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Our most excellent GoNOMAD interns are flying off on assignment

Since 2004, we have had interns from UMass who work for GoNOMAD during the school year and often during the summer. The interns who have worked with us have all contributed mightily to our body of stories, and each of them has left their own mark. I often marvel at how great some of these young people are at writing and at social media, and some times I am left disappointed in them too.   Dan Peltier There is one consistency that I see every 0

Easthampton's Art Walk and Galaxy, a perfect spring combination

It was the first warm night of spring as we drove past woods erupting with the sounds of peepers on our way to Easthampton on Saturday night. It was the monthly Art Walk, and as we turned the corner onto Cottage Street, it was clear that the balmy weather and excitement about this up and coming city had brought out big crowds. It was easy to find a parking space (when did you ever find this in Northampton!?) and we made our way to the 0

Sofie reminds me to play every time she visits

What do you do when a little girl pays a visit to your house? I often am confronted with this when my daughter Kate asks me if I can watch Sofie, her five-year-0ld daughter on a weekday. There are times when I think I should decline, and tell her how busy I am and that I can't possibly drop everything and babysit.  But I never do that, well, almost never. Because I am of the belief that you can get things done while little ones visit, 0

Basketball games so late that the next day is foggy

It's funny how I notice things that once went unnoticed as I advance in age. Last night I watched the NCAA Men's basketball finals that didn't start until 9 pm. We had been invited by a couple we like to come have dinner at their house and watch the game. Later on when our two spouses were confirming the plan, one of them realized that the game didn't START until 9 pm. Too late.  So we dropped the plan to go to dinner in Greenfield and 0

Welcoming the Arts Block on a sunny Sunday in South Deerfield

Today was a satisfying day, one where you could make a list and joyfully cross off each thing you got done. After our bummer winter, everyone like me with a yard is eager to get out there and clean it up. So I groomed the grass and filled three huge garbage cans, then went to work on my pesky driveway drain.  I've watched my driveway fill up with water every time it rains hard since I moved into this house in 1992. But there is a 0

A long goodbye in Pittsburgh

Most of the time we avoid thinking about death and funerals. It's a topic we'd rather not discuss, but as we get older, more and more deaths occur and have to face them. This week I traveled a very long way in the car, about nine hours, for three days of grieving, celebrating, and saying good bye.  In our family tradition, we don't have as many opportunities to reflect and to spend time with people around a death. We have a funeral, and then a gathering 0

James V. Cunningham Sr: He cared the most about what truly mattered

We are in Pittsburgh this week, not to write an article and meet the usual 'interesting local people,' but instead to say farewell to a distinguished member of the faculty at Pitt and a community leader named James V. Cunningham Sr who died at 91 on March 28. As I've gotten older I have paid much closer attention to funerals and how to react and respond when people's family members or friends pass away.  Someone wrote once that if you have to decide whether to go 0

Saturday mornings bring memories, chores and promise

 Saturday mornings always feel different than any other morning of the week. I have a recurring memory that flashes back to me often when I wake up on a sunny Saturday, it takes me back more than 35 years to my first apartment in North Amherst. I have a gauzy image of myself sitting in a rocking chair with the sun streaming into my room at the back of the big two-family on North Pleasant St, reading the Daily Hampshire Gazette sipping coffee brewed in 0

Meeting face to face to talk about Facebook ads today

I'm up early this morning, heading for a rendezvous to meet a friend who will drive us both to Pittsfield. I haven't been to this city in a long time, and today's visit is to meet employees of Facebook who will present about how to use their gigantic service for local advertising.   Facebook began with such a simple promise, and got the majority of us hooked on keeping up with our friends and relatives photos, latest career news, and about what we're doing that very 0

Tinariwen: From Mali's deserts to Northampton Thursday night!

From the desert of Northern Mali, the band Tinariwen combines spiritual music from their native Tuareg people.  The Tuareg are famous nomads, living in harsh deserts and using everything in nature to survive.  I first heard Tinariwen on Jim Neil's Jukebox, an eclectic music show on Wednesday nights from 7-10 on WRSI. He slipped this one in between his usual pop ditties, and I remember asking myself, WHO IS THAT?  Tinariwen a band of Tauregs from Mali playing Northampton's Iron Horse Thursday  The band was formed by 0