The Persuasions are one of the world's premiere a capella groups who began singing together in Brooklyn on street corners and subway stations in the 1960s. From there they went on to release 20 albums. How did they come to our little town? You may remember the tragedy of the death of 19 year old Frankie DeMeo, captain of Nashoba Regional's wrestling squad. Vinnie Sestito, an entertainment industry executive and Stow resident, brought the Persuasions here to kick off the Frankie DeMeo Memorial Scholarship Fund. The fund, which is being run by high school students, aims to create "a Northeastern experience inside the high school," according to Sestito. The reference is to Northeastern University's well-known internship program that combines classroom experience with real-world training. The fund aims to help learning disabled students achieve their potential. Frankie struggled with an autism spectrum disorder, but through wrestling and hard work became a success in high school and was preparing for college.
Donations can be sent to Frankie DeMeo Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Nashoba Regional Scholarship Fund, PO Box 523, Bolton, MA 01740.
The social and entertainment event of the year in our neck of the woods has to be the Battle of the Bands at Nashoba Regional High School in Bolton. This is the second annual event and proceeds benefit the Friends of Sudanese, an organization that assists Sudanese refugees who were brought to the Boston area in 2001 by the State Department after 9 years in a Kenyan refugee camp. Last year, my wife and I had the opportunity to meet one of these refugees who told us how different life is here and helped us to appreciate just how great this country is.
I bring my daughters to this annual event because there are very few opportunities for 9 and 6 year olds to see live rock concerts. To them, these musicians are every bit as famous as Avril Lavigne or Miley Cyrus—well, okay maybe not that famous. They dress up in their concert gear (i.e., leather) and sit in the front row and take in all the sights and sounds. They have a couple of teachers host the event, with some bad jokes that the students are quick to jump on, and this year's show was coordinated by Stow's Sam Tobia. They have judges. They have scoring. And, yes, they have a winner. But the winner doesn't get a recording contract. Instead they get a $100 gift certificate to a local music shop. What did you think this was Fox's America's Best Band?
Top Image: Stow's Adrienne Wickham-Gobert adds a female vocal presence to the all-acoustic trio The Travis and Wes Experience (plus Adi). Bottom Image: Stow's Mike Sestito fronts for the rock band Timeless Infamy.
Shelburne Farm is right around the corner from our house and is one of the five apple orchards we have in Stow. Each orchard has its own appeal and, if you are somewhat local, I suggest you check them all out. Owner Ted Painter was one of the recipients of a grant to plant tall spindled apple trees-a modern advance in orchard design. And did they plant: 1400 of them to be exact, spaced about three feet apart. These aren't the apple trees you are used to seeing that are broad and planted far apart. It was quite a sight as a tractor pulled a large spade that prepared the planting for each tree. As you can see from the images, the planter just places a tree in the trough every three feet and someone comes along behind them and fills in the dirt.