The approaching holidays are a time of tradition and rejoicing.
It will be cold, it will be dark, it will be miserable. No, no, no! Well, okay, cold. And dark more than half the time. But not miserable. As this issue resolutely sets out to prove.
The approaching holidays are a time of tradition and rejoicing. And over the years the contents of our winter issue have come to offer a bit of a dependable tradition – and rejoicing – in their own right.
Most gloriously, the issue includes our annual salute to Local Heroes. Writer Jeff Rollings, with the help of a few friends, has once again travelled the hills to bring you profiles of some of the truly amazing people who inspire us and who draw our community together.
This year, in a photo essay called Hands of Labour and Time, Dawna VanSoelen also pays tribute to some unsung heroes, the men and women whose lifetime of hard work and quiet dedication built the farm community where she grew up in East Garafraxa.
For well over a decade, another tradition of the winter issue has been our year-end reviews of new books by local authors and illustrators. Back in 1997, reviewer Tracey Fockler’s job was easy; her reviews of six books filled half a page. This year, she has read more than two dozen books to bring you several pages of reviews. They make for entertaining reading themselves – and, we hope, motivate you to sharpen your pencil to start your Christmas gift list.
As you do, you’ll also want to take a look at yet another of our annual highlights, reviews of new CDs by local musicians, courtesy of Lisa Watson. Lisa, a singer/songwriter herself, brings her distinctive style and insider’s perspective to sussing out the best of the local music scene. Need more information? You can visit our website and check out sample tracks from some of the CDs for yourself.
And the music doesn’t stop there. Lisa has also visited several house concerts and reports back on that particularly intimate way of enjoying live music. Julie Pollock takes a twirl around the floor at the Rosemont Fiddle and Square Dance Club. And Michele Green visits the Achill Choral Society as they rehearse for their performances of that most triumphant of all the season’s traditional music, Handel’s Messiah.
So, this winter, don’t huddle against the cold and dark. As Lisa Watson puts it, “get off your heiniekins” – and rejoice!