Ellen A. (Blythe) Basse Dietz

Ellen A. (Blythe) Basse Dietz, 78, of Marion died November 18, 2015 at her home after a brief illness.

She was the wife of the late Albert Basse, Jr. and the late Col. Arthur H. Dietz.

Born in Leighton, AL, the daughter of the late Eugene V. and Shirley (Preuit) Blythe, she lived in Easton and Marion for many years.

After the death of her late husband Albert in 1976, she successfully managed and ran the family business, Albert Basse Associates in Stoughton, MA, later joined by her sons.

She enjoyed spending time with her family, gardening, the beach and reading.

Survivors include her 5 children, Deborah Basse Ewing and her husband Michael Meachen of Marion, Lynda Basse D’Amico and her husband Pat of North Attleboro, Albert “Chip” Basse, III and his wife Deborah, Edwin E. Basse and his wife Angela, and Christopher J. Basse and his wife Pamela, all of North Easton; 4 step-children, Nonie Garvey and her husband Mark and Arthur T. Dietz and his partner Rhonda, all of Idaho, Peggy Pietig and her husband John of Laguna Beach, CA and Eric Dietz and his wife Renée of Washington; 4 siblings, Emily Lidikay of Birmingham, Gregg P. Blythe of Decatur, AL, Robert Blythe of Birmingham, AL and Richard Blythe of Hartselle, AL; a brother-in-law, David Merchant of Dallas, TX; 24 grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

She was the sister of the late Eugene “Sonny” Blythe and the sister-in-law of the late Nancy Merchant and Barbara Coffee.

Her Funeral Service will be held on Monday at 11 AM at Tabor Academy’s Wickenden Chapel. Burial will follow in Old Landing Cemetery. Visiting hours will be held on Sunday from 2-6 PM in the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home For Funerals, 50 County Rd. (Rt. 6) Mattapoisett. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Community Nurse and Hospice Care, P.O. Box 751, Fairhaven, MA 02719. For directions guestbook, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.

A Bit of Heaven in Hell Week

Hell Week. Just the phrase itself is enough to strike fear in the hearts of the members of the Old Rochester Regional Drama Club. It means crunch time, and the cast and crew are working diligently together in order to put crucial finishing touches on this fall’s show, A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare.

For those of you who don’t know the plot of the show, Director Paul Sardinha summed it up nicely: “Couples who are in love that shouldn’t be in love have their love played with by the gods.”

The show, which starts each evening at 7:30 pm, opens this Thursday, November 19 and runs through Saturday, November 22. There will also be a Sunday matinee when the curtains will rise at 2:00 pm. On Friday morning, the drama club will hold a special performance for the school.

The ORR Drama Club runs like a well-oiled machine, and every person pitches in to make the show enjoyable for the audience. From concessions to the on-stage cast, every role is important to keep the drama club running.

It all starts with Director Paul Sardinha and Helen Blake, head of costumes. The dynamic duo have been working together for 23 years, donating countless hours towards making the drama club a place students enjoy coming to. Then there are the students involved in the productions, who give it their all, onstage and off.

The duty of the concessions crew may seem trivial, but do not be fooled. Without them, not only would there be no delicious popcorn and candy during intermission, there wouldn’t be a set on stage at all. Everyone in concessions is also responsible for helping create the set. They come on Saturdays for as long as they can and build a set that wows.

“There’s a good synergy and everyone is working together toward the common goal of making the set look nice,” said Emma Cadieux, a junior at ORR who is part of concessions. “And even if you don’t go to set construction one week and you go the next, you get to feel a sense of pride about what you’ve accomplished.”

And then there are the techies. As the name suggests, they do all the technical things that happen backstage. All the magical set changes that occur in (seemingly) record time are thanks to this dedicated part of the drama club. As followspotter Alex Wurl put it, “People don’t realize that there’s more to drama than just being on stage. Without the behind-the-scenes people, the show can’t go on.”

Costume people are yet another crucial part of the drama club. They work tirelessly with Helen Blake to create a unique costume for every person on stage.

“Mrs. B makes most of the costumes herself, but she has us help with the dying process, hand stitching the costumes, and adding pieces to each costume because each person, especially the fairies, have their own theme,” said Amberrayn Jones.

Helping with costumes isn’t only fun, it’s valuable, as Katie MacLean points out.

“You learn new things,” said MacLean. “Like, I learned how to stitch, which is a big accomplishment for me. You learn life skills – you need to know how to stitch. That’s kind of a life necessity, and you learn how to do that in costumes.”

As for the costumes themselves, the audience can look forward to the vivid hues and unique theme of each individual character.

“There’s a lot of very unique costumes. Paul and Mrs. B have definitely put a lot of time into each and every one of them, so each one’s different,” said Jones. “It’s not like costumes you can buy from iParty.”

The onstage cast is yet another invaluable part of the drama club. The audience can anticipate a magical performance from the fairies in the chorus. For this show, the chorus set up is unique in that almost every chorus member is a fairy, compared to years past where quick costume changes threw the chorus into a flurry of controlled chaos.

For this performance, the audience can expect bright colors and even a song from the chorus. Although this show is a little more lead-heavy than others in the past, the chorus is still excited to give it their all, and like Natasha Shorrock, they are excited to get the opportunity to interpret such a classic piece of literature on the Old Rochester stage.

“I feel like everyone sort of frowns upon Shakespeare,” said Shorrock. “Well, not frowns upon, but finds it a little boring. If you break it down, it’s hilarious.”

And that brings us to the leads – the ones who spend their nights memorizing the complicated Shakespearean English and picking it apart with Sardinha in order to perfect the inflections that were intended by the 16th century writer. All the leads seem to be in agreement about one thing – although being a lead can be stressful, it’s not as bad as you’d think.

Most of the challenges arise during the initial read-through and while memorizing the lines to try and figure out what they mean in modern day English.

Jack Roussell, who plays Demetrius, has a rather unique way to tackle the task of learning lines.

“Sometimes to memorize my lines, I’ll have someone hold my script, and I’ll say what I think the line is, and they’ll tell me if I’m right,” said Roussell. “It’s like flashcards, but theatrical.”

Although it can be a little intimidating to face such a classic play, the leads are enjoying themselves.

“It’s really just a learning experience for everybody, and I’m having a fun time with it,” said Roussell. “And I hope when you come to see it, you will too.”

Adam Perkins, who plays Lysander, summed up the general mentality of the cast in one simple sentence: “It’s given me an opportunity to do something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

So, how does the show come together in the first place? Sardinha explained the process.

“I contextualize the entire show when I first read the script. I know what I think I want to do,” said Sardinha. “Then, as things get going, I finalize things. Plans get changed every now and then because certain things are not possible, but most things are possible.” He continued, “It’s always efficiency. I have to make sure things are efficient so that the scene changes happen quickly. We follow the script and figure out what I think might work for a high school show, and I always do these Frankensteinian sets for our shows, because they’re always way too big.”

The members of the drama club are excited to be performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream, even though Shakespeare poses a plethora of challenges, as Alice Bednarczyk acknowledged.

“It’s really great to be a part of Shakespeare because it was written so long ago and it’s still relevant today,” said Bednarczyk. “People don’t dismiss it; it’s a big part of our culture, and a lot of other great actors have done the play before so it’s really cool to be a part of that lineage.”

As an audience member, you’ve got quite a show waiting for you.

“The audience is going to be looking forward to an inexpensive night [and] a wonderful performance where they will see their kids, their neighbors’ kids, and kids that they don’t even know pouring their hearts out onstage and backstage,” said Sardinha. “It’s a night where they’ll be able to forget about what’s happening outside for a couple of hours.”

What else does the drama club have to look forward to? The most exciting thing is the traditional sleepover, which is on Friday night. All members of the club sprint to the cafeteria after the Friday show in a mad dash to get a heaping plateful of late-night breakfast. There’s singing and laughing and sometimes even longboarding.

After breakfast, everyone runs back to the gym where bouncy houses with their colorful plastic await them. Movies are played in the auditorium with pizza set up for those midnight cravings the members of the cast inevitably have. It’s called a “sleepover,” but between snow cones and the bouncy houses, sleeping is definitely not a priority.

Sardinha shared some wise words to keep in mind while watching any high school show.

“High school theater is some of the best theater you can see. It doesn’t matter which school, because all the kids at all the schools fall in love with their productions and everybody works very, very hard on them,” Sardinha said. “You watch these kids wear their hearts on their sleeves. And you know that it’s a genuine offering from them and they’re doing the best that they can.”

By Sienna Wurl


Mary F. (Hathaway) Cruz

Mary F. (Hathaway) Cruz, 83, of Marion died Nov. 17, 2015 at Care One of New Bedford. She was the widow of the late Manuel J. Cruz and the daughter of the late Richard D. and Alice J. (Mitchell) Hathaway.

She was born in New Bedford and lived in Marion all of her life.

Mrs. Cruz worked at Cornell-Dubilier Electronics Company in New Bedford for many years before retiring.

She enjoyed word puzzles and square dancing.

Survivors include her brother, Winfred Hathaway of New Bedford and many nephews and nieces. She was the step sister of the late Burton E. Cloyd.

Her funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 21, 2015 in the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 2599 Cranberry Hwy., Wareham. Burial will follow in Evergreen Cemetery, Marion.

Visiting hours are from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday at the funeral home.

Rochester Council on Aging

The Fitness Room is open and available for members to use. Become a member by paying $20 a month membership fee and use the equipment as many times as it is open in that month. The Fitness Room Schedule is Mondays & Wednesdays, 8:00 – 11:00 am, and Fridays, 1:00 – 4:00 pm. As membership grows, we will increase the number of times it will be available. A packet with required registration forms to participate is available for pick-up at the Senior Center Office at any time. Anyone is welcome to become a member. Call with questions to Tammy, group leader, at 508-763-8723.

Volunteers are desperately needed for the breakfast program. Do you have 3-4 hours to spare early on one morning of the week to commit to helping in our very busy Breakfast Program? All of a sudden, due to illness, snow birds leaving for Florida, and other various reasons, we find ourselves short-staffed lately on any given morning. We need Dishwashers. We need Cooks. We need Waitresses. We need Substitutes. We need Worker Bees!!! So please consider being a part of this very successful and busy program, getting our customers off to a great start in the morning, and call Lorraine at 508-763-8723 to find out when you can start! Today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year? No experience is necessary! We provide training. Please join us!!!!

Nasketucket Bird Club Meeting

During the winter months, a variety of sea ducks begin populating our ponds and bays. We will explore the basics of sea duck ID, behavior, and stories from Nasketucket Bird Club members. We will also talk about the Christmas Bird Count!

The event will be held at 7:00 pm on Thursday, November 19 at the Mattapoisett Public Library, 7 Barstow Street. The meeting is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Carolyn Longworth at bvm1290@comcast.net or visit the club website at http://massbird.org/Nasketucket/

Marion Special Town Meeting

To The Editor:

The Marion Special Town Meeting was held on October 26 to vote on Article S4 to transfer $50,000 toward a $200,000 grant from the Buzzards Bay and Narragansett Estuary Program concerning a proposed sewer project to “possibly” eliminate nitrogen discharge from 31 homes in Aucoot Cove and 151 homes in Mattapoisett (Mattapoisett?).

So many questions asked were left unanswered that town meeting voted to table the article until more discussion ensued. Too much money spent on an eventual multi-million dollar program without all the facts.

Town Meetings are the oldest form of grassroots democracy. They allow citizens to access their municipal government and express their concerns about town affairs. Apparently, Marion’s elected selectmen do not realize that town meeting has the final authority to accept, reject or modify the action sought by any article presented. It was an approved vote to dismiss the article. End of subject.

YET, six days later, the board of selectmen, overrode the vote and went ahead against the wishes of the residents of Marion. Shame on them. They explained it wouldn’t cost the taxpayers a penny. Really? It would be nice to know how this is to be done. And if that is the case, why was it ever brought up to a vote? And how many times in the future will money be allocated on programs against the voters of Marion that are not vetted properly.

Let them know it is your taxpayer money and you want it to be spent on your terms. And you don’t want to lose a freedom which is ours to possess.

Ruth Nicolaci, Marion


The views expressed in the “Letters to the Editor” column are not necessarily those of The Wanderer, its staff or advertisers. The Wanderer will gladly accept any and all correspondence relating to timely and pertinent issues in the great Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester area, provided they include the author’s name, address and phone number for verification. We cannot publish anonymous, unsigned or unconfirmed submissions. The Wanderer reserves the right to edit, condense and otherwise alter submissions for purposes of clarity and/or spacing considerations. The Wanderer may choose to not run letters that thank businesses, and The Wanderer has the right to edit letters to omit business names. The Wanderer also reserves the right to deny publication of any submitted correspondence.

Soap Box Derby Accelerates Food Drive

It’s one of the highlights of the year for Marion’s Cub Scouts Pack 32. Well, every other year, that is.

The Biennial Soap Box Derby is an exciting event when kids ages 6 to 11 get to rev up their imaginations and design their winning soap box cart. This year may have been a little on the chilly side, but the weather was sunny and bright, just perfect for zooming down Holmes Street in Marion at what seems to the soap box cart driver a million miles an hour.

“And they spend the whole day enjoying it,” said Assistant Headmaster Kristen Saint Don-Campbell. “It’s a huge, fun thing for them. Outside of camping, it’s their favorite event.”

On top of all that, the pack stays true to its philosophy of having “fun with a purpose.”

“The Cub Scouts have been doing a food drive annually, and every other year we have the soap box derby, so we combine the two events,” said Saint Don-Campbell. The Scouts began collecting canned goods and non-perishables on October 17, assisted by the Marion Police Department and the First Congregational Church of Marion. Together, this year they collected a whopping 500 pounds of food for the needy. Imagine the back of a pick-up truck full of stacked boxes of food and you get an idea of the scope of the food drive’s success.

“It’s a real community effort,” said Saint Don-Campbell.

This is the second year that Pack 32 has chosen M.O. L.I.F.E. in Fairhaven as its beneficiary. The nonprofit organization assists people with disabilities in living an independent fulfilling life, and provides support in an array of areas such as meaningful employment, educational opportunities, and also has a food pantry for clients most in need.

“We wanted to keep the food local,” said Saint Don-Campbell. She said the pack prefers M.O. L.I.F.E. because it offers those in need of food the chance to contribute back in the form of volunteer work in exchange for a variety of services, including the food pantry. “They actually check who their food goes to. In order to get the supplies, they kind of work … and help out the organization,” said Saint Don-Campbell. “It’s kind of like, we give to them and they give to themselves.”

By Jean Perry

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Tabor Academy to Host Visiting Artist

Tabor Academy’s Art Department will host Cape Cod potter Joseph McCaffery on campus from Wednesday, November 18 to Friday, November 20. Mr. McCaffery has been a working studio potter for over 30 years. In 1987, he opened Narrowlands Pottery, a live/work studio and gallery in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. At Narrowlands, he has developed a range of functional ware made in stoneware and porcelain that explore the beauty and mystery of many of the classic high temperature glazes: Temoku, Celadon, Copper Red, and Shino.

During his stay on campus, he will conduct workshops in the ceramic studio with students and faculty. The public is invited to learn with Tabor on Thursday evening, November 19, when Mr. McCaffery will present an artist talk in the Braitmayer Art Center’s Ceramic Studio from 6:30 – 7:00 pm. The talk is open to the public and an exhibition of his pottery will also be on display and be available for purchase that evening.

Attendees should park at 71 Spring Street in the Hayden Library lot and walk around the library to find the Braitmayer Art Center.

“Hawk Walk” Open to the Community

The Sippican Woman’s Club has invited Diane Welsh to bring her red tailed hawk “Autumn” to Silvershell Beach in Marion on Saturday, November 21 at 10:00 am. Joining Diane will be Michele Losee with her Harris Hawk “Coral” and her Saker Falcon. Additionally, Courtney, a young woman who does rehabilitation with birds of prey, will accompany them. Since the birds will not be hunting, children as well as adults are encouraged to come and learn about falconry and birds of prey.

Let’s Eat at Open Table

You are invited for supper on Friday, November 20 at the Mattapoisett Congregational Church! As always, something delicious and nutritious is on the menu and we can’t wait to see you. There is no charge, although donations are gratefully accepted. Doors open at 4:30 pm and the meal will be served at 5:00 pm. Everyone is welcome!