Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I kept wanting to shout out "Plucky little Shutesbury!"  today during the energetic and entertaining presentations of our guests.  Maryelise Lamet and Janis Gray are spearheading the year-long 250th anniversary celebration of that town's incorporation.  Maryelise brought  her scholarly talents and Janis her journalistic talents to a task quite different from Amherst's celebration in 2009.  Shutesbury really is a small town with a population of diverse groups not easily persuaded to think of themselves as a single community.  The Lake Community are largely summer people in cottages around Lake Wyola; the Sirius Community are refugees from the 60s; the older folks resent paying high taxes to support the schools; parents of schoolchildren are drawn together by their children's activities.  But thanks to the evident enthusiasm of Maryelise, Janis and their committee the town has coalesced around the anniversary.  A logo, a slogan ("always cooler!") and various items bearing them testify not only to the success of the celebration but to the important work it is doing in creating a community.

Joining us today were Billie Callahan (Janis Gray's mother-in-law) and Bonnie MacCracken (Harry Brooks' guest who is running for Registrar of Deeds next year).

Everyone involved with the fashion show last week received plaudits for a grand and successful event.  $1025 was raised for Hospice.

This will be a busy and festive weekend at the Renaissance Center.  On Saturday, a garden conference will be held from 9-4.  Our own Ellen Kosmer will be one of the speakers.  The event is free, but reservations are necessary (413) 577-3600.  On Sunday, a Mother's Day concert by the excellent vocal group Cantabile will take place in the Reading Room at 2 p.m.  Again, this event is free and open to the public.

I leave you with the incredibly wonderful name of an 18th century Shutesbury selectman:  Silent Wilde.  Plucky little Shutesbury!

Michael Greenebaum, note-taker