November 8th, 2023

The attendance at this evening’s meeting will remain anonymous. Some who came were not supposed to be seen in public and others who didn’t come should have been. The minutes from last month’s meeting were passed over in the interest of avoiding the usual conflict. The Treasurer filled us in on our financial affairs: only 123 calendars remain, electric and phone bills were paid, membership in NH Preservation Alliance renewed, mural commission ($1,500) paid. Balance remining is $28,633.67. Christmas tree payment of about $2K will have to be paid shortly.

Please remember that we’ll need help unloading the trees on Saturday, 11/18, at about 10 AM. We’ll also need folks willing to take shifts selling trees on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and each Saturday and Sunday thereafter. Thank you.

Cribbage on Thursday evenings continues. The massive Brookline Town Safe is becoming accustomed to its new home. Thanks to those who made it happen, especially Clarence and Jerry Farwell. Its exact final resting place will be determined by consensus, so maybe in a year or two. Rob Christie donated a lovely old wooden Brookline Grange sign. It came via the Dick Callahan estate. Thank you, Rob for thinking of us. An inquiry was made to the Brookline Public Library regarding a possible loan of the 1892 Brookline Railroad opening celebration poster, given to the library pre-BHS by Ray Kecy. Woodpeckers are back and hard at work. We promptly cover new holes with a cement board patch, and the cute little bird makes a new hole right next to it. We will win when the entire side of the barn is cement board.

1892 Brookline Railroad opening celebration poster

An interesting discussion took place about our need for historical society-oriented people, people who would have an interest in the story of Brookline. Among the group were people whose ancestors have lived in town for generations, people who have many family members at rest in local cemeteries. They have spent their childhoods and formed a lifetime of memories on this land. One can understand that their sense of place would be of a deep nature. While newercomers often come and go, the town is as much their home as it is for any other person. The newercomers won’t have the same connection with the place or share the same long-term perspective, but that is not to say that they can’t have a great fondness for and dedication to their hometown. Some are just passing through, but there are those who devote themselves to what they feel is a special place where they have been lucky to find themselves. The opinion was that none of us knows what lies ahead for this less-little-all-the-time town, but in the meantime our hearts and loyalties are here, and we all take joy in honoring its story. More BHS geeks are always welcome.

The biggest thrill of the evening was the unveiling of a large mural of Brookline vignettes painted by Mark Fountain, a Brookline native and professional artist. It will serve as a background to the Democratic Cannon (back when Democratic principles were more like today’s Republican principles, and vice versa) in the lower gallery. Mark will join next Wednesday’s work party to hang the mural. A formal opening and open house will take place after the new year. The BHS, by the way, is always open Wednesday mornings 9 to 12. It’s free. All welcome. Join us for coffee.

Brookline 250th license plate - acoustic guitar

Gina Bent presented us with a second remarkable piece of local artistry. A local craftsman, Shawn McCadden, dba Dudevan Guitars, makes electric and acoustic guitars. Amazing enough, but what’s more is that he makes them out of wooden cigar boxes. On this instrument, Shawn also used a Brookline 250th license plate. It is a unique but fully-functioning three string electric guitar. The unique masterpiece will be raffled off in the coming months as a fund-riser for the BHS. Thank you, Shawn and Gina.

Our next meeting will be Wednesday, December 13, 7 PM at 17 Meetinghouse Hill Road. Refreshments will be a collective responsibility.