Wilson Farm Welcomes Spring with New Entrance

Wilson Farm is saying good-bye to the familiar white tents along Pleasant Street. For years the tents have welcomed customers to the stand with fresh local produce, seasonal specials, samples and demonstrations. This spring the tents will be replaced by a permanent, climate controlled greenhouse structure. “The tents are labor intensive, not weather tight, and not as aesthetically pleasing as the farm stand itself,” says Lauren Wilson, 5th generation family member. “The new entrance will be unimposing, visually pleasing, and will complement the barn.”

The Stand will remain open through out construction and Wilson Farm has worked hard to make sure there is no impact on the quality of customers’ shopping experience while the new greenhouse entrance is being built.

Rendering of new Greenhouse Entrance to be completed this spring at Wilson Farm

One big move might make shoppers who remember the “old” stand a little nostalgic. The cut flower department will move forward into the new structure, similar to its position years ago. The extra space in the stand will allow the Farm to expand its product selection. Here’s a hint -look for a greater number of refrigerated cases inside.

The new entrance reinforces Wilson Farm’s commitment to local agriculture by providing more room for fresh from their fields produce, as well as items from other local growers and producers. Lauren says the continued interest in local produce allows Wilson Farm to compete with larger chain stores, which unlike Wilson Farm do not grow their own produce.

Wilson Farm’s commitment to local business played a big part in designing the new space. “Wilson Farm has always made an effort to give back to Massachusetts, especially in their partnerships,” Wilson said. “We explored several options for the new entrance, including researching many different companies all around the world. We chose Private Gardens because they are family owned, have a great product and are right here in Massachusetts, making them an ideal designer for the project.”

Wilson Farm customers are sure to be pleased with the comfort and look of the new space, but they won’t be the only ones. Owner Scott Wilson is excited about the benefits of the new entrance, “I’m looking forward to the day when we don’t have to bang snow off the tents; when we don’t have to adjust displays because of the rain; and when customers can enter and not feel cold! The new entrance will provide immense benefits, including the ability to protect our customers from the elements.”

Wilson Farm is open year-round and is a multiple “Best of Boston” winner (now a “Classic” recipient). They have locally grown produce, house baked bread and sweets, freshly prepared take home meals, their own hen house eggs, top quality meats, dairy and cheeses from New England, beautiful cut flowers, and a huge selection of lush garden and indoor plants. For 127 years, Wilson Farm has been at 10 Pleasant Street in Lexington, Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.wilsonfarm.com.

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Rick Beyer-Bringing History to Life!

Filmmaker Rick Beyer filming on location in Luxembourg for The Ghost Army

As a boy of seven or eight, Rick Beyer crouched on Lexington Common with a pretend musket, shooting at the phantom British. His father, a physics professor at Brown University, had brought his son and daughter from East Providence to see where the opening shots were fired in the American Revolution: one of many family trips taken to historic sites. Through his dad’s influence Rick grew up loving history and “inundating long-suffering family and friends with [fascinating] tales from history.”

Now a Lexington resident, Rick credits that visit to the Green for being the start of his “study of Lexington.”

Carried into his adult life, this love of history has influenced his career as a documentary film maker (with work in progress titled “The Ghost Army,” about a deception unit in World War II) and an author of a newly released book of quirky historical facts. He’s also to be found in colonial garb as a tour guide at the Munroe or Buckman tavern, along with his costumed wife Marilyn Rea Beyer, the well-known WUMB radio talk show host.

For the past 15 years they have been involved in Lexington history projects with the Lexington Historical Society. “Marilyn and I are both real history enthusiasts,” says Rick of the couple who years ago responded to a mailing from the Historical Society inviting people to take part. Soon enough, they found themselves as costumed guides greeting visitors at the Buckman Tavern.

Filming at Munroe Tavern

Around six years ago they started a new aspect of their relationship with Susan Bennett, executive director of the Lexington Historical Society, who wanted a film depicting what led to the 1775 battle. Titled First Shot! The Day the Revolution Began, a seventeen-minute film directed and produced by Rick Beyer captured extensive re-enactments around Lexington, using actual locations whenever possible. Members of the Lexington Minutemen, re-enactors from three Redcoat regiments, guides and staff from the Historical Society, and many more volunteers filled the cast, including The Reverend Peter Meek, portraying Rev. Jonas Clarke, and actor Timothy John Smith as John Adams. One part of the documentary film recounts the little-known event  of Lexington’s own Tea Party where residents tossed tea onto a bonfire and pledged their lives and fortunes to opposing the Crown. Contributing voice-overs, Marilyn Rea Beyer links the re-enactment scenes.

This first of Rick Beyer’s collaborative projects showing how Lexingtonians became revolutionaries is shown at the Hancock-Clarke House. You can also watch the trailer on YouTube.

In 2010 the film won a Leadership in History Award from the American Association for State and Local History and was a finalist in the New York Festivals’ Film and Television Awards. Beyer has won multiple gold medals from the New York Festivals, several Telly Awards given for “excellence in local, regional, cable, TV commercials, non-broadcast video or TV program,”and four Emmy® awards.

Rick with Lincoln Clark and Carla Fortmann performing In Their Own Words.

Beyer has been able to “work history storytelling into [his] job description.” Creating history films and videos for almost a decade, he has worked with A&E, The History Channel, National Geographic, and the Smithsonian Institution, among others, making films on everything from the Emancipation Proclamation to the Wright Brothers. Actor Sam Waterston narrated “Timelab 200,” an acclaimed collection of 200 history minutes, produced by Beyer for The History Channel.  This “Timelab” collection led to his well-received series of books telling little-known historical stories; see sidebar for more information.

Back at the Lexington Historical Society, Rick wrote FirstSHOT: The Lexington Revolutionary Experience, a new guidebook to Lexington’s history, released this past April, with photographs by Paul Doherty.

Rick credits “others” for help with the book’s text, but he is the chief writer of this new publication which the Lexington Historical Society says “serves as a most complete and clearly presented guide to all the relevant revolution sites within the town of Lexington.”

From the monuments on Lexington Green to the Old Belfry, Lexington’s role in “the first events of the American Revolution” are documented and pictured. Rick uses first person accounts, feeling it is important to never make up things, as in docu-dramas. He prefers “to be wired to the historic record.”

This same line of reasoning carried to his next project with Sue Bennett for the Lexington Historical Society. Beyer created audio pieces played in the rooms of the Munroe Tavern telling the stories of the battle from the British point of view. The British infantry used the local, family-owned Munroe Tavern as a field hospital; and the day after the battle, the town doctor, Joseph Fiske, treated six or more British soldiers there. Audio pieces in each of the four rooms of the Tavern are told from either the British or the Monroe family viewpoints, using quotes written by the actual people of the time.

Beyer points out that “1700 British soldiers came through town that morning and most went back [to Boston] in the afternoon.” In an effort to “interpret the battle from the British experience, Sue Bennett wanted to tell their side; include their stories,” explained Beyer. The question to be answered might be “Who are the patriots? Those rising up or those defending the norm?” Rick has found that “everything looks different, depending on where you set up the camera. If you put the camera at a slightly different angle, you give a different point of view.”

The Lexington school system brought Rick and Marilyn Beyer to town in 1999. Their two children Andy and Bobbie first attended the Bridge Elementary and the Clarke Middle schools, before graduating from Lexington High School.  Bobbie went on to Tulane University in New Orleans and now works at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, where her mother also works. Andy is a struggling musician in Seattle. Lexington’s history continues to fascinate Rick and Marilyn and their local history projects help them share stories with history enthusiasts; both visitors and residents.

The Series: The Greatest Stories Never Told

Music lovers:   Listen up!

The Greatest Music Stories Never Told: 100 Untold Stories About Classical, Rock, and Jazz Music (Harper Collins, 2011) is Rick Beyer’s latest book. It’s the fifth in a series of books recording short, entertaining stories organized by title themes. Beyer’s “TimeLab History Minutes” for the History Channel led to the first book in the series, focusing, obviously, on history. Approaching Beyer during the TV production, a book agent suggested that they pitch the history minute materials with the History Channel’s support to book publishers.

The Greatest Music Stories Never Told

From sixteen proposals came four offers, with Harper Collins chosen as the series publisher for The Greatest Stories Never Told: 100 Tales from History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy in 2003. The series of little-known but fascinating tales developed from that simple start.

Next came The Greatest War Stories Never Told: 100 Tales from Military History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy (History Channel) in 2005, then The Greatest Presidential Stories Never Told: 100 Tales from History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy in 2007, followed by The Greatest Science Stories Never Told: 100 Tales of Invention and Discovery to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy in 2009. You get the drift. The books “all are tightly formatted. They look the same of the shelf except for different color spines,” explains Rick.  Each collection is “accompanied by an array of stunning and diverse photographs from around the globe,” reports the publisher.  The Chicago Tribune praised the series as “full of tasty morsels; A delightful book to arm one for the next dull cocktail party.”

When it comes to music history, the range slides from jazz to country and from classical to hip hop, as the book includes stories about composers, lyrics, and instruments. Arranged in chronological order, the stories begin with the “Hymn to Nikkal,” the oldest surviving song in the world, chiseled on a stone tablet in the Mediterranean 3,400 years ago up to the explanation of how Dr. Brian May is the only astrophysicist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; as the guitarist for the band Queen.

Rick reading from his latest book.

One 1908 tidbit tells how Jack Norworth, a 29 year-old vaudeville actor with the Ziegfeld Follies, dashed off a song about Katie Casey loving baseball. The song is not remembered today, but the chorus is known and sung by Red Sox Nation and all baseball lovers: “Take me out to the ball game.”

Reading cover to cover or skimming for topics of interest, readers will later smile as they recall terrific trivia when a familiar song comes on the iPod or radio. Whether it’s the story of the monk who taught his choir to sing Do-Re-Mi or the aviation pioneer who came up with Muzak, the book will be a favorite with music lovers of all ages; or, even with the history buffs of Lexington. Any of the five books in the series will be appreciated as gifts in the season ahead.

Videos and song clips related to stories in the music book are available at www.greateststoriesnevertold.com/musiclinks.

Contact Judy Buswick, another history and music enthusiast, at jt.buswick@verizon.net

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Harry’s Vision

Harry Forsdick

By Heather Aveson  |  Do you subscribe to the Lexington List? That’s Harry. How about ordering on Video on Demand from LexMedia. Harry, again. The new First Shot homepage and website for The Lexington Historical Society. You got it, Harry.

Harry Forsdick has offered his enthusiasm and vast technical expertise to organizations in town for most of the thirty-four years he and his family have lived in Lexington. He’s really stepped up his involvement recently. “Since I’ve retired I’ve focused on doing things for friends and neighbors,” he says. “The response is so much more immediate when you do something as a volunteer. I’d rather get a thank you than a paycheck with strings attached.”

It’s hard to imagine that Harry considers himself retired. He chats excitedly about all the ideas he’s already brought to fruition and really ramps it up when he gets talking about projects that lay ahead. He knows his strengths and is figuring out how to use them to help the community.

This month Harry will step down as Chairman of the Board of LexMedia after being a moving force behind the growth and expansion of the once struggling community access station. “Harry got us from the tiny, little Kite’s End studio to here. Harry really saved LexMedia,” credits Executive Director Florence DelSanto, “There was a period of turmoil before I arrived. Harry and the Board kept the place running on their own for about 6 months.”

Even through that rough patch Harry had a bigger vision for Lexmedia. “When I came in Harry showed me this debris filled cavern in a basement at Avalon. I thought, ‘what have I gotten myself into?’ But, four months later we moved into this incredible new studio space without being off the air for more than an hour,” Ms. DelSanto remembers. “He was able to take the vision and produce it technically. He was warm and supportive. He walked us through those early days.”

Harry also created a website for LexMedia that has become a model for other community access groups. He came up with a strategy to incorporate Video On Demand into the Lexmedia site in 2007. It was way ahead of what other groups were capable of at the time. Then at the 2010 Annual Meeting Harry unveiled a completely re-tooled LexMedia website. “We introduced a lot of on-line innovations in 2007 but I was spending too much time on the website. I discovered a system that anyone on the staff could use. I haven’t touched it since. That’s an example of how I step away,” says Harry.

He admits to being an early stage guy who prefers to get things up and running, then ‘step away.’ He likes the upfront planning, imagining the finished product and then seeing it come to fruition. Beyond that, “I’m not a good repeat guy.”

Harry with his wife Marsha Baker

As quickly as Harry gets one project up and running, new projects are in the pipeline. Harry’s wife Marsha Baker is a Guide and board member for the Lexington Historical Society. The society’s website just called out to Harry for reinvention. “People usually get involved with a group through their website. The society’s site was non-functional. So I upgraded it using the First Shot theme.” But again, Harry wanted others to be able to take over. “About a year ago I discovered a new platform that’s very simple to use so I reworked the site. I trained the administrators and Guides and now they’re doing it themselves. I consider that a victory.” Executive Director Susan Bennnet acknowledges his help, “Harry’s technical skills have been really important to the success of the Historical Society’s website. He was also responsible for bringing up all the Civil Rights materials for our program recently. We’re just very grateful to Harry for all that he does.”

Town Clerk Donna Hooper has worked with Harry on several town projects in the last few years. “I originally knew him as Marsha Baker’s husband. They’re each known in their own circles and they let each other shine.” Donna and Harry are now working away on the 300th Anniversary website. She sees something else behind his desire to ‘step away’. “Harry has the keen ability to use his technology knowledge and apply it to local organizations and government without overcomplicating it. He wants to empower other people to use it.”

The Lexington list is a great example of successfully making technology work for the community. Harry started it about 10 years. Members share opinions, news, and form a community on the list. Former selectwoman Jeanne Kreiger is a big fan. “At first people were a little suspicious. How was this going to work? But Harry made it clear that people needed to be respectful and responsible in their postings. And it’s grown from there.”

Harry at LexMedia Board Meeting

Kreiger says the extent of Harry’s impact on the town has really hit her in the last few weeks. “I was sponsoring a talk at the library and LexMedia showed up to cover it, that couldn’t have happened without Harry. Then when the storm hit I had no electricity. Without the Lexington List I wouldn’t had have any way of knowing what was going on in town. He backs up his ideas  and he does it in a way that has the community’s best interests at heart.”

As if all his community projects weren’t enough, Harry keeps coming up with new personal pursuits. He and his son have built a successful photo scanning business. “There are a lot of baby boomers like me who had kids before the digital age. I thought, – why don’t we offer a local photo scanning service where you can drop off your pictures and know they’re safe.” It’s really taken off.” True in the community, true at home, he’s letting his son take the lead – only offering advice and support when needed. By the way all you baby boomers, gather your boxes of old photos and visit www.lexingtonphotoscan.com.

Like a kid with a new toy, Harry practically jumps out of his chair with excitement explaining his latest project. Stick with me here as I attempt a clear explanation. It’s a book of paper cut outs of Lexington’s historic houses. The designs are based on 3D computer models that Harry is creating. They can be cut out and put together as 3D paper models. The project combines his interests in history, computers, modeling and architecture. He plans to offer the book to gift shops in Lexington and the surrounding area. With Harry’s record on follow through, I’d plan on giving his book as Christmas gifts by next year!

With so many interests it would be easy for Harry to step away from LexMedia completely, but he’ll remain on the board after giving up the Chair. “I’m thrilled at what LexMedia has accomplished in the last three years. It’s now a force in Lexington. I’m happy to be associated with the organization, that’s why I’m staying.”

And Florence Delsanto is happy he’ll be around too. “Harry taught me which things to worry about. If we hit black – he’d say, ‘don’t worry about it. But don’t mess up the Trivia Bee.’ ” She adds, “He’s just this big fuzzy guy who says, ‘We’re going to take care of this.’ “

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Annual Walk to Benefit The Children’s Room

Annual Walk to Benefit The Children’s Room

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Arlington Town Hall

1:00 pm

Join our inspiring fall fundraiser and largest community event of the year!

We will walk our 3 miles – RAIN OR SHINE!!


Honor the memory of a loved one, and help keep this essential program in place to support grieving children and teens after the death of a close family member.

To register for the walk, visit firstgiving.com/childrensroom, or visit childrensroom.org and be connected through our walk page. Registration is $20 for adults and $10 for children under 13. Registration includes t-shirt, entertainment, and refreshments. As in the past, we will include names of those we walk in memory of on the back of the t-shirt. The deadline for submission of names is 9/20/11.


To help us reach our fundraising goal, we encourage all registrants to create a personalized fundraising page – it is easy to do and is a great way to spread the word about the mission of The Children’s Room. Once established, your page can easily be forwarded to family friends and colleagues – maximizing fundraising opportunities. Utilizing facebook and social media is a great way to expand your outreach and reach your fundraising target.


With the support of sponsors, 100% of money raised at the Memories Walk will directly support essential programs at The Children’s Room. We have a variety of levels of sponsorship and look forward to expanding our network of corporate and organizational support. Sponsorship information is available on our website, childrensroom.org.


Matching Gifts are a great way to make donations go further. As a walker or donor, explore whether you, a family member or friend is employed at a company that offers matching gift benefits.

For information or questions about Memories Walk 2011, contact tricia@childrensroom.org

We are truly appreciative of your support, and look forward to walking with you on October 2nd!

The Children’s Room, Caring support for grieving children, teens & families

1210 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02476 781/641-4741


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