Judith Fine: Celebrating four pillars of Northampton’s downtown

  • The owl sculpture by the late Greg Stone perches on the Eva Trager Memorial on Main Street in Northampton. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Published: 9/20/2023 6:06:56 PM
Modified: 9/20/2023 6:06:16 PM

On Sept. 8, four wonderful pillars of our unique downtown Northampton were memorialized as new inductees on the Queen of Main sculpture in front of the old Country Comfort on Main Street. The Chamber of Commerce honored Marcia Burrick, assistant to Mayor David Musante during the revitalization years and a calm force to be reckoned with; Henry DeTurck, former owner of Cahill & Hodges and welcomer and adviser to new businesses during his ownership; Jim LaSalle, who through living plants and flowers instigated and maintained the beautification of Main Street and always had a smile and kind word; and Donald Miller, owner of Northampton Rentals and a major player in every downtown event including Sidewalk Sales and the Taste of Northampton.

All had passed since our last event held in 2019, which is part of the criteria of being nominated.

Over 70 people, many family and friends of the inductees, came to hear how their loved ones contributed to making our downtown successful and unique. Their contributions inspired others to join in efforts to work together to make our downtown beloved.

The weather was predicted to be severe but the committee decided to go ahead with our event, held from 4 to 5:15 p.m. Very shortly after we concluded, the skies opened to a major wind and rain storm … it must have been Marcia, Henry, Jim and Don smiling down and thunderously applauding the addition of their names. They are now forever engraved on The Owl sculpture by Gregory Stone, commissioned after the passing of Eva Trager, owner of Country Comfort.

It was a moving event and felt so right to honor the tireless work and contributions of these four members of our community.

Judith Fine



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