Neighbors: Find the good in all

Hello neighbor.

As most of you know, I not only write this column twice a week, but I cover Greenfield government and other goings-on in the town. I run into many people on a daily basis and watch the interactions they have with each other, whether on the street, in meetings or within my own family.

For no particular reason, I thought I’d like to talk about respect today.

Too many times we have all been in situations where we were disrespected — or maybe we were the ones doing the disrespecting. Disrespect can come in many forms, including not listening to the other person, or believing that no other opinion is correct but your own.

I just want to remind you that we should always think before we speak. If we don’t, we can cause pain, and sometimes a rift with a neighbor or loved one that is just plain irreparable.

This is good advice that my mom gave me many times over the years, and it works with family, friends, in the workplace, in public, anywhere or with anyone.

Don’t be too quick to judge, for you can never quite be sure why someone is acting the way they are at any given time.

Remember that we all have something to share, even if others don’t agree.

Behavioral scientist Steve Maraboli says, “How would your life be different if you stopped making negative, judgmental assumptions about people you encounter?” He continues, “Let today be the day you look for the good in everyone you meet and respect their journey.”

OK, I’m done with my rant, and now on to what’s going on in the county:

I HAVE ANOTHER REQUEST from Recorder Editor Chris Harris. How did you spend your outdoor recess time when you went to school?

Cast your mind back to your elementary school days and share your memories of your favorite recess pastimes with Recorder readers for an upcoming Lifelong Learning supplement.

Call Chris at 413-772-0261, ext. 265 or email her at:

I attended the former St. Anne’s School in Turners Falls from first through fourth grades. I remember playing dodgeball, hopscotch and jumping rope. Just hanging with friends was a good enough time for me.

GREENFIELD SAVINGS BANK ON AVENUE A in Turners Falls will feature the North County Line Dancers starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

MONTAGUE COMMUNITY BAND will hold its first concert of the summer in Peskeomskut Park in Turners Falls on Tuesday at 7 p.m., if the weather cooperates. If it rains, the concert will move into the sanctuary of First Congregational Church at 148 L St. in Turners Falls.

The band’s first of three guest conductors will be Michael Bradley, band director at Turners Falls High School.

The concert is free and open to the public, and audience members are encouraged to bring a lawn chair.

If you have any questions, call Lauren Clough at 413-863-8669 or email her at:

When I lived in Orange, I used to go down and listen to the town band on Friday nights sometimes. What a relaxing time — and a nice way to get to know your neighbors.

THERE WILL BE A CAR SHOW, weather permitting, at the West Northfield Playground on Mount Hermon Station Road (Route 142) on Tuesday from 4 p.m. to dark. The show will be hosted by the West Northfield Playground Association. There will be plenty of room to go and browse and food will be available for purchase. Proceeds from food sales will benefit the playground, which is owned and run by the people living in West Northfield.

The event is free and open to the public.

There will be other car shows held there on July 23 and Aug. 27, so mark your calendars.

FRANKLIN COUNTY TRIAD will hold its annual picnic on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the White Eagle Picnic Grounds on Plain Road in Greenfield.

Tickets, which are available at Greenfield and Montague senior centers, are $6 and there will be a 50-50 raffle and door prizes.

The picnic is sponsored by the Salt-Triad of Greenfield.

For more information or tickets, call Mary at 413-773-7778.

THE AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION’s Western Massachusetts Chapter will hold an information session about its Lifekeeper Memory Quilt Project on Wednesday from 3 to 5 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church on Church Street in Greenfield.

Our neighbor Linda Bergeron called to tell me about the project. She said quilts will be on display and refreshments will be served.

Linda said if you have lost someone to suicide, you should try to attend.

“All are welcome,” she said.

Please RSVP to 617-439-0940, so they know how many to expect.

BUCKLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY WILL HOLD a program-pie social on June 28 at 7 p.m. in Buckland Public Hall, Upper Street in Buckland Center.

Denis Picard from the Storrowton Village Museum in West Springfield will present Hand Shoemaking of the 17th to 19th Centuries: The Art and Mystery of an Historic Trade.” Denis will do the presentation in period costume with accompanying artifacts.

The program will be followed by the society’s customary selection of homemade pies, coffee and punch.

Admission is $6. Students 12 and under are $3.

Who doesn’t like pie?

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF SHELBURNE will hold its Strawberry Pancake Breakfast June 29 from 8 to 11 a.m. to benefit the Pierre Family of Haiti.

The Missions Committee is sponsoring the breakfast in Fellowship Hall on Little Mohawk Road.

The cost for adults is $7 and children under 10 years old are $3.

Another opportunity to enjoy some of those scrumptious local berries.

FOREST MOON WILL HOLD ITS “1 in 8: THE TORSO PROJECT” torso-making workshop in Leverett at Leverett Crafts & Arts Center on June 29 and 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this year.

I did the workshop several years ago with my friend Judy D’Antonio, whom I’ve told you about several times, and we had a blast. We met wonderful, beautiful cancer survivors and their friends and family, and had a great time.

The project brings together women who have been affected by breast cancer to create and decorate plaster casts of their torsos.

The torsos will be on exhibit in the Greenfield Community College library in October.

There is no cost to attend, but preregistration is required and space is limited. The program includes materials, snacks and refreshments. Participants provide their own lunches.

There’s plenty of time during the workshop to get to know each other and share some pretty intense stories.

To register, contact Pam Roberts at 413-625-2402 or email her at: You can also call Cancer Connection for information at 413-586-1642.

For more information about the 1 in 8 project, visit:

ATHOL BIRD AND NATURE CLUB, now called Athol Bird Club, will celebrate its 50th year on Sept. 21 and is looking for photos or other memorabilia from its rich past. Please contact Dave Small ( if you have photos, video or audio recordings, or articles from past programs, adventures or classes.

The club is also looking for volunteers to assist with planning a celebratory dinner and related events and email addresses of former members or students of Bob Coyle, who might be interested in receiving an invitation.

For more information about the club, visit:

OUR YOUNGER NEIGHBORS Laura Campbell and Emi Gregory, students at Four Rivers School in Greenfield, recently raised nearly $100 for Community Action’s Energy Programs by selling their handmade greeting cards at local businesses.

Peter Wingate, director of Energy Programs, met with Laura to explain how their donation will help make lower-income neighbors’ homes more energy efficient, cost efficient and eco-friendly.

Good work, Laura and Emi!

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. Information to be included in Neighbors may also be sent to: up to noon two days before you want it to run.

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