Keeping Score: No donuts leaves a hole in the heart

Published: 7/10/2020 4:25:59 PM
Modified: 7/10/2020 4:25:48 PM

Good morning!
Spenser wouldn’t be happy — the Boston gumshoe loved his donuts and Adams is going out of business. The Greenfield joint looked like it had closed years ago. The parking lot was filled with potholes and getting through the door was a day’s exercise, but oh, the donuts were to die for.

Unlike the bland conveyor belt brands, no two Adams donuts were alike. Each had its own crispy nook and cranny to nibble on. Some days they’d still be warm from the fryer, other days I’d lay them under the windshield until the oil seeped through the napkin and left a stain on the dashboard.

No matter how busy or late I was, there was always time to stop for two plain donuts to go. I’d jerk open the door and the bells would ring and everyone would spin on their stools and stare.

“You ever thought of a drive-up window?” I’d ask owner Carrie Brown.

“When I win the lottery,” she’d say.

Her customers read The Recorder and always had a comment, folks named Dick and Pete and Joan for whom an Adams donut was part of their morning routine. Bill Finn talked about skiing at Berkshire East, Ron Duclos spoke about whatever was making him grumpy and the guy next to him who wore his hair down across his forehead always looked at me like, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

Whenever I visited my friend Marilyn Medina in Keene, her face would light up when she saw her favorite apple cider donuts. Marilyn passed away last year and Adams Donuts is closed. It’s going to be a long drive to the Donut Dip in West Springfield.

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Its 217-acre campus has athletic fields and open space, but the Hail Marys will stay in the church at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Northfield. “Always,” said Dr. Tom Kaiser, the associate dean and man in charge. “If you get into intercollegiate sports it ends up being too much of a distraction.”

The college is still growing and eventually about 350 students will be studying on the site where D.L. Moody founded the Northfield Seminary for Young Ladies in 1879. “Our students really do stay on campus,” said Kaiser, who has tutored all 23 courses on the college’s curriculum. “There’s some kayaking on the river and hiking in the woods, but we keep them busy.”

Kaiser wouldn’t rule out sports entirely.

“There’s a Great Books college in New Hampshire, Thomas More,” he said with a chuckle, “and some day we may have a flag football game.”

And that could be the start of a great rivalry.

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Jon Thompson used a lacrosse field and the rules of the game to help develop bright young boys into men. His Amherst College teams reached the NCAA tournament for seven straight seasons, and their win-loss record during his tenure was a remarkable 125-47 (.727). In March, Thompson was fired by college president Biddy Martin after an alleged racial incident involving four players occurred in a school dormitory.

On Wednesday, Terry Foy of Inside Lacrosse reported that the 37-year-old Thompson was set to be named the offensive coordinator at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. It was one of two job offers that the 37-year-old Thompson was mulling, and no one would blame him if he chose Air Force because it was the furthest from his old job.

Air Force is a Division I program, and Thompson can focus on coaching without having the distractions that were imposed on him at Amherst. The Falcons play in the Southern Conference and were 10-5 last season under third-year coach Bill Wilson.

In this summer of sanctimony, Boston University is pondering the fate of Rhett, the Boston Terrier. Rhett was named for Rhett Butler from Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 Civil War bestseller “Gone with the Wind.”

Rhett loved Scarlett and scarlet is a deep shade of BU’s school color red, ergo the dog was named Rhett. Confusing but harmless, right?

Wrong, reported BU’s in-house magazine: “Rhett is a tribute to a character associated with the Confederacy, slavery and sexual assault.”

Consequently, BU president Robert Brown is considering changing the name to Bill or George. Anything but Rhett.

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A Cleveland Indians season ticket holder told Sirius-XM’s Chris Russo this week that given a choice, fans would vote overwhelmingly to keep their team’s nickname. “People here in Cleveland, this is a city that’s been downtrodden for decades, been trying to dig itself out of a hole forever. We finally get the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame and the All-Star Game and the Republican convention, and then a bunch of people came into town on May 30 and totally destroyed the center of the city.”

Now, he continued, those out-of-towners want to destroy the soul of their baseball team. “They talk about changing the name, who’s the constituency? Is it Rob Manfred and the East Coast intelligentsia? Is that who’s making decisions for us? We weren’t allowed to have a conversation. We were told it would happen.”

That’s the prevailing sentiment these days, others telling us what’s best for us.

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Waiting for the real thing to come along, I listened to Game 7 of the 1955 World Series while I was painting the deck. The Brooklyn Dodgers beat the Yankees, 2-0, at Yankee Stadium. The game was broadcast nationally by flagship station WGN in Chicago with Bob Neal and Al Helfer sharing the play-by-play.

Johnny Podres started for the Dodgers and Tommy Byrne for the Yankees. Neal called it a “southpaw’s holiday” and commented that “hits, runs, everything’s just about as scarce as hen’s teeth.”

Gil Hodges drove in both Brooklyn runs and Sandy Amoros caught Yogi Berra’s blast with two runners on base in the sixth inning that prevented the Yankees from tying the game.

When Dodgers shortstop Pee Wee Reese charged a ground ball and barely nipped Bill Skowron at first base, Helfer gushed, “Pee Wee was really pouring the coal to the boiler!”

Elston Howard made the last out and Shirley Povich wrote in the Washington Post: “Please don’t interrupt, because you haven’t heard this one before. Brooklyn Dodgers, champions of the baseball world. Honest.”

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There’s a growing sentiment that a vaccine will be the only way to stem the spread of COVID-19. This week on Sirius-XM’s Doctor Radio, Dr. Marc Siegel asked his colleague Dr. Peter Pitts how the “anti-vaxxers” could impact that effort: “I saw a research report that said 27 percent of Americans wouldn’t get the vaccine,” said Pitts, who founded the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest. “Not to put it too bluntly, but if there is a vaccine and you choose not to get it, you are in many respects a health care terrorist.”

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FURLONG FODDER: Kid Chocolate, Manny Franco up, broke his maiden at 5-1 on Sunday. NYRA analyst Richard Migliore said the real Kid Chocolate was Elgio Montalvo, a Cuban super featherweight fighter who was 136-6-10 from 1927-38. … Congrats to the Greenfield bettor who had one of the five winning tickets from last Friday’s early Pick 5 at Belmont that paid $7,030.25. … Earlier this year, trainer Jason Servis was indicted for blood doping. His stakes winning horses were assigned to other barns, and they have raced unremarkably at best. Servis is to horse racing what the Houston Astros are to baseball, a cheater whose fall from grace was deservedly precipitous. … Saratoga’s thoroughbred meet starts Thursday but spectators won’t be allowed inside. The best horses conditioned by the top trainers from Belmont Park, Churchill Downs and other reputable tracks will converge upstate, lured by 71 stakes races worth $14.45 million in purse money.

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SQUIBBERS: Thumbing through “Garry Brown’s Greatest Hits,” the Springfield columnist writes that the largest crowd to ever watch a baseball game in Springfield was 10,736 on April 12, 1951, when the Red Sox played the Chicago Cubs at Pynchon Park. … Good news for UMass and BC football, only one player from each team has tested positive for COVID-19. …. More good news and congrats to UMass coach Walt Bell for getting his players to pull down a 3.36 team GPA. … A Vegas betting site predicts that college football attendance will decline 63 percent this season. … Hall of Famer Tom Glavine on David Price’s decision to sit out the season: “Here’s a guy who just got traded, he’s new to a team. Obviously he wants to make a good impression, and I wonder how this affects that next year.” … Compare that with Yankees’ outfielder Aaron Hicks who said upon reporting to Yankee Stadium: “We understand what’s at stake here. Being able to do my job, play baseball, is something I always want to do.” … As part of their social distancing protocol, the Red Sox have assigned players to upper deck luxury suites. Welcome boys, to the return of the country club days of yore.

Chip Ainsworth is an award-winning columnist who has penned his observations about sports for four decades in the Pioneer Valley. He can be reached at chipjet95@yahoo.com


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