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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Beacon Bits - Glass Half Full

The fundraiser, "Brewed, Baked and Blown", held on Saturday, June 18th, for the benefit of renovations for The Beacon theater in affiliation with 4th Wall Productions( offered tastes of Keegan Ales ( in handblown beer glasses by glass artist Kathleen Andersen of Hudson Beach Glass ( The perfectly shaped-for-every-size-hand, classic beer glass measuring 1/2 pint was a gift to those who attended the benefit; each glass wore it's Frost & Justice medallion in honor of the recipes of two local brewed beers from rival families that apparently brought everyone in two neighboring towns together. Kathleen demonstrated her glassblowing technique and was a joy to watch as she effortlessly rolled, sealed and stamped a finished product. In her own words, she explains how she uses her creative talent under the watchful eye of John and Wendy, co-owners of Hudson Beach Glass, in the landmark firehouse with the kiln that is always fired up at the west end of town: "I graduated in 2008 with a BFA from Alfred University, with a Concentration in Glass and Painting. My love for teaching comes from the basic joy of sharing something I love with others. Being present to see the surprise and wonder on a student's face the first time they work with the glass, to seeing the satisfaction and joy that is present when they finish a piece, is what makes teaching glass so amazing, and fun." Kathleen radiated as she spoke about her passion with her own inner fire;  she exuded enthusiasm and undoubtedly inspires others to give it a try in one of her classes. She makes it look deceptively easy, a hallmark of an excellent teacher.

The evening was gentle with the extended evening light of early summer under a tent on Main Street with local artisan cheeses from Sprout Creek Farm (, tastes of All You Knead Bread (  and three choices of ale. A vote was cast to determine which ale would be served on tap at one of the theater's storefronts.

While the tastings were in the foreground, the background held the variety of Beaconites who had come out to support the event. I met a few new neightbors and by chance, two of them were new to Beacon and both had started a dog walking business. I was fascinated with Liz, formerly employed as an aerospace engineer, and married to a physics professor at West Point, she re-invented herself to become a service provider ( She, like Kathleen, was full of youthful energy, drive and passion. Their positive mood was contagious.

So the overall theme of the evening was hopeful anticipation - new creations, new adventures, new performances. Some food for thought: the community of Beacon is like holding a glass that is half full. Halfway to reaching its full potential. Half of the journey complete. Halfway home. It feels right to join in to support the momentum so we can move forward together.

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