Traveling New England this Season

People cruise Commercial St. in Provincetown, Mass., Provincetown was the site of the first landing of the Mayflower.

By Tam McClure
Staff Writer

Summer in New England is a wonderful time of year. As a southerner who spent an entire summer traveling around New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and other locales I found it to be an incredible experience. I can say honestly that New England hospitality rivals southern hospitality every day of the week!

Apr 21 – May 5 – Daffodils At Dusk – Bristol, RI – Blithewold Mansion and Arboretum will host Fairy Garden Days at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center – Providence, RI. located at 1000 Elmwood Ave. Fairy Garden Days 2017 will feature more than 100 handmade homes. Guests may go on a scavenger hunt in four greenhouses, play games in the Gnome Village, join adventures in the Pixie Paradise Campground, and watch daily lady bug releases. Frenchy’s Popcorn Food Truck will provide snacks. Visitors are encouraged to dress as fairy folk. Time: Tuesdays – Sundays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: Adults, $7; seniors, military, and children age 6-12, $4. Call 401-680-7250 for more details.

June 10 – Harriet Beecher Stowe House Grand Re-Opening located at 77 Forest Street Hartford, CT. After an 18-month renovation, the National Historic Landmark Harriet Beecher Stowe House reopens with a new interactive tour. See beautifully preserved interiors; learn what compelled Stowe to write the anti-slavery novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”; discuss 19th century social issues. Guests may take a horse-drawn carriage ride, meet Harriet Beecher Stowe, play games, enjoy food vendors, eat birthday cake for Stowe’s 206th birthday. Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Find more details and admission fees online at the harrietbeecherstowecenter.org

Performers at the Catskills Irish Arts Week,

July 9-16 – 23rd Annual Catskills Irish Arts Week which is a week of celebration for all ages with music, song, dance, language and crafts amidst a genuine Irish Village in East Durham, NY. New this year is a Lunchtime Chat at The Tailteann House with Daniel Neely July 10-14 at 12:15 daily. Visit catskillsirishartsweek.com for more details.

Aug.12 – The 7th Annual Lobsterfest, Saturday, 3-7 p.m, located at Fisherman’s Pier, Provincetown, MA. It will include exciting auctions, live entertainment, a reception and rustic lobster dinner. Tickets can be purchased by calling 508 905-2800 extension 2252. For more information visit www.outercape.org.

Aug. 19, Hudson Summerfest 2017 – The city of Hudson, NY will host live music, and engaging performances by the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus. along with food and beverage vendors providing the best of local resources will be organized by the FarmOn! Foundation. A crafts and maker tent will showcase the work of local artisans. Volunteers from the Hudson Area Library will participate. For more information visit www.hudsonsummerfest.com.

Traveling the south instead? If you are in Arkansas on May 4- The Friends of Dreamland will present the Edwin Brewer Jazz Painting Series in the historic Dreamland Ballroom. Attire is business casual or cocktail party. The event will be on the top floor of the Arkansas Flag and Banner building on 800 West 9th Street in downtown Little Rock. Time: 5:30-7:30. Price: Free. Find more details at dreamlandballroom.org. b

The documentary “Dream Land: Little Rock’s West 9th Street” airs on AETN April 17, at 9 pm!

The film “Dream Land” is based on the historic past of Dreamland Ballroom located on the third floor of the Taborian Hall. Currently, the building is home to Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com which has worked with the non-profit “Friends of Dreamland” to restore the historic site. The television encore presentation will air on AETN April 17, at 9 p.m. Free guided tours of the historic building and ballroom will be held Saturday, April 22 at 1 pm for those wishing to see it live and in person.

AETN and the producers of “Dream Land” said the following about the film, “Little Rock’s West 9th Street was once a vibrant, African-American business and entertainment district. Today, Taborian Hall is the only remaining historic structure on West 9th Street and stands as a living witness to the street’s former glory days.”


“Throughout the 1920s and 30s, West 9th street was home to varied and prominent black businesses and residences. During this period, Taborian Hall housed professional offices, businesses a USO, the Gem Pharmacy and, perhaps its most lively resident, the Dreamland Ballroom.

By the 1920s, Dreamland was firmly established as a stop on the “Chitlin Circuit,” which showcased regional and national African-American band and stage shows. It was also host to local musicians, dances, socials, concerts and sporting events.

This documentary seeks to recognize, memorialize and share the history of West 9thStreet and Dreamland Ballroom – from the spirit and hard work of the people to the implications of federal programs, including Urban Renewal, school desegregation, the Housing Act of 1949 and the Eisenhower Interstate Program.

West 9th Street and the Dreamland Ballroom have waited patiently for the stories of the entrepreneurs and patrons who brought them to life to be told. Through this documentary, audiences will be able to connect with the district’s vivid history and be inspired to take part in its still unfolding future.“

Don’t forget to tune in Monday, April 17, at 9 p.m. and then come attend the free guided tour on April 22 at 1 pm.

Follow the Dreamland Ballroom on Facebook to see all of the upcoming events and view photos and information from past events!

Brave Hope: A Town Where Purple Reigns

The town of Hudson, NY flies purple flags of hope.
The town of Hudson, NY flies purple flags of hope.

By Madison Monroe
Brave Editor

America’s very existence as a country begs the question “What gives birth to reformation?” What fuels it? What is the beginning of an actual movement that grows, and what is just the political discord of current circumstances that will dissipate with time? Can we predict which is which? I am sure England perceived the Boston Tea Party as an annoying incident that would soon be forgotten. We know differently.

Our country began with dissension that led to a movement and culminated in a revolution. Oh, to have the perspective of history! For history alone will decide if present protests are the beginning of a transforming movement or small backlash demonstrations of the disgruntled. As with any genesis, one can only wonder and watch where it leads.

Any campaign for change requires fuel. It can start with just one person whose soul ignites with a call to action by a driving emotion such as perceived injustice, oppression, indignation, or love of Country. As the vision spreads, like-minded are unified. A shared symbol is adopted. In this case the symbol is the most universal of them all — a flag.

Cheryl Roberts with one of the purple "hope" flags manufactured by FlagandBanner.com..
Cheryl Roberts with one of the purple “hope” flags manufactured by FlagandBanner.com..

On January 2nd, Cheryl Roberts placed a phone call to Arkansas Flag and Banner requesting a custom made flag. For her, this tale begins with an interview that laid bare the lack of hope in a veteran’s heart and a curious Christmas gift from her sister. This story is a tapestry of humanity that weaves together, across oceans and decades, a 1930’s English Poet, a 1920’s Bronx born WWII hero, and a present day mother from Spencertown, New York.

In November, Tobby Cassuto, a friend of Cheryl’s, asked if she could arrange to have someone film her dying husband, Ike. His WWII air mission memories were flooding back and she wanted to document his stories before his passing. To ensure the footage was shot in the most professional way, Cheryl hired a videographer. They all met at Tobby and Ike’s house. When the camera began to record, Ike started his narrative.
Isadore ‘Ike’ Cassuto was born in the Bronx in New York City in 1924. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1943 and was deployed to the European theater. He was the navigator on the B-17 bomber, the Shady Lady.

Isadore "Ike" Cassuto (back row; third from left) and crew of the B-17 bomber, the Shady Lady. England, 1944.
Isadore “Ike” Cassuto (back row; third from left) and crew of the B-17 bomber, the Shady Lady. England, 1944.

On his fourth mission, the plane was shot down. Surviving the crash, Ike and the crew flew a total of 35 missions. He now recalled for the camera the day he was shot down and other missions as if it were yesterday. In 1945, he returned stateside and married his wife of 61 years, Tobby. They had two sons. He became an attorney and practiced tax, trust and estate law. He was appointed trustee of the Sidney and Beatrice Albert Foundation and through that work became an activist for civil rights, environmentalism and the arts. Knowing his passion for politics Cheryl inquired to his feelings about the year’s Presidential campaign and election. He said sadly, “This is not the America I fought for.” She asked if he could give her a word of hope and he said, “I have none.”

Cheryl could see that Ike was getting tired and his breath was becoming more labored. She said her goodbyes, promising Tobby she would have the video soon and would return for a visit when it was ready. Three weeks later, Ike passed away.

On Christmas Day, Cheryl opened a gift from her sister. It was a purple scarf. Included in the box was a neatly folded piece of paper. With curiosity piqued, Cheryl picked up the paper, unfolded it and read the poem “Warning” by Jenny Joseph. It began, “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple….”

The poem "Warning" by Jenny Joseph was given to Cheryl as a gift with a scarf which inspired her to create the purple and white hope flags.
The poem “Warning” by Jenny Joseph was given to Cheryl as a gift with a scarf which inspired her to create the purple and white hope flags.

Click here to listen to poet Jenny Joseph reading “Warning.”

She smiled as she finished reading and put the scarf around her neck. The poem spoke to her. She felt as if the author was extending a tender call to contemplate her course. She quietly questioned, “What matters most?” Her decisive answer: “My country, my children and their future.”
She looked again at the scarf and thought about the black and purple colors Hillary Clinton had worn during her concession speech. On that November day, purple had seemed to be a color of mourning. The poem she had just read celebrated purple as a color of hope. She wondered how she could honor Ike and extend hope to her daughters for the future. She decided to reverse the purple and black image, instead pairing purple with white, for hope. From there, she enlisted her two close friends Linda Mussmann and Claudia Bruce, founders of an art space called Time and Space Limited, to help create a pop-up city wide art installation using purple and white flags as a message to Keep Hope Alive.

Businesses in Hudson, NY participated in the hope flag demonstration.
Businesses in Hudson, NY participated in the hope flag demonstration.

With additional help from the business coalition of Hudson, New York, Alana Hauptman, a local restaurateur, businessman Christopher Draghi, and a young activist named Charlie Ferrusi, the first Keep Hope Alive pop-up flag event occurred on January 20th, 2017. The streets of Hudson were lined with 100 purple and white flags and dozens more storefronts displayed purple and white placards with the word HOPE in the center. Since then the flag has spread to New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. As we witness the spread of purple, one can only wonder if this is the beginning of a movement? Only history will tell.

The Keep Hope Alive group sells these flags on their website.
The Keep Hope Alive group sells these flags on their website.

To learn more visit the keephopealiveinternational.org website.

May is National Salad Month

May is national salad month! In a very Forrest Gump way, we decided to list a different salad for you to explore each day of the month. (Links below go to other recipe websites, have fun exploring!)

Fruit SaladWaldorf SaladTuna SaladPotato Salad
Lettuce Wedge SaladCaesar SaladCobb SaladCaprese Salad
Egg SaladGreek Cucumber SaladChicken SaladPasta Salad
Spinach SaladSeafood SaladAmbrosia SaladMiso Tofu Salad
Macaroni SaladBean SaladGarden SaladTabbouleh Salad
Fiambre SaladPanzanella SaladGado-Gado Salad
Spring Asparagus SaladKale and Avocado Salad
Mediterranean Basmati SaladAsian Quinoa SaladTaco Salad
Broccoli SaladSlaw SaladRoquefort Pear Salad

That’s all we have to say about that!

Get Dirty

By Madison Monroe
Brave Editor

Over the past six to eight generations, America’s population has moved from rural to urban living. In 1800, only five percent of Americans lived in cities. By 2000, that number had grown to 80%. Arkansas is still considered a rural state with only 55% of its population living in cities. Because so many of us still live so close to the land, you may think the children in this article live on Mars. But they don’t. They live in Little Rock and they are no different than an alarming number of urban children.

They don’t know where food comes from.

Pulaski Heights Elementary students examine the plants they have grown.
Pulaski Heights Elementary students examine the plants they have grown.

On the television show ‘Food Revolution,’ Jamie Oliver gave a food quiz to 17 year old high school students. When asked where does cheese come from and given the choice of a cow, macaroni or the moon, the students picked macaroni. Just as unbelievable, they answered that sausage comes from a plant. When Jamie brought fresh vegetables to a first grade classroom, not one single child could identify any of them.

Today’s urban children believe food comes from the grocery store or the restaurant where they see their parents buy it. If you ask where the store got the food, you will be met with blank stares. For many children breakfast comes from a box, lunch from a microwave and dinner from a drive thru.

This is disturbing for a variety of reasons. Firstly, nutrition directly effects health, brain development and physical growth. Secondly, preparing food and eating together promotes socialization in a world full of people isolated by electronics. Lastly, if children don’t know where their food comes from or form some sort of relationship with the natural world, how are they to make wise decisions as adults, when they become the caretakers of Mother Earth?

Little Rock’s Dunbar Middle School piloted a gardening program in 2005 and won a national award for it. UALR partnered with five elementary schools in a nutrition and gardening program and the results showed a 25% decrease in the student Body Mass Index, an average increase of 25% in Math and Literacy scores and a 52% increase in the number of vegetables eaten by students.

Nathanial Wills and his Pulaski Heights Elementary gardening class participate in the entire gardening process from planting seeds, to growing and tending the plants, to harvesting and finally selling at market.
Nathanial Wills and his Pulaski Heights Elementary gardening class participate in the entire gardening process from planting seeds, to growing and tending the plants, to harvesting and finally selling at market.

In 2012, Little Rock native Nathanael Wills decided to offer a balance to the urbanization of the Pulaski Heights Elementary school students. He began his hands-on gardening class. With a degree in Cultural Anthropology, he knew little of agriculture. What he learned was self taught using internet research, trial and error and conversation with old farmers.

Today Wills raves about the impact gardening has had on the children. “I see the value of getting them outside. There is a direct correlation of learning and movement with young students. With recess being cut back, it is essential to initiate programs designed to keep kids active. Also, getting dirty is good for you!” says Wills. The “Hygiene Hypothesis” theory agrees. It states that a lack of childhood exposure to germs increases a child’s susceptibility to diseases like asthma and allergies by suppressing the development of the immune system.

Wills has seen his gardening students develop a sense of pride from the work they do in the garden and an openness to try new foods that they normally wouldn’t eat. He says his hope is that they will learn that healthy food means real food and real food means food without ingredient labels.
Wills notes that gardening is the one class that the students get thanked for their work. It creates a different kind of bond. They feel valued and important. They see the food from seeds to the market, where they sell it. They experience the hope of planting and the reward of harvesting. They learn that to dig is to discover, and they internalize Amy Stewart’s famous quote, “Garden is a verb, not a noun.”

Nathanael Wills knows what his garden is growing: character, pride, community, teamwork, maturity, responsibility, social skills and life-long nutrition.

What does your garden grow?

Learn more at the Pulaski Heights Elementary Garden website. 

Traveling Arkansas this Season

Fayetteville will host the 18th annual Biker, Blues and BBQ charitable fundraiser in September.
Fayetteville will host the 18th annual Biker, Blues and BBQ charitable fundraiser in September. Photo by Arkansas Media Room.

By Tam McClure
Staff Writer

Arkansas has so many events over the next several months that we could only choose a handful to share with our readers. What a great place to live and visit, with so many free and affordable family friendly events!

April 13-15 – Downtown Mountain View The 55th Annual Arkansas Folk Festival features handmade crafts, frontier life demonstrations, parade, mountain and bluegrass music, dancing on the Courthouse Square, and window decorating contest. Price: free. Find details at yourplaceinthemountains.com

April 22 – Pinnacle Mountain State Park West Summit Picnic AreaCelebrate Earth Day with programs dedicated to eco-friendly ideas, a tree planting ceremony, and recycling, reusing, and repurposing programs. Price: Free. Time: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

May 4- The Friends of Dreamland will present the Edwin Brewer Jazz Painting Series in the historic Dreamland Ballroom. Attire is business casual or cocktail party. The event will be on the top floor of the Arkansas Flag and Banner building on 800 West 9th Street in downtown Little Rock. Time: 5:30-7:30. Price: Free. Find more details at dreamlandballroom.org.

May 5 – The 50th Season Opening Performance of the Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs. Named as “America’s #1 Attended Outdoor Drama” by the Institute of Outdoor Theatre and Drama of East Carolina University at Greenville. Time: 8:30 p.m. – 10:15 p.m. Price: $27 adults, $17 youth, $13 children. For tickets and more information visit
GreatPassionPlay.org

May 20 – Armed Forces Honor Day at Historic Washington State Park in Washington, Arkansas celebrates those who serve and have served in America’s military. Members of the military, past and present, receive discounts on tours and surrey rides. 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Call for details 870-983-2684.

Musician Rick Robinson and Cut Time will be performing this year at the festival.
Musician Rick Robinson and Cut Time will be performing this year at the festival.

June 4 – 17 – The Hot Springs Music Festival brings together more than 100 musicians each June in historic Hot Springs. The Festival, now in its twenty second season, pairs world-class mentor musicians with talented pre-professional apprentices. For two weeks, these musicians present more than 20 concerts and 250 open rehearsals for music lovers to enjoy. Concerts are held at various venues throughout the Hot Springs area. Price: $10-$20 adults, $5 ages 17 and under. Find venue information and more at hotmusic.org

July 4- River Market District and First Security Amphitheater 34th Pops on the River is the largest Fourth of July event in Arkansas with more than 30,000 attendees. Time: 12:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Price: Free.
Aug. 10-13 – Amity, Arkansas hosts Summer Trade Days – A family friendly country market with antiques, pottery, arts and crafts, farm implements, outdoor decor, jewelry, wood working and more. Bring your wallet and good walking shoes. Hours vary each day. Find details at amitytradedays.com.

Sept. 20-23 – Fayetteville Arkansas hosts the 18th annual Bikes Blues and BBQ Festival. The event is a motorcycle rally with bikes, blues and barbeque, dedicated to fundraising for local charities. Last year about a quarter million dollars was raised for local charities. Find more details at bikesbluesandbbq.org. b

The Bedford Flag: Fake News?

The Bedford Flag is made of silk damask approximately 27" by 29". Along the sides, a pattern of pomegranates, grapes and leaves is sewn into the cloth. The the design is painted with actual silver and gold. An armor clad arm from a cloud hefts a sword. The Latin words "Vince aut Morire" (Conquer or Die) furls around the flag field. Three cannon balls float in the air by the arm. Some say the arm coming from the cloud indicates “the hand of God.”
The Bedford Flag is made of silk damask approximately 27″ by 29″. Along the sides, a pattern of pomegranates, grapes and leaves is sewn into the cloth. The the design is painted with actual silver and gold. An armor clad arm from a cloud hefts a sword. The Latin words “Vince aut Morire” (Conquer or Die) furls around the flag field. Three cannon balls float in the air by the arm. Some say the arm coming from the cloud indicates “the hand of God.”

In a climate controlled vault, in Bedford, Massachusetts, lies the oldest existing flag in the country. It dates to the early 1700s. Said to be carried in the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War, the Bedford flag is one of the first battle flags of the United States.

The cornet carried the flag for the military unit. This position provided important communication between the captain and his troops in the field. The cornet used a flag to signal the captain’s directions to the rest of the unit who might not be able to hear commands during the heat of battle. Easy to spot, standing next to the captain at all times, many were lethally shot from beneath their flags.

Legend has it that Nathaniel Page, carried the Bedford flag into the Battle of Concord at the beginning of the Revolutionary War on April 19, 1775. Some historians debate the Bedford flag’s presence at the site, primarily because it was not noted in any written account. However, Nathaniel Page had given an account of the battle to his grandson Cyrus who later relayed it to historian, A. E. Brown. This family story included the flag. There is no other account to verify his claim, and that is why some historians discount the story.

There are, however, some facts that indicate Nathaniel Page told his grandson the truth. Town records confirm that Nathaniel’s grandfather, father and uncle all served as Bedford militia’s cornet, proving a Page family member had carried a cornet’s flag since as early as 1720. The presence of Nathaniel Page, the unit cornet, was well documented at the Battle of Concord. The flag was donated to the Bedford Museum by the Page family. Based on the floral pattern on the flag, the museum verified it originated in the early 1700s.

Originally the flag had silver fringe. In another interview with A.E. Brown, the daughter of Nathaniel Page said she removed it to make a dress in the early 1800s. She lamented, “I took that silver fringe from that old flag when I was a giddy girl, and trimmed a dress for a military ball. I was never more sorry for anything than that which resulted in the loss of the fringe.” When the flag was restored by the Textile Conservation Center in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1999-2000, they found a single remaining microscopic strand of the silver thread, giving more credibility to the Page family oral history.

Still, there are no written eye witness accounts of the flag at the Battle of Concord.

Fake News?

Learn more at the Bedford Library about the flag and the permanent display there of the Bedford flag.

Designing a “Good” Flag

Having been in the flag business for over 40 years, I’ve seen both good and bad designs for custom flags. Many people overthink the process and clutter their flag with too much symbolism. You need to pare down your ideas and focus on what’s the most important thing you want to convey. Are you trying to tell who you are? Where you’re from? What you do?
Many state flags want to represent their history. The Arkansas flag (which I think is a good design) expresses something unique about our state. We have diamonds. Next to the Christian cross, the U.S. flag is one of the most recognized symbols of all time.

Very few products can boast they’ve been in use since the beginning of civilization. Flags date back to before anyone can even remember. People have flown fabric symbols to convey messages, represent their family, group, cause, devotion or for decoration. Today, branding purposes have been added to the uses of flags.

The thought process for how to design flags is similar to a child with a blank sheet of white paper and only three crayons. Try not to exceed those three colors, and keep the colors solid. Gradation (or shading) may look nice on a website or print material, but it does not look as good on a flag.
You should never put a seal or map on a flag. Small details cannot be recognized from afar. You want the design to be recognizable from atop a flagpole. What’s more, such details may be expensive to reproduce, and you want your flag to be affordable for all supporters.If you decide to put words on your flag, keep in mind one side will read correctly and the other side will have a reverse image, like the Arkansas flag. In the flag industry, this is called “single reverse.” If the word or wording is well known, you will subliminally read the backside without even realizing that it’s backwards, as is the case of the Arkansas or Coca-Cola flag. Your company name may not be as recognizable, therefore your logo might be better to use for flag purposes.

Remember, a flag is not a sign; it’s a symbol. If you want to have your flag read correctly from both sides, it has to be a “double sided” flag, meaning two flags are sewn back to back. This method makes your flag too heavy to fly under normal wind conditions, and of course it costs twice as much.
I do not recommend this construction. Most of the time you want your flag to flap and dance about, creating attention and interest. You also want to be able to afford a fresh flag annually, if not before.

A friendly flag that waves every day is a happy flag.
So, get out your paper and crayons and start designing!

Kerry McCoy is publisher of Brave Magazine, owner of Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com and writes the Bannerisms Blog

Editor’s Note: Spring/Summer 2017

Spring is in the air! Although we didn’t have a tumultuous winter (weather wise), it has been a roller coaster in the political stratosphere. At Flag and Banner, we are in a unique position. No matter what point of view our customers have, left or right, you all buy flags. We do our best not to take sides, remembering that we are all Americans. With that in mind, we strive to provide stories for everyone.
In this edition of Brave Magazine we have an inspirational article of transformation from Ken McKay. He served as Chief of Staff in Rhode Island for Governor Donald Carcieri and ran Chris Christie’s Presidential campaign. Later he joined Donald Trump’s campaign as a senior adviser. Ken’s associate, Gail Gitcho, contacted us to share his story after reading Brave Magazine online.
In another article, Cheryl Roberts, an attorney and activist, reached out to us for custom flags to use for an Inauguration event. Her town of Hudson, New York came together to make a statement. The streets were lined with her Keep Hope Alive flags. Her story reveals how one person can make a difference.
May is national salad month so we featured the salad in our food section. Headlining our Fun with Flags segment is the history of the Bedford flag. And the publisher’s blog will give tips on designing your own flag.
Be sure to fly your American flag on Memorial Day, Flag Day, Fourth of July, Patriot’s Day and Labor Day. We hope you will find something in this edition that will make you want to be brave.

Madison Monroe
Brave Magazine Editor