Smiler from Branchville Motors . . .

On Sunday, May 2nd, from 10AM to 2PM, join Branchville Motors for a day of fun, bikes, and camaraderie. This year the Spring Open House will be held in conjunction with Triumph's Thunderbird Nights Event. There will be live music, and as always the grill will be up and running.

And be sure to see the motorcycle paintings by artist Ben Armstrong, one of the many talented folks at Branchville Motors.

Free food and beverages. Meet some great people, see some amazing motorcycles and take part in the fun and enthusiasm. Enjoy the day!

For more information contact:
Branchville Motors
63 Ethan Allen Hwy., Route 7
Ridgefield, CT 06877
Telephone:(203) 544-7900

Join them on Facebook, follow their Blog and be sure to visit their ebay store!

Mark your calendars . . .

May 1st, 2010

What Is Free Comic Book Day?

Free Comic Book Day is a single day - the first Saturday in May each year - when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely FREE* to anyone who comes into their stores. *Check with your local shop for their participation and rules. Here are a few stores nearby and around the Fairfield County, Connecticut area.

A Timeless Journey
2538 Summer Street
Stamford, CT 06905
(203) 353-1720

Comix Plus
125-131 Main Street
Mt. Kisco, NY 10549
(914) 666-4312

The Phoenix of Westchester
4 Grayrock Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583
(914) 472-2702

Capricorn Comics Plus
3002 Fairfield Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06605
(203) 334-5566

Squiggy's Dugout
237 A East Main Street
New Rochelle, NY 10801
(914) 636-7585

NOTE: This list contains comic shops participating in Free Comic Book Day and is not necessarily a comprehensive list of all shops in your area. For a more complete listing of your local shops visit

For more information visit:

Find them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, check out the fun on flickr!!!

Comic strip trivia . . .

Today is the birthday of Leon Harrison Gross (April 28, 1911 - March 13, 1999), writer, director and producer. He is best known as Lee Falk, the creator of the popular comic strip superheroes The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician.

The series began with a daily newspaper strip on February 17, 1936, followed by a color Sunday strip on May 28, 1939; both are still running as of 2010. At the peak of its popularity, the strip was read by over a hundred million people every day. [1]

You might remember seeing The Phantom on our June 2006 magazine cover.

June 2006 Cover

Smiler from Barnum Museum . . .

The 62nd Annual American Jenny Lind Competition
features twelve sopranos all vying for the title to be
the 2010 Barnum Festival Swedish Nightingale!

On Saturday, April 24th starting at 12:45PM at the Salem Lutheran Church in Bridgeport, the Barnum Festival will hold the 62nd Annual Jenny Lind Operatic Competition. Coloratura sopranos from around the nation have been invited to compete to win the distinction of being the 2010 American Jenny Lind. The winner will be awarded a $2,000 cash prize and perform in concert on June 24th at 7:30PM at the Playhouse on the Green with the winner from the Swedish annual choral competition. In July, the American winner will travel to Sweden for a two week concert tour. This annual event is sponsored by the Barnum Festival with support from the Norden Club and the Barnum Museum.

Twelve young women ages 20 to 30 have been invited to compete on April 24th as semi-finalists. They will perform before a live audience and a panel of judges. The competitors include two from Connecticut, Alyssa Bowlby of Norwalk and Jennifer Caraluzzi of Bethel. Both have competed in this prestigious event before. The ten other competitors are: Sarah Ann Mitchell of Brookline MA, Kimberly Soby of Newton MA, Siri Howard of New York NY, Samantha Pruyn Guevrekian of Long Beach NY, Erike Buchholz of Woodside NY, Halley Gilbert of Union City NJ, Vedrana Kalas of Delmar NJ (born in Bosnia), Phoenix Gayles of Temple Terrace FL, Diana Farrell of Cleveland OH and Sarah Butler of Milwaukee, WI. There were 22 applicants for this year’s competition and they each aspire to a career in opera. Most have already had professional performance experience. Each soprano will sing a selection of her choice followed by a piece chosen by the judges.

Opera lovers will enjoy listening to gems of the opera repertoire, with distinctly different voices, and can challenge themselves to pick the winner.

In the 1850s, P.T. Barnum presented the beautiful Jenny Lind and her unique and glorious soprano voice to American audiences. The yearlong tour began with more than 40,000 people gathering at the docks in New York to greet Jenny Lind, no doubt lured by Barnum’s press manipulation. Jenny Lind created a sensation in America during her tour and soon became known as the Swedish Nightingale.

In 1949, a competition was started to find vocal artists in both Sweden and America who were most representative of the voice of Jenny Lind. The competition has continued each year since.

What: Jenny Lind Competition - the only classical music event of The Barnum Festival

Where: Salem Lutheran Church, 3160 Park Avenue, Bridgeport CT

When: Saturday, April 24, 2010

12:45 p.m. Welcome and Introductions

1 p.m. Competition begins with short break at 2 p.m.

3:10 p.m. Judges deliberate.

3:30 p.m. Finalists perform if requested

4 p.m. Announcement of Winners. 2010 Barnum Festival Ringmaster Tom Santa will present the awards.

Who: Anyone interested in music or in supporting The Barnum Festival

Cost: No charge

For more information contact
The Barnum Festival at (203) 367-8495
and/or toll free at (866) 867-8495
and/or on the web at:
820 Main Street
Bridgeport, CT 06604
Telephone: (203) 331-1104
Executive Director/Curator: Kathleen Maher

Happy Earth Day!

Smiler from WestConn . . .

AniFest ’10
April 19th-23rd, 2010
Student Center, Midtown Campus
Western Connecticut State University
Danbury, Connecticut

The AniFest ’10 Animation Theater will present short animated features designed and produced by student graphic artists, as well as professional animation shorts, over a four-day period from April 19th through 22nd. The films will be shown during continuous screenings from 10AM to 5PM each day in the Student Center Theater on the WestConn Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury.

Featured works will include both the retrospective of significant shorts spanning more than 10 years, and new films submitted for this year's festival by student producers at WestConn and other colleges nationwide. New student shorts will be reviewed and judged for prize awards in the festival’s Student Computer Animation Competition. A poster exhibition of recent animated film works and current developments in computer animation production will be displayed throughout the festival in the lobby of the Midtown campus Student Center.

This year’s program will mark the ninth annual AniFest celebration showcasing the graphic design innovations and filmmaking art of student animators at WestConn and other institutions nationwide.

Admission to the festival’s Animation Theater and Art of Animation exhibition will be free and the public is invited to attend.

For information:
visit the AniFest ’10
or contact Dr. William Joel
Director ,Center for Graphics Research
Telephone: (203) 837-9353

Smiler from Audubon Greenwich . . .

Healthier Foods, Healthier Families
With Chef Rachel Khanna
Saturday, April 17th, 2010
2:00PM - 3:30PM

Discover what it means to eat local, organic, seasonal and learn how to choose healthier foods. Did you know that roughly 70% of antibiotics in the U.S. are given to animals? Or that there are now more overweight people in the world than starving people?

Join Chef and Health Counselor Rachel Khanna as she explores some of the myths surrounding our food supply and discusses easy food ideas for everyone to enjoy.

All ages.
Please RSVP to
and/or call 203-869-5272 x239.
Suggested donation: $10.
Free for youth.

Rachel Khanna is a Certified Health Counselor and a passionate advocate of organic and local food and a healthy lifestyle. She decided to become a health counselor to fulfill her passion of working with children and parents to improve their health and family life. With a Master's Degree from Columbia University, she subsequently completed a diploma in Culinary Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, and received her training as a Health Counselor at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York City and is currently completing certification in Food Therapy at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City.

Rachel owned and operated Tiffin Organic Dinner Delivery Service in Greenwich, CT. Currently, she teaches cooking classes and holds workshops on eating for optimal health. She also offers individual health and nutrition coaching to parents and families. Rachel is the mother of four daughters and has lived in Greenwich, Connecticut since 2000.

For more information contact:
Jeff Cordulack
Events and Communications Manager
Audubon Connecticut/Audubon Greenwich
613 Riversville Road
Greenwich, CT 06831
(203) 869-5272 ext. 239
(203) 613-8813 (cell)

Volunteer at Audubon Greenwich!

Are you looking to volunteer your time? Do you need community service hours for school? Audubon Greenwich is always in need of dedicated volunteers. Please contact Brian O’Toole at (203) 869.5272 ext. 221 to learn about upcoming volunteer events and opportunities.

Opening Reception: Great Hall Art Exhibit
Capricious Geometry by Joan Miller

Friday, April 9th, 2010
6PM to 7PM
The Great Hall

Joan Miller creates hard-edged collages of optical illusions, intended to make the viewer believe things that are not true. The illusions happen on several levels. Through the use of paper and color, depth is created. The objects look plausible, but cannot exist in the real world and can be interpreted in multiple ways. The exhibit will be open until May 31st, 2010.

Light refreshmentswill be served.
Enter through the main level Library entrance.


Family Program: Shakespeare for Kids
Saturday, April 10th, 2010
2:30PM to 3:30PM

McManus Room
Grades 3 and up

Travel back in time when The Hampstead Stage Company introduces William Shakespeare and his timeless works. Experience his classics through his own eyes as he writes his famous plays.

Note: Free tickets available in the Children’s Library beginning at 9AM on the day of the performance-space is limited.


Keep up with the events at Westport Library . . .
Friend them on Facebook and/or follow them on Twitter!

Join in, be part of the future plan . . .

Take a brief online survey.

Attend a “town meeting” led by independent consultants:

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
at 7:30PM
McManus Meeting Room

The results, along with the input gathered through research, focus groups and the town meeting, will help direct priorities in the next strategic plan for the Westport Public Library.

Let the library know if you plan to attend by contacting:

Sandy Young
Telephone: (203) 291-4820

For more information contact:
Westport Public Library
Arnold Bernhard Plaza
20 Jesup Road
Westport, CT 06880
Telephone: (203) 291-4840

Mark your calendars . . .

Kite-Making Day
Saturday, April 10, 2010
2:30 PM

The warm spring wind is ruffling your hair. Make a very simple and enormously successful kite that is sure to fly. Even a three-year old can take this kite up.

Each kite is assembled by the child and accompanying adult.

The kids can decorate their kite, put a colorful tail on it and fly it in the field.

One of the Earthplace Animal Ambassadors will put in an appearance.

For More Information:

10 Woodside Lane,
PO Box 165
Westport, CT 06881
Telephone: (203) 227-7253


Shakespeare in Greenwich . . .

Greenwich Library
101 West Putnam Avenue
Greenwich, CT 06830

Bob Smith returns to Greenwich Library
April 7th - May 19th, 2010
7PM - 8PM

Bob Smith is returning, for the 11th time, to the Greenwich Library with his 7-week analysis of William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale.

He will examine William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale each Wednesday, from April 7th through May 19th at 7 PM in the Cole Auditorium.

The Winter's Tale was originally
published in the First Folio of 1623

The program is free and open to all. Copies of the play will be provided to attendees.

For more information, please contact Matthew Sgritta at (203) 622-7972.

Greenwich Library
Cole Auditorium
101 West Putnam Ave.
Greenwich, CT 06830

Keep up with all the great news at the Greenwich Library on the Greenwich Library Blog, Twitter and/or Facebook! Don't miss out on all the wonderful events at the Library.

Summer Camp Smiler . . .

Free Listing for Summer Camps!

Happy Easter . . .

Happy Easter
Springtime wishes!

Easter Bunny Train Rides
April 2nd & 3rd, 2010

Take a vintage train ride through the Danbury Railway Museum’s rail yard to meet with the Easter Bunny in his special railroad car.

Trains depart every 30 minutes from 12:30-3:30
Museum open 10-4:30 Friday & Saturday
12:00 - 4:30 Sunday

$8.00 age 2 and over
(under 2, free)

Admission includes:
- Ride on a vintage train through our railyard
- Visit with the Easter Bunny in his special railroad car
- Children receive a small gift from the Easter Bunny
- Temporary tattoos, Coloring station
Thomas® play table, Operating layouts
- Museum exhibits

For more information visit:
or call Danbury (203) 778-8337

Be A Volunteer!

And remember to join in the fun, because volunteers are always needed and welcomed.

There are many interesting and challenging volunteer opportunities available now at the Danbury Railroad Museum. Call (203)778-8337 and leave word if you can help. As the Museum grows there is always a need for new volunteers. Here's your chance to grow right along with DRM, have some fun and make new friends.