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Vol 19 Issue 218 A Guide to Finer Living in Connecticut & Abroad MARCH 2024

“March is the month of expectation.” – Emily Dickinson

Ok, here is something to set your watch to from the Farmer’s Almanac, “In 2024, the spring equinox happens on March 19 at 11:06 P.M. EDT. This falls on a Tuesday and is the astronomical beginning of the spring season in the Northern Hemisphere and the autumn season in the Southern Hemisphere.” That is encouraging for most (in the north.)

Welcome to our latest installment of INK Publications. Isn’t it nice to just sit down at your leisure and read for a while? Having published this magazine since 2005, there are a few things that I can promise you.

At no point will you encounter an ad that was not thoughtfully placed for you to view at your leisure. Never will a special offer jump out in your face with the promise of “a free wine glass” for giving away your email address. None of your personal data can be compromised by an innocent mistake. When you finish reading this magazine you can just set it down and you will not be geolocated, tracked, or targeted for spam calls or emails or... This magazine is free. So are you. Hopefully.

The first computer I purchased was also the first Macintosh produced. It was a PowerPC 7100/80. It could run Photoshop with less processor speed and memory than todays average electric toothbrush. Having been along the tech-ride for nearly its entire arc, I can say that these machines/phones/devices are works of art and have advanced in so many amazing ways. Up to a point IMO. Do you have more free time?

Do you give yourself love and leisure?

You should... enjoy!

On the Cover: “String Bean” Marvin Espy visit MARCH 2024 Vol. 19 Iss ue 218 Feature Stories Advertising Contributors Departments Inkct LLC - 314 Flat Rock Place Unit F125, Westbrook, CT 06498 - email: - visit All content of INK Publications including but not limited to text, photos, graphics and layout are copyrighted by Inkct LLC. Reproductions without the permission of the publisher are prohibited. Inkct LLC is not responsible for images or graphics submitted for editorial or by advertisers which are not copyrighted or released for use in this publication Susan Cornell- editorial Ellen Lassard - editorial Rona Mann - editorial Sara Drought-Nebel - editorial Carolina Marquez-Sterling - design Gregory Post - editorial Deanna Simmons - editorial Diane Stober - editorial Jeffery Lilly - Publisher 860.581.0026 Bob Houde - Eastern Connecticut 860.303.6690 Rona Mann - Greater Connecticut - 401-539-7762 Richard Malinsky - Shoreline - 215.704.9273 Contact us to receive our media kit with detailed marketing information. Diane’s Dish - Saray Turkish Restaurant 30 The Cheesemonger - I’m in Truffle. 46 5 Stoneridge Where every day is Independence day! Illiana Douglas Connecticut in the Movies Susan Cornell’s Epic adVANture pt. 3 A Trip Planned over a Lifetime. Finale! In the Woodas Daryl Tucker Lost Lake Productions 10 20 34 42 32

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The Premier Resource t o the Connecticut Artisan
The Premier Resource t o the Connecticut Artisan 8
The Premier Resource t o the Connecticut Artisan 9
by Rona Mann Photos Courtesy of StoneRidge

They sat around a conference table, and for more than an hour they just couldn’t stop talking. And laughing.

And sharing stories. But that’s the way it is here. What’s all the excitement about? Current events? Grandchildren? The weather? None of the above, for these vibrant, intelligent enthusiastic residents wanted only to talk about their home, StoneRidge. When people make the choice to move here they are moving to an exciting new home offering them in most cases, more independence, much more activity, and more enjoyment than the communities they left behind.

Mary, a former hospital administrator, made the move seven years ago and has never looked back. Originally from Glastonbury but having owned homes both in Pawcatuck and Cape Cod she decided, “It was simply too much to take care of.” So she sold her properties and came to StoneRidge “where there is so much to do. I swim, I enjoy the speakers, I’m on committees, the food is excellent, and I’ve made many new friends here. I did a lot of research before making the decision. I just didn’t want to go to a place where the residents looked infirm and weren’t lively.

At StoneRidge, from the moment I came in, I saw independence-healthy, engaged individuals, and most of them have exciting backgrounds, multiple interests, and are lively, happy people. Best of all, everyone listens here. We listen to each other because there’s so much to learn, and the administrative staff listens to us and allows us to set policies, make suggestions that have positive results, and lead our own committees and activities, collaborating when it comes to making decisions.


Indeed! The one thing we heard over and over from both Jamie Cornell, Director of Marketing and Sales, and the residents themselves is that it is the people who live at StoneRidge who carve out the policies, the programs, and the successful running of this community. The Community Life Team comprised of StoneRidge staff members constantly listens, surveys, and takes their direction from the residents so they can work together cohesively. A perfect example of this is the resident who came forward saying he was having difficulty enjoying movies because he couldn’t hear that well. The team investigated and responded by purchasing a hearing loop and having it installed under the new carpeting in the auditorium where movies are aired and live programs are presented. The loop creates an electromagnetic field which the receiver in hearing aids picks up. It then converts it to audible sound that is delivered right to the ear of the person or persons in the room wearing the aids. This then helps to cut out background noise and allows the person to clearly hear communications as though they were being spoken up close.

Other resident-initiated requests resulted in a brand new bocce court and a pickleball court, both proven to be huge hits. There are teams, there is open pickleball, and even those who don’t play are coming to watch. “The crowds have been great,” says another contributor around the table, Audrey. Audrey is a former substitute teacher who together with her husband, Bill, a marketing executive, made the decision to make StoneRidge their home three years ago and have never looked back.

Even though they have family in the Greater Mystic area, had a boat here, and were very familiar with the coast, the restaurants, and the shops, it was still a big decision. “We looked in the Hartford area first,” Audrey says, “but we had really bad marketing experience. People didn’t get back to us when we called, there was no follow-up, it just wasn’t friendly. We were invited to a seafood tasting here at StoneRidge and were intrigued with the place and greeted warmly by the people.” Audrey is an enthusiastic gamer. Doesn’t matter what it is from jigsaw puzzles to Scrabble to the canasta group she started, if you’ve got a game going, Audrey wants in!

Then there are the committees. Many residents belong to well more than one such as marketing, recreation, welcome, health & wellness, culinary, finance, food and beverage, employee appreciation, and the resident-run library, just to name a


few. They can also sing with the chorus, play billiards, write memoirs, swim, create art, or just swap stories at Happy Hour in the pub.

Each of the residents around that table speaks to the fact that making a transition from your present home wherever it may be to your new home at StoneRidge is not always easy. Carol adds, “Some people traverse it differently than others. Some jump right in, others need support.” And is there ever support here at StoneRidge!

“Start with ‘Wonderful Ken’ Audrey enthuses, at least that’s what I call him.” Wonderful Ken runs Caring Traditions, one great idea for seniors who are relocating. Part of more than 300 locations nationwide, Caring Traditions can handle packing and unpacking, decluttering, downsizing, clean-outs, space planning, and even conducting online estate sales and auctions, all of which contribute to a smooth transition. “Ken actually took pictures of everything in my closets and drawers, so when we got to StoneRidge they could go exactly in the same place. He even photographed the inside of the refrigerator!” Audrey laughed.

It is an emotional ride anyone goes on when they make a transition, but the StoneRidge staff, residents, and partners can’t do enough to make it a smooth one. Jamie Cornell said, “We surround ourselves with partners including a social worker on staff who reaches out to all new residents.” Mary says that the in-house Community Connection composed of

residents makes sure everyone meets new people and has new friends to sit with at meal times if they’d like. Every night in the dining room there is a Hospitality Table much like the captain’s table on a cruise ship. New residents are invited to sit there and meet others, and each floor has a “floor friend,” someone newly minted residents can call upon to ask questions, get assistance with chores, or just have someone with a smiling face and a willingness to help in their corner.


One look at the monthly calendar, and you easily see there are many resident-led activities in addition to those planned by the staff. When Bill and Audrey finally made the move, Bill thought all he’d have to do all day was just sit around and read books. “Was I wrong!” he laughs. “We immediately made new friends and shared new experiences, and there is so much to do here.”

Audrey added, “We tell people, don’t wait! Move to StoneRidge sooner than later,” and literally all the others at the table nodded in agreement. “I tell everybody that!” Carol added.

There are 36 raised flower beds in the residents’ garden on the grounds at StoneRidge, and Bill has happily taken on the job of making the compost which he thoroughly enjoys. Matter of fact, he proudly wears the title of “The Compost King” among the gardening crowd.

With its ideal location between New York and Boston, StoneRidge is just minutes from the Mystic Village, Mystic Aquarium, Mystic Art Museum, downtown shopping, Mystic Seaport, and the beautiful coastline, so residents and their visitors love the proximity.

Thanked for their time and their forthright comments, the group headed for the door. It’s a door that opens wide every day to committee meetings, duplicate bridge games, watercolor instruction, poker in the pub, quilting, movies, pickleball, tai chi, lectures, shopping trips, fitness classes, daily meditation, and meals, drinks, and activities spent with old friends and new. The only thing they appear to lack is the time to do it all. Just ask Bill, he hasn’t had much time to read, but he’s sure loving life at StoneRidge where it’s always Independence Day.

Learn more about all your options: www., (860) 333-8995 15
The Premier Resource t o the Connecticut Artisan 16
The Premier Resource t o the Connecticut Artisan
Paul Beebe, Morning at Castle Hill Oil, 9 x 12” Jeanne Rosier Smith,View from Cap Ferrat Pastel, 20 x 16” David Dunlop, Rainy Day on the Avenue, Oil on brushed gold laminated aluminum, 24 x 24”
679 Boston Post Road Madison, CT 203.318.0616 Susan Powell Fine Art Journeys into Light~25 artists March 8 to April 6, 2024 Opening: Friday, March 8, 5-8 Spring into t Season wit he th T C OM E 7 MAIN STREE ESSEX, CT THERIVERLANE. @THERIVERLAN 17
Kyle Stuckey, Light of a Paris Night Oil, 12 x 9”
The Premier Resource t o the Connecticut Artisan Cooper-F O FO e Stillness: A Still Lif Light Phases of Ages Rock of e, & Goodm ol Caddell, C ost , F erry er AC R U eries an Gall CS T S ec O pen i ng R a M A LL T c h , M a r y e pt i on: Sun da c c h 1–A p r il 11, 2 ar ery Ga ll oo k e Br M i l O RLD 'S A W HE tractAbs Strictly o 4 p.m. 3, 2 t 024 G E STA Art : Len Swec, On Old US 90 W We e L Lyyme Art As Gallery Hours t T s Teexas, acrylic; Carol Frieswick, Pink Peonies in Sil ssociation, 90 L Lyyme Street, Old L : Wednesday–Sunday 10 am–5 pm o ver, oil; Zufar Bikbov, v Acrrooss the Riveer, oil. Lyyme CT 06371 r by Appointment ymeArtAssociation yww.L w g n .o r 18

Boarding 19

Connecticut Precisionist

With over 40 paintings and works on paper, this exhibition explores the vision .

May 26, 2024

625 Williams Street • New London, CT

The Premier Resource t o the Connecticut Artisan
Lyman Allyn ART MUSEUM Celebrating the power of art since 1932 House Furniture
"I decided to start writing about a subject that I felt passionate aboutConnecticut cinema. And it all began with The Swimmer. "

ou have never seen that movie?” Illeana says, surprised. She is an encyclopedia of movies, and movie trivia, and especially passionate about movies situated and made in Connecticut. She lived most of her childhood life in rural CT. “My parents were hippies.” she says. Her grandfather was well-known character actor and charismatic leading man, Melvyn Douglas. There is much written in the book about her grandfather. What a long and successful acting career he had, winning two Academy Awards for his performances in Hud (1963) and Being There (1979) and a nomination for I Never Sang to My Father (1970). He worked with leading ladies such as Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Katharine Hepburn, Myrna Loy, and Gloria Swanson. Opposite actors - Paul Newman, Peter Sellers, and Alan Alda just to name a few.

With her grandfather’s encouragement Illeana began acting at an early age and as a very young teenager, joined the Hartford Stage Company - Youth Theater. She got lucky, she says, landing her first role in a musical theater youth troupe by “doing a pretty good impression of Liza Minelli and having a lot of moxie.” She wrote about this pivotal experience in her first book, I Blame Dennis Hopper, And Other Stories from a Life Lived In and Out of the Movies (2015) After working in the Hartford

Stage Youth Theater for three years, at age 17, she hopped on a Greyhound bus bound for NYC. She couch surfed for a few weeks, then moved in with her uncle on the upper west side, and went to acting school.

“New York was filled with revival houses to watch movies. Our apartment was close to The Thalia movie theater. I would spend most of my nights there watching movies”. After graduating from The Neighborhood Playhouse, she got a job working for film publicist Peggy Siegal. It was while working for Siegal that she met director Frank Perry, who gave her a small part in his film Hello Again (1987). “Frank took a real interest in my career. He gave me advice and even gave me copies of some of his early films, including The Swimmer (1968). I've been obsessed with it ever since, and I was honored to be able to write about him. He’s a very overlooked director."

Illeana has been a very successful working actor since 1987 starring in films like Cape Fear (1991), Grace of My Heart (1996), Stir of Echoes (1999), Ghost World (2001), on TV in Six Feet Under (2001), Entourage (2011) and Goliath (2019).

But in 2020 COVID hit and Hollywood ground to a halt.

“It was like dominos. Every job I had lined up fell to the wayside. I knew I was going to have a lot of free time on my hands, so as a coping mechanism I decided to start writing about a subject that I felt passionate about - Connecticut cinema. And it all began with The Swimmer. The unexpected part was that I began to fantasize about leaving Los Angeles and buying an old farmhouse in Connecticut to fix up. I was writing about these zany comedies from the 1930’s about cynical New Yorkers wanting to get out of the rat race to live in the country and pretty soon I was scrolling through Zillow looking for old farmhouses! I was falling in love with my subject.”

Left to right: Hud 1963 Brandon deWilde, Melvyn Douglas Illeana's Grandfather and Paul Newman
IIlleana's first book, I Blame Dennis Hopper And Other Stories from a Life Lived In and Out of the Movies (2015) The Swimmer Director Frank Perry
Here in Deep River is the house where Doris Day and her husband, producer Martin Melcher stayed while making It Happened to Jane

“My realtor friend Linda found what she called the perfect fixer upper for me…It was an old farmhouse money-pit disaster. I was writing about Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, and I realized I was Mrs. Blanding”

She immersed herself in research and writing, the house worked itself out, and she was excited to be back in CT writing her book.“Both projects have been a labor of love.”

I personally enjoyed her review of the 1969 movie (based on my father’s novel of the same name) The Gypsy Moths on Trailers From Hell (YouTube). I immediately passed it on to friends and my family who also loved it. Her movie reviews on Trailers From Hell are all wonderful.

Recently I attended a book signing at the local theater in my town of Madison, spon-

sored by RJ Julia Booksellers. Her talk was engaging and personal, with stories and trivia that made us want to get into the book! Then I had the pleasure of sitting with Illeana to talk about it.

When one sees her in person, it is obvious why her acting career has been so successful. She has a big, enthusiastic, energetic presence, and when she starts talking about movies, the room almost cannot contain her! It was delightful to flip through the book with its author. Here are some highlights for me so far.

•Page 20 - Connecticut residents Marilyn Monroe and husband Arthur Miller.

•Page 17 - Renowned CT author F. Scott Fitzgerald and wife Zelda (The Great Gatsby)

•Page 18 - Katharine Hepburn

Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward of Westport and The Westport Country Playhouse. They were very involved in the playhouse, the town and are a well-known Connecticut acting couple. Especially for people like me and others who live or have lived in Westport. I did not know that Cary Grant’s character in the movie Bringing Up Baby (with Kate Hepburn) was based on CT’s Peabody Museum’s paleontologist O.C. Marsh!

Clockwise: CH8-Roseland Cottage, CH8-Staircase at Roseland Cottage featured in The Man in the Net, CH3-House from The Family Stone in Greenwich. CH2-Topher Road in Roxbury where Arthur Miller lived and worked. One of the most magical places Illeana visited.
Opposite page: "Hepburn" Bringing Up Baby, Theo Goes Wild, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House Cary Grant Melvyn Douglas Myrna Loy 1948, Christmas in Connecticut, Jacknife, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.

“Katharine Hepburn’s portrayal of heiress Susan Vance in Bringing Up Baby and her clipped patrician way of speaking became synonymous with other portrayals of wealthy CT heiresses like Gloria Upson (Joanna Barnes) in Auntie Mame (1958)”page 32

Richard Widmark and his wife, screenwriter Jean Hazlewood, purchased a home in Litchfield County, a 28-acre estate with a barn they turned into a guesthouse. Widmark is buried at Great Oak Cemetery near his friend, Arthur Miller. - page 73

The film Jacknife (1985), about two Vietnam vets trying to come to terms with their horrific war experiences, with Robert DeNiro and Ed Harris, was filmed in Meriden.

I could go on and on.

I have not yet seen the movie The Swimmer with Burt Lancaster (1968) which is the feature photograph on the cover, with Burt’s character pictured gently holding a petite woman’s feet. Illeana says with a smile, “It’s a provocative image, and I knew this would be a coffee table book, and the image speaks to me. It’s both light and happy and sexy but also dark and foreboding. The Swimmer is the best example of Connecticut’s “dark suburbia” genre. It was a condemnation of the lifestyle of Connecticut suburbia in 1968. Though it was a big failure (no one wanted to have their lifestyle examined), it has slowly gained cult status, and Burt Lancaster - playing this pool

hopping Romeo- is devastating. It’s a deconstruction of his own larger than life persona.”

The town of Chester is one of her favorites, where scenes from It Happened to Jane were filmed (Doris Day and Jack Lemmon). “Doris Day rented a house on River Road in the 1950’s”, she says. Illeana had a book signing event at artist and musician Leif Nilsson’s Spring Street Studio in the heart of Chester. “The Old Town Hall is now a theater.” she says. “I hope that more theaters and artist studios can emerge from historic buildings and deserted old factories. That is one of the reasons I wrote this book, to spread the word and the seed of possibility to people who can help make this happen. The arts and artists are alive and well in CT. We just need more theaters, studios and art galleries to connect them with the public.”

Now that I have had some time to really enjoy Connecticut in the Movies, I know that I will be referring to it again and again. There are so many movies written about in the book that I have never seen.

Winter is a wonderful time to enjoy a book like this and let it reignite the love of movies, and pride in our artful home state. Sit near the fireplace with popcorn, friends, and family to enjoy the book and let it inspire you to see some of these great films filmed in and situated in Connecticut. And see new films at our remaining local theaters, so they stay open. When is the last time you saw a play or performance at one of CT’s (hopefully expanding) wonderful playhouses and music venues like the Ivoryton Theater, The Norma Terris Theater in Chester,

Clockwise: CH1- Postcard of Sound Beach in Greenwich, CT, where filmmakers like D.W. Griffith and others made silent films. Gypsy Moths Movie Poster 1969, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward in Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys! (1958)
Opposite page: The Swimmer (1968) Directed by Frank Perry, Sydney Pollack, staring Burt Lancaster, CH6-Scenes from The Stepford Wives and its remake were shot at the Lockwood-Matthews Mansion in Norwalk, Illeana Douglas signing her book Connecticut in the Movies. Inside, take a peek at Connecticut in the Movies.

The Goodspeed Opera House, The Eugene O’Neill Theater, and the marvelous Katharine Hepburn Cultural Center in Old Saybrook (The Kate). Art Galleries, Museums, and Artist Studios too. Let the book inspire you to connect with and be proud of the Arts in CT. See Illeana at one of her events in CT to get the book signed and hear her wonderful stories firsthand.

I am off to find The Swimmer. I love the cover of Connecticut in the Movies with Burt Lancaster. “The man is walking musk.” - Illeana’s comment from The Gypsy Moths review on Trailers from Hell. He sure is!

-See Illeana’s upcoming events and book signings on her Facebook page Connecticut in the Movies, and Illeanarama and her website Find her on Instagram and X @Illeanarama She is also the author of I Blame Dennis Hopper: And Other Stories from a LifeLived In and Out of The Movies.

The Premier Resource t o the Connecticut Artisan 29
The Premier Resource t o the Connecticut Artisan 31

on Shoreline Dining Diane’sDish

Saray Turkish Restaraunt: A Spring Adventure to Awaken Your Palette

You know the old saying ‘a rolling stone gathers no moss.’ Well, I feel that is how I live my life, always looking for another adventure. As Spring is almost here, I’m going to plant the seed for an adventure for you! Twelve years ago, I spent a year teaching in Turkey at Incirlik Air Base with the Department of Defense. While I can’t take you to Turkey, I will give you the opportunity to experience why I fell in love with the food in that amazing country. (I fell in love with the carpets too, but that’s another story!) Maybe you’ll be inspired to venture to West Haven’s Saray Turkish Restaurant and experience a bit of the welcoming Turkish culture too.

The Turkish culture goes back to ancient times – and any Turk can tell you the entire history of the region going back to the Ottoman Empire in the 13th century. Similarly, I found that once I expressed my passion for their food while living in Turkey, I was getting tips for making it from everyone: the bus driver, the manicurist, the waitstaff, etc. I try to make it on my own but am really only successful with one dish, babaganoush (a lovely eggplant mixture). For everything else, fortunately I now know that I can just take a short drive to Saray in West Haven.

Saadettin (“Sammy”) Kuru immigrated to the United States in 1995 from the Black Sea area of Turkey by checking all the boxes and winning the immigration lottery. Initially he settled in Bridgeport with a cousin. His restaurant experience started at the Duchess Diner in Stratford. From there, he opened an Italian restaurant in Cheshire. Fortunately for us he went back to his roots and established Saray Turkish Restaurant with his brother Halil, in August 2006. In 2014, they expanded their empire to Springfield Massachusetts where his brother now manages Saray Turkish 2.

Sammy and Halil chose to name their restaurants Saray as it means a palace. I can attest that you feel very well cared for when dining at Saray. The staff is all Turkish and so attentive, friendly, knowledgeable, and dressed as if they are serving you at a formal restaurant in the Sultanhamet area of Istanbul. The attention to detail is extraordinary with the perfect place settings, cloth napkins and table cloths, and Turkish music playing softly in the background.

One afternoon I asked my friend Kim, who lived in Turkey for 16 years, to join me for a late lunch at Saray, along with a couple of other friends. (It is BYOB, but we were happy with water.) We ordered the mixed cold appetizer platter (the best hummus you’ll ever have), and then ordered dinners including the Chicken Adana Kebab, a Doner Kebab, and Lahmacun. Oh, my goodness, I was transported right back to Moonlight restaurant at Incirlik! Adana was the largest city near Incirlik and the Chicken Adana Kebab was a staple at Moonlight. And the Doner Kebab was always my go to for a quick meal (beef, lamb, seasonings, vegetables in a wrap). Lahmacun is like a thin crust pizza topped with a mixture of ground lamb, vegetables, and herbs. The cold appetizer platter included my favorite of all – Ezme. There are many different varieties of Ezme, and this version has peppers in addition to the tomatoes and onions that I was used to. Still good and a bit spicy too!

Funny story about Ezme that I must share. Soon after getting back from Turkey, I moved to Texas, where I rescued a puppy. I thought that she was a German Shephard mix, but when I took her to the Vet, they said she was definitely an Anatolian Shepherd mix. Well, Anatolia is Turkey! She was truly meant to be mine. I chose to name her after my favorite dish in Turkey. My friend Kim always laughs at that and asks, “Does Ezme know she is named after a chopped tomato salad?” I always try to keep that fact from her!

My year in Turkey was a transformative experience for me. Not only did I truly broaden my horizons living in another country, my taste buds were awakened. The ancient cuisines have perfected seasoning foods. Time to wake up those taste buds and journey to Turkey in Connecticut. Haydi gidelim!


itting in a Connecticut movie theater audience as a child with his father, mesmerized by Indiana Jones, Daryl Tucker found his life’s passion in 1981, even before the credits rolled. He acquired a Hi-8 camera by age eight and began making films with his friends. Therefore, it wasn’t a stretch that he would attend film school at Emerson in Boston.

Upon graduation with a degree in cinematography, he did what people professionally interested in filmmaking do - headed for California. He wound up working at George Lucas’s Industrial Light & Magic as a VFX (visual effects technician) on films such as Star Wars -Episode One and What Dreams May Come. As Daryl moved into his independent producing career, it included films like Plague Town (which was filmed in CT) and The Theater Bizarre. That last project was a film he executive-produced and received the rare honor of having its U.S. premiere at Lincoln Center in New York City. Mounting the stage in front of his mother to introduce that film was one of the proudest moments of his film career. As time marched on, Daryl would find himself back in Connecticut, raising a large family and helping to run a successful family business, while keeping the flame of his love for film alive. Evidently, once the filmmaking bug bites, it never truly lets go.

By 2020, Daryl circled back to his first love with the founding of Lost Lake Productions with industry pros and old friends from film school. If there’s a singular word that describes the company’s operation, it’s COLLABORATION. The founding members - Joe Miklaszewski, Cinema Wood, Jeff Wager, and Dakota Lacroix - have a standing joke among the group, a line from The Blues Brothers, “We’re getting the band back together again.” But this camaraderie is perhaps best articulated by Cinema Wood. "Most of us have known each other a really long time so we can be both humble and hold each other accountable because of the trust we’ve built over decades.” The group finds unity in their agreement on the importance of story in film and the essence of story they wish to capture in Lost Lake projects. Dakota Lacroix observed, “Daryl pulls a lot of different teams and ideas together. There’s a balance of riding the edge of the story and asking ourselves if we can get our own egos out of the way and serve the narrative.”

It all begins with the writing. That’s the niche of the newest member of the group, Emma Strenkert. Sharing her inspiration as a writer she offers, "Write what you know and speak from the heart. In my writing career I choose to write about things I'm intimate with that makes me notice themes and elements and other writers. Stories I identify with on a deep level."


While a great script keeps the production cohesive, nonetheless, the final look of the film is in the hands of an editor with input from the director. Joe Miklaszewski’s forte lies in that realm of post-production and editing. It’s an art form that has morphed over the years, but in Joe’s view, "I take more of the technical side with digital and find it makes it so much easier to tell the story as an editor. But I also have an appreciation for the analog world and use analog principles with new digital tools to tell the story."

The mission statement of Lost Lake Productions reads in part, ‘We seek creative and business alliances to explore new technologies to bring the timeless art of storytelling into the 21st century.”

As it did with the whole country, the advent of Covid in 2020 had a chilling effect on Lost Lake’s start-up. But the search for IP (intellectual property) revved back up in 2021, and the group took another turn from the ordinary. Many independent production companies settle on genres in which they are successful, i.e. drama, comedy, horror, sci-fi, etc.; but the Lost Lake crew agreed their quest is to tell stories that touch the human heart and are emotionally authentic, unfettered by genre.

In a pivot to another genre, through an introduction by Lost Lake member, Jeff Wager, Daryl met a screenwriter and actor currently living in Alabama, Jack Teague. He was marketing a project based upon an excerpt from Mary Welsh Hemingway’s autobiography How It Was.

As conceived at the time, the project was a docudrama retracing the 5-day, 1,800-mile journey made by Mary, Ernest, and a traveling companion from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN to their home in Ketchum, ID during the last week of Ernest’s life. As a history aficionado and admirer of Ken Burns documentaries, Daryl was intrigued. But as pre-production progressed, Teague shared a wealth


of information about Mary’s extraordinary accomplishments as a journalist and independent woman long before becoming Mrs. Ernest Hemingway, prompting a decision to convert the project to a female-driven historical biopic entitled, Chasing Mary. The story is modernized through the lens of a young female co-narrator who has chosen Mary’s autobiography for her Ph.D. thesis at Yale. Using elements of a narrative device called ‘magical realism’ the student and Mary blend into each other’s shared life experiences across time. Lost Lake gained an extraordinary opportunity in late 2022 to collect footage for the Chasing Mary teaser at the Hemingway home in Cuba through the generosity of Canadian actor, Brian Gordon Sinclair who is presently slated to portray Ernest in the film.

Consistent with Lost Lake’s mission of “creating timeless stories,” Cinema observes, "When we can help our clients tell their stories effectively, that is a place where we get pretty fired up. We want to make sure to give both our commercial and independent customers enough critical attention and team bandwidth to feel like we’ve helped bring their vision to life." Additional projects that Lost Lake has in


• OIKA, in which a renowned scientist connects science to the arts.

• Plane People, the stories of the people on the international flights that were diverted to Gander, Newfoundland on 9/11. This one is based on a true story, as Daryl was one of the ‘Plane People’ that fateful day.

• Night Flight which explores racial tensions in Buffalo, New York in the sixties.

• The Disappearance of Regina Brown, about a grisly murder that took place in Newtown, Connecticut on March 26, 1987.

• Ageless: Experience Required, explores the story of an amazing group of seniors over 80 living life vibrantly and pushing the societal norms for their generation.

In early 2022, Daryl was invited by Swiss company, to participate in their prestigious “Independent Producers Program.” Being a client of has led to some extraordinary opportunities for Daryl and Lost Lake in 2023. In March, Daryl was among about 15 independent producers worldwide to be invited to pitch XODUS

live on stage at Cannes. “It was an honor, albeit a stressful one, to have three minutes of limelight to pitch our film directly to a room full of industry executives.” Additional exposure for Lost Lake was garnered at the festival by being interviewed by both Al Jazeera and festival sponsor Mastercard. In November, Lost Lake was invited to attend the American Film Market in Los Angeles to


At the end of the day, it all boils down to the story for this group of maverick filmmakers. Daryl sees indie film as the continuation of an ancient tradition. “Narrative storytelling is one of the oldest human technologies, with the power to communicate complex ideas over vast stretches of time, film is but a current iteration of that powerful human tool.”

The Lost Lakes team discussed the cinematic magic of strangers choosing to sit together in a darkened space to suspend belief for a time and have a shared experience. They describe the isolation of home theaters or individual handheld devices to watch film as

the antithesis of the actual cinematic experience. Daryl relayed the thrill of watching the audience cheer on Aragorn in the final scenes of the Lord of the Rings trilogy or in The Matrix when Neo stood up against Agent Smith, looked at the camera and said, “No”. People in the theater jumped to their feet and went crazy. Daryl says, “That’s what we’re missing, that shared cinematic experience is in danger of being lost forever.”

is confident in its ability to bring authentic cinematic visions to life and tell universal stories that touch on the ‘hero’s journey’ within us all.

Going into the woods with Lost Lakes Productions is an adventure into a realm that hails back to Paleolithic tribes using oral tradition to tell powerful stories around campfires 10,000 years ago. With Lost Lake Productions, this consortium of filmmakers

To learn more about Lost Lake visit:

Postscript: After this article was completed, Lost Lake and their project Ageless were selected for the European Film Market in Berlin, Germany.

pitch Chasing Mary accompanied by screenwriter, Jack Teague.
The Premier Resource t o the Connecticut Artisan 41

ver 33 days, my husband and I traveled through 21 states, and camped in seven national parks, seven state parks, and various campgrounds and sites. The January and February issues covered planning an RV adventure and the northern portion of the trip, this covers the southern route home from Utah. (See Figure A)

Canyons -- the trip included many. There was the Black Canyon of the Gunnison (Colorado) and, before Colorado, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone which we expected to be “kaboom, wow!” Then there was the Red Canyon of Flaming Gorge, Utah.

I really didn’t have expectations for the Red Canyon but goodness, that’s one gorgeous gorge! Dams aren’t usually all that thrilling but the Flaming Gorge Dam, which forms the Flaming Gorge Reservoir was not only damn cool in terms of beauty but also in terms of history. Just as impressive as what it took to construct the dam is how those Bighorn Sheep hop the cliff walls. Scenic hiking for both people and sheep.

On to Devils Garden in Arches National Park (Utah), which has the world’s densest concentration of natural stone arches. There are over 2,000 documented arches in the park, ranging from sliver-thin

cracks to spans larger than 300 feet. There’s a deserty-vibe -- it’s dry, hot and red. While you can see a lot by car, you can also walk to many of the features. The trails are tremendous, and we only came upon one rattlesnake.

Tip: The national parks offer ranger-guided programs which are a great way to learn about what makes the park special. We attended one on astronomy at Arches and another on bats later in the trip. Arches National Park is a dark-sky certified park. Words cannot describe the view of the Milky Way in particular – crystal clear with the naked eye.

The drive to the next destination, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, took us along the Colorado River. Black Canyon exposes you to some of the steepest cliffs and craggiest spires in North America. At night we heard the elk bugling for company.

The drive to Guanella Pass, a high pass on a narrow, winding road open only a few months of the year, could have been problematic with any bad weather but, like this entire trip, we lucked out and made it to the next stop without incident. We stopped at a ghost town (St. Elmo), saw waterfalls, and visited the Dances with Wolves film location.

Camping at over 11,000 in Colorado was a bit chilly (29 degrees) but also a learning experience. The propane stove didn’t cooperate at that high an elevation so we drove to fire it up for the essential coffee.

Tip: Even in early September, water at campgrounds may be shut off, so fill the water tank before arrival. Though chillier than I like, particularly in the summer, the natural

Figure A 42

beauty was worth all that bundling up, and we finally saw moose … granted this was from a distance, but perhaps that was a good thing.

Twenty-nine was the lowest temp on the trip. The highest was 100 degrees in the Badlands, so every type of clothing was needed.

The drive to Timber Creek Campground in Rocky Mountain National Park took us to Georgetown, CO, an old mining town which has been revitalized, is super quaint, and reminded us of what Chester, CT would be if relocated to Colorado.

Most of the campgrounds had few features – you basically get a picnic table, a fire ring, and a place to pitch a tent. Some bathrooms had running water but most were “vault” style, which means a waterless, non-flush toilet. It brought a smile to my face whenever I learned that the next destination had a flush toilet and a sink. Now those are amenities!

We spent two of our five Colorado nights at Rocky Mountain National Park, a perfect balance. Rocky Mountain National Park has so many lakes to explore. We hit six in just one day. Great park but smaller, which made it a bit more crowded.

En route to our site at Cheyenne Mountain, we stopped at Red Rocks Amphitheater and then Garden of the Gods, a public park and Natural National Landmark. You’ve probably heard of Cheyenne Mountain not only because that’s where NORAD tracks Santa, but also because it’s home to the Space Force installation and defensive bunker. Rather eerie at night.

Kansas was next on the map, and we’ve decided that Kansas is actually the biggest state in the US. We stayed in Wilson, which is mentioned twice in Atlas Obscura – once for the world’s largest Czech egg and then for the Atlas AD Missile Silo.

Wilson promotes itself as the “Czech Capital of Kansas” due to the role of Czech immigrant in its early history. A 20-foot-tall egg painted in traditional Czech patterns sits in the center of what seemed to be a Czech ghost town – enormously wide, flat streets, a farming vibe, yet almost no people. We’re still not sure why grant money is going to build an open-air opera house in Wilson.

The second mention, the missile silo, is a Harvest Host, a cool and unusual place to overnight. This silo is one of roughly 70 Atlas F missile bases located across the country. It was active from 1959-1965 and then decommissioned. Visitors are led through blast doors, tour the site of what he host expects will be AirBNB accommodations, the equipment room, and the 176-foot deep silo which was once home to an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Next up, Arrow Rock in Missouri is quaint, historic, and has some culture. Arrow Rock also has the Lewis & Clark Trail which leads to the muddy Missouri River. While this wasn’t the prettiest hike, it was informative. Nearby is Blackwater, Missouri, really a step back in time and absolutely empty (nothing is open on Sundays).

I expected Indiana to be industrial but we landed at Indian Celina Lake which was green, quiet, and offered kayaking (not Grand Tetons kayaking but still scenic).


West Virginia was one of the top surprises and for good reasons. While some of the stereotypes hold true (lots of mining, little money), the natural beauty was stunning! We stayed at Babcock State Park in New River Gorge and would love to return and explore the entire state. Not only was the campground wonderful, but the 8-mile hike to an old gristmill was one of the best ever. We followed a river for most of the way, crossed a suspension bridge, and never saw a soul. Nearby, the town of Thurmond was a true ghost town but, sadly, the National Park Service may be tearing down some of the buildings.

Our trip home on the Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park would have been jaw-dropping had we done this early in the trip. Don’t get me wrong – it is absolutely gorgeous – but after you’ve been to some of the competition out West, this drive was a bit anticlimactic.

We wrapped up the adventure by hitting rush hour on the Washington DC beltway and the I-95 Corridor rather than Pennsylvania Dutch country. Sometimes it’s best to go back to the paper maps.

A typical day on this trip included getting up at sunrise, hiking or kayaking, and moving the vehicle to a place to fire up the generator

for coffee (typically, campgrounds have quiet hours from 10pm-8am). If we weren’t staying consecutive nights at the same spot, we’d drive anywhere from 80 to 380 miles to the next destination and repeat.

Having never really RVd before, we expected campgrounds to have much rowdier clientele, louder music, and some garbage lying around. Instead, life was quiet except for the sounds of nature. Sites were clean, and campers were respectful. You might find elk or deer or bison scat around, but as long as you have a flashlight, no problem.

Probably the funniest moment related to being “Bear Aware”. At many sites, there are numerous regulations regarding food storage, cooking, cleanup, etc. Camp host are serious, and citations are given. Often sites have a “bear box,” a large bear-proof container to safely store food, scented consumables, and trash. I opened one only to hit the camping jackpot with a bottle of Jim Beam bour-


bon, Kingsford charcoal, Coleman propane, paper plates, a box of utensils, cooking oil, seasonings, toilet paper, great scissors, and campfire wood. Not quite the mini-bar at a hotel but some cool finds left behind.

This adventure was a great test to see if (a) RVing is a vacation style we’d love or hate, and (b) if two people can travel in tight quarters for weeks. Yes and yes! It was great, and we are now planning an Alaska adventure. While not always the easiest way to live, there seems to be no better way to catch as many sunrises and sunsets and amazing and different journeys every day.

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The Cheesemonger

The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook

Help! I’m in Truffle….

A few months ago, I attended my very first Fancy Food Show in New York City. If you work in the food industry, this is your Disneyland. It’s one of the largest food trade shows in the United States where food manufacturers and distributors come together in one place to display the latest and greatest food trends along with the“up and coming”stars. It’s complete sensory overload, and something I look forward to experiencing again. It’s where I first sampled the irresistible Normandy Butter (for those who’ve tried, and now can’t live without, but that’s another article).

While walking the isles of deliciousness with samples of cheese and charcuterie, by booths of jams, jellies and specialty foods ranging from caviar to cookies, I started to notice a trend. Truffles.

Truffles were everywhere and in everything. Not just cheese, but charcuterie, popcorn, pasta, cookies, candy, and cocktails… yes, cocktails. Have you ever had a truffle Negroni? Me neither. I was reluctant, and for good reason… I will never do that again.

This truffle obsession got me thinking.

Why are these prized fungi, known for their distinctive aroma and flavor so popular? And why are some people truffle lovers, while others find them offensive? I decided to go on my own truffle journey to find out more.

What is a truffle?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition reads as follows: “The dark or light edible subterranean fruiting body of several European ascomycetous fungi” (especially genus Tuber)

Truffles belong to the Tuber genus group of fungi that grow underground and form a symbiotic relationship with the roots of the Oak, Hazel & Beech trees. Also known as mycorrhiza (or fungal root), the fungus, and the tree roots exchange nutrients. The truffle benefits from the sugar produced by photosynthesis while the tree receives essential nutrients from the truffle.

Truffles have a long history dating back to ancient times. Ancient Greeks and Romans enjoyed them for their culinary appeal an d truffle hunting became an art.



Truffles have a distinct aroma, and flavor and vary in species and appearance. The most sought-after varieties can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars per pound.

Varieties such as the Périgord Black truffle, grown in the Périgord region of France. Highly regarded and sought after, a favorite in many French culinary dishes. Périgord truffles have a blackish-brown exterior with a surface covered in small bumps or pyramids. It’s known for its strong, aromatic flavor and is often described as earthy and musky with hints of garlic.

The White Alba or Alba truffle is primarily found in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy. Piedmont is renowned for its rich soil and perfect climate which provides ideal growing conditions for this highly prized, rare truffle. The White Alba has a smooth, pale cream or light brown exterior. It’s larger than most truffles with a round irregular shape and a unique aroma of honey, garlic, and musk. The flavor is subtle and complex without overpowering.

Due to the exclusivity and conditions at which are required for its growth, the White Alba Truffle holds a special place in fine cuisine and is sought after by chefs and food connoisseurs around the world.

Cultivation & Harvesting

Like any other fruit or vegetable, truffle harvesting (or hunting) is seasonal. And depending on the type of truffle you’re looking for you may be hunting/harvesting during the fall and winter months.

In some regions, it’s traditional practice to hunt for wild truffles. Since truffles grow underground, enthusiasts will used trained dogs or pigs (pigs are known to eat the truffles where dogs will not) to locate these fungi in their natural habitat. When the dog detects the scent, it will indicate the location by digging or pawing at the ground. The truffle hunter will then carefully dig around the area to unearth the truffle without damaging it.

Today we no longer must rely on chance. Thanks to a forester named Joseph Talon, who has successfully cultivated truffles by inoculating tree seedlings with truffle spores and laid the foundation for a method called truffle orcharding or controlled truffle cultivation. Today, truffle cultivation is a well-established practice, and some regions of France are known for their successful truffle orchards.

Did you know? It can take up to 7 years for truffles to mature and grow big enough to harvest.

A Love, Hate Relationship

For some, just the mention of the word truffles causes their face to twist with anguish. Why is it that some of us love them, while others don’t?

Just like Cilantro, the answer is genetics. Androsterone is the chemical present in truffles and gives them their signature earthy, musky scent and according to some studies 25% of the population is not able to smell them. While 40% consider their smell terrible and often described as “rotten wood” this leaves only 35% of the population who fully enjoy the aroma associated with truffles.

Cooking with Truffles (or truffle cheese)

I happen to fall into that 35% of the population who enjoy truffles. But if you’re not quite sure if you’re a lover or not, the best way to find out is to try them. Truffles aren’t easy to come by so I’m sharing a quick, easy recipe that uses Moliterno Al Tartufo – A raw sheep’s milk cheese with black truffles throughout from the Italian island of Sardinia.

1-pound fresh tagliatelle pasta (you can use any pasta you like)

½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese (grated)

½ cup butter

1 cup reserved pasta water

¼ cup (or more) grated Moliterno al Tartufo

Salt & pepper to taste

1. Cook pasta al dente (according to package directions)

2. While pasta cooks, melt butter in a pan – use a pan with higher sides.

3. Add drained pasta to the butter and mix through.

4. Add parmigiana Reggiano and Moliterno Al Tartufo and ½ cup of reserved pasta water.

5. Mix viciously until a creamy sauce forms. Add more pasta water if necessary.

6. Season with salt and pepper – to taste.

7. Sprinkle with extra parmigiana and Moliterno -enjoy!


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