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INDEX The Observer By Bernadette Gentry................................................................... 3 Barn Dance By Joan Perkins-Smith ................................................................. 4 The Honored Olive Tree By George A. Varelas .......................................... 6 Graveyard Chronicles Part XV By Southwick Historical Society..... 10 Retirement Doctor By Enrique J. Alvarez................................................... 13 Destination Local: Rail Trails By Christy Cox......................................... 14 Country Cooking By Christy Cox.................................................................... 15 Looking Back at 1956 By Clifton J. (Jerry) Noble Sr........................... 18 The Last Little Cottage By Brenda Parker-LeDuc.................................. 20 It Was On Sale By Marilyn I. Chunglo............................................................ 22 Town Crier................................................................................................................ 23 Classifieds ................................................................................................................ 31 Publisher Carole Caron Editor Lyssa Peters Layout/Design Artists Lyssa Peters, Christy Cox, Martin Lee Advertising Manager Christy Cox Advertising Consultant Kris Sanders

This Month’s Cover: Grandmothers’ Garden Gala see page 29 for more information

P.O. Box 1106 • 610 College Hwy, Southwick, MA 01077 Office: (413) 569-0266 Office & FAX: (413) 569-5325 Email: Advertisers should check advertisements the first day. Southwoods Magazine shall not be liable for failure to publish an ad, for typographical errors or errors in publication except to the extent of the cost of the ad for the first month’s insertion. Adjustment for errors is limited to the cost of that portion of the ad wherein the error occurred. Our usual publication date is between the 3rd and the 7th of the month. To insure placement, ad copy should be submitted by the 20th of the month preceding insertion.


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Barn Dance By Joan Perkins-Smith

Old-Fashioned barn dance

- As a young teen-ager, my friends and I would persuade one of our parents to drive the seven or eight miles to a nearby village where they held ‘square dances’ on Friday nights in the summer. En route, we would whisper and giggle about what we expected and who we hoped would be at the dance. Unlike the dances at the ‘Y’ in town, or the dances at the church hall which featured records of currently popular songs, or a local rock and roll band, the square dances were a lot more fun, mainly because it wasn’t necessarily ‘boy-girl’ dancing. You didn’t have to have a ‘partner’ per se, you could just join up with a ‘square’ – a group of

Top left, everyone joins in the dance, top right, fiddlers provide the music; above, “Milk Can Supper” cooks on the fire.



eight people and dance. The music was provided by guitars, fiddles, sometimes other instruments such as piano, or reeds. But always there was the ‘caller’ who called out the moves you were expected to do. Laughter always was lurking, and just when you thought you were supposed to aleman left, everyone else was Promenading home. The others would grab your arm and get you where you should be, smiling or laughing out loud, because they had all done the same thing at least once in the dancing experience. Today, square dancing has been elevated to a more ‘professional’ approach to the art of group dancing. Dancers have ‘partners’ and they wear matching outfits, and travel far and wide to attend a dance. They even compete at regional dances. There is a genre that holds to that older, less formal, familyoriented fun-filled style of dancing. The Tradition Barn Dance still exists today, and includes ‘square dancing’ moves, reels, and jigs. And you don’t have to know the moves beforehand (although it DOES help), because the fiddler will have someone demonstrate the moves needed for the next dance, then everyone, and I do mean ‘everyone’ gets out on the floor and dances. I went to a barn dance last summer in Dummerston, VT. It was held in a barn, (actually it was an alpaca barn – and the animals seemed to enjoyed all the going’s on, as they watched from either side of the barn). The central part of the barn was swept clean, tables were set up for dinner, and we all dined on a ‘milk can supper’. Meat and vegetable all cooked, slowly over an open fire just outside the barn were served buffet style. Plenty of homemade desserts were available as well as coffee and soda, and for the adults beer. When the dinner was over, everyone helped clear the tables, fold them and stack them out of the way, and place the chairs all around the dance floor. There were children as young at 8 years old, and seniors flirting with their seventies, dancing and laughing side by side, holding hands, promenading, sitting to rest and wipe their brow. It was more fun than I had had in a very long time. I can’t wait for the next barn dance.


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The Honored Olive Tree By George A. Varelas


any centuries ago, when the location of present-day Athens, Greece was a small city in a marvelous location of Attica, the Olympian Gods were quarreling among themselves as to whose name was to be given to the new city. The finalists of that argument were Poseidon, the God of the sea, and Athena, the Goddess of wisdom, but they were still arguing very loudly. The Father of all Gods intervened, however, and said to both: “You may win the argument if you offer something to the citizens that they gladly accept. Then you may give your name to the new city.” In less than a moment, Poseidon struck the rocky Acropolis with his trident and a spring of clear water appeared. After Poseidon’s gift was presented. Goddess Athena dropped to the same rocky ground a seed that became immediately an olive tree. The citizen joyfully accepted Athena’s gift and named their city Athens. Since that time, the Athenian citizens do honor the olive tree, the gift that signifies peace. Poet John Polemis personified



the soul of the Honored Olive Tree, in a magnificent poem which all school children learn at a very early age. By the way, there is a proliferation of olive trees in Athens, but not enough water. Miraculously the olive tree grows even on rocky soil and doesn’t demand much water! I am the daughter of the mighty sun The one most lovingly caressed, and Happy with my father’s love for ages That keeps me alive in this world. Until I should be a lifeless corpse Him my eyes endlessly shall seek. For I am the honored Olive Tree. Wherever my seed I take root There’s no shortage of my fruits, Even when I am older than very old. I find no shame in hard work, ‘Cause the Lord has really blessed me With longevity and His love For I am the honored Olive Tree.

I am neither blond nor fragrant Budding rose-bush or citron-tree I dazzle the inner eye, but To other eyes I a much too old. I am not nightingale’s sweetheart. Goddess Athena loved me. For I am Her honored Olive Tree. Horror, wilderness, darkness, and flood Buried the earth long time, when God’s wrath came in cataclysm. My branch brings bright evangelism And peace to Noah the returning dove Divine Grace on earth the rainbow For I am the honored Olive Tree. Down here under my shade Christ sat to get some rest His sweet voice I heard praying Before He was nailed on the Cross. His tear saintly dew here is shed And sanctified my deepest roots For I am the honored Olive Tree.

This olive tree is 4000 years old

Most comforting light I shine on stormy nights. And myself Illume no more the lamps of richness Poor people’s blessing is my wealth. And if the rich ever reject me My oil illumes before the Virgin Mary For I am the Blessed Olive Tree! John Polemis, Greek Ethnic Poet

Humbly translated by George A. Varelas







w c t i a F s V r

Holcomb Family Powder Puff Derby By The Southwick Historical Society, Inc.

Did you ever hear of the Powder Puff Derby? It was a transcontinental air race for women pilots held annually from 1947 through 1977, sponsored by the Ninety-Nines, Inc., an international organization of licensed women pilots. Twenty-four of the races began in California, and only three went east to west. In early July 1955, the Powder Puff Derby began in Long Beach, California and ended at Barnes Airport in Westfield, the only race that ended in Massachusetts. Thanks to a newspaper clipping saved by late Southwick resident Bertha Miller and donated to the Southwick Historical Society, Inc. by her daughter Sandra Jablonski, we learn that a local woman Mrs. Clarissa Holcomb participated in that race and was copilot and navigator with pilot Esther Gardiner of Millstone, Waterford, Connecticut in their 150 horsepower Bellanca airplane. (The Springfield newspaper had a photograph of both women and noted that they were both tall: Clarissa was 5’ 9” and Esther was 6’ tall.) The two women placed third in the race, and were

Clarissa “Deed” Holcomb, on left, greets Esther “Gerry” Gardiner as they prepare to fly in the 1955 Powder Puff Derby.

awarded their prize at the Ninety-Nines Convention held at the Hotel Sheraton-Kimball in Springfield on July 7 & 8, 1955 and at Hiller Airport on July 9. Clarissa (Hill) Holcomb (nickname Deed) was the wife of Maxwell Holcomb, oldest son of Leon Edward Holcomb and Evelyn Ellis. Max was also a pilot. Maxwell Edward Holcomb (born March 16, 1918), his brother Leon Ellis Holcomb (born November 22, 1919), and his sister Janet Ruth Holcomb grew up in the house at the crest of Vining Hill Road, at the top of the “T” that Mort Vining Road makes with Vining Hill where their father and grandfather also grew up. Grandfather Edward

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According to the marriage was the person that Ed Holrecords, the girls were chilcomb Road was named afdren of Charles A. and ter. (There are several roads Christianna Rowley, born in Southwick with both first Granby, Connecticut and and last names of people; England respectively, but Fred Jackson, Klaus Andercensus records have their fason, George Loomis, Mort ther’s name as William. AlVining are four that come though Charlietta was born readily to mind.) November 28, 1864 in Lynn, Although his birth cerEssex Co., Massachusetts, by tificate has Edward Amos 1870 her family had settled Holcomb when he was born in Granville, a neighboring in Southwick on October 18, community to the west of 1862, he was known in adult Southwick. life as Edward Elmore HolEd and Charlietta (Etta comb. Ed was the second son for short) had four children, of eight born to Martin P. and two boys and two girls: Abigail (Blood) Holcomb. Leon, Ian, Ina, and Doris. Ina The others were Marvin, Clarissa (Mrs. Max) Holcomb, on right, discusses her participation in 1955 Holcomb, the older daughWillie, Alvin, Albert, Almon, Powder Puff Derby with local committee. ter, was born on January 21, Anson, and Frank. Alvin and 1888 in Granville, where her mother grew up. She was married Albert were under a year old when they died, and the youngtwice, first to Harrison George Spear and then to a Mr. Parker. est (Frank) died between 1900 and 1910, but the others lived a There were at least six children from Ina’s first marriage. full life span. Marvin D. Holcomb (1860-1934) married Charlotte Ed & Etta were living in Winchendon, Worcester Co., MasMyers (1880-1966); Anson M. Holcomb (1870-1948) married Jensachusetts when their eldest child (Leon) was born on Septemnette Morgan (1877-1947); Almon G. Holcomb (1868-1922) marber 11, 1892. Ed was working as a drum maker at that time. By ried Ellen L. Stevenson (1876-1961). The first two couples were buried in the New Southwick Cemetery and the third couple Continued on page 12 was buried in Center Cemetery, Granby, Connecticut. (Information from memorials created by Phyllis Bombard and Michelle Cooley, respectively.) Edward Holcomb and his brother Willie married sisters, Charlietta and “Lizzie” (Elizabeth) Rowley in January 1885.

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HOLCOMB Continued from page 11

1900, Edward Holcomb was a farmer, and he and his family were living in Southwick on the farm formerly owned by Ahijah P. Vining. Edward & Etta’s son Ian was born on August 28, 1901 and their daughter Doris was born June 3, 1907. (Little Ian passed away on August 4, 1904, just a few days shy of his third birthday. His name is on the same stone with his parents in the New Southwick Cem etery.) Doris graduated from Westfield State College and taught in Southwick and Monson in Massachusetts and in Windsor, Connecticut. After her husband John B. Zatti Sr. died in 1960, she continued to reside in Windsor until about 1994 when she moved to Durham, North Carolina to be near her remaining family. Doris (Holcomb) Zatti died on October 15, 1998 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Burial was in Palisado Cemetery, Windsor. Leon Edward Holcomb, son of Ed & Etta, married Evelyn Ellis, daughter of Benjamin H. & Anna L. Smith. They had three children: Maxwell Edward, Leon Ellis and Janet Ruth. Leon stayed in the local area and worked with his father in the family business, Holcomb’s Garage. Janet married Rev. Harold Lee Utts on June 20, 1944 at the Southwick Congregational Church. They settled in Harrison, New Jersey where Rev. Utts was pastor of Davis Memorial Church. Janet and her husband eventually settled in East Aurora, New York and they co-authored with Donald H. Dayer, Town of Aurora 1818-1930, a book about that town for Arcadia Publishing Company in its Images of America

The Holcomb house

series. [That same series includes Around Southwick, published in 1997 and reprinted in 2009.] The oldest son, Maxwell (Max for short) was a pilot for 63 years who had owned eight airplanes during his lifetime. He and his wife Clarissa Gregory (Hill) were living in Westfield when she flew in the Powder Puff Derby in 1955, but soon after moved to Princeton, Illinois, later settling in Decatur, Illinois. Clarissa “Deed” Holcomb died in August 1992, probably in Illinois; Maxwell Edward Holcomb died in November 2006, in Vero Beach, Florida. There is a gravestone in the New Cemetery in Southwick, Massachusetts engraved with the names of both. His brother Leon Ellis Holcomb (1919-1992) and Leon’s second wife Mary K. Holcomb (née Mabb) (1924-1999) were buried there also, as were his parents Leon Edward Holcomb (18921968) and Evelyn (Ellis) Holcomb (1895-1979). His grandparents Edward (1862-1940) and Charlietta (Rowley) Holcomb (18641930) and even his great-grandparents Martin P. (1837-1904) and Abigail (Blood) Holcomb (1838-1917) were buried in that same cemetery. A stroll in the New Southwick Cemetery and especially the Old Southwick Cemetery will be an enjoyable and enlightening one for you. And mark your calendars for Saturday October 19 when costumed interpreters in the Old Southwick Cemetery will describe the lives of some GHOSTS OF THE CEMETERY.





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Earned Income Investment Income Capital Gains Capital Gains Tax

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$100,000 $ 43,400 $ 9,500

In addition to the tax increases: Expenses will be going up for the vast majority of taxpayers. Many employers may terminate medical insurance benefits for the employees and pay a penalty as it will save them a tremendous amount of money. However, this will increase your medical insurance premium as they are no longer subsidized by your employer. Individuals that are currently paying for their own medical insurance may find that with the new mandated benefits their premiums will increase tremendously. This is the time that you should be reviewing your investments to see what you can do to reduce these taxes. *Rates are based on a joint tax return and include 3.8% Medicare Tax on earned income above $450,000. Because each individual’s situation is unique, please speak with your financial advisor with any questions or concerns. Or, you may reach the Retirement Doctor at or 1-800-406-1595. Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisor Representative, Retirement Doctor, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Cambridge and Retirement Doctor, LLC are not affiliated. Cambridge does not provide tax advice Source: Full List of Obamacare Tax Hikes: Listed by Size of Tax Hike Health Care Reform: Why Obamacare Is Not a ‘Train Wreck’ (Again)



By Christy Cox

Rail Trails One of my favorite things to do in nice weather is to enjoy the local rail trails. When rail trails first opened in our area my family and I would drive up to Northampton to the Norwottuck Rail Trail. On most excursions we would bring the bikes, though on occasion we did bring our rollerblades and our dog. If there was an open parking spot we would start at the Elwell State Park on Damon Road in Northampton. If not we would drive to Hadley and park in the Whole Foods Parking lot. Our reward would be to stop at one of the ice cream places along the way and enjoy an ice cream. A rail trail is a wonderful place to get some exercise and enjoy quality time with your family or even by yourself. Luckily for us, there is now a rail trail that goes through Southwick. I have been able to meet my friend Rachel there to walk our dogs. I have rollerbladed with my daughter along it, too. The Southwick portion of the Rail Trail is complete from the CT line to Westfield, 7.5 miles. Westfield has .9 of a mile complete that meets with the Southwick Trail. I have parked at the special parking area at Shaker Farms Golf Course in Westfield and rollerbladed from there through Southwick all


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the way to Granby, CT. The Southwick portion of the trail is very beautiful, it goes by agricultural fields, golf courses and wetlands. The trail follows, for the most part, the path of the New Haven and Northampton railroad, with gentle curves and flat terrain. It is a great place to ride your bike, take a walk, jog or rollerblade. And yes, there is a place to stop for a drink or ice cream along the route. I look forward to continue using this trail. The Southwwick Rail Trail is supported in part by Friends of the Southwick Rail Trail (FOSRT). The Friends group was formed in 2011, when several local citizens banded together and offered their services to the Commission. Others from the community and from out-of-state have joined the Friends group,

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which sponsors an annual July Fourth Bicycle Parade for Children and organizes a Spring Cleanup event as well as performing various maintenance duties on the trail throughout the year. For additional information, or to make a donation, visit www. To learn more about rail trails, or to find a new one to explore, visit the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy website at www. If you haven’t had a chance, be sure take the time to enjoy this local treasure.

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Green Olive Parsley Pesto 1/4 cup olive oil 20 green olives, pitted 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup 1/4 cup slivered almonds 1 clove garlic, crushed





By Christy Cox

Grilled Lemon Chicken 1/3 cup lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 teaspoon ground 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard black pepper 2 large cloves garlic, 4 skinless, boneless finely chopped chicken breast halves 2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper In a bowl, mix the lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, garlic, red bell pepper, salt, and pepper. Set aside 1/4 cup of the mixture to use for basting. Place chicken in the bowl, and marinate at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Preheat grill for high heat. Lightly oil grill grate. Drain and discard marinade from the bowl, and place chicken on the grill. Cook 6 to 8 minutes on each side, until juices run clear, basting occasionally with the reserved marinade.

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/2 cup parsley leaves, rinsed

Combine ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth. You can ad 1 - 3 tables of water to thin pesto (optional) You’re done! Ways you can enjoy your Green Olive Parsley Pesto Toss pesto with mashed white beans and serve with toasted bread • Use pesto to season a brown rice pilaf with green beans and corn • Toss with quinoa pasta along with some roasted red peppers and wilted spinach • Thin pesto with 1/4 cup water and use as a dressing for a cucumber tomato salad • Coat roasted tofu with pesto and serve with braised balsamic vegetables • Blend pesto with silken tofu for a creamy salad dressing • Use pesto as a garnish on creamy broccoli soup • Add to a panini sandwich along with roasted eggplant, mushrooms and soy cheese • Combine with your favorite non-dairy cream cheese for a bagel treat • Layer pesto along with giardineira, spices and maple-baked tofu for a vegan muffaletta


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Looking Back at 1956 By Clifton (Jerry) Noble, Sr.

1956 brought new personnel to my state Department of Public Works survey party. Stephen J. Bryda was my transitman. Recently married he lived with his wife’s family on the heights of south Holyoke. Rodmen were John (Jack) T. Kelly, and Gordon G. Parker. Black haired Jack had a lively sense of humor. Stocky Gordy played bagpipes. In January we worked near a turkey farm in Ludlow. Unusual noise would set the turkeys off. Jack took great delight in yelling, “What does Gordy do?” Turkeys would answer loudly in chorus, “Gobble, gobble, gobble!” The August 1955 flood had destroyed or damaged seven minor bridges in the town of Hampden and one on Crane Hill Road in Wilbraham. Plans had been prepared for replacing them. We got the job of staking their locations. Six used prestressed concrete beams for decks and prefabricated forms for concrete abutments and wing walls. After checking the plan of the first bridge to be rebuilt I had to tell the contractor the sad news that he had put up wrong forms for the northwest wingwall. It had to be redone to make things fit.

Lester Emerson works on the garage roof. Photo by Clifton (Jerry) Noble, Sr.

By April my cousin Lester Emerson finished his new house on High Street in Southampton and moved in with wife Mabel and daughters Linda and Janet. They organized the “Allegro Club,” a singing group of 20 members. Although I was not one of the singers I helped with some programs. Most notably for a town anniversary program I made an eight millimeter color movie of puppets called “The Infernal Machine,” and coordinated taperecorded sound with it. The Springfield Street Railway building which had housed trolley cars on the corner of Main and Carew Streets was sold in April. A news clipping, dated May 7, in my scrapbook reminds me that I was asked to do a puppet show for the Mother and Daughter Banquet of the Woman’s Union at the first Congregational Church in Westfield. I already had three plays and I had just made puppets for a new one, “Three Wishes,” about how what we think we want may not work out the way we expect. I had to make a “Fish of the Sea” puppet to be the magician. My Wilcox Gay tape player provided between-scene music and amplification. Cousin Lester helped, and my account book shows that I was paid $20. In spring and summer I got more tan. Some Hampden bridges were on back roads with few or no cars, so I worked in Coronado briefs. There was a swimming pool north of town center. The crew could take my car to lunch, and I could lie

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in the sun. At Mill Road a diversion channel about eight feet wide and three feet deep carried the stream around construction. At noon I might get in the upper end and coast down with the water. Once I saw a snake coasting not far from me. Hampden and the Scantic River had lots of snakes. While holding them in horror, Bryda was fascinated by them and would prowl shores at noon looking for them. Civil Service Notes in the news1956 Ford Sedan paper for June 6 listed my name among 178 of those passing examination for assistant civil engineer, grade IV. I did get appointment. By July construction of the Hampden Bridges required less survey, and we could do Court Street and long, straight Western Avenue in Westfield which was only ten (instead of 40) miles from home for me. Occasionally we were also called back to the West Springfield bridges and Memorial Avenue interchange. Montgomery, where I moved from West Springfield, was in District One of the state Public Works Department. I didn’t charge for the ten miles to Westfield in hope that I would continue to be assigned to District Two where I had always worked and where all my friends were. However, in December someone in Boston sent word for me to charge for the ten miles on my expense account. 20 miles at three-cents-a-mile, helped with car expense, and it did make bookkeeping easier. By then I was earning $91.95 for a gross week’s pay. Withholding tax of $11.87 and retirement deduction $4.65 reduced it to a net of $75.43. In September Mrs. Edward MacDowell, widow of the composer of “To A Wild Rose,” (my boyhood piano piece) died in Los Angeles at the age of 98. As a child I was introduced to Marian MacDowell by the owner at the Harvey Hotel in New Bedford, Massachusetts. She had established her husband’s summer home near Peterborough, New Hampshire, as a center for workers in the arts. In November Westfield Ford allowed $761 on my Plymouth toward the $2,476 price of a six-cylinder, 1956 Ford which

caused a lot of trouble and was replaced on good terms with an eight-cylinder car of the same blue and white body model. My cousin Lester Emerson helped finish my new garagehouse by November. The $2 an hour I paid him for two days a week was roughly equal to my own rate. Over the year it amounted to $881. By December the house had cost $6,909.68 including Lester’s pay and $310.72 to Pederson for hardwood floors. We painted the outside pink. A ladder cost $12.99. It was a treat for my widow mother to have a brand new house. We got a gas kitchen stove for $68 and a washing machine for $99. Four stools for the built-in kitchen table were $35.80. A 9 by 15 foot living room rug and mat cost $127.50 from Bigelow Sanford of Thompsonville, Connecticut. I used my cot from the schoolhouse but Hester got a bed and mattress for $69.50 and dresser for $47.50 After being Tin Man in Hayle’s “Wizard of Oz” I continued taking dollar lessons at their Springfield studio but practiced tap dance instead of ballet. Around the holidays there was call for my puppet shows for which I charged from $5 to $20. Casimir Lazarz hired me to do one in Woronoco when the Strathmore Community Building was in its heyday. If Hester or Lester were unavailable I paid Lester’s wife, Mabel, $3 to help with the show. Photographer Walter Sibley did a publicity picture of my puppet theater.



By Brenda Parker-LeDuc

If these walls could talk…

they would bring you back to our town’s most significant part of history…. the Congamond Lakes boom era - 1922. The lakes were alive and bustling with tourism. The railroad carried families from NYC and New Haven into Southwick for the festivities on the lake. An amusement park with a ferris wheel, Babb’s Dance Hall with big band swing bands, grand hotels. Can you imagine, right here in our own backyard ? The Shores of the lake were peppered with cozy little cottages that welcomed enthusiastic travelers ready to enjoy their annual summer vacation. These simple, rustic cabins were all a family of this time would need to enjoy simple family time in

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the lazy days of summer. As years passed, we lost these special little places one by one. They were simply discarded and torn down. Larger year-round homes boldly took their place. No trace of their existence remains…. Except for “The Last Little Cottage”. July, 2005: You could hear those buzzer bugs a buzzin’ that steamy July afternoon. I’ve been a realtor since 1985 and I never would have imagined I may need a full time secretary to handle the stream of calls for my lake listings. Feverishly trying to wrap up my business and pack up my 3 & 5 yr. old for a weekend on Block Island, I cringed at every ring that bellowed from my cell phone! At 12:25 I answered, it was a man inquiring about that lake house. “I’m sorry,” I replied, “it has been sold. Is there anything else I can help you find?” He went on rambling about some dump he just looked at on the island. Thinking I knew every part of this lake I said confused, “what island?” He said I couldn’t tell you how to get there, it’s near some goats! After I hung up, I quickly shuffled my tired, hungry kids into my mini-van. I threw them a juice box and bag of chips. Off I went to see my friend Kurt at the marina. Surely he would know of this mysterious place! As I approached the dusty dirt-rutted road, an older meek looking man lingered as if he were waiting for someone. I said, “hello, my name is Brenda, I’m a realtor, I hear there is a house for sale on this island?” He said yup, that would be mine. Over the bridge, up the stairs. It’s on the right, help yourself. I’m just waiting for someone who can’t find their way. I unharnessed my cranky kids, skeptically crossed a rickety old wooden footbridge. I hiked what seemed to be an eternity up 50 narrow broken steps. In my peripheral vision I could see a tired, sad looking little cottage overgrown with brush. Not really what I had expected. The first thing that hit me as I entered was the smell. It was a good smell, one of old dry wood. As I took a few steps forward, I could not believe my eyes! A perfectly preserved little knotty pine cabin, frozen in time! Nothing had changed, original everything! It appeared as though no-one had done anything, including dust or clean, in decades! As I made my way to the back porch, I noticed the broken jalousie windows which had a thick film of dust. Between the dust and the overgrown trees, I could barely see the lake below. As I continued onto the very questionable looking deck, my 2 curious kids in tow, I said “hold my hands kids, this deck has no railings”. Within seconds, I heard an earth shattering screech! My 3 yr. old daughter’s little leg went straight through an old rotted






board! After a kiss, a hug, and a wet Last spring my mom anwipe, the three of us sat on the porch nounced she had no interest in the listening to the slow hum of boats cottage and wanted to sell it. This passing by, breathing in the smell of news was devastating to both my old wood and lake. At that moment family and myself. Not only would I thought to myself… “what a perfect I lose a lot of money since the marpiece of heaven”! I felt as if I were in ket had crashed, but what was even a tree house, tucked away from the more terrifying… the very real posmadness of the world. sibility of a new owner desecratAs my wheels started racing ing this place, modernizing it with with the names of potential buyvinyl siding, sheet rock, etc. What ers, I was abruptly interrupted by a a shame that would be! I was now true epiphany! This place MUST be determined more than ever to keep mine! Then common sense quickly this sacred place, untouched by took over. I could not afford a second If walls could talk, the stories they would tell.... time, so that generations to come mortgage. Besides, I could really use another commission becould experience a simple place in such a crazy time. fore I tookoff on a long weekend. That’s when another thought I spent endless hours last summer just sitting alone on that invaded my brain. It was an “a-ha” moment… A person with a porch. Breathing in the warm lake air, listening to the boats zest for adventure, who loved the water, my mom. hum by. Thinking…. How can I afford this? There has got to Just as I thought I had the whole thing figured out, the be a way and… as effortlessly as this placed called out to me gentleman appeared with his potential buyer. I shook his hand years earlier, it hit me like one of those passenger trains bringand told him I would be in touch. ing people to town in 1922. Let it be what it was meant to be. Before I made it back down the hill I had my mom on It was really that simple. It’s a summer rental. So as its story speed dial! She was on Block Island and within 10 minutes I began nearly 100 years ago, it shall become again! A sanctuary, had convinced her to pony up her life savings and take on this welcoming travelers in for a summer get-away at the lake. adventure with me. She couldn’t say no! The deal was done, In November 2012, I became the proud owner, once again, sight unseen. A few coats of cheery yellow paint, spit & polish of “The Last Little Cottage.” I am honored to be its protecbreathed new life into a once forgotten place. tor and preserve this magical little cottage nestled in the pines, I experienced the most memorable times at that old cabin surrounded by water. If walls could talk, what stories they over the next 8 summers. Kids running around the island would tell. catching fireflies, fishing, slumber parties, camp fires, ghost If you sit long enough on a hot summer night, you can hear stories, and simply gazing at the night sky watching the moonthe crickets, the boats humming by. You can see the stars shimlight dance over the dark water. I always felt as though I had a mering on the water like diamonds, and…. If you listen very special purpose here. To protect a little piece of history, a little closely… you can hear the laughter and the echos from the past piece of heaven. etched within these old walls.





It Was On

Sale By Marilyn I. Chunglo


e were living in Cambridge, Iowa, commuting fifteen miles to Ames where I worked and Chuck went to college. After his classes he went to the fraternity to study or ‘hang out’ with the guys. He would come to the Highway Commission and pick me up when I got out to work then we went home to Cambridge. It was no problem to cut through the main street of downtown on the way home. One day when he picked me up I said, “Chuck, I have to stop at Yonkers on the way home.” Yonkers was the department store in downtown Ames. “Why do you have to go to Yonkers?” “Pay my bill.” I answered. Chuck found a parking space across the street and down a short way from the store. When I got to the store, I went up


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stairs to the pay window. As I was waiting for the woman ahead of me to finish her business I noticed a rack of clothes close by. There was a CLEARANCE sign hanging on the rack. I saw the suit, a black skirt with a red, black and white check jacket. I had had my eye on it ever since it first came into the store. The original price was sixty dollars but that was a little out of my range. Every time I came in to the store I would check to see if it had been sold. Today it was marked down to fifteen dollars. I couldn’t take a chance that it would go any lower so after I paid my bill I went to find the clerk. I put it on my charge account. The clerk put the suit in a box and I went merrily on my way though I hated to tell Chuck what I had done. June was just around the corner. Chuck was doing to graduate and we were going to had out to Massachusetts where Chuck had a job waiting for him. Who knew what else was in store for us. I got in the car. “What’s in the box?” Chuck asked. My heart dropped to the pit of my stomach. “A new suit,” I stammered. “I thought we agreed we were not going to spend any more money than we absolutely had to.” “But, Chucky, I had too.” “But, Chucky,” he mimicked. “Here it comes. So why did you have too?” “Well, I’ve had my eye on this suit ever since it came into the store but I knew I could never get it at sixty dollars but every time I went to the store I would check to see if it had been sold but it was always still on the rack. Today it was n the clearance rack and was marked down to fifteen dollars. I knew it was now or never. So I bought it.” “Skippy, you are really something.” He laughed a short exasperated little snort. Oh, well he’ll get over it. Time moved along. I wore the suit until the skirt was ready to fall apart. I bought a new black skirt and continued to wear the suit. The last time I saw the suit my daughter was in high school and guess what she was wearing. Right. The suit that cost fifteen dollars. The biggest bargain of a lifetime.

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Non-profit news and events for area communities. Please send information by the 20th of the month in order to have it listed in this section. We will print as many listings as space allows. Our usual publication date is within the first week of the month. Send to: Town Crier, Southwoods Magazine, P.O. Box 1106, Southwick, MA 01077, Fax: (413) 569-5325 or email us at Grill’n Daze

The Southwick Rotary Club is looking for your help for their annual Grill’n Daze Competition, a BBQ and Chili contest on July 21st. Now in its sixth year, the competition has gained tremenous interst here in Southwick and the surrounding community. This is a great event for you to showcase and promote your business! You can sponsor a company team, compete yourself, or just enjoy the day with friends, family and your employees. There are three levels of sponsorship - Platinum - $500; Gold - $300; and Silver - $100. Sponsors will receive a banner on our event website and booth space to promote your products and services. Deadline for sponsorships is July 14. Your financial help will assist the Rotary Club with its advertising plan and prize money for the competition. Proceeds from the event will support Rotary community and youth programs. Please visit the websites or www. Guidelines and an application form for the competition can be downloaded from our website.

ITALIAN PASTRY AND COFFEE SHOP 610 College Highway, Gristmill Plaza Southwick, MA 01077 413-569-2250 10 Wintonbury Mall, Bloomfield, CT 06002 860-242-3440 The Botta Family • Emiddio, Carmen, Giovanni & Emiddio

Thank You!!! From The Granfield Family The Grandfield Family would like to extend their gratitude to all the friends, volunteers and Police Officer Cain and Malone who made Tyler’s Tribute April 6, 2013 so successful, especially the following supporters who contributed to the raffles and silent auction. Allen’s Affordable Auto, Air Compressors Engineering, Aubuchon’s Hardware (Foxborough, MA) Balance Hair Salon, Children were thrilled with the bounce house and the baby goats Al Bannish, Boston Red Sox and piglets. Tickets ( anonymous donor), Celtics Tickets (anonymous donor), \ Center Cleaners, Cerratos Pastry Shop, Michael Clendenin, The Cove, Cutting Edge Hair Salon, Dhira Yoga, Tina DePalma, Designer’s Edge, Granville Country Store, Jim Greene, Hair Works, J.D.’s Auto/Sunoco, K-9’s & Felines, Heather Madrid, Tim McGraw Tickets (anonymous donor), Mark’s Property Services, Millies, Moo-lisicious, Nini’s Restaurant, Nora’s Restaurant, Old Mill Pond Village, Pasticcceria Italia, Patriots Football Team, Pilgrim Candle, Pure Massage, Rascal Flatts Tickets (anonymous donor), Saunders Package Store, Security Fence, Southwick Inn, Southwoods Printing, Spirit Shop, Sky Box, TJ Bark Mulch, Take 5 Restaurant, Tastefully Tan, Totally You Hair Studio, Derek Turnball Electric, Village Pizza, and Whip City Pool & Spa. Proceeds from this event will benefit the scholarships at STGRSHS and WVTHS, the new Southwick Animal Shelter Play Yard (July 2013) and the Southwick Food Pantry.


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Ripples On Congamond

By Jerry Crane With Memorial Day weekend under our belts the activity and events will really pick up on the lake. Preparations for Citizens Restoring Congamond events are well under way or in the final planning stages. We kicked off the summer with the annual weed treatment which took place on Tuesday, May 14th. Roughly 250 acres were treated for invasive milfoil and curlyleaf pondweed. The total area of treatment is declining every year which shows the ongoing invasive weed plan is doing its job. In the words of the applicator, “the lake looks better than ever”. Next up is our annual lake clean-up day on Saturday, June 15th. Once again this year we are concentrating on removing debris from the canal outlet at the south end of south pond. We will be gathering at the rail trail parking lot at the corner of Phelps and Coppermine, near the old railroad underpass, at 8am. If you want to get involved with the health of the lake here’s a good opportunity. Ayotte Brothers Construction will be supplying some equipment to haul trees and stuff out of the water but we will need a crew to help drag it up the bank and ready it for disposal. You can call Steve Schmid for details at 413-297-5631. Next the fun stuff.... The annual 4th of July decorated boat parade will be held on Saturday, July 6th. The theme is, and will be from now on, “Red, White & Blue” – Patriotic colors for all to see. We start to gather boats at Babb’s Beach at 5pm and depart at 6pm. Best viewing will be at the park as the boats gather and the deck at Louie B’s Restaurant as they pass by. Coming up next is a poker run in July and a golf tounament in September. That’s enough for this month. See ‘ya on the pond.



NCCHP June 2013 Update

Come see the new “Trains and Trolleys” exhibit featuring the Central CT ‘G’ Gaugers large scale modular train layout! For more information about this active and enthusiastic model train club, check out their website at . From June – October the museum will be open for tours on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month from 12:00 – 3:00. Free Monthly Movie Nights are back on the 4th Wednesday of every month from 7:00 – 9:00. This popular series features short movies about how things were made or operated “back in the day”. The June 26th movie night will feature films about trains and trolleys to complement the new exhibit. The monthly Living History series starts Wednesday, 6/12 at 6:30 with a program by David Leff called “Hidden In Plain Sight”. A local essayist, poet and lecturer, David unlocks the secrets of seeing magic in the mundane and discovering wonders in the commonplace world around us. The July Living History Series on Wednesday, 7/10 features a patriotic musical program “Lincoln and Liberty” led by Roger Lee Hall. Roger is a music preservationist, author and composer and holds a Ph.D. in Musicology specializing in early American music. Be sure to mark your calendars. An exhibit about the history of photography and cameras is currently “under construction”. If you have old cameras, photography equipment or photographs you are willing to lend to NCCHP for the exhibit, please contact us. Also, if you are interested in working on researching or pulling together and setting up new exhibits, we are always looking for more volunteers! To learn more or discuss further, please call 413-3578814 or e-mail us at . The NCCHP museum at the Drum Shop is located at 42 Water Street in Granville and is open for tours by groups of ten or more by appointment only (call 413-357-8814). Museum admission is free for NCCHP members; $5 for adults and $3 for children for non-members. The Gift Shop is open weekdays year round from 9:00 – 4:00 as well as whenever the museum is open for tours or special events and features hand crafted items made by local artists, potters, woodcrafters, quilters, authors and more!


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32th Annual Granville Harvest Fair

Applications for Vendors and Craftsmen to participate in the Fair, Columbus Day Weekend, October 12, 13 & 14 are most welcome. Your request from one of the following venues should include a #10 self-addressed stamped envelope. The Old Meeting House - Coralie Stevenson, P.O. Box 193, Granville, MA 01034-0193 or call 413-357-8801. The Drum Shop - Carol Jones, NCCHP Water Street, Granville, MA, 01034 or call 413-357-8814. The Town Green - Linda Blakesley, 397 Main Road, Granville, MA 01034 or call 413-627-4843. The Federated Church - Karen McLaughlin. P.O. Box 313, Granville, MA 01034 or call 413-357-8732. The Granville Library - Nancy Petersen, P.O. Box 222, Granville, MA 01034 or call 413-357-8806. The Village School - Rene Ellinger, 33 Blandford Rd, Granville, MA 01034 or call 413-627-8859


Troop 114 has firewood available at self service boxes on Powdermill Rd., South Longyard Rd., and Granville Rd. All Monies from the sales have supported uniforms, equipment and summer camp for the past five years. Firewood is sold for $5 per bundle or 5 bundles for $20. The scouts run this operation with their leaders and have learned entrepreneurship, time management, team work, safety, and countless other work ethics and life lessons. Thanks for supporting Southwick Troop 114. For more information about scouting or firewood call Andy 413-348-7650 or Todd 413-222-6885.

Strawberry Supper

On Saturday, June 15, 2013 the Southwick Congregational Church, 488 College Highway, Southwick, MA is having their annual Strawberry Supper at 6:00 PM. The menu is ham, potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans, rolls with butter and strawberry shortcake with real whipped cream. The cost is $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children age 6-12. For reservations, please call the church office at 569-6362.

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The West Suffield Congregational Church, UCC, will be having a Ham Dinner on Saturday, June 22, 2013. Seating is at 5 pm. The menu consists of ham, potatoes, vegetables and an ice cream dessert. Coffee and tea will also be provided. Donation is $13 for adults and $6 for children (12 and under). For reservations, please call Barbara at 860-668-7109. Take-out dinners are also available. The church is handicap accessible and is located at the intersection of Mountain Road, Rte 168 and North Grand Street, Rte 187 in the center of West Suffield, CT.

Garden Gala Benefit Weekend

The Beauty of the season whispers the delight that await us on the weekend of June 14th-16th. On June 14th, we invite you to join us in our own Soutwick gardens for the annual Garden Party and Silent Auction, tickets required. The music of Curran & Company will sweeten the evening air and guests will stroll through perennial borders and gentle woodlands enjoying friendship, conversation and gourmet summer refreshment. The 15th annual Grandmothers’ Garden Tour will showcase five private gardens open to the public on June 15th and 16th. Tickets for the Garden Tour are $20 per person ($15 for seniors). Tickets for the Garden Party are $45 per person. Combined tickets for the Garden Party & Tour are $60 per person. All events are held rain or shine. For more information contact Sandy or Bob Watkins at 413-5695562 or Bernadette Toomey at 413-562-9404 or email at

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UNITY PICNI M M C CO Sponsored by the Republican Town Committee

Sunday, August 4, 2013 June 2013

Dear Friends, The State Auditor recently released a report regarding an audit of the welfare system. I wish I could say that everything was just fine but unfortunately that’s not the case. This report and the several before it clearly indicate that we desperately need to reform the welfare system. Just this past week I joined fellow legislators in submitting a letter to the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Conference CommitBy State Representative tee, asking them to strike out the five letter Nicholas Boldyga word in the House engrossed budget which stands between the Commonwealth and meaningful welfare reforms: STUDY.   The letter to the Conference Committee comes on the heels of an explosive report by State Auditor Suzanne Bump, in which it was revealed that millions of dollars of taxpayer funded welfare benefits went to deceased recipients, guardians of deceased recipients, duplicate dependents. The report further indicated that there were clear warning signs that fraud was occurring and nothing was ever done. Garnering the support of legislators from both Chambers, the letter respectfully requests “that the Conference Committee cast aside political gamesmanship in exchange for the progress needed to ensure, once and for all, that Massachusetts’ welfare benefits are reserved for those who are truly eligible and in need of our assistance.” “Members of the Conference Committee need to take this seriously and remove unnecessary welfare reform ‘studies’ in order to protect the taxpayers of the Commonwealth,” said Representative Boldyga. The letter included several other targeted reforms that legislators would like to see included in the final version of the state budget: 1. the expedited establishment and integration of EOHHS’ Integrated Eligibility System (IES) with the Department of Transitional Assistance; 2. the requirement that the IES cross-check Social Security Numbers (SSNs), at the point of application, with a minimum of 9 specific state and federal databases and 20 additional optional databases, to the extent that they are available; 3. the prohibition of the use of numerical identifiers as placeholders for SSNs for periods in excess of 3 months; 4. the immediate phase-in of photo ID on EBT cards for cardholders over the age of 18, beginning 6 months following the passage of the bill; 5. the prohibition of out of state EBT card use except in states contiguous to Massachusetts; 6. the increase of the potential fines on retailers who violate EBT prohibitions, as recommended by the most recent Cashless Commission; 7. the prohibition of the use of self-declarations as verification of applicant eligibility; an 8. the phase-in of the implementation of an online paymentsystem for rent and utility payments that would provide recipients with more flexibility to pay bills and an added resource to budget benefits, while providing the Commonwealth with greater oversight over the use of cash assistance. Thank you for allowing me to proudly serve as Your Representative. Please call me with any concerns. My home telephone number is (413) 569-5188. I’m always available! Sincerely,

Nicholas A. Boldyga Representative PAGE 30


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ART SALE at Studio of carolyn avery. Oil, acrylic & watercolor paintings, from huge to small! View by calling 413-569-0384. Also some crafts & houseplants.

RING RING AVON CALLING - looking for AVON products for Christmas Gifts contact me Christy Cox by email at: cvcox@comcast. net or call 413-568-8082 evenings.

GOODS & SERVICES traprock driveways built & repaired. Gravel, loam, fill deliveries. Tractor services, equipment moved, York Rake. Bill Armstrong Trucking. 413357-6407. baseball cards - Old, Mint Condition. Great gift for kids & grandkids for collecting. 1000 cards $20.00 Call 413-998-3248. KEENKUT LANDSCAPING SPRING CLEANUPS, Landscape Design, Mulch Beds, Plantings, New Lawn Installs, Weekly and Bi-weekly mowing, Bobcat service call 413-896-9240

HELP WANTED Help wanted local construction company - Looking for truck drivers with CDL, clean driving record and at least 5 years experience. Also need laborers and equipment operators. Please call or fax resume to 413-848-2858 from 8 am to 8 pm.




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Southwoods Magazine June 2013  
Southwoods Magazine June 2013  

A Journal for Country Living