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Neighbors: Local woman up for Emmy Award

Antique fire trucks from the Millers Falls Fire Department were among the many other engines from the Montague area fire departments in the 2013 Old Home Day parade in Montague.
Recorder file photo/Geoff Bluh

Antique fire trucks from the Millers Falls Fire Department were among the many other engines from the Montague area fire departments in the 2013 Old Home Day parade in Montague. Recorder file photo/Geoff Bluh Purchase photo reprints »

Hello neighbor.

Our neighbors Ann and Gary Thomas of Greenfield can’t wait for Aug. 16, because that is when they will learn whether their daughter Sherry Thomas wins an Emmy Award with two other women for casting the hit television series “Breaking Bad.”

Sherry, who grew up in Florence and lived in Greenfield for five years beginning when she was 17, left the area for California when she was 22 years old. Her family says she had big dreams, but wasn’t sure she would ever realize them.

Well, she has.

The 45-year-old, who now lives in Los Angeles, has been working in the industry since she was in her mid-20s and her parents say she worked very hard to get where she is today.

“She had no idea what she was doing when she first started,” said Ann. “She worked hard and learned all she could and now, here she is.”

Ann said Sherry had a hand in casting “Jersey Boys,” which is currently on Broadway, the 1997 movie “Contact” with Jodie Foster and the 2000 film “Castaway” with Tom Hanks, as well as numerous television shows.

Sherry is married and has two young children, so she doesn’t get back to the area as much as she or her parents would like, said Ann.

“We’ll be going out there in September,” said Ann. “This is just all very exciting.”

Though the Emmy Awards will be televised on Aug. 25 this year, Sherry’s category will be announced on Aug. 16.

Congratulations and good luck Sherry! We’ll be watching.

FOR 55 YEARS, THE MONTAGUE CENTER First Congregational Church has sponsored Montague Old Home Days and this year is no different.

A time for family, friends and neighbors to come together, Montague Old Home Days will be held Aug. 16 and 17 this year. There will be a parade, raffles, food and craft booths, road races, entertainment and more.

It begins at 7:30 a.m. on Aug. 16 with registration for the Mug Race. At 7:30 that night, raffle winners will be announced.

On Aug. 17 at 10 a.m., the Rev. Armand Proulx will deliver the message at the Old Home Days Worship Service. There will be refreshments served after the service.

For more information, visit:

If you are a crafter and would like to participate, call 413-367-2061.

IF YOU’D LIKE TO JOIN THOSE who will honor nonagenarians Beryle and Eleanor Hammond on Aug. 2 from 2 to 4 p.m., head to Fellowship Hall in Bernardston United Church. The sisters-in-law will be the guests of honor at an open house.

Beryle Stimson and Eleanor Merriam arrived in Northfield on the same day in 1947. They both lived in the same boarding house and had been hired to teach at Northfield High School. They soon became friends and eventually each married men who happened to be brothers — they became known as the Mrs. Hammonds.

Happy birthday Beryle and Eleanor!

DON’T FORGET TO GET YOUR BACKPACKS filled with school supplies for needy children in Franklin County to the United Way of Franklin County Women’s Way Annual Garden Party on Aug. 7 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Pennock’s Garden at 25 Old Main St. in Deerfield.

You have to RSVP if you are going to attend, so call 413-772-2168 or email: The cost is $5 plus one or more filled backpacks. Refreshments will be served.

BUCKLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY will hold another open house in its museum and the Wilder Homestead on Aug. 10 from 2 to 4 p.m. If you’d like to attend, you’ll find the museum at 20 Upper St. in Buckland Center and the homestead at 129 Route 112 in Buckland.

Have fun!

THE 2014 TIMOTHY PATRICK MERRITT MEMORIAL GOLF TOURNAMENT is fast approaching, so if you want to participate you should sign up now. Organizers said 100 percent of the proceeds will go to scholarships for Frontier Regional High School students. Tim taught for many years at Frontier and was principal at Sunderland Elementary School at the time of his death last fall.

The first tournament will be held Aug. 23 at Cold Spring Country Club, 336 Chauncey Walker St. in Belchertown. The cost is $115 per player or $460 for a foursome. All checks should be made out to: TPM Memorial Scholarship Fund. The fee includes a golf cart and barbecue lunch. There will be live entertainment and more.

OUR GREENFIELD NEIGHBORS FRED AND MARIBETH (SAM) OAKES are having some troubles. Their 46-year-old daughter Mimi has been diagnosed with two different types of cancer, a rare medical condition. She is currently recovering from surgery and is looking at five months of chemotherapy at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover, N.H. Mimi is temporarily unable to work, so needs some help with living expenses and medical costs.

If you would like to help, you may make a tax-deductible donation to: Greenfield Savings Bank, care of Mimi Oakes Fund, P.O. Box 1537, Greenfield, MA 01302-1537.

I HEARD A VERY SWEET STORY THE OTHER DAY. One of The Recorder reporters and several other people were walking across the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls when they witnessed an embrace between a man and woman standing on the bridge. The next thing bystanders knew, the man was on one knee proposing to the woman.

Congratulations, whoever you are!

OUR NEIGHBOR BETTE SOKOLOSKI in South Deerfield is hoping to find people who want to learn about chinchillas while fostering one. She has several and would like to teach people about them. She said you have to have the time, energy and finances to take care of one. It costs about $30 a month per chinchilla to keep them fed and cleaned.

“They’re so much fun,” said Bette. “They love to play, jumping in and out of cardboard boxes. They’re also very cuddly.”

Chinchillas are rodents with velvet-like fur that are just a little larger than a squirrel. They are most active at dawn and dusk. They are kept in cages.

“They’re so soft,” she said. “So precious.”

If you are interested, please contact Bette at 413-665-4039.

NOT LONG AGO, THE RECORDER wrote a story about the a woman who drowned in the Deerfield River on July 6 near the dam in Conway while tubing with friends.

Our neighbor Sara Jane Moss of Greenfield knew her. Her name was Molly McNeil Dowd of Brattleboro, Vt. She was the co-founder of Full Steam Farm where she raised organic vegetables and chickens and was a certified master gardener.

Molly lived in a yurt on a hill above her parents’ home. She was a graduate of Greenfield Community College and had worked as coordinator of the Green Street garden at Green Street School in Brattleboro.

Sara said that many people in Brattleboro are devastated by her death because she touched so many lives. A teacher she worked with said she was “unbelievably fantastic with students.”

Her sister Chelsea described Molly as having a “sparkle and megawatt smile.” She said Molly always offered a helping hand or hug to those who needed one.

Rest in peace Molly.

To contact Anita Fritz, a staff reporter at The Recorder, send an email to: 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: up to noon two days before you want it to run.

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