Neighbors: Enjoy the weather and what’s ahead

Hello neighbor.

I think we are over the hump — the sun is shining and temperatures are rising. If we get any snow at this point, it will be gone almost before it hits the ground.

Grandson Justin and I are going to trim some of my bushes this weekend, and maybe we’ll go out for pancakes topped with delicious local maple syrup. Remember, it’s that time of year, and it doesn’t last long.

It won’t be long before we’ll all be preparing our gardens. I’m going to have one this year — the first time in many years, decades, actually. I’ll let you know later in the season how that is going.

What I believe is important this time of year, is to keep busy and get plenty of fresh air.

It’s a little muddy, but a nice walk on one of the gates of the Quabbin Reservoir in New Salem would be nice — some are more nature-oriented, while others have a more historic appeal.

Maybe a walk up the mountain to Poet’s Seat Tower in Greenfield would be more to your liking. And there are many other trails that run along Rocky Mountain on the town’s eastern edge.

There are also plenty of trails through some of our state forests (Wendell, Conway, Erving, Mohawk Trail and Catamount in Colrain, to name a few), but if it’s still a little too cold or wet for you, just take a nice spring walk through the streets of your town and say “hello” to some of your neighbors, who are also making their way out of hibernation at this point.

Have a great weekend.

TRINITARIAN CHURCH IN NORTHFIELD will hold a family game night tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the church. Young and old are invited to join in.

There will be new and old card games, board games, and ping-pong.

A donation to the food pantry would be appreciated.

For more information, call 413-498-5839.

BUCKLAND PUBLIC LIBRARY HAS TEAMED with ShoeBox Recycling to find new homes for used shoes that are in good condition.

The library will hold a Maple Breakfast at Mary Lyon Church on Upper Street in Buckland on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon to support its own fundraising efforts and, at the same time, is asking that those who attend bring shoes they no longer use.

The cost of the breakfast is $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 6 to 12. Children 5 and under are free.

Plain and blueberry pancakes will be served with home fries, eggs, sausage (meat and vegetarian), orange juice, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.

The library’s effort is two-fold: to keep old shoes out of landfills and provide affordable footwear to those in need.

The shoes are repaired and sent to places around the world, creating entrepreneurial opportunities and fueling local and international economies.

Shoe recycling boxes can be found through June at the following locations: Foster’s Super Market on Allen Street in Greenfield, Keystone Market on Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls, Buckland Town Hall, and Buckland landfill after April 1.

If you can provide a site for a recycle box, please contact Ann Bodkhe at 625-9455.

DIAL/SELF WILL HOLD ITS ANNUAL Badminton Bash on April 7 at the Forslund Gym at Northfield Mount Hermon School.

The annual event is sponsored by DIAL/SELF’s Youth and Community Services to raise money to support a youth throughout Hampshire and Franklin counties and the North Quabbin area.

The bash is a family-fun tournament for players who range in age from 8 to adults in their 60s and 70s.

Teams must consist of three members. Each participant will be asked to raise $50 in pledges and donations. Those who raise $50 will receive a free Bash T-shirt.

There are two tournament slots: the Early Bird from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and the Sunday Brunch from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

Trophies will be awarded for first- and second-place winners.

There will be free food and water served to all players. There will also be a raffle.

For more information, visit:

OUR NEIGHBOR JENNIFER BRAGGIN has decided to use the small inheritance she received from her grandfather, longtime Greenfield resident Donald E. Vetterling, when he passed away last year at the age of 86, to establish a scholarship at Greenfield High School.

The scholarship of $500 will be given each year to a graduating senior who intends to pursue a STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) major in college.

The deadline for applications is April 1, so eligible Greenfield High School seniors should apply for the Donald E. Vetterling Scholarship now. For an application form, contact the school’s guidance office.

OUR NEIGHBOR BEN SIMANSKI, a Greenfield lawyer, is raising money for Team Eye and Ear, which will be running in the Boston Marathon this year.

Ben has raised $5,697 of the $10,000 he hopes to raise for Massachusetts Eye and Ear, and would like to know if you can help.

Over the past few months, his vision has become increasingly worse, he writes on CrowdRise, where you can go to donate.

Ben writes that it took time to get a diagnosis, but after working with Dr. Eliot Berson of Mass Eye and Ear, he learned he will eventually go blind. He said he will soon lose the center of his vision in both eyes.

Unfortunately, there is no treatment or cure available, but Mass Eye and Ear is searching for one, and that’s where the donations come in — they help with that effort.

Along with Ben’s fundraising efforts, Franklin County Bar Association, Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, and the staff of Franklin County Courthouse, will hold a fundraiser to benefit Mass Eye and Ear at The Greenfield Grille on April 11 at 4:30 p.m.

For more information or to donate online, visit:

A WEEK OR TWO AGO, I put out a request asking if anyone knew when Turners Falls High School teams became the Indians.

Michael Cadran, a 1968 graduate of my alma mater, said his research shows reference to the names “tribe,” “braves,” and “Indians” in newspaper write-ups beginning in 1933.

Mike said none of those tags appear prior to then, from 1927 to 1932, in Recorder Gazette articles.

He said he is now checking old yearbooks.

BEN MINER AND FRANCESCA PASSIGLIA are currently working to find a spot to build a skate park in Greenfield. They are also looking for a “temporary” spot.

Ben, who was, and still is to some extent, a skateboarder, said he and others believe local kids need a skate park. He said because they lost their decade-old skate park off Olive Street a couple of years ago, many of them have taken to the streets and parking lots of Greenfield to practice their skills/sport.

To help, visit: or their Facebook page.

You can also email Ben or Francesca at:

THE GILL ENERGY COMMISSION will hold an educational Energy Fair at the Gill Town Hall, 325 Main Road, on April 6 from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

The fair will kick off a campaign to reduce energy use in the town by 13 percent in 2013. The event is free to attendees and exhibitors. Campaign sign-up will begin at the fair.

The first 100 Gill homes to sign up and commit to the pledge will receive a Gill Energy reduction lawn sign.

For more information about the event, call or write Pamela Lester at 413-222-9674 or

CATAMOUNT HILL ASSOCIATION BOOK COMMITTEE is updating its mailing list and looking for Catamount descendants, especially families related to Bradford Bond, Dennis Daniels, Hiram Woodard, Alvan Goodnow, Levi Steele, and Silas or Joel Clark.

The committee will be holding an event on June 15 at Colrain Historical Society, which will include hikes.

To benefit the CHA, the committee will be selling the second printing of the Catamount Hill Association book, which was printed by the Reunion Committee in 1901.

For more information, or if you are a descendant, contact Muriel E. Russell at 413-624-3311 or Dot Willis Giffin at 413-625-9009.

To contact Anita Fritz, a staff reporter at The Recorder, send an email to: or call 413-772-0261, ext. 280 or call her cell at 413-388-6950. You can also reach Anita on Facebook at Anita’s Neighbors. Information to be included in Neighbors may also be sent to: up to noon on the day before you want it to run.

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