Greetings from snowy Easton! The weather here has finally turned from rain into snow. As I write this the snow is light, but an old-fashioned nor'easter is going to bring heavier snowfall later. I have my shovels well prepared! Some years ago I knew several of the older generation who did two things to keep their shovels working well: first, they would oil the blade after each use by wiping a liberal amount of just about any oil on after the blade was cleaned; and second, they always waxed the blade on their snow shovels. A hard wax was used such as a good floor or butcher's wax. This prevented the snow from sticking to the blade, making shoveling much easier. Of course, I do use an Ames snow shovel here, with a good aluminum blade as opposed to the popular plastic ones, and it is a much better shovel since the blade is that much stronger.
We are planning to have our open house this weekend, weather permitting. We are featuring three new acquisitions: Ed Hands will speak about a Victorian era wheelchair that was used by Edgar Belcher, and which was kept in his house until recently when it was donated by Leon and Sara Lombardi. Edgar Belcher married Julia Rankin, lived on South Street in Easton Furnace, and eventually moved to the house built on the Rankin duck farm on Purchase Street. Also donated is a painting of Dolly Dimple, the record setting Langwater Guernsey. The painting was commissioned by F. Lothrop Ames and was completed in 1910 by well known artist E. Leone Seavey. It was donated by Charles Barnes in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Nagle, who was the last of the chief herdsmen for the Langwater herd, and in memory of their daughter Brenda Nagle Barnes. Karern Danielson will speak about a 100 year old German doll that has been in her family for its entirety. It is handmade and fully jointed, and stands 30" tall. It is a beautiful doll, and I can't wait to hear the story behind it. And we also are scheduled to feature author Alyson Larrabee. She is the author of two young adult novels: Enter If You Dare and Her Evil Ways. Both are ghost stories set in the thinly disguised town of Eastfield, Ma. Her newest novel, Hidden in the Dark, will be released sometime in 2017. Alyson grew up in Easton and she and her husband raised their three children here. A graduate of Oliver Ames High School, Emerson College and Bridgewater State University, where she earned degrees in English Literature and Reading, Alyson taught in the Easton Public School System from 1975 until 2016. Since retiring, she's been involved as a volunteer at Ames Free Library and Schools on Wheels Massachusetts (SOWMA). In her spare time, she loves a cozy chair and a good book and often spends an hour or so absorbed in a terrifying ghost story, mystery or darkly twisted psychological thriller. She's also fond of long walks, Earl Grey tea, small children and big dogs. You might notice that all of our featured speakers have taught in the Easton school system! Happy shoveling! Frank