Neighbors: Former longtime coach, teacher hurt in crash

Hello neighbor.

I got some disturbing news this week. I’m sure many of you remember Jack Zabek, who arrived at Frontier Regional School in 1972 as a physical education teacher.

He coached boys’ basketball until 1994 and began coaching softball in 1981, winning eight league championships and four Western Mass. titles in his 18 years at the helm. He retired from teaching in 2003 and coaching in 2006.

Recently, Jack and his wife MaryLou of South Deerfield were headed to a Florida vacation in their Sebring convertible when someone passed them and cut them off, causing their car to roll down an embankment several times.

I understand they were on a North Carolina highway when the crash happened, and the car was totaled. Jack and MaryLou were pretty banged up, but are back home in South Deerfield.

If you would like to send your “get well” wishes, do so at: Jack and MaryLou Zabek, 7 Gromacki Ave., South Deerfield, MA 01373.

Get well soon, folks.

ALSO, I WANT TO CONGRATULATE four Greenfield High School graduates who received special awards at last weekend’s commencement:

Michael Duclos received the Blanker Memorial Award for outstanding citizenship and leadership.

Tyler Miller received the Principal’s Service Award for outstanding service to the school community during his high school career.

Luke Toritto and Kenzie Wadman received the Frederick W. Porter Memorial Award, which is given to a young man and a young woman each year who, during their four years in high school, exhibited admirable deportment, sterling character, satisfactory scholarship and outstanding leadership.

Good luck in future endeavors!

Now on to what’s happening in Franklin County:

THE PAT & TEX LAMOUNTAIN BAND will perform at the Greenfield Farmers Market on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon, so head on over to Court Square for fresh vegetables, garden plants, local meats, breads and pastries, and other farm products, as well as great music.

HARMONY LODGE A.F. & A.M. will hold its second annual Child Safety Day with free bicycle and fire safety programs at 20 Masonic Ave. in Montague City on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine.

Turners Falls Fire Department will have fire safety demonstrations and Turners Falls Police Department will hold bike safety courses for all ages.

Harmony Lodge will offer its Masonic Child Identification Program.

All children who participate in the bike safety course will be entered into a drawing, which will raffle two 20-inch BMX-style bicycles, one 24-inch mountain bike, and one balance bike.

Other sponsors are Gill-Montague Community School Partnership and The Brick House.

A VOLLEYBALL TEAM CONSISTING OF EIGHT PLAYERS from Frontier Regional School is trying to raise money to support its trip to Florida later this month to compete in the AAU National Volleyball Championships. The Pioneer Valley Juniors team, 16 Voltage, was 10th in New England during tournament play this year.

The team will hold a car wash at Warner Brothers, 112 Amherst Road in Sunderland, on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The car wash is free with a purchase of a $20 raffle ticket.

The raffle will be held in early July (prizes are $2,000, $1,000 and $500). The money the team raises from selling raffle tickets will offset the costs of flights, housing and rental cars.

For more information, contact coach George Mulry at:

Consider heading to Sunderland this weekend — you’ll come out of the trip with a nice clean car, the chance at winning a lot of money, and the knowledge that you’ve helped some of our younger neighbors make their way to Florida — and possibly a championship.

My kids played sports when they were in high school and I know just how expensive it can be. These kids worked hard to get where they are and we should all be proud that they represent our area.

SOUTH DEERFIELD WOMEN’S CLUB will hold its sixth annual tag sale to benefit its Scholarship Fund and community services on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 85 Lee Road in South Deerfield. Donations are being accepted. Please call 413-770-2843.

I’m told there will be something for everyone!

THE LITERACY PROJECT will host “Bloomsday,” pub-style, on Sunday from 7 to 9 p.m. at The People’s Pint on Federal Street in Greenfield.

Revelers may enjoy select readings from James Joyce’s “Ulysses,” along with the favorite meal of the fictitious Leopold Bloom — Gorgonzola sandwiches and red wine.

The project is hoping to draw attention to itself and its mission. And what a great mission it is.

IF YOU’VE WONDERED how to make a charitable gift or bequest with qualified retirement plans such as IRAs, Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society is taking the guess work out of it for you.

On Wednesday at 7 p.m., Michael J. Simolo, an estate planning and business attorney, will speak at the Dakin Adoption Center, 163 Montague Road in Leverett. The event is free and open to the public.

He will help people gather insight on how to select the right asset from which to make a charitable bequest or donation to someone or organization like the animal shelter.

To register, call 413-781-4000, ext. 136 or email:

THERE WILL BE A MULTI-TOWN INDOOR TAG SALE on June 15 and 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hawley Grove in Hawley. Coffee and munchies will be available in the morning and hamburgers and hot dogs at lunch.

The tag sale will benefit the Sons and Daughters of Hawley and help with restoration of the organization’s 1846 Meetinghouse steeple.

UNITY OF PIONEER VALLEY CHURCH on Arch Street in Greenfield is holding a “huge” tag sale on June 15 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church, I’m told. There will also be a bake sale.

Items for sale will include books, clothing, furniture and plants, to name a few.

At 1 p.m., it will cost $1 for each bag you fill.

Profits will help the church find a new minister.

ALSO ON JUNE 15, there will be a craft show, and a fundraiser to benefit the Franklin Area Survival Center’s food pantry, at the Franklin County Fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine.

Crafts-Are-Us promoters Karen Towle from Montague and her sister Bette Sokoloski from South Deerfield are returning with another craft show.

For five years in the 1990s, Crafts-Are-Us, founded by Bette, competed with the Old Deerfield June Craft Fair, which has been canceled this year.

For more information, call Bette at 413-665-4039 or email Karen at:

THE WENDELL MISFIT PROM will be held on June 15 at 7 p.m. behind Deja Brew Pub, with four acts and the band Dedicated to Delilah performing that night. There will be a bar serving beer and wine.

The beneficiary this year is Wendell Council on Aging.

The theme this year is “Wild Things.” There will be a promenade parade leaving the Wendell Town Common at 6:30 p.m. Floats are encouraged.

Tickets are $15 and are on sale now at Wendell Country Store. They will also be available at the door.

Deja Brew will be open for its regular dinner crowd that night, so prom-goers should enter through the back gate, where you will receive a wristband.

There will also be a raffle that night, a 50-50 raffle, and there will be secret prom king and queen judges scouting you out.

GREENFIELD ENERGY PARK will be hopping to the sound of Spuyten Duyvil on June 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. Hailing from the Hudson Valley, Spuyten Duyvil’s soaring vocals, traditional jug band energy, slide guitar, incendiary fiddle and Chicago-style blues harp will propel you on a barn-burning romp through the past 100 years of American roots music, I’m told.

So, pack a picnic dinner, bring a lawn chair, and enjoy the concert.

There will be a suggested donation of $10 per person at the gate.

For more information, call the Greenfield Recreation Department at 413-772-1553.

OUR NEIGHBOR MILDRED DWIGHT of Bernardston left her cane in a carriage at BJ’s Wholesale Club in Greenfield about a month ago. It was her big brother’s cane, so it carries sentimental value. There is an address label with Mildred’s name on it, and the cane, with red, white and blue flags all around it, is collapsible.

If you find, or have already found her cane, please return it to the store, with no questions asked, and BJ’s will return it to Mildred.

I WANT TO GIVE YOU A HEADS UP about a free program the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office will offer on July 13 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Greenfield branch of Greenfield Savings Bank.

The sheriff’s office will be using iris recognition technology to take high-speed digital photographs of people’s irises — nothing touches your face.

Senior Safety Net and The Child Project use the technology because a fingerprint has 70 to 90 unique characteristics used for identification, while an iris has 235 unique characteristics. It is used to find missing Alzheimer’s patients and children. Your iris is fully developed at one year and never changes, even if you develop vision problems.

To contact Anita Fritz, a staff reporter at The Recorder, send an email to: or call 413-772-0261, ext. 280 or call her cell at 413-388-6950. 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 on the day before you want it to run.

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