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Opera broadcasts at Memorial Hall a high note for area

Let’s talk opera.

Why? Because I’ll bet some of you didn’t know that Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls simulcasts live, high-definition productions of the Metropolitan Opera — one, sometimes two Saturdays a month from October through April.

I know — that’s exactly what I thought when a good friend and colleague invited me to my first one. Now, many times I am the one suggesting we go.

You have to go into it with an open mind and go with someone who also has an open mind. Explore it together, like we did.

Try not to feel intimidated — I think that’s a little easier to do in Memorial Hall. Don’t get frustrated that you don’t understand what is going on. Read the synopsis Memorial Hall provides you with when you get there or look the opera up online ahead of time.

Most of the operas I’ve been to are three to four hours long, but, the good news is that there is an intermission.

This season, Memorial Hall will present Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore,” and Verdi’s “Otello,” as well as Ades’ “The Tempest,” and Mozart’s “La Clemenza di Tito.” In December, it will simulcast Verdi’s “Aida.”

The Metropolitan Opera simulcasts there through next April, so there will be plenty of opportunities.

At the very least, I think I’ll see “Otello,” “The Tempest,” and “Aida.”

Tickets, at the door, are $22 for adults and $11 for students. They are $2 more if you order them in advance online.

I checked a number of online “top operas” lists to see which are listed as all-time favorites and “Otello” and “Aida” made almost every list.

Not all of you will like opera, but I think everyone should try it at least once.

As I intimated in my last column, change can be a scary thing, but remember, it can also be wonderful.

Seeing your first opera may be the beginning of a beautiful love affair. You have nothing to lose.

Now, let’s see what else is going on in the county.

THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS Greenfield Council 133 will hold its annual Tootsie Roll Drive this weekend at Stop and Shop on French King Highway, Foster’s Super Market on Conway and Allen streets, and Wilson’s Department Store on Main Street.

Some of the proceeds from the event will stay locally, while some will go to different charities.

THE HOLY ROSARY SOCIETY of Our Lady of Czestochowa Church in Turners Falls will celebrate its 100th anniversary on Sunday with a mass at 10:30 a.m. and a reception for its members, which will follow at Greenfield Grille on Federal Street in Greenfield at
12:30 p.m.

I’ve been told there are second- and third-generation members in this group.

Happy anniversary!

AMERICAN LEGION POST 81, its auxiliary, and Sons of the American Legion will install officers on Sunday at 4 p.m. at its headquarters off Wells Street behind Green Fields Market.

Following the installation ceremony, a meal will be served to all of the members who attend and their guests.

For more information, call 413-772-0857.

IF YOU ENJOY WATCHING MORRIS DANCERS perform and you like animals, visit Tregellys Fiber Farm on Pleasant Brook Road in Hawley on Sunday at about 11 a.m.

The farm’s event is free and open to the public, and Tregellys will serve cider and cookies, while they last.

The owners said they do this every Columbus Day weekend.

Follow the blue signs at the Ashfield and Buckland town lines at the Route 112 junction.

For more information, call 413-625-6448.

AUTHOR SUSAN CUMMINGS OF BERNARDSTON will read from her debut memoir on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. in the Bernardston Unitarian Church on Church Street.

Cummings, who is a 20-year survivor of breast cancer, will read from “Adventures of a One-Breasted Woman: Reclaiming My Moxie After Cancer.”

AT A GCC BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING this week, Bob Pura, college president, recognized two recent alums of the school’s nursing program.

Jackie Raymond and Jesse Roderick graduated last spring and currently work at Farren Care Center in Montague City.

They were both at orientation for their jobs when there was a “Code Blue” emergency alert with a patient and both immediately responded.

Jesse used a blue ambu bag to help with the person’s breathing, while her mentor did chest compressions. When her mentor needed a break, Jackie jumped in to continue the compressions.

The story was told by Anne Nusbaum, director of nursing at GCC.

“The education we got there (at GCC) prepared us very well to work at the Farren,” said Jesse.

Jackie said she learned a lot at GCC.

Both women are to be commended. Good work!

WHEELER MEMORIAL LIBRARIAN CANDICE CROSS accepted a donation of $305 this past week from Krishna and Maiya Khati, owners of Big G’s Mini-Mart on East Main Street in Orange.

The Khatis’ daughters, Kritika and Mallika, have been using the library since Cross first started working there several years ago and the girls’ parents decided to show their appreciation for all of the help the library and Cross have provided.

The money came from the Big G’s Penny Per Gallon Program. For every gallon of gas sold during a particular month, a penny is set aside for a community organization. What a nice idea.

AN INJURED GOOSE ESCAPED STARVATION a couple of weeks ago because of the quick thinking of passersby and a Conte Fish Lab employee.

Martha Finn and Michelle Morrison noticed the injured Canada goose hanging out with ducks in the canal during walks they took by the Cabot Station in Montague City, but they lost track of it.

A few days later, they noticed the bird was stuck in a fish ladder spillway, unable to fly out with its broken right wing, so they began calling state agencies and the power company.

They had no luck reaching anyone, so they began feeding the goose, but a couple days later, it disappeared again.

Step in Marty Garcia from the fish lab, who found the goose and rescued it. He brought it to a vet and said the goose is doing fine now.

For those of you who know what an animal lover I am - a big sigh of relief and a shout out to Marty.

THE ANNUAL FAMILY SAFETY DAY will be held on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at the Greenfield Home Depot. Children of all ages will be welcomed by Smokey Bear, Greenfield Fire and Police departments as well as Baystate Health Ambulance.

The Franklin County Rotary Club will have pumpkins and tiles to paint. Greenfield Lions Club will welcome children and adults to have their eyes and ears tested. Home Depot’s electrical department will answer questions about smoke detectors and fire extinguishers outside during the event, as well as for shoppers inside.

There will be many public safety vehicles, also helmets and safety information for children to take home. This event is open to the public and free. Rain or shine.

DORIS BROWN OF GREENFIELD, who was a neighbor of mine on Plantation Circle — what seems like a lifetime ago — was the lucky winner of the beautiful quilt that was created to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Bernardston this year.

“It couldn’t have gone to a better home,” said Doris, who grew up in Bernardston.

She told me her maiden name was Deane — for those of you in Bernardston trying to figure out who she is.

The quilt, which features embroidered outlines of many of the town’s historic buildings, was made by Pat Messer, Ada Andrews, Gloria Freyenhagen, Shirley Lilly, Lois Snow, Kim Curtis, Bonnie Johnson, Robert O’Keefe, Susan Cameron, Wendy Raymond and Linda Regan, with historic graphics by Cherri Johnson.

Congratulations Doris! I hope you are well.

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