Category Archives: Columns

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

Mourning Memories

My daily morning walk covers more than a mile, less than two. It begins by exiting the inset porch and crossing the front yard, passing a tall pink weigela and splitting a pair of tall Japanese maples to the triangular common on the crotch of Colrain and Green River roads that forms the southern tip […]

Men, Mastodons and Maybe Sled Burials

Perhaps the best-kept secret in the world of late-Pleistocene archaeology today is the work of independent researcher Dr. Richard Michael Gramly of North Andover, a 75-year-old Harvard Ph.D. hopelessly mired in old ways learned from masters of their field during the late Sixties and Seventies. What “Mike” Gramly does best is excavate and interpret sites. […]

Bloody Brook’s Old Wright Place is Long Gone

I was on the road around 7:30 a.m. for an hour’s drive up Interstate 91 to Claremont, New Hampshire, a Connecticut River mill town south of Cornish and Windsor, Vermont – Mount Ascutney looming large on the northwestern horizon. There I would for the first time meet Avis Dodge Rogers, a dignified 92-year-old bundle of […]

Family Matter in Montagnais-Naskapi Land

My overstuffed December woodshed has been hollowed out by now, leaving a tall, thin reminder along the back edges that the happy sound of spring birdsong is near. “Don’t let the frigid mornings fool you,” I have many times told myself in recent days, looking up at what’s left. “It’ll soon be over.” That’s obvious, […]

Photo Stirs South Deerfield Memories

We’ve all heard the old adage proclaiming a picture’s worth 1,000 words – in some cases, an understatement, like, for instance, the example I’m about to share. A quick glance at an online postcard depicting a streetscape with old jalopies in mid-1950s downtown South Deerfield was all it took to unleash in me a flood […]

Whitmore’s Pond Poachers

With daybreak near, the tall clock will soon strike six in accompaniment to freezing rain drumming on the kitchen roof. I just returned from there with a cup of black, unsweetened coffee in hand, now steaming on a desktop coaster to my left. To me, early morning is the best time for introspection and creative […]

Wendell Lad Rides Rails to Fame & Fortune

I have happened upon another interesting historical character – one who passed through South Deerfield on his way to railroad immortality. His name was Jonas Brown Wilder II (1813-1906). I discovered Wilder during Greenfield-newspaper research on my Arms family. Searching for information on Dennis Arms, credited as the founder of South Deerfield’s 19th-century pocketbook-manufacturing industry, […]

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 […]

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