Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Angel of Bethesda, Mary Mother of Us All-Who created these sculptures, A Woodstock Mystery Solved.


Springfield, Vt.
April 21, 2017

The mystery of the sculptor has been solved, thanks to local sculptor (and amateur sleuth) Charlet Davenport. Davenport was taking area school children on an art walking tour when they visited the Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church next door to their school. They observed the serpentine sculpture "Mary, Mother of Us All." Davenport was curious about the artist that created this piece. She asked around but was having a difficult time finding out the mystery artist.



Davenport knew that a piece called, "Angel of Bethesda", located at the St. James Episcopal Church was created by Mary Eldredge. This sculpture was originally located on Elm Street on the property of Byron and Ivy Thomas. "I always took time to walk on that side of the road to view it when I was younger and walking with children (on the walking) tours" wrote Davenport in an email.

One thing led to another and Davenport discovered the piece "Mary, Mother of us All" at Our Lady of the Snows was also created by Mary Eldredge, a sculptor living in Springfield, Vermont. The connection had been made. "Mary" had been installed indoors and was kept out of the elements. The "Angel of Bethesda" was an outdoor sculpture that was donated to St. James by the Ivy Thomas and her daughter Murray Ngoima.

The hammered copper angel statute had seen better days and Davenport was determine to return this angel back to her glory. After contacting Eldredge and working with Isabelle Bradley at St. James, a plan was starting to form.

The "Angel of Bethesda" was actually a piece created by Eldredge for her master of fine arts thesis at Rosary College (run by Dominican University in Illinois.) A Vassar College graduate, she was in Florence Italy studying the Baroque fountains in Rome in the late 1960s. Combining with her love of angels, this sculptor who began carving chalk with a pin in the Springfield school system (in third grade), and her studies of the Roman fountains she created the "Angel of Bethesda" in 1965.

After a few years of study abroad, she packed up her belongings, crated the angel and boarded a ship bound for the United States. The pieces she created in Italy found their way into many exhibits; at one such exhibit Byron Thomas, a good friend of her father's and a resident of Woodstock purchased the angel piece.

Byron and his wife Ivy hosted a party on September 23, 1966 at their home on Elm Street. The "Angel of Bethesda" was placed in a pool designed by Mary's father. "The only thing I was disappointed with was that the (recirculation) pump kind of made a piddle instead of a real gush" Mary said describing that day in 1966, "it would have been nice to have a real powerful gush."

When the piece was donated by the Thomas family and moved to St. James Church, it wasn't displayed properly; it fell over, the arm broke off and this damage was immediately recognized by Davenport on her art walking tour. Davenport working with Bradley, commissioned a local sculptor to perform the restoration.



Enter, Jeffrey Sass a sculptor and metal worker in the Quechee area. The angel was moved to his studio for restoration earlier this year. "She arrived in pretty bad shape" said Sass. After months of structural support, replacing the arm, creating a new finger and designing a better support system for the wings, the restoration is just about complete. Sass has taken painstaking care to keep to the original design, only making modifications that will protect the statue for the long term.
He created a platform and had to guess if the posture was correct. "I set it up for what worked for my eyes." And after looking at old photographs, his guesswork was right on the money. He designed an internal spoke system up through the skirt for support, creating some resistance to possible wind damage. He also designed a way to keep moisture out and a way for it to drain properly.

In keeping with the original exterior, he had to "age" the copper to try to match the patina of the piece. He even ordered special stains to help in the matching process.

The restoration is complete and the piece is ready to be moved back to St. James, once the site has been properly prepared to receive her.

I asked Mary it she'd take on more sculpting projects, "I feel kind of divorced from it now. If I can find a good place to do it, maybe. Downstairs in the basement, we kind of fixed it up for me to work there and I did actually do quite a bit of work there. (Her first piece created in her basement studio was the "Mary, Mother of Us All.) I did a St. Francis for the Mepkin Abbey Conference center down there. And I did a little stone crèche down there."

Her last hammered copper project as a 17 piece hammered copper crèche for Mepkin Abbey in South Carolina. This crèche received 389 votes at the 2016 Mepkin Abbey Crèche Festival. She also created a smaller stone crèche for reproduction for their gift store. "I set up in the other room (next to her kitchen) to do the copper crèche. I don't like to use the torch down there in the basement."

This quiet lady living in a house she designed and built just a few doors down from where she grew up in Springfield, Vermont has sculptures all over this country. Many in churches and abbeys from Stockton, California to Lake Lucerne, New York; from Greenfield, Massachusetts to Morristown, New Jersey. She thinks there are five pieces in Vermont and she knows that Dartmouth College purchased her "Fallen Angel."

And the mystery continues, Mary said she created another angel for Gallery Two in Woodstock years ago but is not sure where that piece is now.

Weathersfield Weekly Blog April 26


April 26, 2017
Weathersfield, Vt.

I believe it really is spring! I've started to uncover my perennial beds and everywhere I hike I'm seeing hepatica and colt's foot. I was in Manchester, Vermont on Sunday evening and the black fly are out there-Oh Boy! Congratulations to Villagers for their successful Grand Opening on Saturday. Word on social media is the food is great and their pricing is very reasonable. I'll have to get over there ASAP. Heard their grilled cheese is to die for!





Weathersfield select board news: The select board met Monday, April 17. There was extensive discussion about the revised Town Plan. There appeared to be many typos and incorrect assessments. The discussion will continue on May 1. Hopefully a clean copy of the plan will be available at that time. More information about the select board and the town, contact Town Manager, Ed Morris, at 802-674-2626 or townmanager@weathersfield.org.



Weathersfield Proctor Library news: The Trustees were scheduled to host a pre-bid conference on Tuesday, April 25 for contractors to look over the plans for the Children's Room expansion. Sealed bids will be received until 3 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9. More information about the library call 802-674-2863.

Photos By Nanci news: On Sunday, April 30 from noon-3 p.m. Photos By Nanci will be hosting a booth at the Vermont Bridal Show at the Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Mount Ascutney in West Windsor , Vt.

If a wedding is in your future or you know someone getting married...this bridal show is what you have been looking for! 
Area vendors on hand to answer your questions and book your wedding date! From photographers to DJ’s we have it covered in one place. Bring your bridal party for an afternoon of catching up and seeing what’s new in wedding trends with local businesses.

One lucky bride will win a FREE 8 day/7night HONEYMOON!!! A value of over 2500.00!!! Must be present to win. We will also have many other prizes and giveaways that you won’t want to miss!
Order 10 or more tickets and the bride is FREE when you enter the promo code: BRIDE
First 100 ticket orders will receive a 3 day/ 2 night getaway – so order your tickets now before its sold out!
We have something for every budget, style, and size so don’t miss this wedding event!
Purchase Tickets


Other Photos By Nanci news:
Working on a story for the Vermont Standard about a sculpture in Woodstock, Vt., I got to interview two artists from our area. Mary Eldredge from Springfield, Vt. and Jeffrey Sass from White River Junction/Hartford, Vt.

Mary created the "Angel of Bethesda" in 1965 for her Master of Fine Arts while studying in Florence Italy.



Jeffrey is a local sculptor and metal artist who restored the angel to her original glory.


Jeff is also an amazing artist who re-purposes metal in gorgeous works of art.



While freelancing for the Valley News Enterprise Business Magazine,  got to meet an amazing woman. Shanna Moody, owner of A Shining Success in Claremont, NH.





Saturday we attended a Billsville House Concert in Manchester, Vt.. We saw Bridget Kearney (Lake Street Dive) performed with her band: Benjamin Lazar Davis (Cuddle Magic, BAWA), Sarah K. Pedonotti (Lip Talk, Okkervil River), and Alwyn Robinson (Sugar Sugar, Leftover Salmon) PLUS Margaret Glaspy playing guitar.





Fit Club-Benjamin Lazar Davis and Sarah K. Pedonotti opened the show.


More photos from the show, click HERE

Next up for Billsville: The Revelers May 12 at the Inn at Manchester. Check these guys out on my YouTube Billsville House Concert Playlist!




Get Out and About Events

“We Remember – Before and After the North Springfield Flood Control Project” in Ascutney at Martin Memorial Hall, April 30 at 2 p.m The Weathersfield Historical Society will host a town hall-type meeting in which the public is urged to come tell and listen to stories, experiences, and reminiscences about farm and village life, businesses and bridges, and swimming holes and skating ponds before and after the construction of the flood control dam. Refreshments will be served, and the new Historical Society publication with the above title will be available for purchase for $15.


Penny Sale in Ascutney May 6, doors open at noon, sale begins at 2 p.m.. The Weathersfield School PTA is hosting a Penny Sale, they are looking to sell 300 items at the event. Contact the school if you have something you'd like to donate, 802-674-5400.

Mother's Day Plant Sale in Ascutney, Saturday May 13 8 a.m. at the Ascutney Volunteer Fire Department Station. Cocoa mulch available. Contact 802-674-5021

LuLaPalooza Mother's Day Edition in White River Junction, Saturday May 13 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Newberry Market.

WS Dance and Graduation in Ascutney Grad. Dance-Friday, May 19 7-10 p.m. Graduation-Monday, June 19 at 7 p.m. in the gym.

WS BBQ and Dance in Ascutney Friday, June 16 4-6 p.m. The school is hosting a faculty vs. 8th graders softball game, a BBQ and a family dance. The event will also serve to thank all the school volunteers.



Music and Performances



Briggs Opera House in White River Junction. Sunday, May 7 7 p.m. Session American; Saturday, May 20 8 p.m. Judy Collins.

Freight House in White River Junction. May 13 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Off the Rails Open Game Day.

Inn at Weathersfield Live Music Fridays in Perkinsville 7-9 p.m.: April 28 Jesse Peters, May 5 Ali T, April 12 Steve Ellis, April 19 Ben Fuller, April 26 Erik Boedtker.

Lebanon Opera House in Lebanon NH. April 28 7 p.m. Get The Led Out, May 11 10 a.m. Biscuit.

Taverne on the Square in Claremont NH. April 27 6-9 p.m. Jim Hollis; April 28 9 p.m.-12 a.m. Conniption Fits; April 29 8-11 p.m. Moxley Union.

Weathersfield School Concerts and Programs in Ascutney 6-7 p.m. May 10 K-8 Spring Concert; May 26 8:15-9:15 a.m. Memorial Day Ceremony for K-8. The Weathersfield School Drama Club will perform a musical called "Wipe Out", on Saturday, April 29 at 2 p.m. in the gym. They will also perform for the entire school on Monday, May 1at 1p.m..

Windsor Station Live Music in Windsor. April 27 7:30 p.m. Wild Roots; April 28 9:30 p.m. Faux in Love; April 29 9:30 p.m. Bangko Disco; May 2 6 p.m. Johnny O; May 4 7:30 p.m. Robt Sarazin Blake with Ruthless Mike; May 5, 9 p.m. Soul Fix; May 5 10 p.m. Funkwagon.



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: May 9, June 6, July 11, Aug. 8, Sept. 5, Oct. 24, 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.


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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Weathersfield Weekly Blog April 20

April 19, 2017
Weathersfield, Vt.

Great news for ice cream lovers, Villagers at Downer's Four Corners will host their Grand Opening on Saturday, April 22 with a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m.. They are boasting a new menu and more affordable pricing. You can follow them on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/villagersicecream/
Villagers new owners Jaime Wyman and Robert Westney II. 

The Grand Opening will be held April 22 with a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. 
The restaurant opens at 11 a.m..

No burn permits will be issued until further notice. Our fire departments were very busy last week putting out brush fires. Even though you can see puddles where the snow has melted, we are still in a drought and the woods are very dry. Check with the Fire Wardens before you burn. You and your property will stay safe this way and our volunteer fire fighters can spend time with their families.

Hope you had time on Sunday to enjoy the summer-like weather. I washed windows and put up our screens. I also took down and washed our bird feeders. The garden itch has started so we uncovered our garlic patch and I've noticed daffodil sprouts too. I guess Spring is here.


Friday night I hit the Freight House in White River Junction to see one of my favorite local performers Brooks Hubbard. He has a new CD out and he played all of the tunes for us that night. Can't wait to get a copy of it. 




Jes Raymond and the Blackberry Bushes opened the show.





On Saturday, I covered the Reading Recreation Commission's Bunny Hop at Bartley Field in Reading, Vt. for the Vermont Standard.




Weathersfield School news:
Congratulations to Hailey Daniels, Grade 4, her reading log was one of 20 chosen out of over 4,000 in the "Reading is an Investment" program. Hailey received a $250 college savings plan account at the Financial Literacy Awards Ceremony hosted by Governor Phil Scott on April 6 in Montpelier. For more information about the school and events, call 802-674-5400.

Get Out and About Events

Penny Sale in Ascutney May 6, doors open at noon, sale begins at 2 p.m.. The Weathersfield School PTA is hosting a Penny Sale, they are looking to sell 300 items at the event. Contact the school if you have something you'd like to donate, 802-674-5400.

Mother's Day Plant Sale in Ascutney, Saturday May 13 8 a.m. at the Ascutney Volunteer Fire Department Station.

LuLaPalooza Mother's Day Edition in White River Junction, Saturday May 13 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Newberry Market.

Freight House in White River Junction. May 13 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Off the Rails Open Game Day.

WS Dance and Graduation in Ascutney Grad. Dance-Friday, May 19 7-10 p.m. Graduation-Monday, June 19 at 7 p.m. in the gym.

WS BBQ and Dance in Ascutney Friday, June 16 4-6 p.m. The school is hosting a faculty vs. 8th graders softball game, a BBQ and a family dance. The event will also serve to thank all the school volunteers.


Music and Performances

Lebanon Opera House in Lebanon NH. April 27 10 a.m. Arcattack, May 11 10 a.m. Biscuit. April 28 7:30 p.m. Get The Led Out.

Taverne on the Square in Claremont NH. April 21 9 p.m.-12 a.m. Flew-Z; April 27 6-9 p.m. Jim Hollis; April 28 9 p.m.-12 a.m. Conniption Fits; April 29 8-11 p.m. Moxley Union.

Weathersfield School Concerts and Programs in Ascutney 6-7 p.m. May 10 K-8 Spring Concert; May 26 8:15-9:15 a.m. Memorial Day Ceremony for K-8. The Weathersfield School Drama Club will perform a musical called "Wipe Out", on Saturday, April 29 at 2 p.m. in the gym. They will also perform for the entire school on Monday, May 1at 1p.m..

Windsor Station Live Music in Windsor. April 21 9 p.m. Whiskey Geese; April 22 9 p.m. Groovesum.



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: May 9, June 6, July 11, Aug. 8, Sept. 5, Oct. 24, 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.

Visit Photos By Nanci using a Q reader app!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Weathersfield Weekly Blog April 12


April 12, 2017
Weathersfield, Vt.

The School Board won the 6th Annual Town Challenge


The 6th Annual Town Challenge was held on Saturday at the Weathersfield School. The event was a benefit for the Weathersfield Proctor Library with proceeds going to the children's room expansion planned for later this spring. Nine teams competed through eight rounds of questions ranging from Weathersfield History to Current Events. The field was narrowed down to the School Board, the Select Board and the Library teams. These three battled it out but in the end the School Board won with the correct spelling of "plagiarism." $2575 was raised and will by matched by a Byrne Foundation grant. 

More photos from the Challenge, click HERE


On Friday April 7 I went to one of my favorite places to see a concert-Billsville House Concerts in Manchester, Vt.. It seats no more than 75 so you get to hear and see the performers up close and personal.

Like Andrew Combs, who I had never heard of but thoroughly enjoyed.


More photos of Andrew Combs





Erin Rae McKaskle opened the show.



More photos of Erin Rae

Videos from Billsville Concerts


Masterclass...I learned how to make Champagne and Rose Marmalade at Blake Hill Preserves in Windsor Vt. on Saturday morning.




More photos from Blake Hill, click HERE.

Sunday, I saw Jackson Browne at the Palace Theatre in Albany, NY. Great two set show.






Made a pilgrimage to the NEW Tupelo Music Hall in Derry NH on Tuesday night to see Peter Frampton. Julian Frampton and Ben Sheridan opened the show.







More photos of the Frampton show, click HERE


Rock and Roll lost a great one. On Tuesday night it was announced the John Warren Geils Jr. guitarist for THE MIGHTY J. GEILS BAND was dead at age 71. The J. Geils Band is THE BEST band outta Boston and should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

1982 and 2011 photos.

More photos of The MIGHTY J. Geils Band, click HERE


Now on to More News You Can Use

Weathersfield select board news: At last week's select board meeting there was extensive discussion about our trash. Ham Gillette, Outreach Coordinator for Act 148, the Universal Recycling Law, told the board that the law goes into affect on July 1 and will require all commercial haulers accept food waste separately from trash. All transfer stations will be required accept separated food waste as well. By 2020, all households will be required to keep food waste out of household trash. Town Manager Ed Morris told the board that the Transfer Station has been running deficits over the last two years ($29,587 in 2015, $34,505 in 2016.) The board voted to transition to a single stream and voted to use Casella Waste as the town's trash hauler for the next three years. The board also voted to close the swap shop sighting the high cost of maintaining it. 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: Congratulations to Brandon Hennessey for taking home the silver medal at the Vermont State Science Fair at Norwich University on April 1. Brandon's pheromone project also took home a scientific award of excellence from the United States Navy. For more information about the school and events, call 802-674-5400.



Weathersfield Proctor Library news: The Trustees are meeting Thursday, April 13 rather than April 20 because of school vacation. More information about these programs, events and the library call 802-674-2863.



Get Out and About Events

Villagers (formerly the Country Creemee at Downer's Four Corners) opens April 22. Follow them on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/villagersicecream/.

Penny Sale in Ascutney May 6. The Weathersfield School PTA is hosting a Penny Sale, they are looking to sell 300 items at the event. Contact the school if you have something you'd like to donate, 802-674-5400.

Mother's Day Plant Sale in Ascutney, Saturday May 13 8 a.m. at the Ascutney Volunteer Fire Department Station.

LuLaPalooza Mother's Day Edition in White River Junction, Saturday May 13 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Newberry Market.

WS Dance and Graduation in Ascutney Grad. Dance-Friday, May 19 7-10 p.m. Graduation-Monday, June 19 at 7 p.m. in the gym.

WS BBQ and Dance in Ascutney Friday, June 16 4-6 p.m. The school is hosting a faculty vs. 8th graders softball game, a BBQ and a family dance. The event will also serve to thank all the school volunteers.


Music and Performances

Briggs Opera House in White River Junction..

Freight House in White River Junction. April 14 8 p.m. Brooks Hubbard and Jes Raymond and the Blackberry Bushes all ages-kids under 12 free, May 13 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Off the Rails Open Game Day.

Inn at Weathersfield Live Music Fridays in Perkinsville 7-9 p.m. Closed for Mud Season.

Lebanon Opera House in Lebanon NH. April 27 10 a.m. Arcattack, May 11 10 a.m. Biscuit.

Taverne on the Square in Claremont NH. April 14 7-10 p.m. Jason Cann; April 20 TBA; April 21 9 p.m.-12 a.m. Flew-Z; April 27 6-9 p.m. Jim Hollis; April 28 9 p.m.-12 a.m. Conniption Fits; April 29 8-11 p.m. Moxley Union.

Weathersfield School Concerts and Programs in Ascutney 6-7 p.m. May 9 K-4 Spring Concert; May 10 5-8 Spring Concert; May 26 8:15-9:15 a.m. Memorial Day Ceremony for K-8.

Windsor Station Live Music in Windsor. April 13 7:30 p.m. Sean Patrick and the Newgrass Revolution; April 14 10 p.m. Karaoke; April 16 9:30 p.m. Gowanus; April 16 6 p.m. Joice Marie; April 20 7 p.m. BLinDog and MaMa MediSin; April 21 9 p.m. Whiskey Geese; April 22 9 p.m. Groovesum.




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: May 9, June 6, July 11, Aug. 8, Sept. 5, Oct. 24, 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.



Visit Photos By Nanci using a Q reader app!