Friday, July 16, 1999
There's no place like Carlisle for the 4th of July
How does such a small town put on such a big event with so many parts? Lots of people do lots of little jobs and things just sort of happen. Here is an incomplete review of the few events I saw. Next year, I hope to take in a few others.
Ice cream social
The ice cream social kicked off this year's Old Home Day. The Duffy family provided the ice cream, which was ably scooped by Mary Cheever's Girl Scout troop. Chris and Pete from the group "Clam Sandwich" provided fine fiddle music, with the sweetest little girls dancing up front.The crowd shifted in and out of doors, depending on the weather, which seemed to change minute to minute.
This year's theme "Looking Back; Highlights of the Century" had townspeople's creativity cooking. Favorites of the Dumka family, who were this year's judges, were: Noah's Ark in Space and the recreation department's '60s beach party. The Offenheisers, who were pushing the rickshaw ahead of the beach party truck, were grateful for the occasional cooling spray. The walking favorites were Lois Adams "Nursing now and then" and Shawnee Baker's family of Roaring Twenties flappers.
The fire department went all out this year, showing the development of fire fighting from hand-held buckets, firefighter-drawn pumps, a 1932 puddle jumper to Rob West on Engine #7.
Finishing up the parade was the 1846 town hearse, restored by Bill Clark in 1975 and not displayed since then. Charlie Forsberg and friends spent two long days cleaning and polishing the relic. Wasn't the undertaker up top just perfect?
This mentions only a few of the floats, walking entrants, and cool cars that joined in the parade. Congratulations to all who participated.
Parade coordinator Jan Conover was ably assisted by Nancy Kuziemski, mentored by Lisa Duffy, with special help from Mary-Lynne Bohn on signs, Dave Reed on cars and the Toher family setting up. Without good folks stepping forward to help for an hour or so, the parade would not have been possible.
Bikes and buggies a big success
Around 135 enthusiastic young people, with parents in tow, left the old St. Irene church parking lot, decorated to the hilt. Flags, pinwheels, streamers in bike wheels and wrapped around handlebars were common themes.
Coordinator Timm Brandhorst's four personal favorites were the bike with red and blue stars cut out of poster board hanging on ribbons from the handlebars; the cowboy with black chaps and vest, cowboy boots and hateven gloves; the Barbie sunjammer, a motorized jeep, with red, white and blue banners and streamers; and the bike fully decorated plus monster trucks on the handle bars. The Red Balloon, an annual favorite, looked snappy in red, white and blue tie-dyed t-shirts. Devoted parents pushed trikes and bikes uphill for a quarter of a mile.
A big thanks goes out to all who helped: Timm was assisted by Nicole Burkel and Nicole Bloomfield. Thank you to the North Middlesex Bank for use of the property and to the DPW for maintaining the site. Congratulations to all participants; they are all winners by being part of this great community event.
Beth Fielding, overall Old Home Day coordinator, looked over from the green-striped tent on the Green and saw a huge crowd gathering. Her instant reaction was that an accident had happened. She was amazed that what last year was a small event with four entrants was this year drawing a huge crowd with around 15 competitors. Steve Pearlman, event coordinator and frog man extraordinaire, congratulated first placeHillary Cook, 34 inches; second placeGraham Reed, Andy Finer and Jesse Finer, 33 inches; third placeLuke Deary and Andy Trebino, 29 inches. And all those frogs went back to where they came from.
Maple syrup, Y2K, Mosquito photos, and handmade envelopes from Martha Stewartthis year's country fair blended contemporary with the old-time country fair feeling. Susan Evans, country fair chair, said that it all ran so smoothly this year that she is ready to sign up for next year. She attributes much of the success to the great job done by the police department. They kept the road race, the vendors, the parade and the visitors from colliding.
Susan hopes to see lots more junior entrepreneurs next year, perhaps taking inspiration from the Bloomfield family selling lemonade at old St. Irene. She also hopes that some teens or adults come forward to run children's games next year, sadly missing this year due to lack of a coordinator.
The radar throw contest, which was scheduled to begin at noon, began early by popular demand. After the parade, the kids were lined up and ready to test their throwing arms. This police-sponsored event, coordinated by Lt. John Sullivan and assisted by dispatcher Mike Taplin, used a rented radar gun which was a bit cranky that day, and a borrowed soccer net with a tarp thrown over it to measure the speed of each pitch.
Art show results
The turnout for the Old Home Day Art Show this year was better than ever, with 190 entries from Carlisle's artists, young and old. We were pleased to see so many entries from children and glad that many professional artists also exhibited their work.
Some of the more unusual pieces on display included two hand-made model steam engines by David Stickler and three intricately hand-caned chairs by Arthur and Janet Veves. Pictures created on computers made their debut at the show with Helen McCandless and Jim Bazin experimenting with this new medium.
This year, many of Carlisle's professional artists showed their work in the new professionals' corner. Exhibitors were Katherine Bell, D'Ann Brownrigg, Phyllis W. Hughes, Marie Louise Petrie, Maris Platais, Nancy Roberts, Joseph Spatola, Suzanne Winsby, and Bonnie Chayes Yousefian.
The Best in Show - Arts rosette was awarded to Louise Hara for her untitled oil painting of dreamlike horses. Greg Roberts, with his painted metal balancing sculpture titled "Tightrope," won the Best in Show - Crafts rosette.
The winner of the adult Most Popular vote was Marie Louise (Weezie) Petrie's painting "Fox Hill." The children's Most Popular rosette went to Stephanie Ivanov for her "Waterlilies."
Blue ribbon winners are listed below.
Grades pre K-4
Amelia Barnett, Tilly Barnett, Genna Carmichael, Katelyn Colman, Hillary Cook, Lindsay Cook, Caroline Guild, Eric Johnson, Anya Kaufman, Aidan Konuk, Sarah Means, Amy Nosowitz, Devin Proctor, Rebecca Schneebaum.
Julia Blum, Jim Chapman, Parker Ford Webb, Michael Johnson, Cherag Kapadia, Reed Lockwood, Christine Lyons, Aaron Marks, Clare Nosowitz, Jacqui O'Kelly, Greg Roberts, Rachel Schneebaum, Olivia Vienneau, Adam Weiss, Jenny Zuk.
Melissa Hinton, Tim Lane, Carly Saylor, Charis Yousefian.
Janet Conover, Louise Hara, Helen McCandless, Bonnie Miskolczy, Seamus Sargent, David Stickler, Marge Stickler, Arthur and Janet Veves.
Many thanks to all of you who shared your artwork and made the show possible. Many thanks are also due to the large group of people who helped with the setup, gallery sitting and clean-up of the show. Special thanks to the judges, Phyllis Hughes, Suzanne Winsby, and Bonnie Yousefian. Extra special thanks to Marjorie Johnson, and to Kerri Piette, who was co-chair this year and will be art show chair next year.
At 1:50 p.m. Newell Cantrill, coordinator with Ray Pichulo of the corn husking event turned to his wife, "Can you shuck corn? We may be on our own with 700 ears." No one was around. As 2 p.m. came and went, kids drifted in, and the pet show let out, and more kids came with their families. 20 to 25 shuckers settled into three groups: cash competitors; Great Brook Farm ice cream tickets; and the "just for fun" crowd. Coordinating an Old Home Day event is like that: you never know who or how many are coming, but somehow it all works out. Congratulations to the winners, and to all the participants.
The softball game
A couple of dozen hardy softball fans played a two-hour game on a hot day. Chris Fielding, organizer, said that fun was had by all.
The chicken barbecue
The firemen's chicken barbecue was a sold-out success with 650 people served; sadly 20 to 30 ticket seekers were turned away. Coordinator Doug Stevenson and salad master Walter Hickman attribute the success to a team effort with a lot of experience.
The firemen's day starts at 8 a.m. at Market Basket. All the food is fresh that day. Transporting all that food must have been a sight. The salad master at the helm of two industrial-strength cuisinarts chopped bushels of veggies: lettuce, celery, tomato, carrots, cucumbers, peppers and onions.
The chicken-cooking started at around 2:30 p.m. The charcoal-fired pits behind the firehouse were kept at various temperatures, to slow-cook the chicken basted in the firemen's own secret sauce.
The corn, husked by those competitive young folk on the Green, was cooked in two 80-quart pots over propane burners. They are big enough that, if you had a mind to, you could climb inside.
A very tired crew had completed the cleanup by 9 p.m.
The cake walk
Donna Cantrill, co-coordinator with husband Newell and the Wallhagens, describes the cakewalk as a parade of cakes coming in and a parade of cakes going out, really a cake swap with over 100 participants bringing yummy contributions. The four new arches (thanks to Chris Fielding's building and painting between 12 midnight and 2 a.m., his wife reports), Kathy Rubenstein's crowd orchestration, and that great fiddle music by Ellen Schmidt and Jake Kensigner, helped the event run smoothly. The cakewalk is a major source of support for Old Home Day which, by the way, started the day with $12 in the bank.
As for the Pet Show, which had 43 entries, Marilyn Harte, the judge of the bird division, had this to say. "Sarah Zezima, coordinator of the Pet Show, first asked me to judge dogs, but I guess when she remembered I have chickens, she decided birds would be more up my alley. Since I had no idea what sort of birds would be involved, I asked my birdwatcher husband Ken to come along and give me a hand.
"What a hoot! The two entries we had to judge were two six-month old bronze turkeys shown by Clark Bakewell, and Daniel Golson's six-year-old white bantam hen, Buck-buck.
"The turkeys went first. We had a list of questions to ask each contestant about his birds. When we asked if the turkeys had names, the young man said no. After several other questions about his care for the birds, we asked what were his long-range plans for them. His somewhat embarassed response was, 'eat them for Thanksgiving.' We all got a laugh out of that.
"Next was Daniel Golson's fluffy white hen. She was a bit of a problem for us, because we couldn't see her unless we opened the top of the box she had been brought in. But whenever we opened the box, the chicken jumped out and ran off, and all the spectators joined in the chase to get her back in the box. I must say, that cocky little hen had all of us on the run.
"Would I be a judge for the bird category of the Old Home Day Pet Show another year? My answer is a resounding 'yes!'it was great fun!"
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito