Create stories with Bonnie Watters; Norman presents memoir; Jelly Bean Tree moves; erosion program discussed; BRAM benefit gala; and African drumming in Proctorsville

Aug. 24: Bonnie’s Bundles 45th Anniversary finale

It's time for story creation  at Bonnie's Bundles.

It’s time for story creation at Bonnie’s Bundles.

Bonnie and Lew Watters of Bonnie’s Bundles Dolls will host their final event of their 45th Anniversary Celebration from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24 at their home, 250 North St. in the Stone Village of Chester. Admission is free and guests can arrive at any time throughout the day. Refreshments will be served.

The theme of this open house is Creating Doll Stories. Doll owners will be given an opportunity to write a story about their doll. Writers, photographers, illustrators and artists will be in attendance to offer help. Refreshments will be offered.

Doll creator and designer Bonnie Watters has been writing stories about her Bundles since 2006. The tales often include the family cat and mascot, Silvio. In one story titled The Baby Sitter, dolls Gretchen and Wendy sit in the Gossip Chair and plot against their babysitter Silvio, while the doll maker is away at a craft fair. Children are invited to hear a Bundles adventure tale at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21 when Bonnie will be reading in the Children’s Room at Chester’s Whiting Library, 117 Main St. in Chester.

For more information on this event and others visit the website at

Howard Norman presents his new memoir at Misty Valley Books.

Howard Norman presents his new memoir at Misty Valley Books.

Aug. 25: Norman presents memoir at Misty Valley

Acclaimed writer Howard Norman will speak about his new memoir, I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place, at Misty Valley Books, on the Green in Chester, on at 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25.
Norman’s story begins with a portrait, both harrowing and hilarious, of a Midwest boyhood summer working in a bookmobile, in the shadow of a grifter father and under the erotic tutelage of his brother’s girlfriend. His life story continues in places as far-flung as the Arctic, where he spends part of a decade as a translator of Inuit tales—including the story of a soapstone carver turned into a goose whose migration-time lament is “I hate to leave this beautiful place”—and in his beloved Point Reyes, Calif., as a student of birds.

In the Arctic, he receives news over the radio that “John Lennon was murdered tonight in the city of New York in the USA.” And years later, in Washington, D.C., another act of deeply felt violence occurs in the form of a murder-suicide when Norman and his wife loan their home to a poet and her young son. Norman’s story is also stitched together with moments of uncanny solace. Of life in his Vermont farmhouse Norman writes, “Everything I love most happens most every day.”
Author of The Northern Lights, The Bird Artist, What is Left the Daughter and many other novels, Norman teaches at the University of Maryland.
A reception will follow Norman’s discussion.  Contact the bookstore (875-3400) for more information or visit

Aug. 28: Jelly Bean Tree moves

The Jelly Bean Tree Artisans, Vermont’s oldest crafts cooperative, will be moving a block away to 26B Main St. in Saxtons River, opening Wednesday, Aug. 28. The shop’s new location is in the building that formerly housed the Quality Impressions Print Shop, directly across from the Saxtons River Inn.
There will be no break in the operation of the shop, and the hours will remain the same: Wednesday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
JBTA President Joanne Lester said, “After 38 years in the same location, The Jelly Bean Tree is moving. Although happy where we were, this move brings great opportunities for growth. … We are looking forward to updating not only our shop and displays, but our policies, membership and merchandise.”

She said, “We are actively seeking new members who will add even more positive energy and new products. Our rates are very reasonable and we look forward to providing a wonderful space for selling. In addition, we are planning craft classes, on-site craft help, extended hours, open house events and fundraisers.”
Anyone wishing to become a member may call 802-869-2099, or visit the shop and pick up an application. Exhibiting artists’ submissions must pass a jury process.  The cooperative helps new members with marketing, display and pricing. Members who staff the shop receive a larger commission.

The Jelly Bean Tree Artisans is a non-profit dedicated to promoting the work of area artists and craftsmen. For more information, call 802-869-2099 or For up-to-date news on events, and what is going on at the Jelly Bean Artisan shop, visit its facebook page.

Aug. 29: Riverfront erosion programs, funding discussed

The Connecticut River Watershed Council and Black River Action Team are hosting a free informational meeting geared to riverfront landowners, farmers and those affected by erosion to learn about programs and funding for which they may qualify. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29 at the Fletcher Farm dining hall, 611 Route 103 S., in Ludlow.
RSVP by calling the Connecticut River Watershed Council at (802) 457-6114. For those interested but unable to make the meeting, call CRWC for more information.

Sept. 7: BRAM auctions safari at dinner gala

Photo caption: I Dreamed of Africa, a six-day/six-night luxury safari, one of the many experiences offered at BRAM's 3rd Annual Silent Auction and Dinner. BRAM holds its third annual Unique Experiences Gala.

A six-day/six-night luxury safari is one of many experiences offered at BRAM’s 3rd Annual silent auction and dinner. 

Black River Academy Museum will host its Third Annual Silent Auction and Dinner Gala at the Epic Restaurant in the Solitude Lodge at Okemo Ski Resort, 77 Okemo Ridge Road, Ludlow, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7.

This year’s silent auction items focus on unique experiences, including “I Dreamed of Africa” a six-day/six-night luxury safari in southern Africa. Additional information on this trip is available at

The gala is the museum’s main fund-raising event and the proceeds are used to support the development of new programs and exhibits, as well as maintaining the museum and its collection.

Tickets are $50 per person and are available in Ludlow at the Book Nook, the Wine and Cheese Depot, and at the museum, at 14 High St., online at, or through museum members. For further information call 802-228-5050 or email or visit its website at

Sept. 9: African drumming in Proctorsville

Sayon Camara and the Landaya Drumming Ensemble will be performing as part of Proctorsville Raise the Roof series.

Sayon Camara and the Landaya Drumming Ensemble will be performing as part of Proctorsville Raise the Roof series.

The musical beats of West Africa will fill the Proctorsville Green at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8 when Sayon Camara and the Landaya Drumming Ensemble kick off the fall Raise the Roof concert series.

Camara’s drumming troupe offers spirited djembe music, combining African flute with dunun and djembe drumming to produce traditional Mandinka songs and rhythms that take listeners on a percussive, melodic and upbeat journey to West Africa.

The Raise the Roof series is asking for donations of $10 as admission to help fund future live music in Proctorsville. Bring a blanket or chairs for seating. In case of rain, the performance will be held in the Gethsemane Episcopal Church at 89 Depot St. next to Crows Café, Proctorsville. For more information call 226-7497.

— Compiled by Susan Lampe-Wilson

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