Monday Mix: Carrying on the legacy

  • Amherst Fire Department Capt. Dave Holmes, dressed in full turn-out gear, and his wife, Sheryl, wearing their son's football jersey, lead the 1-mile walk during the third annual SOAAR 5K and Music Festival held on the Belchertown Common on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018.  STAFF PHOTO/Kevin Gutting

  • David Twohig, who has been the golf pro at Amherst Golf Club for 40 years, drives a cart on the course, Aug. 30, 2018. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

  • The small street next to Northampton City Hall is being named after the former mayor, Sean M. Dunphy. STAFF PHOTO/Carol Lollis

Published: 9/17/2018 8:27:15 AM

In his Sept. 10 piece, “Keeping Caleb’s memory alive,” reporter Luis Fieldman chronicled the recovery support event in Belchertown hosted by Speaking Out About Addiction & Recovery (SOAAR) and Honest Beginnings, two organizations partnering to provide resources for those suffering with addiction.

Belchertown native Caleb Holmes died on May 27 at the age of 19. At the event, friends and family gathered to recount fond memories of Caleb, who graduated Belchertown High School in 2016. Caleb’s father, David Holmes, who is the fire captain of the Amherst call force, wore his firefighter’s gear and led a mile-long walk around the common. He said he wore his turnout gear to symbolize the burden carried by those who suffer from addiction. Holmes was covered in sweat by the end of the walk, but he said many people who struggle with addiction do not have the protection his gear gives him.

Mothers in Belchertown formed SOAAR in 2015 to offer support and resources for families who are struggling with the effects of addiction.

Caleb’s mother, Sheryl Holmes, spoke about the stigma surrounding addiction, emphasizing how fear can keep people from seeking help.

“This is a big part of making people aware that addiction is a problem. It’s in our backyards and in our neighborhoods,” Holmes said. “This is all about drawing the community in and being able to hear the stories and hear that addiction does not discriminate. It doesn’t matter where you are from, how old you are, what background you have. Addiction hits everyone.”

We recognize the courage of the Holmes family, and the importance of talking about addiction. It’s a community issue that needs community support.

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There’s been a Twohig running Amherst Golf Club for 75 years. Like his father before him, David Twohig, 65, has dedicated his life to all aspects of the game of golf for the past 40 years. His encyclopedic knowledge of the rules, and dedication to teaching and support for the youth and women’s games, have earned him admiration from AGC members and golfers around the Pioneer Valley, and beyond.

For many, Twohig was a mentor and coach, ushering in new generations of young golfers. “Our sport is a sport of a lifetime,” Twohig told Gazette sports reporter Kyle Grabowski (“Twohig shepherds Amherst golfers for 40 years,” Sept. 3).”It’s something they’ll have after they’re done with their soccer and hockey and all that.”

Twohig exemplifies the core of sport: community. He cares about making golf meaningful for others, and he’s done this for decades. We admire Twohig’s dedication and steadfastness and hope he will be an ambassador for golf in Amherst for years to come.

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To those who knew him, “Mayor Sean Dunphy Way” captures it all.

That’s the new name given to the small entranceway leading to City Hall, and it has something of a double meaning, Marcia Burick, who worked on all three of Dunphy’s campaigns, told the Gazette (“His way,” Sept. 11.).

“I liked the poetry,” said Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz, who coined the name and also submitted the renaming order to the city council.

Dunphy was elected in 1969 as the youngest mayor in Northampton’s history, at the age of 28. From early on in his career, the Mayor Dunphy “way” was one of collaboration and community building. As the order reads, he played “an immeasurable role in modernizing and professionalizing Northampton city government.”

He also built a sense of community that is still felt today. Influenced by Jane Jacobs’ seminal 1961 book “The Death and Life of Great American Cities,” Dunphy brought a unique vision to downtown. During his tenure, the city changed zoning to allow people to rent apartments above storefronts. In addition to launching Northampton’s first capital improvement committee, he also introduced the first municipal recycling center and ushered in the revitalization of Pulaski Park and the Academy of Music.

“He started the whole renaissance of Northampton,” Burick told the Gazette.

Dunphy died at age 74 in 2015. After his death, Mayor Narkewicz was in contact with Dunphy’s family to decide how best to honor his memory — and his legacy. The formal unveiling of the sign for Mayor Sean Dunphy Way will be held Sept. 29 at 10:30 a.m.

Like the current mayor, we like the poetry of Mayor Sean Dunphy Way, and we’re glad the small street leading to City Hall finally has a name. It’s one that resonates.




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