The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 16, 1999


Ken and Marilyn Harte named outstanding citizens

Howard Hensleigh made the following presentation on Old Home Day to Estabrook Road residents Ken and Marilyn Harte who received the Outstanding Citizens Award.

We celebrate Independence Day in Carlisle by naming our most honored citizen. Our criterion for this selection is to honor people who have made Carlisle what it is today, a place we love to call home. There are two main reasons we love Carlisle.

The first that might come to mind is its physical appearance. We have built homes and public buildings in Carlisle, but we have also reserved many acres for farming, forests and conservation land. This has taken individual and collective efforts throughout our entire history. We are fortunate to have a town forest, state park, many acres of conservation land public and privately owned, the Davis corridor, a link up to the Estabrook Woods and trail that leads to the old North Bridge where it all got started over 200 years ago. This link-up ties us inextricably to Carlisle's and our country's past. We saved in perpetuity the Harvard land in Concord and Carlisle.

The other reason we love Carlisle is its people. We love to mingle and congregate. We all participate in our town government and our many organizations devoted to bringing us together in groups to accomplish our objectives. We settle public issues amicably and with grace. We are greatly assisted by the information disseminated to all citizens by our local newspaper, the Mosquito.

One of our most honored citizens was born in the environs of New York City, graduated from Rensselear Polytechnical Institute and went on to obtain a Ph.D. from Harvard in physics. He has devoted his life to science and has been instrumental in the use of a new x-ray beam technology to eradicate tumors from the brain. He is a man of great concentration.

He once was reported as a missing person in Carlisle. After dressing in shorts and sneakers and announcing to his family that he would be jogging in the Estabrook Woods, he was distracted by work to do in his study. When she realized he had not returned home, his wife set out to find him in the Estabrook Woods. Racing up and down trails she suspected he might have taken, she finally reached Monument Street. A nearby homeowner agreed to let her use his telephone to call home, if by chance he had returned. When she learned he had never left home, Ken told her to calm down and start walking back along the Estabrook Trail and he would meet her halfway. When they met, he had a smile on his face and told her he had found something that would cheer her up. As the consumate birdwatcher he was, he led her to a tree and said "look up." He had found a Kentucky warbler, a rare bird in Massachusetts.

Along with Ben Benfield and Greg Peterson, he could be called Mr. Conservation in Carlisle. He served on the conservation commission from 1968 to 1983. After that, he did not retire, but has been actively engaged in every acquisition and conservation restriction we have had since then. If you like what Carlisle looks like today, he helped make it look that way.

Our other most honored citizen has been involved in Carlisle's activities. She grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin as an occupational therapist. After her family moved to Carlisle, she worked in the 4-H, the League of Women Voters, on bike path committees, and Cub Scouts. She has worked at the polls in our elections and has been a strong school supporter. For many years, she has been the mainstay of the Mosquito. If you want to know her perception of Carlisle, take a moment to read the editorial page of yesterday's Mosquito. Perceptions of this type shape a community.

Our most honored citizens both have had enduring, happy marriages. In fact they are married to each other. They have lived in Carlisle since 1966, have raised two fine sons who have attended our public schools, have completed their higher education and are launched into their own careers. They are all here today with us, enjoying Old Home Day.

We're now ready for the Minute Man drum roll!

Our most honored citizens for 1999 are our own Ken and Marilyn Harte.

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito