Firefly Brewing Company

Watch the video below featuring Dana Bourque of Stafford. He and his colleagues have started up Firefly Brewery Company and his good friend, and Stafford native, Jeremy White produced this amazing video. I will be doing an interview with Dana in the coming weeks for, so keep an eye out for it.

Firefly Brewing Co – Hype Video from Jeremy White on Vimeo.


Scavenger Hunt #1

Kate and I started a new and fun activity for our myStaffordSprings supporters, it’s called “Find the Snail” scavenger hunt. A snail, like the one pictured above, will be hidden somewhere in Stafford and it’s up to you to find it. Clues will be given, the first person to find the snail will win a prize package. This week’s prize is a Paradiso Insurance t-shirt and a $10 gift card to Middle Ground Cafe. All the info is available on Facebook on the LIVE with Kate & Kurt page. Here’s this week’s clues….

1. People gathered near where I am many years ago to have a good time.
2. You might need to wash your car after you find me.
3. I’m located in the item that Mary Poppins boyfriend cleaned.

I’m Back

Hello all, it’s been a long time since I last blogged, that’s all going to change. With exciting new things happening in Stafford we are going to have tons of interesting topics for myStaffordSprings and the LIVE with Kate & Kurt Show. Come down to our office at 4 East Main St and say “Hi”. Let us know what’s going on so that we can share it with the community! Email us @ Shooting the Kate & Kurt show today, so I will be blogging about it and uploading it tonight. I am also looking forward to the upcoming racing season at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Kate & Kurt 2011 The Year in Review

Kate & Kurt 2011

Well as 2011 comes to an end I just want to say thank you to everyone that contributed to the Kate & Kurt show. I never thought it would last this long, but I look forward to 2012 as the show is going to keep improving. I would like to thank Chris Paradiso for making this all possible but I would especially like to thank my very special friend, Kate Pisciotta who dedicates countless hours every week to filming, editing, and coming up with ideas for the show and maintaining the MyStaffordSprings website anf Facebook pages. Check out the amazing video below that she put together highlighting our shows from 2011. Enjoy and we’ll see you next year!

December 29 Today in History, Andrew Johnson born 1808

17th President Andrew Johnson


I was talking American history with my children today, so we googled December 29 and I found this article about our 17th president Andrew Johnson on the Library of Congress website, so I thought I’d share it with you. He was born on this day in 1808. One of my New Year resolutions is to learn more about my country, thanks to Dr. Dutton’s history lessons on Happy New Year!

Today in History: December 29sources | archives | yesterday | tomorrowThe 17th President

Andrew Johnson, between 1855 and 1865.
By Popular: Portraits of the Presidents and First Ladies, 1789-Present

Andrew Johnson, the seventeenth president of the United States, was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, on December 29, 1808. His father’s death when the boy was three left the family in poverty. From age fourteen to age seventeen, young Johnson was apprenticed to a tailor. He then moved with his mother and stepfather to Greeneville, Tennessee, where he established himself as a tailor. Johnson never attended school but taught himself to read and write—he all but memorized the U.S. Constitution—and after his 1827 marriage to Eliza McCardle, a shoemaker’s daughter, acquired a good common education under her tutelage.

A gifted orator, Johnson quickly ascended the political ladder. In 1829, he won his first office, as an alderman. In steady succession he became mayor of Greeneville, a member of the Tennessee state legislature (1835-37, 1839-43), U.S. congressman (1843-53), governor of Tennessee (1853-57), and U.S. senator (1857-62). In Congress, Johnson supported the annexation of Texas and the Mexican-American War, and sponsored a homestead bill that anticipated the 1862 Homestead Act. He also was the only Southern senator who firmly supported the Union and remained in the Senate throughout both the secession crisis and the Civil War. In the spring of 1862, after federal forces captured portions of Tennessee, President Lincoln appointed him military governor of the state, an office he held despite constant danger to his life.

Andrew Johnson Residence, Greeneville, Tennessee
Samuel H Gottscho, photographer, September 20, 1961.
Architecture and Interior Design for 20th Century America: Photographs by Samuel Gottscho and William Schleisner, 1935-1955

Two years later, influential moderates such as William Seward worked to secure Andrew Johnson, a Democrat, as Lincoln’s running mate on the Republican Party ticket. According to a May 20, 1865, editorial in Harper’s Weekly, Seward had seen in Johnson “that his fellow-Senator, a land-reformer, a stern Union man, a trusted representative of the people of the South as distinguished from the planting aristocracy, was the very kind of leader by whom the political power of the aristocracy was ultimately to be overthrown in its own section.”

After Lincoln’s assassination in April 1865, little more than a month after their inauguration, Johnson assumed the presidency. His administration ran more smoothly in the foreign than the domestic arena: in 1867, Secretary of State Seward purchased Alaska and helped negotiate France’s withdrawal of troops from Mexico.

Andrew Johnson taking the oath of office, April 15, 1865
“I Do Solemnly Swear . . .”: Presidential Inaugurations

Domestically, Johnson faced a crisis with radical congressional Republicans who deemed his post-war Reconstruction policies far too lenient toward white Southerners and insufficiently supportive of former slaves. Regarding secession as a legal impossibility that ought to require little legislation to cancel, and bearing a white Southerner’s racial prejudices, Johnson sought to minimize the conditions under which those who had seceded could resume full citizenship and wished to do little beyond the Thirteenth Amendment to ensure rights and protections for the freedmen. (He had no interest, for example, in guaranteeing newly emancipated men the right to vote.) Ill will and deep political disagreements culminated in Congress voting articles of impeachment against Johnson in February 1868. On May 16, 1868, the U.S. Senate acquitted Johnson of the charges by a single vote and he served the remainder of his presidential term.

After his presidency, Johnson sought to vindicate himself by gaining reelection to the Senate. His first two bids were unsuccessful, but in 1875, he again became a U.S. senator from Tennessee. He died just months into his term.

The Library of Congress has a variety of sites with information on Andrew Johnson.

•See the Today in History feature on the impeachment of Andrew Johnson to read more about the first president to be impeached by the House and tried in the Senate.
•Search on the phrase Andrew Johnson in Architecture and Interior Design for 20th Century America: Photographs by Samuel Gottscho and William Schleisner, 1935-1955 to see more photographs of the Johnson residence in Greeneville.
•Browse the Subject Index of the collection By Popular Demand: Portraits of the Presidents and First Ladies, 1789-Present to find images of Andrew and Eliza Johnson.
•Historic American Sheet Music: 1850-1920 has a Timeline feature that presents representative pieces for each decade between 1850 and 1920 and includes a chronology of contemporary events. Explore, for example, 1860-1869, which covers the years Johnson served as vice president and as president.

“President Johnson’s Grand March,” 1865.
Historic American Sheet Music: 1850-1920

•The Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana contains two pieces of sheet music which mention “Andy” Johnson. Search the collection on the phrase Abe and Andy to find them
•See also Andrew Johnson: A Resource Guide, a Web Guide prepared by the Digital Reference Section that directs you to a wide variety of digital materials both on the Library’s Web site as well as to external links.
•To find resources for learning about elections and U.S. presidents, explore the Teachers Page presentation Elections…the American Way.
Outside the Library, see Finding Precedent: The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson, which provides excerpts from more than 200 articles from Harper’s Weekly during the period 1865-69; or explore the full history of the impeachment itself in the book presented online by the Avalon Project at Yale Law School.

Kate & Kurt Poll and New Logo

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Remember for all things Stafford goto or myStaffordSprings on Facebook. To share information with us to put on the Kate & Kurt show, just email us @ Watch for this week’s show on Wednesday. Merry Christmas!

Kate & Kurt Come to my Window


Nick Weisner


This week’s show is dedicated to Nick Weisner, a great young man that I had the pleasure to get to know when I coached him in football many years ago at Stafford High. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and many close friends, Nick you will forever be remembered.
For this week’s show Kate made me do some Rapunzel crap on a 25 foot ladder outside her window. Hillary showed me a few dance moves at Capelli’s Salon, a goose gets constipated, and Tocka gives us the weather report. Don’t forgot the Rock 4 Xmas charity concert at Sun Valley Beach Club this Friday night! Call me if you need tickets. (860)458-9366. Goto for everything Stafford.

Kate & Kurt, Early Snow Storm Aftermath

2011 Stafford Bulldogs B-Team Northern Division Champs


Sorry for getting this out so late but it’s better late than never. After a week off Kate and I were back at it. Tocka talks about the storm and power outages, Dance Break w Hillary is back, and we have a lot of local news. Thanks to Alex from Basil’s for letting us shoot our show from there! Check out the videos above, one is our Kate & Kurt Show and the other is Dr. Dutton’s history video from the Stafford St. Common. Congrats to the Stafford Bulldogs B-Team football team for winning the Northern Division for the first time in many years. I’m so proud to be a part of this! We need your support next Sunday @ 2pm in Tolland as we take on Colchester in the NCFL Superbowl.

Veterans Day, Remembering my Father

Jim Vail 1921 - 2010

It’s has been over a year and a half since my father, Francis James Vail, has died, and like I did last year during Veterans Day I’d like to pay tribute to him. Central Connecticut State University did an interview with my father and many other veterans from World War II.  My father was very honored to be asked to take part in the Veterans History Project, it is a great tribute to the men and women that served. To watch the interview with my father hit this link ——-> Francis J. Vail . You can also see the great pictures he took while over in Europe and Africa. Today is a day of remembrance and a day to honor all those who risked their lives and made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedoms. God bless to all the verterans and all the active military, this humble father thanks you for protecting my freedom and the futures of my children.  Below is a video that Kate put together for, check it out.

Kate & Kurt minus Kurt

Congratulations to Kate and Elisha Palumbo for beating me in the ClearPoint Center Challenge. They both lost over 10 pounds in 9 days, I lost just 9.6 pounds so Elisha got to host this week’s show in my place. Also a huge shout out to Fred Nassiff of Paradiso Insurance who lost a whopping 23 pounds in 9 days. Thanks again to Steve Munn and Shannon McCarthy for helping all of us get more healthy. also on this week’s show Dr. Dutton teaches us about the old saw mill near Spellman Road, Tocka’s weather, and all upcoming Stafford events. I would also like to thank the staff at Bravo’s Restaurant for another amazing spread the put on for us, the food was fantastic. This Sunday afternoon at 3:00pm the Stafford B-Team will be taking on Tolland with the winner of the game takes home the Northern Division regular season championship. I’m very proud of our team, they’ve played great all year, especially my little buddy #24, Noah Vail. Come support us Sunday afternoon at Olympic Field. Also, for the month of November, if you dine in at Bravo’s and mention the Kate & Kurt Show you will get 10% off your entire check!!! What a deal, check out this week’s video below. Don’t worry people I will be back on next week’s show.