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Neighbors

Neighbors: Local woman to study the connection between nature and poetry

  • Scarecrows gather in the Cushman Park in the center of Bernardston for the annual contest in October 2012. Artists, crafters and vendors are sought for this year’s event on Oct. 25 and 26.<br/>(Recorder file photo/Paul Franz)

    Scarecrows gather in the Cushman Park in the center of Bernardston for the annual contest in October 2012. Artists, crafters and vendors are sought for this year’s event on Oct. 25 and 26.
    (Recorder file photo/Paul Franz)

  • Scarecrows gather in the Cushman Park in the center of Bernardston for the annual contest in October 2012. Artists, crafters and vendors are sought for this year’s event on Oct. 25 and 26.<br/>(Recorder file photo/Paul Franz)

Hello neighbor.

Another one of our young neighbors has won an award. Carolyn “Carrie” Decker, a South Deerfield native who is currently a senior at Wheaton College — my oldest son Dan spent a couple of years there and loved it — has won the prestigious Watson Fellowship, which will enable her to study around the world for a year after she graduates.

Carrie is an environmental science major who will spend her time exploring the connections between people, poetry and the natural world as she travels to Dominica, Botswana, Australia and China.

Our young neighbor says unraveling the complexities of our world is a fundamental element of science and poetry and, “I want to learn how the interrelatedness of nature, humanity and poetry translates across ecosystems and cultures.”

Carrie will begin by visiting Dominica, an island nation in the Caribbean Sea, where she’ll explore its rich biodiversity. She’ll then head to Botswana to study the relationship between economic development and conservation in that African nation. In Australia she’ll explore the walkabout tradition of the Aborigines and in China she’ll examine the traditional art of gardening and work with nature poets.

Carrie, a poet herself, says she wants to be open to the “incredible vastness of life and poetic expression” on this planet.

Her goals seem simple: she wants to make new friends, see more of the marvels of nature, write a lot, learn new words, customs and skills, and share in other writers’ works.

She says she hopes to become stronger, braver, more intrepid, kinder and more generous, and more observant — something we should all strive for, right?

As part of her educational experience at Wheaton, Carrie has already explored Death Valley in California and traveled south of Mexico to Belize and the rainforest in Costa Rica.

After this coming year, Carrie plans to study ecology in graduate school and pursue a career as an environmental scientist who will conduct biological research and do fieldwork geared toward species and ecosystem conservation.

Congratulations Carrie! Have a great and safe trip and let us know about it when you return next year.

WOMEN AFFECTED BY BREAST CANCER are invited to create a plaster model of their torso in the upcoming free workshop, “1 in 8: The Torso Project,” which will be held Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days at Leverett Crafts and Arts in Leverett.

No experience is necessary. My friend Judy and I took the workshop a few years ago and it was a great time. Pam Roberts is facilitating with Dale Schwartz. Rays of Hope is funding the workshop.

To register, call 413-586-1642 and for more information, call Pam at 413-625-2402.

WE HAVE ANOTHER CHANCE to help a young neighbor. This time, you can help Theresa Charlton simply by voting.

I’ve written about Theresa before. The sweet 15-year-old was born with Sturge-Weber syndrome, a neurological and vascular disease that causes calcification of the brain and leaves port-wine stains on her face. She was having about eight to 10 seizures a day in her younger years, so doctors decided to remove half of her brain, hoping it would stop the seizures, but it did not.

Her dad Steve says she loves music and being around her brother and younger sisters. She communicates through sound and movements.

She uses a wheelchair, eats through a feeding tube and is unable to speak clearly.

Theresa has a bad case of scoliosis and needs surgery to put rods in her back to straighten her spine, because she is in constant pain. Yet Steve says she’s always pleasant and smiling.

Theresa and her family are currently competing in a national competition for a mobility van through the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association, a nonprofit that provides accessible equipment and services to those who need them most.

Please vote for Theresa at: www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com/entrant/theresa-charlton-charlemont-ma.

THE SALASIN GREENFIELD WOMEN’S CENTER is holding its SWAN Festival on Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Western Massachusetts RLC Greenfield Center, 74 Federal St. in Greenfield. The festival is part of a celebration of the international WOMENSARTS SWAN (Support Women Artists Now) Day.

The festival will raise money for art supplies and programs offered to women in the community by Salasin, a non profit funded by the state Department of Children and Families.

For more information, visit: www.salasinwomenscenter.org. or www.womenarts.com/swan.

“MUSIC FILLS THE PANTRY VARIETY SHOW” will be held Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. in Fellowship Hall on Little Mohawk Road in Shelburne Center. The third annual show will feature local talent and the Soup and Snack Cafe will sell homemade soups during the show.

Donations are $5 to $10 or five non perishable food items per person. Donations will go to the West County food pantries at Hilltown Church in Ashfield and Good Neighbors in Charlemont.

There will be songs, stories, jokes and lots more.

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A FEW LAUGHS, head to the Arts Block Cafe on the corner of Main Street and Court Square in Greenfield on Sunday at 2 p.m.

There you’ll see Jody Scalise of Buckland, Lenny Zarcone of Greenfield and Sam Kilbourn of Maine, also known as the Wright Brothers, perform and have you “laughing Wright out of your seat.”

Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12. For more information, visit: www.theartsblock.com.

THE AMANDLA CHORUS will hold a benefit concert on April 17 at 7 p.m. in Unity Church in Arch Place in Greenfield to help fund our neighbor Mary Rose’s trip to Louisiana this year to the murder trial of the man accused of killing his first wife, and who Mary believes is responsible for the disappearance of her daughter Annette Craver, who was Felix Vail’s second wife. Vail is also believed responsible for the disappearance of a woman he lived with in between his first wife and Annette.

The case is now being called the oldest prosecution of a possible serial killer in U.S. history. 

The concert will be April 17 and will feature the music of Amandla and of Fire Pond. There will also be dramatic readings of letters and poems written by Annette to her mother. Those will be read by local actors Suzy Polucci and Eveline MacDougall, who founded and directs Amandla.

More information will follow later this week.

OUR NEIGHBOR CAROLYN PRUNIER is in possession of a news article dated Feb. 7, 1944, which includes a photo of three “Greenfield chums.” They are Jean Staheleck, Helen Dunn and Helen Siano, and they all served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. Carolyn would love to find out about where these women are or what has happened to them. She said she would love to hear from them or their relatives — all three are WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) of the Korean War and she would like to share the article with them.

Please contact Carolyn with any information at: pandcprunier@verizon.net. You may also call her at 413-863-9044.

BERNARDSTON KIWANIS ARE STILL LOOKING for artists, crafters and food vendors who would like to participate in this year’s Scarecrow in the Park event, which will be held Oct. 25 and 26 in Bernardston.

If you would like an application, email: scarecrowinthepark@gmail.com.

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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