February 9th, 2023

Several Brookliners managed to shed the bonds of their daily bustle to remember the past that is very much a part of our present. Refreshments and fellowship were also available. Gina Bent, Chris Corey, David and Amy Fessenden, Diane Austin, Peter Cook, George Winters, Mark Fountain, Mark Fessenden, Bob Canada, Eric Jensen, Eric DiVirgilio, Jim Pope, Annett Quimby, Peter Webb were there. John and Jane Doe, always welcome, were apparently otherwise engaged.

The minutes from our last meeting flew by without violent dissent. The treasurer reported $150 in and $209.12 out, with a remaining balance of $28,135.24. A propane delivery bill is awaited with trepidation after the cold spell. Which, by the way, caused no issues at the Barnaby house and barn. Annett Quimby made good on her pledge for the Mark Fountain mural project. We await receipt of others. Annett also donated a number of old etched metal photographic plates, depicting early Brookline subjects, on wood blocks. No sure what you call them, but they presumably were used in the printing process. Thank you, Annett. Anyone with knowledge of such things is encouraged to enlighten us.

Diane continues to spread joy, and generate a little revenue, through cribbage. Any and all are welcome. Right now, the sessions are in the BHS barn on the 1st and 3rd Thursday, 5:30 to 8:30. Infectious as joy is, there is talk of making it every Thursday. Jane Hennedy of the Historic New England, or some such, has been in contact with the BHS. She asked if she could use BHS photographic images on our website in a presentation she is giving on early ice harvesting. We, of course, were delighted to be asked and readily consented. We will try to get a recording of her presentation. The woodpecker netting and paraphernalia is waiting for more conducive weather. Annlouise Denehy generously donated some local folks’ WW2 ration books and a catering menu booklet from the late Kerhli’s Delicatessen (now, Chrysanthi’s).

Brookline’s de facto artist laureate, Mark Austin Fountain, was with us. The BHS has commissioned Mark to conjure up a masterpiece for the wall behind the town cannon. He has consented despite the varying heart-felt opinions on the form such a thing should take. It was agreed that, as a true devotee of town history and the only artist in the room, we should largely defer to his judgment. Generally speaking, the wall be covered with thin birch laminate and on which renditions of period Brookline scenes, some of which he has shared, will be sketched and painted. He will keep us in the loop with rough drafts as he proceeds. He will also report back to us to propose the terms for paying for his services. Donations for this exciting project are welcome. Peter Cook kindly offered to explore what if any grants might be available.

Webb agreed to take over David Fessenden’s Christmas tree sales responsibilities. He trusts he’ll have the assistance of more capable people than he for this important fundraiser. At the risk of jinxing it, it was wonderful how many people showed up to help us this year.

He will also contact the Kurtis Fusco to see about a presentation on his archeological work in town. When we last left it, the thought was that we could have a session on a Saturday in April. We’ll see if that works. There again was discussion about a recorded occasion for folks who helped build the barn. Eric Jensen offered to organize an auction fundraiser for the BHS. Please gather your expendable treasures for this event. Thank you, Eric.

Our next meeting is March 8. Amy offered to provide refreshments.