A unique organization of vibrant and enthusiastic men.
Tuesday Morning Meetings
A chance to relax before the meeting begins
President Jones Prepares Technology Prior to Meeting
The Old Guard
The Old Guard is a group of retired and semi-retired men dedicated to education, fellowship and community service. Weekly meetings feature guest speakers from government, education and business. Opportunities for fellowship include informal gathering before the meetings, excursions and athletic events, bowling, golf and luncheons. Committee chairmen work with civic groups to organize opportunities for member contributions, both financial and donation of time, some periodic, some ongoing. Old Guard members work with Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, Foodshare, Salvation Army, and the West Hartford YMCA. Old Guard members provided leadership in the revitalization and ongoing administration of the West Hartford Seniors Job Bank.
Russell H. Jones, President
Happy Anniversary Old Guard! We are now in the second half of the 2022-2023 program year AND on February 7 will have the first meeting of our 58th year. Formed on February 1, 1966 by 26 men and today totaling 190, we were then - and remain (to use Don Kauke’s newly coined expression) - “A unique organization of vibrant and enthusiastic men”.
According to an article in the April 29, 1966 edition of The Hartford Times, we were organized mainly by Winfield I. MacNeill a retired New York manufacturer who moved to West Hartford from Summit, New Jersey, where there was an organization with the same name and purpose as the now historic Old Guard of West Hartford. I will read a bit of that article at our meeting on the 7th.
On January 17, the board of the Old Guard met for its semi-annual meeting to receive reports and to take various actions.
1) At the meeting, a protocol was determined for the retention of Old Guard records in the care of The West Hartford Historical Society. The volume exceeds available space and the records are presently unused, but it was recognized that interest in the documents may increase a great many years from now. Documents from the first years, most recent years, major anniversary and special circumstance years will be retained. Digitization will be explored.
2) It was decided to recommend to membership that by-laws be amended to transfer the current letter-writing duties of the Assistant Secretary to a new officer position: Corresponding Secretary, with a vote of the membership scheduled for January 31.
3) The technology assets in place for conducting hybrid in-person/Zoom meetings depends on outdated audio equipment in the meeting hall. Quality, particularly of the sound, is variable: sometimes poor and adequate at best. Immediate past-president Don Kauke reported on his work, in coordination with the church, to upgrade all of this with an enhanced audio visual system.
4) Our Old Guard Beefeaters tradition of singing together early in each meeting has been suspended since the COVID shutdown of 2020. It was determined that we will seek a pianist and singers for occasional reintroduction of the practice. If you are interested in participating, please let me know.
5) The reports from our officer and committee chairs are evidence of substantial vitality and professional approach throughout the organization. Thanks to each one of these men, and to all who participate.
REMINDER: The Old Guard follows the West Hartford schools for winter closings. If the West Hartford schools are closed or delayed due to stormy weather, The Old Guard meeting will be cancelled.
And now, here’s the news from officers and committee chairs:
FROM THE VP AND SPEAKER CHAIR – Ed Turbert firstname.lastname@example.org
Greetings, Old Guard. Come to the Old Guard meetings this coming month, to shake off the February cold and the Seasonal Affective Disorder!
On 07-FEB, we have Jeff Lee a known good speaker to us, as an O.G. member and former president, and just a witty and fun guy to be around. He will talk about his Dad, Bill Lee who was writing for the Courant when the paper went in between the front and storm doors. We've heard about Cassius Clay and Willie Pep in recent tales told by Jeff. You are guaranteed to get a laugh or an intake of breath from his narrative.
For 14-FEB we will welcome Madam Mayor, Shari Cantor. The town has undergone $300M in development. Traffic calming and controlling efforts have been put in place; how are they working? Should we put more streets under this format? There is a move towards sustainable, green, renewable living in town. What will she say about the condition and prospects of our wonderful town? Always in full command of West Hartford doings, she will be an inspiring font of information. And she deserves a great big Valentine from Old Guard.
To visit on 21-FEB will be Tomas Saadi, the CT State Commissioner of Veteran Affairs. Maybe he’ll be expanding benefits, making more vets eligible, attracting more vets to retire in Connecticut. He may talk on his department honoring the departed who served, by overseeing the honor guards at veterans' funerals, or upholding the annual Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame. He might explain to us who qualifies for and receives The Commissioner's Coin, awarded to deserving veterans and supporters of Connecticut veterans’ causes. Commissioner Saadi has a great personal story and a fine record of public service.
28-FEB brings us Joel Lohr, the President and Professor at the Hartford International University for Religion and Peace. I was approached by five separate people to have Dr. Lohr as a guest speaker and so we placed him on the schedule. He embraces former Hartford Seminary’s history of welcoming and supporting Christian, Islamic, Jewish religious studies. And the new university and he extends it into the 21st century.
Diversity and contact with those who differ from ourselves strengthens our own beliefs and values. Put another way: "Try new things!" This is one of the tenets for lively nonagenarians. And should be for the rest of us too! So, come on out to Old Guard and enjoy the warmth of human contact and stimulating guest speakers.
FROM THE STORYTELLER’S COMMITTEE – Bernie Weiss and Jim Doran email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
The February storytellers are:
7th: Steve Heath
14th: Dave Mangs
21st: Ed Turbert
28th Jeff Lee
FROM THE SPECIAL EVENTS COMMITTEE – Paul Dean and Ray Bliss
Here’s what lies ahead for our enjoyment:
1. One Night in Hollywood, Ballet Theatre Company, WH Town Hall, Saturday evening, Feb. 11th, 7 to 10 pm. $35 per person, price includes performance and hors d’oeuvres, free parking; there is a cash bar. Tables of 8, we now have filled our third table. Let us know of your attendance no later than Friday, February 3rd in order to reserve additional OG seating. Contact Ray or Paul (e-mail addresses are just above).
2. March event, details TBD: New Britain Museum of American Art, special exhibit, Ansel Adams and the Legacy of the American Landscape:
Photographs from the New Britain Museum of American Art” (Jan. 19, 2023 to June 4, 2023). Admission $12.00 for seniors, additional cost for a docent guided tour. Adams is among the most revered photographers of the 20th century, celebrated for his majestic black and white images of the American West. Featured in this exhibit is Adam’s Portfolio III: Yosemite Valley depicting the beauty of Yosemite National Park in California. Luncheon arrangements to be explored.
3. April: Baseball! TBD, Yard Goats (Hartford/Dunkin’ Donuts Park); UCONN at Hartford; and/or Worcester Woosox, AAA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox at Worcester.
4. May 27th (or other May date TBD), 2:00 pm matinee performance: The Majestic Theater, West Springfield, Mass., “The Buddy Holly Story”, The Rock and Roll Musical by Alan James. The timeless story of rock and roll, love and heartbreak. Classics such as Peggy Sue, Every Day, Oh Boy and More, and the Big Bopper, Jiles Perry “JP" Richardson Juniors’ Chantilly Lace. Senior Group tickets at $28.00 per person, great seats front and center in the lower level, with lunch at 1:00 pm prior to the show at the Majestic Cafe at $7.00 per person. Cash bar. Transportation provided by carpooling from West Hartford to the Theater and back. Theatre currently observing masking protocols for audience members, subject to change.
FROM THE HABITAT COMMITTEE – Ron Robinson email@example.com
The next Bloomfield ReStore event will be at 9:00 on February 8. Please register under Civic Activity on our website, ctoldguard.org. Non-OG members are welcome, too. (It is not construction work.) Please contact me with any questions. Thank you. (860)965-3510.
FROM THE FOODSHARE COMMITTEE – Jeff Lee firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy February Old Guard! February, the month of Washington and Lincoln…and, another great opportunity to join us in our fight to help eliminate food insecurity! When: Friday Feb. 17th. 8:30-11:30 - Where: Foodshare in Bloomfield - Who: Join with your fellow Old Guard members. It just might be the best 3 hours of giving you experience in February!
Any questions? Please contact me at: email@example.com.
Thanks, and have a great day!
FROM THE FOODBANKS COMMITTEE – Lou Aiello firstname.lastname@example.org
For February we will be asking for donations of money for the West Hartford Foodbank, CTFoodshare, and Loaves & Fishes and/or House of Bread. Also donations of food for West Hartford Foodbank.
We have received 50 food Items and money donations West Hartford $1,100, House of Bread $1,000, Loaves & Fishes $1,000 and CTFoodshare $1,945 (total CTFoodshare with food value of 5 times donations equals $9,725). Total individual donations $5,045 (total including food value $12,825) so far this season. So many of neighbor's food needs in Connecticut, and other essentials means, a contribution of $30.00 would feed one person for 30 days based on the CTFoodshare cost. We would appreciate donations for this winter season.
For information to donate, go to Old Guard Website. For me to contact you, there is a sign-up sheet table at Old Guard meeting, or see me at our Old Guard meetings. Need help and to report your donations, please call me (860)970-6502. Donations are tax deductible.
FROM THE UCONN HELP DESK COMMITTEE – Bill O’Connor email@example.com
The Old Guard needs additional volunteers to continue our long history of service. Volunteers assist patients to find the correct clinic or procedure. Some patients are handicapped and require the need of a wheelchair. Volunteers are critical in moving patients to the correct service. Patients rely on the volunteers to guide them to the proper service.
Volunteers at the Muscular Skelton Institute have 4 hour shifts, Mondays,
Wednesdays and Thursdays 8-12 or 12-4. Fridays are a morning shift only.
The university supplies a picture ID, free parking and a stipend for a luncheon, break. If you are interested to know, more contact Bill OConnor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our contact Administrator at the University is Lisa Detoma (ldetoma @unch.edu)
FROM THE BOWLING COMMITTEE - Tom Goodrum email@example.com
Come and join us for fellowship and fun. Bowling continues Thursday mornings at 9:30 am at the Callahan’s Bowl-O-Rama, 2143 Berlin Turnpike in Newington. No experience is necessary. The cost is $8.25 per person for the three games, including shoes and balls that are provided. Time to get out of the house and be with fellow Old Guard members. Hope to see you there.
FROM THE GOLF COMMITTEE – Chuck Hasbrouck firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2023 Old Guard Golf Tournament and Luncheon
Mark your calendars! The 2023 golf tournament and luncheon will be held on Tuesday, May 16 at Stanley Golf Course and The Back Nine Tavern. You will want to be a part of this great event that provides West Hartford YMCA camp scholarships for children in financial need.
FROM THE YMCA LIAISON - John Keleher email@example.com
The YMCA has started its annual campaign. Old Guard members that have pledged in the past should expect a phone call in the coming weeks. I hope those who have given will continue and those who have not will consider supporting the West Hartford Y.
And so there you have it: OG news for February
With every best wish, and an invitation to reach out to me at any time:
Russ Jones, President