Greetings dear friends and kind readers and welcome back to the Front Porch for our first October visit of 2020, where we are thinking about all the wonderful teachers, and hard working parents doing their best to teach the kiddos in their care during this crazy time of COVID-19. We're thinking of you and sending courage and persistence your way!

And while it may be a terribly trying time, and challenging to learn new ways of teaching and living and working, you'll be happy to know that love still flourishes, love still abounds.

On that note, felicitations and showers of love to Front Porch fave Glenn Kendzia upon the occasion of his engagement to his sweetheart Jamie Thornton. The lovebirds (see photo on right), who make their home in Nashville these days, announced the news at a family gathering in Quonochontaug last month after Glenn proposed by Quonnie Pond. Jamie, an accomplished chef, is the daughter of Kate and Randolph Thornton, of Quonochontaug. Glenn is the son of Mary Carol and Tom Kendzia, of Westerly. Many readers will remember that Glenn, a talented musician who performed for years with Wild Sun (along with the Fazio brothers, Pat and Paul) was the manager of the Knick's Tap Room, marketing coordinator for the Knickerbocker Music Center and a member of the Knickerbocker Collective. He released a solo album last May. Both Jamie and Glenn remain in advisory roles at the Knick. We send our best wishes to the Music City ... and lots of love, love love!

And for more good news, that lost doggy named Ziti, whose cute little face has been looking back at us from hundreds of signs and posters around town, has been found!

"It's incredible," Ziti's owner Christine Patsiga, of Westerly, told me on Friday afternoon. "Ziti was gone for one month and two days and it was the longest month in my life." Christine said she adopted Ziti from the island of St. Kitt's, where her brother, Henry is from, had her home for just two days before the coconut terrier escaped and ran off to Weekapaug. Ziti sightings came in from all over town, including from Walmart and the airport runway. Finally, thanks to Deb the Dog Whisperer, who dangled a piece of chicken before the pooch, Ziti was lured back to Christine's arms in Misquamicut and is now safe at home. "So many people were so helpful and kind," said Christine, chocking up. "I just wanted everyone to know the good news." Woof woof.

Thanks to chamber of commerce prez Lisa Konicki (and wasn't that a stunning photo of Lisa on the front page [above the fold!] in Friday's Sun and a cool story about "The Pop-Up Book of Stonington!") I learned about the online "Onward Leaders Art Auction!" fundraiser to benefit the Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut. Check out the gorgeous art (from artists like Beth Pite, Ana Flores, Cathy Johansen and Susan Leader) at childandfamilyagency.org. But be quick, it ends Wednesday.

Little Rhode Island has sure been getting some major national attention these days. In the Sept. 21 issue of the New Yorker mag, staff writer Michael Schulman has a great little piece about Richard Jenkins, the Providence-based actor who has become a familiar and welcome presence in Westerly. "Rhode Island and Delaware are the tiniest states but they've had big claims to fame lately," Schulman writes; "Delaware of course, has Joe Biden, who's been campaigning from his home in Wilmington. And Rhode Island managed to upstage all the other states during the virtual roll call at the Democratic National Convention, thanks to a mysterious man in black holding up a plate of calamari. The Calamari Ninja, as some people called him, — he's John Bordieri, the executive chef of Iggy's Boardwalk Lobster and Clam Bar, in Warwick — may now be the most famous person in Rhode Island. His competition, not counting natives who have moved away (Viola Davis, the Farrelly brothers) or celebrities with vacation homes there (Taylor Swift, Jay Leno) includes the character actor Richard Jenkins, who has lived in the state for the last fifty years."

Then there was the stunning photo package from photographer Alan Taylor in the Atlantic, which, if you haven't yet seen, head to the online version pronto. "Rhode Island is the smallest state in the U.S., but with a population of just over 1 million people, it is also the the second-most densely populated state. From Woonsocket and Pawtucket, through Providence, Bristol, and Newport, here are a few glimpses of the landscape of Rhode Island and some of the wildlife and people calling it home," Taylor writes in the introduction to "Rhode Island: Images of the Ocean State," part of "Fifty: A Collection of Images from each of the United States." 

Until next week, be of good cheer, mask up and ciao bella!

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