Home, Peace & Joy for the Holidays

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January 2016





M O N T H LY ‘Obsessive Realism’ on Display at Five Points Gallery, Featuring Artist Victor Leger

Moses Pendleton Directs ‘Opus Cactus’ Ballet with MOMIX at Warner Theatre

An Agriscience Success Story With Floral Design as the Focus

Home, Peace & Joy for the Holidays

Cornwall $875,000

Litchfield $1,195,000

Washington $995,000

IRA GOLDSPIEL | o 860.927.7724 c 917.626.3481 | [email protected] | iragoldspiel.williampitt.com | Kent Brokerage

Roxbury $579,000 Each Office Is Independently Owned and Operated.





4 almanac The Week & Month Ahead

8 mark your calendar Darkness and Light ‘Opus Cactus’ Ballet Revived After 10-year Hiatus

11 interview Hairdresser Turns Author ‘Things Have a Habit’ Mixes Humor, Drama, Mystery

12 centerpiece


Documenting Mother Nature’s Beauty ‘Obsessive Realism’ on Display at Five Points Gallery

18 dining

Dos Amigos Offers Sizzling Dishes El Salvadorian Soccer Player Turns To Restaurant Business for Economic Freedom

21 women on the move Two Love Stories – One Goal North Canaan Woman Inspired to Create Animal Welfare Fund

24 antiques

Showcasing State’s Heritage Museum Preserves Machinery, Tools From Industrial Age


Published by

Editor Viktoria Sundqvist

26 homes&gardens

Designer Alyson Bowman

An Agriscience Success Story Justine Leeper Puts Floral Design in Focus 59 Field St., Torrington, CT 06790

“Cascading Stillness” oil on canvas by Victor Leger. See story on page 12.

For advertising information contact us at: 860-294-0315 [email protected] © 2016, all rights reserved.

Director of Sales Central Connecticut John Gallacher Account Executives Donna Musler, Howard Hassan, Mindy Hobson, Hilary Valliere, Ronnie Vasko


the week ahead

Dec. 26. For information: 860-868-7586.

Through Dec. 24. Free. For information: www.kentct. com or 860-592-0061.

Kent Memorial Library: 32 N. Main St., Kent. “Heather Scofield: Kinetic Fields.” Paintings. Through Dec. 28. For information: 860-927-3761.

the loft gallery @ The Smithy: 10 Main St., New Preston. “White on White Group Exhibit.” Photography and paintART ings by multiple artists. Burnham Library: 62 Main Through Dec. 27. For St. South, Bridgewater. information: 860-868-9003. “Catherine Fiske Natale: Ober Gallery: 10 N. Main Inner Landscapes of St., Kent. “Robert Andrew the Mind and Soul.” Parker & Geoffrey Contemporary paintings. Parker: Paintings, Prints & Through January. For information: 860-354-6937. Sculpture.” Through May 1. For information: www. The Falls Village Center obergallery.com or 860on Main: 103 Main St., 927-5030. Falls Village. “Artisans Oliver Wolcott Library; Group Holiday Market.” 160 South Rd., Litchfield. Dec. 12, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. “Tom Hlas: Landscapes A portion of the proof the Mind and Heart.” ceeds to benefit the Hunt Mixed media paintings. Library. For information: 860-824-7572 or www.hun- Through Dec. 28. For information: 860-567-8030. tlibrary.org. Fine Line Art Gallery: 319 Pinacoteca: 896 Bantam Main St. South, Woodbury. Rd., Bantam. “Wallace Harding.” Through Dec. “Miniature Masterpieces 23. For information: 860Holiday Art Exhibit.” 480-0100. Featuring the works of 16 award-winning artists. P.S. Gallery: 31 West. St., Through Jan. 3. For inforLitchfield. “It’s Raining mation: 203-266-0110. Cats & Dogs.” Portion of the proceeds to benefit The Gallery at Naples the New Milford Animal Studios: 3 Landmark Lane on the Green, Kent. Welfare Society. Through Dec. 31. For information: “Pentimento: Paintings 860-567-1059 or www. by Kathy Wismar.” Dec. psgallery.com. 12-Jan. 12; reception Dec. 12, 6-9 p.m. For informaThe Silo Gallery at Hunt tion: www.naplesrestoraHill Farm: 44 Upland tion.com/gallery. Rd., New Milford. “Wonderment.” An allThe Good Gallery: 13 women show featuring Railroad St., Kent. “Art work from Lauren Cotton, Collective Extravaganza 2015.” A group show. Dec. Katherine Daniels, Nancy 5 through Jan. 3. For infor- Daubenspeck, Amelia de Neergaard, Celia Johnson, mation: www.thegoodgalAmber Maida and Audrey lerykent.com or 860-927Stone. Through Jan. 3. For 5065. information: www.huntGunn Memorial hillfarmtrust.org. Library: Wyekham Rd.,

Kent Education Center & Nursery School: Held at St. Andrew’s Parish House, Rtes. 7 & 341, Kent. “Pancakes with Santa.” Pancakes, crafts, door prizes and Santa. Dec. 12, 8:30-10:30 a.m. Cost: $5/person, ages 2 and under free, $20 family max.

Dec. 11 - Dec. 18

Washington. “Celebrating the City that Never Sleeps.” Paintings by Angelo Perrone. Through 4 LCT JANUARY 2016

The Tremaine Gallery: The Hotchkiss School, 11 Interlaken Rd., Lakeville. “Field Kallop: The Melody

Contributed photo

The oil painting “White Shirt” by Mark Devlin will be part of the exhibit “White on White” running at The Smithy in New Preston through Dec. 27.

Oliver Wolcott Library: 160 South St., Litchfield. “Family Day.” Featuring the storyteller Ron Washington Art Leventhal, who takes lisAssociation: 4 Bryan teners on a journey around Memorial Plaza, the world. Dec. 12, 10:30 Washington Depot. “63rd a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Free; Annual Holiday Gift Fair.” registration required. For Through Dec. 24; Tues.information: 860-567-8030. Sat. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sun. 12-4 p.m. For inforDANCE mation: www.washingtonNew Morning Market: 129 artassociation.org. Main St. North, Woodbury. The White Gallery: 342 “Swing Dance Classes.” Main St., Lakeville. “Clay.” No experience or partner Featuring the artists John necessary. Fridays 7-9 Belardo, Susan Halls, p.m. (class 7-8 p.m., social Elizabeth MacDonald, & dance 8-9 p.m.) Cash at Louise W. King. Through the door: $8/both proDec. 13. For information: grams or $5/social dance 860-435-1029. only. No registration necessary. For information: 203-263-4868. CHILDREN of Structures.” Through Dec. 13. For information: 860-435-4423.

New Morning Market: 129 Main St. North, Woodbury. “La Leche League.” Information and support for breastfeeding or pregnant mothers. First Monday of the month, 10-11:30 a.m. Free, no registration required. For information: 860-485-0787 or 631-572-1159.

Rd., Colebrook. “Holiday Potluck Dinner & Sing Along.” Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. For information: 860-7389521. The CT Grown Litchfield Hills Farm-Fresh Market: Held at Litchfield Community Center, 421 Bantam Rd., Litchfield. “Indoor Farmers’ Market.” Dec. 14 & 21, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For information: www.litchfieldhillsfarmfresh.org.

Minor Memorial Library: 23 South St., Roxbury. “More than Books: Libraries, Community & Historic Preservation.” Presented by William Hosley, independent consultant on historical preservation. Dec. 12 at 2 p.m. For information: 860-350-2181 Noble Horizons Auxiliary: Cobble Rd., Salisbury. “Annual Holiday Fair.” Dec. 12, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Quilts that Care: Held at Litchfield Community Center, 421 Bantam Rd., Bantam. “Quilting Harwinton Congregational Meeting.” Dec. 16, 6:308 p.m. For information: Church: 1 Litchfield Rd., www.quiltsthatcare.org or Harwinton. “Cookie 860-945-0184. Walk.” Dec. 12, 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. For information: Roxbury Congregational 860-485-1043. Church: 24 Church St.,

Institute for American Indian Studies: Curtis Rd., Washington. “A Time for Stories.” Featuring tradiEVENTS tional, heartwarming Native Barkhamsted Historical American stories. Dec. 12 Society: Squire’s Tavern, 100 at 12:30 p.m. Cost: $8/adults, E. River Rd., Barkhamsted. $12/children. Please call for “Old Fashioned Christmas reservations. For informaOpen House.” Dec. 13, 1-4 tion: 860-868-0518. p.m. Free. For information: Kent Chamber of 860-738-1152. Commerce: Held throughColebrook Community Center: 2 School House

Litchfield Historical Society: 7 South St., Litchfield. “Lecture on WWII through Soldier Experiences.” Presented by the author Edward Gutierrrez. Dec. 13 at 3 p.m. Cost: $5/non-members, free for members. Registration required. For information: 860-567-4501.

out town. “4th Annual Gingerbread Fest.”

Roxbury. “Victorian Christmas Celebration.” Featuring singers in period costumes, carols and the telling of the Christmas Story. Followed by reception with cookies and beverages. Dec. 12 at 5 p.m. For information: 860-355-1978 or www.roxburychurch.org.

Torrington Area Model Railroaders: Held at the Armory, 153 S. Main St., Torrington. “Holiday Model

Train Show & Canned Food Drive.” Featuring layouts in HO and N scales. Dec. 12, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Dec. 13, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission: free, please bring a non-perishable food donation. For information: 860-459-7029.

HEALTH Charlotte Hungerford Hospital: Small Dining Room off of the Cafeteria, 540 Litchfield St., Torrington. “Depression Bipolar Support Group of NW CT.” Meets every Thursday, 7-9 p.m. Free, no registration necessary. For information: 860-567-8928. New Milford VNA & Hospice: 68 Park Ln., New Milford. “Bereavement Support Group for Adults.” First and third Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. Drop in; free. For information: 860-354-2216.

tion: www.eventbrite.com.

THEATER The Sherman Playhouse: 5 Rte. 39 North, Sherman. “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” Through Dec. 27. Tickets: $22; $11/children 12 and under. For information: 860-354-3622 and www. shermanplayers.org. TheatreWorks New Milford: 5 Brookside Ave., New Milford. “Bell, Book & Candle.” Through Jan. 9. Tickets: $23. For information: www.theatreworks.us or 860-350-6863. United Church of Christ: Bolton Hill, Cornwall. “Annual Cornwall Christmas Pageant.” Dec.

12 at 7:30 p.m. Please bring a toy wrapped in white paper. For information: 860-672-6101.

the month ahead

the Mind and Soul.” Contemporary paintings. Through January. For information: 860-354-6937. Fine Line Art Gallery: 319 Main St. South, Woodbury. “Miniature Masterpieces Holiday Art Exhibit.” Featuring the works of 16 award-winning artists. Through Jan. 3. For information: 203-266-0110.

The Good Gallery: 13 Railroad St., Kent. “Art JANUARY Collective Extravaganza 2015.” A group show. Dec. 5 through Jan. 3. For information: www.thegoodgalART Burnham Library: 62 Main lerykent.com or 860-9275065. St. South, Bridgewater. Gunn Memorial “Catherine Fiske Natale: Library: Wyekham Rd., Inner Landscapes of

Washington. “Celebrating the City that Never Sleeps.” Paintings by Angelo Perrone. Through Dec. 26. For information: 860-868-7586.

Parker & Geoffrey Parker: Paintings, Prints & Sculpture.” Through May 1. For information: www. obergallery.com or 860927-5030.

Kent Memorial Library: 32 N. Main St., Kent. “Heather Scofield: Kinetic Fields.” Paintings. Through Dec. 28. For information: 860-927-3761.

Oliver Wolcott Library; 160 South Rd., Litchfield. “Tom Hlas: Landscapes of the Mind and Heart.” Mixed media paintings. Through Dec. 28. For information: 860-567-8030.

the loft gallery @ The Smithy: 10 Main St., New Preston. “White on White Group Exhibit.” Photography and paintings by multiple artists. Through Dec. 27. For information: 860-868-9003. Ober Gallery: 10 N. Main St., Kent. “Robert Andrew

Pinacoteca: 896 Bantam Rd., Bantam. “Wallace Harding.” Through Dec. 23. For information: 860480-0100. P.S. Gallery: 31 West. St., Litchfield. “It’s Raining Cats & Dogs.” Portion of the proceeds to benefit

MUSIC The First Congregational Church Choir of Torrington: 835 Riverside Ave., Torrington. “A Christmas Cantata: A Great and Might Wonder, by Tom Fettke.” Dec. 13 at 4 p.m. Donations welcome. For information: 860-4824705 or 860-482-8366. The Kent Singers: Held at St. Andrew’s Church, Kent. “Messe De Minuit.” Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. Tickets: $12/advance, $15/door; children under 12 free. For information: www.kentsingers.org or 860-619-8110. Oliver Wolcott Library: 160 South Rd., Litchfield. “An Evening of Classical Guitar with Francesco Barone.” Dec. 17, 7-8 p.m. Free; registration required. For information: 860-567-8030. Singer/Songwriter Network: Held at Hopkins Vineyard, 25 Hopkins Rd., New Preston. “Artist Showcase Series: Lisa Martin.” Dec. 13, 4-6 p.m. Suggested donation: $10. For informaTHE LITCHFIELD COUNTY TIMES MONTHLY 5

the New Milford Animal Welfare Society. Through Dec. 31. For information: 860-567-1059 or www. psgallery.com. The Silo Gallery at Hunt Hill Farm: 44 Upland Rd., New Milford. “Wonderment.” An allwomen show featuring work from Lauren Cotton, Katherine Daniels, Nancy Daubenspeck, Amelia de Neergaard, Celia Johnson, Amber Maida and Audrey Stone. Through Jan. 3. For information: www.hunthillfarmtrust.org. Washington Art Association: 4 Bryan Memorial Plaza, Washington Depot. “63rd Annual Holiday Gift Fair.” Through Dec. 24; Tues.Sat. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sun. 12-4 p.m. For information: www.washingtonartassociation.org.

CHILDREN Kent Memorial Library: 32 N. Main St., Kent. “Christmas Craft Party.” Materials provided. Not a drop off. All ages. Dec. 19, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Please register. For information: 860-927-3761. New Morning Market: 129 Main St. North, Woodbury. “La Leche League.” Information and support for breastfeeding or pregnant mothers. First Monday of the month, 10-11:30 a.m. Free, no registration required. For information: 860-485-0787 or 631-572-1159. Washington Montessori School: 240 Litchfield Tpke., New Preston. “Parent-Child Movement Class.” For toddlers 18-30 months. Six-week session, Thursdays 9:30-10:15 a.m. beginning Jan. 14. Also “Parent-Child Infant/Baby

Class.” For children 0-18 months. Fridays 10:3011:15 a.m., Jan. 8-Feb. 26. For information: 860-8680551 x2161 or www.washingtonmontessori.org.

& Land Trust: Flanders Rd., Woodbury. “Artisan Marketplace.” Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 20, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information: 203-263-3711.

White Memorial Conservation Center: 80 Whitehall Rd., Litchfield. “Wild & Wacky Winter Camp.” Enjoy the great winter outdoors. Dec. 29-31, 9:30-12:30 a.m. for grades 1-3; 1:30-4:30 p.m. for grades 4-6. Cost for members: $18/session or $50/all sessions; cost for non-members: $25/session or $70/all sessions. Preregistration and pre-payment required. For information; 860-567-0857.

Hickory Stick Bookshop: 2 Green Hill Rd., Washington Depot. “Book Signing with Sally Allen, Author of ‘Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers.” Dec. 19 at 2 p.m. For information: 860-8680525.

DANCE New Morning Market: 129 Main St. North, Woodbury. “Swing Dance Classes.” No experience or partner necessary. Fridays 7-9 p.m.

Contributed photo

The fourth annual Kent Gingerbread Fest runs through Dec. 24. Maps to find the houses can be picked up at businesses in town.

(class 7-8 p.m., social dance 8-9 p.m.) Cash at the door: $8/both programs or $5/ social dance only. No registration necessary. For information: 203-263-4868.

EVENTS The CT Grown Litchfield

Hills Farm-Fresh Market: Held at Litchfield Community Center, 421 Bantam Rd., Litchfield. “Indoor Farmers’ Market.” Dec. 21, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For information: www.litchfieldhillsfarm-fresh.org. Flander’s Nature Center

“Best Sushi in Litchfield County” - CT Magazine

Open on Christmas Day and New Years Day


Japanese Restaurant 131 Danbury Road (Route 7, Lore’s Plaza), New Milford Tel. 860.355.0556 • Fax. 860.355.1992 Sun. - Thurs. 11am - 10pm, Fri. & Sat. 11am - 11pm

Wine and Beer Served

Kent Chamber of Commerce: Held throughout town. “4th Annual Gingerbread Fest.” Through Dec. 24. Free. For information: www.kentct. com or 860-592-0061. Northfield Volunteer Fire Company: 12 Knife Shop Rd., Northfield. “Breakfast with Santa & Canned Food Drive.” FeaturingFrench toast,

eggs, bacon, sausage and home fries. Dec. 20, 7:3011 a.m. Tickets: $7/all-youcan-eat, $6/regular, $4/ children. For information: 860-283-9303. St. Thomas Church: 71 North St., Goshen. “Goshen Farmers Holiday Market.” Sundays through Dec. 20, 1-4 p.m. For information: www.goshenfarmersmarket.com.

HEALTH Bramasole Fitness & Wellness Center: 57 Slab Meadow Rd., Morris. “Winter Solstice Restorative Yoga Workshop.” Dec. 22 at 6 p.m. Cost: $25. Preregistration required. For information: 860-567-0219 or www.bramasolewellness. com. Charlotte Hungerford Hospital: Small Dining Room off of the Cafeteria, 540 Litchfield St., Torrington. “Depression Bipolar Support Group of NW CT.” Meets every Thursday, 7-9 p.m. Free, no registration necessary. For information: 860-567-8928.

time guests, $30/advance, $35/door. For information: www.washingtonct4music. blogspot.com.

27. Tickets: $22; $11/children 12 and under. For information: 860-354-3622 and www. shermanplayers.org.

TheatreWorks New Milford: 5 Brookside Ave., New Milford. “Bell, Book The Sherman Playhouse: & Candle.” Through Jan. 9. 5 Rte. 39 North, Sherman. Tickets: $23. For informa“Alice’s Adventures in tion: www.theatreworks.us Wonderland.” Through Dec. or 860-350-6863.



“HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS” 725 Bantam Road, Rte. 202, Bantam (next to Sportsmen’s)

Holiday pop-up store features gently-use, previously-loved, affordable home goods, gift items and holiday decorations

Open until Dec. 30, with new items weekly DONATED ITEMS ARE 100% TAX DEDUCTIBLE

Proceeds benefit PRIME TIME HOUSE, INC.

New Milford VNA & Hospice: 68 Park Ln., New Milford. “Bereavement Support Group for Adults.” First and third Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. Drop in; free. For information: 860-354-2216.

MUSIC Kent Singers: Held at St. John’s Church, New Milford. “Carols by Candlelight.” Dec. 19 at 5 p.m. Donations accepted to benefit the Community Fuel Bank of New Milford. For information: www.kentsingers.org. Washington Friends of Music: Held at First Congregational Church, Historic Meeting House on the Green, 6 Kirby Rd., Washington. “New Year’s Day Concert: The New Baroque Soloists.” Jan. 1 at 4 p.m. Tickets: $25/firstTHE LITCHFIELD COUNTY TIMES MONTHLY 7

markyourcalendar written by

Emily M. Olson •

contributed photographs


10- yea H iatus r

B allet R evived


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‘O pus C a


Darkness and Light

MOMIX will perform “Opus Cactus” at the Warner Theatre in Torrington on Jan. 9 and 10, before the company takes the show to Italy. 8 LCT JANUARY 2016

Photo Jack Vartoogm


OMIX’s “Opus Cactus” has been reborn.

During a recent rehearsal, three young men, each wearing a single stilt on their right leg, leap across the wooden floor of the boys club in New Preston, dancing to “Largo” by The Swingle Singers, a piece reminiscent of Spanish gaucho music. The trio flings their powerful arms to the heavens, leaning sideways as if defying gravity before leaping forward across the floor, spinning on one leg. The room vibrates with the music and the thump of the stilts, as the dancers, three members of the MOMIX dance company rehearse for the opening of “Opus Cactus,” a ballet conceived by founder Moses Pendleton. The rest of the company watches intently the opening movement, “Sonoran: But Not Asleep,” which will introduce audiences to Pendleton’s desert with light, sound and color — and dance. MOMIX hasn’t performed this particular work since 2008, and changes have been made, but the spirit and mood of the dance remains about the desert, its plants, animals, darkness and light. MOMIX will perform “Opus Cactus” at the Warner Theatre in Torrington on Jan. 9 and 10, before the company takes the show to Italy. “Opus Cactus” was conceived and written by Pendleton in response to a request from the Arizona Ballet. Pendleton, whose creative imagination has brought MOMIX international acclaim for decades, was originally focused on sunflowers as the theme for the piece. But once he saw the Sonoran Desert and its Sonoran cactus, he was swept away. “I went with the idea of the sunflower in the Sonoran Desert, but one evening I was taken by the mystery of the Sonoran cactus,” Pendleton

explained during an interview at his Washington home in November. “It was love at first sight. Instead of flowers, a cactus ... and the first dance, ‘Sonoran But Not Asleep,’ ends with the dancers falling asleep lying on their backs, dreaming of the desert, and become cactus.” “We performed ‘Opus Cactus’ all around the world, for almost six years,” Pendleton said. “Now we’re doing it again.” “Opus Cactus” was a huge success for MOMIX, and Pendleton saw an opportunity to make it new. “Don’t be surprised if you see a giant gila monster made of four dancers across the stage,” he said. “Nature is illusionistic; it’s deceptive, it’s colorful, it’s a mystery. I’ve always tried to change things; the three men on stilts will be wearing chaps and cowboy hats, and they look like cacti. It’s exciting to work on the details of a dance. It’s been 15 years since I first (wrote) it, so doing it now is a way to make ‘Opus Cactus’ even more than it was before.” Using color, lighting and sound, Pendleton’s dances are purely physical, visual theater. “It’s not just about the dance steps, but creating a very visual approach to the work,” he said. “I listen to music and adapt the dancers to that music.” That approach is illus-

trated in another rehearsal of a piece of “Opus Cactus.” Five women whirl in syncopated movements across the floor, using white linen as shrouds, fans and veils. And a third piece again uses the five female dancers, each holding a bouquet of iridescent rods to create the illusion of the rising sun. Their movements are at once rigid and supple as they move across the floor, following a pattern of steps that brings them together as one body. All this movement and illusion is inside Pendleton’s head — and he is singly inspired by nature, following his passion for photography as he wanders the hills of Litchfield County in all seasons. This fall, he photographed leaves, frozen water and grass, astounded by a tree’s bare limbs or flowers gone to seed. He is naturally influence by music, listening to a particular composer for months at a time and adapting what he hears to his ideas for dance. His dances, with telling titles like “Botanica,” “Alchemy” and “Lunar Sea,” are all reflective of nature’s influence on most of what he creates. Even at home, when he’s not working, he is creating. His dining room table on a recent day was covered with drying leaves, milkweed pods hanging in a corner, thistle blossoms drying and prickly, and he was

Photo by Don Perdue

preparing to photograph these collections and make video showing their evolution and change. “I’ve got great video,” he said, showing a large

golden brown tree leaf in the scattered collection. These are the images he uses when choreographing his next dance creation. His time out-

doors is his chance to dream, Pendleton said. “An artist needs to drop out and dream, to wander the Litchfield County hills with my mp3


player,” he said. “I have great neighbors who allow me to wander around. It’s where I can create.” “Opus Cactus” has no story line — once the three men fall asleep, the audience is taken on a journey through the desert. “It’s an opportunity to go into the Sonoran and experience the magic, the beauty, the mystery of it,” Pendleton said. “It’s visual, but it’s not really a story ... it’s stitched together by the sounds. If you can fit those two things together, the sound and the visual, then I’ve done my job. That’s the excitement form of reviving ‘Opus Cactus.’ It’s lugubrious and repetitive, so I’ve taken things out. And that creates all kinds of possibilities, to make something new.” Using the short stilts, for example. The dancers with the iridescent spines are another image born out of Pendleton’s constant imagination. “It’s a sunlight image,” he said “I was in Beaver Creek, Colorado, and there was a bare tree with strings of lights, and I thought, that was cool. It’s a sculptural piece.” These are the dances the audiences will witness in January in Connecticut, and in Europe as well. Pendleton said working with the Warner Theatre is a pleasure. “We’re very lucky to go there,” he said. “We’re able to move into the theater, for 10 days to tech the show. We have a great relationship with them.” MOMIX is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, and the revival of “Opus Cactus” is a fitting performance for that celebration. Known internationally for presenting work of exceptional inventiveness and physical beauty, MOMIX 10 LCT JANUARY 2016

Photo by Jack Vartoogian

Dancers rehearse for the World Premiere of Moses Pendleton’s “Opus Cactus” at the Joyce Theater in New York City in this 2001 photo.

Photo by Don Perdue

Photo by Andrea Chemelli

“Dream Catcher”

Photo by Don Perdue

is known as a company of dancer-illusionists. In addition to its astounding stage performances world-wide, MOMIX has worked in film and television, recently appearing in a national commercial for Hanes underwear and a Target ad that premiered during the airing of the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards. With performances on PBS’s “Dance in America” series, France’s

Antenne II, and Italian RAI television, the company’s repertory has been broadcast to 55 countries. Joining the Montreal Symphony in the Rhombus Media film of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, winner of an International Emmy for Best Performing Arts Special, the company’s performance was distributed on laser disc by Decca Records, accord-

ing to its website. MOMIX was also featured in IMAGINE, one of the first 3-D IMAX films to be released in IMAX theaters worldwide. MOMIX dancers Cynthia Quinn and Karl Baumann, under Moses Pendleton’s direction, played the role of “Bluey” in the feature film FX2; and White Widow, co-choreographed by Moses Pendleton and Cynthia Quinn, was featured in Robert Altman’s movie, “The Company.” Participating in the Homage a Picasso in Paris, MOMIX was also selected to represent the U.S. at the European

Cultural Center at Delphi. With the support of the Scottsdale Cultural Council Scottsdale Center for the Arts in Scottsdale, Arizona, Pendleton created “Bat Habits” to celebrate the opening of the San Francisco Giants’ new spring training park in Scottsdale. MOMIX has been commissioned by corporations such as Fiat and Mercedes Benz, performing at Fiat’s month long 100th anniversary celebration in Torino, Italy and Mercedes Benz’s International Auto Show in Frankfurt, Germany. For Pendleton, having patrons introduce him to a daughter or son, or

granddaughter or grandson who is there to see the performance is an honor. “Many Italians come up to me with their 12-year-old and say they’re so happy to share (MOMIX) with them,” he said. “It’s exciting to see that it’s being passed on to the next generation.” What the future holds for Pendleton is, at times, as mysterious as his dances. “I will keep walking, keep talking … it’s a dark time in the world and MOMIX is the antidote to that,” he said. “I don’t know anything else to do. I have discipline, but I don’t let my work paralyze me. I think you have to be brave, and a little reckless, and have people behind you so you can continue to do what you want. “Each day is a challenge,” he continued. “My method is to be outside, to walk in the snow — I’ll be Nanook in January, outdoors.” For tickets to Opus Cactus at the Warner Theatre, visit www.warnertheatre.org. To learn more about MOMIX, visit www.momix.com.

interview written by

Daniela Forte •

contributed photographs

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M ys



‘T hings ave u or , D ra


there is a computer whiz, there is a person he lives with. Somehow as you go along, you put all of these elements to define the characters, to add the separate plot line, to make it interesting, Green said. Green has been writing seriously for 20 years. The themes of his books have varied. “My first book took 10 years to write it was based on a personal experience which had to do with a product line. I am eaders will get the chance to see a a hairdresser by trade, mixture of humor, drama and susthe guy drove us crazy for pense rolled into one with Sherman nine months and evenauthor Peter Green’s new book. “Things tually stiffed us,” said Green. “So in the first Have a Habit” can be described as both book, he died and kind of fast-paced and entertaining. worked that through.” Readers seemed to like “I love writing and payment is due, and a lot the detective from his secI am thrilled with the of money is at stake. A ond book, so he grew the process and I am thrilled guy he was doing well character and added other with the way my work is with has been giving him aspects about things that evolving,” Green said in a the runaround with nothhad happened in real life. recent interview. ing forthcoming. “They say you are supGreen said his son was Green was born in posed to write about what England and came to the the inspiration for this you know,” said Green. Peter Green United States with Vidal book. When his son was “This last book is the only moving into an apartSassoon as part of the book that I have written ment, they needed money County, New York. British Invasion. Since Columbia’s only detecthat doesn’t have hairin advance. His son had then, he has been a hairtive, Jimmy Dugan, handressing references in it.” gone to his boss for help dresser, a stockbroker, dles the investigation. The Because his books are with the money. student, businessman, self-published without an “That was where the ini- trail leads Jimmy to drug entrepreneur and author. agent, he is desperate to tial inspiration came from; dealers at a local school, He has been married for a serial killer who preys know whether he is on everything bleeds out 45 years and has three on old people and a New the right track or not as from there,” said Green. children and four grandhe is writing. “For me if I have a central York garment center hot children. “I have a sense that I theme… then these things shot who owes Crawford a Green’s other books great deal of money. am getting better, that as take a life of their own, include “The Hit and Green’s books are all a craft I am getting better and additional plot lines Run,” “A Shot in the part of a series featuring at that, the stories that I come in… and ideas.” Dark” and “A Simple Jimmy Dugan. He is cur- tell, that I like twists and One of the two people Ride Home.” rently working on his fifth turns,” he said. “I don’t Green’s new book tells Crawford sends to colJimmy Dugan mystery, write in a linear fashion. lect the debt in the story the story of Crawford “Everybody Lies.” His The story has at least is shot and killed by Taylor, who isn’t an wife, Susan, is his editor. four plot lines that eventhe man who owes him ordinary shylock; he is a Green said to facilitate tually meld together.” the money. The shootmodern-day one that is the story, you reach for ing takes place in the Green said his recent suave, handsome, cool small fictional town of and elegant. Crawford other continuing characbook isn’t just a mystery Columbia in Westchester ters: there is a reporter, Taylor is upset, because – there is social content


Contributed photo

The cover for “Things Have a Habit” by Peter Green.

and social commentary. For writers looking to get self-published, he recommends lowering your expectations and checking your ego at the door if you want to become successful. “It prepares for a limited rejection simply that if you love it, you have to keep at it,” said Green. “Anybody that puts pen to paper has that ultimate goal, but the chances of that are more than a million to one.” When there are thoughts jumbling around, the process of writing is to simply get them out and get them down on paper, especially when you have plot lines, he said. “The most important thing is to get every idea, doesn’t matter what it is,” said Green. Green said when it

comes to his boo,; he has achieved more with this book than he has ever done before. “I am told that in the first page it drags you along, it’s entertaining, all of those things,” said Green. “It’s difficult for me to tell you about it.” Green said part of the the title comes from a saying his father would say, “Things have a habit of working out.” It is the theme of the book and the punch line at the end. “Writing has become part of my life. I am not writing about it, I am thinking about it,” said Green. “It’s the most enjoyable process. I love it.” The book is available on Amazon, through the publisher Createspace. com, and on Green’s website, www.jimmydugan.com.


centerpiece written by

John Fitts •

photographed by

John Fitts / Art by Victor Leger

Documenting Mother Nature’s Beauty at

F ive


G alle


D isplay





‘O bsessive R ealism ’

Old Lyme Afternoon 2


Sarah Gubetta and Jeff Sesko, both art teachers at Explorations Charter School in Winsted, admire the paintings of Victor Leger. Gubetta student taught in Leger’s classroom. 12 LCT JANUARY 2016


s a painter, Victor Leger can find a wealth of subject matter right outside his door. The woods behind his house, the field across the street, and nearby Lake Winchester alone offer a wealth of material, especially when one is patient enough to let the sun create a wealth of textures. “It never gets old looking out the window here,” he said. “I see the seasons change week to week.” Leger, of course, certainly ventures outside of his neighborhood to paint. The Maine coastline is one favorite locale, but Litchfield County is certainly the source for much of his inspiration. “I live in a beautiful place,” Leger added. “I have a lifetime of potential.” Wherever he goes, Leger paints the majority Symphony No. 3. of his work — approximately 90 percent — on location or en plein air — faithfully, yet creatively document what Mother Nature has to offer. As alluded to in “Obsessive Realism,” his current show at Five Points Gallery in Torrington, Leger is passionate about using oil and panels to document mother nature’s beauty. “I like to paint pretty much what I see in front of me,” Leger said. And obsessive captures so much of Leger’s spirit. Leger is an award-winning and widely exhibited artist and has been repCenter Trunk, oil on panel. resented by The White The piece was so Gallery in Lakeville “real,” yet somehow origand the Cooley Gallery inally expressive, Sesko in Old Lyme. He said said. he’s honored to exhibit “It’s just so captivatat Five Points, a gallery that attracts national and ing,” Sesko said. “It’s accurate, but it’s not international artists. photo realistic. He’s made At a recent opening it more.” for the Five Points show, While Leger has Jeff Sesko, an art teacher mastered the landscape at Explorations Charter enough to be a widely School in Winsted, was exhibited and awardstruck by the work, winning artist, early work including one of Leger’s was figurative in nature, latest tree portraits.

something he labels as “post-modern collage painting.” “My objective in that body of work was addressing in visual form, the distance that we as a conscious species have traveled in 75,000 years, and where we may be heading in the future,” he said. “In hindsight it seems a pretty heady goal, something a young and idealistic person

West Road Squall 2, oil on panel.

Stony Creek Afternoon, oil on panel. THE LITCHFIELD COUNTY TIMES MONTHLY 13

loves taking on.” After working in that vein for a bit more than a decade, primarily in the 1980s, the landscape began appearing in the work. At first it was part of a bigger picture and gradually became more prominent. “The landscape element was getting large and larger,” he said. In the 1990s, he returned briefly to the more abstract art. “I felt I hadn’t finished what I needed to say about them,” he said. But after the events of Sept. 11, 2001, Leger’s outlook further evolved. He still feels that art designed to shock and awe has its place but is more interested in the calming nature of life’s beauty. “The landscape always makes people feel terrific,” he said. “That’s important to me. There’s a lot of need and anxiety in the world. We don’t need to add to it.” “I have these brief moments, more and more over the years of total elation to the point of emotional overload while looking at beautiful light in nature,” Leger said. “Lately I have been trying to imagine how to use this inspiration to create an Elysian world, something of such hope and beauty that it would inspire everyone to reach for their better angels.” Leger’s ability to inspire goes beyond his paintings. He’s been an educator since 1994, teaching in four districts. Since 2000, Leger has taught art at Torrington High School. “I love it here,” he said. The students have their moments, but Leger loves their excitement and zeal for life. “I find it frustrating but at the same time they can 14 LCT JANUARY 2016

After Morning Dew, oil on panel.

Visitors at the opening reception admire Leger’s art.

be so funny, so relaxed about life, so idealistic,” he said. And Leger regularly sees graduates who tell him how much they

loved art class. But he also knows the nature of the subject resonates well with kids, who feel it offers a chance to express themselves.

“I have an advantage over a lot of other disciplines that way,” he said. Budding graphic artist Phillip Tanner graduated from Torrington High Topsmead View, oil on panel.

MaryPat and Victor Leger at Victor’s show. MaryPat is a fiber artist, some of which can be seen in her clothing.

Budding artist and 2013 Torrington High School graduate Phillip Tanner with his former teacher Victor Leger.

High Autumn Solace.


in 2013 and took classes and participated in art club with Leger. He was one of numerous students who came to the recent opening for the show at Five Points gallery. “He’s the best,” Tanner said of Leger. “He really knows how to inspire a lot of people.” Leger, in turn, was inspired by his teachers, starting in kindergarten. It was the mid-1960s at Lady of Sorrows in Hartford. The teacher had students cut out paper animals for a circus train display. Leger remembers drawing an extended trunk that didn’t quite fit the train car, but his teacher held up that animal for the class to see. “Look, boys and girls. Look what Victor did,” Leger remembers her saying. “That’s a nicelooking elephant.” “I was surprised,” he said. “I remember thinking maybe I could do something like this.” As he went on to attend public schools in Hartford, he remembers two other

teachers who inspired him greatly, including Mike Somma at Hartford High School and Peter Waite, with whom he studied through a collaborative program with the Wadsworth Atheneum. One suggested he go to art school. “I didn’t even know they existed,” he said. So while the family had little money, Leger did just that, first attending Pratt Institute in Brooklyn with a full scholarship. He later transferred and in 1984 obtained a bachelor of fine arts from San Francisco Art Institute. After graduating, Leger practiced his art but for several years worked with his brother Paul, owner of Lee and Sons Woodworking. The woodworking background has helped immensely in his life and career, from building the home where he and his wife, MaryPat, live to crafting his own panels, on which the majority of his painting is done, he said. After leaving that

career, Leger returned to school, obtaining a teaching degree at Central Connecticut State University and has taught since 1994. Leger’s wife is also an educator and a fabric artist. Their careers offer the chance to spend time away, especially in the summer. For about seven weeks, they’ve spent a week in Maine in the area of Acadia National Park’s Schoodic Peninsula. This past summer, both Victor and MaryPat were afforded the luxury of serving as artists in residence for the National Park Service, spending three weeks there. It inspired them to buy a 150-square-foot place of their own, he said. “Having the luxury of longer periods of time forced our hand,” he said. Leger is looking forward to spending a little more time in Birch Harbor, both a fishing hamlet and artistic enclave. “It’s an amazing welcoming community,” he

said. But the Legers, who have three children, have also been blessed to live in this beautiful area. Victor Leger loves the combination of teaching and creating his own work. In some form, he works on his art every day. He doesn’t need to luxury of the summer to create, he said. Even in the middle of the winter, he often paints, using the comfort of his home or studio, or the back of his van to shelter from the elements. “Every day is a blessing,” he said. “I have a great job that affords me time to do this.” “Obsessive Realism” is one of three exhibits on display at Five Points Gallery, 33 Main St., Torrington, through Dec. 26. A free artist conversation will take place on Friday, Dec. 11, from 6 to 7 p.m. Gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. See more about the artist at www.victorleger. com.













O V E R 1 6 0 O F T H E F I N E S T S T O R E S A N D R E S TA U R A N T S E X I T 4 0 O F F I - 8 4 O R E X I T 3 0 O F F R T E 9 • W E S T H A R T F O R D , C T • S H O P W E S T FA R M S . C O M

dining written and photographed by

John Torsiello


T urn

E conomic












hon Escobar is a relaxed man these days. And why not? He has a successful business, a wife of 21 years, the couple has three daughters, all of whom are bright and play soccer and he is light years away from his days as a young man in El Salvador, where he once feared for his life merely traveling from city to city as a professional soccer player. “Really, my decision to come to the United States was done to get away from the fighting of the civil war that was going on in the country then,” the owner of Dos Amigos says as he sits in the Torrington restaurant’s bar area on a rainy, cold day. “People were being stopped along the roadways and some were killed. We got through these road blocks because we were athletes and somebody in the group stopping us usually was a fan or liked soccer. It wasn’t a good time. I had two brothers already here and that led to my decision to move to the U.S.” He wound up in Washington, D.C., where Mariscada, a shellfish stew.

P lay




E l S alvadorian S occ To auran B u in


Dos Amigos Offers Sizzling Dishes dom

A painting in the main dining room.

Contributed photo

Chon Escobar’s Favorite New Year’s Meal Mariscada “This is a dish that literally means taking food from the sea. It’s really a stew that has clams, mussels, scallops, fish and shrimp and it’s a classic Spanish dish that is delicious when served over rice.”

A Mariscada Recipe 4 pounds of codfish fillets 1 pound of mussels 1/2 pound of fresh crabmeat 12 clams 1 pound of cleaned and de-veined shrimp 2 peeled tomatoes red and bell peppers 1 sprig of finely chopped fresh cilantro pinch of saffron threads 1 chopped onion 2 chopped cloves of garlic 2 tablespoons of olive oil salt and black pepper to taste cayenne pepper to taste

The main dining areas at Dos Amigos in Torrington.

Directions: Clean the clams and put them in a pot and pour in enough water to cover the clams along with 1/3 cup of salt. Soak the clams for 45 minutes. Change the water twice, soaking for 30 minutes each time. Clean the mussels the same way as the clams, though soak for a total of two hours. Saute the onion, tomatoes, garlic, coriander, salt, peppers, and saffron in a heated pan with oil, stirring until the onions become tender. Next, add the fish and shellfish to the onion mixture. Add water just covering the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the shellfish open, approximately 15 minutes. Throw away clams or mussels that do not open. Serve hot as is or over white rice.

Dos Amigos owner Chon Escobar.

he met his wife, Christine (a Torrington native), and worked for a brother at his Mexican-cuisine restaurant. He also attended school and obtained an accounting degree, which he put into use for several years prior to moving to Torrington with his wife 21 years ago. He worked as an accountant for two years for a firm in Farmington before deciding on a career change into the restaurant business because it offered the prospect of greater economic freedom and profit. Dos Amigos has been a popular dining establishment and watering hole since it opened. It was first on Winsted Road, where it stayed for three and a half years, prior to moving to 910 East Main

Wall decorations.

St. about 15 years ago. The restaurant has established a loyal following among local residents and those from throughout Litchfield County and beyond for its authentic Mexican/Spanish, cuisine that Escobar flavors with his own culinary twists. “We are best known for our fajitas,” he explains proudly. “I have people


A sign in the bar area at Dos Amigos.

who travel the world, including one who is an airline pilot, and they say we have the best fajitas around. Most restaurants serve fajitas dry, but we use our own sauce that makes the dish special and delicious.” Dos Amigos, which has seating for 110 in the dining areas and in an expansive bar area, is also known for its “sizzling” dishes of chicken, meat and fish, and for its impressive overall menu, which has around 60 dishes to choose from. “The key to our success has been that I have always looked to add things and grow and not remain stagnant,” says Escobar, who is at the restaurant every day and lends a hand in the kitchen when Dos Amigos is especially busy (usually Friday and Saturday evenings). “We started with maybe 20 items on the menu and we now have 60. I will try a new dish and someone will like it and we will put it on the menu.” Escobar employs five cooks on the weekends, fewer on weekdays. Dos Amigos is open for lunch and dinner every day except Monday, when it opens at 4 p.m. for dinner only. Visit www. godosamigos.com for more details. 20 LCT JANUARY 2016

And for drinks, Escobar recommends a margarita, daiquiri or pina colada, the first made with tequila, the latter two rum-based.

Margarita 1 1/2 ounces tequila 1/2 ounce triple sec (Cointreau is recommended) 1 ounce fresh lime juice lime wedge for garnish salt or sugar to rim the glass (optional) If desired, salt the rim of a chilled margarita glass.

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake well Strain into the prepared with or without fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Pina Colada 2 ½ to 3 ounces of rum 2 ounces cream of coconut 2 ounces pineapple juice crushed ice (enough to fill the serving glass). Pour all of the ingredients into the blender and blend

thoroughly until smooth. Pour back into a serving glass, top off with a straw and a piece of pineapple if so desired.

Daiquiri 2 1/2 ounces light rum 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice 1/4 ounce simple syrup Pour the light rum, lime juice and sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake well Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

womenonthemove written and photographed by

N.F. Ambery

Shirley MacCallum, North Canaan, started the MacCallum Family Fund for Animal Welfare.

W elfare

u d n




C reate


sp red to i


W oma I n



N orth C a


Two Love Stories – One Goal

Shirley MacCallum pictured with a portrait of Molly.

Molly was the inspiration for the MacCallum Family Fund for Animal Welfare, an endowed field-of-interest fund that assists needy pet owners facing high veterinarian bills through Sand Road Animal Hospital in Falls Village and the Millerton Veterinary Practice in Millerton, New York. THE LITCHFIELD COUNTY TIMES MONTHLY 21


he MacCallum Family Fund for Animal Welfare began as some good tales do – with a love story. And not just with one love story, but two. In her spacious apartment in East Canaan, Shirley MacCallum shows painted portraits of Molly, her yellow Labrador who died of lymphoma and ensuing complications in 2013. “She was a wonderful dog,” she says, also showing a memorial photograph of the dialysis machine at Sand Road Animal Hospital in Falls Village that the employees there memorialized with a plaque. The gentle-eyed Molly was part of the driving force behind the MacCallum Fund, an endowed field-of-interest fund that assists needy pet owners facing high veterinarian bills through Sand Road Animal Hospital and the Millerton Veterinary Practice in Millerton, New York. But while Molly was one part of the love story, there was another piece to the tale as well. MacCallum grew up in Agawam, Massachusetts, attending Agawam High School. She worked as a secretary at a local

firm. She met Toby on a blind date 40 years ago. Toby was an employee at United Technologies Corp., an aircraft technology company in Farmington. On their first date, they attended a dance held by the Winsted Area Ambulance Association. Toby was a widower with children; MacCallum was divorced and had a young son. MacCallum declared it was love at first sight. Shortly thereafter, she put in a three-month notice to her longtime job and married Toby. She moved into her husband’s apartment above Toby’s Antiques in North Canaan, a business they kept going. “Between our children, it was an instant family,” MacCallum says. Toby eventually went into business for himself, becoming a personal mover of classical pianist Vladimir Horowitz. This job often took Toby out of town, traveling across the country, but he always returned with an antique statuette or keepsake

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Shirley and photos of Molly.

item in the shape of a dog for his wife. This was MacCallum’s favorite type of tchotchke, and she never let Toby forgot to bring one back, she said. The trophy case in MacCallum’s office now overflows with the memorabilia. MacCallum said her animal activism was influenced by a childhood spent on a farm. “There were chickens, cows, pigs, and horses,” she said. “I always lived among animals. We raised Bantams and rabbits. And I always had a dog and cat.” Misfortune interrupted the marriage in 2003. Toby was diagnosed with Stage-3, bordering on Stage-4, lymphoma. According to his doctors, the disease, which manifests in blood cell tumors developing from lymphatic cells, meant Toby had just one year to live. Toby had just one request at that time: “I want a dog.” After losing a prior family pet of 18 years, Toby had vowed to never suffer the loss of another dog. “He swore up and down not to get another pet because he was heartbroken,” MacCallum says.

The lymphoma diagnosis changed everything. One of Toby’s antique store clients happened to be a yellow Labrador breeder. “He had a litter of pups brought into the shop, and at that point Toby decided he must have another animal to love,” MacCallum says. One puppy in the litter immediately caught his eye, and it was Molly. After bartering with the breeder and eventually giving away a priceless stirrup cup in exchange for the dog, Molly was ready to come home. “We paid three times as much as he asked when we gave him the cups,” MacCallum explains. “But we had to have Molly.” The MacCallums took the new puppy for a check-up to Sand Road Animal Hospital. Thereafter, Molly and Toby were inseparable, the puppy accompanying him everywhere, including antique shows in Florida. The grown Molly was known for her stately beauty – she inspired paintings by local artists, one of which was used in an advertisement for a

A donation in honor of Molly received many thanks.

A portrait of Molly, a yellow labrador who died of lymphoma and ensuing complications in 2013. Molly was the inspiration for the MacCallum Family Fund for Animal Welfare.

portrait studio in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Molly’s beauty extended to her personal charms as well. “Her personality was very loving,” MacCallum says. “Molly always slept in the same bed, even when he was sick. She loved him to pieces.” Months became years, Molly grew up, and Toby was still around. The life-

changing energy of the relationship was undeniable, MacCallum says. The doctors were astounded. “Toby had 70 chemo treatments and 10 radiations,” MacCallum explains. “He suffered not only with lymphoma but with a defibrillation abnormality (a heart disorder), diabetes and sleep apnea. Nonetheless,

he lived for almost nine years after being told he would only live one.” Shortly after Molly’s eighth birthday party, Toby died on Feb., 1, 2012. One of Toby’s last wishes was for Molly – who was suffering from a form of canine lymphoma – to get treatments of her own when she got sick. Five chemo pills per day had damaged the dog’s kidneys, which meant Molly had to go for daily dialysis treatments at Sand Road Animal Hospital. “For five months, seven days a week, I went to Sand Road Hospital, and the last seven months they came to my house to give her dialysis,” she details. “I made a promise to Toby to do whatever it took to keep Molly alive.” Eventually, Molly was suffering so much they had to have her put down on Jan. 3, 2013. During her time of trying in vain to keep Molly alive, MacCallum was an eyewitness in the veterinarian’s waiting room to the anguish other pet owners felt. “I saw these people crying because they couldn’t afford treatments for their pet,” she says. “I wanted to do something for them every time I’d go with Molly.” When asked what she could do to help, MacCallum was referred to Torrington’s Community Foundation of Northwest

Debbie Borgert helped MacCallum by spreading the word about the fund. “Shirley is a unique, amazing lady, and it’s about time to get the ‘good news’ out there,” Borgert says. “The more people the fund helps out, the better are its chances that it will last forever.” Already the fund has made a difference with local residents. MacCallum said one local dog owner who rescued a mixed-breed from a dog-fighting situation received a partial payment toward a large surgery bill. “Things like that Family photos on display in the McCallum home in North Canaan. are most important,” says MacCallum, “like helping Connecticut. It turned medical treatments that an animal in need.” out she had about $20,000 in turn depend on finanIn order for fund to left over from her late cial requirements.” continue helping dog and husband’s life insurance, Rovezzi said the fund’s cat owners, it needs donaso she used the money program is currently tions. MacCallum said to start a fund dedicated available at Sand Road donations are tax-deducto helping people who Animal Hospital and table, and 100 percent of cannot afford to pay for the Millerton Veterinary donations go to the founexpensive, life-saving Practice. Pet owners must dation. “Everything can treatments for their pets. fill out an application that be written off,” she says. MacCallum said is reviewed by a board of To donate, visit The Community Foundation four community members. Community Foundation President Guy Rovezzi “It puts less stress on the of Northwest Connecticut assisted her with creating owners, who have a unique at cfnwct.org. Pet owners an endowed fund to creaffection for the pet but in financial need can pick ate a resource in perpetunot the financial resources,” up applications for assisity. Thus, the MacCallum Rovezzi says. “It allevitance at the two veterinary Family Fund for Animal ates the stress of making a hospitals. For more inforWelfare was born in heart-wrenching decision.” mation, call 860-626-1245 August 2013 in an effort to or e-mail at [email protected] MacCallum’s friend assist needy pet owners facing high veterinarian bills. Rubbish Removal and Roll-off Containers “Shirley’s intent is a noble one,” Rovezzi says Residential & CommeRCial about the fund. “Pet owners are put in a situation where they depend on



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antiques written and photographed by

John Torsiello


ohn Pawleski likes to think of the Connecticut Antique Machinery Association’s sprawling museum grounds a mile north of Kent Center as sort of a “Sturbridge Village of industrial history.” And, indeed, his assertion is pretty right on. There are no fewer than 12 buildings scattered about the 6-acre site, located near to the Eric Sloane Museum off Route 7, housing a myriad of antique machinery and other items, from tractors to massive engines that once powered mills and factories. The association began in the early 1980s as a collection of friends and acquaintances who shared a desire for preserving the machinery and tools that powered the industrial age. “We used to meet in private homes back in the early days,” says Pawleski, the association’s president, who is at the museum pretty much every day even though the formal visitor season only runs from May through October. “We had our first antique machinery shows at the John Pettibone School in New Milford. As interest and membership grew and there was interest in our telling the story of the state’s agricultural and industrial heritage, members banded together, raised some money and purchased this land, 24 LCT JANUARY 2016

which was owned at the time by the state.” Over the years, various buildings were built to house the enormous amount of donations of antique machinery and other items the association has received. The nonprofit museum is dedicated to the preservation, restoration and demonstration of antique machinery from the state’s rich industrial and agricultural past. CAMA is an all-volunteer organization that has about 800 members from all around the country and abroad. The main focus of the association and its museums and collection is to educate the general public as to early industrial and agricultural methods. The museum has 10 main “areas of focus,” with exhibits relating to each area. There’s a blacksmith shop, a sawmill exhibit, the Diebold Agricultural Hall, an impressive Hall of Steam Power, areas devoted to small and large internal combustion engines, road construction and earth moving equipment, the Green Hill Agricultural School, a building on mining and

Left: A steam shovel. Above: Two very old tractors in a field. Right: An engine hoist. Below: An old workhorse tractor.


ndus rial t


P reserves M achinery , T ools F ro


M useu


Showcasing State’s Heritage ge

mineral science that is being expanded upon for the coming year to include a Hall of Connecticut Geology, and a narrow gauge railroad. There is enough to keep “gear heads,” as Pawleski likes to call those interested in such things, around for an entire day or more. “Connecticut was a hub of industry in America’s early and formative years, especially mining, which went on for quite some time,” he said. “Many of the first mines in the country were right here in Connecticut, and that is a story to be told. The Barnum Richardson Company in Lime Rock made quality railroad wheels that were shipped all over the world and the mines and furnaces were in the Northwest Corner of the state.” The association constantly receives offers of

antique equipment, but its inventory has reached a level where it must now be selective about that it takes. “For instance,” says Pawleski, “we are considering taking a Scientific ‘hit-or-miss’ engine once used to power water pumps. This is a piece that we will likely take after review because it is so rare. But we have gotten to the point that I don’t know if we will expand to a much larger degree. We want to make sure we present what we have in a proper way and not just take everything that is offered to us and pile it up.” The association draws about 10,000 to 12,000 visitors a year to its museum, with its activities and maintenance of the museum being funded through donations and shows. Visitors have come from all 50 states and no

John Pawleski, president of the Connecticut Antique Machinery Association in Kent.

fewer than 40 counties. Volunteerism is at the very core of the association’s existence and future. Volunteering at the Connecticut Antique Machinery Association museum offers a level of involvement beyond that of the casual visitor, and the museum has

101 Park Lane Road New Milford, CT 06776

volunteer programs for young and old, Pawleski said. Volunteers become a member of the museum family and learn about the agricultural and industrial machinery that made America the world’s leading industrial power. Volunteer activities enable individuals to participate in and support the museum’s education and research programs, while meeting and sharing time with people of

similar interests. Since there is no paid staff, volunteers are responsible for the entire operation. Assignments are varied and range from administrative responsibilities to equipment restoration and operation. The museum also relies on the volunteer staff to interpret and protect its collection, while enhancing the visitor’s experience. Many volunteers do hands-on work like equipment restoration and operation, while others do administrative or clerical work. Some volunteers work behind the scenes with exhibit design, grounds keeping, or building maintenance. Others are out front working with the public. The association stages two major shows, the first of the year being its annual “Spring Power-Up” and open house that will be held the Saturday before the first Sunday in May. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The second is the Fall Festival in October.

The 2016 Spring Power-Up will be the Association’s 12th anniversary of the re-opening of CAMA after winter. Unlike the annual Fall Festival, the Spring PowerUp will be a showcase of steam and internal combustion engines, tractors, the historic Cream Hill Agricultural School and the Connecticut Museum of Mining and Mineral Science. Members or nonmember outside exhibitors are welcome to bring their machinery and set up for the day. There is no charge for exhibitors to display their antique machineryrelated items. Outside vendors are also welcome to set up for a nominal fee, organizers said. As with the Fall Festival, only antique, vintage or machinery-related items may be sold at the Power-Up. Although the museum is closed officially until May, group tours and private visits may be arranged by calling 860-927-0050. Also, visit www.CTAMachinery. com for more details.

Toll free 866-787-7778 860-354-4145 local

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saTuRDaY, DeCeMbeR 5TH & 19TH FRoM 10aM To 2PM 12 DaYs oF CHRisTMas saLes — FoLLow us oN FaCebook oR sigNuP FoR eMaiLs FoR LaTesT sCHeDuLe — THE LITCHFIELD COUNTY TIMES MONTHLY 25

homes&garden written by

Tovah Martin • Contributed photographs

Bride and bridesmaid with bouquets by Floral Design by Justine. 26 LCT JANUARY 2016













Justine Leeper


An Agriscience Success Story onnewaug

Photo by Picture This Photography

Contributed photo

David Austin roses, scabiosa seed pods, dahlias and pittosporum in a bouquet by Justine Leeper.


Photo by Corey Lynn Tucker Photography

Dahlias, roses, and astilbe in a wedding table arrangement by Justine Leeper.

ustine Leeper could easily qualify as the poster child for Agriscience programs. Ultra-creative, overflowing with energy, titillating with out-of-the-box ideas, eager to work hand-inhand with clients, and the newly minted owner of a thriving startup florist business, Leeper is a sterling success story nurtured and launched through Nonnewaug’s Ellis Clark Regional Agriscience Program. Talk to Leeper about her blossoming career as a floral designer, and she’ll begin by thanking her enthusiastic and inspirational teachers at Nonnewaug. As Leeper puts it, “Nonnewaug was the best thing that ever happened to me.” The school was the springboard that ignited her interest in floral design and coached her entry into the field. When Justine Leeper graduated from the Agriscience program in 2010, the entire region benefited. Right now, Leeper has her hands full juggling brides. Between the weddings happening during the holiday season and all those newly engaged couples in the initial stages of planning future events,

Photo by Picture This Photography

Rose, chamomile, and daisy bouquet by Justine Leeper.

she is bustling. After all, ‘tis the season when partners pop the question

and exchange vows. And Floral Designs by Justine, based in Bethlehem, specializes in weddings. But that’s just part of the picture. Leeper also does party/event/ home decorations both indoors and out as well as wreaths and centerpieces. However, weddings are the venue she holds dear. She loves the dialog between partners from engagement through the actual ceremony. Justine Leeper It all started with an

Contributed photo


Contributed photo

David Austin roses, scabiosa seed pods, dahlias and pittosporum in a bouquet by Justine Leeper. Right: Bride with calla lily and herb bouquet by Justine Leeper.

interest in Future Farmers of America. FFA prodded her to enter Nonnewaug’s Agriscience program as a freshman. It didn’t take long for Leeper to select a focus. One semester with Eric Birkenberger, the instructor in floral design, and she was hooked. She remained enrolled in his classes all four years. By her sophomore year, he had encouraged Leeper to enter her first competition. “The category was a design for a celebration and I chose Independence Day,” she recalls. She did a novel double decker design with a fish tank holding a betta fish on one level and spray roses, waxflowers and greenery on the second 28 LCT JANUARY 2016

tier. After the arrangement was entered, she began to get cold feet. What if the fish died? The safety of Uno (the betta fish) became paramount. “All I could think about was ‘please let Uno be alive,’” Leeper recalls. Fortunately, Uno fared just fine during the exhibition. Not surprisingly, the design won second place. As for Uno, he became part of the family. That competition is typical of Leeper’s creative process. Rather than going for a big or grand display, she took a novel route. “I want to think out of the box,” she realized. “I tend to use things that nobody else employs.” Enlisting flowers, herbs, seed pods and greenery

Photo by Leanne Williams Photography and Videography

that are not generally harnessed by florists has become her signature style. You won’t find Justine Leeper working with carnations. Instead, she’ll create something unique and interesting. By her senior year, Leeper was part of a fourperson team entering into the floral competition in the Big E for the career development event. Contestants worked both solo and in groups to create corsages, centerpieces and wedding flowers. She had to convey her problem-solving abilities as well as prove her capacity to work within a budget. Correct plant identifications were part of the relay. She accomplished a tricky interview with a “client” while the judges watched. Leeper and her team won first prize at the Big E, first place in the state, and 10th place in the country. Meanwhile, halfway through her freshman year, the Agriscience program required Leeper to engage in 200 hours of supervised agricultural experience. She chose to work at The Garden in Woodbury. “And I’m still working with them now,” she proudly says. Although she helps in all capacities, she focuses on the houseplants, stocking the greenhouses and as a grower at the nursery. Not surprisingly, when a coworker planned her wedding, Leeper was asked to compose the flowers. From Nonnewaug, Leeper attended UConn, still concentrating on floral design. And now, she’s putting all her knowledge to use in her own business. One of her favorite aspects is the newfound freedom of expression. “This has been my dream for years,” she confides. Finally, she can

go beyond the carnations, baby’s breath and Toll GaTe leatherleaf fern that animal CliniC was the static repertoire 568B Torrington Road provided at school. And Litchfield, CT 06759 that’s where Leeper really excels, “Finding T. 860-361-6464 something new gets me excited all the time,” she HOuRS: Mon., Tue., Thur., Fri.: 8 am to 5 pm says. She accesses her Wed.: 8 am to 7 pm • Sat.: 8 am to 1 pm own garden—planting herbs, picking kale, even Conveniently located in Litchfield, CT, using green beans in her on Toll Gate Hill, RT 202. arrangements. She incorWe are a family-oriented veterinary practice porates the local flora to offering the best in medicine, surgery, give a sense of place. She cuts gingko, rosemary, and preventative care for your pets in a English ivy and chamocomfortable and familiar atmosphere. mile from her home. She finds sources of maidenSeRviCeS OffeRed: hair ferns, ranunculus and • Comprehensive Medical and orchids. Surgical Small Animal Practice She is stretching her • Early morning drop off appointments and house calls wings. “Of course, you available on a limited basis always need to learn the • In-House diagnostics available, including digital radiology basics,” she says of her • Dental care education, but she is tak• Flexible individually tailored treatment plans ing her knowledge many • On-Call emergency service steps further. And she • Accepting New Patients Photo by Katie Slater Photography is continually keeping • Care credit provider Handheld bouquet with dahlias, ranunculus, abreast of developments in the field, attending the gooseneck loosestrife and paper flowers. Northeast Floral Expo and other venues for inspiration. The newest trends? “Cut clematis is the rage and florist suppliers are selling tulips in flower with the bulbs IT’S BETTER WITH BATH FITTER® We were extremely pleased with the work attached.” that was done, and we love the appearance of But it’s not only about our new bathroom. Happy ingredients. Justine Holidays – ROBERT and CAROLYN T. Leeper is sparked by the dialog with her clients. off a complete “I love when I meet $ Bath Fitter System a bride,” she says. An engaging communicator Get a new tub or unique, one-piece and an attentive listener, she delights in exchanging seamless wall system – installed in BEFORE ideas, sharing inspiration and building on color as little as one day! choices. “Brides text me, they show me pictures of AFTER things they really like,” she says. The interaction ensures that an event is truly an expression of the 262 ELLINGTON ROAD, SOUTH WINDSOR, CT 06074 PHONE: 860-282-2230 | 1-877-355-8555 | REG # 580158 bride and groom translated into flowers. But Call 1-877-355-8555 today for a FREE in-home estimate... it’s not only about flowand get the bathroom of your dreams | bathfitterct.com ers—she’s been known to incorporate textiles © 2015 2013 Bath Fitter®. *See location for details. One coupon per customer. May not be combined with any other offer. Coupon must be presented and feathers into her creat the time of estimate. Discount applies to same day purchases only. Previous orders and estimates excluded. Offer valid only at this location. ations.





At this time of year, Leeper is also expressing the holiday spirit with flowers and greenery. She decorated the president’s house at UConn and she currently does flowers for the Painted Pony restaurant in Bethlehem during the summer and Market Place Kitchen & Bar in Woodbury throughout the year, among other venues. She does mantels, but she also creates tablescapes. With her typical creativity, she suggests moving beyond the usual centerpiece to work with birch logs, candles, olive branches and gourds. Containergrown plants and topiary add a lively touch to endure long after the holidays are over, she says. Thanks to Agriscience programs and teachers like Mr. Birkenberger, students find their passion early and pursue it with gusto.



on the Farm EVENTS

FREE H OLIDAY C ONCERTS Sponsored by the New Milford Commission on the Arts

SingOut! CT • December 5th, 3pm Sarah Noble Intermediate School Choir December 6th, 3pm Chorus Angelicus Junior & Training Choirs December 12th, 2pm The Kent Singers • December 19th, 2pm

The Gallery will feature the famous Silo tree decked out in ornaments symbolizing our new mission, as well as our latest art installation, “Wonderment.”





Join Bryn Gillette, professional artist and teacher, for a unique kids’ class. Ages 9-13. December 19th, 3-5:30pm • $45/child

Decorate a gingerbread house and get in the holiday spirit! $85, 2 people per house Visit our website to sign up for a class!



• 860-355-0300 • [email protected]

Photo by Wendy Kane Photography

Rose and purple calla lily bouquets by Floral Design by Justine.

As for Justine Leeper, she’s following her dream. Discuss her trade with Leeper, and her eyes light up. Suggest an idea and she runs with it to wonderful, magical places. Not

surprisingly, her clients marvel at her imagination and her resources. Not afraid to explore where nobody else has ventured, she redefines her art. Everything that comes

from Leeper’s Bethlehem home studio has personality, meaning, romance and expression. See her work on Facebook at FloralDesigns-by-Justine.

Hatfield & Co. J








1875 E. Main Street, Torrington CT • 860.489.4367 Store hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10am - 6pm Thursday 10am - 7pm, Saturday 10am - 4pm Open Sunday For The Holidays - Call for Hours

Hatfield & Co. will be hosting a trunk show with K abana

Thursday, December 17th 4pm - 8pm

w w w. h at f iel da n d c o. n e t THE LITCHFIELD COUNTY TIMES MONTHLY 31