Canton residents awoke on Sunday morning, May 22, to find Route 179 awash in American glory from Collinsville to Barkhamsted, including this flag at the corner of Case Street and Route 179. Photo: dotCANTON
The reds, whites and blues have returned to Route 179.
A small group of current and former Boy Scouts and a couple of their leaders convened at St. Patrick’s Church in Collinsville at 6 a.m. Sunday morning, May 22, and in less than two hours they had placed scores of American flags on poles along Route 179 all the way to the Barkhamsted line.
The flags will remain in place through Veterans Day in the fall.
Troop 77 leader Emil Huyghebaert said he was joined by troop Chairman Bill Arnone, five active scouts from town and a former Eagle Scout who no longer lives in Canton. Huyghebaert said two teams were formed, one that worked north from Collinsville, and the other that began at the Barkhamstead line and worked south.
The idea was to start early and be finished before traffic became an issue. Huyghebaert said the last flag was in place sometime between 7:30 and 8 a.m.
Placing American flags on poles along Route 179 is a tradition that began in 2004 as a local woman’s tribute to a son serving in Iraq and a late brother who was an Air Force veteran.
That woman, Elaine Zils, died in a traffic accident in Simsbury in 2006. Since then, the tradition on Route 179 has been in the hands of Elaine’s sister, Melissa Zils, and her husband, Darin Barnes, with plenty of help from the Scouts.
Money to replace worn flags and poles comes entirely from donations. Zils said 60 new flags went up Sunday, and 30 more will be put in place before the end of this week to fill in some gaps along the route. At that point, about 200 flags will be flying.
Zils also plans to use money from the fund this week to replace worn out bunting at Canton Center Cemetery on Route 179.
Donations that will ensure the timely replacement of tattered flags and damaged poles and holders can be sent to the Elaine Zils Memorial Flag Fund, c/o the Collinsville Savings Society, PO Box 197, 136 Main St., Collinsville, CT 06022.
Click here to see an earlier post on dotCANTON.com about the flags on Route 179.
Click here for “Elaine Zils Memorial Flags” on Facebook.
Marcia Marsted in her room at the McLean rehabilitation facility in Simsbury. Photo: dotCANTON
By Steve Wilder dotCANTON.com
Marcia Marsted will be discharged from the McLean rehabilitation facility in Simsbury on Saturday, Jan. 15, 106 days after an automobile accident on Avon Mountain left her in critical condition.
The 67-year-old artist and author is going home.
“It’s been very nice here,” Marsted said, “but I’m going to be happy to be home in my own bed, with my husband (Jeff) and with my kitty (Luna).
“I want to sit in front of the fire.”
A two-time cancer survivor, Marsted is continuing to recover from an Oct. 1 crash that involved three vehicles and left her with multiple broken bones in both arms and both legs.
On Thursday, Jan. 13, Marsted rose to her feet on her own and used a walker to escort a departing visitor to the lobby at McLean. Her rehabilitation will continue at her Canton home.
“They’re going to come to me to do the therapy until they don’t think I need it anymore,” Marsted said. It’s possible, she said, that she eventually might require another operation for a bone graft in the area of her left knee.
The Avon Mountain crash occurred as Marsted was returning home from a fishing trip with her husband to Idaho and Wyoming. The couple flew into New York the night before, stayed at their New York City apartment and reunited with Luna, who had been with the Marsteds’ daughter Amanda in Manhattan.
Birds and squirrels have been having a fine time outside Marcia Marsted's room at McLean. Photo: dotCANTON
The Marsteds and Luna drove back to Connecticut on the morning of Oct. 1, and Jeff got out at his office in Hartford. Then Marcia and Luna continued heading home.
“I don’t have any recollection of the accident,” Marsted said. “The only thing I think I can remember is the cat sitting on the passenger side floor.”
Marsted learned later that Luna had some lacerations and that she was taken in a police cruiser to a vet. The (“2 or 3-”) year-old Maine Coon has fully recovered and has visited with Marsted at McLean.
Marsted, a longtime member of the Canton Artists’ Guild, was at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15, when she was discharged and admitted into McLean. Two days later an infection forced a return to St. Francis, where she remained until Oct. 25. With the exception of a 12-hour visit to her home on Christmas Day, Marsted has been at McLean ever since.
Jeff Marsted, Marcia’s husband of 46 years, doesn’t hesitate when asked to describe her recovery.
“It’s a miracle,” Jeff said. “I think it’s a miracle that it was just bones (that were injured) and not (her) brain or spinal chord.”
Jeff Marsted’s voice cracked when he recalled the telephone call summoning him to the hospital — “I didn’t know if she was alive or dead” — and he remembers the “long days” immediately after the accident, when his wife underwent two lengthy operations.
But, he said, “From the time she got to the hospital, she was fighting.”
Continue reading Marcia Marsted Going Home
Mary Tomolonius, the former three-term first selectwoman of Canton and the founder and president for 24 years of Tomolonius Design, a graphic design firm, has been appointed executive director of The Connecticut Association for Community Transportation (CACT).
CACT is a nonprofit association committed to promoting and improving public transportation in Connecticut. Its membership consists of transportation organizations across the state, as well as organizations and individuals that are stakeholders in public and community transportation.
CACT and Connect-Ability will sponsor a conference on Thursday, Jan. 27, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Union Station in Hartford entitled “Running on Empty: Land-Use, Public Transportation and Pedestrian Friendly Streets in Connecticut.” The event is free and open to the public and will cover topics relating to the interconnection of land use, public transportation and employment.
Tomolonius currently serves as chairman of Canton’s Sam Collins Day and as a member of the Canton Chamber of Commerce board of directors. She is also a member of the Canton Board of Finance. At CACT, she is replacing Gloria Mills, who served as executive director for 10 years.
Information provided by Mary Tomolonius
dotCANTON Classifieds Page Open For Business
"Collinsville Bridge -- 1905" / Art Chouinard
Seventeen paintings by Avon artist Art Chouinard are on display at Canton Town Hall through the months of January and February. All 17 paintings are on the first floor. A listing of titles with the prices of these originals is available at town hall.
Chouinard is a familiar figure at the Canton Public Library, where he spends a day each month painting. His next scheduled appearance at the library is Thursday, Jan. 20.
For more about Chouinard, see this earlier post on dotCANTON.com.
To check out some of Art Chouinard’s paintings currently on display at town hall, click on any of the nine images in the gallery below and use the arrow left or arrow right button at the bottom of the larger image that pops up. To return to this page, click on the full image you are viewing.
"Retirement" / Jim Koplar
By Steve Wilder dotCANTON.com
Collinsville artist Jim Koplar was in Falls Village about three years ago when he spotted “a row” of rusted old vehicles in the snow. He snapped a few pictures and eventually created an image of what he had seen, calling his work “Retirement.” Koplar might not have known it at the time, but his “Rust In Peace Series” had just been born.
Jim Koplar in his studio.
By now, that series has expanded to the point where Koplar is considering a calendar next year dedicated to those works.
“To me, they have a personality,” Koplar says about the useless old vehicles, which can be cars, trucks or tractors. “When I see them in a field, rusting, I think about their past, maybe what they had been used for. I kind of feel sad for them. They look kind of sad and lonely.”
Several images from the Rust In Peace Series will be on display in the upstairs gallery when Gallery on the Green kicks off its 2011 program on Friday, Jan. 7. “Who I Am,” a members show, will open downstairs that day, and artist Grace Epstein will be featured in the Spotlight Gallery on the second floor.
"From The Barn" / Jim Koplar
An opening reception is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 8. The public is welcome. All three shows will run through Feb. 6.
Koplar, who grew up in Torrington but has lived in Collinsville since 1992, will have 32 pieces on display upstairs, all of which, he says, were created “from 2008 forward.” Though he’s technically not a part of the “Who I Am” show, Koplar decided to follow a similar theme by showing a “cross-section of things I do that are of interest to me,” specifically: portraits, still lifes, local scenes and works from Rust In Peace.
Mostly self-taught — though he earned an arts degree from Tunxis Community College in 2004 — Koplar describes himself as a “pastelist.”
“It’s the medium I’ve been using lately, and I enjoy it,” Koplar says. “You can work quickly with it.”
Koplar, who became Burlington’s building official in July of 2009 after serving as an assistant building official in Avon for 10 years, says he tries to get into his home studio three or four times a week. He also runs an “Art Jam” at Gallery 101 Main in Collinsville every Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The “drop-in class,” as Koplar calls it, costs $10. Drawing boards, drawing easels and materials are available, and Koplar says he’ll offer his assistance if asked.
“A lot of people are regulars,” he says of the jams. “It’s a very nonjudgmental (environment) for newcomers. Koplar says participants range from high school age to adult.
Koplar also has copies of the 2011 “Greetings From Collinsville, Connecticut” wall calendar that features reproductions of 12 of his works. Call 860-508-4630 for more information about the calendars.
Gallery on the Green, located at Route 44 and Dowd Avenue in Canton, is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.
To check out larger versions of the images below, click on any of the three and use the arrow left or arrow right button at the bottom of the larger image that pops up. To return to this page, click on the full image you are viewing.
"Bass Harbor Maine Light By Moonlight" / Art Chouinard
Paintings by Art Chouinard will be on display at Canton Town Hall in January and February. Photo: dotCANTON
By Steve Wilder dotCANTON.com
The more you look at his work and the more you listen to his story the more you find yourself almost disbelieving what the man is saying.
Self-taught? Never tried painting until a little more than a decade ago … when he was well into his 60s?
Art Chouinard of Avon grins a lot as his visitor marvels over how far and how fast he has come, almost like, maybe, he doesn’t quite believe it himself.
"HMS Rose Tall Ship" / Art Chouinard
Make no mistake, Chouinard — pronounced Shen-ard — has a highly skilled right hand. His talent for general graphics and lettering paid the bills for 40 years, and you get the feeling he’d still be creating banners, promotional posters, artwork and trade show presentations for area insurance companies had the computer not come along. But it did, and it took work away from him and many others in that trade.
“A lot of artists that were let go went to computer school,” says Chouinard, who has been invited to display his extraordinarily detailed paintings at Canton Town Hall through the months of January and February. “If I had been a lot younger, I probably would have gone, (too).”
"Weekapaugh, R.I., By Moonlight" / Art Chouinar
Instead, Chouinard started looking for something else to do. “Retirement is a foreign word to me,” he says. “I wanted to convert over to a different scene entirely.”
He started painting general landscapes and scenes from around the Farmington Valley, including, quite naturally, the Collins Co. ax factory in Collinsville. His efforts were impressive to say the least, but Chouinard didn’t find a path he could follow with passion until a friend in Watch Hill, R.I., introduced him to the work of maritime artist John Stobart. The British-born Stobart’s s realistic style paintings got Chouinard’s attention.
"Niantic Yacht Club Misty Morning" / Art Chouinard
“Oh, boy, did they ever,” he says.
“I loved his work and said that’s where I’d like to be someday. I said, here’s a goal.”
Just as he had never planned to paint, Chouinard wasn’t thinking about being a commercial graphic artist when he was growing up in Hartford’s South End and attending St. Augustine Grammar School and Bulkeley High School. He envisioned himself playing his trombone for a living and even enlisted in the Air Force to be a member of a field band.
It didn’t take long for some realities to hit home.
“I wanted to be a musician badly,” he says. “But when I lived with other musicians in the Air Force, I could see where I was lacking.”
He took a “mail order” course in architectural drafting while in the service and produced publicity posters for some Air Force buddies who were booking stateside talent to entertain the troops in Puerto Rico, where Chouinard was stationed for three years. Continue reading Town Hall Invites Chouinard
An assortment of arrows, spearheads and stone tools used by Native Americans in this area have been donated to the Canton Historical Museum. Photos: dotCANTON
By Steve Wilder dotCANTON.com
David Gilchrist says his father-in-law, a resident of Avon, looked for American Indian artifacts almost all his life, beginning when he was a young boy early in the 20th century.
According to Gilchrist, a Canton selectman in his third term, George Plude would search plowed fields and the banks of the Farmington River in Avon, Simsbury and Farmington, particularly after rain scrubbed the ground and made the rock and stone items more visible to a trained eye.
Plude put together a handsome collection over the years, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 19, the Canton Historical Museum will formally accept 300-plus artifacts from Gilchrist in memory of his wife, Marie Plude Gilchrist, who died in November 2009.
“We talked about it quite a bit before she passed away,” Gilchrist said. “She wanted the collection to be kept together and put in a place where it could be enjoyed by many people.”
According to the museum, the artifacts collected by Plude were evaluated over the past several months by Lisa Marie Evans, a grad student in anthropology and archaeology at Central Connecticut State University and found to be up to 10,000 years old. Many of the arrows and spearheads come from as far away as Ohio, according to the museum. Gilchrist said that’s probably the result of a series of trades among groups of Indians.
“(Evans) found arrowheads made of material not indigenous to this area,” Gilchrist said. As an example, he said some arrowheads were made of flint, and that the nearest deposits of flint were in Ohio.
The museum says the Gilchrist donation doubles the size of its collection. Five years ago the museum received a similar donation from the Dyer family in Canton.