Today Magazine • August 2019

Page 1





Students Spark Tribute to MLK

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DID YOU KNOW that Martin Luther King Jr. spent two summers in Simsbury in the 1940s? If your answer is yes, you can thank a diligent and dedicated group of Simsbury High student-scholars, whose investigative historical work HISTORY HIGHLIGHTS almost a decade ago demonstrated that King did indeed visit Simsbury in 9 — Grave Situation 1944 and ’47. The crumbling gravestone of the Rev. Rufus Hawley is If your answer is no, our cover story this month (see page 4) provides on the road to restoration. some intel about King’s momentous time in Simsbury. In 2010, a group of students produced a nationally acclaimed documentary about MLK’s COMMUNITY INTEL trips to Simsbury. Today, another student group has taken the baton and (Layout includes a margin clear of text and graphics 11 — Pastoral Farewells paved the way for a to be fulfilled: an MLK memorial in town. Canton churches have goodbyeby to beloved thisTwo information may besaid covered frame and/or clips duringdream installation) Our June cover story featured several local World War II veterans in longtime clergy this summer. conjunction with the 75th anniversary of D-Day. This month, we mark BUSINESS BEAT another milestone — the 75th anniversary of King’s first visit to Simsbury 13 — Ensign-Bickford To Add Jobs … lesser-known but nonetheless vital given how his time in Connecticut The Ensign-Bickford Aerospace & Defense Company shaped his view of civil rights and racial equality. is poised to bring 140 new jobs to Simsbury. Thank you to all those who continue to express upbeat reviews as we CALENDAR aim for community journalism at its best. Simsbury High students are turning their dream — of a memorial commemorating Martin Luther King’s time in town — into a reality.

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Bruce Deckert — Publisher + Editor-in-Chief 860-988-1910 • Today Magazine — Avon • Canton • Simsbury – 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 Contributing Writers — Dr. Brian Magna , Kathy Taylor Photographer — Seshu, Connecticut Headshots • 860-593-0850 • Contributing Photographer — Wendy Rosenberg • 860-305-1655 Cover Photo — Martin Luther King Jr. (Pixabay) • Artist’s take on memorial

Thank you for the very nice article about Roaring Brook Nature Center (May cover story). We have received so many positive comments about it. Your reach extends far beyond the towns of Canton, Avon and Simsbury as I have received emails and phone calls from Glastonbury and even Westport, Conn. I do need to correct one part of the article. The Werner family left their 100+ acre farm to the State of Connecticut in 1964, and it remains under the jurisdiction of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Roaring Brook Nature Center is fortunate to serve as steward for the property, maintain trails and introduce thousands of visitors to the 374 Hopmeadow Street • Simsbury, CT 06089 natural world annually utilizing this outdoor classroom. I hope many of your readers will860-651-8236 visit us in the coming months. QUOTE OF THE MONTH Jay Kaplan, RBNC Director • Canton Find out how you can get improved value and peace“My call to the ministry was quite different from most explanations What a treat to see the new Simsbury I am of mind. Call ornewsmagazine. visit our office today! I’ve heard. This decision came about in the summer of 1944 [in Simsbury] impressed with the essays and particularly enjoyed the article about the volunteer firefighters (April cover story). when I felt an inescapable urge to serve society.” Louise Polistena-D’Agosto • Simsbury — Martin Luther King Jr. Preview Onlyus your magazine. My wife and I enjoy Thank you for sending flipping through it and haveand learned a little bit more about the out includes a margin clear of text graphics BY THE NUMBERS 75 town we have lived in since 1990, thanks to your efforts. on may be covered by frame and/or clips during installation) This summer is the 75th anniversary of MLK’s first visit to Simsbury Dave Williams • Canton

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These students have worked to bring an MLK memorial to Simsbury: Standing (L-to-R) — Caitlyn Martinez, Madison Barnes, Christopher Cestone, Maeve Willerup • Seated (L-to-R): Riley Peterson, Robyn 4 AUGUST 2019 – – TODAY MAGAZINE Ampadu, Lauren Ampadu

Photo by Connecticut Headshots • 860-593-0850

Paying tribute to Martin Luther King’s time in Simsbury By Bruce Deckert Editor-in-Chief • Today Magazine

WHEN THE TOPIC is iconic leaders of the 20th century, historians will likely agree on a short list that includes these figures: Winston Churchill, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Franklin Roosevelt, Mother Teresa … and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But perhaps some historians don’t yet know that King spent two formative summers in Simsbury. Some Simsbury High students have been engaged in a labor of love to spread the word about the amazing impact King’s time in town had on his life and calling — and they initiated and orchestrated a memorial in his honor that’s slated to be unveiled this fall. In the summer of 2010, a group of Simsbury students tackled a major research project to investigate King’s

COVER STORY Students devise MLK memorial, extending legacy of celebrated documentary

Simsbury resident Tara Willerup, vice chair of the Free Library board of trustees, explains that for years there had been a “popular suburban myth” about MLK’s sojourns in Simsbury. Via careful investigation, the students were able to prove this was no myth — he was actually here those two summers. As a way to pay for tuition, King worked at a Cullman Bros. tobacco farm with 100-plus fellow students from Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he was born and raised. By the way, your math is correct — this summer marks the 75th anniversary of King’s first visit to Simsbury in 1944. “Students have been the driving force behind the memorial from the start,” says

Architect Jay Willerup, Tara’s husband, donated his time to help students with the design. Simscroft-Echo Farms Inc. of Simsbury is the contractor. The current group of students (see the photo on page 4 and a complete list on page 6) took the memorial baton from their predecessors and stand poised to witness their dream come to fruition … inspired by King’s civil-rights dream. MLK’s legendary “I have a dream” speech on Aug. 29, 1963 — at the historic March on Washington — is one of the best-known speeches in American history. Thanks to the dedicated work of the Simsbury High scholars, we know that King’s vision was notably impacted by

“Students have been the driving force behind the memorial from the start.” — Simsbury High social studies supervisor Richard Curtiss visits to Simsbury. Sponsored by the Simsbury Free Library and guided by Simsbury High social studies supervisor Richard Curtiss, they produced an awardwinning documentary that premiered in January 2011 at two Martin Luther King Day celebrations in Hartford. Later, the documentary was featured on the CBS Evening News. “For years, residents of Simsbury told tales of a young Martin Luther King Jr. who lived, worked and worshiped in their town while laboring on a tobacco farm during the summers of 1944 and 1947,” Curtiss says. “Our students set out to research this claim and to collect additional material to create a more complete picture of [his] time in Connecticut.”

Curtiss, who began teaching at Simsbury High in 1997. “Students provided input into the design and were instrumental in the multiyear fundraising campaign. The idea … came from the original students who worked on the film and has been supported by additional students over the years.” King’s memorial, which is expected to become an official stop on the Connecticut Freedom Trail, will be installed on the front lawn of the Simsbury Free Library — not to be confused with the Simsbury Public Library, 1/10th of a mile away on Hopmeadow Street. This memorial won’t be a standard granite monument. Instead, it will feature a series of five glass panels, with each one devoted to a stage of King’s life.

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his time in Simsbury. On his seminary application, he wrote, “My call to the ministry was quite different from most explanations I’ve heard. This decision came about in the summer of 1944 [in Simsbury] when I felt an inescapable urge to serve society. In short, I felt a sense of responsibility which I could not escape.” In a letter to his mother in June 1944 — during his first trip outside the segregated South — King wrote about an unexpected discovery on a weekend visit to Connecticut’s capital: “I never thought that a person of my race could eat anywhere, but we ate at one of the finest restaurants in Hartford.” He also noted that the summer of ’44 represented his first experience in racially integrated churches. Later, he wrote, “After that


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Artist’s rendering of the planned MLK memorial at the Simsbury Free Library.

summer in Connecticut, it was a bitter feeling going back to segregation.” King would become the signature leader of the civil rights movement and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Bernice Martin, who was 105 when the celebrated documentary premiered, is the only Simsbury resident in the film who met MLK. “Yes, I remember meeting Martin Luther King — very much so,” she said. “I met him in church for the first time because he came up with the tobacco workers.” Bernice’s husband, Garland Martin, was the choir director at First Church in Simsbury in the 1940s — and King and other Morehouse students sang in the choir. Bernice died in January 2016 at the age of 110. Today, there are no living local residents who interacted with King, according to area officials. But the testimony of those residents nearly a decade ago helped confirm that the oncesupposed myth of MLK’s legacy in Simsbury is, in fact, reality. + Info: •

Willerup: MLK memorial students are ‘amazing’ IN HER ROLE as vice chair of the Simsbury Free Library trustees, Tara Willerup has acted as an adviser for the Simsbury High School students who are introducing a memorial at the library for Martin Luther King Jr. Slated to be unveiled this fall, the memorial is a follow-up to the acclaimed documentary produced by a previous group of Simsbury students in 2010. A Simsbury resident, Willerup is chair of the Simsbury Board of Education. She provides background on the MLK memorial project in this Q-and-A: Who had the idea for the memorial? Richard Curtiss, head of the Social Studies Department of Simsbury High School, and a group of students partnered with the Simsbury Free Library to do a research project about Martin Luther King Jr. and his time in Connecticut. What has been the role of Simsbury High students in the planning and creation of the MLK memorial? The students have led the MLK in CT memorial. The original group of 16 students spent the summer of 2010 researching the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. They sought information and verified findings from all over the country. They then created a documentary that provided a look at a young Martin Luther King and his experience in the North. The students were particularly motivated by the fact that while MLK was here in Simsbury, he was a teenage student trying to figure out what he was going to be when he grew up. In his application to ministry school, he wrote,


“The decision came about in the summer of 1944 when I felt an inescapable urge to serve society.” He became one of the most influential people of the 20th century. As some of the original group began to graduate, the younger students wanted to make sure that future Simsbury students would still be able to learn about MLK and be inspired as they were to live MLK’s ideas and to realize the importance of the civil rights movement. These students started the effort to design, fundraise and create a memorial to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. The group has continued to evolve. They have worked with memorial design artists to design the actual structure. Each element in the design has significance and adds to the message for the visitor. They have worked with architect Jay Willerup, who volunteered to translate the students’ vision into actual building elements. The students have worked very hard to reach the fundraising goals and are very excited to present the final project to the town. The group will continue working with the Simsbury Free Library and the MLK advisory team to create and implement programming. How did the MLK in Simsbury project arise in 2010? The Simsbury Free Library is always trying to find ways to work with all members of Simsbury. We really enjoy finding ways to work with the young citizens. This was a wonderful way to partner with the schools. When will the memorial be done? We will finish the construction of the


memorial as soon as the components are delivered. The celebration of the unveiling will be this fall. What is the fundraising status? These students are amazing. The group has evolved over the years, and we have had the good fortune of many families with multiple student representatives. They have raised close to $150,000 by requesting donations, making presentations to multiple groups, and working on grants. We have reached our original goal, but we will continue our campaign to fund enhancements, programming and maintenance. We have a brick campaign, where you can buy a brick to be engraved and placed at the memorial (300 sold). What’s been most satisfying about your involvement with this project? Working with the amazing students. MLK in CT student team, 2019-20: Lauren Ampadu, Robyn Ampadu, Madison Barnes, Christopher Cestone, Ashika Dyapa, Michelle Khurram, Caitlyn Martinez, Riley Peterson, Maeve Willerup Advisory team: Richard Curtiss, TJ Donohue, Jim Flynn, Martin Gietz, Jennyfer Holmes, Greg Jones, Art Miller, Tara Willerup What do you see as the enduring legacy of MLK’s time in Simsbury? We hope that we all will see the need to continue to educate ourselves about the ideas of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and live them in our own lives. To make a positive impact on the world. He said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” +

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Debut novel of Avon resident transcends genres THE DEBUT MYSTERY NOVEL by Mary K. Savarese, a resident of Avon for almost three decades, is available from Koehler Books. If the title of this book doesn’t attract interest right off the bat, its subject — a woman who forges a new life for herself as a nursing home recreation director, only to face charges of negligence and murder as residents begin to die under mysterious circumstances — will. Tigers Love Bubble Baths & Obsession Perfume is billed as a cozy mystery, but under that headline lies a wealth of unique attributes of which the book’s title is only the first indication that this is not your typical cozy mystery read. For one thing, 48-year-old Angie Pantera, a self-proclaimed good-looker facing the ultimate betrayal by the love of her life, is reinventing her world under not just one cloud, but a new threat. This leads her on a mission to clear her name, rebuild her life, and become an amateur sleuth in order to do so, bringing readers into the heart of a mystery that edges into questions of miracles as

Mystery, romance, faith blend in Tigers Love Bubble Baths

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well as murder. Readers thus receive a more multifaceted story than most cozy mysteries offer, with more twists and turns than the typical production. From church politics to the aftermath of divorce, the influence of serendipity and new obstacles to Angie’s ultimate success,

Savarese writes with a warm, revealing hand. She deftly develops characters while painting a swirl of crisis situations that keeps readers not just involved, but emotionally connected to events. The ethical reflections are just as intriguing as the mystery itself: “Our residents asked for a final wish. God granted that wish. Why else would they die with smiles on their faces?” Tigers Love Bubble Baths provides an engrossing saga of love, betrayal, murder and underlying wishes and dreams about life’s progression and end. These facets weave nicely into a story that will keep mystery readers engaged and thinking long after Angie’s own dilemmas are resolved. This is a contemporary story that transcends three genres: mystery, romance and spirituality. + For the past decade, Mary K. Savarese has served as a Eucharistic minister at her Catholic church, bringing the Eucharist to local nursing homes. Find her novel at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and indie outlets •

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Renewal afoot for colonial minister’s gravestone Special to Today Magazine

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IN THE WEST AVON CEMETERY, beside the West Avon Congregational Church and across from the Avon Free Public Library, a crumbling gravestone is held together by ancient metal braces. The stone marks the grave of the Rev. Rufus Hawley, Avon’s only pastor from 1768-1817. With the gravestone deteriorating and its loss inevitable, Dick Rulon, superintendent of the cemetery since 2010, raised over $5,000 to replace it with a copy. The original stone has been removed and will be donated to the Avon Historical Society after stone carver Randall Nelson makes an exact copy. His company, Nelson Architectural Restoration of Willington, Conn., specializes in the preservation of monuments, building facades and statuary. His stonework projects include the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch in Hartford’s Bushnell Park, the McClellan Gate at Arlington National Cemetery, and statues of historical figures for the tops of flagpoles at the Old State House. In 2011, Avon town historian Nora Howard wrote a biography of Rev.

Hawley, Catch’d on Fire. She noted: “The gravestone of Rufus Hawley has deteriorated beyond repair, and to save it means it must be preserved indoors. It represents the life of a man vitally important to Avon. He lived in Avon from 1768-1826, when the area was first part of Great Britain and then part of the town of Farmington. I am very grateful that Dick has taken on this worthwhile project to replace this stone in the West Avon Cemetery, and to move the original stone to the Avon Historical Society.” When Rulon started this project, he contacted Ruth Shapley Brown for advice. Brown, a leading Connecticut expert on gravestone preservation and history, told Rulon that a direct descendant must approve the gravestone’s removal. With no known descendant, Rulon and Howard set out to find one. Howard contacted the Hawley Society, which in turn sent some emails and soon found John Miller of Oxford, Conn. John

HIGHLIGHTS OF AVON HISTORY and Christine Miller have conducted extensive genealogy research on their families, and knew that Rev. Hawley was John’s grandfather of many generations ago. The Millers were pleasantly surprised to learn of Rev. Hawley’s importance to Avon and agreed to help. They visited the Avon Free Public Library in April to meet with the staff of the Marian Hunter History Room and with Rulon, Howard and West Avon Cemetery official Douglas Ross. The Millers offered documentation of their approval of the project, conducted research on their family in the History Room, and toured the West Avon Cemetery to see Hawley family gravestones. With funds for the Hawley gravestone project already in hand, Rulon is identifying other historic stones that need attention and funds. Donations to the effort may be made payable to the “West Avon Cemetery” and mailed to Dick Rulon at 188 Thompson Road, Avon, CT 06001. For info about the Rev. Hawley project: Dick Rulon •

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Two historic floods hit in ’55 By Kathy Taylor Canton Town Historian


THE HISTORIC Connecticut flood of August 1955 was caused by Hurricanes Connie and Diane dropping 16-25 inches of rain within a few days of each other. There were 87 deaths in the state and $200 million in property damage ($2 billion today). Before this event, the most destructive storm to hit Connecticut was the New England hurricane of September 1938, which was squeezed between two weather systems, causing it to race northward from Long Island to Quebec in a matter of eight hours. This hurricane resulted in more than 600 deaths and $308 million of damage to the region ($5.5 billion today). As businesses and residences were cleaning up after the August 1955 flood, another storm system came through Connecticut from October 14-16, dumping more than 12 inches of rain. The Collins Company in Collinsville was fortunate enough and had only a few feet of flooding.

However, floods wiped out a farm in Simsbury and a bridge in West Granby. Hartford was flooded for the second time in three months. This time the main part of the storm was concentrated over Fairfield County, causing extensive flood damage in the towns of Redding, Norwalk and Danbury. In response to these two 1955 floods, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spent $70 million to build flood control dams in Connecticut in the 1960s. Colebrook River Lake, formed by one of these dams, was in the planning process by Hartford’s Metropolitan District Commission but was taken over by the Army Corps and completed in 1969 at a cost of $14.3 million. The Colebrook dam regulates water released downstream from the West Branch of the Farmington River. Colebrook River Lake is open for fishing and boating, and the MDC operates a hydroelectric power facility at this location. +

Back-to-school blues? Help is on the way

Free school supplies available CANTON SENIOR & SOCIAL SERVICES, with the support of community partners, is offering back-to-school help for Canton families. Eligible families can receive backpacks full of school supplies for school-aged children. Backpacks and supplies will be given to eligible families on a first-come, firstserved basis and will be distributed at the Canton Community Center before school starts. For an application and/or information about eligibility for the Back to School program, call 860-693-5811. To support this program, you can make monetary donations or donate supplies to Senior & Social Services. Send a check (payable to “Town of Canton”) to P.O. Box 168, Collinsville CT 06022 — write “Stuff the Bus” in the memo area. Supplies for this initiative can be donated at Canton ShopRite (in the Shoppes at Farmington Valley) on Saturday, Aug. 10 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Stuff-A-Bus School Supplies Fundraiser event. +

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Canton churches bid adieu to longtime clergy Special to Today Magazine

Both pastors have accomplished more than can possibly be listed here.

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CANTON HAS BEEN the stage for much change over the years. Earlier this summer, yet another change took place. Two of Canton’s beloved members of the clergy have retired from their longtime church roles. Rev. Linda Spiers of Trinity Episcopal Church and Rev. Jim Wheeler of Christ Community Church (formerly Collinsville Congregational Church) left their leadership positions in June. After serving 15 years at Trinity, Linda has met the criteria for mandatory retirement in the Episcopal Church. Jim is being called to a new ministry after 35 years of service at CCC. Both will continue to live in Canton. Reflecting on their years of service, stories of dedication to God and Canton come to light. One such story took place during the Halloween nor’easter that hit Connecticut in 2011. In Canton, those who could not shelter in place sought safety at the Community Center, where both pastors provided God’s comfort and reassurance to the stricken community. Comforting

Rev. Linda Spiers and Rev. Jim Wheeler at the Easter sunrise service in Canton.

people in their time of need has always been a priority for these pastors. But that’s just one story. Famed author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel once said, “God made man because he loves stories.” If you dig deeper, you will find stories of prayer vigils, Easter sunrise services plus services at Cherry Brook Health Care Center, and support for community projects such as Focus on Canton. As individuals, both pastors have accomplished more than can possibly be listed here — things done behind the scenes and without recognition, just as they would have it. Linda and Jim have built a genuine friendship and respect over time by working together and allowing differences. The story isn’t ending for them here in Canton. It is merely changing. +

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It takes a Village: Second Chance Shop sustains families Second Chance Shop Auxiliary to The Village 12 Station Street, Simsbury 860-658-7512 Year Established — 1955 This Q-and-A was answered jointly by Second Chance Shop chairs Patty Crawford and Gail Korten. What is your nonprofit’s mission? To raise money for The Village’s programs, a full range of behavioral health treatment and support services for children and adults — including parenting education classes, outpatient mental health therapy, substance abuse treatment, and foster care and adoption — that help families achieve real and meaningful change. Located in Hartford, The Village (aka The Village for Families & Children) extends its services throughout Greater Hartford. What is the most fulfilling aspect of your nonprofit’s work? The way the Second Chance Shop has been embraced by the community by either volunteering, making donations or shopping to raise funds for The Village


What’s the biggest obstacle you face, and how can you overcome it? The biggest obstacle would be continuing to grow and increase profits each year without raising prices, while providing quality items that have all been donated. Most satisfying accomplishment in recent years? We have increased our donation to The Village by 68% over the last seven years. Since we opened in 1955, we’ve donated over $2.5 million to The Village Goals for the next five years? To continue to grow our shop’s donation and increase awareness for The Village and its programs. Volunteer opportunities: We are always welcoming new volunteers to join the Simsbury Auxiliary and work in the Second Chance Shop as cashiers, or to join the board and take on more involved roles as a treasurer, secretary, scheduler, chair (shop, pricing, membership, special events) or committee member (to organize fundraising and social events). Share an anecdote that provides a window into your nonprofit’s ethos: Some volunteers have been volunteering at the Second Chance Shop for over 40


NOTEWORTHY NONPROFITS years, demonstrating their belief in the shop’s commitment to The Village and The Village’s commitment to provide services for the community. Besides donations, how is your nonprofit funded? Our shop is funded by donations of clothing, housewares, accessories and jewelry from the public that is then sorted and priced and put for sale in the shop. All proceeds from sales are given to The Village yearly — last year’s sales totaled $108,000. A yearly luncheon and auction also raises funds that are donated to The Village. Interesting stats and numbers: • The Second Chance Shop is the secondoldest business in the town of Simsbury. • The average price of an item is $8, and the shop has had about $110,000 in sales each of the past few years. • The Simsbury shop is one of four Second Chance Shops in the state that support The Village. • Nonprofit officers: 6. Board Members: 18. Volunteers: 93. +


Ensign-Bickford to create 140 jobs

largest and oldest employers has chosen THE ENSIGN-BICKFORD Aerospace BUSINESS BEAT Simsbury for this project.” & Defense Company is expanding its Ensign-Bickford is a global leader in Simsbury operation. The company is the design, manufacturing and testing positions and a new state-of-the-art planning to create a center of excellence of explosive and non-explosive products facility, this project is a fantastic fit for the for electronic design and manufacturing and services. Town of Simsbury,” said First Selectman for its aerospace and defense products. Founded in Simsbury in 1836, EnsignEric Wellman. “Ensign-Bickford’s Over the next five to 10 years, EnsignBickford now has additional locations in expansion will greatly benefit our local Bickford will invest over $10 million in its Kentucky and California. economy, creating ripple effects for the Simsbury campus, and anticipates adding “We were competing with two other town, region and state.” 140 new jobs over the next three years. states for this project,” said Sarah The Simsbury Board of Nielsen, executive director of the Selectmen supported this “With the creation of 140 high-paying Simsbury Main Street Partnership. expansion through a 10-year “Ensign-Bickford’s commitment tax abatement schedule and a positions and a new state-of-the-art to both the Town of Simsbury partial reduction in the permit facility, this project is a fantastic fit and the State of Connecticut fees associated with the cost of demonstrates that our community construction. for the Town of Simsbury.” is a great home for high-tech The tax abatement applies only manufacturing.” — First Selectman Eric Wellman to the additional value generated Chad Thompson, president by the new investment in the of Ensign-Bickford, said, “Ensignproperty, and does not change Bickford has been the cornerstone of Selectwoman Cheryl Cook added, “The the amount of taxes that the company Simsbury for the last 183 years. This Board of Selectmen is pleased to support currently pays. investment helps to cement the comthis project, which will not only generate As a result, the town’s investment pany’s future in Simsbury for many 140 new jobs, but will also protect the will be approximately $1 for every $30 years to come.” 265 positions that are currently here in invested by Ensign-Bickford. Source — Town of Simsbury Simsbury. We are thrilled that one of our “With the creation of 140 high-paying

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860-693-2289 • TODAY MAGAZINE – – AUGUST 2019


CALENDAR Natural World Photo Exhibit Roaring Brook Nature Center, Canton – August Investors Center, Avon – August 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 Free • Talk about issues, resources Mindfulness for Skeptics Avon Senior Center Thursday 8/8 – 6:30-8 pm Explore benefits of mindfulness Canton Senior Center Trips Info: 693-5811 Thursday 8/15: Block Island Tuesday 10/15: Foliage Train Thursday 12/19: Holiday Show 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 Open Mic Night LaSalle Market, Collinsville Fridays – 6-10:30 pm • Free Singers: call 693-8010 or come at 5 +++ Concerts + Comedy Bridge Street Live 41 Bridge Street, Collinsville Comedy Night: NY vs. Boston Friday 8/9 – 8 pm • $15-$25 Concert: Shirley Alston Reeves Saturday 8/10 – 8 pm • $35-$48 Concert: JW-Jones Friday 8/16 – 8 pm • $15-$25 Concert: Charlie Thomas and the Drifters Saturday 8/17 – 8 pm • $38-$50 Comedy Night: Kevin Downey Jr. Friday 8/23 – 8 pm • $15-$25 Concert: Tribute to Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons Saturday 8/24 – 8 pm • $25-$40

Our digital edition is posted well before the month begins Get an early peek at the Calendar – Comedy: Women of Certain Age Saturday 9/7 – 8 pm • $15-$25 Concert: Wild Child featuring Dave Brock Sunday 9/8 – 7 pm • $22-32 Concert: John Gorka Friday 10/4 – 8 pm • $20-$30 Concert: CT Transit Authority Saturday 10/12 – 8 pm • $25-$30 Concert: Takin’ It To The Streets Doobie Brothers Tribute Friday 10/25 – 8 pm • $20-$30 Concert: Hey Nineteen Saturday 10/26 – 8 pm • $28-$38 +++ 5K Events Register online for better prices 28th Annual Lobster Loop 5K Canton Town Green Sunday 8/18 – 8:30 am Registration 7:30 am • $20-$25 Benefit: Canton PTO • 712-7908 Scholarship 5K Trail Run Fisher Meadows Rec Area, Avon Sunday 9/8 – 10 am Registration 8:30 am • $15-$25 Collinsville Trick or Trot Rails to Trails by Crown & Hammer, Collinsville Saturday 9/26 – 8:30 am Registration 7:30 am • $30-$40 Avon Volunteer Fire Dept. 5K Pine Grove School, Avon Saturday 10/5 – 9 am Registration ends 10/3 • $25-$30 Bottoms Up Organization 5K Run Thompson Brook School, Avon Thursday 11/28 – 9 am Registration 7:30 am • $25-$40 +++ Avon Public Library lineup These events free • Info: 673-9712 Wed. Morning Book Club (10:30) 8/21 – Before We Were Yours 9/18 – Tattooist of Auschwitz A Celebration of Mary Cassatt Wednesday 8/21 – 2 pm Woodstock: 50th Anniversary Thursday 8/22 – 6:30 pm Free • Rare audio-video, live music, stories of iconic ’69 music festival Immigration: Films + Discussions 8/13: Film: Mexico (Frontera)–1:30 8/14: Italian-Americans in CT–2 8/17: Indian-Americans–4:30 8/20: Film: Ireland (Brooklyn)–1:30 8/27: Film: Nigeria (Pretty Dirty Things)–1:30 9/3: Nothing to Envy:North Korea–7 9/10: Poles in homeland + CT–6:30 9/14: Immigration via maps–2

9/18: Immigration Process–1:30 10/3: Irish in CT–6:30 +++ Canton Public Library lineup These events free • Info: 693-5800 Farmington River Quilt Project August On display in library, by 25 artists Teen/Tween Night Thursdays 8/1-8/8 ‒ 6-7:45 pm • Grades 4-6 ‒ 3-5 pm • Grades 7-12 ‒ 6-7:45 pm 8/1: Trivia Night 8/8: Escape Room Harry Potter Birthday Party Friday 8/2 ‒ 6-10 pm Grades 4-7 • Register Attend Hogwarts, enjoy treats Ukelele Club Tuesdays 8/5-8/13 – 4 pm Ages 9 and up (or 7+ with adult) Bring your own uke Expand Your Universe Classes Grades 4-12 • Register 8/5: Learn to be a Stuntman 8/7: Archery Summertime Crafts Saturday 8/10 ‒ 11 am-12:30 pm Register • Decorate cotton-based items you bring, 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 Friends of Library: Book Sale Canton Public Library Saturday 9/7 – 10 am-3 pm Sunday 9/8 – 11 am-2 pm Free, but $10 preview Sat. 8-9:30 Proceeds support Canton Library +++ Simsbury Public Library lineup Register for events: 658-7663 x2 Friday Flicks Fridays – 1-3 pm Total Healing: Meditation Rx Thursday 8/1 – 6:30 pm Great Space Race: 1957-77 Tuesday 8/6 – 6:30 pm Butterfly Gardens for the Birds Tuesday 8/13 – 6:30 pm Photos for iPhone/iPad Thursday 8/15 – 6 pm Evening Stargazing Monday 8/19 – 7 pm Weather permitting +++

Send events to: Storyteller’s Cottage events Simsbury • 860-877-6099 Tea Party Club for Kids Sundays – 2 pm Storytime, crafts, snacks and tea 9/8 – Beauty and the Beast 10/6 – The Witches 11/3 – Snow White 12/1 – Lion, Witch and Wardrobe $15, $75 for any six months Mystery Writer’s Club for Kids Fridays – 4:30 pm $10 • Play mini mystery game, write “Murder She Wrote” Mystery Tea Party Wednesday 8/14 – 1 pm $20 • Play mystery room, then celebrate with treats and tea Tea + Tips: How to Get Published Saturday 8/3 – 2 pm Free • August session: Writer/editor C. Flanagan Flynn Launch Party: Tippy Goes to Dr. Sunday 8/4 – 3 pm Free • Amanda Bannikov reads from her new children’s book, treats A Grand Adventure: Mystery Game + Tea Party for Grandparents + Grandchildren Sunday 8/11 – 2 pm $20 • Solve a mystery, celebrate with treats and tea 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! +++ Raise a Paw Against Leukemia Simsbury Meadows Sunday 9/22 – 10 am-2 pm Benefit: Rob Branham Foundation Vendor fair, dog fun course, food+




A Mystery Romance With A Spiritual Twist By Mary K. Savarese Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Indie Bookstores

Pizza dough, breads, pastas, pastries & more

OPEN Monday – Saturday 12-7 pm LOCATION 50 Albany Turnpike (Rt. 44), Canton 06019 860-693-1300 10% off in-store sale with coupon – cannot be combined with other discounts 14



Milestone biz anniversaries Today Magazine Staff


Bonelli Eye Care of Canton (693-2289) opened in 1973 and celebrated its 45th anniversary in October 2018. Several other local businesses were established in 1974 and thus are marking 45-year milestones in 2019 — including Village Building & Restoration of Avon (owner Jim Whittemore: 658-6538), Stone Man Masonry Company of Canton (owner Jim Volovski: 6934637), the Bakker Agency of Avon and Avon Health Center.


Canton-based Nails of Envy is marking 35 years in 2019 (see feature at right) along with another Canton outfit, Valley Chimney Sweep. Meanwhile, Kane’s Market of Simsbury celebrated its 35th last year.


Simsbury-based Journey of Yoga LLC (owner Maggie Durbas: 680-1482) opened in 2004. Carol & Company of Collinsville (693-1088) is also marking its 15th anniversary in 2019.


• BE Investment Management of Simsbury is celebrating its 5th anniversary this year. Owned by president Brian Elmer, the firm was managing $1.5 million when he started in 2014 and now manages $15 million. Previously, he managed large investment portfolios at some of Connecticut’s biggest banks. His fees are based on the volume of assets managed, not on transactions. He earned an MBA at UConn.

Nails of Envy celebrates 35 years THE YEAR that Kelly Hartzell started her business, Lionel Richie and Cyndi Lauper had No. 1 Billboard hits, the Boston Celtics (led by a guy named Larry Bird) won the NBA title, and Ronald Reagan was only halfway through his two-term run as president. “I started doing nails in 1984, at first only gels,” Hartzell says. “I was the second nails-only business in the Valley.” Kelly Hartzell Yes, Nails of Envy is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2019. Located in Canton, Hartzell’s business has been in several other locations in the Farmington Valley. Her first salon was in Unionville next to McDonald’s and R&S Photography. “The majority of my career was in Avon,” she says. “I have many clients still with me from years ago. I’m very appreciative of this.” The nail industry has a stronger presence each year, Hartzell says, and “keeps progressing with fabulous products.” Recent innovations include PolyGel by Gelish and POI Dipping Powder. “I would love to talk with any new clients about their nail-care needs,” notes Hartzell. The salon is open Tuesday through Saturday. It’s best to make an appointment. + Nails of Envy • 860-805-1084 • Rt. 44, Canton Village Plaza

Courtesy Photos

• Popover Bistro & Bakery of Simsbury is also marking 5 years. Started in the summer of 2014, Popover specializes in creating delectable, freshly-baked popovers that can be served alone or loaded with scrambled eggs and farm-fresh ingredients. Popover strives to source local, healthy, organic ingredients while making delicious meals. Owners Pam Paydos, Sara Allan and Shannon McHale present an all-natural menu that includes gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. “We are so thankful to our community and [everyone] who frequents Popover over and over again,” says Paydos.


• Up Top Barbershop of West Simsbury (658-4499) marked its one-year anniversary in January. Co-owners Bryan Doerr and Josh Bodian offer a family-based shop and online booking at www. “We wanted to bring some new, young and trendy barbers and stylists to the area,” says Doerr. • Transition Fitness Center of Canton (398-1449) marked one year in April. “The biggest motivator for me,” says owner Quinton Hill, “is the result of helping people live a healthier and happier lifestyle. My clients’ positive results are why I love doing what I do. ... I am always trying to advance my knowledge and education so that I can pay it forward to you.” Hill has a degree in sports and exercise science from Southern Connecticut, where he played football. “Most of my youth I was involved in many different sports,” he says, “which introduced me to the gym and planted the seed to dream of one day becoming a fitness professional.” • Berkshire Bank (Simsbury branch) marked its one-year anniversary in March. TODAY MAGAZINE – – AUGUST 2019



It appears that this alert rabbit is mimicking the rock in the background — or is it vice versa? Photographer Wendy Rosenberg has had 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

By Dr. Brian Magna – PT, DPT, ATC Special to Today Publishing IN 460 B.C., Hippocrates introduced manual manipulation for pain relief. Since then, physical therapy has evolved from simple massage to a complex portfolio of therapies with many specializations. During World War I, therapy became known as rehabilitation therapy to cure soldiers who were injured in battle. In the 1920s polio became prevalent, which led to improved physical therapy treatments and improved outcomes. Today, physical therapy is used to treat a variety of conditions including back pain, osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s disease, balance and vestibular disorders, sports injuries, headaches, and a host of specific orthopedic and post-surgical conditions. The goal of physical therapy has not changed, though, in all the years: The


A Short History of Physical Therapy


Flexibility, strength, balance, endurance and posture play a role in overall physical and common goal for all physical therapists is mental health. A complete physical therapy to improve the quality of life for all patients. evaluation will be able to detect and treat Education requirements for physical ther- deficit areas before they become more apists have significantly increased over advanced and leave you vulnerable to more the last decade. All physical therapists serious conditions resulting in decreased are now required to hold a doctorate in function and a more sedentary lifestyle. Physical therapy is also more accessible physical therapy (DPT), and many hold board specializations, allowing therapists to than ever before, as all 50 states have a form of direct access, meaning that referrals evaluate and treat a variety of conditions. In fact, a study in the Journal of Orthopedic aren’t necessary for every visit to a physical Sports Physical Therapy noted that physical therapist. In some circumstances, referrals are still therapists have a 74.5% diagnostic accuracy rate for patients with musculoskeletal injuries, needed in Connecticut, so just ask when you even without the benefit of X-rays and MRIs. call for an appointment. + The benefits of physical therapy are Dr. Brian Magna (PT, DPT, ATC) owns Magna important not only if you are injured or have a Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Center (Avon medical condition, but also as you get older. and Canton) • 860-679-0430 •



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