Testimonials

 

 

American Movie Classics Television Network

photo by Joe Fortunato

Romance Classics and RCN announce:

Peggy Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Society with "Cool Woman of America Award.... This award was presented to only 175 women throughout the country. "We are proud to honor Ms. Melanson for her inspirational qualities..... that encourage people everywhere to take positive actions which impact the lives of others around them." Mary von Ruden, General Manager, Romance Classics.

 

Boston Globe:

Somerville - So what does it take to win the Cool Woman of the Year Award? This year's winner, Somerville's Peggy Melanson, said it helps to have her philosophy on life, "If you drop an egg, don't cry about it, make scrambled eggs." Melanson was selected for the award by RCN... the American Movie Classics' Romance network, because she is an ordinary woman living an extraordinary life" and has used her talents to inspire others." While riding to and from radiation treatments at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, Melanson authored "Buddha on the Bus," a book of short stories published by the Beth Israel in 1996. She has been working as a writer ever since. (by Nathanial Cook, Boston Globe staff)

 

Medford Transcript:

Somerville native wins RCN, AMC national honor.

Whether through the written word, her workshops, advice or any of her "ways of being" Peggy Melanson exudes what it is to be cool. For the Somerville native, however, it has been only a simple, self-sufficient and inward brand of cool, an "ordinary" sort of modest assurance. There is a coolness in her voice, mature and sincere and when within 10 paces, you know she is there because there is a warmth emanating from within her coolness." (by Ben Berzai, Transcript staff)

 

Gail Carson, Editor, Stoneham Sun Newspaper

It is my pleasure to recommend Peggy Melanson for any.endeavor she chooses to undertake. She is a fine storyteller in print. She always earns praise from the subjects of her articles and for her stories published in the Stoneham Sun. She has published dozens of articles in my paper and also other Community Newspaper Company (CNC) network. We publish papers for 119 communities in and around Boston. She has worked as a freelance photojournalist for nearly two years. In her work for me she showed talent too as an enterprise reporter, finding stories I had not even thought of.

 

 

Finding the Courage to Create Workshops Testimonials

 

Howard Bronstein, Lead Instructor, UMASS Donahue Institute

The entire Pioneer Valley Enterprise Program Start-up Business Class extends its sincerest gratitude ... your Finding the Courage to Create (workshop) was the perfect program for the group. Your message of Do It, Do It, Do it Anyway culled from your own experience is a useful and effective message.

Your blend of everything from humorous, moving and inspiration stories to practical and useful reading made the program rich in both form and content. Please let me know when you'll be back in our area so we can arrange a reprise of your program.

 

 

Jay Stryker, Student UMASS Donahue Institute

You touched upon issues of value to us all, especially the recognition of "getting stuck", which is a mixture of fear and doubt about ones' abilities. Your gentle words and snappy anecdotes were most welcome. You yourself are an example of what you tell of...

 

 

Barbara Madden-Johnson, M.A., Licensed NLP Trainer

I have been a career and Identity Coach for the last 30 years, and I am impressed with Peggy's natural ease and effectiveness in coaching others into their excellence. She proved herself to be gifted at creating an environment of trust and support and helping others find and express their inner voice.

It was my experience to be part of her Finding the Courage to Create Workshop and a culminating experience for my group was a "Somerfest" performance in which we created and told the story of "The Five Glorious Mysteries, telling the tales of growing up Catholic.

Members of the group are still recognized and stopped on the street by audience members who laughingly recount their favorite parts of the story. The group has been asked to do repeat performances in other parts of the state. This is all the more remarkable when you consider that the presenters were beginners with no public speaking background. Peggy has an infectious sense of humor, blended with kindness and the instinctive sense of how to uniquely support each person in the development of her own authentic voice.

 

 

Susan Maffioli, student:

We were a class of terrified women, yet by the end of the first class, you had us all smiling and starting to believe that we really could be creative... You gave me the courage to introduce myself as a poet, writer, and photographer.....That you allowed yourself to show deep emotion when something one of your students wrote touched you, showed me that you have compassion and integrity. You are a unique and special educator.

 

Stephanie Cronin: student

You gave us permission to dream....Our first assignment, "It was the color of..." allowed me to experience all of my senses in creating the elements of Nature. I could feel the wind against my face.. the crackling of leaves beneath my feet... We became writers in your class. We will always look at a piece we have written and see your spirit hiding beneath the words. Thank you for helping us find the courage to create.

 

 

Stonescape Painting Workshops for adults & Children

 

Kat Mitchell, Events Coordinator, Community Growing Center

For the past two years, Peggy Melanson has presented programs at the Growing Center, an outdoor garden, performance and education space in Somerville (Massachusetts). Her programs have included wonderful and interactive storytelling (for grownups) and most recently Stonescape painting for children ages nine to twelve years old. Peggy has a magical way of creating a comfortable and welcoming place to express one's self. She comes well prepared and organized and creates enough structure and clarity that people know exactly what to do and jump right in. She is a delightful and spirited individual who can be depended upon to facilitate a positive and inspiring program.

 

 

Carol Paquet, Grandmother of Stonescape participant

....My granddaughter thoroughly enjoyed creating her own unique (stonescape) design at the library. All the children were encouraged by Peggy's leader/teacher techniques as she preceded the painting with a wonderful magical story, "Tow's Magic Soup." The children's reactions and participation throughout the event demonstrated to me that they were completely absorbed in their project under Ms. Melanson's skillful guidance.

 

Nancy Martins, Somerville High School student

During the month of December, Stonescape artist, Peggy Melanson came to the Somerville High School Graphics Communications Department to teach stonescape painting. I could have drawn and painted anything I wanted on the stones. Painting rocks was relaxing and relieved the stress of the day. Ms. Melanson didn't teach us how to paint the stones, she allowed us to use our imagination and paint what we felt. I'm looking forward to the field trip... to gather rocks with Ms. Melanson in the spring. I hope she comes back to teach another class. Because of this class, I'm going to begin painting stones on my own.

 

Joey Barnes, Somerville High School student

Thank you very much for inviting stonescape artist and writer, Ms. Peggy Melanson to teach stone painting to the graphic communications students. I really thought this class was really interesting. I usually paint on paper but the act of mainting on stones was different to me. The stones hold the paint better and it was more fun to paint on rocks. Because this was an hands-on class, it kept my interest at a high level. Ms. Melanson is a great woman and she is really fun to be with. She told us some really funny stories and she also told us that she really enjoys painiting and how a person's life could change from painting rocks.

 

 

One Woman Show - Comedy by Chef Nostalgia (Peggy Melanson)

 

 

Barbara Kerr, Assistant Director, Medford Library

I was very pleased that you agreed to perform at the library. ...Every single member of the audience stopped me after the show to say how much they enjoyed it (your performance). They particularly enjoyed the pieces about the "Bookie in the Zoot Suit," and of course, your great story about the cat and the turkey. The way you told the stories was brilliant too.... I think all of us felt that we were there at the "memorial Service" at Johnny D's. ......

I also wanted to mention that the audience was really touched by your stories about your family, particularly the one about your brother and the "Christmas Wishing Apple." You know just how to mix humor and real feeling so that your stories touch an audience to the heart.

 

 

Stephanie Cronin, Audience member (One Woman Show)

We had the wonderful opportunity to attend a (One Woman Show) featuring Peggy Melanson aka Chef Nostalgia. I was introduced to Peggy on Local Access Television, so I jumped at the chance to see her perform in person. What an experience. She has such a way of telling warm and wonderful adventures. She had us rolling in the aisles. She was able to poke fun at herself and not lose the dignity that she brought to the stage.

 

 

Jo-Ann Waugh, Master Storyteller for Young Audiences of Mass.

I was delighted to see your performances at Willow-Books and Cafe and the Three Apples Storytelling Festival in September. I think that you have a natural style of storytelling that engages audiences immediately. Your interplay of humor and humanity, was as beautifully integrated as was your sense of timing throughout your story of Fluffy and the Turkey. There were images within your story that I know I will never forget.

 

 

Candy Whitman, Writer

Writng has always been a private activity for me and only "real writers" share their work. Your entertaining style ( One Woman Show) put everyone at ease right away. And more importantly, your consistent encouragement of our writing and of our reading our work out loud opened the creative floodgates.... I knew that if I jumped from my secure and lonely perch I could swim or even fly. Thank you for sharing yourself, for believing in us and for all the writing resources. But mostly, thanks for the wings

 

 

Stories and Poems

Stories

Brother Blue -Golden Comet

The Turkey Story

Mystic View

Buddha on the Bus

Teenage Buddha

Baby Buddha

Popsicle Buddha

Crystal Bowl Buddha

Receptionist Buddha

Lucky Penny Buddha

Cat Buddha

The Girls Who Work

The Gift

Poems

Forever

Finally Let Out

The High Muckey Muck

Murder in My Yard

Green Fingernails

Frying Pan Love

 

Stories and Poems

Stories

Brother Blue -Golden Comet

The Turkey Story

Mystic View

Buddha on the Bus

Teenage Buddha

Baby Buddha

Popsicle Buddha

Crystal Bowl Buddha

Receptionist Buddha

Lucky Penny Buddha

Cat Buddha

The Girls Who Work

The Gift

Poems

Forever

Finally Let Out

The High Muckey Muck

Murder in My Yard

Green Fingernails

Frying Pan Love

 

Stories and Poems

Stories

Brother Blue -Golden Comet

The Turkey Story

Mystic View

Buddha on the Bus

Teenage Buddha

Baby Buddha

Popsicle Buddha

Crystal Bowl Buddha

Receptionist Buddha

Lucky Penny Buddha

Cat Buddha

The Girls Who Work

The Gift

Poems

Forever

Finally Let Out

The High Muckey Muck

Murder in My Yard

Green Fingernails

Frying Pan Love

 

Stories and Poems

Stories

Brother Blue -Golden Comet

The Turkey Story

Mystic View

Buddha on the Bus

Teenage Buddha

Baby Buddha

Popsicle Buddha

Crystal Bowl Buddha

Receptionist Buddha

Lucky Penny Buddha

Cat Buddha

The Girls Who Work

The Gift

Poems

Forever

Finally Let Out

The High Muckey Muck

Murder in My Yard

Green Fingernails

Frying Pan Love

 

Stories and Poems

Stories

Brother Blue -Golden Comet

The Turkey Story

Mystic View

Buddha on the Bus

Teenage Buddha

Baby Buddha

Popsicle Buddha

Crystal Bowl Buddha

Receptionist Buddha

Lucky Penny Buddha

Cat Buddha

The Girls Who Work

The Gift

Poems

Forever

Finally Let Out

The High Muckey Muck

Murder in My Yard

Green Fingernails

Frying Pan Love

 

Stories and Poems

Stories

Brother Blue -Golden Comet

The Turkey Story

Mystic View

Buddha on the Bus

Teenage Buddha

Baby Buddha

Popsicle Buddha

Crystal Bowl Buddha

Receptionist Buddha

Lucky Penny Buddha

Cat Buddha

The Girls Who Work

The Gift

Poems

Forever

Finally Let Out

The High Muckey Muck

Murder in My Yard

Green Fingernails

Frying Pan Love

 

Stories and Poems

Stories

Brother Blue -Golden Comet

The Turkey Story

Mystic View

Buddha on the Bus

Teenage Buddha

Baby Buddha

Popsicle Buddha

Crystal Bowl Buddha

Receptionist Buddha

Lucky Penny Buddha

Cat Buddha

The Girls Who Work

The Gift

Poems

Forever

Finally Let Out

The High Muckey Muck

Murder in My Yard

Green Fingernails

Frying Pan Love

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