Editorial: This week, last year …

  • The Greenfield Recorder front page from a year ago, April 9, 2019. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Published: 4/14/2020 10:08:27 AM

As a result of the coronavirus, a sea change has transformed our lives. Just how big a transformation can be judged by revisiting county life as it was one year ago this week, through the pages of the Greenfield Recorder.

One year ago this week, on Monday, April 15, 2019, the UMass Minutemen competed in Buffalo, New York, for the NCAA hockey championship. “UMass was wearing its maroon sweaters in front of thousands of fans who made the trek to western New York to watch them compete for a championship.” The accompanying local photo shows UMass hockey fans crowded shoulder-to-shoulder at The Spoke sports bar in Amherst to watch the game.

On the same front page, Schlimmer-Lefever won their fourth straight River Rat Race. No story about the race would be complete without photos of canoeists bumping into each other as they charge under the Main Street bridge in Orange and spectators jostling each other on the bridge and along the banks of the Millers River.

On Tuesday, April 16, 2019, striking Stop and Shop workers elbowed each other as they manned picket lines outside the French King Highway store.

Tuesday’s sports page reported on Monday’s running of the 123rd Boston Marathon, won by Lawrence Cherono of Kenya. A field of 30,000 runners jostled one another. Approximately 500,000 spectators lined the 26-mile route between Hopkinton and Boston.

On Wednesday, April 17, 2019, the lead headline was “Starkey gets life without parole.” Family members gathered in the Superior Court room to deliver victim impact statements at the Franklin County Justice Center.

On the Food Page, Tinky Weisblat covers a “traditional Quebecois dinner” attended by a group of 40 in the social room of the Charlemont Federated Church.

On the sports page, Jeff LaJoie covered the 500th career strikeout by Greenfield High School pitcher Olivia Joy at Veterans Field.

On Thursday, April 18, 2019, dancer Jodi Falk visited Charlene Manor Extended Care facility to lead residents in creative movement. In Orange, Castle Rock crews were transforming downtown into a fictional Maine town from the books of Stephen King.

On the sports page, Athol’s Red Raiders beat Hopkins Academy, 8-2, “with timely hitting and a complete game from Nick Bousquet.” Elsewhere on the page, Frontier’s Red Hawks “tamed” the Ludlow Lions at Zabek Field in South Deerfield.

On Friday, April 19, 2019, Turners Falls High School won Powertown bragging rights with a 7-6 victory in an independent baseball game Thursday at Franklin Tech in Turners Falls.

On Saturday, April 20, 2019, the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls opened for the season and volunteers gathered to prepare for their annual plant sale.

In Shelburne, “Dozens of kids and parents descended on Dragon Brook Friday to help carry pails of brook trout to the river.” Lifepath looked forward to its 27th annual Meals on Wheels Walkathon.

GHS tennis coach Andrew Varnon wore his kilt at the Davis Street courts as Greenfield shut out Springfield School of Science and Technology with a 5-0 victory.

None of these events or anything like them happened this week, or could have happened, due to social distancing restrictions. Readers of a year ago, newly awakened like Rip Van Winkle after a year-long slumber, would be puzzled by that ubiquitous COVID-19 logo on today’s pages. For today’s readers, it’s the crowd scenes of yore that seem inconceivable. One year from now? No predictions, here.


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