Community Bulletin Board
- Love a Lilac
- Improving Air Quality
- What's Happening in Waterbury and Beyond
- TURN to a Historian at the Litchfield Historical Society
- A Night at the Boys and Girls Club
- Call for Hall of Fame Nominations
- President Trump Signs Two Esty-Authored Bills
- Safety Classes at Railroad Museum
- College Scholarship Opportunities
- Take Your Child to the Library Day
- Markley and Zupkus Town Hall Meeting
- Click It Or Ticket Enforced Over Holiday Season
A shepherd near the village of Bilisht, Albania. There are an estimated 1000 Albanians from Bilisht that now live in greater Waterbury, most coming to seek economic opportunity in America.
Story and Photographs By John Murray
I rounded a corner in Fier, Albania, and encountered ten police officers standing on the side of the road gesturing towards me. Crap, I thought, here comes the shakedown. I pulled my rental car over and fumbled for my passport and rental agreement. I wondered how I’d manage with the few words of Albanian I knew; mirëdita, (good afternoon), faleminderit (thank you), jo (no) and po (yes).
It was too late to learn, “Hi officer, Albania is a beautiful country and I look forward to writing about my experience with Prime Minister Edi Rama in my newspaper back in America.”
As I watched three uniformed police officers surround my car I wondered how much this was going to cost me.
Chelsea Murray's wonderful new friend at the market in Ceret, France.
Story and Photographs by Chelsea Murray
(Editors note - For the next several months Chelsea Murray is working her way across Europe on a network of organic farms. Chelsea and her boyfriend Michael Kaneb spent two weeks harvesting potatoes in Bavaria, in southern Germany, and are now harvesting olives for a month on a farm in the south of France. They hope to continue on through Spain, Portugal, Italy, Albania and Greece. Chelsea has been writing columns for the Observer (which is owned by her father) since she was 11 years old. She will continue to report her adventures as time and internet access allows.)
After helping my farm host set up her stand at the market in Ceret, France (the city where Picasso, Dali and other artists had flocked to for inspiration), she informed me that I was a free woman and could wander around for a few hours to take in the sights, smells, and culture of a French market. My first moments alone were spent breaking from my vegan diet again (it's the lifestyle at the farm I'm working at), and sampling hoards of cheeses, meats, delicious baguettes and perusing through people’s wares.
Celebrating 20 years of publishing The Waterbury Observer, John Murray decided to leap out of an airplane 10,500 feet above Connecticut. The plunge reminded Murray that launching a business with no money, or chasing dreams of world travel all have one thing in common, facing fear, and letting go.
Story By John Murray
Photographs By SkyDive Danielson
For most of the twenty-minute ascent I tapped into breathing exercises, and positive imagery, to try and keep myself calm.
“That’s the University of Connecticut,” said Norm Nault, my tandem skydiving instructor, “and if you look to the south you can see Long Island Sound.”
At 5000 feet my attempt to relax faltered, and the metallic taste of fear marched across my tongue. I looked around the plane - which was no bigger than a car - and checked on my daughter, Chelsea. If I was starting to lose it, I was sure Chelsea’s heart was clanging against her chest. Chelsea was tandem jumping with instructor Scott Barylski, a dead ringer for actor Ben Stiller. There was something comical, and terrifying, about hurling yourself out of a tiny airplane with Derek Zoolander strapped to your back.
Spending a year in Greece was a dream realized. I had the extraordinary opportunity to explore Greek culture, tour the islands and the mountains, and discover buried secrets in my family's past.
Story By Chelsea Murray
That was the question people asked relentlessly, eyebrows raised, when I stuffed my possessions into a backpack and broken suitcase and jetted off to Greece for a year to study abroad. Greece is a foreign country, but my study abroad plan sounded especially foreign to my inquisitors. Why not London? Why not Spain?
My answer was simple, “I’m Greek.”
Local author, James J. McGrath II, has traveled extensively around the world, and is a perennially traveler to the Faroe Islands. He was interviewed on Faroese National Radio in August 2010, and was given the opportunity to explain why he likes to travel there every summer. He also explained what got him interested in the language. McGrath has been auto didactically teaching himself the Faroese language for the past three years, and has gained a proficiency in reading, writing and spoken Faroese. He is a freelance writer and author of A Pictorial View of the Faroe Islands, which is a pictorial description about towns in the Faroe Islands.
My nephew, George Murray, exploded in joy when Ohio State scored the winning touchdown on a 72 yard pass with three minutes left in the game against the University of California. George graduated from Ohio State in 2011 and is now in his second year of law school at Ohio State.
By John Murray
I went to church Saturday afternoon in Columbus, Ohio. The pews held 105,000 rabid fans of Ohio State and it was an afternoon of family and football wrapped in God and country. It was an unparalleled spectacle almost impossible for a Connecticut boy to fathom. UConn football? Not even close. UConn basketball? Nope. The Giants, Patriots, Jets, Yankees and Red Sox can put on a good show, but not like football in Ohio with 105,000 of your best friends.
On a trans-Atlantic flight from Athens, Greece, to New York City, there were some astounding fews from the airplane. Peering down on Venice, Italy, it's not difficult to see why this fabled city has a severe water problem - it's sinking. Photographs by John Murray
Story By Don Coppock
There is no place on earth like Pattaya. It's a frantic city, a celebration of hedonism, an unabashed paean to the joys of sex and drink. It has a reputation, a well deserved notoriety, which is precisely the reason men come here from all over the world. They’ve visited here on military leave, heard about it from friends, read about it or seen it on the net, so most have an idea what this community is all about before they set foot here.
King Bhumibol of Thailand is the longest reigning monarch in the world.
Column By Don Coppock
I recall my first visit to Bangkok . I was taking a tour of the city, we were bogged down in one of the city's usual traffic jams, and the tour guide was talking about all things Thailand.
We were about to enter the King's Grand Palace, so I asked him his thoughts on the King. He smiled and his eyes got a glassy look as he began, ‘I love my King...’
Column By Chelsea Murray
Before I graduated from Marist College last year most adults I knew told me that I would learn more in the real world than in the classroom. Much to the dismay of my parent’s wallets, that has turned out to be true. Why waste time in class when I could have gotten a smack-in-the-face education from the real world all along?