Greetings friends and faithful readers and welcome back for our first spring visit on the Front Porch and our last visit for March 2019.
Ah yes, spring is here which means that Dairy Queen is open and baseball season is upon us! The Boston Red Sox start the season Thursday in Seattle with the Mariners and the Yanks play Thursday in New York against the Orioles. The Sox home opener is April 9 against the Blue Jays. Play ball!
Speaking of ice cream and DQ, which opened last week, congratulations to sweet Melanie Goggin of Mel's Downtown Creamery Fame. The creamery celebrated its seven-year anniversary last week and held a fabulous birthday bash. Happy birthday Mel, and thank you for all you do!
Speaking of fabulous, I keep meaning to mention that I read Deborah Goodrich Royce's debut novel, "Finding Mrs. Ford," when I was on vacation, and can't recommend it highly enough! Well done, Deborah! Who could possibly resist a thriller set in Watch Hill (and Detroit) that is full of unexpected twists and turns, and a character reminiscent of a certain philanthropic, debonair gentleman closely related to Mrs. Royce. I guarantee this will be the page turner of the summer season on East Beach. You can pre-order the book at Savoy Bookshop, and you can also visit deborahgoodrichroyce.com for delicious details about the book and comments from fellow writers.
What fun to hear from Westerly native Peter Kelley, who shared news about a new venture he's launched called NoSwear Headwear, available at noswearheadwear.com. Kelley, who graduated from Westerly High School in 1973, now lives in Berlin, Vt., where he is a member of the town's governing selectboard. Recently Kelley, who was a member of the fifth generation to grow up in a house on Margin Street (built by his great, great- grandfather in 1848), was described as a "serial entrepreneur and small-business owner" by a Vermont newspaper. Kelley, who began his career as a 12-year-old pumping gas for Joe Abate at Daddy’s Shell, also designed and patented a tabletop centerpiece called the Wine Chime Toasting Bar, which he said landed in Michael Chiarello's NapaStyle catalog and stores, and on his website. The bar can be seen at www.winechime.com.
I also heard from Paula Neidmann last week, who shared the sad news of the passing of Robert G. Collins, of Hamilton, Ohio. Paula said Bob and his family moved to Westerly in 1968 to work with the late Herman Verbinnen, a renowned stained glass artist/craftsman. The two men worked on many of the windows at Christ Church, and after Herman died, Bob continued to repair memorial windows and designed the memorial window for the Rev. James Annand, former priest at Christ Church in the late 60s. Bob also did landscaping and caretaking in Watch Hill, while living in the Harkness House with his family, she said. Our thoughts are with the Collins family.
Parishioners of St. Clare Church in Misquamicut were surprised and sad to learn last week that their pastor of the last 13+ years, Rev. Kenneth J. Suibielski, will be leaving the parish in July. Fr. Ken said he'll be retiring and heading to warmer climes. Speaking of St. Clare's, dozens of members of the Bliven-Panciera family gathered at the church Sunday morning to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of Barbara (Panciera) and Bill Bliven. Congratulations to a beautiful couple!