Grange Notes for January 29, 2017 by Tim Swartz
Family dancers of all sizes–just one part of the fun we had at the FCCGH’s “Family Fun Day”
On Sunday, Jan. 22nd, the Friends of the Capital City Grange Hall sponsored the 2nd edition of the Family Fun Day which we first held a year ago. Once again, families of all ages enjoyed face-painting, balloons & hula hoops and much more. Experienced community dance caller David Kaynor, with about 18 members of the VT Fiddle Orchestra (he is the director) provided wonderful music and energetic dancing for a mixture of kids, parents, grandparents and friends. After we worked up our appetites, Alison Forrest and her crew of kitchen workers dished up a very tasty dinner of macaroni & cheese, with sweet-potato fries and carrot sticks, cookies and more. She even provided choices for those who can’t eat dairy or wheat products! The event finished off with kid-friendly movies shown in the Main Hall.
Just like last year, people who came were asking as they left “when is the next one?” So you can bet we will be doing more–especially if we can get a little more help!
Many thanks to all the volunteers who made this event work so well. Most of them worked from set-up through clean-up! These included main organizer Joanne Garton, plus FCCGH chair Patty Giavara, head cook Alison Forrest, me, Merry Shernock, Ann Pearce, John & Fran Mallery, Elizabeth Templeton, Nancy Turner, Liz Benjamin and more. Stan Carlson & Marj Power pitched in on the kitchen clean-up. If you want to be part of the “in-crowd”, there’s always room for more!
We also want to thank food donors: George Gross of Dog River Farm (just down the road) donated 25 lbs. of carrots, and Cabot Cheese donated 10 pounds of their trademark cheddar cheese!
February 4th Grange Meeting–spring will come
Our Rental Agent, Merry Shernock, has been looking for ways to improve this area, to make it clear that we consider this to be our welcoming Main Entrance. She has arranged with landscaper (and contra dancer) James Parent to develop some ideas about how to improve the area, while allowing for snow removal, good parking and access–and photo opportunities!
Here’s what Merry Shernock says: here are the “before” photos. The “afters” will show sites for renters’ keepsake photos; e.g. wedding & prom pics, as well as sustainable plantings and improvements. The changes should make it obvious this is the Main Entrance.
Planning starts 2/4. Professional landscaper James Parent will present the opportunities and the obstacles to be overcome. We will create something wonderful, following the same collaborative, reiterative process that culminated in great bathroom facilities at this Community Center.
The old entrance will continue to be used for dancers, and others who need to change shoes and clothes downstairs, but our “new” fine entrance is worth improving. Come to our meeting to consult on the first steps!
Also featured at the February 4th meeting will be a song appropriate for the month–which is African American History month every year. We will sing Lift Every Voice and Sing, known as the “black American national anthem” for many years. Written by James Weldon Johnson as a poem, and put to music by his brother at the turn of the last century, this song has been part of civil rights demonstrations–and is an “authorized hymn” in the Episcopal Church. Come check it out!
And stay for the Community Potluck Dinner at 6-ish! Great food, great company, and a chance to talk to other people who love what goes on at the Grange Hall.
January meeting notes–remembering Elvis, and learning about health and laughter!
Our Legislative reporter, Marj Power told us to value our Vermont government–as she has had occasion to compare it to her daughter’s current home state of Kansas, which is struggling with the legacy of radical tax cuts by the former Governor, resulting in huge deficits and budget cuts…
We talked about community service opportunities open to Grange members and friends–who can earn “hours” from the Onion River Exchange time-bank, by helping people involved with the Home Share Now organization. Merry gave examples–a retired teacher in Braintree who needs firewood moved into her house, once a week, or another retired teacher who needs transportation to choir practice. These are all opportunities to do something positive–in a time when many of us are questioning how to make something constructive happen. Intrigued? email Merry for more info!
We missed our usual Health Concerns education from Phyllis Skinner, who had other commitments, but other Grange members filled in, with news about research on the value of laughter, compared to medications. Actual studies substantiate the benefits–better improvements in blood sugar levels than from the drug Glucophage, for example! Alison told us about “laughing clubs” in India, where circles of people gather, stretch, and start laughing together–as we all know, it is infectious! but better than most “infectious” things…it’s also known as “laughter yoga”.
We also noted that with the new year comes the need to remind people that DUE$ are DUE. One important way to support the Grange is with official membership, which costs $30 again this year. Having an active, paid-up membership keeps us in good standing with the State and National Granges, as well as providing financial strength to our own Community Grange. Send checks to:
$ecretary Charles Martin
639 Mini$ter Brook Rd.
Worce$ter, VT 05682