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June 1, 2020
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Person of the Week

Publications

Valley Courier

A self-described introvert, Georgia Male has made many friends, human and otherwise, in her role as farm manager and camp counselor at the Bushy Hill Nature Center. Photo courtesy of Georgia Male

Georgia Male: Where Animal House is a Compliment

Published May 27, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Everybody knows Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and Vixen, to say nothing of Comet, Cupid, Donder, and Blitzen. But do you know? No, not Rudolph but Thelma, Jack, Ace, Abe, Boris, Lucy, Helen, and Greyson?

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Valley Courier

Staying healthy and fit at home can be as complicated as an online spin class or as simple as soup cans, according to Stacy Meisner of Essex. Photo courtesy of Stacy Meisner

Stacy Meisner: Keeping Fit in a Crisis

Published May 20, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Couch potato used to mean an out-of-shape viewer sitting on a sofa with a beer and a bag of chips watching sports on television.

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Valley Courier

Working out of a converted attic workshop that also doubles as a dance studio, Ron Mangano has been busily sewing protective masks during the coronavirus pandemic.

Photo courtesy of Ron Mangano

Ron Mangano: So Good to Sew

Published May 13, 2020 08:30 a.m.

With limited entertainment options in these days of shelter-in-place, many people are spending evenings watching reruns of everything from old baseball games to long-departed cable series.

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Valley Courier

Caring for pets hasn’t been put on hold during the coronavirus pandemic, so Essex resident Dr. Buck Drummond has been working six days a week at the Animal Hospital of Old Saybrook. To help cat owners live more peacefully through the stay at home era, he is offering a video presentation, Cats! through the Essex Library on Thursday, May 14.

Photo courtesy of Buck Drummond

Buck Drummond: Being Catty

Published May 06, 2020 08:30 a.m.

They gaze at you adoringly; they snuggle up readily; they never refuse to clean their rooms.

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Valley Courier

Seeing an opportunity to spread cheer in her beloved Ivoryton, Julie Hines started what became a community expression of support on the green. Photo by Jonathan Steele Photography

Julie Hines: Lights On

Published April 29, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Sometimes things take on a life of their own, like the lights now shining on the Ivoryton Town Green.

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Valley Courier

The work-from-home revolution (and just generally function-from-home revolution) is familiar territory for Jon Claude Haines, a Chester tech specialist who’s sharing his expertise to help local organizations stay connected. Photo courtesy of Jon Claude Haines

Jon Claude Haines: Zooming In

Published April 22, 2020 08:30 a.m.

A rocket zooms into the sky; a Nascar driver zooms around the Daytona 500 track; and now everybody else can Zoom to meet with colleagues.

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Valley Courier

Nautical Needles owner Sue Lennox is putting her skills to work sewing protective cloth masks that she’s donating to healthcare workers. Photo courtesy of Sue Lennox

Sue Lennox: When Masks Are Not for Halloween

Published April 15, 2020 08:30 a.m.

It’s unusual to start a newspaper piece with the classic fairy tale opening, Once Upon a Time. But now Once Upon A Time is not a Hans Christian Andersen phrase; it is last month.

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Valley Courier

Though COVID-19 has curtailed many of the person-to-person connections that are a part of Rachel Thomas’s day-to-day work as a region missionary with the Episcopal Church, she’s living in the moment and encouraging her flock to do the same.

Photo courtesy of Rachel Thomas

Rachel Thomas: A Minister Reflects

Published April 08, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Rachel Thomas is working at home, attending computer meetings on group sites, connecting with people by telephone.

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Valley Courier

Historical fiction author Loretta Goldberg found many of the same social concerns in Elizabethan England as she sees in modern life when researching for her novel The Reversible Mask. Photo courtesy of Loretta Goldberg

Loretta Goldberg: Playing the Espionage Game

Published April 01, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Loretta Goldberg sees connections between what appear to be very dissimilar careers. She started out as a serious...

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Valley Courier

As health director for the Town of Essex, Lisa Fasulo has been helping keep the community safe and healthy during the COVID-19 crisis. Photo by David Fasulo

Lisa Fasulo: Busy Times

Published March 25, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Lisa Fasulo, the director of the Essex Health Department and a registered sanitarian, was following her own advice. She was maintaining social distancing with a reporter—in fact, extreme social distancing.

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Valley Courier

When growing up, Anne Bishop frequently heard the statement “Make yourself useful” from her father. It’s a message she’s taken to heart. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Anne Bishop: Useful is the Word

Published March 18, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Most adults have only dim recognition of childhood babysitters, but not Anne Bishop. That’s because one of her sitters is now enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame: Carl Yastrzemski.

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Valley Courier

After a decade of service on the Essex Parks & Recreastion Commission, including five years as chair, Bob Russo will be sent off in style as grand marshal of the Essex Go Bragh parade on Saturday, March 21. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Bob Russo: On St. Patrick’s Day, Everyone is Irish

Published March 11, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Some people are Irish all year; others, like Bob Russo, are Irish only on St. Patrick’s Day.

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Valley Courier

The Reverend Timothy Haut is celebrating 40 years as pastor of the Deep River Congregational Church, and in return, the church is inviting the wider community in to celebrate him on Saturday, March 14. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Tim Haut: Going Strong

Published March 04, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Here are some highlights from 1980: The Winter Olympics were in Lake Placid New York; Ronald Reagan Defeated Jimmy Carter in the presidential election; the Pittsburgh Steelers won their fourth Super Bowl; and Tim Haut became the minister of the Deep River Congregational Church.

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Valley Courier

While her career as a guidance counselor keeps Abby DeTour in a high school all day, she’s still game to help out at her daughters’ alma mater, Valley Regional High School, for the spring musical. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Abby DeTour: No Detours in Her Schedule

Published Feb. 26, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Abby DeTour graduated from high school some three decades ago, but she has not left, either professionally or personally.

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Valley Courier

When it comes time to throw a party for the Essex Elementary School community, Carrie Comerford will be at the forefront, dressed in pajamas with her fellow organizers for Essex Elementary School Family Night on Friday, Feb. 28. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Carrie Comerford: Bingo, It’s Her!

Published Feb. 19, 2020 08:30 a.m.

A bit rusty on your masked crusaders? Feminine superheroes not your specialty? Then meet Elastigirl, or alternatively Carrie Comerford of Ivoryton.

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Valley Courier

In her hometown of Ivoryton, Pat Muggleston is helping to ensure the 150-year history if the Ivoryton Library continues for another 150 years. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Pat Muggleston: Look for Her at the Library

Published Feb. 12, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Pat Muggleston has heard a lot about Harry Potter. That is because her last name incorporates what wizards like Harry called people who did not possess magical powers: Muggles.

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Valley Courier

Chester’s David Rau will deliver a talk on the Florence Griswold Museum at the Essex library on Tuesday, Feb. 11. Photo by Jenny Parsons

David Rau: Stay Healthy—Visit a Museum

Published Feb. 05, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Now here’s a prescription that you can’t fill at the drug store. For reducing stress, encouraging mindfulness and maintaining good health, visit a museum.

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Valley Courier

With a clutter-free life the natural result of growing up in a military family, Eva Counter draws on her skills and inclination as professional organizer. 

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Eva Counter: Getting Organized

Published Jan. 29, 2020 08:30 a.m.

What do getting better organized and losing weight have in common?

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Valley Courier

When you’ve reached the peak of fame as a rock and roll star, what’s left? For Blue Öyster Cult co-founder Joe Bouchard, a return to his high school band instrument in a group of beginners and returning musicians is keeping his chops fresh. Photo by Elizabeth Reinhart/The Courier

Joe Bouchard: Worldly Musician Makes Local Impact

Published Jan. 22, 2020 08:30 a.m.

By happenstance, Joe Bouchard has turned his musical focus back to the trumpet.“I went to this...

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Valley Courier

Though it took two full years, Margo Valentine oversaw the story of her life move from her handwritten manuscript to finished product. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Margo Valentine: Looking Back

Published Jan. 15, 2020 08:30 a.m.

If Margo Valentine had not fallen down the stairs while going to a tailor’s shop in 2016, she would not have written a book. But Margo, then 85, did fall down. And she did write a book.

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Valley Courier

From an early age, Hilarie Clark Moore showed an aptitude for music that has become a career and a calling. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Hilarie Clark Moore: Making Music

Published Jan. 08, 2020 08:30 a.m.

A tag sale when she was five years old made all the difference to Hilarie Clark Moore’s life.

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Valley Courier

After more than five decades of service with the Chester Hose Company and the Ambulance Association, Bill Beni has retired. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Bill Beni: Where There’s Smoke…

Published Dec. 25, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Bill Beni had a request of a reporter: Do the interview at the Chester Firehouse. It was the right place.

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Valley Courier

Serial restaurateur and jack-of-all-trades Christopher Owens is the man behind the Chester Historical Society’s Light Up the Night fundraiser. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Christopher Owens: The Star of the Show

Published Dec. 18, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Seeing stars? It’s not because of dizziness or feeling faint. Not at all.

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Valley Courier

Remember this face: If past performance is any indicator of future success, theater-goers are going to be seeing a lot of Tess Santasiero. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Tess Santasiero: Live Onstage

Published Dec. 11, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Tess Santasiero thinks she grew two inches when she was measured at her last doctor’s appointment. That makes her, at the age of 11, four feet two inches tall. But she is already packing an impressive theater résumé into that small frame.

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Valley Courier

Teacher, sailor, and runner Kathryn Ryan will be there with bells on (literally) for the annual Jingle Bell Run to benefit Region 4 Education Foundation on Saturday, Dec. 14. 

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Kathryn Ryan: The Bells are Ringing

Published Dec. 04, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Rudolph wears jingling bells when he draws Santa’s sleigh. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and Vixen do, too, as well as the rest of Santa’s team.

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Valley Courier

For retired industrial logistics specialist Kerry Desmond, an opportunity to help coordinate the 450,000 Christmas lights that are part of Ivoryton Illuminations is right up his alley. This year’s celebration begins on Saturday, Dec. 7. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Kerry Desmond: Cue the Lights

Published Nov. 27, 2019 08:30 a.m.

How do you have 450,000 Christmas lights without an energy bill that breaks even Santa’s budget?

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Valley Courier

Drawing from a lifetime of adventurous cooking, Ron Lavoie used time recovering from an injury to craft a cookbook with 100 recipes and the wisdom of an accomplished home chef. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Ron Lavoie: A Recipe for Dinner and for Life

Published Nov. 20, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Ron Lavoie has written a cookbook, Everyday Gourmet: A Lifetime of Cooking. But there is more than dinner in the story of how this volume came to be.

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Valley Courier

Sarah Whitney keeps the legacy of her father, Paul Marden, alive in Essex through her efforts with the Readers Aloud program at Essex Elementary—plus quite a bit more.

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Sarah Whitney: Father Knows Best

Published Nov. 13, 2019 08:30 a.m.

There have been a number of families where family members have been Person of the Week at different times.

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Valley Courier

A former U.S. Navy aviator, Keith LaFlair will be a part of the Chester American Legion Post 97 Veterans Day parade and ceremonies on Monday, Nov. 11.

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Keith LaFlair: Marking a Special Day

Published Nov. 06, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Keith LaFlair spent more than 40 years flying in airplanes but not as a passenger. Keith was a pilot and there’s more to the story than that.

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Valley Courier

Stacie DiNello is joined on the Riverwind Inn porch by Fred and Ethel, this year’s Deep river Merchants Association Scarecrow Contest third-place winners. (The Deep River historical Society’s Corn Goddess scarecrow took top honors, with the Friends of the Deep River Library’s entry taking second.) The contest is just one of the projects Stacie helps oversee as president of the merchant’s association. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Stacie DiNello: In at the Inn

Published Oct. 30, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Okay, want to date yourself? Then identify Fred and Ethel Mertz. If you are a certain age, that’s no problem. Fred and Ethel were Lucy and Desi’s faithful neighbors and sidekicks on the old I Love Lucy Show.

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