Grange Notes by Tim Swartz, Grange President (with everyone’s help), September 11, 2020
Saturday evening–(almost) a contradance in your home
These days, technology can do some amazing things…like dance concerts in your home! The Contra Dance Umbrella is sponsoring their annual fundraiser for the Grange by presenting Pete’s Posse via Zoom, so you can enjoy the music of this great band, and waltz and contra dance together–and (if you can) support the Grange! We’d all love to be together for this sort of event, but instead we get to enjoy hot music this way!
This concert is free and open to everyone, but as with other CDU fundraisers, some very generous Grange supporters have pledged $2,000 for the dance and Grange communities to match, to keep the Grange solvent in this time of very low rentals. To match these “Challenge” pledges, links to donate, will be posted during the concert!
Here’s the link: https://tiny.cc/PosseZoom The Zoom will open at 7:15 to let us all get connected and ready for music from 7:30 to 9:00 PM! The Posse has quite a bit experience playing this way, and will be at their own undisclosed location in Burlington.
All of you who have heard Oliver Scanlon, Pete Sutherland and Tristan Henderson (left to right in the picture) play know their wide range of musical chops, ranging from original instrumentals, a capella arrangements, contra dance tunes and waltzes–and the occasional tongue-in-cheek rewriting of folk tunes, like their paean “Thai Iced Tea”. We are honored that they were happy to jump at this opportunity to play for the benefit of the Capital City Grange.
The Zoom link is also posted on the Grange website calendar listing: http://capitalcitygrange.org/
Auction starts Sunday: Keeping Marj’s skirts dancing!
After you’ve listened to the dance music from Pete Sutherland and the Posse on Saturday night, check out the online auction of the contra-dance skirt collection left to us by Marj Power. Working with the Old Socialist Labor Hall in Barre–where Marj was one of the original group that worked to conserve and rehabilitate this National Historic Landmark–we are auctioning off about 40 skirts that Marj wore to dances, plus festival T-shirts, a couple of pairs of dance shoes, some bandannas and handkerchiefs (also used at dances), and even a crock-pot set she used to bring potluck dinner soups and entrees! The Labor Hall is offering T-shirts, books and sweatshirts as well.
You can visit and browse all of these items now at: https://www.32auctions.com/
The auction will run until Sept. 30th; items you’ve won will be available for pickup at the Grange Hall on Saturday, Oct. 3rd, from 3-6:00 PM. Or we can mail them to you for an additional $12.00.
We encourage you to bid early and often, in memory of Marj, and to support these 2 community organizations that she loved so much. We certainly look forward to seeing Marj’s skirts, shirts, etc. on the Grange Hall dance floor….someday lots of us will be back there!
Many thanks to Elizabeth Templeton, from the dance community and the Friends of the Capital City Grange Hall, and to Ruth Ruttenberg, President of the Labor Hall for their work organizing the auction and uploading all the photos and information!
Les Skinner obituary
Leslie Arnold Skinner Jr., 92, passed away Aug. 26, 2020, at his home in Northfield, Vermont. The oldest of seven children, Leslie was born March 18, 1928, in Melrose, Massachusetts, to Leslie A. Skinner and Hazel Vassar (Cook) Skinner. A member of the Oliver Ames High School class of 1945, he furthered his education by taking courses at Massasoit College, Fitchburg and Bridgewater State Colleges, and Boston School of Anatomy. He served an apprenticeship as funeral director and embalmer with Ellis Delano of Brockton, whose daughter became his second wife. He married Bernice M. Baker in 1954 and they had two sons. Divorced in 1978, he later married Phyllis Jean Delano.
He liked machinery, especially automobiles, and owned many antique classics over the years. In 1950, he bought Earle’s Hudson dealership in South Easton, Massachusetts, added GMC trucks and ran it as Skinner Motor Sales for three years. Next he worked in the experimental department of Pratt & Whitney in Hartford, Connecticut, and later became service manager at Jannell Ford in Weymouth, Massachusetts, for 28 years. He then taught at Southeastern Regional Vocational High School in South Easton, Massachusetts, and having gone full circle, had been with Kingston Funeral Home in Northfield after moving to Vermont in 1990.
He was active in Grange circles, a past master of Easton Grange, Brockton Grange and Capital City Grange. As a Mason, he was a past master of Satucket Lodge F&AM, past president of the Tri Town Temple Association and a past master of the Brockton Masonic Lodge of Instruction in Massachusetts. He was a Royal Arch Mason, a Tall Cedar of Lebanon, and a member of The Grand Order of the Sword of Bunker Hill. For many years, he was the secretary of DeWitt Clinton Lodge and an officer in Naomi Chapter, Order Of The Eastern Star in Northfield. He was a past president of the South Shore Antique Auto Club in Massachusetts, and a past treasurer of the Vermont Automobile Enthusiasts.
He served on the Board of Zoning in Northfield and as an auditor. He was an active member and officer of the Northfield Rotary Club and served on the board of the United Methodist Church in Northfield. Although he spent much of his life in Massachusetts, he thought of himself as a Vermonter spending much of his youth on Grandpa’s farm on Skinner Hill Road in Bakersfield. Les enjoyed camping trips in his motor home and liked to travel as long as it was on the ground or by boat. His grandchildren were a particular joy, four boys and the redhead, Sarah. Les is survived by his wife, Phyllis of Northfield; two sons, Wayne Douglas Skinner of Central Square, New York, and Steven Nelson Skinner of Northfield; a brother, Russell Skinner; and five grandchildren, Nelson, Sarah, Andrew, Kevin and Joseph. He was predeceased by his parents; four brothers, Franklin, Donald, Paul and Kenneth; a sister, Caroline; and a half-sister, Phyllis.
A graveside and burial service in Celebration of his Life will be conducted Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, at 1 p.m. in Mount Hope Cemetery in Northfield. Evelyn Doyon, lay minister of the United Methodist Church of Northfield, will lead the service. Friends may call at the Kingston Funeral Home, 35 Slate Ave., Northfield, on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, from 2 to 6 p.m. Members of DeWitt Clinton Lodge, F&AM in Northfield will conduct the Masonic Memorial Service at 5:30 p.m. during the calling hours. The adherence of COVID-19 restrictions are encouraged. In lieu of flowers, mail donations in his memory to Central VT Home Health and Hospice, 600 Granger Rd., Barre, VT 05641.
September meeting: 3rd Saturday = 9/19
As usual–the first Saturday of September comes on Labor Day Weekend–even this year, we expect that people will have other things on their minds besides Grange meetings, so we’ll move the meeting to the 3rd Saturday, from 4:30 to 6:00 PM. We’ll do another combination of in-person and Zoom meeting
By then, we’ll know how the fundraiser went (see above), and we’ll have a better idea how the Grange will survive the winter financially. We also expect to have much more information on ventilation options for the Grange Hall: we’ve realized that to reduce the chances of COVID infection once the windows need to be closed–and to provide good ventilation downstairs–we need to provide mechanical ventilation bringing in fresh air. To keep from draining the heated air from the Grange Hall, we’ll need some kind of heat-recovery ventilation system. We recently had a good consultation with an architect who designs–among other things–school buildings, Cam Featherstonhaugh. Cam gave us good general information about options; we are pursuing estimates from a couple of design-build ventilation contractors. Merry has also contacted State Rep. Anne Donahue about state aid for facilities like ours to deal with COVID requirements, and we have hopes that a grant program may become available to help us with the costs.
We will also be honoring the memories of both Les Skinner and Marj Power by performing the Grange ceremony of “Draping the Charter”. This will provide us a formal opportunity for reminiscing about their lives and their (substantial) contributions to our Grange. We hope that people will join us–live or by Zoom–for this as well as the rest of the Grange meeting. The Zoom link will be posted on the Grange meeting listing on the website Calendar: www.capitalcitygrange.org/