An Emmy Award-winning reporter and host for WGBH, Boston’s PBS television outlet, and its NPR radio station, WGBH-FM, Jared Bowen exudes the calm and authoritative demeanor viewers have come to expect from a seasoned journalist. As the city’s only remaining television arts and entertainment reporter, this Emerson College alum is also a busy guy, covering multiple cultural events a week in Boston and beyond. He hosts the weekly TV show “Open Studio with Jared Bowen,” contributes to WGBH-TV’s nightly news program “Greater Boston” and is a commentator for “Morning Edition” and the mid-day show “Boston Public Radio.” It should be noted that the dapper, blue-eyed bachelor possesses a finely tuned sense of humor and hasn’t – at least as far as we can tell – let all of his success go to his head. We caught up with the down-to-earth media maven in between him interviewing an Obie Award-winning playwright and prepping for a piece with a New York Times’ bestselling author.
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Confession: I’ve never wanted to be a personal shopper. There, I said it. I love to shop and am all about finding the perfect fashion solution but with the majority of personal shopping services tied to a single store, it didn’t seem like a good fit. I’m an independent fashion stylist who craves the creative freedom to be able to mix brands and price points to serve a customer’s needs. I also had reservations about the customer wondering if the advice and guidance they received was somehow influenced by personal shoppers, whose compensation is tied to how much the customer spends. All that changed when Copley Place started a new personal shopping program that allows their personal shopper to bring customers to any retailer within the mall. And it’s free to customers! With the focus 100% on finding the right options for customers, let’s just say I was “all in.”
“Fashion is what you buy. Style is what you do with it” – unknown. Great style has the power to transform and change not only how you feel, but how others view you. Gender, age, body type, or even budget are irrelevant because ultimately, confidence is the goal. When you feel like you’re presenting your best self you stand taller, you’re happier, and you feel ready for success. I’m obsessed with finding the dress that will flatter your figure perfectly, the jeans that make you want to strut, the suit you will reach for when you need super powers. I have created thousands of looks for the fashion shows I produce, the photo shoots I contribute to, and the clients I serve. Dressing models is big fun and I love it, but being able to help real people with their fashion needs is tremendously rewarding.
Whether shopping for gifts, special occasion outfits, or adding key pieces to your wardrobe, I will show you options that fit your unique individual style and budget. Some retailers will even extend special unpublished discounts and benefits to guests when shopping with me – sweet! No sales pressure – this is all about providing you with an exceptional personal styling and shopping experience.
See you soon!
After years of practicing the theory that one winter day is like the next, I’m on to the reality that it’s not true.
One day it’s dry but really, really cold. The next day it’s cold with 2-feet of snow. A day later the snow melts and there’s 6 inches of slush off each curb. Then four days later it’s 45 degrees and raining. That’s why we all need more that one pair of winter boots.
The following are do and don’t categories of boot wear.
Knock yourself out in this category because there are a ton of boots available everywhere you go – from over-the-knee, to knee high, to mid calf and bootie style. If you wear a boot like a shoe, you need several pairs of everyday boots, at least one pair with a heel.
DEEP SNOW & COLD
Ugg’s – they finally make a decent snow boot
All too ugly you say? Just try them. You’ll want to wear them every day.
Pajar – Cute but not all are fully waterproof and often only come in full sizes.
COLD & SLUSHY
La Canadienne – trust the Canadians to get a cold weather boot right, oh and the Italians aren’t half bad either.
Frye – who can wear these? Love the way they look, hate the way they feel.
Hunters: At your own risk.
La Canadienne or Aquitalia: Trust anything lined that’s waterproof.
Hunters: A lot of people swear by these boots for heavy rain and slushy snow. Me, I swear at them. They aren’t warm and they have no give, making them impossible to pull on and off, plus you can feel the water through the boot.
And that’s my tutorial. Boot-Up.
Carol Beggy, styleboston editor at large, teamed up with renowned Boston photographer Bill Brett again for “Boston: Irish,” a 304-page book that was just released from Three Bean Press. It is their fifth collaboration together. We’ve selected 15 images from the 266 black-and-white photographs of those in the city’s Irish-American community from the book. “Boston: Irish” is available area stores and on Amazon.com.
The three-time Super Bowl champion quarterback is proud of his Irish roots and spoke about them at length to reporters when the New England Patriots played at Wembley Stadium in Great Britain in 2009. Tom is shown at an annual event at Harvard Stadium that he hosts to support the non-profit organization Best Buddies International.
“Most of my books are odes to sections of one city,” author Dennis Lehane told a television crew about his fascination with Boston, his hometown. He is the author of a dozen books, three of which – “Mystic River,” “Gone Baby Gone,” and “Shutter Island” – were turned into movies.
Founded in 1992, this group represents law enforcement from around the region. The members can trace their roots back to a half-dozen counties in Ireland. Among their many accomplishments is the distinction of leading Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade each year.
That Marty Walsh’s campaign to be the 54th mayor of Boston grew from support in his Dorchester neighborhood to a broad coalition that included every part of the city was never more evident than on election night November 5, 2013.
A watercolorist and illustrator from South Boston, Dan uses his considerable talent to document familiar Boston scenes and capture the Ireland (and Boston) he remembers.
For his inauguration, Mayor Walsh called upon Yo-Yo Ma to play during the ceremony at the Conte Forum at Boston College. The famed cellist artfully managed to play “Danny Boy” between more classical selections. City Clerk Maureen Feeney and City Councilors Michael F. Flaherty and Stephen J. Murphy are shown on stage listening to the performance.
Sara and Diarmuid O’Neill, both Irish immigrants, met while working at Irish bars in downtown. The couple, who now own The Squealing Pig, the Tavern at the End of the World and others, adopted four children from Ethiopia. The children are, from left, Rahel, 7; Bezawit, 10; Selamawit, 8; “and, finally, our wee boy is Andualem, and he is five,” Sara said.
The development of the South Boston waterfront as a thriving new hub of the city seems so obvious in 2014, but, just 10 years earlier, there were many who thought that Joe Fallon was taking a huge risk trying to build where others had failed. Joe’s Fan Pier project is located between the Moakley Federal Courthouse and the Institute of Contemporary Art.
This actor and singer does a lot of charity work, but his support of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear is personal. As parents of a child with severe hearing loss, Joey and his wife, Barrett, are supporters of Mass Eye and Ear’s Curing Kids Fund and its annual gala.
The first thing Bill Brett noticed about Sister Evelyn Hurley, SCN, who was walking in South Boston, was her coat, which she knitted herself. The city marked the nun’s 99th birthday by naming March 7m 2014, Sister Evelyn Hurley Day in Boston.
This charismatic creator and host of WGBH-TV’s “Rough Cut: Woodworking with Tommy Mac” was born the eighth of nine children to hardworking parents in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood.
After 27 years as a reporter and columnist for the Boston Herald, Margery Eagan joined The Boston Globe in July 2014 as a columnist for its Catholicism-news website, Crux. Margery and Jim Braude host a three-hour weekday issues talk show on WGBH-FM.
When Donnie and Mark Wahlberg walked the red carpet with their mother, Alma, on this occasion in 2013, it was to celebrate the work of their brother Chef Paul Wahlberg and the opening of the family’s first Wahlburgers restaurant.
She has performed all over the world, but Kay Hanley remains at heart an Irish-Catholic girl from Dorchester. “It’s who I am to my marrow,” says the singer who is best known for her time with the alternative band Letters to Cleo.
A leader in Boston’s culinary community, Barbara Lynch didn’t always have an easy path to success. She grew up in the Mary Ellen McCormack Housing Project and now oversees a $25-million restaurant group that includes No. 9 Park, B&G Oysters, and Menton.
Jeff Lahens (DressCode Boston) caught up with his friend actor Jay Harrington, star of the USA Network show Benched, for a quick interview on Twitter. Here’s a transcript of what the Boston area native is up to and what he thinks his character’s chances are in a TV pickup game of street basketball.
Jay Harrington retweeted a Tweet you were mentioned in:
Dec 29: TODAY, 1PM EST join the chat via @styleboston w/ BOSTON’s own @jayharrington3 of @BenchedUSA #styleboston #BenchedUSA
Q: @styleboston: what’s your relationship w/New England? #BenchedUSA #styleboston
A: Grew up in Wellesley Ma love to visit as often as possible U could say it’s a serious long dist 1
Q: Where do you live now?
A: Santa Monica, Calif.
Q: How do you rep #Boston in LA and NYC?
A: .@RedSox trailer hitch on my truck
Q: We’ve learned that you’re a @SyracuseU alumnus. What did you study?
A: drama @SU_VPA @SUDrama_VPA
Q: Where did you go to high school? What sports did you play?
A: Wellesley High, hockey
Q: Do you bleed Orange for @Cuse or Green for @Celtics? 🙂
Q: What character do you play @BenchedUSA?
A: Phil Quinlan part attorney part gambler
Q: Tell us about @BenchedUSA.
A: Honest look at life of public dfndrs,workplace ensemble comedy
Q: PHIL @BenchedUSA vs HARVEY @Suits_USA on the basketball court. Who wins?
A: Phil #whosgotnext
Q: PHIL @BenchedUSA vs JACK MCCOY in the court room. Who wins?
A: Sam Waterston ftw, but Phil at the bar
Q: When discussing fashionable cities, Boston is rarely mentioned. How do you feel about that?
A: #Boston has TONS of style! W/ so many diff universities and cultures repping individual tastes together in an amazing city!
Q: What are 3 words to describe Phil’s style @BenchedUSA?
A: last min, hungover chic
Q: Who are your style icons?
A: Cary Grant was the man #whosgotnext
Q: Who is the best looking man on TV right now?
A: Ted Danson & scrawny arms @RobLowe
Q: Favorite TV shows when you were growing up?
A: $6 Million Man, Family Ties, Batman w/ @TheRealAdamWest
Q: Name your favorite restaurants/bars in Boston?
A: Clark’s Faneuil Hall, @LibertyHotel
Q: What’s a must-see or must-do in Boston?
A: #FreedomTrail, #CapeCod, @RedSox #FenwayPark
Q: Who will the @Patriots play in the Superbowl this year? 🙂
Editor’s note: The last exchange prompted @RhettNFL to Tweet: The Pats are in the Super Bowl already??? To which Jay Harrington replied: My New Year’s Resolution – to be positive.
Everyone wants to get back to the “simple, youthful” days. When we think of soul music we think of the legendary Prince. So why not sit back and add a little soul, hip-hop and rock & roll to your mix.
The brilliant, 4-piece band, Young Pandas from Providence, RI. has risen out of a collaboration with the Grammy award winning engineer for The Roots. You just have to hear them and dance. They were influenced by talented bands such as Miike Snow, Bon Iver, J Dilla, and Bad Rabbits and their unique name, Young—meaning fun and unafraid to push the limits, and Pandas–a rare and endangered species, makes you want to know who these guys really are. Listen to their hit track called, “Change.” The upbeat tempo allows you to sing along and dance, but also allows you to understand the lyrics. With beautiful vocals, guitars, bass, drums and more…it’s a great atmosphere.
You can catch them on a national tour this March thru April, in 13 cities and part of the huge SXSW showcase in Austin, TX. Their new EP comes out in March right before they hit the road. Don’t forget to check them out; watch their videos and progress on the road.
It’s great to call these guys my friends and I love giving them support throughout their music careers.
Sonny and Cher broke up. Then Donnie and Marie went off the air. That’s when I knew the world wasn’t all sunshine and roses. I was alone. I was adrift among boring people who were not a little bit country, nor were they a little bit rock ‘n’ roll. They didn’t have long, black, sleek hair and narrow waists and tiny slits for belly buttons. It was a sad world. I wasn’t with raconteurs who could playfully banter back and forth. The world I was in moved slowly and lacked rhythm and sludged along like a broken worm.
I was eight. I knew I needed excitement. I knew that there was more out there than puffy cheese bake and my sister’s hand-me-downs. It was right there on the part TV/ part table: sitting right under Grandma Barbara’s ceramic Christmas tree was a cathode ray window to a life bursting with possibility and sequins and feathered hair.
I lay my head back on my Wonder Woman pillowcase and pulled my blue and white striped blanket that my great-grandma Ellen had knitted for me up to my chin. She was 95. The oldest person I ever knew. She said that if she ever went blind and couldn’t knit, she’d rather die. I thought that was a fair thing to say because it was clear that she loved to knit. She had knitted blankets for all of my nine brothers and sisters. Eventually, she did go blind and she did die.
I stared up to the plaster ceiling – the one with the swirls and points that looks like frosting. I thought, “How do I get out of here?” I looked at my pink record player spinning unevenly and the needle doing its best on a warped surface as it played the soundtrack from “Bambi.” It was about the twelfth time I’d played it. I didn’t particularly like it, but it was the only record I had. It was the day after Christmas. I had opened the “Bambi” record just as my older sister, Sue, was opening her “Grease” album. I thought that was a really stupid thing for my Mom to do. I liked “Grease,” too. I just wasn’t allowed to see the movie because it was too racy. “Bambi” was for babies. Sue told me all about the movie anyway and the pictures on the album told the story. There was this proper looking pretty girl in bobby socks and saddle shoes who transformed into a sexy, leather-wearing, wild-haired bombshell. I didn’t get it. Killing Bambi’s mother was ok? The mere thought of it put a giant lump in my throat that I couldn’t swallow past.
So, after Sonny and Cher and Donny and Marie, I guess the record was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. I knew I had to run away. But how? Even though Br’er Bear told Br’er Rabbit, “You can’t run away from trouble.” I knew I needed to get the hell out of dodge.
This place, where I had to pick up after myself, where my sister got better presents under the tree, where my brothers were getting too strong to wrestle and where life was drab and dull and you could get in trouble for just sticking your finger in the peanut butter jar, was clearly not for me. Everyone else was downstairs playing with their new toys.
I could hear my brother riding his Big Wheel down the hall and “Bambi” was not doing a good job drowning out “Grease.” My sister had it blaring on the stereo in the living room and she was practicing her ballet recital to “Summer Nights.” The smell of the pot roast wafted up the stairs and into my room.
I thought about things that would be practical to take. A couple of bathing suits, my favorite Barbie, my piggy bank. I had been saving up for this day. The piggy bank was going to be a problem because it was really heavy and about the size of a football. My brothers had claimed I stole a lot of the coins from their room but I didn’t consider it stealing when my life was at stake and my future hung on a teetering see saw in the balance.
No one even noticed when I tip-toed down the stairs, carefully skipping the step that made a loud creak. I hated hats and mittens. They just made me itch. I did have my sister’s hand-me-down plaid coat with a hood and her hand-me-down Barbie rubber boots. I closed the door quietly just as my brother, wearing a Daniel Boone hat with the raccoon tail came roaring down the hall on his Big Wheel.
“Why do you want to run away?” My mom had spotted me out the kitchen window. I hadn’t planned my exit strategy that well. I should have used the back door. She approached me in the yard just at the edge of the woods; because I wasn’t “running away”, I was just walking away. Her moo moo was see-through and her arms had goose bumps since she had only draped one of the many afghan blankets across her shoulders. Her rabbit slippers barely covered her feet.
She eased herself down on the bench to the picnic table. She moved like she was pregnant even though she wasn’t. My younger brother was five.
Words couldn’t form so I just shrugged my shoulders to my ears. “Are you upset?” I could see she was mocking me. “Are you not happy here?” I stared at her but there were so many problems I didn’t know where to start. “Well,” she said, “What did you pack? Can I see?” I handed over my fairy princess suitcase. She unclicked the latches and the hinges splayed open on the frozen front lawn revealing the satin pink fabric inside and my important belongings. She started to smile but caught herself because she knew she was this close to losing her ninth child to the unknown. “There’s not much in here to stay warm at night.” She was right. I had actually meant to grab my Black Beauty sleeping bag but forgot. “And, what about food?” I glanced at my piggy bank. “Oh, that was smart.” I nodded. “But maybe you should get some food from the pantry in case you’re walking a long time before you get to a store.” She rose from the bench and I got a faint hint of her sweet mom smell as she moved. I followed her into the house. “Maybe we should make those Christmas cookies we never got around to making.” She held the door for me. “You could take them with you.” My Mom’s tone was fun. Even excited. I knew that cookies weren’t practical for running away and a box of cereal would be better but I was actually hungry. I could almost taste the cookie dough. “I will run away another time,” I thought.
With much of the western world awash with Christmas Markets, Ben Illis took a trip to Munich, capital of the German region of Bavaria, to check out where it all began: 48 Hours at the Christmas Markets – and galleries – of Munich, an Instagram tour…”
We all have holiday parties to get ready for, but who actually has the time to do it? I found the perfect dream team at Mario Russo. This lovable duo, Tavi DelaRosa and Violet Furxhi can take you from plain Jane to gorgeous diva in no time! I got to the salon at 11:00am and sat in Tavi’s chair.
He focuses his attention on the eyes because that is what people are drawn to. When discussing what was hot for holiday parties, Tavi said silvers, golds, and color with shimmer. He asked me what colors I liked and if I preferred smoky eye or natural eye. Of course I am drawn to smoky eye, it’s my signature look, and I feel like it’s a nod to my dear friend Marilyn Riseman. She was the doyenne of smoky eye. Tavi likes to build your whole look based on what you decide on for your eyes. We decided on blues because that would bring out my brown eyes.
**A little trick that I learned from Tavi is to use a cool blow dryer and diffuse it with your hand to help set the eyelash glue faster and stronger. Voila! I was done and makeup ready!
I wore a cute, plaid, button down shirt that I got from Intermix at the #msfitforsociety for Tedy’s Team event, because the last time I came in for an updo, I had a turtleneck on, which we all know is a no-no for updos because who can get the thing over their head without messing up their hair?
Fractal has been a favorite of mine after continually catching my ear with his electro house tracks via Monstercat Records. Itvara takes the number one spot in my book. It’s a great track for both the underground and mainstream music listeners to enjoy. Why? The beat is effortless and the breathy lyrics are a great addition to the euphoric atmosphere of the track. It gives you that authentic electro house sound with a mainstream twist; the lyrics. What makes my heart really flutter is the ebb and flow of buzzing synthesizers mixed with funky guitar twangs. The sounds are very different and blend beautifully together. Itvara is a magical electric creation that takes you into a floaty bass-happy playground. It’s always fun to get a little weird…Fractal should bring out your best parent-dancing moves on the floor and get your tush moving on the treadmill at the gym with this track. Give it a listen below – you can even download it for free, legally if you really like it. I love Monstercat!
With the Winter Solstice upon us this Sunday, the cold is officially here to stay. There are plenty of options for winter layers to satisfy everyone’s taste. Bundle up and stay warm with these trends.
This is really a time-honored style that’s currently on trend. Go with the classic wool or change it up with novelty yarns such as mélange boucle. 3/4” sleeves are key. This shape fits nicely with the boyfriend & menswear inspired look. But if you aren’t interested in androgyny, the look is easily feminized with pumps and the right accessories. Just think Audrey Hepburn.
The popular prints are bold flowers and plaid. Florals are reinvented each season and plaid is a staple for winter, you just don’t always see them as jackets. You can go head to toe in prints this season if you are feeling daring.
Combining different materials and textures makes for my favorite outfits. It’s even better when they are combined in one piece. My favorite purchase this season is my Vera Wang Faux Leather Sleeve Asymmetrical Down Coat (available online at Nordstrom). I’m very picky about polyurethane, but this is the closest I have seen to replicating genuine leather. The big collar is made of boucle yarns offering warmth and drama. It is a refreshing step away from your typical down jacket.
This looks plays nicely with all of the trends. It can add an element of surprise to a classic cocoon or push the envelope on a printed jacket. Sherpa collars are intro to the Boho spring 2015 trend.
This look is everywhere and can be found in a range of price points. You will see it a lot in the army green color that has been popular for outwear for the last few seasons. The body colors are dark and basic with a variety of fur collars and hoods.
So you’re on your way to a hot holiday party, a black tie bash, an intimate house party or maybe one of those big drafty ballroom fundraisers and you know you’ll be freezing once inside because even though it’s winter you are wearing sleeveless. Meanwhile outside it’s either blizzard-like, or a wintry mix of sleet and ice, combined with a muddy mish-mash of turf and ice-balls to maneuver under foot. In other words, you need to bring a few extra clothing and footwear options with you but all you have is that canvas L.L. Bean bag and it’s really not all that festive and besides, it’s still carrying traces of last summer’s beach sand, which, quite frankly, is depressing since you don’t want a reminder of what you will not see for another six months. That’s the problem, now here’s the solution – a zippered sequined tote bag. The zipper keeps things dry, it’s got party-ready presentation and believe it or not, the sequins deflect water. Get one large enough to carry a warm cashmere pashmina, an extra pair of shoes and then your boots once you’ve made the switch, your evening handbag and whatever assorted items you might need. Carry it with you all night or store it with coat-check once you’ve made the shoe switch. Call it the evening big bag theory. Find sequined totes at Wal-Mart, on line at TheFind, DanceSupply – ranging from $10.00 to $59.00. Then of course there’s Prada for $1350.00.
On Thursday December 11th, I attended Michael DePaulo’s launch party for his new clothing line MDP. The best and the brightest in fashion gathered on the second floor of The Tannery at Curated by the Tannery. Michael is a dear friend and business partner of mine so I was happy to oblige when he asked me to wear one of his new designs at the fete.
A favorite of mine was an hourglass color block dress with short sleeves available in short and long lengths. The color blocking has a way of slimming the figure. I also liked how DePaulo delved into bright colors with this collection, as in this green and blue peplum dress.
A bright fuchsia pantsuit had a Chanel feel to it, and I loved the cigarette length and cut of the pants, but wasn’t too keen how the jacket came together in the front. His best success seemed to be when he stuck to the blacks, charcoals and whites.
These events are always fun for me because I get to catch up a bit with my girlfriends and hostesses Linda Henry, investor and muse to Michael De Paulo, and Adriana Hassan, wife of Tarek Hassan, who owns The Tannery.
Other guests included JB Dowd, Tiffany Dowd of LuxeTiffany and Eric Jausseran of the French Consulate.
There was no shortage of Latina designers, as swimsuit creator Sinesia Karol was also in the house to support Michael. The beautiful Erica Almeida of Maggie Inc. modeled MDP fashions too, and gave us a peek into how gorgeous each and every one of the designs can be on a perfect body. However, personally, I think I sold more dresses wearing the charcoal, black and white dress because, though the guests were all very fit, their bodies were more like mine than Erica’s! The MDP spring 2015 collection is available immediately at The Tannery.
There’s that one song that you’ve heard, that stays in your head. It starts off with a little synth and eventually warps full speed into dubstep that makes even Skrillex think twice. The lyrics make you want to cry but at the same time fills you with joy. “It feels like I am just too close to love you,” a British voice sings as the baseline drops. The song is “Too Close,” and the voice is British singer-songwriter Alex Clare, from South East London, UK. “Too Close” hit #4 on the UK charts and the US at #68 in March 2012 with his album, “The Lateness Of The Hour.” Also making the greatest appearance in a commercial for Internet Explorer 9 in the US. TV shows have placed this song in almost every possible spot, which was a huge wake up call for Clare.
Signed to Island Records UK and Universal Republic Records in the US, Clare has really made a name for himself. If you’ve never seen him live and up close, here is your chance. He will be at the House of Blues Boston on Monday December 22, 2014. Bringing you the upbeat tempo that cheers you up for the holiday spirit.
In medieval times, knights fought the battle between good and evil, light and darkness, right and wrong…today, some young, modern-day knights are facing an even tougher battle.
CALLIE THE CONQUEROR
Callie Herschfield is a tiny wisp of a thing, standing less than five feet tall and weighing only 80 pounds. The 14 year old from Scituate has a soft voice and sweet smile, but don’t let this fool you; she is one tough young lady.
“She’s a warrior,” said Donna Green.
Callie’s “warrior” status isn’t because she’s dressed a little bad-ass this day in a black Aerosmith T-shirt, jeans and black boots, or because she’s wearing funky, oversized aviator sunglasses. It isn’t even because she casually strapped on a helmet and climbed on a big — really big — motorcycle with her dad Ken.
Callie is a warrior because she kicked cancer’s butt — at a place called Magical Moon Farm.
Magical Moon is a 160-year-old farm on five acres of land in Marshfield. Quite literally, it is a magical place where wind chimes echo down the stone path to the butterfly garden and fairy figurines peak out from among the flowers. It’s where massive sunflowers tower over the chicken coop and a lone peacock deigns to live among the many hens and roosters there.
Adding to the mystical scene, towards the back of the farm, up a small incline are twelve brightly colored chairs in a semi-circle in front of a fire pit. The wooden chairs have high backs reminiscent of medieval times – sort of a Knights of the Round Table, but through a child’s eyes.
The property was once a sea captain’s home, then a boarding home, before becoming an auction house, but in it’s latest adaptation, the farm, with its organic gardens and whimsical air, is a haven for children facing cancer; a place where they can feel strong, empowered, and not alone. [huge_it_slider id=”5″]
Donna Green, famed illustrator of an edition of the children’s book classic, The Velveteen Rabbit, bought the property 15 years ago. She was looking for a big barn in which to store her books, what she found when she first saw the place was a huge four-story barn and an even bigger vision of what she must do with the property.
“The property had an essence when I first came here,” she said. “I saw it completely done with orchards and gardens, animals and fun things for kids to do. I envisioned children learning about healthy ways to become survivors of life-threatening diseases and conditions.”
Her vision was to bring sick children here and give them something else to focus on: gardening, writing, music, good food, the arts and learning ways to survive.
She would also invite the child to take on a mission, a project to make the world a better place. The project would help the child focus on something other than chemo, radiation and hair loss. The goal: knighthood and finding their inner strength.
ALISON THE AWESOME
Alison was the child of one of Green’s friends, and the first “knight” of Magical Moon Farm. She was 19 years old and battling leukemia.
“She was a beautiful artist,” said Green. “She felt like my own daughter, I felt like my own soul was inside of her.”
Alison was the inspiration for a beautiful butterfly garden on the farm. Her picture stands at the gate, in her memory. Alison the Awesome became an Angel Knight in 2008.
CALLIE THE CONQUEROR?
“I wasn’t really into it, I didn’t care. I was…not really happy.”
Not exactly a magical reaction to the farm, but an honest one on the part of a sick kid. Callie, then 10 years old, was in the midst of chemotherapy, had no hair and was brought to a farm where she didn’t know anyone.
Slowly, she became part of it. She started working with Green on painting the things she loved. She adored sea life and Green sent her to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute on Cape Cod to go below with scientists and learn about endangered sea life. Callie got to feed a sea turtle and that was the subject of her first painting. Since that time she’s painted numerous others. She always gravitated to the animals at the farm. “She has a way with animals that is magical,” said Green.
“I would just go there and there would be other people to hang out with, other kids who would make you feel better,” said Callie. “Some of them were sick, some of them were just there. Everyone knows what’s going on but they’re all here to support you.”
Callie’s dad Ken noticed a big transformation in his daughter after she started going to Magical Moon.
“She was young and quiet, (then) I think she got more confident,” he said.
And that is why Callie and her family support Magical Moon Farm, by riding a motorcycle.
On a hot Sunday afternoon, too hot for the end of September, 200 bikers gathered in an Elks Lodge parking lot in Weymouth to take part in a special ride to raise money for the Magical Moon Foundation. Despite 80-degree temperatures, many wore jeans and leather. Black was the popular color and multiple tattoos the norm. On the outside, this looked like one tough crowd, on the inside though, it was all mush. The ride took them past the magical farm they were supporting, where the children waited on the side of the road to cheer them.
Green said the kids at her farm often times feel like misfit toys. “Bikers can be misfit toys too,” said Green. “These big, tough bikers in leather had tears in their eyes.”
Callie the Conqueror rode tall and proud behind her father on that very big bike. She rode to celebrate four years cancer free and also for the other kids at Magical Moon Farm, facing what she faced and hoping to beat it too.
Green has lost some of her knights; you can see the sadness deep in her eyes, but instead of focusing on the sorrow, Green turns it around and teaches her knights-in-training to be strong and to be survivors.
“I focus on the positive, that’s what I tell the children, ‘Focus on the positive, detach from negativity and turn every challenge into an opportunity,’” said Green.
“Yes, it’s difficult, but it’s all about living — it’s not about dying.”
Learn more about The Magical Moon Farm
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