Torrington Stories

Into the Community: Torrington in September

In the early morning hours on Saturday I made bacon and eggs for breakfast and while the kids ate their bacon and studiously avoided the eggs, I wrote my review of The Buddy Holly Story, a program I previewed and enjoyed the night before in Thomaston.

I knew the day would be a busy one. At the Armory south of downtown, Keith A. Mutch was orchestrating the Clean Up the World Day campaign with the Parks and Rec Department;   When I was done writing, my son and I drove to the Big Y and purchased some work gloves and trash bags.  We arrived later than intended but received a hearty welcome from Keith who gave us two cards certifying we had earned “high fives” and stickers for being “awesome”,  Our assignment for clean up was Vogel Wetmore School.

Keith A. Mutch with RCF (at this time Keith is telling us about the Clean Up the World Day)

Keith A. Mutch with RCF (at this time Keith is telling us about the Clean Up the World Day)

We drove to the school and parked near the playground.  Wearing his work gloves, my young helper cleaned up the grounds in between swinging on the swings. I was surprised at the amount of miscellaneous flotsam and jetsam we found around the chain link fence and the shrubbery, much more than I expected. When we had cleaned our area, it was time to head to our second stop in our Torrington adventure.


Just before noon we arrived at CARBONE’S MARKET at 42 Oak Ave in the south side of Torrington. As one of the administrators of the T-Town Torrington Chatter facebook group, I run “The Cash Mob” which is similar to a “flash mob” except we don’t ask our group to sing or dance, we ask members to visit a business during a period of time (a week) and purchase something from that business. For doing this act, they receive a CASH MOB CARD which I draw.

IMG_2865 IMG_2864

In no short order Paula O’Connor Hackett, Skip and Demi Hoxie, Danny Greenlaw and Debra Gluz joined me. I ordered a Turkey grinder “super sub” size which, as it turns out, is enough for four meals. While my son took a stab at downing half of the grinder I met photographer Sheila Ivain and Franklin Print Company owner himself, Max Tieman.  I knew the “cash mob” was off to a great start.


After completing our lunch at home, the kids used their scooters while I walked behind them as we made our way to the Coe Park Unplugged Folk festival. I regretted missing Julia Autumn Ford’s set but we said hello to Mayor Carbone and Jacque Williams and listened to some fine songs by the Kenn Morr Band. Jacque Williams’ Coe Park Unplugged had provided for 6 musical acts to perform for Torrington for 6 hours in the park for free. I thanked Jacque for putting this together for the community and shared my expectation that it will grow even bigger year to year from here.


(c)2014 Sheila Ivain

It was late in the afternoon as we began making our way home. We were just in front of Remember When on Main Street we heard the beep of a horn and turned to see Keith A. Mutch heading towards the park. He pulled over to ask about our success and he told us that  by the day’s end over 100 people had participated in his Clean Up the World initiative. This was welcome news and I congratulated that success.

Meanwhile online, T-Towners were posting their cash mob card numbers (to show they went) and at least 88 people participated  by going to Carbone’s.  Elsewhere the Son’s of Italy were getting ready for their Penny Auction.  At the Warner, the cast and crew were getting ready for another nearly sold out performance of Reefer Madness.


The Cash Mob Card

Today we had grand opportunities to fully participate in our community in real, tangible ways and at little to no cost.  The festival was free, cleaning the park was free (they actually provided supplies AND lunch to volunteers but we bought our own) and the cash mob was minimal (ten dollars was recommended-we spent $13).

cash mob 4

Next week, Sept 27th during the day there’s the free fall festival, a Main Street Torrington Inc.   initiative under the direction of Sharon Waagner with Ginger Balch.   There’ll be a concert that night at Studio 59Live Arts with John Delvento and Timothy Alexandre Wallace. Next month, on October 30th, that location will host a concert with Preston Parish. Also coming up in October, Performance Hub USA Educational Foundation will host at least 6 concerts.  The Warner will host a Community Theater Festival on the 27th and the following week they’ll host BB King. If we in the Northwest Connecticut community value these opportunities, and if we wish for these amazing opportunities to continue, then ultimately it is to us to make that happen.  We can do this by doing one simple thing, the most enjoyable of all tasks…

All we have to do is to seize the day, seize these opportunities when they are presented….and show up.

(c)2014 Sheila Ivain

(c)2014 Sheila Ivain





2 replies »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s