Neighbors: Grandparents proud of grandson’s award

Submitted photo
JD is on left in pic. Jared "JD" Jurentkuff stands with graphic designer David Zorn holding their Emmys.

Submitted photo JD is on left in pic. Jared "JD" Jurentkuff stands with graphic designer David Zorn holding their Emmys.

Hello, neighbor.

Our neighbors Shirley and Don Ward of Buckland were happy to announce this week that their grandson Jared “JD” Jurentkuff won an Emmy Award for an Apple commercial he worked on last year titled “Misunderstood.” JD is one of the creative arts directors at Apple in California.

The commercial is about a teen who seems to be on his iPhone, detached while the rest of his family enjoys time together — many of us can relate.

But, all along, and you learn this at the end, he is recording family activities the whole time.

The commercial ran during the holiday season. Some of you may have seen it.

Karl and Pearl Jurentkuff of East Falmouth, JD’s other grandparents, and his parents Stephen Jurentkuff and Kathy Ward-Jurentkuff, both of Virginia, must be just as proud.

Congratulations, JD!

DON’T FORGET TO PUBLICIZE YOUR FALL EVENT for free in The Recorder’s Fall Valley Guide calendar. All you have to do is contact Editor Chris Harris with information about the event. Any kind of event open to the public is eligible for inclusion in the calendar.

Send complete information to Chris at 413-772-0261, ext. 265 or email her at:

The deadline for submission is Aug. 29.

TRAVELING RHUBARB CIRCUS will be back at Greenfield Savings Bank at 282 Avenue A in Turners Falls Saturday at 10 a.m. The local youth who make up the circus will perform acrobatics, juggling and more for an hour. The youth who make up the circus — all are under the age of 18 — are truly amazing.

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR, FOLKS! The Franklin County Fair is just around the corner. On Sept. 4, 5, 6 and 7, we’ll once again experience the joys of visiting the Roundhouse, walking the midway, watching the Firefighters Muster, riding the rides, eating the fantastic food and either watching or participating in the opening night parade. This year’s is the 166th annual fair.

Also, some folks have missed the Robbins Church pie booth at the fair. Well, it returns this year. A group of Mohawk Trail Regional School students and their parents will staff the booth and parishioners will make those famous apple pies.

Have fun and enjoy those delicious homemade pies.

THE FRANKLIN COUNTY FAIR will once again hold its Apple Pie Contest, which will be judged on Sept. 6 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Your pie is your admission into the fair that day, all day. Pies will be accepted from 8:15 to 8:45 a.m.

The contest calls for traditional two-crust apple pies. Pies may be picked up at 11:45 a.m. If you don’t retrieve your pie, it will be donated to the Salvation Army.

Judges will decide based on taste, appearance, crust and tradition.

Our neighbors Kelly Augustine of Gill took first place in the adult division last year and Sara Wyngowski of Bernardston took first place in the junior division.

Good luck to all you bakers.

THE 11TH ANNUAL GREG BELANGER MEMORIAL SCHOLAR-SHIP fundraiser will be held in the South Deerfield Polish Club on Saturday beginning at 4 p.m. The event will include dinner, drinks and raffles.

Over the years, Greg’s family has raised thousands of dollars to help deserving students at Frontier Regional School, which is Greg’s alma mater, pay for college tuition.

Greg, I’m sure most of you remember, was a 24-year-old U.S. Army officer serving in Iraq with the 325th Military Intelligence Battalion when he was killed on Aug. 27, 2003 — I covered the tragedy and it truly doesn’t seem like it has been more than a decade. The vehicle Greg was riding in was struck by an improvised explosive device.

Be there!

A NEIGHBOR NEEDS OUR HELP. Gary Russell, one of the volunteers with the Colrain Volunteer Ambulance Association, was in a car crash while traveling in Cleveland last month. He is now in rehabilitation and is expected to be there for at least a month. He is in the Metrohealth Rehab Institute, Room 814, 4229 Pearl Road, Cleveland, OH 44109 — just in case you’d like to send him a card.

Our neighbor Gary Ponce, who serves as a volunteer with Gary, is currently working to set up a donation site to help Gary and his wife Vanessa with the crazy medical expenses they are incurring each day. Some of his stay will not be covered by insurance, says Gary Ponce.

I will let you know more when I receive the information about where to send donations.

Good luck, Gary! We wish you a speedy recovery.

AN OLD FRIEND OF MINE, Joanne Sanderson from Greenfield, called me recently and asked if I could tell some of you — you know who you are — that she has your children’s artwork from 1992. If parents have moved away, it might be your artwork.

Your child, or you if you were the student, would have been in second grade in South Deerfield Elementary School at the time. They would have been classmates of Joey’s 28-year-old son Ryan, who died on April 15 from complications arising from open-heart surgery that he had the September before.

Joey would like to return your child’s art — watercolor paintings by Barbara Kubacki’s class. She still has the paintings because she organized the class project 22 years ago and then covered the walls of her office with them.

If you would like to talk with Joey, please call her at 413-834-1300.

I TOLD YOU SEVERAL WEEKS AGO about one of our own, Sherry Thomas, who was up for 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 years old and left for California when she was 22.

Well, she didn’t win, but we are all still very proud of her. I couldn’t reach her parents, Gary and Ann of Greenfield, but I’ll bet they are, too.

The 45-year-old lives in Los Angeles and has been working in the industry since she was in her mid-20s.

Her parents were supposed to be going to visit her, so maybe that’s why I can’t reach them.

“Breaking Bad” is widely regarded as one of the greatest television series of all time. By its end, the series was among the most-watched cable shows of all time. The show received numerous awards, including 10 Emmys, eight Satellite Awards, two Golden Globe Awards and a People’s Choice Award.

In 2014, the series entered the Guinness World Records as the highest rated show of all time. It ran from 2008 to 2013.

Not bad! So I’m going to send out congratulations to Sherry and her parents, anyway.

OUR NEIGHBOR REESHA BLANCHARD needs your vote. The 29-year-old Greenfield resident has entered Schick Intuition’s “Put A Ribbon On It” contest with the hopes of winning a free spa vacation.

Reesha told me she happened to be on Facebook and saw an advertisement for the contest. The crafter decided to create an apron and chef’s hat completely out of ribbons and to decorate a pair of flip-flops with ribbons.

She was chosen as one of five finalists out of more than 100 contestants. She said everyone may vote every 24 hours through Aug. 29.

Reesha would love to win, so go online to help her by voting as many times as you can at:

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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