Wellesley summer round-up, 2020

Welcome back to a post-Labor Day Wellesley that looks a lot different than those of years past. We can remember end-of-summer times when our family just barely skidded back into town ahead of the first day of school. Off we sent the kids, practically tracking beach sand into the classroom.

Times have changed. Given that the Wellesley Public Schools, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, has switched over to a hybrid model of learning that doesn’t start until mid-September, many families may have chosen to  hunker down at their summer escape spots for a little while longer. And why not? Remote instruction for students starts September 16th. The transition to a hybrid model that includes in-person instruction will begin on October 1st. So those who have reluctantly left their happy places all too early year after year suddenly have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to extend the season.

Here are some other highlights from Wellesley that you might have missed over the summer:

1) Wellesley residents took to the streets

Hundreds of people, many holding signs bearing the names of those killed in recent years while in police custody, lined Washington Street in Wellesley from Reidy Field past the tennis courts in a mostly silent vigil. SEE PICS.

Wellesley demonstration

The somber crowd, facing the road as honking vehicles drove by, urged justice for George Floyd and an end to police brutality. Floyd died in Minneapolis on May 25 after being pinned to the ground by a police officer who kneeled on his neck for over 8 minutes. READ MORE

2) Wellesley Free Library reopened

We had missed the  Wellesley Free Library terribly since it closed in March due to COVID-19 concerns, so you can bet we rushed right in to get a first look at the main branch the second it opened. No matter how many rules we had to follow (and there are a lot of rules) it didn’t matter. We just wanted to drift through one of our old haunts and remember better days. READ MORE.

Wellesley Free Library
Wellesley Free Library

3) WHS Class of 2020 got its outdoor ceremony

About 200 Wellesley High School graduates took part in a scaled down but still rewarding ceremony to celebrate the Class of 2020’s launch to the future. The entire ceremony clocked in at a bit over an hour and a half. READ MORE. SEE THE VIDEO.

WHS graduation 2020

4) Linden Square art installation refused to go down to coronavirus

Three recent Wellesley High School 2020 graduates took up their paintbrushes and completed a long-planned project for their WHS Art Intensive course. It had been a long time coming. First the public artwork, a 6′ x 27′ mural-style painting on the curved brick wall at the corner of Linden and Everett Streets, faced delays due to the coronavirus pandemic. Next, the artists were challenged by 90+ degree temperatures. No matter, they got out there and made it happen. Project mentor Alexander Golob said, “The result is a joyous and playful mural that showcases various animals doing activities that community members told us they were doing during the pandemic, baking, listening to music, playing soccer, going for picnics.” READ MORE

Linden Square mural
Mural title: “A Town At Play – Finding Meaning During Covid-19.” Photo credit, Alexander Golob

5) Diamonds in the rough at the RDF

Wellesley’s Felicity Bortolan used to remove her wedding ring before showering. But that routine is no more after a close call this summer during a dump run.

“I’m completely fanatical about where I put stuff and my ring, I always take off and put in the same place when I shower,” she says of the jewelry, which marks 21 years of marriage to her husband Paul. “However there were tissues and other things that were on the counter and these covered my ring. In the sheer hurriedness of getting to the dump I swept the trash off the counter and tied the bag. Paul took it to the dump.” READ MORE, SEE THE ROCKS

6) Colette Aufranc won Wellesley BOS seat in special election

Colette Aufranc, who cited her financial experience and school volunteer efforts as prepping her for a seat on Wellesley’s Board of Selectmen, won a close Special Election race over two other candidates. Just over half of all registered voters cast ballots. Aufranc’s competition for the position were Gwen Baker and Odessa Sanchez. READ MORE

7) Wellesley Square clock

Don’t be alarmed if you notice the 2-dial Wellesley Square clock disappearing in coming weeks. It’s getting a facelift and more. This Wellesley landmark is being completely renovated and hopefully will be back before the holiday season, says the Department of Public Works’ Mike Quinn, who is superintendent of the Park & Highway Division. YOU’VE GOT TIME TO READ MORE

8) Wellesley police went for gold with Winnie the dog

The Wellesley Police Department has welcomed Winnie, a 10-month old English Cream Golden Retriever, as its community resource service dog. SEE THE CUTE PUP

9) Mrs. Swellesley has a thing for Phil

It’s not what you think. READ MORE

10) Letter from Wayne the postal worker to the Wellesley community

Wellesley Square Post Office, Wayne
Wellesley Square Post Office, Wayne

Wayne says, “For approximately the past 10+ years I have had the pleasure & honor of being your “Window #2 postal clerk” at the Wellesley Square Post Office. It has truly been a great & rewarding run! It is time for me, however, to venture on into life’s next adventure as I will be retiring from the United States Postal Service on June 30th after 32 & 1/2 years of employment.” READ MORE

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