Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Weathersfield Weekly Blog December 13

December 13, 2017
Weathersfield, Vermont

Vermont State Police are asking for the public’s help in locating two males who robbed Downers Corner Store early Friday morning Dec. 8 and assaulted an employee. That employee, June French, was transported to Springfield Hospital for evaluation, according to a news release. The two men, both wearing masks, entered the store on Route 106 in Weathersfield around 4 a.m. on Friday, pushed French and stole a variety of cigarettes and cigars. Anyone who saw suspicious individuals or vehicles parked in the area around that time are asked to call Vermont State Police at 802-722-4600.



Last weekend was Wassail Weekend in Woodstock, Vermont. While I didn't cover the parade, I got to shoot the Rainbow Playschool's third annual Breakfast with Santa Saturday morning.




More photos:CLICK HERE


Right after breakfast, I headed over to the Masonic Lodge for the Wassail Craft Fair. This is one very busy fair with lots of quality vendors.




More photos: CLICK HERE

Next up, I headed to Lebanon Municipal Airport. I was invited on a free airplane ride over the Upper Valley by Cape Air. The flight was very smooth and the seats were more comfortable than some of the BIG planes I've been on recently.





More photos: CLICK HERE

I closed out Saturday night at a concert at one of my favorite venues-Billsville House Concerts in Manchester, Vermont. Pierce and Ethan opened for Twisted Pine.



 More photos: CLICK HERE



News You Can Use


Weathersfield select board news: At the select board meeting on Dec. 4, the board approved using $2700 from the reappraisal reserve account to purchase three new computers for the listers. The board also approved using $4850 from that same account to begin implementation of GIS parcel mapping in town. More information about the select board and the town, contact Town Manager, Ed Morris, at 802-674-2626 or townmanager@weathersfield.org.


Weathersfield School news: Thursday, Dec. 21 is the school's holiday sing-a-long, 8:15-9 a.m. and it's an early release day. After lunch students will be sent home at 11:30 am. Rumor has it that the teachers and staff are rehearsing a new song to sing at the morning assembly. More information about the school call 802-674-5400.



Weathersfield Proctor Library news: Construction continues on the children's room expansion; the foundation walls are up and insulated and the door has been cut in the 1902 stone foundation. More information about the Friends or the library contact Mark at 802-674-2863.




Get Out and About Events

Cookies & Cocktails Cooking Class in Perkinsville Saturday, Dec. 16 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.. The Inn at Weathersfield is hosting NYC based chef/cooking instructor/baker Molly Pam for a fun-filled holiday class. $55 pp. Call for reservations: 802-263-9217.

Saturday Holiday Movies in Ascutney, Saturday Dec. 16 at 11 a.m. The Weathersfield Proctor Library will be showing the holiday movie "Elf", all welcome.

The Polar Express and Visit from Santa in Ascutney, Thursday, Dec. 21 at 6:30 p.m. The Weathersfield Proctor Library will hosting their annual reading of "The Polar Express." Santa will arrive around 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served and all are welcome.

Saturday Holiday Movies in Ascutney, Saturday Dec. 23 at 11 a.m. The Weathersfield Proctor Library will be showing the holiday movie "The Muppet Christmas Carol", all welcome.

New Year's Eve at the Inn in Perkinsville Sunday, Dec. 31 7-11 p.m.. The Inn at Weathersfield is hosting a special evening with a farm-to-table fine dining experience with acoustic jazz guitarist Ed Eastride. (This experience is suited for adults as they won't be serving our children's menu this night.)



Music and Performances


Inn at Weathersfield Live Music Fridays in Perkinsville 7-9 p.m. Dec. 15 Dave Clark, Dec. 22 Peter Neri, Dec. 29 Johnny O, Dec. 31 Ed Eastridge, Jan. 5 Ali T.

Lebanon Opera House in Lebanon NH. Dec. 27 Recycled Percussion 4 and 7:30 p.m..

Taverne on the Square in Claremont. Dec. 15 Jason Cann 7 p.m.; Dec. 16 The Party Crashers 7 p.m.; Dec. 29 Sirsy 8 p.m..

Windsor Station Live Music in Windsor. Dec. 15 Justin Panigutti Band 9:30 p.m.; Dec. 19 Soul Fix Duo 6 p.m.; Dec. 21 George Nostrand Band 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 22 Sullivan Davis Hanscom Band 9:30 p.m.; Dec. 28 Jim Yeager Band 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 29 Dr. No 9:30 p.m.; Dec. 30 Chris Kleeman Band 9:30 p.m.; Dec. 31 New Year's Eve with Moxley Union and Maiden Voyage 9:30 p.m..

Ongoing Events

Weathersfield Historical Society Fundraiser in Perkinsville. "Round the World" queen size quilt handmade by Weathersfield resident Carolyn Van Tassel. On display at the Inn at Weathersfield, selling for $1200, money benefits the Weathersfield Historical Society. If interested in purchasing or have more questions call Maureen Bogosian at 603-252-0936.

Weathersfield Food Shelf in Perkinsville every Thursday from 2-3 p.m. Route 106 at the old Perkinsville Elementary School.

Low cost spay/neuter clinics in Springfield. Springfield Humane Society is hosting low cost spay/neuter clinics in 2018: Feb. 13, April 10, May 8, June 5, July 10, Aug. 7, Sept. 11, Oct. 9, Nov. 6, Nov. 27 at the Springfield Humane Society, on Route 143. Cost is $50 for female cat and $40 for male cat. Weathersfield residents may be reimbursed up to $50 for the surgery with a limit of three pets per year. Get your SNAP form from the town office. Please call Springfield Humane Society for an appointment at 802-885-3997.

Valley Court Diversion Programs: Volunteers are needed in Weathersfield/Springfield areas to work with low level offenders in the community. The group meets once a month at the Springfield Police Department, your commitment will require about three hours a month. Training is provided. For more information please visit our website at vcdp.org or call Maureen at 281-5213.

Senior Exercise Program in Ascutney: Free. Sponsored by RSPV. Mondays and Wednesdays 10-11 a.m. in basement of Martin Memorial Hall, Route 5, Ascutney. Classes are led by Sandy Lemois. If interested call 674-5254 for more information.

Need to Find a Business in Weathersfield: weathersfielddirectory.org.

Have anything you want included in this news and events column? Email Nancy at photosbynanci@comcast.net two weeks prior to your event.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Weathersfield Weekly Blog, December 6

December 6, 2017
Weathersfield, Vt.

Congratulations to Terry John Woods and partner Dale West. Their 1820 brick Federal-style former parsonage in Perkinsville is featured in the December issue of Design New England "Christmas White." The article was written by Tovah Martin with photography by Kindra Clineff. 

Some sad news to report, William Mayer, pre-eminent American composer and some-time Vermonter, has died. Born in 1925, Mayer was a Phi Beta Kappa Yale graduate, and he studied composition at Juilliard and the Mannes School of Music. Early success came with music for youngsters, especially recordings of the song “Bongo and his Baboon Drum” sung by Burl Ives. Eventually, Mayer would write celebrated music for every genre. For years, Bill and his wife, Meredith, divided their time between NYC and Weathersfield.


On Friday I photographed all the gingerbread houses that were created for the 15th Annual Gingerbread Festival at Tracy Hall in Norwich, Vermont. the event was a benefit for The Family Place.






More photos: CLICK HERE

On Saturday, I covered the Brownsville Holiday Bazaar for The Vermont Standard.




More photos: CLICK HERE


News You Can Use

Weathersfield select board news: The budget process is beginning and at present there is only person on the Budget Committee. The initial budget was scheduled to be presented at the Dec. 4 meeting and again at the Dec. 18 meeting. In other news, the board granted a 2nd class liquor license to the new Jiffy Mart on Route 131 near the interstate. The store plans to open on Dec. 27. Select board member, Lynn Esty submitted her resignation to the board effective Nov. 22, citing life changes. Eligible voters with an interest in serving on the select board until the next annual meeting to fill Ms. Esty's vacant seat should contact the town manager. More information about the select board and the town, contact Town Manager, Ed Morris, at 802-674-2626 or townmanager@weathersfield.org.



Get Out and About Events

Perkinsville Community Church Annual Christmas Candle Light Service in Perkinsville Sunday, Dec. 10 at 5 p.m. on Rt. 106. Holiday carols, harp, guitar, chime choir, vocals, piano, organ, flute, violin. All are welcome. Come and enjoy an evening of music and Christmas scripture readings.

Cookies & Cocktails Cooking Class in Perkinsville Saturday, Dec. 16 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.. The Inn at Weathersfield is hosting NYC based chef/cooking instructor/baker Molly Pam for a fun-filled holiday class. The $55 pp class includes cookies: pecan sandies, chocolate and caramel chews (chocolate cookie with a caramel center and icing), chocolate and almond biscotti , apple cider caramels, cardamom maple trees, cranberry Linzer cookies. And cocktails: homemade Irish cream liqueur, blueberry bourbon bramble (blueberries with cloves, bourbon, and seltzer), blood orange and thyme gin and tonic. Call for reservations: 802-263-9217.

New Year's Eve at the Inn in Perkinsville Sunday, Dec. 31 7-11 p.m.. The Inn at Weathersfield is hosting a special evening with a farm-to-table fine dining experience with acoustic jazz guitarist Ed Eastride. (This experience is suited for adults as they won't be serving our children's menu this night.)



Music and Performances

Inn at Weathersfield Live Music Fridays in Perkinsville 7-9 p.m. Dec. 8 Ali T., Dec. 15 Dave Clark, Dec. 22 Peter Neri, Dec. 29 Johnny O, Dec. 31 Ed Eastridge, Jan. 5 Ali T.

Lebanon Opera House in Lebanon NH. Dec 7, 9, 10 Clara's Dream; Dec. 27 Recycled Percussion 4 and 7:30 p.m..

Taverne on the Square in Claremont. Dec. 8 Brad Myrick Band 7 p.m.; Dec. 15 Jason Cann 7 p.m.; Dec. 16 The Party Crashers 7 p.m.; Dec. 29 Sirsy 8 p.m..

Windsor Station Live Music in Windsor. Dec. 9 Gully Boys 9:30 p.m.; Dec. 15 Justin Panigutti Band 9:30 p.m.; Dec. 19 Soul Fix Duo 6 p.m.; Dec. 21 George Nostrand Band 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 22 Sullivan Davis Hanscom Band 9:30 p.m.; Dec. 28 Jim Yeager Band 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 29 Dr. No 9:30 p.m.; Dec. 30 Chris Kleeman Band 9:30 p.m.; Dec. 31 New Year's Eve with Moxley Union and Maiden Voyage 9:30 p.m..

Ongoing Events

Weathersfield Historical Society Fundraiser in Perkinsville. "Round the World" queen size quilt handmade by Weathersfield resident Carolyn Van Tassel. On display at the Inn at Weathersfield, selling for $1200, money benefits the Weathersfield Historical Society. If interested in purchasing or have more questions call Maureen Bogosian at 603-252-0936.

Weathersfield Food Shelf in Perkinsville every Thursday from 2-3 p.m. Route 106 at the old Perkinsville Elementary School.

Low cost spay/neuter clinics in Springfield. Springfield Humane Society is hosting low cost spay/neuter clinics in 2018: Feb. 13, April 10, May 8, June 5, July 10, Aug. 7, Sept. 11, Oct. 9, Nov. 6, Nov. 27 at the Springfield Humane Society, on Route 143. Cost is $50 for female cat and $40 for male cat. Weathersfield residents may be reimbursed up to $50 for the surgery with a limit of three pets per year. Get your SNAP form from the town office. Please call Springfield Humane Society for an appointment at 802-885-3997.

Valley Court Diversion Programs: Volunteers are needed in Weathersfield/Springfield areas to work with low level offenders in the community. The group meets once a month at the Springfield Police Department, your commitment will require about three hours a month. Training is provided. For more information please visit our website at vcdp.org or call Maureen at 281-5213.

Senior Exercise Program in Ascutney: Free. Sponsored by RSPV. Mondays and Wednesdays 10-11 a.m. in basement of Martin Memorial Hall, Route 5, Ascutney. Classes are led by Sandy Lemois. If interested call 674-5254 for more information.

Need to Find a Business in Weathersfield: weathersfielddirectory.org.

Have anything you want included in this news and events column? Email Nancy at photosbynanci@comcast.net two weeks prior to your event.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Weathersfield Weekly Blog November 29

November 29, 2017
Weathersfield, Vt.


I hope you all had a fine Thanksgiving weekend. Did you shop Black Friday or Red Flannel Friday? Did you participate in Small Business Saturday? Did you Cyber Monday or Cider Monday? And what about #GivingTuesday, did you donate to your favorite charity or non-profit organization. Sure seems to me that Thanksgiving has totally gone the way of Christmas; these holidays are no longer family events but shopping and spending money events. I get it, businesses need to make money but I think things have gotten a little out of hand. I even saw a report where people were on their phones at the Thanksgiving dinner table ordering stuff online. Maybe I'm just getting old...

Also with the holidays approaching, scammers are out there waiting to get your identification and your money. You can sign up for Vermont's Scam Alert system by calling 800-649-2424 or by visiting their website https://www.uvm.edu/consumer.



Get Out and About Events

Holiday Happenings in Brownsville Saturday, Dec. 2 9 a.m. 2 p.m. Brownsville Christmas Bazaar & Luncheon at Town Hall; 4 p.m. Brownsville Holiday Tree Lighting, Caroling, Fire Pit & Refreshments at Town Hall; 5:30 p.m. Christmas Concert at Brownsville Community Church.

Perkinsville Community Church Annual Christmas Candle Light Service in Perkinsville Sunday, Dec. 10 at 5 p.m. on Rt. 106. Holiday carols, harp, guitar, chime choir, vocals, piano, organ, flute, violin. All are welcome. Come and enjoy an evening of music and Christmas scripture readings.

Cookies & Cocktails Cooking Class in Perkinsville Saturday, Dec. 16 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.. The Inn at Weathersfield is hosting NYC based chef/cooking instructor/baker Molly Pam for a fun-filled holiday class. The $55 pp fee includes cookie making: pecan sandies, chocolate and caramel chews (chocolate cookie with a caramel center and icing), chocolate and almond biscotti , apple cider caramels, cardamom maple trees, cranberry Linzer cookies. And cocktail sipping: homemade Irish cream liqueur, blueberry bourbon bramble (blueberries with cloves, bourbon, and seltzer), blood orange and thyme gin and tonic. Call for reservations: 802-263-9217.

New Year's Eve at the Inn in Perkinsville Sunday, Dec. 31 7-11 p.m.. The Inn at Weathersfield is hosting a special evening with a farm-to-table fine dining experience and music provided by acoustic jazz guitarist Ed Eastride. (This experience is suited for adults as they won't be serving their children's menu this evening.) Call for reservations: 802-263-9217.



Music and Performances

Inn at Weathersfield Live Music Fridays in Perkinsville 7-9 p.m. Dec 1. Steve Ellis, Dec. 8 Ali T., Dec. 15 Dave Clark, Dec. 22 Peter Neri, Dec. 29 Johnny O, Dec. 31 Ed Eastridge, Jan. 5 Ali T.

Lebanon Opera House in Lebanon NH. Dec. 3 Eric Mintel 4 p.m.; Dec 7, 9, 10 Clara's Dream; Dec. 27 Recycled Percussion 4 and 7:30 p.m..

Taverne on the Square in Claremont. Dec. 1 Conniption Fits 8 p.m.; Dec. 8 Brad Myrick Band 7 p.m.; Dec. 15 Jason Cann 7 p.m.; Dec. 16 The Party Crashers 7 p.m.; Dec. 29 Sirsy 8 p.m..

Windsor Station Live Music in Windsor. Dec. 2 Rusted Chrome 9:30 p.m.; Dec. 9 Gully Boys 9:30 p.m.; Dec. 15 Justin Panigutti Band 9:30 p.m.; Dec. 19 Soul Fix Duo 6 p.m.; Dec. 21 George Nostrand Band 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 22 Sullivan Davis Hanscom Band 9:30 p.m.; Dec. 28 Jim Yeager Band 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 29 Dr. No 9:30 p.m.; Dec. 30 Chris Kleeman Band 9:30 p.m.; Dec. 31 New Year's Eve with Moxley Union and Maiden Voyage 9:30 p.m..

Ongoing Events

Weathersfield Historical Society Fundraiser in Perkinsville. "Round the World" queen size quilt handmade by Weathersfield resident Carolyn Van Tassel. On display at the Inn at Weathersfield, selling for $1200, money benefits the Weathersfield Historical Society. If interested in purchasing or have more questions call Maureen Bogosian at 603-252-0936.

Weathersfield Food Shelf in Perkinsville every Thursday from 2-3 p.m. Route 106 at the old Perkinsville Elementary School.

Low cost spay/neuter clinics in Springfield. Springfield Humane Society is hosting low cost spay/neuter clinics: Dec. 5, 2017. Cat Clinic in 2018: Feb. 13, April 10, May 8, June 5, July 10, Aug. 7, Sept. 11, Oct. 9, Nov. 6, Nov. 27 at the Springfield Humane Society, on Route 143. Cost is $50 for female cat and $40 for male cat. Weathersfield residents may be reimbursed up to $50 for the surgery with a limit of three pets per year. Get your SNAP form from the town office. Please call Springfield Humane Society for an appointment at 802-885-3997.

Valley Court Diversion Programs: Volunteers are needed in Weathersfield/Springfield areas to work with low level offenders in the community. The group meets once a month at the Springfield Police Department, your commitment will require about three hours a month. Training is provided. For more information please visit our website at vcdp.org or call Maureen at 281-5213.

Senior Exercise Program in Ascutney: Free. Sponsored by RSPV. Mondays and Wednesdays 10-11 a.m. in basement of Martin Memorial Hall, Route 5, Ascutney. Classes are led by Sandy Lemois. If interested call 674-5254 for more information.

Need to Find a Business in Weathersfield: weathersfielddirectory.org.

Have anything you want included in this news and events column? Email Nancy at photosbynanci@comcast.net two weeks prior to your event.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Weathersfield Weekly Blog, Nov. 21

November 21, 2017
Weathersfield, Vt.


Here's wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Have you signed up for a Turkey Trot yet? The Climb Fitness Center is hosting their 4th Annual 5K Thursday morning at 7:45 a.m. in Brownsville and Zack's Place in Woodstock is hosting their 11th Annual 5K Walk-Run-Wheel at 10 a.m.. Feeling ambitious, why not do both!

Weathersfield select board news: The select board was scheduled to meet on Monday, Nov. 20. The meeting will be reported on after the holiday. More information about the select board and the town, contact Town Manager, Ed Morris, at 802-674-2626 or townmanager@weathersfield.org.

Weathersfield School news: The school reports that 300 people attended their annual Thanksgiving Feast on Tuesday, Nov. 14. Grandparents, community members, parents, and neighbors attended the meal of roast turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, white or chocolate milk, and dessert. More information about the school call 802-674-5400.

Weathersfield Proctor Library news: The library will participate in "Giving Tuesday" on Tuesday, Nov. 28. After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday allows people to donate money to worthy causes. The Library hopes to raise money for furniture for the children's room expansion. Just go to their website (weathersfieldproctorlibrary.org) and click on the "Donate" button or mail a check to Weathersfield Proctor Library, Post Office Box 519, Ascutney, VT 05030-0519. Then spread the word on social media using the hash-tag #GivingTuesday. Construction news-the foundation and walls have been poured for the children's room. Next up drilling into the existing foundation. More information about Giving Tuesday, the Friends or the library contact Mark at 802-674-2863.


Tuesday night we traveled to Derry, NH to Tupelo Music Hall and saw two of my favorite artists: Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt together in an acoustic evening of songs and stories.





Friday night I attended a CD Release show at ArtisTree Community Arts Center in Pomfret, Vt. John O'Connor just released his new CD "Rare Songs." Check my blog for the concert review.




Get Out and About Events

Town of Weathersfield Holiday Hours Town Office and Highway Department-Closed Wednesday, Nov. 22 and Thursday. Nov. 23; Transfer Station-Closed Wednesday, Nov. 22; Proctor Library-Open on Wednesday, Nov. 22 Closed on Thursday, Nov 23. The Town Employees, Highway Crew and Town Volunteers wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

Community Potluck and Programs in Perkinsville, Tuesday, Nov. 21 at noon, in Perkinsville Community Church Vestry. Bring a hot dish, salad or dessert. Beverages and paper goods are provided. All are welcome. Come and join the group for good food and conversation. Contact: Lorraine Zigman 802-263-5245.

Post-Thanksgiving Contra Dance at the Weathersfield Center Church, Friday, Nov. 24 7:30 p.m.. Dance to the calling of Dudley Laufman and have fun with your neighbors while dancing off some of your Thanksgiving feast. All welcome. This is a great dance for children, families, beginners and all who love a traditional New England dance. Fee $8 individual or $15 for a family.

Holiday Happenings in Brownsville Saturday, Dec. 2 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Brownsville Christmas Bazaar and Luncheon at Town Hall;  4 p.m. Brownsville Holiday Tree Lighting, Caroling, Fire Pit & Refreshments at Town Hall; 5:30 p.m. Christmas Concert at Brownsville Community Church;



Music and Performances


Inn at Weathersfield Live Music Fridays in Perkinsville 7-9 p.m. Nov. 24 Ali T., Dec 1. Steve Ellis.

Lebanon Opera House in Lebanon NH. Nov. 25 Warren Miller’s Line of Descent 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. GA; Dec. 3 Eric Mintel 4 p.m.; Dec 7, 9, 10 Clara's Dream; Dec. 27 Recycled Percussion 4 and 7:30 p.m..

Taverne on the Square in Claremont. Nov. 24 Ben Fuller 8-11 p.m.; Dec. 1 Conniption Fits 8 p.m. Dec. 8 Brad Myrick Band 7 p.m..

Windsor Station Live Music in Windsor. Nov. 24 River Frog 9:30 p.m.; Nov. 25 Binger 9:30 p.m.; Nov. 28 TBA; Nov. 30 Ted Mortimer and Katie Runde 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 2 Rusted Chrome 9:30 p.m.; Dec. 9 Gully Boys 9:30 p.m. Dec. 15 Justin Panigutti Band 9:30 p.m.; Dec. 19 Soul Fix Duo 6 p.m..

Ongoing Events

Weathersfield Food Shelf in Perkinsville every Thursday from 2-3 p.m. Route 106 at the old Perkinsville Elementary School.

Low cost spay/neuter clinics in Springfield. Springfield Humane Society is hosting low cost spay/neuter clinics: Dec. 5 at the Springfield Humane Society, on Route 143. Cost is $50 for female cat and $40 for male cat. Weathersfield residents may be reimbursed up to $50 for the surgery with a limit of three pets per year. Get your SNAP form from the town office. Please call Springfield Humane Society for an appointment at 802-885-3997.

Valley Court Diversion Programs: Volunteers are needed in Weathersfield/Springfield areas to work with low level offenders in the community. The group meets once a month at the Springfield Police Department, your commitment will require about three hours a month. Training is provided. For more information please visit our website at vcdp.org or call Maureen at 281-5213.

Senior Exercise Program in Ascutney: Free. Sponsored by RSPV. Mondays and Wednesdays 10-11 a.m. in basement of Martin Memorial Hall, Route 5, Ascutney. Classes are led by Sandy Lemois. If interested call 674-5254 for more information.

Need to Find a Business in Weathersfield: weathersfielddirectory.org.

Have anything you want included in this news and events column? Email Nancy at photosbynanci@comcast.net two weeks prior to your event.

John O'Connor's CD Release show at ArtisTree Community Arts

Nat Williams join John O'Connor at ArtisTree
As a young man, one of John O'Connor's job was working in a factory in Waterloo, Iowa. The rhythm of the machines gave him a rhythm that would follow him through life as a folk singer. On Friday, Nov. 17, the ArtisTree Community Arts Center hosted a CD release party for O'Connor's latest album "Rare Songs." (The $15 performance admission included a copy of the CD.) Local guitarist, Nat Williams accompanied O'Connor at the show and has traveled with O'Connor to a few venues helping to promote this new CD.

The intimate audience was taken on a journey through song and spoken word, as O'Connor sang songs that he wrote chronicling his time spent as factory worker, a worker in a homeless shelter, hitchhiker crossing the United States, a labor organizer, and folk musician often singing with his band Shays Rebellion at labor strikes and political rallies.

His song "Pressroom", with it's repetitious rhythm, gives the listeners a hint of what it's like to work in factory, doing the same thing, to the same sounds all day long, every day. One of jobs in high school was working in a factory listening to this mind numbing rhythm all day. 

He followed "Pressroom" with "Carpal Tunnel." A song he wrote when his band, Shay's Rebellion, was asked to perform at a meat packers strike in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. O'Connor started researching the reasons for the strike. He found out the workers were getting carpal tunnel from the speed and repetitive motion of carving up the carcasses. So he wrote a song about it. He prefaced it by saying "This is the only song I know about carpal tunnel" which drew a laugh from the audience. The song was sung a cappella, and once the song started the laughter faded and the audience was silent, hanging on every word. O'Connor shows his understanding of the meat packers plight in the line as to why the workers are getting carpal tunnel-"The curse of the speed on the carcass line."

After spending some time in Seattle, Washington, O'Connor moved back east in order to "save my career as a folk singer, I know that's a contradiction in terms: folk singer-career. That was the plan anyway." While in Seattle O'Connor said just about everyone he met was from somewhere else, but when he moved to Greenfield, Massachusetts he found that most people were from right there in Greenfield. He was asked to write a song for the town. His research lead him to discovering that Greenfield was a tool and die factory town on the Green River where the United Electrical Workers organized their union. Dealing with unions, strikes and union busting in previous years, he felt right at home. The song "Greenfield" was written and has been recorded on his new CD "rare Songs."

Following a brief intermission, O'Connor returned to the stage and read a couple of poems from his book of poetry. When asked which he prefers creating poetry or music he responded "I think I've gotten more out of the poetry...I don't have to worry how many people will be in the audience on any given night. I send the stuff (poems) out and if someone wants to publish it, they'll publish it."

His collection of poems, "Half the Truth", won the Violet Reed Haas Prize for Poetry in 2015 and is available from Snake Nation Press (snakenationpress.org) or the Yankee Bookshop on Central Street in Woodstock, Vt.

He started writing poetry when he quit touring and moved to New York City. "Going from musician to poet is not always the best career move" he noted before reading "Beans." After reading two poems, the music returned with O'Connor and Williams performing a Woody Guthrie song "Hard Traveling."

Guitarist Nat Williams met John when the O'Connors purchased a house in Pomfret. The two have been jamming and performing together for the past few months. The O'Connors spilt their time between Franklin, NY and Pomfret, Vt.. O'Connor's next live appearance is scheduled for Jan. 13, 2018 at the People’s Voice Cafe New York City. he new CD is available online through his website: johnpauloconnor.com.

More photos from the show CLICK HERE


John O'Connor
Rare Songs CD Release Show
ArtisTree Community Arts Center
Pomfret, Vt, November 17, 2017
Copyright ©2017 Nancy Nutile-McMenemy
www.photosbynanci.com
For The Vermont Standard: http://www.thevermontstandard.com/
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