Grange Notes by Tim Swartz, Grange President (with everyone’s help), March 23, 2020
I’m re-using this photo…. ….because it shows the doors closed…and also shows the love that we have for the Grange and the connections we have made there. We will need to support each other through the current Covid-19 crisis, and afterward.
Covid-19 knocks us for a loop, along with the rest of the world Our Grange Hall is regrettably quiet right now, as all events have been canceled completely, at least for the next couple of weeks. Some of our tenants, notably the Contra Dance Umbrella, have canceled for the next 2 months–contra dance has so much personal contact, for substantial groups of people, that the CDU is anticipating this crisis lasting for a period of months, not just weeks. We (the CDU) feel that the responsible thing to do is to avoid the risk of passing on the virus–even if people were willing to come.
Our next Grange meeting, on April 4th will be held by Zoom video and/or phone conference call, I’ll send out Zoom invitations, and details of the phone number to call as we get closer. This approach is being encouraged by the National and State Grange organizations–another confirmation of the wide spread of this problem, in case we needed it! The video/conference call will allow us to stay in touch, continuing the connections we have made through the Grange.
How we’re getting through this I invite all of the Grange members and friends who read this to send in stories of how you are maintaining connections, when we’re all forced to avoid personal contacts. One example, which I’ve also sent out in the “CDU Dancers” email is the “Social Disdance” Facebook group. I’m sure that there are other ways which others have heard about , or come up with on their own–please share them! I will continue to send out these Notes and pass on news about the Grange and the Grange community.
In the words quoted by Corinne Stridsberg, a frequent contributor of good food and good conversation at our Grange potluck dinners, “Also highly contagious are: kindness, patience, love, enthusiasm, and a positive attitude. Don’t wait to catch it from others, be the carrier.”
I have been enjoying listening to live-streamed concerts by Pete’s Posse; many other musicians are starting to do these. One listing I found of these is in 7 Days. I’m sure there will be updated listings published soon. Consider supporting your favorite musicians via their websites, as they are losing all public gigs. True of all small businesses, of course! Hope everyone is doing what they can to support the shops/restaurants/markets that they want to still be in business after this crisis finally ends!
The most important thing we can do is to stay healthy, following the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the VT Dept. of Health. Follow those links for the most up-to-date information.
Have you ever wondered what the Coronavirus looks like? This is an image from the CDC, so I think it is reasonably accurate. So if you see one of these, practice “social distancing”!
Just a couple of weeks ago…
…which seems like a long time, now…I was promoting
the Grange cooking contest (the one formerly known as the baking
contest), which was morphed by the State Grange Home Ec programmers to
be….“What can you make with a pound of ground beef?”.
At our March 7th meeting, we were joined by this year’s panel of “celebrity judges”, which included:
- Justin Turcotte, head chef for the Montpelier Senior Center FEAST meals program
- George Gross, owner of Dog River Farm, just down the road from the Grange
- Corinne Stridsberg, assistant town clerk in Berlin, and one who brings good dishes to many of our potluck dinners
This panel took their duties seriously, spending a lot of time tasting alone, followed by a confab together, finally coming up with consensus decisions on the dishes made by our 3 contestants. They gave specific feedback on each of them, with suggestions for the cooks for even better flavors the next time. So, without further ado, the 3 winners:
#1: Phyllis Skinner, whose tasty chili con carne earned her the opportunity to go on to produce it again at the “Pomona” Grange level, and likely the State competition in June (assuming that is able to be held, in this strange new world).
#2: Stan Carlson, with Asian-ish beef meatballs.
#3: Jill Tucker, with a beef stew. Community potluck dinner enjoyed the leftovers! Our usual dinner gave us the opportunity to second-guess the judges, and pick our own favorites from the entrants. As described above, this will be the last Potluck for some time, as we avoid large gatherings at the Hall for any purpose.
One piece of grate news:
New grate graces the Old Entrance porch In a break of decent weather recently, Kurt Giavara and I were able to install a 3′ x 6′ grate in front of the doors, to remove some of the grit, snow and “mess” from the shoes and boots of visitors. This will help protect our dance floor, and also reduce the dirt which ends up in our newly-carpeted stairs and lower level! I’ll put in a couple of pictures of the process of putting the grate in, below this article. We hope to find another day of dry, not too cold weather soon to install another grate in the accessible entrance porch as well!
Still a few things to paint–want to paint with “social distance”?
We still have some painting to do–trim around the windows, the walls of the bathroom and kitchen, the trim around the kitchen doors and openings–and I’d be happy to have a volunteer who will join me to do this. We will keep our distance from each other; I have had no risky exposures that I know of. Please send me an email at: email@example.com and we’ll set up a time to meet.
All of these volunteer hours count toward our “match” with the grant funding from the VT Arts Council, as do the monetary donations received by the Friends of the Capital City Grange Hall–thanks to everyone who is making this possible!