Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Why didn't anybody tell me?!

Maynard people, why didn't anyone tell me about how awesome Butler Lumber is?!?

I have lived in this town nearly twenty years, and whenever people have mentioned Butler Lumber, they have somehow never mentioned how unbelievably awesome it is. Have you been there?

Okay, so one friend did tell me about it (thanks Carol!). That's how I finally managed to get there. I mentioned to her that I wanted to do a post about how, though we lost Aubuchon, we have many other hardware type stores to fill many of those needs. That's when she asked if I had ever been to Butler. I shrugged my shoulders and said that I didn't think I had. She went on to tell me a Butler Lumber story.

A vintage chair of hers had lost one of its feet—a specialty kind of item that you can't get easily. On a whim she went to Butler. Mike (he's another story all together) the man behind the counter, walked right over to what she referred to as "some random drawer among many hundreds of drawers, a bit like card catalogs," and pulled out a package of two, the last two, of exactly what she needed. It still had it's 1980s price tag of something like $1.50. I didn't realize that it might be the kind of thing they'd carry, and the guy who knew exactly where everything was—it all piqued my curiosity.

I had a project in mind, so I decided to visit. As soon as I opened the door and stepped inside, my jaw dropped. I couldn't believe the place— all of the little oak drawers with their metal pulls, the funny vintage signs, nooks of hidden odds and ends—it was great. I walked around in awe. Being in Butler Lumber is like traveling back in time. It reminded me of my grandfather's old woodworking shop, a place where wood went in and came out transformed into something useful.

I asked the man at the desk if he minded if I took any pictures. He said it was fine. Of course it's my hobby to try and get to know everyone connected to Maynard, so I introduced myself and he handed me his business card—Mike Sawvelle. I told Mike about how I heard he could find anything in the place and asked him how he did it. He told me that he'd been working there for thirty years.

I mentioned what I was trying to do with my project. He didn't have what I needed, but came up with an alternate solution that used plexiglass. I wasn't sure if it would be the right solution, but he cut some up, and handed it to me. He wouldn't even let me pay for it. "Give it a try," he said. "If it works come back and buy what you need."

I stopped in again recently to return the plexiglass. It wasn't what I needed, but I was so grateful that he had gone to the trouble to help me. I chatted with him for a little while and I learned that whatever story I had told myself about him was really incomplete. He's not only really nice, he's also really interesting. Go talk to him, you'll see.

When I first walked into Butler Lumber at the end of last year, the first thing out of my mouth was, "Wow, this place is amazing!" Mike's response to me was, "Not all of these places are orange." He is so right. There's a real hardware experience just waiting to happen to you, right here in Maynard. Take the kids. There's really nothing quite like it.

They have a Facebook page, too.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Outdoor Sculpture Opportunities at ArtSpace Maynard

I have been loving the addition of sculpture to the ArtSpace property. It helps clarify to passersby that there's creative work happening in there. Right now, it seems the plans are to have work rotate out, so you can expect to see new pieces every so many often.

Recently, ArtSpace put out a call for submissions. If you know of any sculptors who might like an opportunity to show their work, let them know.

Here's the call to artists:

Outdoor Sculpture Opportunity at ArtSpace Maynard
ArtSpace Maynard is pleased to announce ArtSpace Outdoors 2017, our second annual exhibit, on the grounds of our historic building. We are now seeking proposals for our outdoor sculpture space.

• This juried exhibition is open to sculptors 18 years or older. 
(Preference given to Massachusetts-based artists)
• Submitted work must be the property of the artist
• Up to 3 individual works may be submitted by each artist
• Work must be suitable for an extended outdoor exhibition
• Work must be secured for both the safety of visitors and the artwork itself

ArtSpace-Maynard is a nonprofit community art center located in the former 55,000 square foot Fowler Middle School in Maynard MA.  Currently in its 15th year of operation, ArtSpace is one of the largest and most vital art centers in New England. In addition to our gallery, we also provide studio space to over 80 artists, a printmaking studio, and home to the 70 seat Acme Theater.

ENTRY DEADLINE:  All applications, materials and the application fee of $20 must be received by 5:00 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Artist Notification Date: March 17, 2017
For entry details please visit www.artspacemaynard.com/proposals-outdoor

I got a press release about The Brook Kitchen, formerly the Halfway Cafe

I got a press release from the Brook Kitchen. It's not the first time I've gotten one, but I find it funny to be considered press. I consider my title to be more like Person-Who-Likes-to-Share-Good-Stuff-About-01754-With-Others-Who-Live-in-01754, but it doesn't roll off the tongue very easily.

I haven't tried the Brook Kitchen yet, but I hope to get there with some friends soon. Have you been there yet? What did you think? Is the menu really "extensive"? Are they going to be at the Taste of Maynard?

Feel free to leave me a comment.


The Brook Kitchen & Tap Opens 2nd Location in Maynard, MA

Maynard, MA – The Brook Kitchen & Tap celebrates the opening of its second location this Saturday, Jan. 14th in Maynard, MA.

The Brook Kitchen & Tap features creative American style cuisine from Executive Chef/Partner Eric Bolduc. The extensive menu is sure to spice up the Maynard dining scene with innovative and creative American dishes, extensive craft beer/drink selection. It all happens in a creative and tasteful atmosphere.

In addition to the open layout, the restaurant space features a private function area and a bar area outfitted with hi-definition screens. There is plenty of free parking.

Location: The Brook Kitchen & Tap, 51 Main Street (RT 62), Maynard, MA

Hours of Operation: Sunday-Tuesday, 11:30am to 11pm and Wednesday -Saturday, 11:30am-1am.

The Brook Kitchen & Tap is operated by Executive Chef Eric Bolduc. Eric and his team specialize in creative American Cuisine, Craft Beer, and original cocktails.  Two locations: Holbrook, MA and now in Maynard, MA.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Lalli Family, well loved in Maynard

We were all deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Katherine Lalli. Their family is well known and loved around Maynard, and our hearts go out to them.

Katherine Lalli passed away on Christmas Eve morning in an automobile accident in Lancaster.  Not only was she educated through the Maynard school system but her family has always been very much involved in the Maynard community, especially her parents, who provide programs through Music Together of Assabet Valley, enjoyed by children in the Maynard, Acton, Concord, Sudbury communities and beyond.

For those of you who are looking for a way to honor the memory of Katherine Lalli, the Class of 2012 and the MHS Best Buddies Program are creating a scholarship fund for graduating seniors. The scholarship will benefit students who are pursuing a degree in early childhood education or special education, both passions of Katherine's.  Katherine was a graduate of the Maynard High School Class of 2012 and earned an Associate's Degree in early childhood education from Middlesex Community College.

Please make checks payable to "Town of Maynard." Include "Katherine K. Lalli Memorial Scholarship" on the memo line. Please mail donations to: Maynard High School, Katherine K. Lalli Memorial Scholarship, 1 Tiger Drive, Maynard, MA 01754. Acknowledgement of your gift will be forwarded to Katherine's family.  We're hoping many people will donate to this scholarship so that Katherine Lalli's legacy will stay alive for many years to come.   Thank you.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Hey Maynard: Let's talk about race!

Many of us are feeling a little helpless these days as we witness injustices taking place here in the U.S. People are trying to figure out what they can do to help.

A group of Maynard citizens has decided to get the conversation started about race. Here in Maynard, many we feel like we are open to differences, but wonder what else we could be doing to try and make, at least our small corner of the world, a better place. 

Please join in on the conversation. It's happening on January 17th at the Maynard Public Library (in the Roosevelt Room), 7:00-8:30pm.