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
Labor Day is upon us along with the transition between the summer activities we can still look forward to and the coming of the cooler weather and colors of fall. On behalf of the officers and committee chairs: Welcome to the start of a new program year. We begin on September 6 with speaker, Rick Ledwith, West Hartford Town Manager. Our storyteller is Rolf Knoll.
This opening newsletter presents word of several wonderful trips planned by Paul Dean and Ray Bliss. You will also read about the September roster of speakers, thanks to our VP and Speaker Chair, Ed Turbert, who has worked diligently and effectively reaching out to potential speakers since last March.
Special thanks go to Bob Hoffman for a wonderful, well-attended, pre-season luncheon gathering at Rockledge on August 23. Thanks also to all of our officers and committee chairs – many of whom have been busy throughout the summer keeping The Old Guard present in the community; and to our secretary, George Stephen whose work seemingly never ends.
Our historian, Tew DuBois asks: Should anyone be aware of a former member of the Old Guard that may have passed away between May 1st and today, please notify him by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sadly, we have lost two former members, Dale Wolfe and Tom Tresselt. We will have a moment of remembrance for each of these gentlemen when we gather on the 6th.
Here’s the news:
FROM THE SECRETARY: George Stephan
Once our new season begins, I will, as in the past, send the minutes, meeting reminders and other communications to the membership via our WIX platform. We have learned that a member's browser settings may cause these transmissions to go into a member's spam/junk folder. While this happens very infrequently, in the event you do not receive any messages during a week, please check your spam/junk folder. If you have any questions, you can contact me via email (email@example.com), text (860-729-6741) or telephone (860-561-2685
FROM THE VICE PRESIDENT: Ed Turbert
GUEST SPEAKERS FOR SEPTEMBER
Welcome to another year at The Old Guard, starting September 6, the day after Labor Day.
Q - What happens when you mix a brain cell and a light bulb?
A - You get a bright idea!
Start the program year off by stimulating your mind and enjoy these guest speakers:
Rick Ledwith leads off the Old Guard program year as our first guest speaker on Sep 6. He is the new Town Manager for West Hartford after 15 years in service to the town. He has a collaborative leadership style and has interfaced with every department in the town and in W H Public Schools. He will be speaking about the conditions in town and W Hartford's prospects.
Dr. Nick Bellantoni is emeritus archeologist for State of CT. Don't miss him on Sep 13. He has had numerous astonishing experiences interfacing geology, archaeology and Connecticut history. He will be speaking about Strange and Unique Cases of the State Archaeologist.
Paul Blanch is an Old Guard member and retired nuclear engineer. He is a tireless advocate for solving a massive problem to do with spent fuel and nuclear waste management. As a champion for better management of radiation waste, he has published papers, lobbied and advised the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on these issues. Give him a good welcome on Sep 20.
Michael Cabrey will talk on Sep 27. He is "White Phosphorus!" That's what the GIs used to call West Pointers for their intensity and resolute purpose. He has had experiences in Iraq. He helped shift the resistance of the Muslim religious leadership against the presence of US military. The retired Lt Colonel with three other Old Guard vets, supported Donut Day with the Salvation Army hosted at the Rocky Hill VA Center.
So, stretch those neurons and exercise those brain cells and come on out to The Old Guard meetings, and do so in great company.
FROM THE STORYTELLERS’ COMMITTEE: Bernie Weiss and Jim Doran
Our meeting season begins with a fine lineup of Storytellers. In September, we'll hear from Rolf Knoll, Paul Blanch, Mike Dore, and Bob Hill. A few Storyteller dates are still available in the spring. To snag one, contact:
Bernie Weiss / 860-521-3902 / firstname.lastname@example.org or
Jim Doran / 860-521-0314 / email@example.com.
FROM THE SPECIAL EVENTS COMMITTEE: Paul Dean and Ray Bliss
The CURRENT TRIPS have three things in common: they are all located in Connecticut, can facilitate up to 40 and can be reached by your car.
Trip 1: Wednesday morning, September28, 2022. We travel to the historic town of Old Wethersfield to visit and tour the Webb, Deane and Stevens Museum that features authentically restored 18th Century (revolutionary war) homes of the museum’s namesakes. After the tour, we will enjoy a private lunch with our tour directors. Cost of trip $28 per person. Wife and friends are invited.
Trip 2: Wednesday morning, October 12, 2022. We visit the nearby Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT for a White Glove Tour of the Museum led by its CEO and the museum curator, followed by private lunch at noon with them. The last time the Old Guard had a very special tour of the Hill-Stead Museum was 2011. Their CEO, Dr. Anna Swinbourn, said “It’s a wonderful way to make old new again - and thanks to the abundance of our resources everyone will learn something more”. Cost of Trip is $36 per person. Wife and friends are invited.
Fall Trips in Planning:
Trip 3: Wednesday morning, November9, 2022. We plan to visit the most enlightened fun-loving brewery in the east: Two Roads Brewing in Stratford CT. This trip is being arranged by our “Beer Master”, Clem Sayers, who is personal friends of the management. It will be a one of a kind trip. Details will follow in late September.
Trip 4: Wednesday December7, 2022. Holiday Luncheon of the Old Guard at the Back Nine Tavern at Stanley Golf Course. Last years’ event received high acclaim. Details of Food, Music and price will follow in October.
FROM THE FOODSHARE COMMITTEE: Bill Higgins
We have three future dates reserved for the Old Guard Food Sorting at Foodshare in Bloomfield: The dates are as follows:
Monday September 12
Friday October 14
Monday November 14
There are numerous openings available for all the days. Please sign up through the Old Guard Website to register to volunteer for one or all of the days that you can help. Thanks for the continued support of Foodshare.
FROM THE FOOD BANKS COMMITTEE: Lou Aiello
For September's meetings we will be collecting money and/or food for the West Hartford Food Bank, Connecticut Foodshare, House of Bread and/or Loaves & Fishes. This year there is more need than ever for contributions than past years. We have to preserve, protect, and help our community with the changes going on in our world, and have Old Guard out in front as a top contributor to support our community.
Total money donation contributions from September 2021 through May 2022 is $8,720 which includes $1,400 West Hartford FoodBank, $500 Loaves and Fishes, and $250 House of Bread. Also 33 Food items was donated for West Hartford Food. These are overwhelming contributions.
The food value of total money donations is $58,955 which includes matching gifts of Foodshare merging to CtFoodshare in September 2021, also CtFoodshare had matching gifts for donations in December 2021 and May 2022.
Information to donate: Refer to Old Guard website. And please let me know of your donation, by cellphone (860)970-6502) so that I can add your donation to Old Guard total. It is greatly appreciated in these time of struggle.
FROM THE HABITAT FOR HUMANITY COMMITTEE: Ron Robinson
We are continuing to volunteer at ReStore in Bloomfield during the morning of the second Wednesday of each month with the next opportunity being September 14th (my birthday). This is not construction work but instead involves displaying materials, furniture, appliances, paint supplies, flooring, doors, etc. that have been donated. It is fun/rewarding and you may even find items that you can use. On the construction side, we anticipate participating in a Build Day on or around Veterans' Day, November 11th - more to come.
Please consider participating at Restore and/or the Build Day. To register, go to the bottom of the Civic Activity section of our website, ctoldguard.org. If you have any questions, please contact me. Ron Robinson (860) 965-3510 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
FROM THE YMCA LIAISON: John Keleher
Laura reports that:
We graduated 22 Scholars grades K-4 who participated in morning classes for Literacy and Math in the Bell Academic Program…. This helps children combat summer learning loss.
The traditional day camp at the Wolcott Elementary school is going well despite the extreme warm weather. Paul, the new full time Youth Development Director, has served as the onsite Camp Director daily.
Paul is currently planning fall programming: soccer will take place at Smith School Field and basketball clinic and Sports of all Sorts will take place at the Westminster Presbyterian Church.
And so there you have it. Please come if you can on September 6 – or Zoom in, if you wish. We will have new zoom codes for the new year, so watch for those in the weekly meeting announcement.