Monday shorts: Creativity, new destinations and neighborly support

  • Jennifer Sheldon, owner of the White Cloud Diner in Orange, waits on Erin Shea, in her temporarily Harry Potter themed restaurant. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Published: 8/12/2019 1:00:15 AM

Here are brief thoughts on some of the events taking place around Franklin County and the North Quabbin area.

Welcome, Leo’s Table

Jerry’s Place, a Deerfield staple for 26½ years, left especially big shoes to fill when owners Jerry and Pat Dagrosa retired and the breakfast and lunch eatery closed its doors last October.

We’ll thrill to see that those doors have opened once again, this time as Leo’s Table owned by Jen Howard, who may be familiar to community members due to her work through the Food for Strength healthy meal delivery service.

We wish Howard the best of luck in her new endeavor. If a busy first week is any indication, she seems to have the community behind her, too.

​​​​​​Small but mighty communities

In small towns, news about an injured neighbor travels quickly, and it’s always inspiring to see how the community rallies to help.

The case of Northfield resident Ken Hammond, who sustained critical injuries when a pick-up truck backed over him while he was working as an equipment operator in Albany, N.Y., proved to be no different.

Since word got out about the accident, the Hammonds said the outpouring of community support has been incredible. Ken’s wife, Bridget, noted they have received more than 200 cards in the mail sending well wishes. Just a few of the many ways people have helped include friends cooking their family dinner, mowing their lawn or installing ramps at their home, as Hammond is using a wheelchair to stay off his feet while he recovers.

The same has proved to be the case with the local Marine Corps League Oakridge Department, which raised more than $1,000 to benefit Joshua Morin, a survivor of the tragic New Hampshire crash that resulted in the deaths of seven motorcyclists on June 21. Morin, a former Marine, is a registered emergency room nurse at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield.

It’s wonderful to live in a community that shows its true strength in response to times of hardship. Let’s not forget to appreciate it.

Work hard, play hard

As we enter August, the Saturday of summer, the number of days left before school resumes are dwindling. But students at Northfield Elementary School will have something special to look forward to when they go back to school this year.

Thanks to the school’s Parent-Teacher Organization, and the help of more than 30 volunteers, a spiffy new playground was recently installed. What a terrific treat that will be for Northfield’s children.

A particularly full Belly Bus

We were encouraged to see our community focusing on the issue of food inequity earlier this month, with the annual Fill the Belly Bus Community Food Drive attracting widespread support.

So much support, in fact, that, now in its 15th year, the food drive set a new record, collecting nearly 7,400 pounds of food.

Kudos to all who donated food or money to the cause, and to all those who volunteered. Your small efforts, when combined together, will go a long way in making sure that local families do not go hungry.

Muggles rejoice

We’ve seen a lot of love for Harry Potter around Franklin County, whether that be in the form of a book club at Dickinson Memorial Library in Northfield or through MuggleNet, the No. 1 Harry Potter fan website in the world that happens to be headed up in part by Greenfield resident Kat Miller.

It was so fitting, then, to see an Orange restaurant celebrate the fictional boy wizard’s birthday (July 31).

The owners of the White Cloud Diner decorated the dining room with all things Harry Potter, changed their menus to include themed dishes, and encouraged staff and patrons to wear themed costumes in honor of the occasion. What delightful creativity!


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