'Good Night Irene' author to appear at Bartleby's, library
WILMINGTON -- Craig Brandon, co-author of the recent book "Good Night Irene," will present a PowerPoint program based on his talks with more than 300 survivors of Tropical Storm Irene in three states.
He will be at Bartleby's Books on Main Street in Wilmington on Sunday at 3 p.m., and at Brooks Memorial Library, 224 Main St., Brattleboro, on Wednesday, Aug. 22, at 7 p.m. Both presentations are free and open to the public.
Using photos from the book, statistics and stories collected in interviews, Brandon tells the full story of the storm that affected not just Vermont but the Catskills and the Berkshires as well. After his talk he'll take questions and allow local survivors to share their own tales of what happened to them on Aug. 28, 2011.
It took three authors and a dozen photographers to tell the stories in "Good Night Irene: Stories and Photos about the Tropical Storm that Devastated Vermont, the Catskills and the Berkshires," the most ambitious project yet for the Keene, N.H., publishing house that previously published "The Weight of the Ice: The Northeast Ice Storm of 2008."
Brandon, project editor and publisher of Surry Cottage Books, set out to tell the story as completely as possible with a goal of publishing the book soon after the storm. He hired freelance writers and photographers from each state who gathered photos and interviewed
The book focuses on the towns with the most interesting stories to tell. In Brattleboro, the storm had the most impact on the arts community. In Prattsville, N.Y., the entire downtown area was destroyed; and in Rochester, the problem was isolation when all the bridges into town were lost in the flood. The book focuses on Schoharie, Prattsville, Windham, Blenheim and Middleburgh in the Catskills, Williamstown, Greenfield, Shelburne Falls and Charlemont in Massachusetts; and Brattleboro, Wilmington, Rochester, Woodstock, Waterbury, Quechee and Pittsfield in Vermont.
For more information, visit www.surrycottagebooks.com or call 603-499-6500.
Latchis Theatre hosts
free screening of
'Singin' in the Rain'
BRATTLEBORO -- On Tuesday, Aug. 28, the one-year anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene and its rampage through Brattleboro's Flat Street, Latchis Arts and the Latchis Theatre are showing "Singin' in the Rain," the classic movie musical, with Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor, free to the community at 7 p.m.
Directed by Gene Kelly, the movie that celebrated the dawn of "talkies" on the big screen will also help the Latchis commemorate its conversion from 35mm film to digital projection.
The Latchis Hotel and Theatre was closed for 46 days after Irene's flood waters receded, leaving behind a mess of mud and muck. A half-million dollar cleanup and repair project allowed the hotel and theater to re-open in October and life returned to the Latchis. Like many of its neighbors, some of the experience is fading into memory, some of it is still present every day.
Now it is time to celebrate the Latchis' successful transition to a "new normal," and everyone is invited.
Also notable is the fact that the Latchis is phasing out most of its 35mm film projectors in favor of digital projection, where movies will be delivered on hard drive. This is saving the movie studios millions of dollars in film production costs.
The movie is presented for free, although donations to long-term flood recovery efforts in southern Vermont will be welcome. Information is available at www.latchis.com.
Irene-related songs featured in Aug. 28 concert in Deerfield
DEERFIELD, Mass. -- The Connecticut River Watershed Council announces the program and the performers for its Goodnight Irene concert at Deerfield Academy's Memorial Hall auditorium on Tuesday, Aug. 28, at 7 p.m. The concert is a benefit for the CRWC's annual Source to Sea cleanup on Sept. 29. Tickets are $10 and are available at www.ctriver.org and at CRWC (15 Bank Row), World Eye Bookshop and Raven Used Books in Greenfield; at Boswell Books in Shelburne Falls; at Turn it Up! in Brattleboro, Vt.; at Savages Market in Deerfield; and at Elmer's Store in Ashfield.
Seventeen Irene-inspired songs will be performed by the writers and other guest performers. Among the local musicians/songwriters featured are Bellows Falls area native (now of Munich, Germany) Michael Veitch and his folk tribute to a covered bridge, "Irene Meets the Bartonsville Bridge"; Laura Molinelli from Jamaica, and her bluegrass group, the Bondville Boys performing "Between the River and the Road and Water Wheel," a song of old loves reunited by the flood; and Dan Seiden of Brookline, singing "Dramatic Sky," a rock weather report.
Among the other performers are The Boxcar Lilies, Katie Clarke, Jennie McAvoy, Leslie Blair, Greg Bullen, Mark Fraser, Charlie Conant, Roland Lapierre, John Currie, Sarah Pirtle, Pat and Tex LaMountain, Larken Goode, Dave Clark, Steve Spensley, Victor Tremblay, Bridget Ahrens and Alana Shaw.
Expect guest performers throughout the evening, and the house rhythm section is John White, bass, and Rick Mauran, drums and percussion, both from Greenfield.
Samirah Evans donates song proceeds to Vt. Disaster Relief Fund
MONTPELIER -- The Vermont Disaster Relief Fund is honored blues and jazz vocalist Samirah Evans of Brattleboro chose the Fund to be a beneficiary of sales from her song, "Strength in Numbers," available for purchase at cdbaby.com.
In 2005, the flooding brought on by Hurricane Katrina destroyed the home of Evans and her husband, Chris Lenois. The couple ended up relocating to Lenois' hometown of Brattleboro. Six years later, one day before the anniversary of Katrina, they watched Tropical Storm Irene bring similar ruin to many parts of Vermont, including their own community.
While they were spared any personal loss, Evans and Lenois were moved by the tragedy and the outpouring of support from the community for those in need. They wrote "Strength in Numbers" for a fundraising event in Brattleboro. The song is a soulful and heartfelt account of how tragic and challenging circumstances galvanize the human spirit to give strength and hope.
So far, nearly $1.5 million has been allocated to Vermonters from the VDRF. However, with the possibility of as much as $10 million still needed, and more than 800 families with unmet needs, it is as important as ever for Vermonters to support the recovery.
"Even while we brace ourselves for another hurricane season, there are hundreds of Vermonters still not in their homes," said Betsy Ide, executive director of VDRF. "Samirah's generosity is a heartening example of the unique ways Vermonters can make a difference."
"Strength in Numbers" is available for download with all proceeds from purchases between now and Aug. 29, (the anniversary of Katrina) going to the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund.
"It is my hope that this song offers comfort as well as an opportunity for anyone, even those who may not have much, to feel good by offering a small donation that will help Vermonters affected by Irene get back on their feet," said Evans.