Some of My Favorite Montville Stories

What are yours?

my last day at the Montville Patch is coming up fast. So I thought I’d take the opportunity to revisit some of my favorite stories of the past year and a half.

I am sure I’ve shared these at different points (end of the year, etc.) but I’m feeling nostalgic, so here goes:


Animal Control Officer Chris Martel asked me to come to the shelter one day, as .

One of the dogs was Josie, a grizzled, mostly blind old girl who’d been found in some briars on Raymond Hill Road. Josie captured my heart, and I wrote this column. It got 162 Facebook recommendations, and 17 Tweets, and best of all,


Public Works Director Donald Bourdeau told me one night at a meeting that he thought Patch needed better stories. He was getting bored.

“Yeah?” I said. “Like stories about what?”

“What about all these crazy squirrels?” he said – and I was off and running.


I really love Maple Avenue, in all seasons, and drive up and down it often. One afternoon, not so long ago, I noticed that house after house after house was for sale. When I went back and did the research, I found that 10 percent of the homes that were for sale at the time were on Maple Avenue. In reporting the story, I learned all sorts of things about Montville, and the histories and lives of families and how they intertwine. I really enjoyed discovering this piece, and writing it.


The very first story that I wrote for the Montville Patch, about , remains one of my favorite Montville Patch stories ever.

I’d gotten the job, I was hip-deep in the directory, and I was starting to look for stories, and realizing that, in Montville, I was a stranger in a strange land.

I was driving up the Old Colchester Road one sunny afternoon, in my since-sold Miata, and I saw a hand-lettered sign reading “Art Show.”

I turned down a dirt driveway, into a shady trailer park, and found Norman Mikolajczyk, happy and pleasant and surrounded by beautiful, fascinating, different art. Suddenly, I was no longer a stranger. I was a fellow artist, a friend who loved color, a person who might just, one day in the future, make the choice of following a dream.

There was a painting by Norman that delighted me, and I didn't ask if I could buy it. But I think I'm going to go back and see if he will sell it to me. Isn't that a lovely full circle?




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