Talk of the Town Bedford

April 30, 2021

People of Bedford, we evolve. The magic month of May blossoms with the infinite possibilities of nature, but not for a cell tower ever being a May Pole. 

Notwithstanding, April has been National Poetry Month and today, Friday, April 30, is the deadline for students ages 6 to 18 to enter the Bedford Free Library's Children and Young Adult Poetry Contest, which just happens to be celebrating its 15th anniversary. Join the BFL online or curbside in this celebration of poetry. This is a wonderful opportunity for children and young adults to showcase their unique talents while having fun and fulfillment with poetry. Winners will be announced and prizes awarded in several age divisions and winning entries will be published on the Library’s website. As a measure of caution, the BFL is planning to delay the traditional ice cream social celebration of all the poets until it is safer to gather together. Please visit the BFL website for updates. So, stop washing your hands and adjusting your masks for a moment, grab your pencil, notebook, inspiration, and file that winning poem today! Visit the for entry forms. According to the contest guidelines, one entry is allowed per poet. There are two ways to enter. Email Robyn McCree at, submitting your poem as a Word doc or PDF including your name, age and grade, as well as your parent’s email address and phone in the body of the email, separate from the poem; or drop off your poem and copy of the completed entry form at the library drop box.

The Breast Cancer Alliance is a nonprofit organization supporting breast cancer research and breast cancer-related training for medical professionals. Impressively, at the community level, it also offers a hand and heart with its efforts to increase access to cancer screenings and treatment for low-income women, who might not otherwise be able to afford it. The BCA’s good work has resulted in improved survival rates and quality of life through better prevention, early detection, treatment and cure. To promote these goals, in addition to innovative research, the BCA invests in breast surgery fellowships, regional education and dignified support and screening. As we’ve all experienced, the pandemic has impacted each of us in different ways, whether through changes in diet, sleep, exercise or mental health. In response, BCA Wellness Month and Get Fit for Hope Challenge is a series of fitness and health events, beginning tomorrow, Saturday, May 1, and continuing through May 30. Events will be held virtually across the U.S. and in COVID-safe spaces where possible. Create your own schedule with a day pass, a thematic class pass, or all-access monthly pass at All of the proceeds will benefit Breast Cancer Alliance 2022 grants.

There are two brilliantly talented women in Bedford you should know about, both being the kind of inspired artists whose acquaintance you will regard as a treasure. One of them is Jeannie Lawson, a lifelong painter with dozens of exhibitions to her credit who plies her art and craft in a variety of subjects as you can discover on her website, While Ms. Lawson credits several teachers as influencing her success, she regards noted artist, Ron Sherr, as a teacher greatly inspiring her work. Among my personal “faves” of her work (as well as for many dedicated Bedford “dog people”) are her pet portraits, rendering our dogs more engaging, and horses more majestic. 

Another impressive Bedford neighbor you should know of is, Ulla-Maija Kivimaki, who was born and raised in Lapland, Finland, the last, vast remaining wilderness areas of Europe. She describes having a magic and mysterious childhood inspired by her immersion in nature. At age 8, Ulla-Maija received an award for being the child who took out the most books from her local library in one year. At age 15, reading Vogue Magazine from cover to cover (she was already designing and making her own clothes), she sent a photo of herself to a model search competition. She won, and by 16 was a full-time fashion model in Madrid, Rome, Paris, London and other cities. After finally settling in New York, she returned to her work as a designer, founding a luxury line of evening wear and bridal designs with a successful shop on Madison Avenue, called Ulla-Maija. More recently, this multi- talented woman has expanded her work into internet communications with a flourishing business in graphic design, creating websites, video production, electronic publishing, branding, marketing, email campaigns and consulting and coaching on all of the above. A good place to start for a deeper sense of Ulla-Maija is on her website at

Do you miss drive-in movies? Then hop over to John Jay Homestead on May 7 and 8 for an outdoor screening of “The Karate Kid.” Gates open at 7:15 p.m. and the movie starts at 8:15 p.m. Price is $40 per car, prepaid only. Concessions can also be pre-ordered. Rain dates of May 14 and 21. Get your tickets at

Best-selling author, Bedford neighbor and dwelling-shelter maven Sheri Koones has a new book out, titled “Downsize: Living Large in a Small House.” The 25 small houses presented in this interesting and beautifully illustrated book are owned by people who have made a conscious decision to downsize from a larger home to a smaller home, or who just decided to build small in the first place. Some of the houses are new (site-built or prefab), others are remodels. All of houses featured in the book are 2,0000 square feet or smaller. And might we just be in the process of leaning to our betterment, that less is more? 

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