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Neighbors: Be sure to check out ‘The Torso Project’

Hello neighbor.

I’ve told you about the “One in Eight: The Torso Project” before. You will now be able to see it for yourself, because a compelling exhibit of the embellished plaster-cast torsos created by area breast cancer survivors and their friends and families will be on display at Greenfield Community College through Nov. 8.

My dear friend Judy and I participated in a torso-making workshop a few years ago and our torsos, along with many others, will be on display in the college’s library from Oct. 9 through Nov. 8. There will be a reception for the public on Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m. in the library solarium, where light refreshments will be served.

Please try to get there to see this moving display of the difficult and very beautiful work done by many of our neighbors who have had to endure cancer, but have come out on the other side triumphant.

The Cancer Connection and former Forest Moon held the workshops several times. This latest exhibit is hosted by the Nahman-Watson Library at GCC and Cancer Connection and sponsored by Rays of Hope.

These are all great groups working with cancer survivors.

The One in Eight project brings attention to the fact that one in eight women, over the course of a lifetime, will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

The project was originated by Pam Roberts, a 19-year breast cancer survivor, who was there, every step of the way when Judy and I spent that great bonding weekend creating our torsos.

“The exhibit is a celebration of life,” Pam says.

It truly does honor the courage and creativity of many brave women.

I will also tell you in a future column about the book Pam has written about the project. Included in that book are 24 completed torsos accompanied by artists’ statements and photographs, as well as photographs from workshops and exhibits. There will be a book launch event in Greenfield on Oct. 23.

I can’t wait to see the exhibit and the book. Thank you, Pam.

And now let’s see what’s going on in the county:

SHELBURNE FALLS AREA WOMEN’S CLUB will welcome our neighbor Tinky Weisblat on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Shelburne-Buckland Community Center on Main Street in Shelburne Falls to discuss her new memoir, “Pulling Taffy: A Year with Dementia and Other Adventures.” The book follows the ups and downs of Jan Weisblat and her daughter Tinky during the last year of Jan’s life with Alzheimer’s.

The club will hold its business meeting first, and the program will begin right after.

For more information about Tinky’s book, which she will be signing after the program, go to:

Refreshments will be served.

BOSWELL’S BOOKS at 10 Bridge St. in Shelburne Falls will welcome Dan Cerow, author of “When the Dragon Wore the Crown,” at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Dan will discuss his fascinating book about when our ancestors gazed upon the skies thousands of years ago and saw a huge dragon circling ceaselessly above them.

For more information, call Boswell’s at 413-625-9362.

COLRAIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY will host a presentation on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the home of Joan McQuade at 7 Main Road in Colrain. Liz Sonnenberg will talk about the approximately 175 men Colrain sent to fight in the Civil War. Most of them were in the 52nd Massachusetts Infantry Regiment and served in Louisiana, and 17 died in the war.

The presentation is open to the public.

For more information, call 413-624-3453.

SHELBURNE FALLS AREA WOMEN’S CLUB will also hold a pie sale to benefit its Scholarship Fund on Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. at Shelburne Falls Supermarket on Bridge Street. Scholarships will go to deserving local students.

For more information, call 413-625-6249 or email:

OUR NEIGHBOR LORIL MOONDREAM, the wildlife rehabilitator who runs Medicine Mammals in Wendell, will be singing at Deja Brew Café and Pub on Lockes Village Road in Wendell on Sunday from 8 to 10 p.m. with two other Native American women who make up the group also called Medicine Mammals. The group sings a lot of traditional and contemporary Native American music.

They, along with two guitarists, entertain throughout the state to raise money for her nonprofit.

Loril told me that she most recently released eight skunks she nursed back to health and is currently raising five baby chipmunks whose mother was killed before their eyes had opened.

She said she loves performing, because it’s a way to give back to the generous people who donate to help her cause. Loril also sells jewelry and does storytelling with her life partner Peter White Fox. This is her 15th year doing wildlife rehabilitation.

The singing group performs for all sorts of occasions, including birthday parties, school events, at senior centers and nursing homes, for church functions, and more.

If you would like to help Loril take care of the animals by sending a donation, or would like to book Medicine Mammals to perform at your next function, call her at 978-544-6144 or send a donation to: Medicine Mammals, P.O. box 113, Wendell, MA 01379.

GREENFIELD FIRE CHIEF ROBERT STRAHAN tells me that the Greenfield Lions Club gave his department a donation of $4,000 to buy carbon monoxide detection meters and hydrogen cyanide (a dangerous gas for firefighters) meters. What a nice thing to do. You’ll be hearing more about this when I have a chance to talk with Chief Strahan and members of the club.

I THOUGHT YOU’D LIKE TO KNOW that our neighbor Mike Swain has been nominated for the Fire and Life Safety Educator Award. The University of Massachusetts at Amherst fire prevention officer was nominated for his work with his students and for the work he has done across the country with the Center for Campus Fire Safety.

I’m told that Mike’s dedication to fire prevention, especially in colleges, is exceptional. I hear he builds rapport and trust with his students, helps them develop realistic fire drills, conducts inspections and safety checks, and corrects problems — many times on his own time.

Thanks for keeping all of our kids safe, Mike.

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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