located in West Simsbury, on the corner of West Mountain Road and Shingle Mill Road, Flamig Farm was established in 1907 by Nevin’s great-grandfather Herman Flamig, a German immigrant. The farm has been through numerous transformations in its 110-plus years. Initially, it was a 12-cow dairy while also growing vegetables and tobacco and producing

COVER STORY

“My grandparents used to deliver milk to Nevin’s family here at Flamig.” — Julie Christensen firewood. In the late 1930s, the farm transitioned to wholesale egg production with several thousand chickens. Later, it became an organic vegetable farm with 10 cultivated acres. “Eventually that was no longer viable,” Nevin says, “and we evolved in the direction of entertainment and education, which we continue to do today with our petting zoo, summer camp and birthday parties, along with hayrides and pony rides.” Nevin and Julie are both Simsbury natives and graduates of Simsbury High — and farming is in her blood, too. Julie’s grandparents, Peter and Margaret Petersen, owned a dairy farm in West Simsbury that straddled West Mountain Road, less than two miles south of Flamig Farm. Today, the Petersen’s former land is the site of West Mountain Park and the Mountain Farms housing development. “My grandparents used to deliver milk to Nevin’s family here at Flamig,” Julie says, before she and Nevin met. Growing up, 8

Chadam Christensen collects eggs from the chicken coop at Flamig Fa

Nevin was one of five sons, so the milk delivery from Petersen Farm came “several times a week,” he quips. “Julie’s farm experience and the life lessons she got from her grandparents and years of retail experience … have made her the hard-working, creative person that she is,” Nevin says. “She has a desire to please everybody and does a … good job at accomplishing that impossible goal.” Flamig Farm once had three teams of draft horses and offered carriage rides for weddings and other events. That’s how Nevin and Julie met: Her grandparents were celebrating their 50th anniversary with a carriage ride. Nevin took them and Julie to Simsbury’s Town Forest Park for a picnic. Along the way, Nevin

JULY 2019 – www.TodayPublishing.net – AVON TODAY • CANTON TODAY • SIMSBURY TODAY


HEARTBEAT OF A FARM

Photos by Connecticut Headshots • 860-593-0850 connecticutheadshots.com

arm.

let Julie drive the horses — and they took off. “Her grandfather was calling out, ‘Julie, pull ’em in!’” Nevin says with a smile. Julie and Nevin married in 1998 and then welcomed two children to the world. Their sons, Pete and Chadam, are key components of the farm enterprise. Pete, 20, graduated from Simsbury High in 2017 and planned to attend UConn to major in agricultural and environmental science … but decided there’s a better place for such study. “I thought, why do I want to take on all this debt when I can learn so much at the farm?” Pete says. “I didn’t always pay attention to what was going on here when I was in high school,

but I’ve grown and matured, and now I contribute every day. I’ve learned a lot and want to keep learning so I can run the farm one day.” Nevin says his son is “totally committed” to the farm. “I can always go to college later on if I want,” Pete says, “but this is where I want to be.” Julie underscores that the family doesn’t downplay the value of a college education: “It’s a good choice for a lot of people, but it isn’t for Pete right now.” Chadam, 14, will be a sophomore at the Regional Agriscience Center at Suffield High School. Heading into his freshman year he made a last-minute decision to apply to the center, and it

AVON TODAY • CANTON TODAY • SIMSBURY TODAY – www.TodayPublishing.net – JULY 2019

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Pete Christensen and his best canine friend, Dude. “I ... want to keep learning so I can run the farm one day,” Pete says.

Flamig Farm: Preserving nature, serving people

Welcome to a wide-ranging interview with fourth-generation Flamig Farm owner Nevin Christensen. Owners — Family-owned and -run by Nevin and Julie Christensen and their sons Pete and Chadam. Employees — The number varies from about 30 in the summer, including our camp staff, to one or two when we’re closed in the winter. Mission and focus of your farm: The mission of Flamig Farm is to preserve our natural environment by providing people with exposure to animals and nature in a farm environment. Why did you choose farming as a profession? Born and raised on the farm and learned to develop a deep appreciation for hard work and the farm life of being one’s own boss. What do you enjoy most about your work? Being outside with animals and nature. Watching kids of all ages appreciating the farm animals and learning about nature and alternative energy. What’s the biggest challenge facing farms in CT today? the biggest opportunity? Hard for me to say what the biggest challenge facing farms in CT today. I can say that our farm has been successful by trying new things that customers have asked for and following through with in-demand activities and constantly working to try to improve them. We’ve gotten “outside of the box” of conventional farming activities into what we call agritourism and education. What is your farm’s most satisfying accomplishment in recent years? Our most satisfying accomplishment recently has been the success and growth of our farm animal petting zoo. We have been focusing on making the farm more beautiful and educational for our visitors. What are your goals for the next five years? To begin offering weddings, build some barns for vehicle storage and animals, as well as fencing and improving our care of the pastures where we graze our animals. What sets your farm apart? We truly want to serve people and make them happy and smile. We are focused on being clean and neat. We have “Farmer Julie” 10

who keeps a constant vigil on the tiniest improvements that will give visitors the best experience possible when they come to our farm for any of the various activities. What constructive change would you like to see locally regarding farms and farming? I would like to see people get more creative with their potential on their farms. We need a drastic change in farming practices in this country to improve the quality of our soil and water and overall environment. I believe it would be beneficial if more people could experience life on farms for the many benefits that life can provide. Local governments allowing more creative use of farmlands that would allow the farmers to make a living could be a help. Please share an anecdote that provides a window into the ethos of your farm: We have always been led, inspired would be a good word, to do many of the things we’re doing by little nuggets of information that came from the universe at just the right time. The key is taking action to follow up on that information. One year the motor on our old flatbed truck, that we used to bring in hay, blew up. Instead of putting a new motor in it, we decided to build a hay wagon that we could then pull with a tractor. As we were building the wagon under the shade of a maple tree, someone walked by and asked, “Are you going to be offering hayrides?” That was the beginning of our hayride business. There was a point when we learned that growing organic vegetables was no longer viable. Over the winter I was wondering, what will I be doing next summer if I’m not growing vegetables? One day I took my daughter to ballet class and overheard two moms talking. One asked, “Where are you sending your kids to camp this year?” Summer Camp Farm Adventure was started that year, and now our program sells out at around 100 kids a week for seven weeks of the summer. Add further comment as you wish: We all feel very blessed to be able to work as a family on our family farm with a common goal of helping it to thrive and have a positive impact on the lives of everyone we come in contact with. +

JULY 2019 – www.TodayPublishing.net – AVON TODAY • CANTON TODAY • SIMSBURY TODAY

FLAMIG FARM INC.

7 Shingle Mill Road West Simsbury, CT 860-658-5070 email — info@flamigfarm.com www.flamigfarm.com Established — April 4, 1907

has paid off. “I’m glad to be part of this program — I’ve learned a lot,” he says. “They’ve been glad to have me there too, because I can contribute with my experience at the farm.” Nevin observes that Chadam “has taken on many responsibilities at the farm that are well beyond what many kids his age are doing.” Julie, 52, worked at Bodytalk, an upscale women’s clothing store in Avon, before returning to her farm roots. Nevin, 67, has a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and a master’s, both from Southern Connecticut State College (now University). He taught some classes at Southern and “agonized over the decision to continue on to possibly become a college professor or return to the farm.” “By the grace of God I chose the farm,” Nevin says, “and I remain thankful and grateful that I made that decision.” +

Julie and Nevin Christensen


BUSINESS BEAT

Diana Perkins has guided a major expansion of Connecticut Dance Academy to a studio with an expansive 5,000 square feet.

Photos by Connecticut Headshots • 860-593-0850 connecticutheadshots.com

DANCE FEVER

Connecticut Dance Academy has grown by leaps and pirouettes Today Magazine Staff

IF YOU WANT TO DANCE with young stars — and strive to become a star — Connecticut Dance Academy has a place for you. Founded by Diana Perkins in 2015, the studio offers a variety of teams and teaches styles such as ballet, jazz, hip-hop, modern, tap and more. Perkins trained at Hartford Conservatory and graduated from the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Dance, training with Martha Graham’s principal dancer, Peggy Lyman.

Perkins, who started competing at age 6, taught at several local studios before opening her own. She has performed professionally in Orlando, Fla., with Cirque USA and Climb-X Modern Dance Theater. Perkins, 34, was raised in East Granby. She and her husband Brendan, 36, live in Canton with their children Kayla, 10, and Dylan, 6. The couple initially moved to Canton in 2008 but briefly relocated to Harwinton in 2013. “We missed Canton and absolutely love everything about the town,” Perkins

says, “so we moved back in 2015.” Here is her Q-and-A with Today Magazine: Company mission: To share our love and passion for dance with students of all ages and abilities by providing the highest level of instruction and inspiring our dancers to become the best dancers and teammates they can be. Why did you choose this profession? I fell in love with dance at age 2 and never looked back. I have been teaching dance for almost 20 years, and graduated from the Hartt School and danced continued on page 15

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SIMSBURY TODAY

Civil War veterans remembered in Simsbury By Paula Ryan — Simsbury Historical Society

HIGHLIGHTS OF SIMSBURY HISTORY

Courtesy Photo

AS WE CELEBRATE the independence of our nation this July 4th, we remember the veterans and those who fell defending our freedom. On Hopmeadow Street, the Soldiers’ Monument is a beautiful memorial specifically honoring our Civil War soldiers. Dedicated nearly 125 years ago on July 4, 1895, the local branch of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) created this touching monument. Lasting from 1861 to 1865, the American Civil War was a bloody conflict that resulted in the deaths of between 620,00 and 850,000 soldiers. Simsbury looked to do its part in the war and offered to pay a bounty to those who fought in Union forces. More than 200 men from Simsbury served, including one of the town’s popular figures, Capt. Joseph Toy Jr., who gained fame several years earlier thanks to his attempts to rescue those injured in the 1859 explosion at his father’s fuse factory, known later as Ensign Bickford Industries. With patriotic sentiment remaining strong after the war, the GAR became an important organization for veterans seeking brotherhood and camaraderie. Promoting principles of fraternity, charity and loyalty, this group attracted

More than 200 men from Simsbury served, including one of the town’s popular figures.

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membership across the primarily Union states. The GAR connected men through their Civil War experience and was among the first organized advocacy groups in American politics. The GAR supported voting rights for black veterans, promoted patriotic education, helped make Memorial Day a national holiday, lobbied the U.S. Congress to establish veterans’ pensions, and supported Republican political candidates. Its peak membership was more than 490,000, in 1890, a year that was marked by various Civil War commemorations and monument dedication ceremonies. The Simsbury branch, the Oliver C. Case Camp, formed in February 1890 and was the driver to create the town’s Soldiers’ Monument, which is inscribed with the names of local Civil War veterans and the officers from the area. As noted in the Hartford Courant on July 5, 1895, “The monument is a handsome square of granite resting on a base of eight feet square and surmounted by the figure of a soldier at parade rest.” Today, the monument remains a visible reminder to the citizens of Simsbury of the cost of freedom. +


SIMSBURY TODAY

Mary Lou Cobb retires after 45 years at Cobb School SINCE 1974 Mary Lou Cobb has been at the helm of The Cobb School, Montessori in Simsbury. In June she stepped down from her post after 45 years of dedicated service at the school she founded. During the past school year, in her final tour as head — a year spent coaching faculty, celebrating children, and connecting with friends and colleagues across the globe — Mary Lou has faced the same questions again and again: “Is it hard? Are you sad? What will you do?” With grace and courtesy, as a trained Montessorian and classroom teacher of 32 years, and with four decades in school leadership, she has smiled gently and answered, “I will miss this work, but I am ready to fly.” The Cobb School’s mission statement was featured a few years ago in a university publication for its power, singularity and effectiveness: Believe, Guide, Step Aside, Let Fly. This June, Mary Lou will embody the mission statement she wrote all those years ago. She will fly. What will she do? Plenty. She has

Courtesy Photo

Special to Today Magazine

already begun her next chapter, consulting with school administrators, teachers, parents and others interested in the ways Montessori principles can benefit their organizations and families. In addition, she will continue her work with Montessori and the aging, a program she began at The Cobb School in collaboration with Simsbury’s McLean

Home. She recently completed the Association Montessori Internationale’s workshop on dementia and aging, and she is building connections with organizations that are leading the charge in this revolutionary work. Mary Lou has already been appointed board vice president of Whole School Leadership, a D.C.-based Montessori training resource with international reach. She will complete her certification with WSL in Houston this summer and will colead a workshop in Prague this fall. Further, the Montessori Training Center Northeast, based at the University of Hartford, has enlisted her as a consultant. Fly she will. Is it hard to hand over the reins? One of the hardest things she’s ever done. Is it sad? Absolutely. Is she ready to fly? No question. Mary Lou says with confidence, “Like any good mother, I see it’s time to let my child, The Cobb School, fly.” + For consulting services or other queries, contact Mary Lou Cobb at marylou74@gmail.com or 860-670-7197.

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CALENDAR Hartford Symphony Orchestra Talcott Mountain Music Festival Simsbury Meadows Fridays – 7:30 pm 7/5–Celebrate America! 7/12–Celebrating Music of Sinatra 7/19–Swan Lake & Sleeping Beauty 7/26–Music of Elton John Gates open at 6 pm for picnicking Friends of Festival enter at 5:30 Box office: 860-987-5900 +++ Natural World Photo Exhibit Roaring Brook Nature Center, Canton – July Investors Center, Avon – July-Aug. Amazing nature photos by Canton photographer Wendy Rosenberg Historic Pine Grove Schoolhouse West Avon Road (Rt. 167), Avon Sundays thru Sept. – 2-4 pm • Free National Register of Historic Places Collinsville Farmer’s Market Main Street, Collinsville Sundays thru October – 10-1 Avon Farmers Market Avon Public Library Mondays in July-August – 3-6 pm Veterans Coffee Houses • Simsbury Senior Center 1st Monday each month – 10 am • Canton Community Center 2nd Monday each month – 9 am 59th Anniversary Art Exhibition Gallery on the Green, Canton Thru 8/4 – Fri-Sat-Sun 1-5 pm Free • Solo show: Marlene Mayes First Friday Dinner Avon Congregational Church 1st Friday each month – 5:30-7 pm $7-$13 • Some proceeds to charity Dog Days of Summer Plan B Burger Bar, Simsbury Friday 7/5 – 5-8 pm Benefit to support Dog Star Rescue 8th annual Rolling Hills 5K St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Avon Saturday 7/13 – 9 am $30 race-day • Info: 673-3301 Annual Senior Picnic for Avon & Canton seniors Canton Senior Center Thursday 7/18 –12-1:30 pm Register by 7/12: 693-5811 Sponsor: Avon-Canton Rotary Club Make it GF – Free Samples Talcott Mountain Music Festival Simsbury Meadows Friday 7/19 – 6-showtime (7:30 pm) Canton-based Make It GF offering gluten-free cookies, muffins, more 693-1300 • www.makeitgf.com

Our digital edition is posted well before the month begins Get an early peek at the Calendar – www.TodayPublishing.net Collinsville Hot Downtown Collinsville Saturday 7/20 – all day Sizzling day of fun: live music, food, artisans, children’s Chill Zone Summer Sale Simsbury Second Chance Shop Saturday 7/20 – 10 am-2 pm 50% off storewide • All proceeds to Village for Families and Children Open Mic Night LaSalle Market, Collinsville Fridays – 6-10:30 pm • Free Singers: call 693-8010 or come at 5 +++ Concerts + Comedy at Bridge Street Live 41 Bridge Street, Collinsville Comedy Night: Mike Speirs Friday 7/5 – 8 pm • $15-$25 Concert: Carolyn Wonderland Sunday 7/14 – 7 pm • $18-$27 Comedy Night: Mike Burton Friday 7/19 – 8 pm • $15-$25 Concert: Eilen Jewell Saturday 7/20 – 8 pm • $22-$32 +++ Storyteller’s Cottage events Simsbury • 860-877-6099 Tea Party Club for Kids Sundays – 2 pm Storytime, crafts and tea party 7/7 – Pippi Longstocking 8/4 – The Wizard of Oz 9/8 – Beauty and the Beast 10/6 – The Witches 11/3 – Snow White 12/1 – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe $15, $75 for any six months Mystery Writer’s Club for Kids Fridays – 4:30 pm $10 • Play mini mystery game, pick writing prompt or write on your own “Pippi Longstocking” Tea Party Club for Kids Sunday 7/7 – 2 pm $15 • Storytime, crafts, tea, snacks “Murder She Wrote” Mystery Tea Party Wednesday 7/10 + 8/14 – 1 pm $20 • Play mystery room, then celebrate with treats and tea Grand Adventure: Mystery Game and Tea Party for Grandparents & Grandchildren Sunday 7/14– 2 pm $20 • Solve mystery together, then celebrate with treats and tea Good Grief Workshop: Writing to Process Loss Saturday 7/20 – 2 pm

$90 • Guided prompts help process, explore complexities of grief and healing Victorian Parlor Magic: Summer Soiree Saturday 7/20 – 8 pm $50 • Cocktails, croquet on lawn and magic show in historic salon Tea + Tips: How to Get Published Sunday 7/21 – 2 pm Free • July session: Mystery writer Penny Goetjen Tea + Tips: How to Get Published Saturday 8/3 – 2 pm Free • August session: Writer/editor C. Flanagan Flynn “Wizard of Oz” Tea Party Club for Kids Sunday 8/3 – 2 pm $15 • Storytime, crafts, tea, snacks YA Authors Networking Brunch Sunday 8/11 – 12 noon $10 • Network with fellow authors while enjoying delicious brunch “Great Gatsby” Sparkling Summer Night Gala Saturday 8/17 – 8 pm $50 • Cocktails + hors d’oeuvres, learn to dance the Charleston, more +++ Red Stone Pub happenings Red Stone Pub, Simsbury Trivia Tuesdays – 7-8:30 pm Eat. Drink. Think. Prizes! Acoustic Wed.: John Mayock Live music • 7-9 pm Thirsty Thursdays Dollar dogs • Darts 7-9 pm Saturday Nights Dinner entrees • Yappy Hour on the patio: 3-6 pm • DJ + music: 6-9 pm Happy Hour – every day until 6 pm All drinks $2 off + app specials! +++ Canton Public Library lineup These events free • Info: 693-5800 Farmington River Quilt Project July-August On display in library, by 25 artists Ukelele Club Tuesdays 7/2-8/13 – 4 pm Bring your own uke Camp Writing Workshop Canton Public Library Wednesdays in July – 3:30-5 pm Register • Fiction session for teens Expand Your Universe Classes Register • Grades 4-12 7/6: Basic Car Care – 10:30 am 7/8: Hand Lettering – 1 pm 7/9: Bullet Journaling – 6 pm 7/10: Drawing – 6 pm

Hair Extensions Airbrush Makeup Weddings • Events

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7/15: Photography – 6 pm 7/22: Yoga – 3 pm 7/22-26: Sheep to Scarf – 12:30 7/27: Build Cajón Drum – 10:30 am 7/29: Learn to Make Pasta – 6 pm 7/30: Embroidery – 1 pm 7/31: Archery – 6 pm Teen/Tween Night Thursdays in July • Grades 4-6 – 3-5 pm • Grades 7-12 – 6-7:45 pm 7/11: Messy Art Night 7/18: ‘Chopped’ 7/25: Paint Night w/ Scene Art Bar Summer Crafts: T-Shirt Handbag Saturday 7/27 – 11 am-12:30 pm Register • Ages 13-adult Summertime Reading Rewards Each library day thru 8/16 Register • Rewards vary by age Friday Family Movie Matinee Fridays – 3 pm • Free G or PG film Summer Saturdays Library Hours Saturdays thru 8/31 – 10 am-1 pm +++ Simsbury Public Library lineup Register for events: 658-7663 x2 Friday Flicks Fridays – 1-3 pm July’s theme: “Fly Me to the Moon” Celestial Navigation: Space Age Thursday 7/11 – 6 pm Adult Learning with the iPad Thursday 7/11 – 6 pm How to Land a Job in 2019 Wednesday 7/17 – 6 pm Apple Watch & Your Health Thursday 7/18 – 6 pm 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Tuesday 7/23 – 6:30 pm With Dr. Kristine Larsen of CCSU The Canadian Maritimes: Kinship, Connections & More Tuesday 7/30 – 1 pm Reading Between the Lines, Handwriting Analysis Workshop Wednesday 7/31 – 6:30 pm +++ Avon Public Library lineup These events free • Info: 673-9712 Anniversary Film Series Documentaries on major milestones Fri 7/5–1:30 pm–The Circus Fire Fri 7/12–1:30 pm–Making Wiz of Oz Wed. Morning Book Club (10:30) 7/17 – Asymmetry  8/21 – Before We Were Yours 9/18 – Tattoist of Auschwitz  Woodstock: 50th Anniversary Thursday 8/22 – 6:30 pm Free • Rare audio-video, live music, stories of iconic ’69 music festival

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Avon Village 41 East Main Street Avon, CT 06001


DANCE — continued from page 11

Goals for the next five years? Continue to build on the tremendous professionally after college. I had always momentum we are currently carrying. dreamed of owning my own studio and With the new larger space, we feel we finally had the opportunity to in 2015. have the infrastructure to accomplish this Most enjoyable aspect of your work? but want to be sure we can maintain the Watching my students achieve their goals, same culture we have built as we increase whether it’s completing a quad pirouette, our scale. We also want our students to a new acrobatics trick, finally getting a continue to improve and grow as our flat split or achieving a high score at a studio does. competition. What sets your business apart? I truly enjoy watching my students Working at many different dance studios grow not only as dancers but as children prior to opening my own, I was able to see growing into young adults. I absolutely what made studios successful and what love being in the studio teaching the love created challenges. (Layout includes a margin clear of text and graphics of dance and how it can change a life. If I focus heavily on my staff by I’m having a bad day, a night of teaching as thisdance information may be covered by frame and/or clips during installation) ensuring that our teachers are not only is a perfect remedy. professionally trained but also a fit with What are some obstacles you face, Diana Perkins the culture of our studio. We created an and how can you overcome them? environment that motivates our dancers Balancing all the responsibilities of The biggest success business-wise to constantly improve and is also fair running a business, teaching classes and was taking our vision and building a and welcoming to all. We offer over 50 being away most weekends at performance 5,000-square-foot studio that we moved recreational classes per week as well as a events and competitions, on top of being a into this past February. The prior location Performance Company, a noncompetitive wife and mom to two young children. across the street was becoming extremely team that performs at various community I’ve been able to overcome this by overcrowded, and we were able to create events throughout the region, such as having my children involved in dance as a space that fit the growing needs of the an on-field performance at an upcoming both take classes in the studio and are part studio. The new space features three Hartford Yard Goats game. of our teams. We also have the challenge large studios with professionally sprung We have also grown one of the top of keeping up with demand and have flooring, an oversized lobby with large Competition teams in the state over just added two new instructors for the fall that viewing windows, and many other the past three years that has continued to we are really excited to have join our staff. amenities and technology upgrades surpass all my expectations. What is your most satisfying requested by our dance families. Lastly, our new studio space is really accomplishment? unmatched in the area, with large viewing We have so many successes to be proud of. windows into each studio, professionally CONNECTICUT The first is the entire atmosphere we have sprung flooring to prevent injuries, and DANCE ACADEMY been able to build at the studio. customized software to make it easy for Our students and dance families 5 Cheryl Drive — Canton parents to register and pay online and stay are amazing individuals and have really Near Route 44 374 Hopmeadow Street • Simsbury, CT 06089 informed. created a positive and fun environment Close to Avon & Simsbury town lines 860-651-8236 What do you appreciate most about that supports and motivates each other 860-707-4198 www.Insuranceagentswhocare.com the local business climate? like a true family. emailvalue — info@ctdanceacademy.com Find out how you can get improved and peace How supportive local businesses are to Another highlight: of two of our students, mind. Call or visit our office today!www.ctdanceacademy.com each other and the fact that everyone Kayla Perkins and Gregory Moreno, each Year Established — 2015 wants everyone to succeed. The biggest won a title at nationals in Atlantic City Owner + Artistic Director reason the Farmington Valley is such a in 2018, and our Junior Team scored Preview Only Diana Perkins great place to own a business is because of the highest of all groups 12 and under yout includes a marginin clear of in text and graphics the great local residents and families who Employees — 7 at nationals 2017 our first season support them. + on may becompeting. covered by frame and/or clips during installation)

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BEARING DOWN

Two bear cubs and mama bear gaze at the ground during a visit to the Canton backyard of photographer Wendy Rosenberg, who has two wildlife-and-nature photo exhibits this summer — at Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton and The Investors Center in Avon.

Photo by Wendy Rosenberg

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Profile for Bruce Deckert

Today Magazine • July 2019  

Avon Today • Canton Today • Simsbury Today — We’ve moved from a three-magazine model to a one-magazine model, while retaining the branding o...

Today Magazine • July 2019  

Avon Today • Canton Today • Simsbury Today — We’ve moved from a three-magazine model to a one-magazine model, while retaining the branding o...

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