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Neighbors

It’s 2013. Time to get to know the county better

  • Maria's Kitchen in Worcester cooked up a feast as their relatives from all over Massachusetts converged on the Green River Swimming and Recreation Area in Greenfield for a extended family gathering on the Fourth of July Monday. Franz

    Maria's Kitchen in Worcester cooked up a feast as their relatives from all over Massachusetts converged on the Green River Swimming and Recreation Area in Greenfield for a extended family gathering on the Fourth of July Monday. Franz

  • Recorder/File Photo<br/>In this file photo from a previous annual Heath Fair, Morgan Lavalle shows his blackface sheep in the pit.

    Recorder/File Photo
    In this file photo from a previous annual Heath Fair, Morgan Lavalle shows his blackface sheep in the pit.

  • Water  from the Deerfield River rages over the dam above the potholes in Shelburne Falls<br/>ROP<br/>10/11/18 MacDonald

    Water from the Deerfield River rages over the dam above the potholes in Shelburne Falls
    ROP
    10/11/18 MacDonald

  • The Glacial Potholes in Shelburne Falls look truly "glacial " as the spray of water from the dam coats the rock forms in ice  during January's freeze, this attracts photographers who brave the cold like Bob Benns ,of Chicopee who is making a multiple frame panorama of the scene. An unidentified person at right is also taking photos.<br/><br/>09/1/10  ROP   Geoff Bluh

    The Glacial Potholes in Shelburne Falls look truly "glacial " as the spray of water from the dam coats the rock forms in ice during January's freeze, this attracts photographers who brave the cold like Bob Benns ,of Chicopee who is making a multiple frame panorama of the scene. An unidentified person at right is also taking photos.

    09/1/10 ROP Geoff Bluh

  •  A scene in Double Eddge Theater's "Arabian Nights... as Illustrated by Chagall", with Jeremy Louise Eaton, as Sheherazade( on trapeze) , Carlos Uriona as the Vizier, and Mathew Glassman, as the King.<br/><br/>A&E  09/7/25  Geoff Bluh

    A scene in Double Eddge Theater's "Arabian Nights... as Illustrated by Chagall", with Jeremy Louise Eaton, as Sheherazade( on trapeze) , Carlos Uriona as the Vizier, and Mathew Glassman, as the King.

    A&E 09/7/25 Geoff Bluh

  • Aladdin , played by Adam Bright, is taken on a flying carpet ride with the Genie, played by Hayley Brown .<br/><br/>A&E   09/7/24  Geoff Bluh<br/>

    Aladdin , played by Adam Bright, is taken on a flying carpet ride with the Genie, played by Hayley Brown .

    A&E 09/7/24 Geoff Bluh

  • Maria's Kitchen in Worcester cooked up a feast as their relatives from all over Massachusetts converged on the Green River Swimming and Recreation Area in Greenfield for a extended family gathering on the Fourth of July Monday. Franz
  • Recorder/File Photo<br/>In this file photo from a previous annual Heath Fair, Morgan Lavalle shows his blackface sheep in the pit.
  • Water  from the Deerfield River rages over the dam above the potholes in Shelburne Falls<br/>ROP<br/>10/11/18 MacDonald
  • The Glacial Potholes in Shelburne Falls look truly "glacial " as the spray of water from the dam coats the rock forms in ice  during January's freeze, this attracts photographers who brave the cold like Bob Benns ,of Chicopee who is making a multiple frame panorama of the scene. An unidentified person at right is also taking photos.<br/><br/>09/1/10  ROP   Geoff Bluh
  •  A scene in Double Eddge Theater's "Arabian Nights... as Illustrated by Chagall", with Jeremy Louise Eaton, as Sheherazade( on trapeze) , Carlos Uriona as the Vizier, and Mathew Glassman, as the King.<br/><br/>A&E  09/7/25  Geoff Bluh
  • Aladdin , played by Adam Bright, is taken on a flying carpet ride with the Genie, played by Hayley Brown .<br/><br/>A&E   09/7/24  Geoff Bluh<br/>

Hello neighbor.

Welcome to 2013.

Since I didn’t hear from you this weekend, after asking you to send me some of the New Year’s resolutions you made Monday night, I thought I’d take today’s Neighbors in a different direction.

There are so many wonderful things to do and see in Franklin County, and I’ve decided to make it one of my 2013 missions to visit each of the 26 towns this year and find out just what makes them, and the people who live in them, so special.

In some towns, I have chosen specific events or places to go, while others I will simply explore.

Remember, I’ve lived here all of my life, so there are places I know really well. I am embarrassed to say, though, that there are others I know absolutely nothing about. But that will change by the end of the year.

What I would also love is for you to do the same. Travel the county and as you do, pay attention to detail. Visit towns you’ve never been to or only driven through. Revisit those places you love.

Tell me about them and your experiences. Tell me about the people you meet on your way. I will share your thoughts in my Neighbors column.

The county is quiet this next week, so I have no listings for you, but I will fill the space with suggestions for adventure.

First, we have Ashfield. There’s Ashfield Lake and Bear Swamp Reservation and, of course, its fall festival. I’d like to take in a show at Double Edge Theatre.

Nasami Farm, part of the New England Wild Flower Society, offers classes and workshops throughout the year in Whately. I’d love to learn how to keep a house plant alive and maybe I could graduate to having a garden in 2014.

I can’t wait for Mike’s Maze at Warner Farm in Sunderland in October. I look forward to finding out what the theme is going to be each year.

I think it’s time for me to revisit Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association’s Memorial Hall Museum, and some of Historic Deerfield’s colonial museum houses. I’ve been through some of them several times over the years, but there’s always something new to see.

Conway has a rich rail history. Did you know that? Trains no longer travel through Conway, but you can still visit the site of the former Conway Station near the Bardwells Ferry Bridge section of town. It’s a beautiful site and a nice walk through the woods.

I grew up in Turners Falls, but there is still so much to do in Montague. Turners Falls is one of the five villages of the Town of Montague, I’m sure you know.

How about attending a play at the Shea Theater and visiting Great Falls Discovery Center, both in Turners Falls.

Have a picnic by the lake in Lake Pleasant, travel the bike and walking trail in Montague City, attend Montague Center’s Old Home Day, and explore Millers Falls, which I have to admit I know not much about.

Erving State Forest and Laurel Lake watch out! I’m headed your way with my three grandchildren this summer. I hope to see some of you on the trails.

Spend some time exploring Barton Cove and the French King Bridge in Gill. If you’re lucky, an eagle or two will soar overhead.

Head off to the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival in Orange in October and hike through Wendell State Forest in the spring. While you are in Wendell, stop by Deja Brew for a show and something to eat or drink later in the day.

Warwick, Leyden, Hawley, Rowe and Monroe are on my list of places to learn more about this year. If you have favorite spots or events in those towns, let me know.

I’d like to spend a little more time exploring Shelburne and Buckland this year. They are such quaint New England towns and I think the Glacial Potholes in the village of Shelburne Falls deserves more of my attention. And, of course, I know I’ll be seeing at least one or two simulcast operas in Memorial Hall, and I’ll have to stop at Baker Pharmacy’s soda fountain, which was recently listed as one of the places in Yankee Magazine’s dream town.

I haven’t quite decided, but I’m thinking about taking a zip line tour in Charlemont. After all, Yankee Magazine did name Zoar Outdoor one of the “best places to soar.”

Justin and I will be attending the Heath Fair this year and we plan to get a season’s pass to Lake Wyola in Shutesbury, so we’ll be exploring the state park.

Take in an art show or exhibition at the Leverett Crafts and Arts Center and visit Northfield Mountain Environmental and Recreation Center, where you can hike or cross-country ski.

Bernardston will hold its Old Home Day in the fall and I hear that’s always a good time.

I’m going to head to Mike’s & Tony’s Pizzeria at the Colrain Town Common. There is also a neon art gallery there. Can’t wait!

Then, there’s Greenfield. I cover Greenfield on my regular beat, so you’ll be reading a lot about the county’s hub this year.

You could see a show at the Arts Block and spend some time at the Green River Swimming and Recreation Area. Maybe get to the Green River Festival, the Riverside Blues & BBQ Festival or one of the many other events held there each year.

Finally, I know I’ll be spending a good amount of time in New Salem, where some of my favorite Quabbin Reservoir trails are located. Some take you through the forests that surround the reservoir, while others take you to the water. Still others take you through some of the lost towns — a walk steeped in history. It’s one of my favorite places in New England.

So go! Explore! And when you’re done, share with us.

To contact Anita Fritz, a staff reporter at The Recorder, send an email to: anita.alice.fritz@gmail.com or call 413-772-0261, ext. 280 or 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: neighbors@recorder.com up to noon on the day before you want it to run.

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