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Neighbors: Shelburne Falls gets national recognition, again

Hello neighbor.

Hope you had a great weekend. I did.

Grandson Justin turned 2 on Saturday, so his mom and I took him to the New England Aquarium, where he still believes he met, in person, Marlin, Dory, Crush, Nemo and the rest of the gang from Disney Pixar’s “Finding Nemo.” I have never seen him so excited. He made me feel like a kid again.

Then on Sunday, we had his party at Heritage State Park in Holyoke. Justin’s parents rented the carousel there. What fun! It was like stepping back in time as I rode the rebuilt carousel, which once lived in Mountain Park on Mount Tom. I’m sure many of you, especially those my age, rode it when you were kids. We may have even been on it together at some point.

Also, Franklin County got its share of recognition and excitement last week.

On Friday, the New York Times wrote about Shelburne Falls, with former Recorder copy editor Pat Ryan, who now writes for the Times, calling it “a Brigadoon” squirreled away in the dense forest.

Think about it. In the past couple of years, Hollywood has filmed “Labor Day” and “The Judge” there. One of our beautiful hill towns will be known around the world before long.

Pat talks about how the small towns of Franklin County “speak quickly to audiences.” I mean, who doesn’t dream of life in a small town at one time or another?

I used to dream of living in Frank Capra’s fictional small town Bedford Falls until I realized one day that I do.

She also speculates about what those recent movies will do for our area — how they will affect tourism and the local economy.

After all, she reminds us, New Zealand has “Lord of the Rings” tours and Seneca Falls has an “It’s a Wonderful Life” festival each year.

Could we be far behind?

Also, on Friday in the Boston Globe, Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield was written about by former Recorder staffer Joel Brown. Joel went on to become the executive arts editor for the Boston Herald before settling into a freelance career writing magazine stories and murder mystery novels.

He wrote about the theater company, its most recent show “Shahrazad,” drawn from the “Arabian Nights,” which the company has been running since July 24, but unfortunately ended this past weekend, as well as the people who make up Double Edge.

For those of you who missed “Shahrazad,” the good news is that Double Edge is always coming up with something new, and different, so just don’t miss the next one.

For more information about Double Edge and what’s coming, visit: www.doubleedgetheatre.org, and have a great week.

ARTSPACE TOLD ME that 55 local children enrolled in its Beginning String Intensive workshop this week. The students are third graders who will join its String for Kids program, which is in its sixth year, in Greenfield public schools in the fall.

The program will put on a free concert in the Greenfield Energy Park on Friday at 11:30 a.m. The public is welcome.

BESTSELLING NOVELIST Joyce Maynard will talk about her new book “After Her” on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the Arms Library in Shelburne Falls.

She was at Boswell’s last year to talk about her novel “Labor Day,” which was adapted into a film starring Josh Brolin and Kate Winslett, filmed in Shelburne Falls and other area towns in the summer of 2012. The film will be in the theaters in January.

For more information, call Boswell’s at 413-625-9362.

OUR NEIGHBOR DICK HENRY wants you to know that the Guiding Star Grange in Greenfield will be holding an open house on Sunday so the public can see the renovated building. He tells me that there have been $700,000 worth of renovations done over the past several years, and most recently, an anonymous donor gave $35,000 so the grange could install a new floor.

The program will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, with a program running from 2 to 2:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

LOCAL FIREFIGHTERS ARE HELPING with fires in Alaska, Montana and West Virginia.

Jesse Hanecak of Whately, Walker Korby of Montague Center and Daniel Thayer of New Salem are off to support fire control operations in Lolo National Forest in Montana. The forest is just west of Missoula.

They will be supporting local Forest Service Fire management staff there in the initial attacks on all small fires detected within two ranger districts in the forest. Their strategy will be to attack the fires early and prevent them from gaining ground.

Just another example of our neighbors helping others. Stay safe all!

Follow DCR on: twitter.com/massdcr. View videos on YouTube at: www.youtube.com/masseea.

TURNERS FALLS ROD AND GUN CLUB donated $230 to the Erving Police Association for help with its K-9 dog program. The K-9 makes an appearance at Turners Falls Rod and Gun Club’s Youth Field Day each October to visit with preschoolers to children age 13.

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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