Winter festival in South Hadley on Saturday
When Michael Tougias would hike past an old road that seemed to disappear
into the Quabbin reservoir, he wondered who lived where these now dead-end
paths once led.
It was this fascination that led him to write the book, “Quabbin: A History
and Explorers Guide,” on the four “lost towns” of Dana, Enfield, Prescott
and Greenwich that were flooded out in 1938 to create the Quabbin
reservoir, which provides drinking water to the Boston area.
Tougias will present a narrated slideshow on the lost towns, the
construction of the reservoir and its function today at the South Hadley
Public Library on July 31 at 6:30 p.m.
The “silver lining” to the loss of the towns, he said, is that today, the
Quabbin is left in its natural state. It is for this reason that in the
second part of his presentation, he will provide a visual tour of the
Quabbin with suggestions of “hidden” places to visit.
“It’s always great to surprise [viewers] with information or even a new
place to go for a walk or a bike ride,” he said. Having grown up in
Longmeadow, he first began hiking in the area with his father and brother.
Now a resident of Plymouth, several of his recent books have been true
stories of survival at sea. Also at the presentation, he will talk about
the book he co-wrote with Casey Sherman, “The Finest Hours: The True Story
of the Coast Guard's Most Daring Rescue” —which Disney is currently making
into a major motion picture. The book is about the Coast Guard’s mission to
rescue 84 men caught in a nor’easter off of the coast of Cape Cod in 1952.
Filming is expected to begin on Cape Cod this winter.
Tougias will also briefly discuss his most recent book, “A Storm Too Soon:
A True Story of Disaster, Survival and an Incredible Rescue,” released this
January, on a crew rescued after their sailboat capsized in a storm 225
miles off the coast of North Carolina.
Following his talk, which is free to the public, Tougias will be selling
and signing books.
For more information on Tougias, his books and the upcoming film on “The
Finest Hours: The True Story of the Coast Guard's Most Daring Rescue,”
visit his website at www.michaeltougias.com.
To keep kids entertained while parents pick up their fresh fruits and
vegetables, the South Hadley Farmers Market on the Village Commons Town
Green will be holding a “Kids’ Day” on July 25.
The free event will feature acts by two local musicians who will teach kids
about food and farming through songs and activities.
“It’s never too early to educate children food and farming and healthy
eating,” said market manager Nora Murphy.
When the market opens for the day at 1 p.m. Jay Mankita, of Amherst, will
perform his act “Eat Like A Rainbow,” where he sings songs about food and
ecology while strumming his guitar and tapping his “foot percussion”
contraption, which he assembled from broken down musical instruments, pans
and recycled materials. He will also bring a variety of percussion
instruments such as drums, triangles, tin cans and tambourines so children
can play along with him.
Mankita said he is donating this performance because he supports the
mission of the farmers market to bring local food to the community.
A father a five year-old, he said he believes going to the Farmers Market
is a whole lot more fun for kids than going to the supermarket.
“These days, going to a farmers market is more like going to a party than
going to a store,” he said.
From 3:30 p.m. until the market closes for the day at 6 p.m., Shiprock and
Anchordog, featuring local school teacher Evan Curran, will be singing
educational songs about food and farming, performing renditions of popular
kids’ songs and playing theater games with the children.
At 3 p.m., children can also make garden-related crafts at the Center
Nursery School’s arts & crafts table, which comes to the market every other
The South Hadley Farmers' Market is held on the Town Common every Thursday,
from 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. from June through October. The market is
sponsored by Easthampton Savings Bank and Chicopee Savings Bank.
Book lovers soon might not have to carry two library cards to access both
libraries in town.
Trustees from the public library and the Gaylord Memorial Library have
gained the support of the select board in applying for a grant from the
Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners to help them move forward in
integrating the services of the two libraries, which could lead to both
libraries becoming part of the same access network.
At the select board meeting on July 16, the board passed a motion to write
a letter in support of the trustees receiving a grant of up to $10,000,
which would allow them to hire a consultant to evaluate and guide them in
their plans for further integration. The trustees will include the select
board’s letter in their application to the Massachusetts Board of Library
The trustees started working toward integrating the services of the two
libraries in March of last year. Ways the library could further work
together include a shared staff, joint web and social media pages, and
centralized cataloging, according to a handout from the library trustees.
“I think the two libraries have a lot of common interests. We share a lot
of the same patrons. I think we both contribute to the quality of life here
in the town,” said public library director Joseph Rodio in a phone
Rodio said he is looking forward to the two libraries doing more joint
programming, such as the book discussion program South Hadley Reads, which
the libraries have held for ten years.
In a phone interview, select board chairman John Hine said that integration
of services provides opportunities to improve the town libraries while
“I think we owe it to the town to look at how we can provide services
better,” Hine said.