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Neighbors: Make someone’s day

Hello neighbor.

Way back when I first starting writing the Neighbors column last fall, I talked a little about being good neighbors, good Samaritans.

There’s actually a law in Massachusetts that protects all of us so that we can help someone in dire need without worry of being sued if something goes wrong.

One of the sections in that law says, “No person who, in good faith, provides or obtains, or attempts to provide or obtain, assistance for a victim of a crime as defined in section one, shall be liable in a civil suit for damages as a result of any acts or omissions in providing or obtaining, or attempting to provide or obtain, such assistance unless such acts or omissions constitute willful, wanton or reckless conduct.”

There are also similar statutes that free emergency medical personnel, physicians and nurses, and the general public trained in CPR from personal liability.

But that’s not the only time we should consider helping someone — when they are in dire straits.

What about just being there to help a neighbor who’s having a difficult time getting his or her groceries into the house, or holding a sick neighbor’s hand?

I’ve mentioned this several times over the past year, but I know we all, including myself, need a little reminder now and then.

A small act, like the one I’m going to tell you about, can make a person’s day.

Make someone’s day! In the process, you’ll make your own.

OUR NEIGHBOR LOU ATHERTON OF BERNARDSTON asked me to tell you that good Samaritans are alive and well in Franklin County.

Last week, Lou had to have a complete exhaust and muffler system installed in her car. It left her stranded in Greenfield at one of the local repair shops.

“I needed to get to work in Deerfield,” she said.

The repair shop was too busy to drive her to work, so a “kind gentleman stepped forward and said he would be glad to give me a ride, as soon as his oil change was finished.

“He was a stranger to me, but it turned out that he had been the Orange District Court probation officer for many years, until he retired,” she said. “I will forever be indebted to Al Becklo of Gill for making a very hot and expensive day more tolerable for an old lady.”

We need more like you, Al. Thanks!

BECOMING A FATHER IS EASY. Being a father takes a lot of work, so The Father’s Club at Montague Catholic Social Ministries is there to help.

The ministry will host a barbecue tonight at 5 at 78 Avenue A in Turners Falls — and again on Aug. 30, same time and same place — to gather fathers who would like the chance to talk among themselves about the challenges they face. Also to be discussed at the barbecue is the Father’s Club.

For more information, call club facilitator Steve Hussey at 413-863-4804, ext. 1004.

WE’RE RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF HURRICANE SEASON and the worst, if there is going to be a worst this year, is ahead, I’m told.

So, Home Depot on the Mohawk Trail in Greenfield is holding a hurricane and disaster preparedness event on Saturday. The store has invited police, fire and the sheriff’s departments, along with the Red Cross, to attend.

Gilmore and Farrell Insurance Co. will be there to answer any questions you may have about insurance or coverage.

Those who attend will also have the opportunity to ask about how to keep their families safe.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. under the contractors bay.

GRISWOLD MEMORIAL LIBRARY IN COLRAIN will hold a book sale in Joan McQuade’s garage at 7 Main Road in Colrain center on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 2 to 8 p.m. The books available cover such topics as gardening, health, history, household hints and travel.

There is a 25-volume set, with index, of “The Old West,” and there are encyclopedias, including the New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Gardening, the Audubon Nature Encyclopedia, and the International Wildlife Encyclopedia. There are also a variety of novels by best-selling authors.

ARE YOU A KID, OR A KID AT HEART? If you are, you might just enjoy going to Shelburne Falls on Aug. 2 at 8 p.m., when a scruffy kid with no particular talents will suddenly be transformed by an accidental dose of power elixir into Taliesin, an incredibly wise, amazingly strong hero who is able and willing to challenge a corrupt king for the good of all.

This rousing rendition of a Welsh myth will be presented by the Mettawee River Theater Co., with a flourish of masks, puppets and several giants, as well as the original dulcimer musical score.

The free performance, sponsored by the library, will be held on the lawn of the Buckland-Shelburne School in Shelburne Falls. You should bring a lawn chair or blanket.

For more information, call the library at 413-625-0306.

WHAT COULD BE BETTER THAN sitting with your dog, and other dog lovers and their dogs, sipping mimosas? Join Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society for Mutts & Mimosas on Aug. 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Quonquont Farm and Orchard in Whately, where a brunch will be prepared by Seth Mias Catering, while Maple Ridge Bluegrass band performs, David Rosenfelt, author of the Andy Carpenter series, signs books, and a live and silent auction go on around you.

Proceeds will go to Dakin to help provide programs and services to two- and four-legged members of our valley community.

Tickets are $50 per person. There is a $10 charge per dog meal, which is optional. There is no limit on the number of dogs you can bring. And, of course, you are welcome even if you don’t have a dog of your own.

For more information or to purchase a ticket, call 413-781-4000, ext. 136 or visit: www.dpvhs.org.

I’ll remind you about the event in a couple of weeks.

HAVE YOU LOST SOMEONE YOU LOVE and need some support? Hospice of Franklin County Bereavement Support Groups will begin again this fall.

There will be two six-week support groups for people who have lost a spouse, partner or someone close to them.

The spouse-partner group will meet on Mondays from Sept. 9 through Oct. 14 from 5:30 to 7 p.m., with a registration deadline of Aug. 26.

The general group will meet Thursdays from Oct. 10 through Nov. 14, with a registration deadline of Sept. 26.

Both groups will meet at the office of Hospice of Franklin County at 329 Conway St. in Greenfield.

A phone interview is required to register for the group. It is recommended that the death of your loved one be at least three months prior to the start of the group you join. Membership is limited to eight people.

To register, call 413-774-2400 and speak with Pat Gallagher.

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT’S ALMOST THAT TIME AGAIN? “What time?” you ask. Well, I’m already starting to get notices about fall events. Yikes!

The good news is, Bernardston Kiwanis is expanding its Scarecrow in the Park event this year. It will be a two-day event, featuring the work of local artists, crafts-people, and local chefs of all types. And, of course, there will be lots and lots of scarecrows throughout Cushman Park.

This year, organizers are looking for a wide variety of artists working in a lot of different media to offer their wares.

There will also be live music and other forms of entertainment throughout the weekend.

Scarecrows in the Park will be held Oct. 26 and 27, so mark your calendars.

Those artists who are willing to commit to the entire weekend and are interested in having a booth should contact: scarecrowinthepark@gmail.com.

All proceeds from the event will go to the Kiwanis Scholarship Fund.

I’ve been in the past and I can tell you that it’s a lot of fun. I’ll bring all three grandsons this year. I hope to see you there!

To contact Anita Fritz, a staff reporter at The Recorder, send an email to: franklincountyneighbors@gmail.com or call 413-772-0261, ext. 280. 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 two days before you want it to run.

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