November 9th, 2022

Eric DiVirgilio, Chris Corey, Bob Canada, Vicki and Jim Pope, George Winters, Gina Bent, David Fessenden, Peter Cook and Peter Webb ventured out into the daylight-saving darkness to commune with the spirit of Florence Barnaby. It is assumed that most of them made it home safely.

The minutes were rammed through shamelessly by our taker of the minutes. Murmurs of “fraud” were heard, but with no evidence to support the claim and without anyone else willing to do the job, the minutes person just sat there with that look on his face. The idea of term limits was discussed.

Chris Corey, our treasurer, gave us an update on our financial affairs. Calendar sales so far have grossed $1,700. There are about 45 left. Last month, we were the grateful recipients of $270 in donations from generous supporters. Cribbage night raised $25. We paid our yearly insurance bill: $2,196.00. Bigham Lumber was paid $328 for the shiplap for the interior wall being constructed inside the two barn doors facing Springvale Avenue. Another $40 was spent at Wilkins’ Lumber for framing the wall, and $60 for incidentals including rigid insulation. The current balance in our bank account is $23,935.86. Winter heating costs lie ahead.

The Christmas trees are to be delivered Sunday, 11/19, around 10 to 10:30. Any help unloading the truck and setting up and pricing the trees would be appreciated. Last year the help we received from many hands, including the Scouts, made the job much easier than usual. It is expected that the delivery charge to be paid that morning will be about $400. Jim and Bob have set up the tree racks already. Thank you. We need volunteers to take shifts selling trees. A schedule has been posted by David on the front door for sign up. Please stop by and sign up if you can, whoever you are. It is always a fun time to meet and greet.

The woodpecker plague continues. There’s something about our barn or the woods behind it. The outside of the barn is taking on the appearance of patched jeans, as we cover the holes with cement board patches. Undaunted, the peckers simply move over 6 inches and make another hole. Our ferocious fake owl and snakes aren’t doing their job.

Diane Austin and George Winters continue their efforts on behalf of the Leo Austin, Jr., Memorial Cribbage Society. No membership required. The last session had an over-abundance of frivolity but only 5 people. Maybe with time the cribbagerians will flock like the woodpeckers. The cribbage sessions will be on the first and third Thursday, 5:30 to 8:30 PM in the BHS barn. George is working on a sign to give notice to passers-by. There is a $5 per head fee.

Jim Pope, one of the more capable people you could meet, has thrown himself into making a reality of the interior wall with man-door inside the large exterior barn doors (themselves the impressive handiwork of Clarence Farwell). Frankly, all other interested folks were completely spent by the months of contentious conceptual debate. Jim and Bob took saw and pneumatic hammer in hand and are making it happen. We thank Jerry Farwell for an insulated door. The look of the outside barn doors will not be disturbed. As appropriate, we can open one of them to expose the shiplap-faced inside wall with man-door within. This arrangement will provide another emergency egress, diminish heat loss and seal out little beasties. As a reminder to the public, our half fast putterers meet every Wednesday, 9 to 12 noon, at the barn. We are a diverse group, except for the shared advanced age: flat-landers, townies, washashores, skilled and unskilled. Yes, we do some work, but we also enjoy light exercise, fellowship and the opportunity to share our priceless gems of wisdom. Feel free to join us. Politics are left on a coat rack by the door.

We missed out on a felt Ski Tow and RR Snack Bar patch sold on eBay. The little beauty went for $136.00. A pity. Some business records related to late 1800 Brookline businesses have been listed. Also pretty pricey. We mourn the loss of local artifacts to the outside market. We understand that items have a market value and we are always open to the opportunity to bid on them in hopes of keeping them in town.

Eric DiVirgilio scanned the Brookline biographical sketches for the 1885 collection of Hillsborough County citizens, donated by Steve Gesel. Eric has posted the well-written articles on the BHS website: Search “biographical review” in “History” section. They are on random people, some with passing and some with significant connection to Brookline.

Some of us have been talking about a primitive landscape being painted on the wood wall behind the town cannon, Rufus Porter style with a few Brookline landmarks. We happened upon a local muralist from Greenville, Mark Cedras. Mr. Cedras was kind enough to come by the BHS to see what we were thinking about. He was enthusiastic about the idea, and we asked him for a proposal. His eminently reasonable price for the work involved was $1,600.00. Unfortunately, our resources won’t permit such an expenditure at this time. It was suggested that we speak to Mark Fountain.

Chris Corey donated a large box of rare Brookline artifacts, accumulated over many years, in fact, over more than 100 years. She’s not that old, so we assume her family helped. Thank you to the Corey Family. The treasures include Old Home Day celebration materials from many years, advertising broadsides, a RR Snack Bar calendar, a Corey’s Gun Shop calendar, 1919 150th celebration items, Brookline Community church materials, ledgers. We are delighted to give these treasured belongings a new home, to keep them safe and to enable future Brookliners to appreciate them. These are precious family possessions and we appreciate the Coreys’ willingness to entrust them to us.

We talked again about a bulk mail town-wide solicitation for support. The Fire Department just send out an impressive one. Webb will get to Sheryl to determine the cost of such a mailing. Eric has donated a new heavy plastic sandwich board type portable sign with lettering to the BHS. He sat for many hours at the transfer station hawking BHS calendars with it. We’ll be able to use it in many ways. Thank you, DiVirgilio Family.

We were delighted with an announcement by Vicki that the Lions’ Club will hold a cookie decorating session at the BHS on 12/3 from 10 – 2, during Christmas tree sales. Vicki also offered to do the refreshments for the 12/17 meeting. Attendance is always record-breaking when word gets out that she’s doing the refreshments.

We adjourned to enjoy conversation and Gina Bent’s decadent treats.