Local connection to Von Trapp family

A photo caption about a Chestnut Hill Library event described in the March 23 issue of Local Life mentions the Von Trapp family, who left Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938 for the USA and purchased a property in Stowe, Vt., in 1942.

(Ed. Note: The Von Trapps were the real-life heroes dramatized in “The Sound of Music.”)

Ed Driscoll told me years ago that the Von Trapps had settled for some years in Mt. Airy. During WWII his mother sent him to work with the Von Trapp family as a farm hand one summer. He was about 13 at the time. Most teens had a summer job during the war years.

Ed, who is now 88, is a lifelong Hiller, born and raised in Mt. Airy. He ran L.F. Driscoll Co., the builders, and he developed the Top Of The Hill shops where Rollers first restaurant and State Store have been located, and he was a generous donor to many Hill institutions.

Keep up the good work. We who have retired elsewhere receive our Local late; we scan the front section for lead stories, check letters and obits, then put Local Life on the reading pile to enjoy fully at leisure.

Jim Barrett
Chestnut Hill area resident
for 48 years now in Lowell, MA


Thanks for Mystical Feast coverage

On behalf of the volunteers and board of the Center for Contemporary Mysticism, I thank you for the story written by Barbara Sherf about the history of the Center and our “Mystical Feast” held on April 23. This year’s fundraiser was sold out and we are grateful to all those who worked hard to make it a success.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church again opened their doors with welcome arms and continues to provide space for our monthly speakers, the Wednesday morning mindful meditation, the Thursday morning “A Course of Love” book discussion group, and many other special events.

We are especially grateful to our participating restaurants which truly make the Mystical Feast a “gourmet” experience. This year we were pleased to welcome three new Chestnut Hill sponsors: Mica Restaurant, Banjara Indian Bistro, and Tradewinds, a unique Hawaiian-fusion themed eatery.

Our faithful on-going sponsors include: CinCin, El Poquito, Tavern on the Hill, Thai Kuu, Scoogi’s Italian, The Night Kitchen, Cake Bakery, Zake’s Cafe and Sandy Run Country Club. Other major sponsors were Chaddsford Winery, Weavers Way, Blooms & Buds, and Coupes Flowers.

For the first time, this year’s Mystical Feast silent auction featured donations of original paintings and pottery from a number of well-known area artists, including Charles Schmidt, James Green, Nancy Schmidt, Diana Muir and Evangeline Bragitikos. We extend our appreciation to all the individuals, organizations and businesses who so generously supported our event.

Planning and coordination of the dinner was led by chef Rebecca Goff and sous chef Meg Class. Musical selections for the evening were provided by jazz vocalist, Kevin Valentine. Our sincere appreciation goes to these individuals, plus the hard-working Center board, and everyone who purchased tickets. Proceeds from this event provide a significant portion of funds necessary to continue the many programs of the Center, which are free and open to the public.

We invite your readers to mark their calendars for our next program on Sunday, May 21, at 2 p.m. when the Center welcomes Dr. Linda Backman from The Ravenheart Center in Boulder, Col. With more than 30 years’ experience as a clinical psychologist and regression therapist, Dr. Backman is author of “Bringing Your Soul to Light” and “The Evolving Soul” and has been featured nationally on the Dr. Oz Show.

For more information, please visit our website at www.contemporarymysticism.org where you can sign up to be notified of upcoming speakers and events, and find a rich online learning resource of videos from past speakers. We also invite your readers to visit us on Facebook at “CenterforContemporaryMysticism”.

Joseph Irwin
Coordinator, Center
for Contemporary Mysticism