2009 Luncheon Reports

September 29, 2009

President Larry Siddall opened the meeting with comments about The Amherst Club float driven by truck/trailer owner John Rowan-Stern in Amherst’s 250th Anniversary Parade on Sunday, September 27th, which “looked glorious.”  Constructed largely by Joan Hanson’s husband, Allen, and abetted enthusiastically by Joan, Ruth Miller, Anurag Sharma, Cynthia and Jerry Brubaker, Honoré David, Carolyn Holstein, Jean Miller and her guest, and Jacquie Price, the float survived Saturday night’s rainfall covered by plastic sheeting and on Sunday garnered oohs and aahs, kudos and compliments all along the parade route, according to Joan, who waved from the passenger side of John’s truck to crowds along the parade route.  


Ruth Hooke brought the UMass international student with whom she was paired by Tina Berins.

Cynthia Brubaker’s guest was Anna Kirwan, novelist and writing workshop leader, who works with today’s speaker.


Claude Tellier invited members to come to the CambodianWater Project fundraiser dinner on Oct. 10th at Pulpit Hill Co-housing.  Contact Claude for details.

Ruth Hook told of the big Oct. 24th gathering at 12 noon on the Amherst Common regarding the 350.org, carbon-footprint issue.

Joan Hanson described how pleased her husband, Allen, was to be a part of the Club’s float project, that the message on the float was good and to the point, that the float was well-received, and that she had been interviewed by a Springfield Republican reporter whose article told about The Amherst Club, as read to us by Joan.

Dee Waterman welcomed us all to stop in at the Bulletin office’s retirement reception this Thursday between 4 and 6 p.m. to thank Phyllis Lehrer for her years of devoted reporting.

Michael Greenebaum has tickets at $20 for adults and $10 for children to the Jones Library benefit being held at The Harp on Sunday, Oct. 4, from noon to 5 p.m.

Michael also talked about not doing a blog but, instead, organizing a “Future of Amherst Club” google-groups email for members to join the discussion and offer comments.

Lorraine Desrosiers voiced her hope that the enthusiasm generated by the float would set the tone for the coming Love Notes event, which is set for Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010.  In discussing the concert’s start time, members decided on 3 p.m., with reception to follow.

All present thanked Harrison for securing this most excellent date.

Harrison Gregg announced that the Trivia Bee will be on Oct. 29th.  Previously, the Club had fielded two teams at $125 each. Because the price has now gone up to $175, members suggested that the Board send one team this year.

Vivienne Carey passed along news from Jim Wald about 2 public lectures at Hampshire College on Darwin and Evolution in the Muslim World, to be held on Friday, Oct. 2, and Saturday, Oct. 3rd, each at 6 p.m. in Franklin Patterson Hall, the campus’s Main Lecture Hall.

Roger Webb announced that we now have a website that is easier to maintain than our previous one.  Contact Roger if you are interested in becoming the Club’s webmaster.

Roger also asked anyone having electronic photos of our float to email them to him and he will post them on our new website.

Cynthia Brubaker introduced former Amherst Club member, Amy Zuckerman, self-professed literary journalist, author of 9 books and counting, cutting-edge person in global marketing, and co-founder of Finance Fitness—Its Academic! (FFIA), offering workshops for students of all ages on refining and directing one’s skills to promote profitability.

Amy described her circuitous personal and professional route coming to and later settling in Amherst.  She calls Amherst her “adopted beloved community” and wants to help its inhabitants in her role as a lifestyle entrepreneur.  To that end, she spoke about the large number of “hidden techies” in the Amherst area, those who work from home using computer/FAX/telephone and other home-based technologies.  These hidden techies, together with the more visible workforce, constitute a giant pool from which people can be drawn to participate in remedial (that is, retraining in order to improve income) education.  When thinking about where to hold FFIA remedial workshops, Amy’s focused on local restaurants and cafés, which often go without customers on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday afternoons into early evenings.  She has already signed up a handful of these venues as sites for the workshops she and Anna Kirwan are leading this fall.  For more information, she invited members to contact her at 253-4124 or az@a-zinternational.com.

Chris Blauvelt won the wine, and Roger Webb, the cash.

Jacquie Price, Scribe of the day

September 22
The Amherst Club met Sept. 22, 2009 and fall began.
Vice President Vivienne Carey called the meeting to order in Larry's absence with a story of the battle for Louisburg and to the naming of our town after its victor, Lord Amherst. There was audience participation. 
Renaissance Center offers a play Sept. 27 at 2; a trip to Yale Elizabethan Club; Rachel Mustin has a seminar "Love and Marriage in Shakespeare" that meets Thursdays a.m. in Oct.
The Float Committee needs help. Meet at Larry's garage Saturday at 9. See our float at the parade Sunday at 1. Ruth Miller said expenses are just about paid for.
Stuff envelopes for Shelter Sunday Sept. 30 from 1-5 at the Bangs Center.
The Club's 25th anniversary party is Nov. 13. Notice in paper for former members to attend. 
The Water Project is holding a fund raiser Oct. 3 at Pulpit Hill Coop.
Love Notes will be Sunday, Feb. 14. Lorraine Desrosiers led discussion of
details: time, ticket price. It was unanimous that we start at 3 p.m.
Some people suggested keeping the price structure the same. Others said change cupid to patron and charge more since it will be supper/dinner hour after the concert. Another option suggested just two prices. Sponsors should still get preferred seating and perhaps ask for a RSVP so seats went be empty. A straw vote indicated more in favor of keeping things the same.
Lorraine said there will be more discussion. 
Jacquie Price distributed committee folders and had us break into committees to discuss Love Notes. New idea: Have a table in the lobby to recruit new members. 
Irv Howards won the wine. Jean Miller won the raffle.
Your scribe,
Phyllis Lehrer
Personal announcement: Everyone is invited Thursday Oct. 1 from 4-6 p.m. at the Bulletin office, 100 University Drive for my retirement reception. 

September 15
Past-President Jacquie Price presided since Larry Siddall was away. She opened the meeting by reading "Nostalgia" by Billy Collins.
She welcomed the two guests of Jean Miller, Marion Mepham and Joan Crane, and a public guest Barbara Francis.
Jacquie announced that poet Mary Oliver will give the first reading this fall at Smith College's Poetry Center on Sept. 29. Information at www.smith.edu/poetrycenter.
Jacquie announced that the program for next week, Sept. 22, will be Love Notes committee meetings.
Cynthia Brubaker announced that "Three Cups of Tea" books were available at the lunch on loan from Jones Library for a Community Reading program and related events this fall. The books should be returned for subsequent loan to other communities.
Ruth Miller again asked for use of a large boom box for our Love Notes parade float.
Carolyn Holstein announced that the Love Notes Program Committee would have a brief meeting after lunch.
Jacquie announced that when the Party Committee determines the official capacity of Alumni House, we would know how many former members might attend.
Michael Greenebaum asked those interested in an Amherst Club blog to contact him and he will facilitate arrangements for them.
Ruth Hooke announced a women's poetry reading at Amherst College tonight, Sept. 15, at 7:30 at Congress Hall.
Bonnie Isman announced a fund raiser for a challenge grant to open the library on Fridays. It will be Sunday, Oct 4, 12 - 5 pm, at The Harp, a family friendly event with barbecue and Celtic music.
Lois Barber announced she is still looking for a tenant for her office suite.

       The speaker, Philip Korman, Executive Director of Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA), was introduced by Cynthia Brubaker. CISA, known for the "Be A Local Hero," was founded 15 years ago. He noted that in 1900, two out of five people in Amherst were local farmers, Today it is two out of a hundred. Based on USDA census count every five years, Amherst has over 40 farms, 85% of which are family farms and 90% small farms. The CISA Board is one third farmers.
A year ago CISA started community membership, and now has about 400 members; it aims for 1,000.
       The goals of CISA include 1) helping farmers with marketing skills and business skills, such as farm stands and websites, 2) informing consumers of what is local, 3) influencing national policy so local farmers thrive and 4) more recently, getting more local food to more consumers, including a program for low income elderly.

       Philip Korman provided a lot of time for questions, which elicited the following information. Relations are good with UMass, whose dining rooms use 25% local produce and have a representative on the CISA Board. If the club wanted to influence Hickory Ridge, we should talk to them and/or their food supplier; CISA would help with that. CISA facilitates grants for local hero farmers from the USDA and the state, and staff at those agencies tend to be supportive. To check on "Buy Local" at local supermarkets, consumers should directly ask the Produce Manager. Of course farmers make more by marketing directly rather than supplying supermarkets. Regarding organic farms, those farmers seem to do best who are most diverse with a range of products, organic and other. Locally our area is rich is bugs and moisture, compared with some dryer western states that irrigate. To find out about use of chemicals, the consumer should talk to local farmers and orchardists. Regarding local food in school lunches, some products are very available locally, and more could be done. CISA works with cooperatives as well as other farms. "Our Family Farm Milk" is a cooperative of dairy farms that keeps local farms going.

       Philip Korman closed with the announcement of the CISA fund raiser on October 2 at the Tri-County Fairgrounds. Blue Heron will be preparing the food.

Harry Brooks won the wine, Philip Korman won the $10 from the raffle, which he will contribute to CISA.

Rachel Mustin,  Your Scribe

September 8
The Amherst Club met Sept. 8, 2009.
President Larry Siddall introduced and inducted new member Ginger Burn who works at Earth Action, is involved with the Alliance for Renewable Energy, Moveon and free eye care on Nevis. She lives in Pelham.
Guest: Wendy Blumenthal is the new outreach coordinator at ACTV.
The task force on the Amherst Club met after lunch. If anyone else wants to join the mostly on-line group call Mike Greenebaum.
Copies of "Three Cups of Tea," the community- wide read selection, were available at lunch and are at the Jones Library.
Tina Berins needs volunteers for the Hospitality Program for International Students. No home stay, just outings, dinner, movies, etc.
The Loves Notes Party Committee and  Sponsorship Committee need a few more members Call Lorraine to help.
Ruth Miller showed the red fringe that will adorn the club's float in the 250th parade Sept. 27. Money is welcome to offset expenses. 
Elsie Fetterman was featured in the Gazette's Home Magazine.
Speaker Yuri Friman founded the American Trade Partnership in 2006 and spoke about Fair Trade. Amherst is the fourth town and now there are 12 in the U.S. that are so designated.  
Fair Trade is a system to help bring equity to small farmers in the Southern hemisphere who grow coffee, tea, cocoa, bananas. A fair price is paid to the farmer, set at $1.50 for a pound of coffee, that helps sustain the farm and support the family.
Fair Trade provides the farmer access to international markets, importers must guarantee 60 percent preharvest contract, a social premium is set aside for the community ( for schools clinics, infrastructure). Farmers have to be part of a coop that is democratically run. One in Peru has 700 while one in Ghana has 45,000.
Fair Trade benefits: children go to school, brings electricity and/or water to a community, community centers are built.
The Fair Trade label means no forced or slave labor is used. The product quality is superior. Local Fair Trade vendors Dean's Beans, Pierce Brothers, Indigo. He had a brochure with a list of stores that carry Fair Trade items, such as Hastings and Collective Copies. There are Fair Trade crafts sold at
the Blue Marble and Claw Foot Tub.     
At Halloween he hands out fliers explaining Fair Trade chocolate that is a success with more families offering Fair Trade treats. 
A Fair Trade Crawl with wagons supplied by Barry Roberts is tentative for Oct. 16. Check listings.
While he won the wine,  he passed and Ruth Miller won. Shirley Huddleston won the raffle.
Your scribe,
Phyllis Lehrer

September 1
We welcomed Amherst's new superintendent of schools today. Alberto Rodriguez has had an active first two months. He asked an old friend, Irving Hamer to come to Amherst and prepare a report about what needed to be improved in the Amherst and Regional Schools. That report can be read on the School Committee web site. He prepared his own extensive recommendation to the school committees, proposing that the sixth grade be moved to the Middle School, an idea that has generated much discussion and controversy. Then yesterday, as schools opened for the year, he announced that the Middle School principal had just resigned. Even so, he said, coming to Amherst from Miami, has caused his blood pressure to drop 20 points. It has been something of a culture shock, though. In Miami, when a decision had to be made, the responsible person made it. In Amherst, a committee addresses the issue, usually by appointing another committee. He says he is learning about our culture, but I wonder if this is an instance of an irresistible force meeting an unmovable object?

He is developing a strategic plan for the schools; important components of this plan will be horizontal alignment, so that the same curriculum is taught consistently at each grade level by each teacher, and vertical alignment, so that there is clear articulation of curricular standards K-12.

The rest of the notes are a bit sparse because of a slight snafu in the roster of note-takers. Jean Miller had a guest who is interested in joining the Club, but I missed her name and I hope Jean will amend these notes. Rachel Mustin's guest was Jean Rabin. Lorraine Desrosiers again asked that people without committee assignments for Love Notes get in touch with her. Ruth Miller reminded us that our float in the birthday parade needs our financial support. We were all reminded that our anniversary party is on November 13.

Michael Greenebaum (with an assist from Nancy Brose)

August 25
I just love the title that Elaine Fligman and Glen Gordon chose for their delightful recital today.  And I loved the recital too.  Elaine has been a star in the Young at Heart Chorus and of course both Elaine and Glen are stalwarts of Valley Light Opera and today they performed music dear to their young hearts, songs from the golden age of American musical theater.  They presented songs we all knew, but there was a catch - Elaine sang the less-performed "verse" and then challenged the audience to identify the familiar chorus before she sang it.  For the Amherst Club audience of a certain age this was a no-brainer, but it was certainly fun.  For the record, the songs they sang were "Hello Young Lovers"  (Rodgers and Hammerstein) from The King and I, "Someone to Watch Over Me (George and Ira Gershwin) from OK, "Over the Rainbow" (Arlen and Harberg) from The Wizard of Oz, "All the Things You Are" (Jerome Kern) from Very Warm for May, "Can't Help Lovin' That Man o' Mine" from Showboat, and finally "There's No Business Like Show Business" from Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun.
And again for the record, Phyllis Lehrer knew them all.

President Larry Siddell opened the meeting with a provocative reading of the oath new citizens must take, in which they agree to abjure potentates and serve in the military. Vivenne Carey mentioned that she and Roger (Webb) were denied citizenship because as principled pacifists they could not swear to such an oath.

Warren Bechtold was Elaine Fligman's guest for lunch.  Ruth Hooke announced performances tonight and tomorrow night of the play, Voices from Chernoble, in which she has a prominent part.  Tonight's
(Tuesday) performance is at the Edwards Church.  Tomorrow's is in Springfield and I missed the venue.

Lorraine reminded people to get in touch with her if they have not yet signed up for Love Notes responsibilities..  Ruth Miller reminded people to make contributions to support the construction of The Amherst Club's float in the 250th anniversary parade.  Roger Webb assured us that the Club's web site will be up soon and that it wasn't his fault.

Michael Greenebaum

August 18

President Larry Siddell opened with a Chinese saying that prompted us to consider the importance of emptiness within the larger sphere of life.


There were no guests and 34 people attended lunch, just one short of the minimum requirement of 35.


Tina Berins called for volunteers to be a host to visiting international students.

Lorraine Desrosiers asked for more members to sign up for Love Notes committees.

Ruth Miller described the proposed design of the club’s float that will participate in the town parade in September and asked for donations to help cover the costs.

Dee Waterman announced the upcoming musical, Who Killed Doc Robin, at the 1794 Meeting House.


Larry introduced the guest speaker, Jane Gronau, who is the Education Coordinator at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. Her talk was entitled ‘Mount Holyoke College Art Museum – a Hidden Gem in the Pioneer Valley’.


Jane described the museum as one of the oldest teaching museums in the country, founded with a gift of Alfred Bierstadt’s Hetch Hetchy Canyon in 1876.The collection of more than 15,000 pieces, dating from antiquity to the present, is augmented by a further 7,000 objects displayed in the Joseph Allen Skinner Museum. When Skinner died in 1946 his collection became part of the Mount Holyoke College campus, and was house in its present building, the former Congregational church in Prescott, which was built in the mid nineteenth century and moved when Quabbin Reservoir was created. These 7,000 objects may be described as a ‘cabinet of curiosities’, and include such diverse pieces as early American furniture, minerals and fossils, arms and armor, and a nineteenth century ‘gentleman’s library’.


The Art Museum has one of the most comprehensive collections of all our local museums, including Asian art, examples from Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, Paintings from the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods, and modern and contemporary images.


The website at http://www.mtholyoke.edu/artmuseum/index.html gives much information about the pieces in the collection including a list of the highlights, which Jane illustrated with beautiful slides.


The museum recently acquired a ‘cassone’ dating from the 1470’s that was made and gloriously decorated in Siena. These cassones were used as dowry chests and typically decorated with a narrative history depicting the ideal roles of wives to their husbands. In this case, the side of the chest was divided into three panels showing the major events in the story of Lucretia, a Roman wife who, after being raped by the son of the tyrant Tarquin the Proud, killed herself saying that although her body was sullied, her heart remained pure. The three illustrations show Lucretia in bed, Lucretia with her knife relating the account of her attack to her family, and her relatives riding out to seek out the tyrant.


After listing current and upcoming special exhibitions, all of which a free of charge and listed in the web site, Jane spoke of Larry’s many years at the museum as a volunteer docent, one of a group who act as gallery instructors and give tours to adults and around one thousand schoolchildren each year. It was something of a farewell gift to him that the museum invited Larry to show an exhibition of his paintings, ‘Friends From Around the World.’


Bobbye Hertzbach won the wine from Spirit House and Roger Webb won the raffle.


Your scribe of the week, Vivienne Carey.

August 11
President Larry Siddell urged a good-sized gathering to bring guests.
We now have a 35 plate minimum with Hickory Ridge, so we might as well have at least 35 diners every Tuesday.
Larry also recommended a film "From Mao to Mozart,:" documenting Isaac Stern's visit to China shortly after the Cultural Revolution.
Leslie Harris returned to speak to the Club from her new position as Executive Director of the Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society, with new headquarters in Springfield.  Accompanying her was Candy Lash, the director of community relations.  Leslie emphasized that the Leverett facility is still very much open for adoptions but that the Springfield center, formerly the home of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, is not only the executive headquarters, but will also be able to handle 7000 sterilizations the first year, and 12000 in years thereafter.  This is one of the essential missions of the PVHS, to reduce the number cats, both feral and domestic, needing services and adoptions in the area.
Leslie briefly mentioned the history of the PVHS, including its origin in the Amherst Friends of Stray Animals, founded and sustained by the late Amherst Club member, Janet Dakin.  The Society sees its responsibility to people as well as animals, since there is a human story behind every animal brought to the shelter.  It is sensitive to the special needs of low income families who may not be able to afford the costs of spaying and neutering their pets.
Things I did not know:  the Society provides temporary homes for the pets of people escaping situations of domestic violence.  It works with both Meals on Wheels and the Amherst Survival Center grocery delivery services. They have special classes for pitbulls and the people who love them.  There is an interstate traffic in dixie dogs - dogs from the south that face euthanasia and are brought here for adoption.  (80% of animals in shelters are cats.)  The Society has a goal of eliminating the euthanasia of adoptable animals.
The Society has a need for volunteers, donors and ambassadors, and we have some of each in the Club.
Vivienne needs a substitute raffler for September.

Love Note sign-ups are off to a good start but everyone should choose the committee of particular interest to them.
Tina reminded people of the UMass Hospitality Program for international students.  There is minimal obligation and maximal rewards.  Get in touch with her for more information.

Planners are needed for the Club's 25th anniversary party on November 13th.

Bill Hart thanked the Club for its good wishes after his rotator cuff surgery.

Michael Greenebaum

August 4
President Larry Siddall opened today’s meeting with discussion of the word horologe, which refers to a timekeeping device, a wristwatch.  He commented that watches for sale in stores used to be set at 20 minutes past 8.  However, current tradition has been for manufacturers to set watch hands at 8 minutes past 10, giving the face a happier tilt and, more pointedly, bracketing watches’ brand names.

 Guests:  Sara Berger’s guest was Diane Chajes, wife of today’s guest speaker.  Doris Holden’s guest was Bill Rice, retired UMass forestry professor, who supplied the computer equipment for today’s presentation.

 AnnouncementsLorraine Desrosiers called attention to signup sheets on each table for committees for Love Notes 2010.  Yes, it’s that time again on our Club’s virtual horologe!

    Ruth Miller asked members to hunt through their belongings for mementos and through their gray matter for early stories of the Amherst Club for use at our 25th Fundraiser Anniversary celebration on Nov. 13 at the Amherst College Alumni House.  

    Tina Berins called for volunteers to work with her on everything to do with food for the Nov. 13th event.  Larry mentioned that the call has gone out for volunteers, as well, for the program aspect of that event.  He said that the event cost will be around $25 per person, with a portion of that dedicated to charitable donations.

    Tina also announced the need for families to host international students from UMass.

    Cynthia Brubaker asked for members to contact her who wish to be trained as facilitators for this fall’s community “read” sponsored by the Jones Library of the best-selling Three Cups of Tea.

    Carolyn Holstein invited members to the benefit concert being held in Heath this Sunday, Aug. 9, at 3 pm to raise funds for restoration of an 1850 organ in Heath. Contact her for location.

    Phyllis Lehrer spoke of an exhibit of Larry Siddall’s photographs now up at Mt. Holyoke College Art Museum and of the talk open to the public that Larry will give there at 4 pm on Wednesday, Aug. 5, for the Exhibition Reception.  Mt. Holyoke College Art Museum has recognized and honored Larry’s artistry in these luminous photographs, which will be on exhibit through September 10th.

    Ruth Miller mentioned joining the appreciative audience at the Black Sheep Restaurant for the music of the Gypsy Wranglers from 11 am to 1 pm on Sundays.

    Harry Brooks thanked members for the card signed and sent to him when he was ill recently.

 Doris Holden introduced our Vienna-born speaker, Alex Chajes, retired UMass professor of civil engineering who received his bachelor’s degree from Cooper Union and his doctorate from Cornell University.

 Of his talk, “The Story of the Hudson River,” Dr. Chajes asked rhetorically, “why speak on the Hudson River?”  Because, he reminded those of us old enough to recall, this year is the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s 1609 exploration up the river subsequently named for him in his sailing ship, the Half Moon.  He sailed from Manhattan Island north to Albany, NY, a trip that took one week.  Hudson was an employee of the Dutch East India Company and reported to his superiors that the lower Hudson River was an especially agreeable place for Dutch settlers, who came for the abundance of timber, fish, iron, and trade with friendly Indians. 

            The British had settled the river above the lower Hudson, and in the 17th century the British and Dutch fought three wars in which control of the Hudson River was at issue.  Jim Scott told of the treaty at the end of the 3rd war by which the Dutch swapped control of the nutmeg-producing islands of the East Indies for British control of the Hudson River from Manhattan northward. 

            Professor Chajes addressed the boon in travel speed experienced by travelers on the Hudson River beginning in1807 via Robert Fulton’s steamship, The Clermont.  Though freight was delivered for some time longer by sailing ships, travelers were willing to pay the extra cost to now make the trip between Manhattan and Albany by steamship in 36 hours!  Always a major seaport, Manhattan/New York City at the time of the Civil War was controlled by the British.  However, the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga secured American control of the entire Hudson River.  Not long after, trade routes up from the American South and across the Atlantic Ocean greatly expanded New York City’s importance as a seaport when New York City mayor DeWitt Clinton secured funding for construction of the 360-mile Erie Canal between Albany and Buffalo, NY, connecting the Hudson River to the Great Lakes.  The world’s longest canal to date, the Erie Canal opened in 1825 and extended bountiful freight and passenger travel from the mouth of the Hudson River at New York City inland to Chicago.

            Professor Chajes talked of the 19th-century Hudson River School of landscape artists, initiated by Thomas Cole and joined by John F. Kensett, Asher Durand, Frederick Church, and Albert Bierstadt, among others.  He showed slides of a number of their paintings and noted that landscape painting was a new concept in art in this country at the time.  He spoke also of the Knickerbocker Writers of the Hudson River area, such as Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper.  He closed with the fact that it is the Harlem River that connects the Hudson River to the East River, thereby making an island of Manhattan.

The wine went to Roger Webb.

The cash went to Sara Berger.

From dual scribes, Jim Scott and Jacquie Price

July 28

A hot and humid day.  We were happy to gather for lunch in comfortable surroundings. We  were visited by chicken vegetable soup, frittata, roast beef and the traditional green beans, plus cold cuts, cake, etc.

President Larry Siddall opened the meeting with some interesting information on word derivation – pale (as in beyond the), bamboozle and smithereens.

There were no guests. Roger Webb read thank you notes from Walter Carroll (for the Club’s donation to the Heart Fund in memory of his son) and from Jacquie Price (for our gifts of flowers and a cow in recognition of her service as Club president).  Ruth Hooke invited member of the weekly program committee to meet right after lunch.  Ruth Miller asked those interested in ideas and/or actual construction of the Amherst Club’s float (Amherst 250th parade on Sept. 27) to meet after lunch or to contact her or Jacquie Price. Arthur Kinney called attention to a last opportunity to enjoy a local Shakespeare production.

The speaker was Hattie Nestel.  She has devoted years of effort to emphasizing the danger of nuclear power plants and to promoting wind and solar energy plus conservation efforts as safer alternatives.  Hattie circulated photos of accidents and spills at Vermont Yankee, explained that the huge cooling towers could be an easy target for terrorists, and pointed out that Amherst and Boston were both closer to Vermont Yankee that Montpelier, the capitol of Vermont.

Hattie also discussed the dangers involved in transporting radioactive materials on the nations highways and through our towns.  She discussed the effect of radiation, especially on pregnant women and fetuses, and on very young children – and discussed the prevalence of various types of cancer in areas near nuclear power plants.  She pointed out that the supply of uranium was finite, that the cost of building nuclear power plants was tremendous, and that much could be gained if such funds were invested in solar and wind instead.  She said that the media, by and large, were not thoroughly covering the issue of nuclear power plant accidents and spent fuel problems. She circulated a petition calling attention to the dangers at Vermont Yankee, and to the need to deny permission to extend its operation.

The wine was won by Shirley Huddleston, and the money raffle by Bob Grose  .

Respectfully submitted, and open to additions and corrections,

Ruth Miller

July 14
President Larry Siddall opened the meeting with a listing of the name origins of members.

 Guests: Harry Brooks brought his wife Paulette, and she brought the Rev. Chung Tae Ha who had arrived the previous night from Korea.

 Announcements: Bill Marcom will be the composer/speaker at the program on Thursday at the Jones Library.

We circulated a get well card for Bill Hart who had rotator cuff surgery.

 Our speaker was introduced by Doris Holden.

Sandra Mullin has served on numerous town committees. She spoke about Street and Road Names, much of it researched by James Avery Smith. Further research was done by our speaker who has published a book on the subject. Sandra found what men (mostly) did to get streets named after them. A few women have streets named for them also.

Street names fall into the following classifications:

            Named for people

            Scenic location

            Flowers, fruits, trees

            ‘going to’ location


People and scenics are equal in number. South East St. is the longest street in town. S. Lincoln St has a non-conforming numbering system.

The Adams brothers published Noah Webster’s dictionary, and brought the train to town. The most notable men held many important positions.

Ralph Van Meter promoted the seven New England apples: Baldwins, Delicious, Gravesteins, Rhode Island Grenings, MacIntosh, Spies, and Wealthies. He was President of Mass Aggie.

To read more, see Sandra Mullin’s book “Streets and Families of Amherst.”

 Doris Holden won the wine, Tina Berins won the cash.

Reported by Sara Berger

July 7

Our  brand new Club president, Lawrence Siddall, opened the meeting with applause for outgoing  president, Jacquie Price. Jacquie’s noteworthy reading of “Two Cows” earlier in the year (referring to international economic systems) had precipitated the gift Joan Hanson presented from the Board.  The Heifer box contained a white china cow framed by a red-beaded heart.

Larry had another gift—his portrait of three Mexican girls--to accompany the young woman Jacquie “fell in love with” at the Forbes Library exhibition of Larry’s photography from his world travels.

 Guests: Lois Barber introduced her guest, Ginger Burn. Zina Tillona’s guest was her sister, Patricia. Trish Hartwell had accompanied her husband Ash, our speaker for the day.

 Announcements: 1)Bill Hart has been named a new partner with Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas. 2)Thanks to Vivienne Carey for taking on publishing of the club’s new Directory, giving an assist to outgoing Registrar Jim Scott. 3)The Skinner Mountain State Park summer concerts are held on Thursday evenings at 7:30.4) Maj Jongg lessons are being given by Ruth Miller.  Contact her.  5) The Cuban Fiesta Ruth Hooke spoke of takes place at the First Churches of Northampton from 6-8 on Wednesday evening. 6) Lois Barber offers four spacious rooms for rent at 30 Cottage Street.   She will rent them separately. 7)Ruth Black thanks all who attended Mohawk Trail concerts.  The new Meet-the-Composer evening will feature William Holcomb at the Jones Library, Thursday, July 16th at 6:30.  8)“Twelfth Night” will be performed July 9-26 at the Hartsbrook School.  Evenings at 7:30, Thursday through Sunday. 9)Doris Holden has a need for a keyboard for a local performance.

 Program:  “A Lifeline to Well-Being for Rural Women in Afghanistan”

Doris Holden introduced Ash Hartwell, Adjunct Professor at the Center for International Education, University of Massachusetts who has been Senior Education Advisor in the Global Learning, Education Development Center and USAID EQUIP 2 Project.  Hartwell’s experience is with the health and literacy of rural Afghan women.  The women, under Taliban rule, have no access to education of any kind and  are disempowered to control  their health and that of their children.  Training for midwives is essential to areas where one out of four children die by the age of five, and two in ten women die in childbirth.   Only through male relatives or friends are women able to make contact with doctors or to obtain medical information.

 Through a collaboration of UMass and the International Rescue Committee, under REACH (Rural Expansion of Afghanistan’s Community-based Healthcare) “Learning for Life” classes and workshops have raised opportunities for women to become trained as Community Health Workers.  We were urged to contact our congressmen and legislators to lobby for further support for literacy and medical programs for Afghanistan women where accelerated learning programs are paramount.

 Jacquie Price won the wine.

Helen Hawkins won the cash.

 Nancy Brose, Scribe

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Feb.  10, 2009

                   President Jaquie Price shared her attachment to the love story of Clara Schumann and  Johannes Brahms in the poem “The Romantics”. 

                    Guests:  Cathy Butterfield came with Nancy Gregg;  Ginger Burn came with Lois Barber;

                     Martha Nelson Patrick, UMass Director of Community Outreach, a former student of Michael Greenebaum’s.                       

                    Announcements:  February 12th at the Henry Hills Hills Chapel, Smith College “Can President Obama Heal the Wreckage?” (Ruth Hooke)

                    Isaac Ben Ezra broke his hip, anticipates contacts from friends, at Cooley Dickinson Hospital (Cynthia Brubaker)

                   Today’s “Love Notes” receipts totaled $1200., total assets-to-date:  $9,000. (Jim Scott)

                   “I can’t get my e-mail, I need help!”  (Jean Miller)

                   Pick up confirmations of food and beverage donations for “Love Notes” at the back table , maps available (Tina Berins)

                  The Dalai Lama’s  words “If you contribute to other people’s happiness you will find the true meaning of life” were inscribed on a hangng  brought home from 
                  a friend in India  by Ruth Hooke’s son to Lois Barber.

                   Founder’s Day (Amherst 250th anniversary) at noon on Friday, February 13  our  Amherst Town Moderator will be dressed in costume on the Town Hall steps  and 
                   Senator Stan Rosenberg will address those gathered.(Carolyn Holstein).

                  At 7 p.m. on Friday in the Jones Library James Avery Smith will receive the Conch Shell Award..  Kevin Sweeney will speak (Arthur Kinney)

                   UM ass basketball game  Club activity, Wednesday, February 25th.  (Ruth Miller)

                    Our favorite “Love  Notes “ performer ,Phyllis Lehrer, treated us to her vocal talents with the winning thrust “If you sell all those tickets, you’re the tops!”


                Harry Brooks introduced UMass Chancellor Robert Holub as the head of the second largest employment center in Western Massachusetts .  (Baystate Medical Center is 
                number one.)

                His charge is a Chinese curse, a paradoxical twist:  “May you live in interesting times.”

                Such terms follow us in days of budget difficulties and rethinking the business of priorities:  undergraduate, graduate, research and outreach to the citizenry.  Painful 
                decisions must be made.  UMass is a #1 research center, does not compete with the other four private colleges in the Valley.

                Crises and opportunities abound as administrative efforts create needs to eliminate and trim, to face decreasing state aid.  What remains clear are  increasing student 
                applications along with increasing  financial aid.  A Chinese saying “Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid of standing still” speaks to the conditions UMass faces, 
                with its tuition fees in the range of $20,000 and Commonwealth College which attracts students interested in alternative  programs. Particular assets in faculty drawn to 
                unusual research opportunities and cooperative efforts with a Five College system keep the growing edge of UMass strong.

                Wine won by Michael Greenebaum .  Lottery won by Glen Gordon.

                Scribe:  Nancy Brose

                Jan. 27, 2009


                President Jacquie Price’s  poignant poem "Starting the Subaru at Five Below” by Stuart Kesterbaum, reminded us of the rigors of owning a vehicle in 
New England weather..


                Guests:  Joan Hanson introduced Randy Wilburn and his wife Karin, whose B & B, “Home Suite Home” at 57 Berkshire Terrace has a welcome mat.

                Rachael Mustin brought Helen Hawkins .  Caroline Holstein introduced Judith Williams.  Miriam Dayton's daughter, Emily, came to help her mother,
                 lame from a fractured ankle.


                Announcements:  Ruth Miller:  UMass Basketball activity on February 25th, notify her; Harry Brooks, Isaac Ben Ezra is at home and will welcome 
                contacts; Arthur Kinney’s Renaissance Center promises a total of 51 events this spring, including as many as ten theatre productions.;  Joan Hanson 
                will be away,  Ann McIntosh will take on party donations for “Love Notes” ;  Rachael Mustin is storing beverages at her home; Jean Miller is collecting 
                books for “Reader to Reader” and will welcome donations on Tuesdays; Nancy Brose spoke of “Soup ‘n Song”, a fund-raiser for Not Bread Alone on 
                March 7th  at the First Congregational Church of Amherst ,  Main Street.


                Harry Brooks introduced our own David Scott, former UMass Chancellor, and a Physics professor with his roots in the Orkney Islands where the Scotts 
                have a second home.  His research on “The Centralization and Diffusion of National Energy” explores sixteen-year trends from the eighteenth century to 
                the present day in the transformative stages we are experiencing.

                David carefully delineated changes we have encountered as a nation, under good and bad leadership. Actions of our leaders have colored, or detracted from, 
                the moods and reactions of our population (his understanding of the mood of the UMass student population of 1995 was a case in point.)  Different versions 
                of the “American Dream” have given way to particular highs in the cycles which have guided us.  It appears that spiritual awareness has brought us to our 
                current presidency and the spirit of authenticity, compassion, and caring, along with rational, intellectual behavior.  All in all, “We are the ones we have been 
                waiting for” affirms our faith and hope in the process the founders of our democratic way of life prepared us for.


                Winners:  Claude Tellier – the wine (he left at home!)

                                   Chris Blauvelt - the lottery

                   Your scribe-of-the-day,

                Nancy Brose

                  Jan. 20,  2009

            Inauguration—No Meeting

                 Jan. 13, 2006 

President Jacquie Price greeted us with “Lester Tells of Wanda and the Big Snow” by Paul Zimmer who recalls that the 
moon is “as sweet as an apple” and that “it don’t snow like that no more”.  It makes one sad?

 There were no guests today. 


(1)Elsie Fetterman - Kevin Hutchinson’s memorial service is January 24th, 2 p.m. at St. Brigid’s Catholic Church.

(2)Arthur Kinney – The Amherst 250th Anniversary of its 1759 founding was initiated at the First Congregational Church 
on Sunday afternoon with a talk on the archaeology of the region.  The next event is February 15th at 7:30 in the Jones Library.

(3)Dee Waterman – The “Reading Aloud for Grown-ups” program will be held for 4 Wednesday nights at the Swift River 
School Cafeteria beginning on January 14th at 7:30 p.m.

(4)Ruth Miller – Members interested in attending the UMass/Duquesne basketball game on Wednesday, February 25th at 
7::00 should contact Ruth.  .

(5) Bonnie Isman – Overdue library books will be redeemed by food contributions for the Survival Center.

(6)Jacquie Price – leftover dishes from Arthur Kinney’s party are on the back table.

The New York Times article about the eating of squirrels is available.  Contact her.


IMPORTANT: “Love Notes” supplies are available: bookmarks, fliers and additional tickets. (See Jim Scott)  Bios and the 
Cupids list are due within the next two weeks.   The program booklet will be previewed by the committee by January 30th.

Vivienne Carey and Roger Webb entered the meeting dressed as and recited The OWL and the PUSSYCAT to embody the 
perfect VALENTINE COUPLE. Ellen Kosmer and Cynthia Brubaker thanked them for adding drama to our image of “Love Notes”.
 Ellen and Cynthia confessed that they enjoy coordinating our upcoming February 14th event.


REPORTS from COMMITTEE CHAIRS: Therese Donohue, Guest Artists (full program accounted for) Jim Scott,Ticket Sales 
(receipts are $5,000 behind last year, we have $1,500 to-date), Ann McIntosh and Joan Hanson, Party (Sign-Ups for both food and 
beverages per member), Larry Siddall, Allocations (11 agencies notified), Claude Tessier, Sponsorships (19 ads to-date), Ruth Miller, 
 (Calendar Releases 2 weeks before event, needs someone to phone).

Wine won by Jacquie Price

Raffle won by Jim Scott

Scribe of the Day:  Nancy Brose

            Jan. 6,  2009

            Jackie had Shirley Hudelston read a recipe she got from her sister-in-law, titled Old Southern Secrets.


1.      Joan- party committee letters were mailed, please follow-up. Let Joan or Ann McIntosh know.  We need someone 
who lives near center of Amherst to store and then  bring wine and beverages to Amherst College for Love Notes.

2.      We have now exceeded $1,000 in ticket sales need $15,000 more in sales.

3.      Ruth Miller- wants a show of hands for those interested in attending a men’s basketball game at UMASS.

4.      Dee- Reading aloud for grownups starting next week. Contact Dee.

5.      . Cynthia- Empty Bowls Dinner for the Survival Center on 1/27/09 at The Pub 5-9p.m. Tickets are $25 in 
advance or $30 at the door. You will get a meal plus take home handcrafted bowl.

6.      Therese Donohue- Program for Love Notes is special- for 250th anniversary tickets on sale at Hastings.

7.      Jackie- Board meeting next Tuesday, 1/13


Harry Brooks introduced speaker- Mary Carey who is speaking on the Blog and Local Bloggers.  Mary writes for 
the Hampshire Gazette.

The word BLOG was 1st uttered in 1997- for WEB Log.  It was started just as web sites.

There are different kinds of blogs: Mommy Blog ; Place Blog; Government Blog;  Political Blogs; Technical innovations;
 education blog; garden blog; sports blog travel and outdoors blog; Fred Clarkson, writes about religious right now in blogging.(he is a lefty).

Mary’s involvement- started with Stephanie O’Keefe writing about Select Board and Town Meeting. Mary now writes about Amherst.  Mary does not like anonymous  comments, people should use their name when writing. People should check Mary’s blog.


Respectfully submitted,


Flo Stern