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Hilltown Voices: Literary sleuthing, a potluck and a piggery permit

  • Grange Hall in Williamsburg. GOOGLE MAPS

For the Gazette
Published: 11/22/2019 11:53:45 AM

Typically, when one wants to find a book they go to their local library or bookstore. But from now until Sunday, Dec. 8, those who enjoy a little sleuthing will be able to tease out clues posted in various locations throughout the Hilltowns and Northampton, which will lead them to a free copy of “Night of the Jaguar” by Joe Gannon, hidden somewhere in the center of Chesterfield.

This bit of literary hide-and-seek is a runup to Gannon’s appearance at the Chesterfield Community Center on the 8th from 3 to 5 p.m., when he will discuss his experiences researching and writing fiction.

Published in 2014, “Night of the Jaguar” was named one of the best debut mystery novels by Booklist. Gannon is also the author of “The Last Dawn” and an upcoming book, “The Girl in the Well.”

Books are hidden, and clues are posted every Friday. Clues can be found at the town libraries in Chesterfield, Worthington, Williamsburg and Northampton as well as the Creamery in Cummington and the Chesterfield Community Center.

“The clues are pretty easy — it’s just a nice way to get people involved,” said Kessie Warlow-Harry of the Chesterfield Friends of the Library. “Go look for the books and have a little fun finding them.”

After spending three years in the army, Gannon graduated from the University of Massachusetts and received his MFA at Pine Manor College.

During the Sandinista Revolution, he worked as a freelance journalist in Nicaragua writing for the Christian Science Monitor, the Toronto Globe and Mail, and the San Francisco Examiner.

Since then, his pieces have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and The Independent in London. He also been a teacher, editor, set dresser and spoken-word artist.

At present, he writes a monthly column for the Daily Hampshire Gazette and teaches in Springfield.

Gannon will be autographing copies of his works at the end of his presentation.

This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Chesterfield Library.

Community gathering and potluck

WILLIAMSBURG — On Saturday Nov. 23, the band Radio Free Earth is hosting a family-friendly party and potluck at the Williamsburg Grange.

This is a chance for folks of all ages to gather, talk, eat and dance in the historic Grange Hall located in the center of town.

Josh and Kim Wachtel of Radio Free Earth will play with their band, Justin Tomsovic on drums and Dave Christopolis on bass.

“We play a lot of fun and danceable stuff, some of our own songs, and we like to include world music when we can,” Josh Wachtel said.

Rumor has it that he is also cooking up a large pot of Egyptian red lentil soup for the gathering.

This event is open to everyone; bring a dish to share and your favorite dancing shoes. Admission is $10 for adults, and children get in free.

Public hearing on piggery permit

GOSHEN — A public hearing will be held on Monday, Dec. 2 to hear from all interested parties regarding a request to operate a piggery in town.

Cosimo Ferrante, owner of Hilltown Grazers, is seeking approval from the Board of Health to run a piggery at the Barrus Farm at 85 Spruce Corner Road.

The hearing will take place at 4 p.m. at Town Hall.

Ideas for this column on life in the Hilltowns can be sent to Fran Ryan at

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