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Life & Times

Recorder/Paul Franz

Art, with no qualifying terms

Friday, July 31, 2015

As an artist with over half a century’s experience, Gerry Biron of Saxtons River, Vt., never quite knew why he was so drawn to producing pieces that depicted Native Americans and their lives. That was, until his mother revealed that his grandmother had been a member of a tribe from New England. “It completely changed the course of my life … 0

Fictional ‘Miss Emily’ feels true to Dickinson’s character

Friday, July 31, 2015

Emily Dickinson, whose poetry was known by very few in her lifetime, has probably never been more popular than she is today, perhaps because her poetry seems more modern than that of many of her contemporaries. Among my acquaintances, her life has inspired scholarship and her poetry has inspired music. Her homebound, yet … 0

It takes a village to write a history book

Friday, July 24, 2015

“You can’t swing a cat in this town without hitting several other writers and editors,” says Chris Jerome, in a chapter from Ashfield’s latest best seller: “History of the Town of Ashfield, Volume III, 1960 - 2010.” Jerome is a former New England Monthly magazine editor who moved to Ashfield many years ago … 0

Trail Mix: nature activities in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Editor’s Note: Listings in Trail Mix are free. Email outdoor@recorder.com. The deadline is Tuesday by 8 a.m. Questions? Call 413-772-0261, ext. 276. Weather may cancel or force the rescheduling of some of these events. Additionally, space is often limited. Please contact organizers to ensure you can attend. This … 0

Speaking of Nature: To spot the Eastern towhee, you need to be in the right area

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sunday was Father’s Day, which also happened to coincide with the first day of summer. To celebrate, my beautiful wife Susan and I headed to Amherst to spend the weekend with my parents. Saturday was a beautiful sunny … 0

Franklin County Food & Farms, June 24, 2015

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

4-H Fair at Heath Fairgrounds 4-H youth of Franklin County will hold their Franklin County 4-H Fair on Saturday, June 27, at Heath Fairgrounds in Heath. The event is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The 4-H Fair showcases the skills that … 0

Savoring the Seasons: Inspired by the Greenfield Farmers Market

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I love Saturdays in downtown Greenfield when it’s farmers market season. As the season unfolds, there are always new delights to inspire me. Last Saturday, I was thrilled to see sugar snap peas and garlic scapes along with … 0

Between the Rows: Curbside garden or hellstrip?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Now that I have planted Greenfield hellstrip I can make the official announcement: we are the proud owners of a small house with a small yard in Greenfield. The house has garden space on the south side and … 0

It matters what we have faith in

Friday, June 12, 2015

(Editor’s note: The following is a submission to The Recorder’s weekly column titled “Faith Matters.” Each Saturday, a different faith leader in Franklin County offers a personal religious perspective in this space. An accompanying sidebar offers a brief … 0

Freedom worth singing for: Freedom Singers coming to Ashfield June 13

Friday, June 5, 2015

Long before Bill Perlman was an Ashfield firefighter and selectman, a Franklin County commissioner or a member of the regional Council of Governments, he was one of the Freedom Singers. At 18 — 10 years after he learned … 0

Savoring the Seasons: Highland cattle both lean and tasty

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Hooray for recent rains! While we need more to move beyond the current drought, I hope that the rain eases things for the many farmers and gardeners in our community. One of the great things about the Atlas Farm Spring Festival in May was chatting with many local … 0

Construction curveball? Don’t forget the change order

Friday, June 19, 2015

It’s just a piece of paper, often only one sheet, and different companies write it up different ways. Yet when needed, the change order could prove the only thing that stands between you and hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of misunderstanding — or worse, unauthorized work that … 0

Book explores innovations in Japanese home design

Friday, June 19, 2015

Challenged to build homes that create a feeling of light, space and tranquility in some of the world’s most densely populated areas, Japanese architects have had no choice but to think outside the box. Literally. Basic elements like … 0