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Editorial: Calendars in all their glory

  • The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Regional Dog Shelter is selling 2020 calendars. Contributed photo

Published: 11/6/2019 10:06:58 AM

Even if you have a smartphone, you probably still own a wall calendar. In this digital age all calendars are the equivalent of the analog wristwatch, providing a visual representation of a theoretical concept — in this case, time — and the spaces between two intangibles such as minutes, hours, days, weeks and months.

Chances are, you have at least one and maybe several wall calendars in your home and/or workplace. You may use them to jot down upcoming events, appointments and reminders in the little boxes.

Calendars are like bumper stickers: They say a lot about you. There are the ubiquitous free calendars, nothing wrong there. Puppies, kittens, landscapes and special interest themes such as covered bridges or the Bible offer a cheery welcome to each new month. And then there are the calendars that we purchase, often depicting local history, proof that we value our past and wish to support worthy organizations.

Here are a few examples from around the county:

Quabbin History Calendar: Athol author J.R. Greene culls an extensive collection of photos from the four villages destroyed to create the Quabbin Reservoir in the 1930s to come up with new photos each year depicting stores, railroad stations, schools, factories, landscapes, homes and inhabitants from the drowned towns of Dana, Enfield, Greenwich and Prescott.

Historic Railroad Scenes calendar: The 2020 edition offers an 1899 map and 13 old pictures of railroad stations, trains and workers from around the county, each with commentary by railroad historian Alden Dreyer, with valuable contributions by local historian Peter S. Miller.

Public Libraries of Western Mass calendar: This is a sequel to last year’s “Tiny Libraries of Western Mass.” The 2020 edition by former librarian Priscilla White-Tocker presents photos of 12 public library buildings representing a variety of architectural styles, with an emphasis on libraries in smaller Western Massachusetts towns. Buying the calendar supports the local library of your choice.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Regional Dog Shelter calendar with its inspiring photos supports the work of the county’s dog shelter in finding forever homes for lost dogs.

The Northfield Historical Society calendar chose early auto transportation for its 2020 theme, proving that even small towns played key roles in automotive history.

The Greenfield Recorder’s award-winning photographer, Paul Franz, issues a limited edition calendar with a monthly nature photo, each one fit to be framed.

Some calendars you can’t bring yourself to throw away. Saved over the years, they become, at the same time, both heartwarming and heartbreaking reminders of old times, old friends, traditions that may have fallen by the wayside and loved ones no longer with us. Maybe it’s the notations of happy events hand-written into the little boxes for each day or the gorgeous photos, but such calendars defy our attempts to organize, downsize or otherwise curate our belongings.

Local calendars make great gifts: Tell us about yours and where to buy it and we’ll include it in an upcoming Gift Guide section in the newspaper. Include a photo, if you can. Email to

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