Greetings dear friends and kind readers and welcome back for our Memorial Day visit here on the Front Porch where flags are waving and where summer seems to have suddenly arrived! Downtown was packed with visitors and locals over the weekend — thanks to Virtu, which attracted hundreds, if not thousands of art lovers to the region — and our little villages of Weekapaug, Watch Hill and Misquamicut have sprung to life.  

Since it is Memorial Day, let us pause to remember those who have given their lives to defend our freedom. Each year, Bob Nist asks me to share Maj.John McCrae's poem, "In Flanders Field," which memorializes the 1914 First Battle of Ypres and served as inspiration for the red poppy being chosen as a symbol of remembrance. While I am unable to share the entire poem, I will share the first lines below, and encourage you all to visit the Poetry Foundation for the entire poem.

"In Flanders fields the poppies blow, Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky, The larks, still bravely singing, fly ..."

What a treat it was to travel to New London Saturday night to spend a few hours inside the historic Shaw Mansion for Flock Theatre's exquisite production of Jane Austen’s "Pride and Prejudice." Not only was the setting incredibly intimate (there's room for only 30 audience members who sit almost on stage!) but the acting was superb. The lovely Madeleine Dauer was a perfect Elizabeth Bennet, the handsome Brandon Tyler a perfect Mr. Darcy, and what fun to see Christie Max Williams as Mr. Bennet (and what an excellent performance!) Westerly's Brian Olsen in his twin roles as Mr. Collins and Mr. Lucas couldn't have been better. Stay tuned for more about the Flock which comes to Wilcox Park next month with "A Comedy of Errors." In the small world department, we sat right beside the fabulous Liz Pasqualini who just accepted a position as executive director of Thames River Innovation (TRIP) whose mission is "to build prosperity in the Thames River region through authentic innovation, collaboration, and diverse partnerships." Sounds perfect!

Now, dear readers, I must return to where I left you last week, and share more highlights from the amazing twin galas held last week at the Westerly Armory in honor of Westerly 350th anniversary. Westerly's sweetheart, Angie Smith and her committee members continue to receive praise for the amazing pair of celebrations which attracted hundreds of revelers all dressed in glamorous garb. On Friday night I saw Matt and Florence Lewiss, Mary Levcowich, Amy and Tim Babcock, Chelsea and Paul Brayman, Mojie Friel and Nick Stahl, Lee Eastbourne, Russ and Elaine Partridge enjoying themselves. On Gala Night II, much to my thrill, we sat with Greg Ahern and Robin Springborn andRandy Aboud and Marion Markham and got to visit/see/dance with Lisa Szaro, Cathy and Clayton Brayman, Michelle and Bill Jacobson, Ed and Kim Rayner-Russell, Paul Kuhn and Kristy Livingston, Cal and Lori Lord and Helen and Lido Mochetti who owned the dance floor. Such a thrill to see Helen back on her feet! Among those attending both galas (and looking chic and elegant) were Shawn and Darlene Lacey certainly one of the most fetching couples in town. Hats off to Paul Doyle and John Kolesar of Watch Hill Catering for the fabulous food! Enjoy the holiday and ciao bella!

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