Category Archives: Local history

Historical posts about the Connecticut Valley, most likely the Pioneer Valley.

Sugarloaf Witch-Tale Origin?

It’s noontime. I’ve walked the dogs, lugged in wood from the woodshed, showered, poured my last cup of coffee, and am reading on a comfortable leather recliner in the sunny south parlor. Retirement’s great. Work no longer looming. The wireless phone rings. Cradled on a small dropleaf table between my chair and its twin, I […]

Yesteryear Rifle

Discovery. It’s enticing. A mission. A search. A chase. An addictive game. Connecting can be euphoric. Especially when an answer comes out of nowhere. Totally unexpected. Slaps you upside the head like a branch in the woods. Which brings us to a peculiar, 8½-inch, black, pointed, ground-stone object I purchased years ago among a collection […]

Talkin’ Turkey

You know you’re getting old when, day in, day out, you read about baseball diamonds, football fields, gyms and most-valuable-player awards named after people who were either your coaches, teammates or opponents, also friends and folks you knew well.Which brings me to turkey hunting and the spring season that opens in a little more than […]

Springtime Bramble

Eleven o’clock, gray and damp, gentle spring rain falling, dogs patiently awaiting their daily morning romp around the upper hayfield and down through a Green River-side Christmas tree farm and wetland I long ago dubbed Sunken Meadow. On my walk out back to the kennel, I pass the two-plant rhubarb bed at the southwest corner […]

October Ain’t What It Used To Be

It was Day 6 of the 36-day pheasant season and I had not hunted or even given it much thought. Too hot. Cooler days ahead. OK, there’s no denying I’m getting old and ain’t what I once was physically. Nonetheless, I still have the enthusiasm and physical (limping) prowess to navigate punishing coverts. That said, […]

Just One Of Them Days

Deadline looms. It’s 1 p.m. Old Eli Terry just sounded a single-chime, his pendulum heartbeat loud and clear from a custom dining-room shelf midway up the south wall. It was almost as though the old fella wanted to warn me it’s getting late. Before long, it’ll be evening, time to build the Thursday sports pages. […]

Bear Moon’s Rising

It’s Saturday afternoon, sky blue, sun shining, breeze cool, moon waxing toward it’s full harvest splendor in the midnight sky. Making my rounds, I pull into Clarkdale for peaches. The place is hopping, parking lot full, but I find a space and back in. Myself, I always like my chances better than backing out. Inside, […]

Crying Wolf

It’s midafternoon along North Hillside Road in South Deerfield. I’ve parked in a sunny barnyard cluttered with vehicles, tractors and equipment, am walking toward the small auto-body shop behind the barn. Body man Scott Kolakoski comes highly recommended by friends and family. My Tacoma’s front bumper needs to be replaced after getting crunched while parked […]

Rattlesnakes, Falcons And Riverside Fish Racks

OK. A little of this, a little of that this week. First, a new topic I almost addressed a few weeks ago, then pushed to the side. Plus, I intend to rehash a couple of often-discussed subjects, both classic re-emergers that seem to boomerang now and again. Remember, I have filled this weekly space for […]

Sugarloaf Cliff-Dwellers?

Peripherals are sweet little morsels that, during historical research, arise like wandering spirits searching for their lost shadows. A case in point occurred Monday at the former downtown fire station of my South Deerfield childhood. Now the creative upstairs home of New York transplants Ken Schoen and Jane Trigere — with Schoen Books filling the […]