Editor’s letter

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Hi, friends:


Yesterday was another snow day, which, for our family, has come to mean another bring-your-child-to-work day. My husband and I have gotten it down as best we can. He takes our son to the theater where he works. I take our daughter to the newsroom where I work, in a cubicle surrounded by my colleagues — editors, reporters, designers, photographers and many more people in both editorial and advertising who are in earshot of whatever my toddler is up to.

Fortunately, she’s pretty content drawing on the reams of newsprint that our facilities manager and general fix-it man, Bob Diemand, once gave to me — “for your kids,” as he said at the time. And fortunately, my other office mates have been just as understanding and welcoming to a little one occasionally toddling around. Our design editor, Lucy Pickett, has basically gifted my son her toy trolls; they’re now kept on my desk. And she recently brought in a kid-friendly spelling game from home; it’s now kept in our home. 

Still, it’s not easy having your kids at work! (This is called an “understatement.”) But for us, it’s really the only practical option. We have great support networks in our parents — they just live in different states. As much as they’d love to, Mimi and Poppy can’t just swoop in from Miami to help out for the day. Hiring a babysitter for so many hours isn’t financially sustainable. And we don’t want to ask too many favors of friends, who have already helped us out on snow days and sick days.

And these snow days are getting out of hand. Yesterday my husband and I parented and worked in shifts — this time, I ended up working from home. But late last night, we got the call from the city — Northampton schools would be opening two hours late. On those days with delays, our day care place is closed. So, here I am, about to be back in the newsroom with my babe. Right now, it’s 6 in the morning, and I’m writing from my laptop at home before the kids wake up.

In a few hours, I’ll have pages on my desk. I’m looking forward to sharing with you Steve Pfarrer’s story on Gateway City Arts (GCA) in Holyoke, a fascinating city rich in history. You might have heard about this venue’s music events, but when it comes to the arts, it contains multitudes. From now until March 3, GCA will be showing “Bending Towards Justice: The Art of Robert Templeton and the Struggle for Civil Rights,” an exhibit and series of related events inspired by the celebrated portrait painter’s work. Learn more at the GCA website, gatewaycityarts.com/roberttempleton.

Also in this issue, we have a write-up of the multigenerational cookbook “Mountain Street Memories” by Mary Koening Loring of Haydenville, and a quick chat with dancer Cat Wagner.

Now that the semester is in full swing, I have two new interns at the arts and culture desk, Emma Kemp (Smith College) and Jordan Allen (the University of Massachusetts Amherst). At the moment, we’re brainstorming some new ideas for subjects to feature in “People Watching.” You’ll see them here soon. If you have someone to suggest, send me an email at bhauser@gazettenet.com.

Brooke Hauser