Stonington community observe the Bicentennial of the Battle


For Release July 1 

From: The Stonington Historical Society 860-535-8445 ext. 10

The following is a summary of summer events relating to the Bicentennial of the Battle of Stonington.

Illustrations: Courtesy of the Stonington Historical Society. Suggested cutlines:

Dr. Joseph O’Dell gives oration in 1914 at Cannon Square.

In 1914, the Stonington Battle Flag was part of the “pageant parade” that included 1,400 participants.

A commemorative jug was produced shortly after the 1814 Battle of Stonington, produced in Liverpool, England.

 STONINGTON — Two hundred years ago next month,  four ships of the British Royal Navy plus a new “bomb ship” called the Terror, as well as small boats for amphibious landings arrayed themselves before the village of Stonington and declared their intention to destroy the town. Stonington had one small cannon and two 18-pounders, the two that now preside over Cannon Square in Stonington Borough. But the Stonington guns held the squadron at bay, a squadron commanded by Admiral Nelson’s comrade, Commodore Thomas Masterman Hardy. In the end, one of the ships, the Dispatch, was so severely damaged by the locals that it had to leave the fray, and after four days of fighting, Hardy withdrew, leaving the village shaken but proudly standing. Thus was born the legend of the Battle of Stonington, celebrated ever after as a famous victory.

The Stonington community and its neighbors are joining forces to observe the Bicentennial of the Battle with a full schedule of events planned for July and August. The Bicentennial Committee, chaired by Meredith M. Brown of the Stonington Historical Society, has organized a menu of programs, as a prelude to the big weekend of August 9 and 10. 

Most of the events will be free and open to all. The Battle Bicentennial is being underwritten by Dime Bank, the Stonington Village Improvement Association, the Stonington Historical Society, and a group of generous patrons.

Many other community organizations are also participating. Among them are the New England Science and Sailing Foundation, the Portuguese Holy Ghost Society, the Stonington Community Center and Mystic Seaport. Other partners include the Warden and Burgesses of the Borough of Stonington, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, the Stonington Police Department, the Stonington Ambulance Corps, the Borough Merchants Association, and others. Organizations that would like to join in the parade scheduled for the afternoon of August 10 are asked to contact the Stonington Historical Society.  

battle jug

Stonington started commemorating the event in August 1815, a year after the battle, and the celebration grew throughout the 19th century until it often outshone the Fourth of July in fervor and fanfare. In the national centennial year, 1876, the celebration featured a hundred-gun salute, marching bands, militia units, a carriage graced by the Goddess of Liberty accompanied by 13 young maidens representing the original 13 states, and a lavish communal feast. The battle’s centennial in 1914 was even more ambitious: Five U.S. Navy destroyers converged near Stonington Point, and there was a “pageant parade” with 1,400 participants, as well as motorboat races.

Planning for 2014 began in 2011 when then Borough Warden Donald Maranell convened local organizations. For the last two years, the Bicentennial Committee has met regularly and has organized an array of events and exhibits:

A special bicentennial exhibit, “Sixteen Stars, Sixteen Stripes: A Celebration of the Battle of 1814,” sponsored by the Stonington Historical Society, will open on Friday, July 11, from 5  to 7 pm at the La Grua Center, 7 Stonington Commons, 32 Water Street, in the Borough. The exhibit will remain open, free of charge, on weekdays from noon to 4 pm; on Saturdays, from noon to 3 pm; and on the anniversary weekend of August 9 and 10, from noon to 4 pm. 

On Sunday, July 13, at 5 pm, at the La Grua Center, the Stonington Free Library will sponsor a lecture by James Tertius de Kay, author of the authoritative account, The Battle of Stonington: Torpedoes, Submarines and Rockets in the War of 1812.  Admission is free.

On Thursday, July 24 at 6 pm, at the La Grua Center, the Stonington Historical Society will sponsor a discussion, “The Rockets’ Red Glare over Stonington: The War of 1812 and the Battle of Stonington.” The panel will discuss the Battle of Stonington in the context of the War of 1812. Participants will be Glenn Gordinier, Meredith M. Brown, James Boylan, and Nancy Steenburg, contributors to the award-winning book, The Rockets’ Red Glare and the War of 1812 in Connecticut. Admission is free.

On Sunday, July 27, Noon to 4 pm at the Stonington Town Dock: The Blessing of the Fleet. 

At 6 pm, Salt Marsh Opera and the Stonington Historical Society will present a vocal program, “Music for 1814,” on the grounds of the Old Lighthouse Museum, 7 Water Street in Stonington Borough. The program will include excerpts from Beethoven’s opera Fidelio, written in 1814. Tickets: $10 in advance; $12 at gate; children under 14, free. 

The Stonington Community Center’s Village Fair will take place on Saturday, August 2, from 11 am to 4 pm at Wadawanuck Square, Stonington Borough. This year the fair will honor the Battle of Stonington. Look for the Historical Society’s booth featuring bicentennial items and books about the Battle of Stonington. Free Admission.

Friday, August 8, 5-7 pm, at the Woolworth Library and Research Center, 40 Palmer Street. There will be a special preview of Stonington’s rarely exhibited battle flag, with reception next door at the Capt. Palmer House. Special “pop-up” exhibit from Mystic Seaport of artifacts of the 1812 era. Jim Geary, the author of the Stonington Historical Society’s latest book, Our Flag is Still Here: The Story of Stonington’s Star Spangled Banner – A Scrapbook History, will be on hand to sign copies and share stories about the flag’s amazing history. Donation suggested.

Saturday, August 9

9 am to noon at Dime Bank (Ocean Bank building), 4 Cannon Square, Stonington Borough: U.S. Post Office cancellation session with commemorative cachets designed by philatelist Alan Bentz. Books published by the Historical Society will be available for sale.

10 to 4 pm: The Stonington battle flag, older than the Star Spangled Banner, will be exhibited at the Woolworth Library & Research Center, 40 Palmer Street. The flag was hand-woven of hand-dyed, hand-spun wool by the women of the local Congregational Church around 1800. The flag flew throughout the 1814 bombardment and survived, though torn and shot-through. It was displayed and paraded in Stonington Borough as a precious relic for generations, but is rarely displayed today because of its fragility. Also at the Woolworth Library, Mystic Seaport will display artifacts relating to the War of 1812. Seaport curator Fred Calabretta will be on hand to discuss these treasures. Admission is free.

Starting at 10 am, the Mystic Whaler, an 83-foot reproduction of a 19th-century coastal schooner, will offer one-hour narrated cruises throughout the day, departing from the dock at New England Science & Sailing, 70 Water Street, Stonington Borough. Adults: $30; children 12 and under: $15. 

10 – 5 pm: Old Lighthouse Museum, 7 Water Street, Stonington Borough. Lighthouse built in 1840 and converted to a local history museum in 1925. Tower overlooks the sites of the Battle of Stonington. Admission charged. 

11 am and 1 pm: Battle-themed walking tours depart from the Old Lighthouse Museum. $10 for adults; $5 for students under 21. 

Noon – 4 pm: La Grua Center. Exhibit, “Sixteen Stars, Sixteen Stripes: A Celebration of the Battle of 1814.” Free.

1 – 4 pm: Captain Nathaniel Brown Palmer House, 40 Palmer Street, a National Historic Landmark. Free tours on the hour and half hour. Home of Captain Palmer, a blockade runner at age 14 during the War of 1812 and the American discoverer of Antarctica in 1820. 

2 — 3 pm: Stonington (Evergreen) Cemetery, 345 North Main Street: Commemoration of British midshipman Thomas Barratt Powers (1794-1814) killed in action days before the Battle of Stonington.

6 pm: Dinner cruise aboard the Mystic Whaler with special guide, James Tertius de Kay, author of The Battle of Stonington: Torpedoes, Submarines and Rockets in the War of 1812. Boarding at 5:40 pm, New England Science & Sailing dock. Tickets required. $150 per person.

TBA – Old Lighthouse Museum. The Newport Artillery Company (one of the oldest militia units in the U.S., established in 1741) will be on hand to fire their historic brass cannons, made by Paul Revere in 1798. This Rhode Island group is an authentic historic military unit. Free.

Sunday, August 10 

10 am – 5 pm. Old Lighthouse Museum, 7 Water Street, Stonington Borough. Lighthouse built in 1840 and converted to a local history museum in 1925. Tower overlooks the sites of the Battle of Stonington. Admission charged. 

11 am & 1 pm: Battle-themed walking tours depart from the Old Lighthouse Museum. $10 for adults; $5 for students under 21.

10 am: 1812 Military Encampment opens on the grounds of the Old Lighthouse. Free Men of the Sea, a living history group of Pirates and Privateers will be joined by a contingent from the 1812 Marine Guards, who are part of the U.S. Constitution Marine Guard.

10 am-4 pm: Tea tent at the Old Lighthouse Museum: Early American refreshments and bake sale.

Noon – 4 pm, La Grua Center. Exhibit: “Sixteen Stars, Sixteen Stripes: A Celebration of the Battle of 1814.” Free.

1:30 pm: Parade through Stonington Borough. 

3 pm, Wadawanuck Square: Commemorative observance, with remarks by Governor Malloy and other senior officials.

4:30 pm: La Grua Center. Geoff Kaufman, balladeer and historical interpreter, presents “huzza for Home,” a dramatic telling of the ordeal of Benjamin Palmer, an imprisoned Stonington privateersman. Tickets: $5 adults; $2 for children under 12. 

Thursday, Aug. 21, 5 pm at the Capt. Palmer House. Alan Burghardt will give a program on ships of the 1812 era, illustrated by a number of his own models, including the Hero, which was part of the 1812-14 blockade-running fleet out of Mystic and later became Nathaniel Palmer’s “ship of discovery,” when the 21-year-old Stonington sea captain caught sight of Antarctica in 1820. 

The Stonington Historical Society, Inc., founded in 1895, seeks to preserve, interpret, and celebrate the history of Stonington. In addition to presenting programs and exhibits, the Society maintains three sites open to the public: the Old Lighthouse Museum; the Captain Nathaniel B. Palmer House, a National Historic Landmark and the home of the discoverer of Antarctica; and the Richard W. Woolworth Library, a research archive of local history. From more information on these sites and the Society’s programs, exhibits, and collections, visit the Society’s web site, http:/www/, or call the Society at 860-535-8445. 

NESS Announces AmeriCorps Grant Award and Expanded Programs in New London

New England Science Sailing Logo

July 2, 2014
For Immediate Release
Cindy Nickerson, Executive Director
New England Science & Sailing Foundation

NESS Announces AmeriCorps Grant Award and Expanded Programs in New London

New London, CT – New England Science & Sailing Foundation (NESS), US Sailing’s Outstanding Community Sailing Center in America for 2013, today announced expanded programs in New London to advance adventure STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education and experiential learning opportunities for the city’s students. This multi-faceted initiative, which exemplifies NESS’s continuing commitment to serve New London, includes the following:

  • A strengthened partnership with the Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School, including establishment of a NESS classroom in the school.
  • A new $133,000 federal AmeriCorps grant from the Connecticut Commission on Community Service, to positively impact students’ lives by integrating NESS’s science and sailing-based adventure education curriculum with Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School’s STEM Academy. Numerous private donations from individuals and foundations will also support this program.
  • A new partnership with Ocean Beach Park, including establishment of a NESS classroom at Ocean Beach and kayak launching amenities for NESS’s marine science classes.
  • A new partnership with the Science and Technology Magnet High School of Southeastern Connecticut and New London High School to offer a high school sailing team.
  • A Pfizer donation of 10 Flying Junior double-handed dinghies, a 17′ powerboat, and a floating dock to NESS for use by the high school sailing team.
  • A new partnership with Mitchell College, which has donated the use of their fixed dock on the Thames River for use by the high school sailing team.

To celebrate this initiative, NESS will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony and press conference July 8 at 9:00 am at its new classroom at Ocean Beach Park. The community is welcome to attend to meet representatives from NESS, its partner organizations, and invited guests and dignitaries.

Anchoring the initiative is the award of a $133,000 AmeriCorps grant from the Connecticut Commission on Community Service to hire ten AmeriCorps Members to teach students in the STEM Academy. “We are thrilled to be collaborating with NESS. This innovative AmeriCorps program has the potential to transform our students’ lives through the combination of NESS’s adventure STEM education and mentoring and assistance from AmeriCorps volunteers,” remarked Alison Ryan, Principal of the Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School. The AmeriCorps program includes an extended learning program during the academic year for 200 students attending the STEM Academy at Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School as well as a summer learning program for 125 participants in Camp Rotary and New London Recreation Department programs.

In addition to a dedicated NESS STEM Academy classroom within the school beginning this fall, NESS opened a 1,100 sq. ft. classroom at the city’s Ocean Beach Park to serve as its base for marine science education and kayaking expeditions. Dave Sugrue, Manager of Ocean Beach Park, noted, “We’re so excited to bring this wonderful program to the park to get more kids involved in education and enjoying its nature beauty. This could be transformative — not only for the kids but for the Park itself.” NESS Program Director Mary Horrigan added, “Ocean Beach is an amazing resource. We’re delighted to be offering programs right in New London — programs that will foster connections between students and their community as well as the environment.”

In a new partnership with the Science and Technology Magnet High School of Southeastern Connecticut and New London High School, NESS will offer and manage a high school sailing team for students wishing to participate. “We’re looking forward to bringing the world of competitive high school sailing to the students of New London. It’s one of the few sports in high school and college where girls and boys compete on the same level,” commented Mark Zagol, NESS’s Sailing Program Director. “We would not be able to offer this if not for the generosity of Pfizer, which has donated sailboats and a powerboat for this program, and Mitchell College, which has donated the use of their dock,” he continued.

“NESS is incredibly grateful to earn the trust of our donors and partners as we grow our commitment to New London through strengthened partnerships and dedicated donors,” remarked Spike Lobdell, NESS’s President. “There are so many organizations working together to provide opportunities for New London children,” he said. “Among them we would like to especially thank New London Public Schools, the City of New London and Ocean Beach Park, Pfizer, Mitchell College, New London Recreation Department, Camp Rotary, Jennings Family Resource Center, Drop-In Learning Center, and New London Community Boating in helping to improve opportunities for the city’s children,” he added.

NESS acknowledges gifts from lead sponsors including The National Recreation Foundation; The Forrest and Frances Lattner Foundation; Montauk Foundation; Chester Kitchings Family Foundation; The Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee; The TK Foundation; 11th Hour Racing; The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut; Dominion Foundation; Gowrie Group; Liberty Bank Foundation; Robert G. Youngs Family Foundation; The Bodenwein Public Benevolent Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee; Dime Bank Foundation, Inc.; Charter Oak Federal Credit Union; and Chelsea Groton Foundation.

NESS has been working with the Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School for two years to bring science and learning to life for students by getting them out of the classroom, onto — and sometimes into — the water. “This strengthened partnership and AmeriCorps award represent the next step in the evolution of NESS as a leading provider of STEM-based adventure education programming,” said Cindy Nickerson, NESS’s Executive Director. NESS’s STEM education curriculum includes the US Sailing REACH program, which uses sailing as the platform for teaching STEM concepts. NESS’s program promotes interest in STEM through experiential learning using sailing, kayaking, marine science, and adventure water sports.

NESS was named by US Sailing the 2013 Outstanding Community Sailing Center in America for its notable contributions to promote public access by demonstrating growth in program offerings, including partnerships, and community involvement and awareness. In 2013, NESS served 2,700 participants through its experiential hands-on science and sailing programs. Of these, more than 900 were sponsored by scholarship gifts and grants for underserved regional school children.


About New England Science & Sailing: Named by US Sailing as the Outstanding Community Sailing Center in the nation for 2013 and celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2014, NESS is a year round nonprofit 501(c)(3) adventure education organization dedicated to inspiring individuals to discover themselves through the enjoyment of the sea.  Through inclusive, small group adventure education programs, NESS offers opportunities for transformational personal growth and discovery as well as connections leading to community and environmental stewardship.  Transdisciplinary STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education provides relevancy and sparks learning. Need based financial aid makes programs accessible to all.

Brendan Mayer New Single

Bredan Mayer New Single "Getaway Car"

Bredan Mayer New Single “Getaway Car”


Music has always been in Brendan Mayer’s blood. The son of longtime guitarist for Jimmy Buffett, Peter Mayer, Brendan grew up surrounded by the music industry and all that comes with it. Since a young age, he has been steadily crafting his own unique voice as a guitarist, singer, and songwriter. As lead singer of Nashville buzz-band The Turf, Brendan played extensively throughout the Nashville area and elsewhere, sharing the stage along the way with successful acts like American Bang, Jeff the Brotherhood, De Novo Dahl, Turbo Fruits, and How I Became the Bomb, among others. Now, after graduating from Boston University, his current solo project is pushing his singular melodic style and voice to new heights. Possessing an adventurous yet mature musical sensibility that belies his still-young age, Brendan is ready to make his own mark on the world of music that he knows and loves.

Brendan Mayer

Norwich Fireworks rescheduled for Saturday, July 5th




Subject: City of Norwich Fireworks will be Saturday, July 5

Due to the impending bad weather, the City of Norwich Fireworks have been rescheduled to be at dark over the Norwich Harbor. Please join us for our annual extravaganza!

Questions can be directed to Michael Franklin Fireworks committee chair: (860) 460-8144
Updated information can be found on the fireworks Facebook page:

Thank you
Miria Toth
Office and Marketing Manager
77 Main Street; Norwich, CT
Office- 860-887-6964
Cell- 860-984-5522

Add Seafood to Your Family’s Diet

Add Seafood to Your Family’s Diet

Introduce a new protein your family will love

Quick-and-Easy Cheesy Gulf Shrimp Nachos

(Family Features) The easiest way to get the family together for a meal is with a delicious, homemade dish with tasty ingredients, such as protein-packed shrimp.

There are many scrumptious reasons for including shrimp into your family’s diet. In fact, the American Heart Association and other experts recommend eating seafood at least twice a week, and the FDA just announced this year that pregnant women should consume between 8-12 ounces of seafood a week. It’s easy to work towards this dietary goal by introducing Gulf shrimp into your diet. This versatile protein is easy to prepare; has a wonderfully salty and fresh flavor from the nutrient-rich environment in which it is caught; and is also widely available fresh and frozen at your local grocery.

Better-for-you benefits

Flavorful Gulf shrimp contains high-quality protein and a variety of essential nutrients, such as vitamins B-6 and B-12. Plus, it’s a natural source of vitamin D, low in saturated fat and offers healthy omega-3 fatty acids that have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Simple substitutions

Add flair and flavor to your family’s meal routine (and keep the kids happy) with these easy meal ideas that incorporate Gulf shrimp:

  • Breakfast: Dice it up and add to omelets with fresh vegetables, such as sautéed spinach and tomatoes.
  • Lunch: Perk up your midday meal by adding it to salads and tortilla soups.
  • Appetizer or snack: Serve with simple cocktail sauce for a no-fuss crowd pleaser, or a light stick-with-you snack.
  • Dinner: Mix it into spaghetti sauce and serve on a bed of whole wheat pasta.

For more great Gulf shrimp recipe ideas, visit

Quick-and-Easy Cheesy Gulf Shrimp Nachos


  • 1/4 pound tortilla chips
  • 1 cup low-sodium black beans, cooked, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheese
  • 1/2 pounds small fresh or frozen Gulf shrimp (or large shrimp cut into bite-sized pieces), boiled and peeled
  • 1 large tomato, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup scallions, diced
  • Low-fat or fat-free sour cream (optional)
  • Salsa (optional)
  • Fresh guacamole (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to broil. In large, oven-proof platter, place tortilla chips in single layer. Sprinkle black beans and half of cheese on top of chips, then evenly distribute shrimp on top. Add diced tomato as next layer, then cover with remaining cheese.
  2. Cook under broiler for roughly 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  3. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Garnish nachos with sliced scallions, and top with sour cream, salsa and guacamole.

2-4 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Recipe provided to the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition by Chef Justin Timineri of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Total Time:
10 minutes

Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition

A Healthier Relationship

Money Tips for a Healthier Relationship

(Family Features) The way someone saves and spends money can tell you a lot about them, and it can also impact how one chooses a future partner.

In fact, according to an April 2014 Valpak® Consumer Survey, 74 percent of panelists said they find people who save money responsibly more attractive, which is sparking a new relationship trend — savers, not spenders — are the new sexy. While expensive getaways and lavish gifts are nice to fantasize about, couples are finding enjoyment in celebrating the savings and practicing smart budgeting together.

With wedding season well underway this summer, and the national average wedding spend at an all-time high, the topic of money savings is front-and-center with couples nationwide. Renowned relationship expert Dr. Terri Orbuch, better known as The Love Doctor®, is the director of a landmark study called “The Early Years of Marriage Project,” funded by the National Institutes of Health. In her research, she has followed the same 373 married couples for more than 27 years.

“When couples don’t talk openly about money, it can become a sensitive subject and lead to conflict,” said Dr. Orbuch. “As a result, couples learn to avoid serious money conversations that need to happen.”

Four easy steps

Dr. Orbuch has developed four simple money strategies to foster a healthier relationship based on her expert research and observation of couples for more than two decades.

  1. Don’t let finances come between you

My research shows that in the early years of a relationship, money is the number one source of conflict. Too often, disagreements about finances have little to do with the money itself and more to do with other issues within the relationship. When a financial issue comes up, ask yourself if it’s really a money problem or if it’s a relationship problem. Think carefully as you discuss money issues with your partner to make sure there isn’t a larger problem at the core.

  1. Focus on smart saving

Studies show that being financially responsible (or saving smart) can increase the romantic desire between you and your partner. People who focus on saving smart are seen as more desirable and attractive, than those who spend excessively. This is because savers are viewed as responsible, trustworthy and more committed to the relationship.

  1. Have a direct and specific conversation

When you sit down with your partner to have a “money chat,” start with simple, direct questions like, “What are we spending?” or “How can we save?”  If talking about money is new or difficult for you as a couple, start with this approach. If one person in the couple is more familiar with handling finances, keep the language as straightforward as possible with a positive tone.

  1. Keep things exciting and new

It is very common for a relationship to fall into a rut. It becomes routine and humdrum, and partners start feeling as though they are missing all the good things that make relationships exciting. Reignite the excitement in your relationship by trying novel or surprising things together as a couple like a different cuisine. Take advantage of great Valpak® offers in your Valpak envelope and on the Valpak mobile app for activities you can both try for the first time together such as amusement park tickets, or quaint local restaurants.

When you’re prepared with a few financial tips, you’ll have everything you both need to keep your relationship strong and healthy. For more money-saving tips, visit the Valpak Behind The Blue Blog.


Photo courtesy of Getty Images


Tom Cantone’s Book Release Party


Tom Cantone, Mohegan Sun’s Senior VP, is one of the nation’s top entertainment executives who has been a leading trendsetter in the entertainment, resort and casino industry. His marketing leadership has revolutionized casino entertainment. Venue’s Today Magazine best summed it up, “Tom has honed a highly effective marketing strategy that has helped build the entire casino industry.”

BOOK’EM covers some 250 major debuts, including: Eddie Murphy, One Direction, Jennifer Lopez, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Jerry Seinfeld, Taylor Swift, The Dixie Chicks, Billy Crystal, Pink, Robin Williams, Ke$ha, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars and even The Sopranos, to name a few.



Tom Cantone’s “Boom ‘Em” Release Party at the Friars Club, June 3, 2014 from Marc Cantone on Vimeo.

Red River Entertainment Press Release

Red River Entertainment Releases

The Truckin’ Sessions Trilogy


Dale Watson Adds 3rd to Truckin’ Sessions Collection


AUSTIN, TEXAS — Back in 1998, maverick country traditionalist Dale Watson issued a 14-song collection of songs in the tradition of Red Simpson, Merle Haggard, Red Sovine and Dave Dudley called The Truckin’ Sessions.  A decade later and Watson released another 14-song outing, The Truckin’ Sessions 2.

 Now, the self-titled “Ameripolitan” artist is adding another new 14-song set, The Truckin’ Sessions 3, to the group, and Red River Entertainment will release them all in one package, The Truckin’ Sessions Trilogy, on July 8. unnamed 2

 As with the first two releases, Truckin’ Sessions 3 is an immediately likable set and it doesn’t matter if the listeners are even truckers.  “The first two got great response, and a lot of women really liked the songs,” Watson said.  “That really did surprise me.”

 Watson stays true to form on the album, writing and recording without the use of modern effects and not trying to appeal to the current state of so-called “Country” music.  Rather, Watson follows the tradition set  by country troubadours like Ernest Tubb , Hank Williams, Sr., Bob Wills,  Waylon Jennings, among others. All the songs on the The Truckin’ Sessions Trilogy could easily have been written in the 1960s.

 Watson manages some swing with “Texas Armadillo” and keeps humor alive on songs like “Suicide Sam,” “Phillip At The Station,” and “Lugnutt Harry.”   Watson is joined by duet partner Amber Digby for the charming “We’re Trucking Along,” which may be the first-ever truckin’ song duet.

 “Birmingham Breakdown” and “I’m A Truckin’” are right in the middle-of-the-hammer lane, while the Haggard-esque “It’s Been A Long Truckin’ Day” will appeal to anyone who works hard for a living.  Watson’s Lone Stars display some blistering playing on “10-100.”  Of particular note is “Freewheelin’” which Watson wrote live as a guest on Sirius XM Radio’s Roaddog Show, during which truckers called in and gave Watson the actual lines of the song!

unnamed Watson’s father was a trucker who moonlighted as a country singer so his love of the big rigs and truckin’ songs came honestly.  Watson grew up in the CB Generation when songs like “Convoy,” “Teddy Bear” and “Six Days On The Road” were part of mainstream country radio playlists.  “There’s a definite style of music that has to be used when writing a truckin’ song,” Watson explains. “The words mean a lot.  You can’t cover them up with a wall of music.”

Born in Alabama, raised outside of Houston and based in Austin, Watson first emerged on the music scene in the mid 1990s, bringing with him a hardscrabble honky-tonk tradition that has won him an international following, earned him induction into the Austin Music Hall of Fame and established him as a leading crusader against the “Nashville Rash” plaguing the country music industry. Without compromising his musical values, he sounds here like a singer with nothing to prove and no one to fight.


Watson wrote all the songs on The Truckin’ Sessions 3, and produced them using his own Lone Stars band. The results are pure Dale Watson.



The Whaling Ship Charles W. Morgan Docks at New London

Morgan1_SITEBy Jon Persson


Generations of New Londoners scan the waters just beyond the Thames River, hoping for the first spotting of a whaling ship due to complete the first leg of her voyage into freshly charted history. The day is clear, with a fresh and fair breeze, and anticipation ripples through the leisurely crowd on New London’s City Pier. And then, she appears a figure on a passage across time and into the logbooks of new generations.

The Charles W. Morgan approaches the conclusion of this first venture onto the seas in seventy-three years with a cautious grace, testing the waters slowly despite the obvious confidence her keepers have in her ability to make the passage. It is a reverential handling of America’s oldest commercial ship, the last wooden whaling ship, the lucky vessel which plied a world of oceans for eighty years, to retire at the age of one hundred in a berth of gravel. Her role is that of teacher now, young generations born long after the heavy work of whaling had long since become passé. The thousands, the tens of thousands, who have walked her decks over the past decades have done so from a stationary perch on history’s long unfolding tale.

Morgan_Wide_SITEMay 17th, 2014, a Saturday, marks the day when the Morgan returns to sea and becomes a dynamic instrument of teachable moments. A ship is not built to be forever berthed, and waters flow under keels whether they are docked or underway. To bring the experience of a wooden whaling ship into ports where once they were a part of the common commerce is an obvious step which still requires the steady influence of knowledgeable people to direct the process forward.

The Charles W. Morgan grows larger as the distance to her waiting dockage grows shorter. The black hull and partially rigged spars, awaiting the sails which will be set for the first time at sea in decades, follows the lead of fireboats which announce her arrival behind spumes of water, which emulate the spouting of great whales whose generations have also passed to time. For this first venture at sea, the Morgan is under tow, with small craft offering steering nudges along the way.

A fleet of four whaleboats have rowed along with her, the lithe double-ended craft which once, bravely or foolishly, challenged the great leviathons of the sea to mortal combat in the name of commerce and lamplight fuel. Today their crews are volunteers, honored to escort iconic ship on her latest voyage into history

And finally the great ship is at City Pier, her second ever visit to this once great center of whaling. She brings with her opportunities to board the ship, to visit onshore displays and educational tents, to row in the whaleboats that have accompanied her. This is the mission now, to teach of old ways and old days, and thereby provide a perspective on how life today may effect life a century from now.

The unimaginably hard and austere life of a whaling ship crew was once commonly acceptable, the hunting of whales to near extinction a normalcy. The oceans were vast, uncharted, mysterious, and seemingly inexhaustible then; we have knowledge now, born of this historical experience, yet we too will one day be seen as unwise in our use of Earth’s resources. There are many lessons and much wisdom to be gleaned from a whaling ship on a new voyage of discovery.

The weekends of May 24-25 and May 31-June 1st will be open to the public for tours of the Charles W. Morgan, for dockside events, and observe the whale boats. More information may be found on the great oceans at



214 New Ensigns Commissioned

Photo  Template for the ResidentBy Mary Belanger

On Wednesday May 21, Cadet Memorial Field is staged and ready to begin the US Coast Guard Academy’s 133rd commencement exercises.

What a picture-perfect scene of a breathtaking celebration to honor such an elite group of young men and women.  The sun shining through the multiple shades of blue in the sky only enhanced the white uniforms of the cadets soon to graduate and be commissioned into the US Coast Guard.

The time is here, there is a vigilance of silence, the chapel bells are chiming, the sound of a 21 gun salute brings a note of honor and the Coast Guard Band captures our hearts with the sound of Pomp and Circumstance as the Cadets march in. 

Distinguished Graduate, Stephanie Jocis of Palos Verdes, California spoke of how she related her four years at the Academy to the likes of entering a revolving door. Stephanie spoke about each turn of the door as being another challenging year.  At times she felt isolated. With last year’s final turn, she was able to exit with the best version of herself.  She concluded that, “Camaraderie of the Academy changes everyone from I to We in the service of their nation.”

Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the Department Of Homeland Security delivered the keynote address to the 214 graduates.  Secretary Johnson stated that, “Graduation represents an accumulation of four years of hard work, but it is not an end, it is not your destination, it is your next beginning.”  He gave reference to Stephanie Jocis,  “How at times she felt isolated” and said, “Yes, it’s been hard, and we make it hard for a reason, our nation, our department and our Coast Guard requires the best and the strongest.”  He asked the cadets to live by their moral and ethic compass, “Your fellow Americans will expect a lot from you. Set the example, behave as if the whole world is watching.”      

Admiral Robert J. Papp Jr., Commandant of the US Coast Guard, who will be retiring at the end of the month, administered the oath of office to the cadets. As the Admiral stood before the cadets for the last time, he asked them, “Turn around and say thank you!”

Class president Bradley Pienta thanked the Admiral and voiced, “We promise to take all that we have learned from you into the fleet.”