70th Annual Strawberry Festival Drew a Happy Crowd


The First Church of Christ’s 70th Annual Strawberry Festival took place on a picture-perfect Thursday evening, with residents and visitors—from a seven-week-old infant to nonagenarians—happily munching homemade biscuits and fresh strawberries topped with a choice of whipped cream or ice cream with chocolate sauce. For most of the evening, the line extended out to the sidewalk in front. Neighbors greeted neighbors; children waved to friends; family groups were in abundance, many with adult children. Faces in the Crowd ~ How many instances of strawberry-themed outfits or accessories can you find?

Strawberry Picking Session Opens Middlesex Community College Community Garden Season

Wild strawberries that grow around the perimeter of the community gardens at Middlesex Community College recently yielded fresh berries that were donated to local food banks. Community leaders and volunteers gathered at the community gardens on the Bedford campus Monday to harvest the strawberries, which ripen every year at this time along the garden perimeter.

A few more plots are available to Bedford residents – Click this link to read more.

Riverfest, 2021 ~ Back on the Rivers, June 19 and 20

The 22nd annual Riverfest celebration will be held next weekend, June 19 and 20. This is the annual celebration of the federally protected Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Wild and Scenic Rivers, designated by Congress in 1999 for their “Outstandingly Remarkable Values” of scenery, ecology, recreation, history, and literature. 

New Poll – Who Cuts Your Grass?

Yesterday as I was cutting the lawn I was wondering how many people cut their own lawn.  You have a lot of time to think of these idle thoughts when you’re going back and forth cutting your grass.  I see landscapers all over my neighborhood cutting people’s lawns and I was just curious as to how many people do it themselves.

The BHS Class of 2021 ~ A Very Special Senior Send-Off

The Bedford High School Class of 2021 finally had a sweet ending to a bitter year on Monday night, June 7, 2021. 

For the past 15 months, they watched on the sidelines through their computer screens as celebratory event after event was canceled due to the pandemic—Junior prom and cookout, Awards nights, Senior Fashion Show, Banquets, the All-Night Graduation Celebration. . .  The list of disappointments went on and on. 

A dedicated group of Senior parents got together and rallied the town of Bedford to help them hold an amalgam Prom/All Night Grad celebration.  With the help of Town Manager Sarah Stanton and Middlesex Community College Chief Administration Officer Colleen Cox, their dream became a reality.

Bedford Explained: Hanscom

Hanscom is a bit of an ubiquitous term here in Bedford.  There is an  exit ramp off the highway that says Hanscom, there is a federal credit union named after it, and a quick search in The Bedford Citizen reveals over 700 stories mentioning “Hanscom.”  

Hanscom is such a presence here it has become almost invisible, with an occasional loud plane to remind us that we all live next door to an airport.

Intrepid Sky-Watchers Rise Early to Watch Thursday Morning’s Partial Solar Eclipse


Thursday morning’s partial eclipse of the sun saw Bedford residents watching locally, and further afield. A gathering on Clark Field drew a small but ardent crew to watch the eclipse. According to ten-year-old Olivia Daugherty, seeing the moon cross the face of the sun was “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious;” then she added with a grin, “Amazing.” Alan MacRobert, a semi-retired senior editor at Sky and Telescope magazine, was on hand with a pair of special binoculars to watch the progress of the eclipse. MacRobert later noted, “It is amazing that these things happen precisely with total reliability.

What Will Schools Look Like in the Fall?  Supt. Conrad Outlines Changes

Bedford Schools will resemble their pre-pandemic environment when classes resume in September.

But not completely.

There will be several pandemic-era safeguards that continue, most of which promote overall health.

Superintendent of Schools Philip Conrad told the School Committee at a virtual meeting on Tuesday that protocols, particularly masks in schoolhouses, will continue through the end of the current school year, which includes summer classes.

Sen. Mike Barrett Shares FY22 Senate Budget with Funding for Bedford High School & Support for Environmental Initiative Staff

The Massachusetts Senate has voted to approve its version of the state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1st.  The Senate plan preserves and expands access to essential funding, including public health initiatives, at a time when the state continues to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Call for Artists ~ Peace Pole Design ~ New Submission Date is June 28

Artists are invited to submit a design proposal including a short description of their vision and a sketch of their design by email to chris@christinewojnar.com by Monday, June 28.

From the submitted proposals the selection committee will choose four finalists. Projects should be completed by August 30. A peace pole planting ceremony will take place in September.

A Bedford Citizen Community Forum ~ The Impact of the Pandemic on Academic Learning: How Schools Will Respond

What has been the impact of the Covid-19 virus on students? How has the Pandemic Affected Academic Learning in the Classroom? And what are the Bedford schools planning in response?

These and related questions will be addressed in detail by a panel of local experts at a virtual community forum Wednesday evening, June 9, sponsored by The Bedford Citizen.

Watching the June 10 Partial Eclipse of the Sun from Bedford

The sun is going to act weird early on Thursday morning June 10. For the entire Northeast, the sun will rise not as a round ball but as an eerie, misshapen, dazzling crescent partly blocked by the moon. For Bedford, the sun will rise at 5:08 a.m. and will remain partially eclipsed for more than an hour after that.

Summer Concerts on Tap Plus Special Events for Kids

Thursday evening summer concerts are back.

Recreation Director Amy Hamilton announced Thursday that there will be four headliners on consecutive Thursday evenings beginning on July 22.

Hamilton is promoting the series as a special feature of the town’s “activity complex,” which “boasts a vast lawn for concert-goers.”

BHS Bids Adieu to Long-Time Custodian Sherm Primmerman

“I just hope the world is a better place because we were here.”

That comment from Sherman Primmerman pretty much sums up why he has been a familiar and beloved personality around the town for almost five decades. (And he wasn’t so pretentious to use the first-person plural – he means everybody.)

Primmerman retired Friday from the second-shift custodial slot at Bedford High School that he has worked since 1999. At last Tuesday’s School Committee meeting, members took turns lauding him, and a couple seemed close to tears. “I have very mixed feelings,” he admitted in an interview late last week. “I know it’s time for me to go, to slow down, but it’s hard to say goodbye to everybody.

Cmdr. Jeremy Watkins has Assumed Command of the Naval Talent Acquisition Group

The Navy Talent Acquisition Group  (NTAG) New England held a virtual change of command ceremony aboard the USS Constitution on May 24. During the ceremony, Cmdr. Jeremy Watkins, who served as NTAG New England’s executive officer, relieved Cmdr. Brian Doherty as commanding officer.

Cmdr. Watkins is a Bedford resident who serves as a member of the Bedford Youth Lacrosse board and coaches the Boys’ first- and second-grade team.

New Poll – Masks: What Do You Think?

On May 29, Massachusetts lifted most Covid restrictions.   People who are vaccinated pretty much can go back to the way things were (with exceptions).    Massachusetts has fully vaccinated 54% of the population with 66.7% having received at least one dose.  Still a lot of people are still wearing their masks.

A recent YouGov poll article found that people who are fully vaccinated are more likely to continue to wear a mask in certain situations than those who are not vaccinated.

Masks or no masks? Vaccinated Americans are still wearing them – YouGov June 3, 2021

So What is Bedford Thinking?

First Church Bedford to Host 70th Strawberry Festival

Bedford’s First Congregational Church, 25 Great Road, will celebrate summer with its 70th Strawberry Festival to be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 17.

This popular outdoor event will feature strawberry shortcakes on sale, rain or shine. Enjoy fresh strawberries, old-fashioned biscuits, and Bedford Farms vanilla ice cream, topped with homemade chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Hot fudge sundaes will also be available. Prices range from $5 to $7, with discounts for military, first responders, healthcare workers, and teachers.

Where are They Now? ~ Cary Lowe, ‘Becoming American’~ A New Series

Becoming American is former Bedford resident Cary Lowe’s compelling story of his

Cary Lowe

search for his family’s roots in Europe and the account of his life growing up in America. Born in Austria while his father was serving with military intelligence at U.S. Army bases, Lowe is now a California writer, lawyer, and activist but he has fond memories of high school days in Bedford.

Local readers will find his chapters on coming to town in 1961 and moving into a new home on Wildwood Drive especially interesting.  Cary Lowe graduated from Bedford High school in 1966 and his younger brother, the late Dean Lowe, was a member of the class of 1969.  Cary recounts tales of his classes with one of the high school’s most revered teachers, the late Mrs. Kahn. And there are amusing memories of another BHS favorite, “Miss [Betty] Dowling,” the high school librarian. Lowe was something of a rebel at BHS who relished challenging certain restrictive high school policies. Classmates remember him for the whale tooth amulet he wore, which caused considerable angst to school authorities, when dress codes were more stringent than now.

Q&A with Shannon Dillon ~ Creative Images of Boston

In addition to her avocation, the Bedford Doll Hospital, Shannon Dillon is an accomplished photographer; she recently spoke with reporter Linda White to answer questions for this article.

How long have you been a photographer?
All my life! Professionally since 1996.

What Do They Do There Anyway? Perch on the Common

Driving up South Road on your right as you approach the Common, you come across a mustard-colored building with a sign, Perch on Bedford Common. I was always curious as to what they did there. My first reaction is that it had something to do with the fish. Was it a seafood place? Some kind of conservation effort?

The sign is fairly ambiguous at first glance. It’s a pretty sign with two birds resting on a branch. Actually resting is not correct, they’re perching on a branch. It only took me several years to understand that.

So What do They Do There Anyway?

As Bedford Prepares for Memorial Day, Visit the Town’s War Memorials

our country this Memorial Day, I thought it would be helpful to explain the various memorials throughout our town.  Where they are and whom they honor.  

I took a drive this beautiful May morning (without traffic, I may add) to photograph Bedford’s various memorials.  I started at the High School and headed toward Lexington, which explains the order in which they’re listed. I encourage you to take a look for yourself.

Catherine Donato Hits All the Right Notes at Fenway Park

“A lot of people measure success by how much money they make or by the things that they have,” Catherine Donato observed. “I just want to look back on my life and say, ‘I did that – and it was cool.’”

Donato performed a rich, powerful rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Wednesday evening’s Red Sox baseball game at Fenway Park.

And the personal and social media response has been that, yes, it was cool.

Donato, a 2014 Bedford High School graduate who sang the national anthem before BHS home football games during her student days, got a call to sing at Fenway just a few days ago after sending a demonstration CD several years ago.

Compost Center, CLOSED Saturday ~ Refuse & Recycling, DELAYED to Tuesday ~ Happy Memorial Day!

Monday’s refuse and recycling collection will be delayed one day due to the Memorial Day holiday. Please place your trash cart and recycling cart out by 7 a.m. Tuesday, June 1.

The Compost Center is closed  Saturday, May 29 because of the holiday. It will be open next Wednesday, June 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and Saturday, June 5 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Happy Memorial Day!