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Essex Column

Mark your calendars for Saturday, Feb. 16, for a special concert at the Essex Inn with a trio of harmony specialists featuring American Idol finalist and Plattsburgh resident Ben Bright, Don Vicaro and our very own Donna Lou Sonnett. They'll be playing favorite songs from the likes of the Everly Brothers, James Taylor and Elvis, and they’ll pay a special tribute to musical parodist and Whallonsburg native Weird Al Yankovic. There's no cover charge, dancing and singing along are encouraged and it all starts at 8 p.m.

On Saturday night the film society will present another fine movie called “Robot and Frank.” This one’s about an elderly jewel thief who is given an intelligent robot for companionship. The old man realizes the robot would make an ideal accomplice to restart his career as a burglar and teaches it to pick locks. Then comical complications arise. The movie starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Whallonsburg Grange.

Also at the Grange, the series on American agriculture rolls on each Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. The next talk will be about the settlement of the western US, the introduction of mechanization and commodity crop production.

The Bread and Puppet theater troupe will be performing at the Grange on Friday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. This is a great opportunity to see the famous giant puppets as they satirize and comment on society.

CATS, the trail blazers, are working on a new path to connect Westport and Essex. If you would like to help hack out a trail, be at Dogwood Bakery in Wadhams this Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

Although it’s way too early to start seeds for garden transplants, it is a great time to get your seed order together. Our dining room table is awash in catalogs which offer all sorts of seemingly excellent varieties, but clearly some have to be better than others. Take sweet corn, for example. The catalogs use flattering adjectives when describing flavor, but don’t actually tell you the best ones to plant. This year I picked out two varieties because they’re named after real places, Augusta and Montauk. I’ve also tried varieties with names based in music, like Harmony and Symphony, which were pretty good. The local raccoons love all of them.

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