Month: April 2013 (page 1 of 2)

Updated — DMA Officers and Directors Election — May 1, 2013

The election of officers and directors for the June 2013 to June 2014 period was be held at the May 1 meeting.

Here is the new slate of leaders for this period:


 PRESIDENT William Ball



SECRETARY Scott Hutchason



FIRST TERM                          SECOND TERM

Robert Baker                              Thomas Lom

Thomas Brayton                        Anthony Murray

Chris Filmer

David Mordy


 Kirk Jewett

John Podkowsky




 As noted during the April 17 meeting, Bob Ready will automatically become a director.

Bill Winship will be taking over as chair of the Social Committee, and Chick Scribner will continue to lead the Membership Committee.


Message from the President — April, 2013

At our meetings in late March and early April, our members completed a survey designed to help in our efforts to revitalize our Association. If you missed those meetings, we will be sending the survey to you by email soon, please take the time to fill it out and submit it so that your voice can be heard in our planning.

As we discuss alternatives to make our club more attractive to recent retirees or “younger seniors” and to stimulate greater participation by current members, we are considering expanding our list of activities. The survey results to date indicate the highest interest in:

  • Hiking,
  • Local walking tours,
  • Current event discussions, and
  • Investing.

Also, among other changes that we are considering is the removal of “Senior” from our name, becoming, for example, the Darien Men’s Association. These and other changes are being thoroughly studied by Tom Lom and his committee, and by the Board of Directors. Any changes in our name or charter will be submitted formally to the Board, and if approved, then submitted to the membership for a vote in time to be a part of our communications for the next program year. Tom and his group welcome any suggestions you may have to help us in this revitalization effort.

Our Nominating Committee has finished its work, presenting the new slate and receiving the approval of the membership in recent meetings. Since this is my last newsletter message, I wanted to express my thanks to all of you who brought guests to our meetings. As a result of your help, we have added 25 new members thus far this year, a considerable increase over prior years.  Thanks to the officers, committee chairs, and volunteers for their help in making this another very successful year for our Association. It has been a pleasure and privilege to serve as your President.

Bob Ready, President


Membership Committee Report — April. 2013

The Membership Committee and the Board of Directors have been collecting dues since the first meeting in September.  Normally all dues are in by the end of December.  E-mails, Post Cards and Phone calls have been used as reminders to all delinquent members.  We are now in April and, after more phone calls, we still have delinquent members.  This means a lot of unnecessary work for a few dedicated members.  We have constantly been checking our own and the DCA records to keep mistakes down to a minimum.

Attendance has have been good with the exception of Wednesday, April 17 when 78 members and two guests attended.

There were 7 new members admitted since I reported 8 in the last newsletter.  Six members have either resigned or passed away.

The current membership is 266

 C. Scribner, Chair

Membership Committee


Social Committee Report — April, 2013

On our May event, our first stop will be at The Shore Line Electric Railway. On board an antique suburban trolley, we will journey through the local Connecticut countryside and waterfront and then see the old time equipment used when a ride like this cost only a nickel. Then there will be a luncheon at the newly renovated but still old fashioned Old Lyme Inn. A choice of three entrees will be available as we dine in this charming setting. As a final treat, we will see the world class collections of renowned American impressionists at the Florence Griswold Museum, tour the Griswold house (the centerpiece of the Lyme Art colony in the early 1900s), and wander the gardens and waterside where the artist boarders painted “en plein air”.

Mel Orr is chairing this event. Sign up at the Wednesday meeting or contact Mel at

In June there will be a BBQ and Jazz Concert at The Country Club of Darien on Sunday, June 23rd. Music will be performed by The Joe Holmes’ Swing Band accompanied by vocalist Nicole Pasternak.

Peter Hallock is managing this affair.

Our Annual Picnic is scheduled in August and our first Fall event will be a lunch at the Culinary Institute of America and visits to the homes of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Lastly, after four years of chairing the Social Events Committee, I am stepping aside and Bill Winship will be taking my place. I want to thank not only those who organized these past events, but also Ed Mulock and Joe Sexton who worked behind the scene to make things happen. I look forward to attending the upcoming events this summer and beyond.

Frank Johnson, Chair

Social Committee

Connecticut Trolley Museum and Florence Griswold Museum
— May 16, 2013


2013-0516-Image1Journey through the Connecticut waterside in an antique suburban trolley. See the old-time equipment  used when these rides cost only a nickel.

The Connecticut Trolley Museum has over 70 pieces of rail equipment dating back to 1869. During your visit, you can see historic passenger and freight street “trolley” cars, interurban cars, elevated railway cars, passenger and freight railroad cars, service cars, locomotives, and a variety of other equipment from railways around Connecticut. You will also find examples from Brooklyn, Boston, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Springfield, Lynchburg, Montreal, and even Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.


We’ll LUNCHEON at The Old Lyme Inn where we’ll dine at a quaint but newly renovated New England Inn. Our Menu includes a choice of salmon, chicken or Cobb salad.

2013-0516-Image4Then we’ll tour the Florence Griswold Museum, seeing the world class collections of renowned American impressionists.

2013-0516-Image3We’ll visit the Griswold Home, centerpiece of the LymeArt Colony in the early 1900’s, and wander the gardens and waterfront where the artist-boarders painted “en plein air”.

Boarding our Deluxe Coach: DCA parking lot 8:15AM Departure:8:30 sharp

Contact: Mel Orr 203.655.1605 email

$70. per person

Our Current Read — May 15, 2013


The acclaimed author of The Sweet Hereafter and Rule of the Bone returns with Lost Memory of Skin, a provocative new novel that illuminates the shadowed edges of contemporary American culture with startling and unforgettable results

Suspended in a strangely modern-day version of limbo, the young man at the center of Russell Banks’s uncompromising and morally complex new novel must create a life for himself in the wake of incarceration. Known in his new identity only as the Kid, and on probation after doing time for a liaison with an underage girl, he is shackled to a GPS monitoring device and forbidden to live within 2,500 feet of anywhere children might gather. With nowhere else to go, the Kid takes up residence under a south Florida causeway, in a makeshift encampment with other convicted sex offenders.

Barely beyond childhood himself, the Kid, despite his crime, is in many ways an innocent, trapped by impulses and foolish choices he himself struggles to comprehend. Enter the Professor, a man who has built his own life on secrets and lies. A university sociologist of enormous size and intellect, he finds in the Kid the perfect subject for his research on homelessness and recidivism among convicted sex offenders. The two men forge a tentative partnership, the Kid remaining wary of the Professor’s motives even as he accepts the counsel and financial assistance of the older man.

When the camp beneath the causeway is raided by the police, and later, when a hurricane all but destroys the settlement, the Professor tries to help the Kid in practical matters while trying to teach his young charge new ways of looking at, and understanding, what he has done. But when the Professor’s past resurfaces and threatens to destroy his carefully constructed world, the balance in the two men’s relationship shifts.

Suddenly, the Kid must reconsider everything he has come to believe, and choose what course of action to take when faced with a new kind of moral decision.

Long one of our most acute and insightful novelists, Russell Banks often examines the indistinct boundaries between our intentions and actions. A mature and masterful work of contemporary fiction from one of our most accomplished storytellers, Lost Memory of Skin unfolds in language both powerful and beautifully lyrical, show-casing Banks at his most compelling, his reckless sense of humor and intense empathy at full bore.

The perfect convergence of writer and subject, Lost Memory of Skin probes the zeitgeist of a troubled society where zero tolerance has erased any hope of subtlety and compassion—a society where isolating the offender has perhaps created a new kind of victim.

Speaker — May 15, 2013
Robert Steele

Former Connecticut Congressman Robert Steele will discuss the background to his novel, “The Curse: Big-Time Gambling’s Seduction of a Small New England Town” (Levellers Press, Amherst, MA). The story is set against the casino gambling explosion that hit Connecticut during the 1990s, when two Indian tribes built the world’s two biggest casinos in the southeastern corner of the state, resulting in what has been termed “a gambling Chernobyl.” Steele represented eastern Connecticut in Congress before the arrival of the casinos (Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun) and subsequently lived on the edge of the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation, giving him a keen appreciation of the political maneuvering that brought the casinos into being and a firsthand view of their impact.

WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio’s John Dankosky calls the novel “fascinating” and Connecticut author Martin Shapiro has described it as “compelling and timely…an epic story of history, money and politics that will make you wonder where America is headed.” The book comes at a time when Connecticut’s casinos face the prospect of heavy new competition from New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, and there is growing political pressure to legalize Internet gambling.

Speaker — May 8, 2013
Jayme Stevenson

.Jayme Stevenson, Darien First Selectman, will speak on the “State of the Town”.

Jayme has lived in Darien twenty years and has been an active volunteer in variety of different organizations. She will talk about the problems facing Darien that include land use (including affordable housing), flood mitigation, senior center relocation/renovation, tax burden, continued downtown redevelopment, town swimming pool and more.

Speaker — May 1, 2013
Patricia Brooks

Patricia Brooks the NY Times food critic for Connecticut will talk about the 4th edition of her “Food Lovers’ Guide to Connecticut”.  The book will hit bookshelves in May and she will bring copies for sale to anyone interested.

She will talk about the regional restaurant changes (e.g. stronger focus on international cuisine, addition of wine lists, wider range of menus, and new words to describe menu options). Patricia will also address the major changes that Fairfield County has experienced as a result of the “California” influence coming from that state’s early Asian and Hispanic communities, immigration reflected in the many nationalities of current owners of town restaurants, and the local residents’ extensive travel to foreign countries.

Speaker — April 24, 2013
Joe McGee

Joe McGee, of the Fairfield County Business Council,  will speak to us on Connecticut’s Economic Competitiveness.  He will update us on issues and initiatives regarding legislative actions, employment, transportation, and coping with severe weather events. Joe has a wealth of information to share with us.

Speaker — April 17, 2013
Arthur White

Arthur White will speak about Connecticut’s “Connecting through Literacy: Inmates, Children and Caregivers” (“CLICC”) project.

This program, conceived by Arthur, deals with two pressing societal challenges:

1) the below average literacy rates of incarcerated parents and their children, and

2) strained, often destructive relationships among families whose composition includes an incarcerated parent.

Children and family members suffer during the incarceration period itself, and then again upon inmate reentry, as the family must readjust to its new structure. Reinforcing the literacy skills of reentering inmates and their children will help to ease their transition, and help the family move forward successfully.

Martin Skala was the coordinator for Arthur

Thomas Edison National Historical Park Update — April 19, 2013

IMG_1743_1080The National Park Service opened the renovated Edison Laboratory Complex at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange, NJ in the fall of 2009. The renovation was a complex project to preserve the historic buildings and the artifact and archival collections at the Laboratory Complex and Glenmont Estate. The original historic furnishings and documents were beginning to deteriorate and were at risk of loss or damage from fire because of old, outdated alarm and sprinkler systems. The vast majority of the artifact collection was inaccessible to visitors and researchers while stored on the upper floors of the historic main laboratory.

IMG_1730_1080The original furnishings have been moved back into many rooms and the unique museum collections are now available to see, hear, and experience. Installation of a new elevator and stair tower adjacent to the main laboratory building allows new public access to the upper floors of the laboratory that now feature new exhibits. The Edison home at the Glenmont Estate has also been renovated. The new Thomas Edison experience offers visitors self-guided audio tours, cell phone tours, films, grounds walks, school workshops and traditional guided programs.

IMG_1702_1080Glenmont is located in Llewellyn Park, West Orange, the first romantically designed, planned residential community in the United States. A Queen Anne style mansion with 29 rooms, Glenmont was designed by the architect Henry Hudson Holly. Edison purchased the Glenmont estate with 13.5 acres including house, barn, greenhouse, and furnishings in January of 1886 for $125,000, half its estimated value.

Due to the limited number of people who have signed-up for the trip thus far we cannot afford to have lunch at Highlawn Pavilion. We can make the trip break -even at the current price and number of sign-ups by substituting a box lunch with wine at the same price. If we get more sign-ups there will be a profit which we plan to distribute back to the participants.

This will be an interesting trip and we encourage you to invite family and friends.Break-even cost is $74 per person with some refund if more people sign-up.

We plan on boarding at 7:45AM and departing by 8AM from the DCA parking lot.

We expect to arrive back before 5PM

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