Keeping fresh the sacrifice of our armed forces

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Here are some brief thoughts on events making news from around Franklin County and the North Quabbin area:

Orange’s Military History Expo is doing its part to memorialize what members of the nation’s armed forces endured in past wars.

The expo earlier this month featured many exhibits and also re-enactments depicting battles and battlefield life during the Civil War, World War I and World War II. There were almost 20 acres of military history including WWI trenches, military vehicles from each era, camps, first aid tents and more. One of the main attractions was a rare C-47 warplane that deployed paratroopers over Normandy during the historic and horrific D-Day invasion of WWII.

Organizers Missi and Dan Eaton worked for months to organize this show as their way to remind us all about the true nature of the armed conflicts of the past, as we head into Memorial Day.

Important prep school lesson

Most Deerfield Academy students lead privileged lives, on campus and off, but some at least understand the obligation we all have to help the less fortunate. One such student, junior Jordan Manning, has been leading about a dozen students to the Salvation Army in Greenfield on Thursday evenings helping with meals for the hungry.

“Here at Deerfield (Academy), hunger seems like such a far problem from what we live day to day,” Jordan told Recorder reporter Josh Solomon during a recent charity run.

This school year, Jordan and about 50 students at Deerfield Academy also led the school’s annual charity run to battle hunger — the kind that’s in their backyard.

It was the culminating event to the year-long effort to educate fellow students about the severity of hunger in the area and to boost the efforts of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.

Help provided, and an important lesson learned, we hope.

Ringing endorsement

It didn’t take long for Frontier Regional School and Union 38 leaders to pick Frontier Principal Darius Modestow to be interim superintendent for the South County school districts.

Modestow was nominated and strongly endorsed by 11 Union 38 and Frontier Regional administrators.

“As members of the district administrative team, we have the highest confidence in Darius Modestow, whose leadership at Frontier Regional School reflects his exceptional skills as an administrator,” they said in a letter.

Now, where could we find someone for the permanent job who enjoys such support?

Irene cash flows

It’s been almost seven years since Tropical Storm Irene swept through Buckland, Colrain and Hawley, leaving behind hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of flood damage.

But these three towns will get their full state reimbursement for storm-related work, thanks to a supplemental budget bill signed last week by Gov. Charlie Baker.

The $895,976 for storm repair reimbursements will go a long way to square away the small towns’ finances that were left scrambled in Irene’s wake in August 2011, when roads and bridges were torn up.

Fix it

“Waste not, want not.” It’s an old saying but still true in a time of renewed interest in global “sustainability.”

So it was good to see a “Greenfield May Fixery” event organized by the nonprofit traveling repair group Repair Public that teaches people to repair household items and thus reduce how much we throw away.

To be repaired: appliances and furniture, clothing, toys, tools and electric items that are not computers.

Repair Public wants to demystify the repair process, which could inspire people to fix items around their home instead of throwing them away. Let’s all try to get away from the throw-away society.

Big doings

Sometimes you just have to go big. Take for example the Franklin County Technical School students who didn’t flinch when the order came in for a novel piece of outdoor lawn furniture.

Students from Tech’s Pre-Employment Program, which teaches pre-vocational skills, life skills and academics to students with disabilities, built a giant Adirondack chair that now sits prominently in front of Kringle Candle Co. in Bernardston.

As many as 20 students, aided by some teachers, designed, built and transported the up-scaled chair. It stands at 12 feet tall, almost 6 feet wide and is about 10 feet across at the base.

No small feat.