It’s time to honor our veterans

Hello neighbor.

Well, we’re coming up on the unofficial start to the summer season — can you believe it? It wasn’t that long ago that I was counting down the last of our snowstorms that had been predicted by our local precipitation prognosticator.

Anyway, Memorial Day is upon us, and it is time, once again, to think about those who have died serving our nation.

I will be covering Greenfield’s Memorial Day Parade again this year for The Recorder. I always ask to cover this holiday, because I so enjoy seeing and talking with all of you who line Main Street, waving your American flags and paying tribute to the veterans who pass after a march from the middle school.

Having talked to many of those veterans over the years, I know just how much your presence means to them.

Memorial Day was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on graves of Union and Confederate soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

In response to the 1915 war poem, “In Flanders Fields,” written by Canadian physician and Lt. Col. John McCrae, Moina Michael wrote: “We cherish, too, the Poppy red

That grows on fields where valor led.

It seems to signal to the skies That blood of heroes never dies.

But lends a lustre to the red

On the flower that blooms above the dead

In Flanders’ fields.”

Maybe you can try to get out there this year and show our veterans what they mean to you. It’s a small gesture that means more to some than they will ever let you know — I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen tears fall from their eyes as veterans passed grateful crowds.

OUR LOCAL BIG Y SUPERMARKET is currently collecting worn, torn, faded and soiled American flags for proper retirement. The company is working with local Boy Scout troops, the American Legion, and VFWs, as well as other military organizations, and will be collecting them through June 5.

I’m told the store has a special receptacle for flags. I’m also told all Big Y stores together collected 4,400 flags last year.

MARY LYON CHURCH IN BUCKLAND will host an ice cream social, where “singing (retired) state trooper” Dan Clark and his wife, Mary, will perform, on Saturday beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the church on Upper Street.

Tickets are $15 for the social and concert and $10 for the concert only.

Proceeds will benefit the church’s steeple fund.

SHELBURNE FALLS TROLLEY MUSEUM will kick off summer on Memorial Day with trolley rides, pump car rides, toy trains and displays, which will be available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Saturday, Sunday and holiday until Oct. 27. The accessible museum at 14 Depot St. will also be open Mondays from 1 to 5 p.m. in July and August.

For more information, call 413-625-9443 or visit:

I think this might be what grandson Justin, who loves trains, and I do in Shelburne Falls this year.

BEGINNING TUESDAY, A COLLABORATION OF GROUPS IN GREENFIELD will hold “The Great Greenfield Scavenger Hunt,” which will encourage participants to find 15 pieces of art created by Greenfield students and scattered all over town. The hunt is designed for children, but anyone is welcome to participate.

It’s a collaboration of Random Acts, Greenfield Public Library, Greenfield Business Association, and 13 Greenfield businesses.

Art will be displayed in the businesses’ windows starting on Tuesday and scavenger hunters who match all 15 art pieces with the businesses will receive a prize.

For more information, visit the Circulation Desk at the library.

CHIKAKO NISHIYAMA FROM GREENFIELD’S SISTER CITY of Kawauchi, Japan, will speak at the Second Congregational Church on Court Square on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

Chikako will give a presentation, with photos, on her experiences during the nuclear evacuation and post-evacuation of her town when the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake hit, and also what is happening in Japan today.

She has since been active as an anti-nuclear voice from the affected area and is currently working on a project to relocate people to the western regions of Japan.

GREENFIELD’S COMMUNITY RELATIONS AND EDUCATION COMMITTEE will hold “Senior Issues,” which is part of its 2013 Greenfield Community Forum Series, on Thursday from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at the Greenfield Senior Center, 54 High St. in Greenfield. Entrance and parking are from the rear off Union Street.

For more information, visit the committee’s Facebook page or:

DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE “HONEY OF A PARTY” the Second Congregational Church is throwing on June 1 from 10 a.m. to noon on its front lawn on Court Square in Greenfield.

There will be lots of activities for adults and children, all to celebrate the church’s own Rev. Lorenzo Langstroth’s 202nd birthday, and his gift to beekeeping. Langstroth is credited with designing the bee hive used by beekeepers worldwide today.

THE TOWN OF COLRAIN IS LOOKING FOR ITS NEIGHBORS to join in its “Community Pride Day” on June 1, when residents and officials will clean up around all town buildings, plant flowers at town buildings, and pick up trash along the roads in town.

Volunteers should bring work gloves and tools, if you have them. You will sign in at the fire station between 8 and 10 a.m. and special trash bags will be handed out at no cost. The town’s dump truck will be at the station to collect bags later in the day.

There will be a potluck supper at 6 p.m. at the Colrain Community Church. Bring your own place setting and something tasty to share.

For more information, call Mo Grossberger at 624-3954 or email him at:

OUR NEIGHBOR ERICA WHEELER would like to invite us to a “very special afternoon of music, writing and relaxation in the hills of Colrain” on June 2 from 1 to 5 p.m.

Erica is offering the workshop so that people who care about having a “sense of place” can meet and connect with others who want the same.

From 1 to 3 p.m. participants will attend a writing workshop, and from 4 to 5 p.m. there will be a concert for all ages, which will include songs, stories and readings.

Space is limited and the cost for the day is $40 ($30 for Pioneer Valley Institute members). The workshop is $25 and the concert alone is $15.

To register, email:

For more information or to hear Erica’s music, visit:

AL SIANO CALLED ME THE OTHER DAY and asked that I let all graduates of Greenfield High School Class of 1958 — the year I was born, by the way — know about the class’ 55th reunion, which will be on Sept. 6 at Terrazza Ristorante in the recently rebuilt Country Club of Greenfield.

Al said “save the date” cards have gone out, so if you are a member of the class and did not receive one, call Al at 413-773-3485 or Betty Gibbs Howe at 413-773-8606.

IT ALL STARTED WITH A TRIVIA GAME. The folks in Leyden were vying to see who could name all Massachusetts towns and cities first, when they received notice that Todd Ruggere of Grafton, a full-time employee of an investment firm in the east, would stop in Leyden on June 14 to drink beer with the locals. He plans to tip one in each of the state’s 351 cities and towns.

Todd is evidently drinking his way through Massachusetts to raise money for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He has raised about $21,000 so far.

No times were given, but he will be having a beer or two at Angels’ Rest in Leyden. Lefty’s Brewing Co. of Greenfield will provide some samples.

Sounds like fun!

To track Todd’s progress, visit:

MONTAGUE COMMUNITY BAND’S REHEARSALS are under way for its summer concert series, which begins June 24 in Peskeomskut Park on Avenue A in Turners Falls (if it rains, it will be in the First Congregational Church, 148 L St.)

There will also be concerts, which all start at 7 p.m. on July 8, July 22 and Aug. 5, and audience members should bring a chair.

For more information, call Lauren Clough at 413-863-8669 or email her at:

OUR NEIGHBOR E. JOSEPH McCARTHY IN GREENFIELD will be in Asbury Park, N.J., on May 31 and June 1 to participate in the Third Annual Winsor & Newton and Liquitex Artist Outreach Program Weekend and advocate for arts education.

McCarthy, who does oils, watercolors, acrylics, and ceramic tile murals, will be one of 20 professional artists from across the country to offer complimentary demonstrations at the AOP “Day of Demos” and will exhibit his work at “Connections,” the first exhibit to display the work of the professional artists of AOP as a group.

I’m sure we all wish him a great time in New Jersey.

OUR NEIGHBORS AT CONWAY GRAMMAR SCHOOL wanted to tell us all about local author Chaz Nielsen and how he recently shared his book, “Henry Gets Moving,” with students there.

The book illustrates, for younger readers, the importance of exercise and healthy eating habits.

I understand that Chaz explained to students in kindergarten through Grade 3 the process he went through in writing the story. He also gave every family with students in those grades a copy of his book.

This is what I keep talking about!

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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