TREES – PLANTING AHEAD – COMMUNITY PROJECT

Not Everything Grows Overnight

TREE LINED MAIN STREET WALPOLE c1904

Each month I spend time reviewing all Town minutes and agendas “gleaning” what I should share with you in the Clarion. A couple of sentences in the Selectboard minutes of January 9 stated that trees by the Library, on the Common and by the Town Hall need replacing. Mr. Dalessio said he would prefer larger trees. No decisions were made. But I came to a decision. A “new project” to work on because trees do not grow overnight.

Guy Bemis planted a sugar maple in front of my home in 1969. That twig grew, but sadly, as a large tree, it passed in 2016 – it was huge and prominent. I needed to do something to replace it. Looking over my collection of images of my home and the Common dating from the 1870s, it became evident that “Only the Trees are Different.” I wrote a story woven with images of how trees have come and gone around the Common – but basically everything else remained the same. You can find a link to my story from the home page of the Clarion website. My “new” 12 year old tree was planted July 26, 2017.

In 1853, the Town voted to give permission to individuals, clubs or companies to set out shade and ornamental trees upon the borders of the Common, the sides of streets and vacant public spots of land in Walpole Village. Currently, at both the south and north ends of the Common, substantial trees, planted by civic groups, stand tall. There are probably many other plantings in the village, on town property, that others may be aware of.

Main Street Walpole has always been known for its tree lined pathway. Both the Common and surrounding properties are proudly green in summer, with changing colors as winter approaches. The library needs replacement trees, and when I went to the post office just moments ago, a large tree was being removed just south of the library. It would bE appropriate for a knowledgeable group to step forward to advise and assist the Selectboard in preparing a logical tree replacement plan.

This is an Old Home Days year. Wouldn’t it be nice to dedicate a number of trees during the festivities? I challenge you to step forward and help. Let’s form a tree replacement advisory board, see what is needed, and take the necessary steps for tree selection, planting, and fund-raising to lessen tax payers’ burden. Donations to the town, specified for such a purpose, are tax deductible. If enough people like the idea, let’s get going. And, if this project and donations take off, the Clarion pledges $500 for a start.

– Ray Boas

Trees

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Joyce Kilmer – 1886-1918

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JANUARY 2020 CLARION – NOW ON-LINE

The January 2020 issue of the CLARION is now on-line, for you to see. I posted a tad early since the holidays are coming. I am sure that you will want to take a break from holiday frenzy and relax with the CLARION By clicking on the link below you can take a look, and also share with out of town friends by providing them the link. 

Remember THE WALPOLE CLARION is now on Facebook with more news and updates weekly
please click here to visit, follow, and share

CLICK ON THIS LINK FOR THE JANUARY 2020 ISSUE

The deadline for the February 2020 issue is 22 January. It is your providing articles to share with the Walpole, North Walpole, and Drewsville community that makes the CLARION work. And particularly it is the advertisers that make it happen, so thank them, and patronize them. 

Happy New Year – yours, RAY, Publisher

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CANDLES IN THE WINDOW – THE HISTORY BEHIND

I share a tidbit of history each month in THE WALPOLE CLARION in my “column,” DID YOU KNOW THAT…?  In the December, 2019, issue I explored the background behind placing candles in windows. As the season approaches, you may want to know why candles are appearing, and you may wish to display your own.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…

… the tradition of lighting candles in the windows of homes during Christmas, dating to colonial times, was brought to America by the Irish? Candles in windows have always been considered a sign of welcome to others. In early America, when homes were often miles apart, the sight of a distant candle in a window was a sign of “welcome” to those wishing to visit.

Religious practices and persecution have a long and complicated history in Ireland. As early as 1171, King Henry II’s invasion of Ireland began persecution against the Irish. Pagan solstice celebrations were replaced by Christmas celebrations. Protestantism attempted to replace Catholicism. The British Government, between 1691 and 1778, perfected their oppressive Penal Laws, targeting Catholics in an attempt to squash the religion. Catholic priests were not allowed to practice their faith. Ordered to leave the country, the priests instead went into hiding. The Irish were forced to obey British Rule.

During Christmastime, faithful Irish Catholics would, in darkness, light a candle in the window and leave the door unlocked. This was a sign to priests it was safe to slip into their home to say Mass. In return they offered hospitality to the priest. The British, questioning the Irish about the candles, were told it was their way to welcome Joseph, Mary, and the Baby Jesus as they sought shelter. On immigrating to the United States, the Irish brought this holiday practice with them.

The tradition of the lit candle in the window in colonial America has been interpreted in many ways. It has been seen as a beacon of hope for any passerby during the holiday season, and signaled strangers that there would be food and shelter there, should they ask.  Candles also showed hope that Mary and other saints would pass by their home and bless it. The candle’s welcome was part silent prayer for the safe return of an absent person, and part sign there is someone waiting and tending the fire. Other interpretations say the candle would be sending a message – a child had been born or a family had received a blessing of some nature. Often the candles would be commemorating a community event or celebration. Inns (and now bed and breakfasts) used candles announcing rooms were available, and leading travelers to the door. The key being the sense of welcome.

When Colonial Williamsburg was established, they were unsure how Christmas should be represented. Remember, it was not much of a holiday in colonial America. They hung colored lights on ten evergreen trees in 1934, continuing to search for decorations representative of the period. The landscape architect remembered his family’s practice of placing a candle in their Boston window in 1893. With that idea, the next year a single lighted candle was placed in the windows of the four buildings open to the public. The candles were lit from 5 to 10 PM between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Worried of fire, four janitors were paid $1.00 each to light the candles and guard against fires.

Electric candles solved the concern with fire. Colonial Williamsburg visitors liked what they saw, and wanted candles to take back home. In 1941, Williamsburg department stores sold their entire stock of 600 electric candles by Christmas Eve. Today, having candles in the windows is even easier. My candles take batteries, and are remotely controlled.
RAY BOAS

CANDLE IN THE WINDOW — FENNO HOUSE c 1725 — Old Sturbridge Village, November 17, 2019 – Photo
RAY BOAS

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DECEMBER 2019 CLARION – NOW ON-LINE

Your December issue of the CLARION is now on-line, for you to see. By clicking on the link below you can take a look, and also share with out of town friends by providing them the link. 

But even more exciting is, thanks to my son Gary’s help this weekend, THE WALPOLE CLARION is now on Facebook with more news and updates weekly
please click here to visit, follow, and share

CLICK ON THIS LINK FOR THE DECEMBER ISSUE

Again with the holidays coming, the deadline for the January 2020 issue is 20 December. Mark your calendars and get your articles (and ads) in early to share with the Walpole, North Walpole, and Drewsville community. Thank you

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year – yours, RAY, Publisher

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Walpole Fire-EMS Best in State

walpole-fire-ems-02

Justin Romanello, Bureau Chief, State of New Hampshire Division of Fire Standards and Training and Emergency Medical Services (EMS), spoke to assembled Walpole Fire and EMS personnel, November 14, at the Walpole Fire Station. On September 30, the Walpole Fire-EMS was presented the EMS Unit of the Year award for 2019 at The Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord. The award has been presented annually since 1998.

Before starting his detailed “State of the State” presentation on EMS services, Romanello praised those assembled, saying their dedication and level of readiness “should be a model for all of New Hampshire.” There are 307 agencies within the state that can be considered for this award. Nominations are considered from any “licensed EMS Unit which has documented a significant positive impact in their community.”

Prior to the start of the evening, Chief Mark Houghton toured me through the Walpole Fire Station explaining the wide variety of equipment and emergency rescue work Walpole’s EMS and fire personnel are trained to provide. Overwhelmed with what our dedicated silent heroes can do, Mark promised to work with me this coming year with a series of articles covering what services Walpole Fire-EMS are ready to perform.

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NOVEMBER 2019 CLARION – NOW ON-LINE

Your November issue of the CLARION is now on-line, for you to see. By clicking on the link below you can take a look, and also share with out of town friends by providing them the link. 

CLICK ON THIS LINK FOR THE NOVEMBER ISSUE

 

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the deadline for the December 2019 issue is 20 November. Mark your calendars and get your articles (and ads) in early to share with the Walpole, North Walpole, and Drewsville community. Thank you

Happy Thanksgiving Day – yours, RAY, Publisher

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OCTOBER 2019 CLARION — NOW ON-LINE

The October issue of the CLARION is now on-line, for you to see. By clicking on the link below you can take a look, and also share with out of town friends by providing them the link. 

CLICK ON THIS LINK FOR THE OCTOBER ISSUE

Deadline for the November 2019 issue is 22 October. Mark your calendars and get your articles (and ads) in early to share with the Walpole, North Walpole, and Drewsville community. Thank you, yours, RAY, Publisher

And, do not forget:
26 September – WITHDRAWAL STUDY INFORMATIONAL MEETING – SEPT 26 5:00 PM before the regular Selectboard meeting at the Walpole Town Hall. There will be a Charlestown Withdrawal Committee vote on October 2nd as to whether to recommend or not recommend that Charlestown withdraw from the School District.  Learn the potential impacts it could have to Walpole.

4 October – Free Admission at Windsor, Vermont, American Precision Museum
on National Manufacturing Day. Celebrate Windsor’s significant manufacturing heritage with free admission to the American Precision Museum, on National Manufacturing Day, Friday, October 4th, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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