Greetings dear friends and kind readers and welcome back for our first November visit of 2021 here on the Front Porch, where the frost is on the "punkin" as the poet James Whitcomb Riley would say. Welcome back for our first post Daylight Saving Time visit, where the sun rose this morning at 6:27 and will set at 4:34 p.m. On Sunday, we all dutifully "fell back" ... we turned back our clocks and were rewarded with an extra hour of sleep ... just so we could readjust to Standard Time again. I suppose most of us don't need to be reminded to turn back our clocks back these days since most things are done automatically these days, but we might want a heads up about a bill being debated in U.S. Senate these days —a bipartisan bill led by Sen. Marco Rubio with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse serving as lead Democratic sponsor — called the Sunshine Protection Act, which aims to make Daylight Saving Time permanent across the country. What do you think of that?
Enough of time (for now), and let's begin this week with a salute to our veterans — since Thursday is Veterans Day — and offer our appreciation to all the women and men who have spent time defending our country by serving in the armed forces. This week I'd like to particularly honor two Westerly residents; Tom Gamache, a veteran of the Third Infantry Division and Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Kevin Lowther, a musician many of you know as "Big Lux" who is a West Point grad, Iraq War veteran and activist. Tom, an amazing writer, and Kevin, an amazing musician, performed in Providence together last week as part of Trinity Rep’s Green Light Ghost Project.
Folks driving over the Weekapaug Bridge on Halloween night, were treated to a spectacular sight: two rows of glowing jack-o-lanterns lining the rails on both sides of the bridges, all carefully carved by Laura Miguel, Linda Kearns and Anna Maria Streips, who also grew the pumpkins. The master carvers said they were actually continuing the tradition that was begun years ago by some unknown bridge decorators. Look for photos of the decorated bridge in an upcoming edition of the Front Porch News, and if anyone knows who the original decorators might be, please let us know!
Congratulations to Katie Padula, daughter of Lori Padula, of Westerly, who is hard at work pursuing a master's degree in social work at Rhode Island College.
Music lovers will want to mark their calendars and reserve tickets for Nov. 16 when Will Evans will be headlining at the United along with Glenn "Glenn Thomas" Kendzia. Will tells me that it's a "huge honor" to be able to play the newly renovated United Theatre.
Speaking of honors, what an honor it was to be part of the Arts Café Mystic's first "in-person, inside" event held in the Mystic Museum of Art held in almost two years. Thanks to the cafe's Artistic Director Lisa Starr, guests heard original poems read aloud and poems from such celebrated American poets as Billy Collins and T. S. Elliot. What a treat to meet Mackensie Crowley and her mom, Michele Crowley, and to hear Mackensie read her own poems. And what a treat it was to hear members of The Carleans so soulfully play Van Morrison's "Into The Mystic" with Marc Douglas Berardo.
Speaking of sailing into the mystic, let's raise a glass high for Jerry "Remdawg" Remy, the beloved NESN broadcaster and former Red Sox second baseman who left us last week to the sadness of Red Sox Nation.
Fans of Kelley Bates, the much-loved, longtime meteorologist who graced our TVs for decades, will be happy to know that Kelly will take to the stage on Nov. 19, alongside popular Rhode Island comedian Frank O'Donnell for a performance of "Love Letters," directed by Patricia Hawkridge, for the Community Players at Jenks Auditorium in Pawtucket, just across from McCoy Stadium.
Well dear readers, allow me to end this week with some personal news. Some pretty amazing personal news! To our absolute joy and awe, our first granddaughter was born on Saturday ... our seventh grandchild and first granddaughter. In true grandmotherly fashion, I must say she is a perfectly beautiful sweet angel on earth! Please join me in welcoming Mariana DeSantis Fusaro, daughter of Jenni (Alosco) and Teddy Fusaro, of Fairfield, Conn., who was born at 12:39 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, weighing 8 pounds, 4 ounces. Mariana, who joins her big brothers, Teddy Jr., Louis William and Henriques, is the granddaughter of Louis and Ana Alosco and Samuel J. Fusaro Jr. and Nancy Burns-Fusaro, all of Westerly. Longtime Westerly residents will remember DeSantis Market on Oak Street, the Italian grocery store opened by Mariana's great-great-grandparents, the late Rosina and John DeSantis, in the early part of the last century, which served for many generations as a neighborhood gathering place and where baby Mariana's great-grandfather, the late Samuel J. Fusaro Sr., was the butcher and where her great-grandmother, the late Mary Ann DeSantis Fusaro worked alongside her late great aunts, Patricia DeSantis, Carbita DeSantis and Virginia DeSantis McVeigh.
What a heartwarming, jubilant, life-affirming fact to remember, dear readers, that despite all the turmoil and strife that exists in the world, despite mean-spirited lies and political differences, babies are born every day, and, as our friends Lennon and McCartney would say, "Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra, la-la, how the life goes on." Ciao bella!