Greetings dear friends and kind readers and welcome back for another June visit here on the Front Porch where we're enjoying all the sweet prom and dance photos (remember to send them our way!) and gearing up for graduations, Flag Day and Father's Day. Hats off to all you daddy-os! Then comes Summer Pops, with special guest Paul Winter.

Let's begin this week with the happiest news of all, a new bambino! Teddy Bears are on the way to the home of Reese Kathleen Bridgman, brand new baby daughter of Leslie (Barber) And Justin Bridgman of Pawcatuck who are, I hear, simply over the moon. Beautiful baby Reese who arrived on April 23, is the first grandchild for Michael and Tricia "Trixie" (McNeill) Barber and the second for Kathy and Bob Bridgman. Reese Kathleen, who gets her middle name from grandma Kathy, is great grandchild number two for Charlie and Pat McNeill. Best wishes to all.

Speaking of Flag Day, best birthday wishes and a big shout out to the lovely Rachel Jean Cook who celebrates a birthday on June 14. 

The Westerly train station was jam-packed Friday night for the opening night reception of the new exhibit, "Scene from a Train," which features the watercolors of that darling Patty Nunes and the jewelry of Kristie Foss. The reception was so well-attended, art lovers were spilling out onto the street. I enjoyed seeing artist Linda Peduzzi (however briefly) who has a show up now at the library's Hoxie Gallery with Diane Brown. I noticed that Roger Douglass Rice's red sculpture "Evolution" which graces the green lawn in front of the station, in the artists words, "seems to be evolving into a new species." Make sure to stop by for a look! 

Brava to WHS grad Vanessa Parise, a film director and Harvard grad named one of "Ten Female Directors Breaking Stereotypes" who recently won a Leo Award (a project of the Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Foundation of British Columbia) for "Best Direction of a Television Movie" for "The Simone Biles Story: Courage To Soar." Parise, the daughter of Lois and Joseph Parise, who spend much of the year in Watch Hill, shared her gratitude on social media "#SimoneBiles‬ was a joyful collaboration by a massively talented team, and we were all fortunate enough to be inspired by the extraordinary Simone herself and her amazing family," Parise posted. "The Simone Biles Story" was also nominated for Best Television Movie and Best Lead Actress by the NAACP Awards. Well done Vanessa!

Congratulations to noted Stonington photographer Michael Medford who recently had five of his photos selected by the United States Post Office for the new "Forever stamps," celebrating "America’s Wild and Scenic Rivers." the photos, all "deemed outstandingly remarkable for their fish and wildlife, geology, recreation and cultural or historical significance," showcase a different segment of the National Wild and Scenic River System. Medford's shots include a wintery shot of the Merced River in California, two aerial photographs — a seasonally verdant Idaho segment of the Owyhee River and Alaska’s meandering Koyukuk River – and an image of Nebraska’s tree-lined Niobrara River. News of the stamp is being shared on social media using the hashtags #WildScenicRiversStamps and #WildRiverStamps. Ciao bella!

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