Granby Parents for a Safe Graduation announced the winners of the 2017 art competition. The first place entry will be used to design the invitation for the Granby Memorial High School’s safe graduation party. The winning design is featured on a complementary grad night t-shirt that all seniors receive. The grad night party is free to all graduating seniors and will be held this year on June 19 at the Farmington Valley YMCA in Granby.
Last November, Granby resident Lori Catlin Garcia contacted local art teachers seeking help with winter decorations and other art projects for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, where she is the facilities creative manager. Several local students, teachers and artists stepped forward to share their talents.
Granby Memorial Middle School presents Alice In Wonderland on Friday, May 19, at 6 p.m. at the Granby Memorial Middle School Cafeteria. Admission is free. Come join them as Alice takes her adventures down the rabbit hole into a world of fantasy and fun! The show is appropriate for all ages, so grab the kids and come along for the adventure!
The Granby Artists Association announces a new spring show of members’ artwork at the Simsbury Public Library in the downstairs program room and display case from May 2 to 30. Above, Sally Sargent Markey’s painting of the Farmington River will be among those displayed.
By Tim Nolan, High School Reporter
Imagine Render is a nonprofit organization that strives to “create positive and lasting change through the arts, education and projects that build community.” Its main project is Empty Bowls. Empty Bowls has become an international effort to raise funds and awareness towards the fight against hunger. This spring will be the 27th edition of the event, and its outreach has continued to spread each year. Seven years ago, that outreach extended to Granby Memorial High School.
Empty Bowls at GMHS began as an independent project run exclusively by the high school students. The event was a way for students to showcase their artistic talents while supporting the hungry of the community. In more recent editions, students have been given the opportunity to share their musical talents as well. All proceeds from the event are donated to the Granby Food Bank. The Hartland Food Bank and Waste Not, Want Not Community Kitchen have received contributions in the past as well.
By Eileen Longhi
Do you enjoy books about horses? Would you like to learn more about the Korean War, often referred to as the “forgotten war?” A special horse and the war come together at the Lunch for the Mind March program. The Civic Engagement Education Team welcomes author Janet Barrett’s discussion of the fascinating story: They Called Her Reckless: A True Story of War, Love and One Extraordinary Horse at the Granby Senior Center on Wednesday, March 15, at 12:30 p.m.
The story begins in Oct. 1952 when a Marine lieutenant decided his unit needed a horse to help carry heavy shells from ammo dumps to their firing positions. Reckless became a hero and legend in March 1953 carrying more than 9,000 shells in 51 trips over three days and also getting slightly wounded. Barrett’s book reveals, “Reckless was an extrovert whose antics delighted the war-weary Marines, such as her stealing food, Goebel beer and mess hall chow and, when she could snatch one, cigarettes from her admirers.” Her unofficial epitaph has become, “She was no horse—She was a Marine!”
When Barrett first heard the story of Reckless, she knew she would write the book. She has been fascinated by horses all her life and for 25 years she rode, owned and cared for them. At one time she had a company, Horses for Courses, which booked horses for print and TV ads. Barrett has also written about health, sports and education as well as written for TV, radio and the public relations field. She graduated from Indiana University with a B.S. in Communications. Copies of the book about this amazing warhorse will be for sale after the program. Please register by calling 860-844-5352. Cost is $5. Bring your own lunch. Beverage and dessert provided.
Hear ye, hear ye! Come one, come all to the ball! Don’t sit in your own little corner in your own little room! Nothing is impossible! Your carriage awaits so if you want to find the glass slipper come to Granby Memorial High School Friday, March 17, at 7 p.m., Saturday, March 18, at 3 and 7 p.m. or Sunday, March 19, at 3 p.m. to see the MAGIC! The GMHS drama club is proud to present this wonderful musical rendition of everyone’s favorite fairy tale!
Patron seating will be available for purchase at Granby Pharmacy the first week in March. Patron seating is $25 a ticket and seating is in the first six rows. Also, the 3 p.m. Saturday show is $10 for everyone. Come enjoy the show at a discount and bring the whole family! For more details, support the GMHS drama club by liking us on Facebook (GMHS Drama Club); follow us on Twitter @GMHS_drama, and our new Instagram @gmhsdrama. Remember the magic is in you!
The Prince is Giving a Ball! Hear ye, hear ye! Come one, come all to the ball! Don’t sit in your own little corner in your own little room! Nothing is impossible! Your carriage awaits and if you want to find the glass slipper come to Granby Memorial High School Auditorium Friday, March 17 at 7 p.m.; Saturday March 18 at 3 and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, March 19 at 3 p.m. and see the MAGIC! For more details support the GMHS drama club by liking it on Facebook (GMHS Drama Club) and follow it on Twitter for more @GMHS_drama, and its new Instagram @gmhsdrama
Remember the magic is in you!
By Peggy Shaw
Good Company Theater is excited to present its next production, James and the Giant Peach. Adapted for the stage from Roald Dahl’s children’s classic of the same name, the play is directed by Christopher Bushey. Musical director Rick Handville has incorporated several new wonderful and whimsical songs by Denny Moon.
James Henry Trotter, played by Jake Scotto, is a young boy who lives with his parents in England. On James’ birthday they plan to go to New York City and visit the Empire State building, but circumstances change. Expect some major surprises as James escapes the house of his wicked, greedy aunts, Sponge and Spiker, and rides off in a magical giant peach with new friends: a grasshopper (Steve O’Brien); a spider (Becky Sears); a lady bug (Jacqueline Lasry); a centipede (Enrico DiGiacomo); a mysterious, magical old man (Cliff Gibson); and an earthworm (Bob King). The cast also includes a chorus of young teens who will take on various roles.
The show will take place at South Congregational Church, 242 Salmon Brook Street on March 3, at 7 p.m.; March 4, at 2 and 7 p.m.; and March 5, at 2 p.m. Tickets will be available soon at goodcompanytheaterct.org and at Granby Pharmacy as well as at the door.
By Jennifer R. Benson
When artist, blacksmith and woodworker Bradford McDougall is not creating his art or producing smithy pieces for other artists, he expands his blacksmithing skills and their applications. Three years ago he became interested in knife making. As many of us would do, he researched on the internet, watched YouTube videos and read articles on the subject. Having the requisite tools in his blacksmith shop, he followed the instructions and found them inadequate, because they left out important steps. He began to teach himself, and over three years, has perfected the process of making a Japanese knife. Now he wants to share his knowledge and is offering knife-making classes.
McDougall invited me to experience the class, so on a recent Saturday, my husband, Brad Benson, and I went to his blacksmith shop on Lost Acres Road. McDougall’s warm personality, ready smile and quick wit welcomed us. McDougall lit the gas-fired forge and things warmed up quickly on that cold January day. The two Brads got right to work. They donned safety glasses and inserted a steel rod into the forge. When the rod was red-hot it was removed and hammered on an anvil to taper the end. The rod cooled quickly and had to be repeatedly reinserted into the forge and hammered until the taper was just right. The tapered end is critical to the rod taking a knife shape when it is later flattened. It is important not to leave the rod in the forge for too long as the iron content in the blade will be compromised, leaving you with a brittle blade.
McDougall introduced the power hammer (and passed out ear protectors) and the rod was flattened and gradually shaped into a blade. Over 30 times the rod went into the forge. The steel became successively thinner with much hammering. Next McDougall showed how to straighten the spine with a hammer on the anvil. Using the cut-off wheel, the men cut off the blade leaving a tang to which a handle could later be attached.
Once more the blade went into the forge, was brought to an even orange color and then was tested to see that it was no longer magnetic. It is at a certain temperature that the steel ceases to be magnetic and all the grains within it are aligned, which makes the next step, grinding, that much easier. The blade was inserted into a mixture of wood ash and vermiculite and left to cool slowly, annealing the blade, making it stronger.
The grinding process consists of holding the blade against an electric-powered, sandpaper-covered belt. The blade was repeatedly dunked in water to cool it; then the blade was held back up against the wheel while sparks flew. This is the step that evens out the blade’s spine and the one that requires a strong spine in the knife maker, standing in one position for a couple of hours.
Using an acetylene torch, the blade was heated using a color chart as a guide. When the blade turns straw-colored at the cutting edge and purple (achieved at a higher temperature) at the spine, it is tempered. The goal is to produce a cutting edge that is hard and a spine that is springy. This step is missing on YouTube videos and is the most important part, according to McDougall. This step can be repeated until you get it right, but get it right you must, or the knife will be prone to break.
A Japanese water stone, which looks like a smooth brick, was used to sharpen the knife. The blade was laid flat on one side against the wet stone and, using repetitive circular strokes, it was sharpened. This was repeated on the other side.
Finally, slow-curing epoxy was poured into a wooden handle fashioned by McDougall and the tang was inserted. The student leaves with his/her knife, but the knife must be immobilized for 24 hours while the epoxy cures. After that, you may slice to your heart’s content, enjoying the satisfaction of utilizing a superior implement fashioned with your own hands with considerable skill and effort.
McDougall’s knife-making class costs $500 per person or $800 for two people. This may seem expensive but consider that the class takes from six to eight hours, you have McDougall’s undivided attention and expertise at your disposal, you will be using a forge, a power hammer, a grinding wheel, an acetylene torch and more. Many of these tools are not found in the average home workshop, plus, you will take home a high-quality Japanese culinary knife, the likes of which could cost several hundred dollars. The next nearest knife-making class, in Rhinebeck, New York, costs $1,200 for five days. Another, in Waltham, Massachusetts, involves eight meetings for $760. McDougall’s class starts to look like a real bargain in cost, time and travel.
A natural teacher, McDougall is calm, engaging, funny, knowledgeable, observant and patient. His class is open to women and men and a knife-making class makes a great gift. To arrange for your class or if you have questions, please call Bradford McDougall at 860-558-8598. To learn more about his artistry, visit bradfordmcdougall.com. The blacksmith shop is located at 108 Lost Acres Road between Lost Acres Vineyard and Lost Acres Orchard.