Exceptional art at Bonnema’s
Scenic tiles produced at Bonnema Potters are really something special to see. Melody Bonnema creates these tiles based on her sketching and photos of nearby landscapes — for instance, her most recent work is a scene from Screw Auger Falls. Once the basic drawing is finished to her satisfaction, the image is sketched on the tile. Colored glazes are then carefully mixed and applied by tediously pouring the glaze onto the tile rather than using brushes as in oil painting. Wax is also used to help control the coloring process.
When the tile has been fired, the Bonnemas call on Steven Traficonte of 100 Aker Wood, Art Supplies and Frame Shop, for help in converting the tile’s image into a digital one. Once the tile is scanned, it can be fed by computer to a special, expensive printer. At this point the master tile is set aside and giclée prints of various dimensions can be mounted and framed. For more about the scenic tiles, see www.thebetheljournals.info/BonnemaScenicTiles.htm.
Our first morning walk after getting home was exciting. Hays, on his first morning walk to the river, galloped into the woods and chased three bears up a big pine tree — two of last year’s cubs and momma bear. It was well over 50 feet up the trunk to the first branches and the bears were running. When Hays saw what he had done he came galloping right back to me. The bears were hanging out in the upper branches almost out of sight.
Saturday afternoon at the airport, one plane and a helicopter had just come in to refuel. All claimed they usually come to Bethel for the good fuel prices. All were interested in looking over an old Cessna that had met with some bad times — one wheel, a wing and the prop were out of commission. The visiting plane was from Pittsfield, two men on a tour of the mountains and the chopper was from Harrison headed for Greenville.
The chopper pilot had his dog with him. When he had finished refueling, he invited me for a short ride. What a deal. We headed out toward the village and swung north so we would pass by our house. Beautiful flying weather on Saturday — came down over Route 2, passed by the River View and our house, then back to airport. Pilot dropped me off and headed out for Greenville. Use this URL for a minute and a half video of the ride – http://youtu.be/kStmrrhDt1g
Seven members of the Bethel Recreational Facilities Committee appointed at the meeting are: Debra Borchardt, Jack Cross, Landon Fake, Edie Okenquist, Jessie Seymour Perkins, Michael Steven, and Todd Wheeler. The committee’s mission is to develop a plan for recreational facilities at Davis Park as well as recommendations for locating these recommended facilities. Facilities may include basketball courts, tennis courts and a dog park. In the plan there should be detailed information on necessary ancillary facilities, costs, and what permits are required to implement the plan.
Selectmen and Town Manager reviewed the current draft of this year’s town meeting warrant.
Article 3 is to see if the Town will vote to rescind the resolution adopted at a Special Town Meeting dated Jan. 30, 2013, in relation to the possible transport of Tar Sands Oil through Bethel, Maine.
In general terms, Article 4 concerns granting the Board of Selectmen the usual authority to accept donations from municipalities, private individuals, and foundations by means of cash, labor, equipment and services necessary to implement recommended Bethel recreational facilities as determined by the selectmen.
Spring concert by Mahoosuc Community Band
Sunday afternoon’s concert was as good as ever. The band’s spring concert is a sure sign that along with maple leaves coming out, Bethel has left winter behind. Kudos to Brian Dunlap for his trumpet moment during the playing of Leonard Bernstein’s “Somewhere.” My other personal favorites played that afternoon were the music from Cabaret and a Benny Goodman medley.
The History Club
We discovered on our return to Bethel that the former Ferol and Henry Godwin’s house was gone. I had known the Godwins since we came to Bethel in 1945. Reggie worked for my father for a while and I hung out at the Godwin farm a lot. In the summer, they pastured their cattle on Hastings Island. We traveled back and forth to the island on Reggie’s small John Deere tractor. In the 1940-1960 periods they also raised sheep.
In 1962 Henry acquired the house (I call it the Stowell house) standing in now the Riverside Cemetery land and moved it to the north end and across the driveway from the family home.
Oakley Godwin (1933-1973) and I attended Gould together and went horseback riding together. Oakley and his wife Barbara often rode their horses in Mollyockett Day parades.
Reggie started his first stint of raising broilers in the early 1950s — his first broiler house was built by Jim Spinney. It was a little wobbly and the floors had a good spring to them. After a wind storm and it had leaned dangerously southward — the building was propped up with old telephone poles.
The Godwin’s driveway lay about where the Northwest Bethel Road once lay until circa 1915 when William Rogers Chapman had the town move it to the present route south of the Norseman.
Most important point historically is that the Godwin’s house (the one just removed) stood about where the 2d Congregational Church stood until 1909 when it was dismantled. In 1891 when the Bethel Agricultural Fair started, entrance to the fairgrounds also was about where the Godwin’s driveway laid.
Yvonne Nowlin wrote that “In 1918, ‘Professor’ Chapman sold the Mayville Property (now the Norseman Inn) and what remained of the fairgrounds to Newell Stowe Godwin (1870-1938).” Newell Godwin sold the farm to Harry King but kept the fairgrounds property including the land where the trotting track lay. Newell Godwin died in 1938 and Henry (1893-1970) and his wife Ferol Godwin (1900-1982) became the owners. When the fair was revived in the very early ‘30s, the Godwin’s owned the fairgrounds land.
Reginald (Reggie) Godwin (1926-1991) was the last of the family to live on the farm. All of the Godwins are buried at Mt. Will Cemetery.
More about the Godwins — part two, next week.
This week’s news photos and videos — http://www.thebetheljournals.info, see Recent News.