301-926-2256 [email protected]

Town Council News…

Next meeting: Monday, January 11, 2021; 7:00pm
The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM at:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/297850640?pwd=czh3ODBEdEpTeXdkRTc5bDFmLzN2UT09
Or Dial-in to 301-715-8592
Meeting ID: 297 850 640
Password: 074385

Actions at the December Meeting Included:

  • Introduction of Ordinance 2020-13
  • Introduction of Ordinance 2020-14
  • Introduction of Ordinance 2020-15
    (See ordinance titles below.)
  • Approval of using AB Veirs Paving for year three of the 3-year paving plan

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARINGS

On Monday, January 11, 2021 the Mayor and Council will hold three (3) VIRTUAL public hearings on the following ordinances:

  • Ordinance 2020-13; Amending Article I to Enable Regulation of Activity on Town Land by Resolution, to Prohibit Damage to or Removal of Vegetation, Minerals or Artifacts on Public Property, and to Require a Permit for Archeological Activities
  • Ordinance 2020-14; Amending Article XVI, Schedule of Fees, to Specify the Public Ways & Property Permit Application Fee for Proposed Work in a Public Way or on Town Property That is Adjoining Property Owned by the Applicant
  • Ordinance 2020-15; Authorizing Termination of the Restrictive Covenant on Setback Imposed on Property at 201 Chestnut Avenue

The hearings will begin at 7:00 PM. Please see the ZOOM access information under Town Council News above to log-in.

The purpose of these hearings is to hear public testimony on three (3) proposed ordinances. Copies of the proposed ordinances are available for inspection on the Town website; www.washingtongrovemd.org, upon request to the Town Clerk (phone 301-926-2256); or e-mail to [email protected] or by mail to P.O. Box 216 Washington Grove, MD 20880.

Montgomery County Climate Action Plan Draft

In response to Montgomery County declaring a Climate Emergency in 2018, County Executive Marc Elrich set some of the most ambitious carbon reduction targets and has orchestrated a year-long grass roots effort to develop a Climate Action Plan. The Climate Task Force has released the draft for review and public comment, and we have invited them to present it to the Town Tuesday, February 2 at 7:30 p.m. They are eager to hear feedback to incorporate into the final plan to be sent to the County Council in March or April.

This is a great opportunity for one-on-one contact in a plan that will involve us all. For a sneak peek, here is the link to the Climate Page with the Draft Climate Action Plan: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/green/climate/index.html

Here’s how to attend.
Time: Feb 2, 2021 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
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Meeting ID: 854 5832 4724
Passcode: 112677
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Town Elections…Only 4 Months Away!

Let’s bring talk of elections back into the news! In Washington Grove election day will be Saturday, May 8. Nominations close April 12. Open this year will be the Mayor’s office, a one-year term; and two Council seats with three-year terms. Irregularity-free and, for the second consecutive year, likely to be conducted largely by absentee ballot.

Another Speed Hump Under Consideration

After hearing complaints about speeding on lower Ridge Road, the Mayor and Council are considering the installation of a new speed hump on the hill on lower Ridge Road. What do you think? To voice your opinion, please contact the Mayor and/or a Council member or send an e-mail to the Town Office for distribution.

Maryland State Income Tax

Washington Grove Subdivision Code: 1612
Every year the Town of Washington Grove receives a portion of the Maryland State income tax paid by Town residents. Because most residents do not have mail delivered to street addresses, this presents a challenge for the State Comptroller’s office when attributing the taxes collected to Washington Grove. It is critical that all Washington Grove residents (including renters) designate “1612” and “Washington Grove” on the tax form. For those filing electronically or using software, there should be a drop down menu to select Washington Grove. Please share this information with your renters and your tax preparer if appropriate. This DOES NOT increase your taxes but DOES help ensure the Town receives its proper share of income tax revenue. Thanks for your help! Questions, call Treasurer Mary Challstrom at 301-926-4498.

New Installations Around Town by Town Maintenance

Cherry Avenue: Steve Werts and helpers have installed a new drainage pipe across Cherry Avenue (near Center Street) to improve stormwater runoff across the walkway. The Avenue will be further leveled by Spring, and hopefully this will solve the long-standing drainage problem that left Cherry muddy and impassable due to standing water.

Oak Street at Ridge Road: To creatively restrict vehicle entry onto Oak Street from Ridge Road, several split rail fence sections have been installed. Previously access to Oak Street had been impeded by two large silver maple trees. The trees were in decline and were impacted by the recent WSSC work on Ridge, and unfortunately had to be removed.

Planning Commission News…

Next meeting: Wed., January 6, 2021; 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM. As part of the Town’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, this Planning Commission Meeting will be conducted online, rather than in person.

Residents and the public may access using Meeting ID: 781 347 688
By dialing in to: 301-715-8592 and following the audio instructions.
OR by joining the Zoom videoconference at: https://zoom.us/j/781347688

Building Permit Submission Deadline
The deadline to submit a building permit application for approval by the Planning Commission and review by the Historic Preservation Commission is the 2nd Wednesday of the month prior to the PC meeting at which the permit will be reviewed (this will be in the following month). This timing ensures the HPC will be able to complete a formal review before the PC meeting as this review is required for the PC to approve the permit in a timely fashion. If you are considering any renovation or building project at your house, be sure to get a copy of the procedures to apply for a Town Building Permit which will help you through the Town’s process.

Building Permits Up for Approval in January:
None

2020 Comprehensive Plan

Next work session: Wednesday January 20 at 7:30 pm. REMOTE ACCESS ONLY. The Agenda will be posted on the Town web site home page.

Please note that the 2020 Master Plan is now the 2020 Comprehensive Plan which is the nomenclature recommended by the Maryland Department of Planning.

Work Session Notice: Wednesday January 20 at 7:30 pm. REMOTE ACCESS ONLY
We will be reviewing the proposed completely new Section 13 (Sustainability). The draft version of this section, and other Plan drafts, are now available as a PDF download on the Comprehensive Plan 2020 page of the Town web site.

Work Session Access:
Residents and the public may access using Meeting ID: 781 347 688
By dialing in to: 301-715-8592 and following the audio instructions.
OR by joining the Zoom videoconference at: https://zoom.us/j/781347688

We’ve been having trouble with Zoom “bombers” recently, so please make sure your name is associated with your Zoom icon in order to be admitted to the meeting.

Historic Preservation Commission News…

Next meeting: Tuesday, January 19, 2021; 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM. For a copy of the Agenda, email Chairman Bob Booher ([email protected]).

Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3440199688
Meeting ID: 344 019 9688
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Development of Washington Grove’s “Commercial Corner”

We acknowledge with appreciation Robinson & Associates’ research in preparation of the Updated and Expanded Washington Grove Historic District Nomination; it forms the basis of this month’s look back at the early days of our Commercial Corner.

As Washington Grove and the neighboring subdivision of Oakmont developed in the last decades of the nineteenth century, the surrounding area mainly supported family operated farms. Wheat and dairy farms located along the railroad benefitted from the cheap and efficient means of transportation it offered. Laytonsville Pike (now Washington Grove Lane) was also an important part of the local transportation network, connecting Gaithersburg with Laytonsville and points north. One local farm, which bordered Washington Grove to the west, was owned by Thomas I. Fulks, a prominent Gaithersburg farmer and businessman. South of Ridge Road was a 48-acre farm that was purchased by Washington Grove as part of the original land acquisition for the camp meeting but sold in 1890. These agricultural properties and others formed the setting of Washington Grove well into the twentieth century and contributed to its appeal to visitors and homeowners as “a place apart.” Although platted for residential development in the 1897 Maddox plan, the lots facing the corner of Washington Grove Road and Railroad Street (Lots 1 and 2 of Block 1) have been used for nonresidential purposes since the camp meeting era.

Thomas I. Fulks owned shares of the Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association and located them on the corner lots. In 1897, he was granted permission by the association to operate a general store on Lot 2. Given the Methodists’ condemnation of “worldly habits,” Fulks was prohibited from selling alcohol from his establishment, which he called the Washington Grove Store. Five years later, in 1902, Fulks, then president of Gaithersburg Milling and Manufacturing, purchased a 238-acre farm west of Washington Grove and across Washington Grove Lane from his store. The purchase of the farm was subject to a lease of part of the property that bordered on the railroad tracks to Henry C. Miller for the period 1900 to 1906. It is not known what type of business Miller conducted on the property, but when his lease expired, Fulks did not renew it.

Around 1910, Fulks rented the general store to Marshall Walker and opened a feed supply business on the property adjacent to the railroad tracks that had formerly been leased to Miller. The operation included a feed mill (built circa 1910 from an old hay barn that stood on his farm), a feed store, and an office. In addition, the property featured a rail siding and a scale, which was embedded into the ground next to the store. In 1919, the local Odd Fellows lodge purchased Lot 1 from Fulks, and the following year the organization built a large hall on the property for their meetings. The Odd Fellows Hall was a two-story building designed by architect W. S. Ploger of Washington D.C. It was built of concrete block molded to resemble rusticated ashlar stone and dressed quoins and featured a stepped front-gable roof.

In 1896, after the railroad freight siding was moved from the east side of the Humpback Bridge to the west side, the Association sold the small triangle of land it owned between it and Railroad Avenue to John B. Diamond. Later, likely in the first decade of the twentieth century, it was acquired by the Washington Grove Manufacturing Company. Standard Oil purchased the property in 1914, and by 1933 it had been improved with a one-story brick building, adding another commercial presence to the corner of Washington Grove Lane and Railroad Street.

The general store and Odd Fellows Hall that stood on the lots facing the corner of Washington Grove Road and Railroad Street were the last victims of the Depression, when, in 1940, they were seized by the First National Bank of Gaithersburg. The bank tried to market the properties as residential, but several factors made this difficult – the buildings across the street were commercial/industrial and included a large feed mill complex, the lots faced a busy intersection, and there was little buffer between the lots and the noise and dirt of the nearby railroad tracks. The bank soon appealed to the Town for rezoning, and a measure was passed in 1941 approving the change and officially declaring Lots 1 and 2 in Block 1 a commercial zone, with restrictions against alcohol and gaming. The old Fulks/Walker store was acquired by Kay and Ed Bowling, who moved into the attached residence, got permission from the Town, and opened it as a store in summer 1941. In 1956, they bought from the Town the land between their lots 1 and 2 and the road frontages on Railroad Street and Laytonsville Road. With the purchase in 1963 of the Oddfellows Hall/apartment house, the widowed Kay Bowling consolidated her holdings at what had become known as the Commercial Corner.

Thomas I. Fulks died in 1935, and the next year his farm and feed supply business were purchased by W. Lawson King. King sold the farm property in 1940, but retained the feed supply business, which he improved and incrementally expanded. King razed the feed store and built a new feed mill at the eastern end of the property in 1942. Then, in 1945, he added a farmer’s supply store at the western end of the site. King’s new four-story feed mill was built of cinderblock and corrugated metal. Four silos, constructed of concrete reinforced with steel straps, stood east of the mill. The supply store was a cinderblock building with an L-shaped plan. In 1952, he built an addition to the supply store, extending the complex to the west. King eventually leased the feed supply operation to Sunshine Feeds, which was succeeded by Wayne Feeds and finally Gaithersburg Farmers’ Supply, which closed in 1989. While many of the feed stores that served Montgomery County communities have vanished, Gaithersburg Farmers’ Supply still stands as an important physical remnant of the regional agricultural economy that persisted into the mid-twentieth century.

In December 1944, the Standard Oil property across Railroad Street from the Odd Fellows Hall was sold to Oscar L. Evans, who established an ice cream factory in the brick building on the lot. By 1948, Evans sold the property, along with his machines and equipment, to Burtis Slaybaugh and Kenneth Reck. Their company, Rex, Inc., soon had a small retail operation that was popular with Washington Grove residents. Building on their success, the partners built an annex and opened a restaurant. (More about the recent history of the Commercial Corner in a future issue of the bulletin…)

Racial Equity Committee

We will be holding our next meeting of the Washington Grove Racial Equity Committee on Sunday, January 17, 2020 at 2:00 pm over Zoom. All are welcome! Folks who would like to attend should email [email protected] to get the Zoom link. And more information on how to join the committee, our goals, past meeting minutes, and historical resources can be found here: https://linktr.ee/RacialEquityGrover.

Forestry & Beautification News…

The Forestry and Beautification Committee is on hiatus for the winter. Our next meeting will be in March of 2021. A total of 14 new trees were installed this fall. This is a great time of year to admire the “bones” (aka structure) of our many beautiful trees. On a sunny day with some fresh snow the lacy appearance is particularly striking. When we begin meeting again in March, we will be choosing sites for spring tree planting. More info will be in the March Bulletin. We look forward to you joining us; all are welcome!

Woods Committee News…

The January Woods Committee (WC) meeting will be held by remote access via Zoom meeting on Monday, January 4, 2021 at 7:30 PM. Our meetings are routinely held on the first Monday of each month. Our next online meeting will be held on Monday, February 1st.

To join the WC meeting:
Zoom link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81152878712?pwd=VkxzQjlDbjVQQ3AxcCtkQVMzLzFCZz09

By Phone: 301 715 8592 / Passcode: 990721
Meeting ID: 811 5287 8712

The WC is developing a trail maintenance plan to improve several frequently wet sections of East Wood trails. Several workdays will be scheduled during the late winter while the ground is cold and dry. A new Town Ordinance to clarify activities not permitted in the Woods Preserves, Town Parks, and other Town land was introduced at the December 2020 Town Council Meeting. A public hearing to receive any public comments is scheduled at the January 11, 2021 Town Council Meeting.

The volunteer Bow Hunter Firefighters of Maryland (BHFFMD) continue a Town-approved managed deer hunt in the East and West Woods. One doe was harvested in December in the East Woods. BHFFMD will resume bow hunting after the holidays in January 2021. The 2020-21 Maryland archery deer hunting season began, September 11, 2020 and will end January 30, 2021.

Please help us to preserve our forests for the enjoyment of current residents and future generations. We hope you continue to enjoy our Woods Preserves. The Woods Committee wishes all our friends and neighbors a healthy and happy New Year!

Recreation Committee News…

Next Meeting: Wednesday, January 20, 2021. The public is invited to attend this virtual meeting via ZOOM.

HOORAY FOR THE HOLIDAY SHOW!!

Read below about “The Making of Cottage Fever”.

Film Society News…

January is Paul Newman Month

“Cool Hand Luke” – Discussion on January 17
A rebellious petty criminal, sentenced to a couple of years in a Florida prison, refuses to buckle to the rules of the place. Paul Newman portrays Luke with a knowing smile and thorough magnetism, facing off his sadistic jailers. What we’ve got here are “a failure to communicate” and a classic sixties flick.

Directed by Stuart Rosenberg, 1967, USA, 126 minutes. Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTi4OpONOY8

Stream “Cool Hand Luke” on HBO/HBOmax or for $3.99 on Amazon Prime, YouTube, AppleTV, and other platforms. Then join the discussion on Zoom on Sunday, January 17, 7:30 pm. A link to the discussion will be posted to the Town listserv a few days ahead or request the link by emailing Freda Temple at [email protected] .

“The Verdict” –Discussion on January 31
Lawyer Frank Galvin is an alcoholic reeking of failure. In a last bid to regain his self-respect, Galvin refuses to settle a medical malpractice case and instead battles the ever-unscrupulous James Mason, the Church, and the System. The AP’s critic wrote, “Using none of his blue-eyed charm, Paul Newman has the role of his later career.”

Directed by Sidney Lumet, screenplay by David Mamet, 1982, USA, 129 minutes. Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7je8_a7chkg

Stream “The Verdict” for $3.99 on Amazon Prime, YouTube, DirectTV, and other platforms. Then join the discussion on Zoom on Sunday, January 31, 7:30 pm. A link to the discussion will be posted to the Town listserv a few days ahead, or request the link by emailing Freda Temple at [email protected] .

Washington Grove Cares News

As a COVID-19 precaution, WGC suggests ways to avoid trips to the grocery store or pharmacy:

We have a volunteer making a weekly shopping trip:

MONDAY: (notify by Sun. 5 pm) Shopping at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, MOM’s or Aldi’s; text or email Caitlin Bethepu at 414-208-8661 [email protected]

Post your own impromptu grocery/shopping trips: If you are going to a particular grocery store/pharmacy and can pick up items for others, consider posting a message to the listserv ([email protected]) – note the new address for the Town listserv.

If you are low-risk and willing to provide a weekly trip to a particular grocery on a specific day, please email [email protected] with your name and phone number, and we’ll call you to get the details.

Not on the new WG neighborhood Google Groups listserv? Get notices of impromptu shopping trips (and very occasional WGC-sponsored events) sent directly to your email.
Email [email protected]

WG United Methodist Church News…

Washington Grove United Methodist Church
…Sunday services continue to be online

The Church is truly blessed by the overwhelming financial support we have received from the caring people of Washington Grove.

As we continue to Stay at Home during the COVID-19 crises, the Church has been enjoying Sunday morning Zoom services. If you would like to join us, please contact Pastor Andrew Peck-McClain at [email protected] to be included.

We are collecting non-perishable food donations to support the St. Martin’s food bank. Your contributions can be dropped off on the screened-in porch at Peggy Hansen’s house, 201 Chestnut Avenue, in Washington Grove.

Once we can again go out into the world, please join us on Sunday mornings at 11:00 am at the Washington Grove United Methodist Church, 303 Chestnut Road, Washington Grove, MD 20880 (301-869-3753).

Washington Grove United Methodist Church is a Reconciling Congregation, which means we believe that each person is a precious creation of God and is of sacred worth. We welcome and celebrate persons of every gender identity, racial or ethnic background, sexual orientation, and physical or mental ability into full participation in the life of this faith community. We celebrate the gift of love and affirm all loving relations and marriages

Woman’s Club News…

Please join us for our Virtual GOLD Elephant Auction
Saturday – January 23rd from 7:00 to 8:30 PM

It’s another Zoom event! The Woman’s Club will be going virtual for our Annual Auction on Saturday, January 23, 2021 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. This year, instead of White Elephants, we’re having GOLD Elephants.

And what, you ask, are GOLD Elephants? They are like our annual White Elephants, only there will be fewer and a bit more high-end. They are treasured things that you’re willing to part with, to help raise funds for the Club and its many community service projects, and to have an evening of fun ??. Let’s face it, GOLD Elephants are a great excuse to have a good time!

Because of the limitations of doing an online auction, this year we are seeking fewer, but more curated donations. We want Auction items in four categories:

  • Antiques,
  • Washington Grove memorabilia,
  • Local artists’ treasures
  • Services.

We need to receive all donations by January 15th, so that we can prepare a catalog of items for you to preview before the evening of the GOLD Elephant Auction. Please send a photo of your Auction item or description of your donated service to Arlene McCrehan ([email protected]) or call Joan Mahaffey for an item pick up (301-641-2452) by January 15th. Thank you in advance for your generous support.

The January Gold Elephant Auction funds will go towards paying the Woman’s Clubhouse insurance and many service projects, both in Town and in neighboring communities, throughout the year. We would like to continue and expand our support this coming year. Plan to join us for an evening of laughter and excitement on Saturday, January 23 at 7:00 PM via ZOOM. The ZOOM link will be distributed closer to the event. Suggested beverages to have at home are Quarantini cocktail and Corona beer. Let’s light up the Ethernet!

If you are not on the Town’s ListServ but you want to be sure you get all the reminders and links for the GOLD Elephant Auction, please send an email to [email protected] and include your name and email address, with a note in the Subject line that it’s for the GOLD Elephant Auction.

Emergency Preparedness Committee News…

Next Meeting: Thursday, January 28 at 7:30 p.m.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81385220068?pwd=T2dWbzkxdDA0dXluaUE5WG1VUUQzUT09

By Phone: 301 715 8592
Meeting ID: 813 8522 0068
Passcode: 358070

Although multiple COVID-19 vaccines have been approved, we’re not out of the woods yet! COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths across the United States are rising. Please continue to mask-up, practice social distancing, and wash your hands frequently. For additional CDC guidance see: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

Please also see Maryland and Montgomery County COVID-19 webpages for the latest information on related executive orders and other guidance at: https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/ and https://montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/.

We are actively seeking new committee members! One committee goal is to promote a shared sense of preparedness, vigilance, and resilience to help our community cope and get through these challenging times. We welcome your input and ideas on how to achieve this and any other goals related to preparedness and safety. Please join us at our next meeting.

Lighting Committee News…

TWG Lighting Committee was formed in January 2019 to address the issues concerning what to do with our aging streetlights?

Since then the committee was able to finalize a deal with Pepco that will convert the bulk of our streetlights (95) to LED bulbs. This will not only reduce our Pepco billing rate going forward but it will extend the life and functionality of our streetlights for at least a few years. Additionally, the TWG Lighting Committee has written and gotten approval for their Master Plan submission that outlines a vision for TWG Lighting needs going forward into the next decade.

This work was done by all the TWG Lighting committee members with a special recognition to Charlie Challstrom whose excellent TWG streetlight inventory and map expedited our work with Pepco! https://bit.ly/3lkxrMC

Though our initial tasks had been successfully completed, and the Lighting Committee could just write a final report and disband, it was decided that we would continue to meet but less often.

Overall, it was felt that the Lighting Committee still had work that could be done in: monitoring the upcoming major tariff that Pepco will be filing; investigating retrofitting our current streetlights with modern attributes; researching and testing alternative lighting for walkways; and developing guidelines for lights to be added or removed.

The next TWG Lighting Committee meeting will be on Wednesday, January 27th at 7:30pm, 2021. We will be meeting via a Zoom Conference and all are welcome to attend! The Zoom conference information will be shared closer to the meeting.

Questions, ideas or concerns please contact Virginia Quesada at:
301 706-7933 cell. [email protected]

General Information

Leaf Collection finished on January 4, 2021

Our bulk leaf collection is finished until early spring when the contractor will return for some clean-up. If you still have leaves that the crew missed, please call the Town Office and report it.

Recyclable Yard Waste Collection Ends

Please note that THURSDAY December 31, 2020 was the last date for collection of recyclable yard waste by Potomac Disposal this year. This service will resume in early March.

Christmas Tree Disposal

Beginning in late December, Christmas trees will be picked up roadside by Town Maintenance staff. When you place your tree out for collection, please remove all tinsel, ornaments, the stand and any other metal.

The Making of Cottage Fever: A Virtually Real Holiday Show

By Judy Mroczka
The Accidental Producer/Writer/Director
(written at the request of the Mayor to pay tribute to all who worked on the show)

It takes a village to create a holiday show. In Cottage Fever, there were 25 speaking roles, another 16 cameo appearances, 16 on the production crew, 22 different performers in seven “live” musical acts, and more than 30 filmed dancers in the retrospective, plus about 30 brave souls who took part in the Grand Finale, “The Grove Sleeps Tonight.”

We had a record number of animals. Not to diminish the talents of the dogs Nessie, Cain, and Chloe, or of Kermit the Frog and Foxy the Fox, I have to say that Celeste the Cat is a natural — she ad-libbed her line (“Meow”) while in Sophie’s arms during the travel agency scene and possibly ad-libbed her actions as she got herself tangled in Eli’s hair during the school-at-home scene.

In a normal year, we start in late October. This year, planning began in August with a strategically placed call to Montgomery Municipal Cable (MMC) – producers of the children’s show on Music Weekend. The MMC crew provided their technical skills and experience, but also their patience. Our promise to them for next time – we won’t make it so darn complicated.

Taking you behind the scenes, here’s a look at one segment – “My Sourdough Starter.” On the day scheduled for MMC to film it, JEFF and ARLENE McCREHAN had rehearsed, moved furniture to make room for the crew, bought loaves of bread and bunches of bananas, and, most importantly, gotten psyched. Alas, the film crew ran out of time. Heroically, Jeff and Arlene persevered, pressing their daughter JOHANNA into service as a videographer and producing what you saw on your screen.
The chainsaw puppet also has a story. It was JUDY’s bright idea to have a chainsaw operated by Bluetooth, but it fell to her husband ED to figure out how to do it (he made the chainsaw into a marionette) and to MARIDA HINES to figure out how to film it. It was decided that the tree prop created for “As the Grove Turns: A Soap Opera” (2017) would be sacrificed. Stringing the marionette took 30 minutes, filming 90 minutes, editing 90 minutes. The finished product? Less than 30 seconds.

Here’s a look at some of the other people who, on-screen and/or off-screen, made the show happen (see the program for the full list):
The CREATIVE TEAM who helped JUDY with the original concept and with input along the way included MARY BLAKE, CHRISTINE DIBBLE, MARILYNN FREY, ARLENE McCREHAN, JEFF McCREHAN, ED MROCZKA.
MARILYNN FREY was Judy’s right-hand person and sounding board, prop guru (did you notice the bunny slippers and the grabber in the shape of a human hand?), and Moe, our Watts-Up star. We knew early on that we would need a substitute for the 6’2” Moe. MARILYNN, although a foot shorter, ably filled Moe’s shoes.

SAMANTHA BERES took on the complicated project of creating the dance retrospective. It let us appreciate her talent as a choreographer, see the young dancers grow up, and get a nostalgic look at shows such as “Grove Alone” (2012) and “Grove Trek” (2015).

EMILY CAVEY’s Aug. 13 text said the Cavey-Gilmores would be skipping the show due to pressures of virtual schooling. Response: “I understand, but don’t be surprised if I come back with a very modest request for just a few hours time.” Emily’s Sept. 19 text: “We would like to be in the show if you will have us.” Emily’s contributions involved much more than a modest few hours – compiling the winter photos for the Grand Finale slide slow, videographing Sophie and Bella’s song and footage for various skits, and, of course, other duties as assigned.

LEIGH PARTINGTON outdid herself on artwork – art for the program, the tree in the shape of a Menorah, the Egg Detector and eggs, logos for Dad-o-Meter and My Sourdough Starter and WGRV.

KEITH GILLIS also outdid himself with designing the program, which then became the rolling credits.
Some of our young actors had gone off to college, but others from our troupe of Marginal Thespian Players stepped up.

GENEVIEVE AND CORY HIX, SOPHIE, BELLA, ELI, AND JUDE GILMORE, HENNA AND HAZEL TURNER were versatile, talented, and a joy to work with. Highlights: slo-mo egg toss with JUDE and ELI, creaky teeter-totter with GENEVIEVE and CORY, SOPHIE and BELLA’s expressions in the beach scene, and trick-or-treating with HENNA and HAZEL.
KIT BROWN and HARRY YOUNG took part from inside their home bubble, using their dad as the Dad-o-Meter prop. (Thanks, RYAN!) KIT did the editing.

CHRISTINE DIBBLE nailed it as news anchor Woof Blitzen. (Long-time viewers will recall that CHRISTINE played a news anchor in “Saturday Night Grove” (2016).) JEFF McCREHAN was eminently believable as government reporter Bob Goodword, while SHARON SISSON was earnest and pointed as Lois Lanechange. ERNIE KAWASAKI exhibited subtle skepticism introducing the linemen working from home. MISSY YACHUP shone as Rec Committee chair but then changed persona to become Calvina Klein as she hosted the mask fashion show with remarkable pizazz. (MISSY was the elf who conspired with the North Pole to get the gift bags for home delivery.) ROB GILMORE reprised his role as Joe, displaying his trademark swagger. JANE MELLMAN debuted as Murphy Beige, the reporter with attitude, and RENEE MOLOZNIK (who recently moved to the Grove) was a dynamic Henrietta Higgins, the frustrated drama coach. LIZ ROBERTSON and GAIL LITTLEFIELD appeared for the first time (hopefully not the last), and we were delighted to welcome back SHELLEY WINKLER and SARA STOPAK, who did extremely realistic portrayals of a mother and her Gen Y daughter. (Kudos to CHRISTINE DIBBLE for writing and directing and to JOHANNA McCREHAN for filming.)

MARY BLAKE, MISSY YACHUP, ARLENE McCREHAN, and GENEVIEVE HIX made the Zoom meeting seem all too real – particularly when the cat blocked GENEVIEVE and when MARY displayed her the ceiling and her ear. (MARY is an unsung hero for getting and tracking MMC release forms for every single person who appeared.) ANDREW HOTALING found many of sound effects for this and other scenes.

TEDDY McCREHAN once again excelled as Sign-Meister.
There were numerous cameo appearances, including by BOB BOOHER, who gets a good sport award for dressing up in pajamas, not knowing he would be depicted as chair of the Hammock Preservation Commission.

MUSICAL PERFORMERS:

ADALIA TARA, whose non-stage name is Tara Middleton, performed a beautiful song of her own. Check out Tara’s website (See below) for samples of her extraordinary singing and song-writing.

Sometime, someone can explain to all of us how OWEN CRISE managed to be a trio all by himself, showing formidable talent.

SITA, EMMA and TERRY STROTHER’s trio version of “Songbird” was gorgeous.

LERD brough enormous talent and energy, with fabulous performance by all four members. And who could not love the gold suit?

SOPHIE and BELLA GILMORE’s rendition of White Winter Hymnal was sweet, with lovely harmonies.

CHARLIE and MARY CHALLSTROM’s dance was simply magical. (Their jigsaw puzzle prowess, as seen in the Puzzle It Out Commercial, was also dazzling. NEVIN FREEMAN (a resident of the Challstrom bubble did the video.)

EDDY VISCOSITY AND THE TURBULENT CORE displayed wonderful arrangements, great execution, and stunning musicality.

The GRAND FINALE “THE GROVE SLEEPS TONIGHT” was a challenge to perform and to film. Many thanks are due to GWEN and JERRY CALDERONE, who recorded the song, and to ARLENE McCREHAN, who led the performers in the chorus.

“Cottage Fever” has gotten a great response, and this comment captures the flavor of many others: “It’s exactly what I needed, I think it’s what we all needed! It made me laugh, feel joyful and inspired, and got me into the holiday spirit! Amazing job by you and the whole team who helped put it together.”

To see “Cottage Fever,” go to https://youtu.be/iTmgTyinz1Q.

To learn more about LERD, visit www.mmctv.org and click on The Creative Side, a program hosted by Albert Myers, videographer and video editor for Cottage Fever. LERD is Episode #2. (Episode #1 features Washington Grove holiday show veteran Landon Philip, aka Landon Turner.)

To hear more music from Adalia Tara, visit her website: adaliatara.com. It provides links to Spotify and Amazon.

To see Sita Strother’s Yale acapella group, Whim ‘n Rhythm, go to https://www.whimnrhythm.com/. Click on Music to sample its 2020 album, Phoenix, and to obtain a link to iTunes.

January Coming Events Calendar

(All meetings via ZOOM Conference)

January 4 » Woods Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM
January 6 » Planning Commission 7:30 pm ZOOM
January 11 » Town Council Meeting 7:30 pm ZOOM
January 13 » Building Permit Submission Deadline 7:30 pm ZOOM
January 17 » Racial Equity Committee 2:00 pm ZOOM
January 17 » Film Society – “Cool Hand Luke” 7:30 pm ZOOM
January 19 » Historic Preservation Commission 7:30 pm ZOOM
January 20 » Comprehensive Plan Work Session 7:30 pm ZOOM
January 20 » Recreation Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM
January 23 » Woman’s Club GOLD Elephant Auction 7:30 pm
January 27 » Lighting Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM
January 28 » Emergency Preparedness & Safety 7:30 pm ZOOM
January 31 » Film Society – “The Verdict” 7:30 PM ZOOM
February 1 » Woods Committee 7:30 pm ZOOM
February 2 » MoCo. Climate Task Force Presentation 7:30 pm ZOOM

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