A blog about movies and the Sturbridge area, including The Brookfields, Brimfield, Charlton, Holland, Wales, and Spencer as well as adjacent towns.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sturbridge Times Magazine is out, Shameless Self-Promotion-December edition

December is here and I am starting to get worried.  This does not go down well with my fellow citizens in the region, but I am hoping, if not praying for a harsh winter.  Yup, the lovely weather and temp outside is great only if you liked the plethora of mosquitoes last summer.  There was other obnoxious wildlife in profusion as well.  The squirrels were so plentiful and bold that one actually came up to the window, knocked and asked if the kitchen was open and could he see a take-out menu.  Okay, I'm exaggerating, but a season of cold would knock back some of the vermin and make working in the garden at least less unpleasant.  I know, I whined about this last month.  Let's hope the climate improves (or do I mean deteriorates?).

Sturbridge Times Magazine is out and it is time to self-promote. On Page 8 is my review of the African novelist Chinua Achebe's account of the heartrending tragedy of the Biafran war.  Never heard of it?  Something for the history challenged.

On a happier note, When people think of Gilbertville, well people don't think of Gilbertville all that often.  Rose32 is a bakery that may not make the little burg the gastronomical capital of New England, but it is a jewel.  Read about it on Page 16.

I didn't think so then, but George McGovern was right.  See Page 24.

My work is published with my pen name, Richard Morchoe.  So I hope you will look for that moniker in the articles.  Also, please check out my writing blog here.

I'm not the only one who writes for the Sturbridge Times Magazine.  There are many other articles for your reading pleasure.  So look for it on a newstand.  If you don't find one, you can download a pdf at the Sturbridge Times Magazine website.  It should be up in a day or two

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's back this Sunday, White Christmas in West Brookfield

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2012, 11:30 A.M. – 8:00 P.M.

WEST BROOKFIELD, MA…Come to the Celebration on Sunday, December 2, 2012 to help us commemorate our 20th annual White Christmas.  The day will include both the traditional activities and some new and exciting events.

The day’s festivities will begin with a free puppet show featuring the Pumpernickel Puppets starting at 11:30 a.m. in the Great Hall, the upper level of our Town Hall.  The presentation will include “The Billy Goats Gruff” and “The Lion and the Mouse”.  The show is appropriate for ages 3 and older.

Beginning at Noon shops, churches, banks, the Elementary School, Library, Senior Center, Fire Department and the Quaboag Historical Museum will host Open Houses designated by white flags.  Free raffles and refreshments will be available.  Craft shows can be found at Ye Olde Tavern and Quaboag Rehabilitation & Skilled Care Center featuring many local artisans.

Kids don’t miss out on our “Elf Hunt”.  Search for elves and get your card stamped at 9 of the Open Houses to spell CHRISTMAS and win a prize.  Elf cards can be picked up at the Puppet  Show or at participating Open Houses.

Another new activity will be the “Sugar & Spice” Gingerbread House contest.  Entry forms are available at the Senior Center, Merriam-Gilbert Library, Purple Onion or Post & Boot.  Judging will be in three categories, children 12 and under, adults, and groups.  There will also be a “People’s Choice Award”.  Viewing and voting will be held at the Senior Center from Noon to 3 p.m. Your vote counts!  While you are there you can also have refreshments and hear The Silvertones at 1:00.

In addition the West Brookfield Elementary School will have Elves”R”Us gift sale from Noon to 3:00 p.m. and Boy Scout Troop 118 will be having a bake sale.  The Merriam-Gilbert Library will have their Friend’s Raffle Table and will display a “Mitten Tree” accepting donations of new hats, mittens, scarfs and gloves to benefit a charity.

Food will be available at the Fire Department, try out their homemade chili and chowder from Noon to 5:00 p.m. and check out the fire engines.  Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church will offer a hot repast from 12:30 to 3:00.  The First congregational Church will serve a luncheon beginning at Noon and stay open until 6:00 p.m. should you need to warm up before the Tree Lighting.  The George Whitefield Methodist Church will serve donuts and cider from 1:00 to 4:00 and have a craft corner to browse through.

The traditional free horse drawn wagon rides will run from 2:00 to 5:00 while the Scouts serve up hot chocolate.  You may even run into Frosty and/or Father Christmas as they mingle with the sidewalk crowd.

The final events of the day will include the much anticipated Tree lighting on the Common at 5:45 p.m. accompanied by a sing-a-long led by Rob Adams.  The music will continue with a concert  in the Great Hall to begin at 6:15 presented by the Quaboag Choral Society under the direction of Eric von Bleiken .  Donations of non-perishable food items will be accepted to benefit the local food pantry.

The booklet of program events, including the location of open houses, will be available at local businesses.  Support for this community event comes from area merchants advertising in the booklet, as well as individual donations made to the “Adopt-a-Light” campaign.  The 20th Annual White Christmaas festival is an event that the community is especially proud of and will surely warm your hearts.  For additional information, please call Charlotte Boos, Chairperson, at 508-867-7703 or 508-867-5934.

CALENDAR  - Sunday, December 2, 2012, 11:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. – White Christmas, West Brookfield, MA

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sturbridge Times Magazine is out, Shameless Self-Promotion-November edition

It is November and there is a feeling of winter in the air.  I know this is terrible to say, but I am hoping for cold and snow.  Be assured, I am not a lover of either.  Unfortunately, the warm weather last year meant the infestation of mosquitoes was an order of magnitude worse than in prior years.  So bring on the freeze.

The Sturbridge Times Magazine is out and I have a couple of offerings.  On Page 5 is my review of a book written in 1952.  Kurt Vonnegut's Player Piano was prophetic about a future that is coming closer each day.

My column is about a reform that is desperately needed.  We must move the national capital to .....Wyoming.

My work is published with my pen name, Richard Morchoe.  So I hope you will look for that moniker in the articles.

I'm not the only one who writes for the Sturbridge Times Magazine.  There are many other articles for your reading pleasure.  So look for it on a newstand.  If you don't find one, you can download a pdf at http://sturbridgetimes.com.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Celtic New Year – An Evening of Celtic Chamber Music

Halloween is the folk new year of the Celt, or so they say.  No expert, I'll defer to others.  Of course, you don't have to have the history perfect to enjoy good music.  A couple of virtuosi, Samantha Gillogly & Tim Maurice will be of help.  Here is the notice for an event they will play at.

Celtic New Year – An Evening of Celtic Chamber Music

Friday, November 2nd, 2012 from 7-8pm

Celebrate autumn and the Celtic New Year with an evening of Celtic Chamber Music.  New England-based violin/piano duo Samantha Gillogly & Tim Maurice perform a crossover genre combining the haunting, dynamic melodies of the Celtic tradition with the grace and lyricism of Classical-style chamber music.  At once contemplative, uplifting, and energetic, this concert is a conversation between violin and piano through the rich landscape of the Celtic spirit.  (CD signing and refreshments to follow performance.)
Tickets are $5 for this acoustic performance.

Location: The Arts Center - 111 Main St., Southbridge, MA

Monday, October 8, 2012

Socks for Siberia is hosting “An Evening with Natasha Borzilova”

I am passing this on from Michelle and Wally  If you don't know what Socks for Siberia is, you may want to check out the website linked below:

Hello Family, Friends & Supporters!

HELP us sell out our next event! ONLY 16 tickets left! We’re hoping to have Natasha play to a full room!

Because we have to finalize attendance numbers in the next few days – there will be no tickets available at the door.

We are very excited to report that we received an offer from longtime “Socks For Siberia” supporter and singer/songwriter Natasha Borzilova and Hadley Music Group in Nashville, Tennessee to perform a private concert to raise some money for our Mission, as she will be in this area in October for two other scheduled performances.  Natasha is the former lead vocalist for the band “Bering Strait” who came to the United States from Russia in 1996. The band achieved prominence in 2003 after releasing their first album “Bering Strait” being nominated for a Grammy Award and featured in a segment on the news program “60 Minutes.”  In 2005 they released their second album “Pages.” Unfortunately, the band dissolved in 2006. Natasha then decided to pursue a solo career and has sustained national recognition for the release of three albums, “Cheap Escape,” “Balancing Act,” and most recently “Out of My Hands.”

“With her newest CD, Out Of My Hands, Natasha Borzilova solidifies her place among the brightest and most talented singer/songwriters of her generation. The eleven songs that comprise this work explore relationships and life stories in a deeply personal yet peaceful perspective and it comes off exceedingly well. Natasha has always had one of the finest voices and musically fresh approaches of anyone in this genre. Out of My Hands shows that she is as capable as anyone of crafting lyrics to match her other exceptional talents. This CD is certain to become a classic. -Craig Huegel/The Monday Morning Show, WMNF,Tampa, Florida”

So, to compliment both Natasha and those of you who want to enjoy a very special evening of music, storytelling, and fellowship with Natasha, (and help raise some money for the children we support!) we have put together an event and venue for all attending to be able to truly enjoy her talents and performance.

On Saturday, October 13, 2012, at the Leicester Country Club, 1430 Main Street, Leicester, Mass. 01524, come and join us for “An Evening with Natasha Borzilova” 

Cocktails at 5:30pm (cash bar) with an International and Domestic cheese display with Swedish Meatballs; followed by an Elegant Dinner Buffet at 6:15pm including mixed greens with house dressing, pasta salad with fresh vegetables, chicken piccata, filet of sole stuffed with baby spinach, shrimp and lemon sauce, and Chef’s selected vegetable, rice and potato. Fresh strawberry shortcake for dessert served with tea and coffee

Natasha will then play two 45 minute sets starting at 7:15pm, with a break in between to meet with the audience and will have her cd’s available for purchase and autographs.

Individual tickets are $50.00 each and a table of eight persons can be purchased for $375.00. This price includes dinner, concert, and donation. To order tickets - email  socksforsiberia@charter.net
; or call 508-637-1248. Advance payment will be required and can be made by mailing a personal check or money order made payable to Socks For Siberia, 122 Long Hill Road, Brookfield, MA 01506 or you may pay by PayPal or credit card through our website at www.socksforsiberia.org  and note the event date 10/13/2012 and tickets will then be mailed to you, or they can be picked up at the door on the night of the event.

Please visit Natasha’s website www.natashaborzilova.com  and Amazon.com for more information about her and listen to some music samples.

Please feel free to call or email us for more information.

Hope to see you there!

Michele & Wally Connor
Socks For Siberia

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sturbridge Times Magazine is out, Shameless Self-Promotion-October edition

It is well and truly Fall as we begin October.  Last year, the tenth month was a diaster.  Here's hoping for lovely foliage and no freak storms.

Before I promote my own screed, I want to note it is time to vote about something important.  The ballot for THE THIRD ANNUAL STURBRIDGE TIMES READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS THE BEST OF GREATER STURBRIDGE DECIDED BY THE READERS OF THE STURBRIDGE TIMES MAGAZINE is on Page 8.  So fill out the ballot and have your voice heard.  You have to december 31st so there is enough time to be thoughtful.

The Sturbridge Times Magazine is out and I have some offerings to tout in as shameless a manner as I am capable.

On Page 5, Is a discussion of the golden years, that may not be so golden considering the economy.  To that end, in 2011 congress ordained National Save For Retirement Week.  Jeff Burdick took some time to look at the problem with me.  See what the retirement landscape looks like.

There is a new restaurant in Sturbridge.  find out the truth about Veritas on Page 16.

My column on Page 24 was like shooting fish in a barrel.  The two political conventions were circuses.

My work is published with my pen name, Richard Morchoe.  So I hope you will look for that moniker in the articles.

I'm not the only one who writes for the Sturbridge Times Magazine.  There are many other articles for your reading pleasure.  So look for it on a newstand.  If you don't find one, you can download a pdf at http://sturbridgetimes.com

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sturbridge Times Magazine is out, Shameless Self-Promotion-September edition

September is here and with it the feel of fall.  The Sturbridge Times has been out for more than a week and I am just getting around to posting.  Kinda lazy for someone wanting  to be Mr. Bigtime Self-Promoter.  such is life.  Talk about under-achieving, I've only two offerings for the ninth month.

Gotta boat on one of our lakes?  Want to do right by it?  Craig Laliberte's Mobile Marine Service will make sure your boat is ready for next spring.  Read about him on Page 13.

Ever hear of the Carrington Event.  Another thing in life to be paranoid about.  It's in my column on Page 24.

My work is published with my pen name, Richard Morchoe.  So I hope you will look for that moniker in the articles.

I'm not the only one who writes for the Sturbridge Times Magazine.  There are many other articles for your reading pleasure.  So look for it on a newstand.  If you don't find one, you can download a pdf at http://sturbridgetimes.com.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sturbridge Times Magazine is out, Shameless Self-Promotion-August edition

It is August and the drought appears to be over.  The garden is yielding nicely.  What else could one ask for, but the Sturbridge Times Magazine?  It is out and my humble prose is in it. 

Future Babble is a book about the sad truth.  Dan Gardner tells it.  You don't know diddly about where you are going to spend the rest of your life, the future.  Scary, yes, yet we humans seek people to tell us what is going to happen.  They are almost always wrong.  Still, we keep going to that poisoned well.   Read my review on Page 9

Howard's Drive-In in West Brookfield is a timeless institution serving food in the warmer months.  On Page 17 I enthuse about one of my favorite places.  Unfortunately, a mistake was made in going to press and the article title has the name as Harold's Drive-In.  Ignore that, it's Howard's

So, how's the war going in Afghanistan and who is winning?  Funny you should ask.  Not who you think.  My column explores the question on Page 20.

This is the second Month that articles are published with my pen name, Richard Morchoe.  So I hope you will look for that moniker in the articles.

I'm not the only one who writes for the Sturbridge Times Magazine.  There are many other articles for your reading pleasure.  So look for it on a newstand.  If you don't find one, you can download a pdf at http://sturbridgetimes.com.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Warren Filmmakers Have a Fundraiser

Hollywood in Sturbridge reported on the team making Lonesome Thoughts out of Warren, Massachusetts (link). They have a good story and are already in production. Still, there is always a need for funds in Indie Film, and Lonesome Thoughts has an Indiegogo campaign going. We are passing on the information from the website.

Lonesome Thoughts

We are Polearm Productions LLC. Collectively, we have background in film production and editing, audio editing, script writing, casting, graphic arts, business management, and location scouting.
Lonesome Thoughts is a short film composed by Dave Gabanelli. Its an enhanced perspective of a poem he composed and published.
When life ends, there is nothing else but the lonesome thoughts of what could have been...

We follow Carrie through her extraordinary life. We share her most intimate moments and unrequited experiences, intertwined with the misfortunes of others. We also get to follow her journey of life through her family and friends. Ultimately, we realize the truth of her situation.
The four main characters are:

Carrie (Charlotte Lewis), Chuck (Eric Michaelian), Kevin (Curtis Reid), Sarah (Savanah Lee).

Your contribution will help greatly in supporting our costs for feeding our cast, locations, and props!

After we reach our goal of $1500, additional proceeds will go towards submitting the short to film festivals, distribution costs, and screenings.

We are a newly-formed production company. Individually, we've all worked on projects with other production companies. We are doing this project to gain experience and recognition to better support a longer-term full-length feature film entitled "Out 2 Lunch".

To visit the Indiegogo link, click here.

Polearm Productions on facebook , click here.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sturbridge Times Magazine is out, Shameless Self-Promotion-July edition

It is July 7th and the Sturbridge Times Magazine has been out for a week and I'm late, again.  Even so, with the Dog Days of Summer upon us, I hope you will read this issue in air conditioned comfort.

On Page 2, The editor was kind enough to run the Village Hot Dog article that got a little chopped in June.

Do Turkeys make the best chickens?  It's a trick question.  Arguably, Turkey Brook Farm raises the finest chickens.  Find out about this Brimfield Farm on Page 11.

The Tornado of 2011 is still with us.  The aftermath anyway.  George Van fleet and Quinebaug Cove Campground had a year of hell and are back open.  The story is on Page 21.

Our little region has it all, but sometimes you just gotta get away.  Page 26 is about a trip to the Cape.  The other Cape, that is.  Ann may not be a big, but she has her own beauty.

My column is about change.  No, I won't be running for office on a platform of promised societal alteration.  Rather, I am assuming a pen name.  Ask yourself, has anyone ever said the problem with Massachusetts is that there are not enough people named Murphy?

Richard Morchoe, the artist formerly known as Richard Murphy

I'm not the only one who writes for the Sturbridge Times Magazine.  There are many other articles for your reading pleasure.  So look for it on a newstand.  If you don't find one, you can download a pdf at http://sturbridgetimes.com.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Polearm Productions, LLC-Making movies out in Warren!

Hollywood in Sturbridge began with the purpose of supporting movie production in Surbridge, The Brookfields, Charlton, Holland and Wales as well as adjoining towns.  There have been some bright spots, but it has hardly been one long string of triumphs.  It is with some excitement we note, there is a production company in Warren.  Who'd a thunk it?

Warren, Massachusetts is about as rural as you can get east of the Connecticut River. In truth, we were completely surprised that an outfit making films could arise in such an out of the way area. Make that happily surprised.

That there is a film outfit in the hinterlands is less surprising than how it came to be. Colleen Connelly Gauthier and Dave Gabanelli are the co-impresarios of Polearm Productions, LLC. They have been living in Warren for about 12 years. Had they no daughter, they might have been just enjoying life along the Quaboag River. They do have a daughter, Savannah, and she got the acting bug at a local school production. Savannah has been in quite a few movies, most recently in the currently filming Backmask.

If you’ve ever had kids, and they took up a sport or dance or orchestra, you know what it is to travel. Colleen and Dave, being the good parents they are, took Savannah to auditions and shootings. Moi, I was never tempted to be a manager or conductor or choreographer. Colleen and Dave must have absorbed a lot because they took it to another level.

Adding friend, Mike to the team, Polearm Productions, LLC has resulted. Not only that, but a movie is on the way as well. It appears there is an aspect of destiny here. When Dave was 16 years old, he wrote a poem. He had heard of the theory that the brain lives on for six minutes after death. The poem was a short meditation on one’s thoughts in that brief period concerning how life had turned out. The poem was published in a magazine to a fair amount of acclaim.

Dave has grown up, but the poem was not forgotten. It has inspired him to turn it into a script for a short film. That screenplay will be made into the movie, Lonesome Thoughts. There is a lot one could do with the concept and it will be interesting to see what Colleen, Dave and Mike and Polearm Productions do with it.

Meanwhile, support film where they could use it, out there in the provinces. You can like the facebook page by clicking here.

Watch this space for more developments.

Friday, June 8, 2012

the Village Hotdog

The Village Hotdog

continued from above

steamed because, per Greg, “being from the Midwest, there is no other style.”

With all that is for sale at the Village Dog, one might think they have a lot on their plate.  Still, they are looking for ideas for other offerings to carry, items that would please the customer.

Which is what Greg wants to do.  He wishes the Dog to be close to the clientele it serves, and takes pride in knowing as many patrons as he can by name.  There is a customer loyalty card that gives a free dog after the 12th purchase.  When asked about a goal, he said the operation should be known for “cleanliness, quality and consistency.”

Those who can remember childhood, also recall that no matter their taste now, they probably loved hot dogs.  The younger customers receive special treatment from Greg and crew.  If they wear their team jerseys on Saturday, they get a free bag of chips.  There are also free stickers and tattoos with the logo. Don’t worry mom and dad, you won’t need laser treatment. Soap and water will do.

The Village Dog may not provide children a role model, but it does give them someone to look up to.  Frank, the mascot is tall in the hot dog suit.   Kids love him.  It helps that he has a lot of personality.  Frank showed up at opening day for the team the Village Hot Dog sponsored in the Girls’ softball league and he was a big hit.

The shop is located next to Yankee Spirits and is managed by Southbridge resident, Amanda Hausammann.  On a pleasant day, you can sit outside on the deck as you eat.  The Village Hotdog is open every day at 11:30 a.m. closing at 3:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. On the web, villagehotdog.com will take you to the facebook page.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

THIS SATURDAY! The “SIXTH” Annual Socks For Siberia Spring Family Festival

Save the Date!
Saturday June 9, 2012 from 10am to 6 pm

Click for Registration by Mail
Click for Online Registration 

Online Registration is now closed, but you can still register for our 5K Trail Race and One Mile Fun Run/Walk on June 9th at 9am!
NEW THIS YEAR – Attendance Prize of the CENTURY!!!!!!!
Just register your email or postal address to receive future news updates and upcoming events at our Information Booth at the Festival in person on June 9, 2012  between 11 am and 5 pm and be entered in a FREE DRAWINGto win a pair of tickets to see Roger Waters production of “THE WALL” at Fenway Park, Boston, MA on Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 7:30pm! Prize includes round trip transportation to and from the event. Drawing  held at the Festival at 5:15pm, Sat, June 9, 2012
Winner need not be present to win. Socks For Siberia never sells, shares, or donates any personal information you provide to us. Must be 18 years of age or older to win this drawing
We Need Your Help!!!
Please consider selling Festival raffle tickets; volunteering time helping with the Festival; or donating goods or services for our Raffles or the Silent Auction!
Please forward this page, post on your Facebook and spread the word to family, friends, and associates!
Thank You for your support!!!

The “Sixth” Annual Socks for Siberia Family Festival

SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2012    10:00AM – 6:00PM
You can find and friend Socks for Siberia on facebook here.

Official website is here