Category Archives: Columns

Published pieces I’ve written, primarily in The Recorder, Greenfield, Mass.

Millers River Memories

That unfortunate, 6,000-gallon Athol diesel spill into a Millers River tributary named Mill Brook on Dec. 22 sent my wheels awhirl. The tanker-truck rollover that required Jaws of Life driver extraction unleashed reminiscence about my earliest newspaper days at the Greenfield Recorder. That means it took me back to the early 1980s when a previously […]

Old Roads Have Stories To Tell

One never knows where a road will lead them. Especially an old road. So, let’s talk about roads. Old roads. Ones that began as indigenous paths or, before that, game trails carved into Mother Earth’s skin by migrating herds. The discovery potential in such ancient trails is nearly limitless for those who maintain an open […]

Writer’s-Block Ramble

Daybreak Friday. Light creeping in over the horizon, sneaking through the tall white pines across the street. Waiting for the coffee-maker to gurgle its last breath, I’ve already been to Springfield and back. Deer hunters are just now entering the woods, trying to be quiet, hoping this will be the day. Tomorrow will be even […]

Fall And My Pheasant-Hunting Days Are Fading Fast

As bright, colorful leaves drop to the ground in visible, audible rain out the window, and fall creeps toward winter, I’m thinking about transitions. Seated at my desk in the southwest-parlor study, I’m peering through gray morning air toward Colrain Road, which, some 714 feet west, becomes Brook Road leading to eastern Shelburne and Colrain. […]

Outdoor Writing Ain’t What It Used To Be

The road to Jay Peak Resort in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom leans north and west from Interstate 91’s Exit 6 in Barton – the final, 32-mile leg of a 3½-hour, 200-mile trip from my Greenfield home. I was there to attend the Outdoor Writers Association of America’s Vermont 2021 Annual Conference, a first for me though […]

Who Was U.S. Deputy Marshal Leonard Arms?

South Deerfield left its mark on the Wild West, including the death of Deputy U.S. Marshal Leonard Arms, gunned down in the line of duty on April 20, 1860 in Topeka, Kansas Territory. The shooting occurred less than a year before the first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, […]

Windblown Tip From An Old Newshound

I crack open my left eye to the twinkle of dawn penetrating the east window behind my upstairs bed. Silence. Not so much as a bird-chirp. I don’t linger in bed. An interesting book awaits me downstairs on the table next to my recliner. Mind fresh, day young, light low, quiet, there is no better […]

Fighting a Loyal Salmon Crusade

This all began with an email from a local environmentalist gadfly. He wanted to share a recent guest column he had written for the Northampton newspaper. What followed was a string of email correspondence between me and him and another writer still beating the dead horse called Connecticut River Atlantic salmon. The lively discussion stirred […]

Chasing a Rare Griswold Treasure

Does anyone else track the vintage cast-iron cookware market? It’s pretty wild. Didn’t so much as dip on eBay during the Americana crash. Take, for example, a recent, old-fashioned, on-site, South Reading, Vermont auction. There the contents of a tidy, bucolic, 100-acre gentleman’s farm were being sold in the morning shadow of picturesque Mount Ascutney. […]

Waushakum Pond: Lamprey-Eel Fishing Place?

Finally, a breakthrough concerning a longstanding, personal and vexing lamprey question – that is, did Northeastern indigenous populations utilize anadromous sea lampreys as a food source during the eel-like creatures’ annual, upriver, spring spawning runs among millions of American shad, Atlantic salmon, striped bass and river herring? This mystery I explored at length and was […]

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