October 13th, 2021

We were delighted to have the company of 13 attendees at our monthly meeting: George Winters, Clarence and Marcia Farwell, Chris Corey, David Fessenden, Peter Cook, Susan Laub, Bob Canada, Vicki and Jim Pope, Gina Bent, Eric DiVirgilio, Peter Webb. The public, as always, was welcome, but more people would have meant fewer of Vicki’s astounding chocolate chip cookies for the Secretary, which was just fine by him. Thank you Vicki.

The minutes of the previous meeting, circulated by email, were approved. Chris’ treasurer’s report was gratefully accepted. It was noted that a number of generous donations were received in memory of Del Porter. The hearts of the Wednesday morning work party have been especially heavy, but the crew was uniform in the feeling that Del is still very much with us.

The maintenance work of the work party is presently challenged by the fact that local woodpeckers consider our barn an ideal spot for winter residence. Rubber snakes nailed to the exterior have not impressed them. There is a belief that glittery flashy things can be effective, so tight fitting, multi-colored sequined jackets will be issued to the work crew. They will take turns cavorting about the outside of the barn in rotating shifts.

A surprisingly complicated debate developed on the question of whether we should buy new histories and indexes from the town to sell ourselves, or whether we should sell them for the town and pass the proceeds to them, the sort of quandary that can cause sleep deprivation. Unable to fight our way out of that paperbag, peace was restored when the issue was taken off the table. We resolved to take inventory of our stock and to keep careful records of all sales.

The substantial completion of the Ross Jensen Memorial Portico was celebrated. Thank you to Gary, Eric, Kris and JR. The work crew has followed up with some painting. Portland Glass has advised that they’ve fixed our broken window sash. It will be installed at the first opportunity by the work crew. Progress has been made raising some of the Joe King icehouse artifacts, so that they will be out of harm’s way. Mark Fessenden donated a fabulous Brookline Ski Hill poster from his brother, John. Thank you, John. The poster represents a major addition to our surprisingly slim Ski Hill collection. We are assured that many more artifacts are out there.

Eric addressed calendar sales. They are being sold at the library and the town clerk’s office. Notice of the sale has gone out with a school announcement. Eric spent several hours posted at the transfer station with some success. Thank you, Eric. The Ladies’ Club sign by the Annex has been helpful, but the use of the sign needs to be rotated. Approximately 70 calendars have found new homes, with about 140 remaining. It was noted that in the not so distant future the calendars will be sought-after artifacts commanding a multiple of their original fair market value.

You might have noticed the beautiful seasonal decorations adorning the Barnaby House. That is the work of Gina Bent. It looks great and lifts the spirits of all passersby. Thank you, Gina. Christmas tree delivery date remains at 11/19. We will need sturdy men and women on that day. After a tearful confession from Eric DiVirgilio, the search for the missing postcard binders was called off. Peter Cook expressed hope that some artifacts remaining in the old ski lodge will make their way to the BHS. The assembled agreed to award Brian Fessenden, the official Brookline Historical Society electrician, a lifetime membership for his services. George will see to a same-day email reminder of our monthly meetings to our group address list recipients.

A largely-obliterated marble headstone of a military veteran recently came to light. It was found in a shed on the former Searles property on Meetinghouse Hill Road. The Cooks are in possession of the stone. Efforts are being made to identify the headstone. It was related that there once was a headstone carver on Springvale Avenue. Rejects or unclaimed stones sometimes found other uses, such as walkway stones or as work tables for local evergreen work. The rough evergreen work would damage wooden tables and the stones stood up much better.

We then concerned ourselves with the BHS’s audio-visual equipment needs. Eric has been looking into this for us. He’s determined that there is an opportunity to apply to Freedom’s Way Heritage Area for grants to enable us to fund the purchase of a screen, projector, computer and such (in the $3,000 ball park) so that we could have presentations and videos. Eric has been working on videos for us, and we would like to better present them to the public.The grant process requires the development, completion and submission of a proposal. Were we to receive grant money, we would be required to match the amount of the grant with volunteer time calculated at an hourly rate of $35. Eric offered to prepare the grant proposal for the BHS. Thank you, again, Eric. He is also diligently working on an electronic pay method, Paypal, or something similar. Peter Cook provided insights from his experience at Andres Institute of Art.

Marcia elbowed Clarence, who responded with a motion to adjourn. The motion was approved without dissent..

Our next meeting will be 7 PM on Wednesday, November 11. Susan Laub kindly offered to provide the snacks.