January 11th, 2023

On this date, our usual monthly meeting yielded to the conferral on Rogene Porter of Brookline’s Boston Post Cane recognition. A resident of Brookline for the past 84 years, Rogene has celebrated her 97th birthday. 35 people were in attendance to honor their friend’s accomplishment. Rogene and her late husband, Delbert, have been active in and crucial to the BHS for many years. After some brief remarks by Rogene, we enjoyed exceptionally bountiful snacks, a small token of the group’s great fondness for Rogene. Congratulations to Rogene from us all.

The normal stuff of a BHS meeting pretty much didn’t happen. A condensed version of a treasurer’s report indicated that operating expenses exceeded income, so we’re a little less flush this month. A nucleus of the usual suspects present met in an aside to decide on the project to enhance the rough-cut plank wall that is the background to the town cannon. Two artists and their work and concepts were considered, and the decision was made to ask Mark Austin Fountain to take the work on. Mark is a student of local history and a professional artist whose body of work often involves Brookline subjects. He has in the past donated his work to the BHS. His Austin family heritage in town goes back more than 2 centuries. There was a generous response to a request for donations to start up the project. Commitments have been gratefully received from Manuela Bajenaru, Chris Corey, Eric Jensen, Peter Cook, Gina Bent, Diane Grzyb, the Popes, Peter Webb. It is hoped that others will be able to join in to help make this project a reality. The BHS mailing address is PO Box 595, Brookline.

Non-meeting odds and ends that deserve mention include the work party’s repairs to one of the display cases; Eric DiVirgilio’s fourth video installment of the story of the railroad in town (see The Brookline Railroad Series); the retrieval of the 1892 Brookline Railroad poster after conservation treatment at the Northeast Document Conservation Center (archival framing to follow); Amanda Pope’s generous provision of netting and materials for the outside wall of the barn for humane woodpecker deterrence; Diane Austin continues cribbage night 2 nights a month, subject to the whims of the weather; most important of all, we are delighted that David Fessenden is back home and in fighting shape.

Our meetings are the second Wednesday, but next month the Brookline School District’s deliberative session will at that time. A group email has been sent out that proposes moving the BHS meeting to the next day, Thursday, 2/9. Weigh in if you choose. A follow up email will follow up. Webb will take care of refreshments whenever it happens.

P.S. The taker of the minutes denies all responsibility for any errors, omissions, mischaracterizations or improprieties that might be contained in the above. Complaints should be referred to your local Congressperson.