Monday shorts: Veterans, outdoor adventure and art

  • Tom Travis and Norman Cousino, both Korean War-era veterans from Greenfield, bow their heads during the Pledge of Allegiance during Veterans Day Services at Veterans Mall in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Published: 11/18/2019 7:50:07 AM

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

Salute to veterans

Franklin County certainly let our veterans know their service is appreciated via so many events on Veterans Day weekend.

On Friday, schools, including those in Erving, Sunderland and Greenfield, invited veterans to events, where they entertained them with word and song. “It brought tears to my eyes,” Tracey Brooks, a Navy veteran, said of hearing second-graders sing “God Bless the U.S.A.” at the Federal Street Elementary School.

Ceremonies continued Monday, the official holiday, notably with a parade in Greenfield.

And as he has done for 13 years, Joe Young walked five miles, carrying an American flag from Athol to his town of Orange. Young enlisted in 1976 and served 42 years in the Army National Guard, retiring as sergeant major.

And once again, Young wasn’t alone on his trek. He was joined by about two dozen walkers.

“This is just to bring awareness to the public,” Young said. “We still have men and woman all across the world in harm’s way.”

Message received.

Go on an adventure

It’s no secret Franklin County’s rivers, forests and hills offer opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. And we have businesses who provide those experiences to locals and visitors.

So, kudos to Greenfield Community College for offering an associate’s degree in adventure education, which will begin next spring.

This degree is an expansion of GCC’s certificate in outdoor leadership program, which was launched in 1980.

The degree will enable students to transfer to a four-year institution, where they could earn a bachelor’s in fields such as adventure education, recreation, tourism, physical education and environmental education.

“Franklin County is the recreation capital of the state and our certificate graduates are hired even before they finish,” GCC President Yves Salomon-Fernández said.

Here is an example of how GCC is addressing the interests and needs of students in Franklin County and beyond.

Unveilings in Orange

Last weekend was a big day in Orange as people got to see the end results of two important art projects.

The first showcased the completion of a mural that artist Susan Marshall created outside the Quabbin Harvest Food Co-op, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Marshall also painted the mural outside Trail Head Outfitter and General Store.

The mural, which spans the building’s 30-foot chimney, has depictions of the Millers River surrounded by shrubbery and animals as it reaches for the Quabbin Reservoir. Mount Grace is in the background, fitting because the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust owns the building.

“It’s called ‘Reaching for the Sky’ and we’re hoping that’s what Quabbin Harvest will do,” Marshall said at the ceremony.

The second event celebrated a much older art piece — the restoration of the “Minuteman Curtain” in Town Hall.

The curtain was a gift of the Minute Tapioca Company in 1912 to celebrate Orange’s new Town Hall. But the years were unkind to the elaborate stage curtain in which the Minuteman statue in Concord is prominently featured.

But thanks to fundraising by the Town Hall Restoration Committee and Orange Revitalization Partnership, the curtain’s cuts and tears were repaired and the faded sections were touched up. Curtains Without Borders of Vermont did the restoration work.

Chris Hadsel, from Curtains Without Borders, said such ornate curtains were popular especially in New England.

And we are pleased Orange preserved a piece of history for all to see.




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