‘Check’ it out

BARRE — They say “a picture’s worth a thousand words,” and while that is often the case, there are exceptions to every rule and we submit the very fine photograph of four smiling folks holding an over-sized check as “Exhibit A.”

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the picture that shows Liane Martinelli, president of the Barre Rotary Club, and her soon-to-be-successor Ed Rousse, handing another big check (though not the biggest) to Nancy Pope, chairwoman of the Aldrich Library’s board of trustees, and Library Director Lauren Polk.

That’s the picture.

Here’s a couple hundred words.

The check in question is the latest in a very long line of donations Barre Rotarians have been making to the library each year thanks to an annual outdoor breakfast that began in the late-1960s when Roy Turner fired up a small grill in City Hall Park and used it to prepare the morning meal.

The breakfast bounced around Barre for more than a decade before Dick Parnigoni struck a deal with one of Polk’s predecessors, Ernie Drown.

That was 1983, when “library directors” were still “librarians” and the deal proposed by Parnigoni went something like this: “If we can stage our breakfast on your lawn on the last Saturday in July we’ll donate all the profits to the library.”

Drown accepted and by all accounts it has been a win-win arrangement.

It’s one that solved a confounding electrical problem that made making toast more challenging than it has any business being, while generating more than $281,000 in donations to the library over the last 35 years.

According to the check in the photo, the breakfast that was served at the height of last year’s Heritage Festival raised $15,117.20. That’s down a bit from last year when the breakfast now run by Parnigoni’s kid brother, Ron, turned a profit of $16,037.24 and Rotarians turned that money over to the library that always puts it to good use.

‘Novel’ idea?

MONTPELIER — The Kellogg-Hubbard Library has literally come up with a novel way for folks to stay warm and have a ball the month of March.

The library has launched its first “Stay at Home and Read a Book Ball,” which proposes you curl up in comfortable clothing and read a good book.

It is also a charity pitch by library boosters, who hope you recognize the importance of its role in the community as an educational and social resource.

If you do and would like to contribute, the suggested donation is $10 per book, or a penny-a-page for children.

On social media, you can share pictures of your favorite book at #StayHomeandRead.

Donations can be mailed to 135 Main St., Montpelier, 05602, or made online at www.kellogghubbard.org.

For more information, call Rachel Senechal at 223-3338.

Family affair

WILLIAMSTOWN — Becky Watson is starting to take names for what we’re told should be a pretty big family reunion at Lotus Lake Camp in June.

Watson, whose maiden name is Martin is hoping to hear from as many direct descendants of Aaron Martin Sr. (1742-1819) and Eunice Flint (1748-1810) as possible in the next few weeks, and she knows there are a whole lot of them in the area.

Seems Martin and his wife had 15 children and most of them settled in and around Williamstown before their parents joined them in 1803.

Watson tells us the farming family grew and grew and grew from there and she’s eager to see other descendants of her great-great-great-great-grandparents during the family gathering on Saturday, June 8.

Cliff Martin hosted a similar gathering two years ago and Watson says it drew more than 55 people — at least one who traveled all the way from Texas.

Though Cliff Martin is technically a relative, Watson says he’s from a different branch on the family tree.

“Who knows? Eight cousins?” she says.

Watson can trace her way back six generations starting with her dad (Horace, Lewis, Herbert, Daniel, Gurdon, Aaron Sr.) and is hoping others can provide her with their lineage back to Aaron Sr., along with contact information (including email address). If you are a descendant you can send the information to Watson at 4785 Vt. Route 14, Williamstown, 05679, or just pick up the phone and give her a call at 802-433-5565.

Some of the descendant surnames are: Alderman, Adlous, Allen, Avery, Bass, Bailey, Bancroft, Baxter, Bennedicts, Beveridge, Blazier, Boyce, Burnham, Call, Carpenter, Chamberlins, Cole, Combs, Covey, Covell, Crane, Curtiss, Drew, Drury, Duff, Edson, Erskine, Farnham, Fiske, Fogg, Greene, Harris, Hayward, Hornlung, Howard, Hunter Irak, Jackson, Jarvis, Jeffords, Jewett, Kinsman, Lasell, Lemay, Lewis, Long, Martin, Martyn, May McAllister, McConkey, McKee, McLeod, Mier, Milne, Nye, Osgood, Peatman, Perry, Pettingill, Prince, Rose, Seaver, Scribner, Shepherd, Soneblum, Spencer, Stewart, Sullivan, Tarbells, Walbridge, Waldo, Walker, Warren, Waterman, Watson, Whitney, Williams and Wise.

Discharge discussion

MONTPELIER — The Capital City’s future planning to reduce discharges of untreated sewage water into rivers will be discussed at a public hearing at City Hall today , at 5:30 p.m.

The state requires the city to come up with a long-term control plan to deal with combined sewer overflows (CSOs), and officials will make a brief presentation on plan development progress and discuss the current status of CSOs and plans for control and elimination of discharges in the future.

SPA day?

BARRE — Studio Place Arts (better known by its acronym SPA) is hosting a double feature this Saturday.

First up is Barre’s own Hannah Morris, who will discuss the work she created during her SPA residency for an exhibit — “Feast of Fools” — last spring.

The exhibit included painted collages and soft sculpture installations that explored the intersection of the sublime, the absurd, and the mundane in recognizable moments and places.

Morris plans to present work from the exhibit and offer insight into her process and inspiration during an hour-long talk that is set to start at 12:30 p.m. Due to the time those who attend are encourage to bring lunch or a snack along, though a selection of hot tea is available.

Saturday’s second act “What is Art?” features David Mills, a philosophy professor at Champlain College and is set to start at 2:30 p.m.

Mills will spend the next 90 minutes exploring ways of encountering art as more than just subjective preference. The highly visual presentation provides new ways to interact with what you find in museums and galleries — especially the really expensive stuff that sometimes seems simplistic, bizarre or just plain ugly.

Both talks are free and open to all.

Help wanted

MONTPELIER — It’s still a month away, but volunteers are asked to sign up for the Central Vermont Repair Café at the Montpelier Senior Activity Center on March 30, from noon to 4 p.m.

Volunteers are needed to fix jewelry, clothing and zippers, furniture and woodwork, ceramics, electronics, household appliances, computers, televisions and toys.

The new lease of life for repaired items helps to reduce waste, spread repair skills and connect like-minded people in the community.

The third repair café to be held in central Vermont, the program is a collaboration of Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District, Onion River Exchange, Hunger Mountain Co-op and the senior center.

Sign up to join, either as a repair volunteer, to help make food for the event or to volunteer to help run the event at: www.cvswmd.org/volunteer.

To find out more about repair cafes, visit www.cvswmd.org/repair-cafes, or email RepairCafe.CVT@gmail.com.

Budget bash

MONTPELIER — An informational meeting will be held to discuss the proposed budget for the Montpelier-Roxbury Public School District in fiscal year 2020 at the Montpelier High School library on Monday, at 6 p.m.

The school district has proposed at budget of $24 million, an increase of $620,512, or 2.6 percent, on the current year.

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