Roundup: Wakeman Town Farm, Rivals …

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Slowly, the Westport Library is moving back toward pre-pandemic operations.

Effective April 5, users will enjoy:

  • Expanded operating hours.  The building will be open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will continue to close on Sundays.
  • Limited seating at socially distanced tables in the Trefz Forum and on the Mezzanine.
  • Masks will still be required, and 6-foot social distancing remains in place.
  • Printing will be available for people working in the Library and remotely.
  • Children’s Library occupancy will continue to be limited.  Patrons are encouraged to make an appointment.
  • The Café will be opened for limited service between 10 a.m. and 1  p.m.
  • Appointments will still be required for the Maker Space and Verso Studios, but are no longer necessary for the Library Store.
  • The Library will resume collecting fines owed prior to the pandemic.

We won’t see scenes like this for a while. But the Forum is reopening for limited seating.

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Wakeman Town Farm’s new partnership with Homefront Farmers is already bearing fruit.

The Redding-based organic group building a special teaching garden onsite at the Cross Highway farm.

On April 6 (7 p.m.), Homefront Farmers’ experts will lead a Zoom session about vegetable garden design, how to extend your growing season with succession planning, organic pest management, and the joys of growing organic food. Click here to register.

There’s more! Starting April 3, Homefront Farmers will donate all proceeds from gift card sales purchased through @payitfwrd.co directly to WTF.

Meanwhile, this Monday, there’s a (non-Homefront Farmers-sponsored) Pollinator Pathway talk.

University of Connecticut advanced master gardener Alice Ely will teach Zoom participants how to plant for a continuous season of bloom, with abundant blossoms for pollinators (and people!) to enjoy. Click here to register.

Wakeman Town Farm’s garden. Yours can look like this too!

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After 9 light-hearted young readers’ books — the “Charlie Joe Jackson” and “Crimebiters” series — Tommy Greenwald turned serious.

“Game Changer” was a no-holds-barred look at youth football culture. There was not a laugh to be had. But it sure made people think.

Critics loved it. And the American Literacy Association named it one of 2019’s Top 10 books for reluctant readers.

Next up for the Westport writer (who, like his wife and 3 sons, is a Staples High School graduate): “Rivals.” A companion book to “Game Changer,” this one focuses on basketball.

The book explores the journeys of two 8th graders, Carter and Austin, as they navigate the pressures and pleasures of starring on their middle school teams, while an intrepid school sports reporter uncovers scandals that threaten to derail their season.

It’s told through a series of flashbacks, newspaper reports, social media posts and interviews — of course, in Tommy’s unique style. Click here to order, and for more information.

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Last summer, MoCA Westport was one of the few organizations to sponsor events.

Their outdoor concerts — with strict social distancing and other COVID precautions — were a huge (and welcome) success.

This year, MoCA plans a new series. The 13 performances — jazz, pop and classical — take place on Fridays, from April through October.

Three jazz concerts will again feature performers from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Spotlight series. They include the Alexa Tarantino Quartet, a highlight of MoCA Westport’s 2020 series.

Here’s the full 2021 Music at MoCA Concert Series schedule :

  • April 30: Matt Nakoa (Pop)
  • May 14: Isaiah J. Thompson: Jazz at Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Spotlight (Jazz)
  • May 28: The Alexa Tarantino Quartet: Jazz at Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Spotlight (Jazz)
  • June 11: Jocelyn and Chris (Pop)
  • June 25: Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung, piano duo (Classical)
  • July 9: Oshima Brothers (Pop)
  • July 16: Horszowski Trio and Masumi Per Rostad; viola (Classical)
  • August 6: Catalyst String Quartet (Classical)
  • August 20: Samara Joy Ensemble: Jazz at Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Spotlight (Jazz)
  • September 3: The Simon Mulligan Trio (Jazz)
  • September 10: Escher String Quartet (Classical)
  • October : Marielle Kraft (Pop)
  • October 15: The Figgs (Pop)

Tickets are now on sale to MoCA members. They’ll be available to the general public on March 22. To learn more or to purchase tickets, please visit mocawestport.org or call 203/222-7070.

Oshima Brothers

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And finally … Sally Grossman — the woman in red lounging in the background of the cover of Bob Dylan’s 1965 “Bringing It All Back Home” album — died last week in Woodstock, New York. She was 81.

Dylanologists have spent decades deciphering the artifacts in that photo. Among them — smack in the middle, and of special interest to “06880” readers — is “The Folk Blues of Eric von Schmidt.”

Von Schmidt is one of the most interesting Westporters I’ve ever known. The son of famed artist Harold von Schmidt, Eric was both a revered folk singer and a very accomplished artist.

His Evergreen Avenue studio was a magical place. He died in 2007. Tragically, cancer of the larynx had taken his voice. Click here for a fond remembrance.

Back to Dylan. On his first album in 1962, the singer introduced “Baby Let Me Follow You Down” this way:

“I first heard it from Rick von Schmidt. He lives in Cambridge. Rick’s a blues guitar player. I met him one day in the green pastures of Harvard University.”

In May 1964, Dylan visited von Schmidt at his then-home in Sarasota, Florida. Dylan recorded several songs there, including an early version of “Mr. Tambourine Man.” They were released in 2014 as part of Dylan’s “50th Anniversary Collection 1964.”

And in 1969, Dylan gave one more hat tip — literally — to Eric von Schmidt. Check out the cover of his “Nashville Skyline” album:

So what are we waiting for? Take it away, Bob!

 

 

One response to “Roundup: Wakeman Town Farm, Rivals …

  1. Tommy, good stuff and congrats! Of course, we’re all waiting for the third part of your trilogy: the book featuring soccer.

    Re Eric V S: I agree with you about his having been one of the most interesting Westporters ever and I am glad to have met him via your invitation to The Remains’ rehearsal when they first got back together in the late 1990s after all of those years. What an incredible talent.

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