April, 13th 2022

On this evening, folks with a wide range of beliefs and experiences left their differences at the Barnaby House door and enjoyed the company of others with whom they shared a fondness for the place they all called home. Thank you, by the way, to all those who give their time, energy and talent in service to Brookline. And thanks also to the others who may not, but who put up with those who do.

As always, others who were welcome but not present were missed. Our gathering this night included Bob Canada, George Winters, Diane Austin, Chris Corey, Vicki and Jim Pope, David Fessenden, Annette Quimby, Gina Bent, Peter Webb. Despite the multitudes, it is hoped that no one present is overlooked.

Annette updated us on her father, Loring Quimby, a remarkable man who is a walking library of town history and a long-time fixture at the BHS. He is now residing at a care facility in Keene. His company is missed.

The minutes drafted by Diane Austin were gratefully received and unanimously approved. Chris Corey’s always fine treasurer’s report was also. She and Amy Fessenden have been working studiously on the various filings required of a 501 c 3 charitable organization. We have 2 dozen or so calendars left. It is anticipated that they will be given to the schools.

The Wednesday morning old codgers’ “work” party persists. Recently, with the welcome addition of David Joki. Expert plastering, spackling and painting have turned the front room into a thing of beauty. The available geniuses continue to explore the design of an additional door on, in, by, instead of or in additional to the barn door on the Springvale Avenue side. The first granite step at the front door was leveled. A large pry bar provided leverage, but the modern use of that word has so disturbed its meaning that we’ll just say that a fulcrum assisted. Fallen limbs were cut up for anyone to take home. Knobs remaining from the concrete forms in the basement are being chiseled off. Mark Fessenden somehow single-handedly moved a 500 pound granite step from the front down to the shed. Nevertheless, the project list is somehow always ahead on us.

The Wednesday morning old codgers’ “work” party persists. Recently, with the welcome addition of David Joki. Expert plastering, spackling and painting have turned the front room into a thing of beauty. The available geniuses continue to explore the design of an additional door on, in, by, instead of or in additional to the barn door on the Springvale Avenue side. The first granite step at the front door was leveled. A large pry bar provided leverage, but the modern use of that word has so disturbed its meaning that we’ll just say that a fulcrum assisted. Fallen limbs were cut up for anyone to take home. Knobs remaining from the concrete forms in the basement are being chiseled off. Mark Fessenden somehow single-handedly moved a 500 pound granite step from the front down to the shed. Nevertheless, the project list is somehow always ahead on us.

Recorded interviews of Mark Fountain and Peg Hall were frequently completed. More will be conducted, available via the Pepperell Local Access channel. We’re hoping to have an easier link soon on the town website. Thank you to David Pease.

A draft form was presented and approved to formalize the BHS membership and application process. Yearly memberships will be for the calendar year. The level of memberships will be: individual – $25, family – $40, Lifetime – $150, benefactor – $250, patron – $1000.00. A contemplated town-wide mailing of an application form and newsletter is too expensive. We will submit it for posting to hollisbrooklinenewsonline.com, and have copies at various public locations in town. The Democratic cannon and town hearse chronology have been updated with research. The replica of the Brookline Meetinghouse progresses. The Webbs have donated an 1809 sampler stitched by 8 year old Eliza Tucker of Brookline, granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Swallow Tucker and Mr. and Mrs. Richard Cutts Shannon. She would later marry Loammi Chamberlain of Mason, NH. The sampler will be borrowed for a short bit for some proper reframing and will be returned to the BHS promptly upon completion.

Peter will take care of preparing and delivering the annual Brookline Historical Society Book Award (Parker history and index), given to a graduating Brookline senior “with an exceptional interest in local history” at the HB High School. Eric DiVirgilio will attend to the inquiry we received re the history of the area in which the south Brookline rail trail is located. The group was also informed of interest expressed by a MA architectural historian in the early brick buildings in town. He has been provided with photos and relevant excerpts from Parker’s history. If and when he resurfaces, we were all put on notice to provide what assistance we can.

We discussed at length a proposal by Diane Austin for a cribbage event at the barn. Very long story short, we’ll shoot for a limited-size, no charge test run on a weekday night in May. Diane will see what she can do to organize it. We’ll have another member present. Cribbagers are not usually rowdy, but this is Brookline. We will need to have tables for the event.

Vicki, on behalf of the Lion’s Club, is seeking support for and participation in a Brookline 4th of July parade.

Talk paused long enough for Gina to sneak in a motion to adjourn. We supported the motion without debate and proceeded to enjoy the generous treats she had provided. Interesting conversation continued unabated.

The next meeting is 5/11 at 7 PM. The public is always welcome. Diane Austin kindly offered to provide the snacks.