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Concord Currents, What’s happening in town this week

Posted by Laura Gomez  May 22, 2013 12:23 PM

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Starting with terribly sad news this week. Storm chaser, West Concord businessman, Boston pro sports enthusiast, and all around great person, Chris Curtis, died in his hotel room in Oklahoma this week while on his traditional storm chasing expedition. Over the years on his vacation, Curtis had witnessed horrendous storm damage, often joining in recovery efforts from the campers he and his compatriots drove around in.

Apparently Curtis, 49, suffered a heart attack while blogging about the devastation he had seen as massive tornados hit Moore, Okla. Curtis was the manager of the West Concord Five and Ten, a great raconteur and knowledgeable local historian. He will be missed by anyone that walked into the iconic store and asked for advice. He was one of those guys that always seemed to know the answer to whatever your question was, and he spoke in a gentle, thoughtful way.

Tributes to Curtis have been pouring in on his Facebook page, and among various online news groups in Concord.

It’s Memorial Day weekend, and in Concord that means a parade and tribute to fallen soldiers. The Public Ceremonies and Celebrations Committee announces that observances will be held on Monday, May 27 with a Muster at Rideout Field for 9 a.m. and Ash St. at the St. Bernard’s Cemetery for 11:30 a.m. The morning ceremony assembles at Rideout Field on Laws Brook Rd. at 8:30 a.m. and proceeds to Kenneth Dunn Square for the flag raising and brief ceremony at 9. At 11:30AM, the parade re-assembles at Garrison/Ash Street for the afternoon ceremonies. The parade proceeds first to St. Bernard’s and Sleepy Hollow cemeteries. There is a short ceremony at each location. The parade will pause at the Knoll at Sleepy Hollow to acknowledge Veterans buried there. The Parade then continues to Monument Square for the reading of the Roll of Honor at approximately 1:15 p.m. All veterans are encouraged to join in the march.

May 25 is the Asparagus Festival at Verrill Farm starting at 11 a.m. Celebrate the arrival of the first crop of the season. Join Steve Verrill in the asparagus field to learn about the history, planting and picking of the crop - then harvest a few stalks of your own! Asparagus-themed buffet lunch under tents beside the farm stand! Farm Stand Chef Kevin Carey offers tips and a demo on asparagus preparation. Everyone leaves with a bunch of freshly picked Verrill Farm asparagus. $25 per person. Space is limited. Call to make reservations. Prepayment required. 978 369 4494.

The School Committee meets on Tuesday, May 28 at 6 p.m. at the Ripley Building.

The Friends of Minute Man National Historical Park are hosting a garden party on Wednesday, May 29 at 2 p.m. at the Buttrick Mansion, 174 Liberty St. Dress up in your chicest garden party attire and don your favorite fascinator for lemonade, light refreshments and a hat contest. Tickets: $25.

Friday and Saturday, May 31 and June 1, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Concord Museum is hosting a Garden Tour which has become a New England tradition for garden lovers. Each of the eight private gardens reflects the individual interests and passions of the owners and their families and will inspire new gardeners and accomplished landscapers. Call 978 369 9763 for tickets. Tour maps given out on the day of the tour. 
24th Annual

COA CINEMA Friday Afternoons at 2 p.m. in the Lecture Hall.
May 24 – FLIGHT
An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashes, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling. Starring Denzel Washington; directed by Robert Zemeckis. (Drama, 138 minutes, 2012; Rated R for language, substance abuse and nudity)

A small town choir sets out to win The National Joyful Noise competition despite overwhelming odds. A story of faith and determination by the choir leaders, Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton, and the young talent who give their all to beat the competition for the grand prize. (Comedy/Music; 118 minutes, 2012; Rated PG-13)

Playscape at Ripley Presentation and Discussion at COA Friday, May 24 at 1 p.m. The Playscape at Ripley is a nature park for all ages and abilities being built in Concord on town land in the historic East Quarter. It will be a unique, special spot that invites all to play, relax and interact with their environment. Its design will purposefully connect individuals of all abilities with nature, and encourage young and old to get outside! On May 24 representatives from the Playscape will show the acclaimed movie "Mother Nature's Child," at the COA. Afterward, Al Robichaud will lead a discussion about the benefits of outdoor activity for seniors and the role grandparents can play in connecting children to the natural world. Participants will be invited to share their input and suggestions. Please call to sign up. No fee.

Jim McManus and Holly Harrison are exhibiting at the Albright Art Gallery on Main Street through July 28 with a reception Saturday, June 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibit is called “Strata: Meaning between the lines.”

News from the MBTA: Track improvements on the Fitchburg Commuter Line, which runs through Concord, will require the suspension of weekend service from Fitchburg to South Acton through mid-November. In August, the weekend suspension will extend to Concord, Lincoln and Weston.

Work has begun on adding a “flyover” on Route 2 from Crosby’s Corner in Lincoln to Route 2 westbound in Concord. That means single-lane traffic along the heavily traveled highway, although MASS DOT is trying to limit the crunch to off-peak hours. Plan ahead for any trips that require you to traverse Route 2 to Route 128.

There is a new exhibit at Gallery 111 inside Frame-ables at 111 Thoreau Street. Local painter Bobby C. Poole exhibits this month. His panoramic oceanscapes and strong angular scenes of nature reflect his lifelong fascination with the natural world. Early on his family was associated with the Wildlife Protection Agency in North Carolina, an influence which endured through to his professional work as an architect and exhibit designer. He’s become increasingly specialized in aquarium architecture and exhibit content, having been involved with the development and design of projects for aquariums beginning with the National Aquarium in Baltimore and subsequently progressing to facilities in such far flung cities as Osaka, Singapore, Genoa, and Lisbon, as well as aquariums closer to home such as the aquarium in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Alaska Sea Life Center; and the National Marine Life Center in Bourne, Mass. In his own words, “My professional architectural and exhibit design career developing major aquariums worldwide has reinforced my love for the natural world and the lessons it offers us about who we are as an integral component of the global ecosystem. This professional focus for almost 40 years has provided me the privilege to visit and study the elements of the natural world creating an abundance of conceptual and visual references for my paintings.” His work is on view until June 1, Tuesday - Friday 9:30 - 5:30, Saturday 9:30 - 5:00. For more information, look here. Meet Poole at the May 18 Art Walk from 2 to 4 p.m.

Plan ahead! The library book sale on the lawn is June 1. It’s an absolute must, where you can find books for every family member, DVDs, CDs, even VHS movies. Plus sheet music and old musty hard covers and hundreds of paperbacks, all donated by the community and sponsored by the Friends of the library.

Concord Carlisle High School will dedicate a day of Community Service in honor of the late David Prifti, a former teacher at the High School on June 3 at the Harvey Wheeler Community Center. Several volunteers will plant the flower boxes and fix shrubs and bushes for the Summer months.

CSA Shares at Verrill Farm

Verrill Farm’s new Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program offers ‘shares’ of the farm’s fresh produce for $25 per week for 20 weeks, June 20 – Nov. 21, with an up-front payment of $500. As a welcome for joining, every new CSA member will receive a coupon for a free 8” fruit pie.

“We are introducing a Verrill Farm CSA this year and have designed it so members will benefit from the variety of our crops,” says farm owner Steve Verrill, “and, because of all that we do at the farm, we are able to add extras unique to our CSA.”

CSAs have become popular because they provide an opportunity for consumers to partner with a local farmer by committing to purchase a ‘share’ of the farm’s crops ahead of the season. Some weeks, Verrill Farm’s CSA will offer choices including baked goods and other items made in the stand kitchen. CSA members will also receive weekly recipes and tips on handling produce as well as exclusive farm tours and pick-your-own opportunities. To join, pay by phone, mail or in person using a credit card or check. Information here.

Another CSA opportunity

Have you wanted to try a community-sponsored agricultural (CSA) program? First Root Farm in Concord has CSA shares available for the 2013 season.
We farm on 2.5 acres of historic farmland in Minute Man National
Historical Park using organic and sustainable growing practices. We grow
over 30 different kinds of vegetables including pick-your-own peas,
cherry tomatoes, and flowers. We are looking forward to an exciting
season full of delicious produce and we hope that you will join us!
Regular CSA share: 21 weeks June- October $650Extended CSA share: 25
weeks June- November $750 With additional flower bouquet share and
winter share options.
Pick ups Tuesdays 3-7 pm OR Saturdays 2-5 pm on the farm955 Lexington
Road Concord, MA 01742
For more information and to sign up, please visit us or email

Dispatch from China!

Here’s a chance to donate to a program that provides eye glasses to young students in China. This effort is spearheaded by Caitlin Moss, CCHS Class of 2007 who is currently a 2011 - 2013 Teaching Fellow at Manghuai Middle School as part of Teach for China.

“This is my last semester teaching in China, and I am also participating in a
project that is happening at 12 Teach For China schools, which will bring
free eye exams and glasses for those who need them to our elementary and
middle school students,” Moss writes. “We are partnering with an organization called Education in Sight, and are fundraising so that we can provide exams and
glasses for free. Eye care is unavailable in many areas of rural China, and
what's more, most of our students can't afford glasses anyway. Unfortunately, this becomes a major challenge for them in the classroom if they can't see the board!”

Moss writes that the program has reached 60 percent of its $1,000 goal, “and a
number of wonderful folks from Concord have donated, including friends and
teachers from high school. Here is the link to the fundraising website.

“We've got a few more weeks to go until we will start eye exams at our school,” said Moss.

Interested in playing rugby? The Lincoln Sudbury HS Girls Rugby club is welcoming new members, including high school girls from Concord and Carlisle!

LSRHS Rugby founded a girls team in the spring of 2007. They are actively recruiting young, athletic, high school aged girls to
join the team. For more information:
- Check out the team website or Contact Head Coach Sarah Greeley at
. There will also be Rookie Rugby (flag rugby) this spring, offered through Sudbury Parks and Rec for any kids in grades 5-8. You have to register through Sudbury Parks and Recreation.

Seed sharing. With the arrival of spring, Concordians with a green thumb can take advantage of the, dare we say, groundbreaking new Seed Lending Library, and learn about this first-in-the-state initiative. The mission of the Concord Seed Lending Library is to collect and share bio-diverse, locally-adapted plant seeds, cultivated by and for area residents. There is an active advisory board and a strong commitment to ‘grow’ the Seed Library starting this season with easy-to-grow varieties that thrive locally. See here for more information.

Betsy Levinson can be reached at

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