December 27

Anurag called the meeting to order with some choice seasonal excerpts from Lombardo’s Amherst. The setting was Christmas 1886 and merchants around the Common were selling jewel cases, sachet bags, gold and silver watches, and dollscomplete and incomplete. And a butcher with fat turkeys for Christmas dinner was located where Town Hall stands today.


Vivienne Carey’s mother, Michael Greenebaum’s daughter and granddaughter, Nancy Frazier’s husband, Surinder Mehta’s friend.


Jacquie PriceLove Notes publicity materials, bookmarks and posters, ready next week.

Jim ScottWhen you sell those Love Notes tickets, give the money to him or to Anne McIntosh.

And our table, which included the member who won Donald David’s photograph of lupines, learned that Don recently won two awards for his work.

The fun began with Michael Greenebaum introducing the 22nd annual Worst Gift Exchange. Though its origin is “lost in the mist of time,” its presence is clangorous. It really is.

Three judges were Laurie Schad (Surinder’s guest), Harry Brooks, and Glen Gordon.

Carolyn Holstein launched the worst with a pair of socks that might have been mittens, or mittens that might have been socks. They had stripes. You get the picture. Then a double wine holder that could double as a coin holder for soliciting . . . coins! A super row, row, row your boat music box, a linen (?), hanging panda calendar. No, no, not the panda, the calendar. A jolly ugly candle holder, yes, jolly and ugly at the same time, and two plates with pictures and legends, for hanging on the wallone said “Take Your Medicine” (a friendly warning? a threat?), and the other said, “It’s hard to be nostalgic when you can’t remember anything.”

Now, obviously, I’m not going to name every gift, as much as I’d love to do so. Neither the Candle Warmer (believe it or not), or the wall plaque of Carmel Mission, nor the chocolate hazelnut coffee from real hazelnut extract, or the Toasted Almond Syrup with a sign (reminiscent of Alice’s “Eat Me”) that read “Tested/REJECTED” will be described at any length.

So, the winners were:

Ugliest: A red-ish orange-ish pottery bowl inverted on a plate (perchance a cheese keeper? or a place to hide your mistakes (not big enough someone chimed in). [fortunately or not I couldn’t keep up with the prizes for the winners]

Sexiest: The Carmen Miranda teapot [which I would treasure were it mine.] Most Disgusting: A ceramic cauliflower, or brain, glazed white with greenish and yellowish highlightsmade in Italy!

Most Deceptive: Coffee and Syrup. (Prize, free pass to Michael Jackson’s Neverland)

Most Useless: The tie dimpler (which some might call the most useful). (Prize membership on Larry Kelly’s golf team)

Most Embarrassing: Those two plates.

Most Worthless: The Carmel Plaque. (Prize, Tom Delay good government award.)



December 20

Anurag called the meeting to order and gave an update on this past week's Board Meeting. He announced that a long time was spent discussing an issue repeatedly aired at Board Meetings: that is, what policy shall prevail when full-time members request associate-membership status. The Board's resolution of this is now worded such that members who have been on full-time status for four consecutive quarters may, upon request, be placed on associate-membership status at the beginning of a quarter and may remain as associate members until they advise the Board of their desire to be reinstated to full-time status. Anurag welcomed the opportunity to answer members' questions on this new ruling at any time.


Michael Greenebaum's guests were Sarah McKee and Barbara Audley. Sally Dillon was Jim Ellis's guest. Vivienne welcomed her mother, Margery Wood, as her guest.


Ruth Miller announced that last week's auction organized by herself and Lorraine Desrosiers cleared $1600. Thanks and applause all around for Ruth and Lorraine's work and for the auctioneer who made it happen with such panache, Bill Hart.

Now that members have their tickets packets for Love Notes 2006, Jim Scott announced that he and Anne McIntosh are ready to accept the money brought in by ticket sales. He asked members to be sure that they mark, in ink, the correct price of each ticket given out, according to the price paid for the ticket. He also asked that members give him names and addresses of ticket buyers so that they may be put on next year's list of invitations mailed out by the Invitations Committee.

Vivienne recalled our fairly recent guest lecturer, Peggy McCloud, who talked about the clean energy campaign, to which $50 contributions are being welcomes. Vivienne and Roger will gladly add other members' checks to theirs and send in one envelope under the aegis of The Amherst Club.

Guest Speaker:

Michael Greenebaum introduced our guest speaker and former member, Jim Ellis, recounting his many years as Professor of English at Mt. Holyoke College, his scholarly edition of the Babb Ballads published by Harvard University Press, and his theatrical activities as director and actor, as well as his mastery of gardening.

Jim Ellis spoke a bit about his history in the Pioneer Valley and as a member of the Amherst Club. He then delivered an animated reading of Dylan Thomas's "A Child's Christmas in Wales," a delicious reminiscence of gifts and sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas day experienced by a young lad.

From the practical gifts of mufflers and boots to the cigarettes dangled from lips before being eaten--and with all the music and warmth and mischief inbetween--Thomas's boyhood Christmas came to life through Jim's inspired reading.


December 13

This was a very exciting day. The day of the GREAT AMHERST CLUB AUCTION.

Barely time for announcements, except Anurag reminded us that the Board meets tomorrow at 4:30 at the Isenberg School of Business, and of how grateful we all are to Lorraine Desrosiers and Ruth Miller for organizing this great EVENT, and . . .

NEWS FLASH: we have an anonymous donor to our Endowment Fund who has made a bequest of $10,000. What a wonderful gift.

And the next thing I knew the auction had started and I’d bought a “button pillow” ($7).

I think it was actually the first thing auctioned off, but I’m not sure. I was just swept away. It was a fun and interesting auction. Bill Hart was in top form as auctioneer, and our runners, who changed now and then, included Lois Barber and Claude Tellier who, I think, were also among the Big Spenders. Then there was the kitchen crew who bid from the back of the room and bought a pair of Cambodian (?) or Balinese (?) figures as well as an Ecuadorian hanging and other items..

Here are some of the auction highlights, Lorraine, who bid successfully on the object I really wanted, a huge beautiful bowl with a fern design on the inside, filled in some of the prices.

An ornate, old and beautiful silver setting for 8 (or was it 6?) brought $110. A New Hampshire vacation, two nights/3 days, $ 150. A Dali print of Don Quixote, $65. A black suede jacket with fringes, $60. Two wonderful laser prints by Isolde Stein for a total of $75. A set of French copper cookware $50.

Those are the big sellers, but there were some extraordinary bargains. And, maybe, the best bargain was the entertainment.

Lorraine’s early estimate is that we made nearly $1600 to contribute to our endowment. As Anarug mentioned at the outset, the growth of the endowment implies the good work of the Amherst Club, its longevity, and that of the community it serves.


December 6

In Anurag’s absence Carolyn Holstein opened the meeting.


Miriam Dayton’sdaughter Emily; Harry Brookswife; Claude Tellierfriend.


Jacquie PriceLove Notes News Flash! June Farmer’s committee will have ticket packets ready at next week’s meeting.

Note: Jim Ellis’s recent surgery went well and he will be here to read Dylan Thomas’s “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” by Dylan Thomas, on December 20th.


The scheduled speaker, Barry Del Castillo, could not attend. Harry Brooks introduced Harrison Gregg who agreed to speak at very short notice.

Harrison is a Club member, Associate Registrar at Amherst College, and Town Moderator. In a fascinating, funny, and insightful commentary he considered the question of public service, beginning with a quick list of the many Club members who are or have been active in local government.

Most of the talk was extemporaneous, but parts of it were drawn from earlier speeches. Harrison was kind enough to send me his written excerpts, and I can’t do better than include them here.

Remarks from Candidates’ Night, Spring 2005:

Chapter 39, Section 15 of the MGL says that “the moderator shall . . . decide all questions of order.” Well, there are two questions of order coming up that the moderator will not be allowed to decide  Will the Charter pass? And What will happen after March 29th. The answer to the first question will only partially decide the answer to the second. Order in a democracy has two parts  an orderly process for arriving at decisions and an orderly acceptance of the decisions that have been made. (35 sec) Opponents of the charter talk as though the barbarians were at the gates. Proponents seem to believe that the barbarians have already moved in and taken charge. There are not -- there have not been  and there will not be barbarians at our gates. But there is a wolf at the door. Regardless of the decision we make together next Tuesday, the rising sun on Wednesday will still find us 1.2 million dollars short. We’ll still have a town to govern. We’ll still have choices to make. We’ll still have work to do. No doubt half the people of Amherst will be unhappy with the outcome of Tuesday’s referendum. I hope that half will not give up on Town Government. I hope they won’t sulk in their tents, leaving the work of government to others, or begin at once to devise a strategy to reverse the decision. I hope we’ll all join together to make our form of  democracywhatever it turns out to bework for the town and its people. It’s been stimulating and enlightening to think for a few months about the fundamentals of governmentits general aims and its structure, the nature of representation, the checks and balances and separation of powers.

We’ve all been philosophers, we’ve all been political scientists, we’ve all been champions of democracy. But it will soon be time to take, once again, the tools of government for granted and to see what they will enable us to build. Robert Frost put it another way: Less criticism of the field and court, And more preoccupation with the sport.

Essentials of successful local government:

The two essential requirements of successful local government, like those of a good marriage, are mutual respect and hard work. If you want to make a positive contribution to town government you have to be willing to listen patiently to the harebrained ideas and unwarranted fears of your neighbors.

You have to recognize that children need education, that businesses need profits and that we all need to feel safe. But effective government requires more than a clean heart and an open mind; it requires motivation

to serve and application to the task. It is not enough to BE on a board or

committee, or to REPRESENT a distinct group or position; you have to do your homework, come to meetings, and engage in the painful process of choosing among priorities and solving problems.

 Thoughts on why people get involved in local government Just as some people come to lunch every week for years and never make a contribution to Love Notes of the other community service activities of the club  MOST PEOPLE DO NOT GET INVOLVED IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT  Population 35,000  Election totals 5737 voted this time5654 on charter. 14% of population, maybe 20% of those eligible.

 11592 in 2004 Federal Election  approximately twice as many  A vote of confidence …. Indifference?

 Why people get involved in local government - usually a mixture of these elements o Self Interest ß Financial ß Need for Services (police, fire, roads, recreation, esp. education) ß Promotion or Preservation of Life Style ß Often genuine fear  Of having to leave town Of going broke from taxes  Of losing what is precious ß Can be positive or negative

o Need for recognition

o Hunger for power

o Interest in Policy

o Meeting and Working with People  sense of community


o Sense of Duty. To my chagrin, I accidentally left this onethe most important one-- out of my speech!

From opening of Spring 2005 Annual Town Meeting:

Finally, I want to acknowledge several groups of people:

Those who were sure that Amherst Town Meeting should be preserved.

Those who were certain that Town Meeting should be replaced.

Those who struggled with the Charter question and ultimatelywith unease and uncertainty--came down on one side or the other.

And all the members of all these groups who took a public stand and acted to bring about the outcome that they had decided was best for our town.


Recently Mr. Rothberg and I found ourselves in a discussion of the history of the word “Patriot.” This is a word which has been used in a number of ways and for a number of purposes in its four centuries as part of the English language. Of all the examples quoted by the Oxford English Dictionary, one in particular appealed to me. It’s from Bishop Berkeley in 1750. A patriot, he wrote, is one who heartily wisheth the public prosperity, and doth..also study and endeavour to promote it.


November 29

Anurag read from Lombardo’s Tales of Amherst about how it took 95 days for a gold prospector from Amherst to get to Californiaby way of Panama during the Great Gold Rush of 1849. Once he got there very bad weather and equally bad luck persuaded him to give up after nine months.

No guests today.


Arthur Kinney: Open house at the Renaissance Center Friday, 3:00-6:00.

Susie Lowenstein: Former member, Myra Lenburg, is having an open studio at Medusa Fiber Arts, 148 High Street in Amherst, Saturday, December 10th, 12:00-4:00.

Sandy Parent: Arthur Kinney is the newly elected president of the Amherst Historical Society.

Bonnie Isman announced library related events: Thursday, December 1, 7:30, Charles Mann, author of 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, reading and book signing; Saturday; December 3, at the Jeffrey Amherst Bookshop a day long benefit during which 10% of all sales at the shop will go to the Friends of the Jones Library System; Sunday, December 4th, 3:00, at the library, Suzanne Buffam and Dan Chiasson will read as part of the jubilat/Jones reading series.

Phyllis Lehrer: WFCR Fund Drive on December 1 welcomes volunteers.

From Jacquie Price: At the end of this newsletter you’ll find the latest list of Love Notes Committees. Check out your committee's members. And know that there's still time to sign up for the Party Committee.


Jim Wald introduced Robert Cox who, according to his own count, has been head of Special Collections, located on the 25th the floor of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library at UMass, for one year, twenty-one days and some four hours.

Among the collections are rare books, manuscripts, the university’s own archivesits “memory”and a small number of maps. The library’s collection of material about the life and work of the great African-American intellectual W.E.B. Du Bois himself, is its most unique, significant, and widely known scholarly resource.

There is a documentation of the evolution of the university as a land grant institution, and there are records of successive administrations, but there is little information about the other peoplefaculty and staff, from food services workers to clerks. With the help of students, an effort is now being made to gather oral histories of individuals who fill such positions.

Cox enumerated areas he has targeted to strengthen the collection:

1. Regional history.

2. The history of agriculture and horticulture, in particular the recent growth of sustainable and organic farming. (The first gift in this category given to the university was a record of bee keeping donated in 1868.) 3. Social change: things such as labor history and change as seen, for example, in records of labor organizations. A sub category of social change is peace and social justice, and the university has or is getting the papers of Randy Kheeler whose anti-war protests and tax resistance are legendary.

And communes: 35 linear feet of records from the Brotherhood of the Spirit are coming to Special Collections. The papers of Mary Wentworth will also be made available.

This is a fascinating project, and what a bonus it will be to take the elevator to the 25th floor where there is an all-encompassing panorama of our region as well as a good deal of information about how it got to be this way.


November 22

If you have in your mind a stereotype of grim November, today was it: that mean interlude when you wish it was already below zero so you could think about getting it over withbut it isn’t. The pressing ethical and practical question was where to put umbrellas. A saucy array of open umbrellas was left outside the entrance by the adventurers. The meeker among us (including me), anticipating the gust of wind that levitated Mary Poppins, folded up our sopping bumbershoots and stored them inside. The question then was where to put the things since, as you can guess, styles belonging to us play-it-safers generally looked a lot alike. (Don’t know if any umbrellas were actually lost, but on the way out I noted a confusion about wet coats which seemed to have gone astray.)

Dipping again into Dan Lombardo (not Lombardi, as I should have known:

Lombardo mines the past, Lombardi the future), Anurag started the meeting with anecdotes about teeth, especially false ones. In 1855 the wife of the famous Mr. Hitchcock gained notoriety in her own right when she fell and her porcelain and gold teeth got stuck in her throat. If you weren’t there you’ll have to read the book to find out how it ended.

No guests.


Jacquie Price reports that Ellen Story and Stan Rosenberg agreed to be Love Notes Hosts again. And the Print Committee has turned their work in to Tiger Press. And Lorraine Desrosiers has agreed to chair Love Notes.

Ruth Miller held up one of today’s auction donations, a wonderful child’s bentwood chair, as a reminder to bring your donation for the Club’s auction.

Jim Wald announced the publication and local availability of the Dickinson Historic District guide.

Ruth Hooke has been in Georgia protesting the School of America’s program for training people to do violence.

Note: To date the Love Notes Allocations Committee has approved allocations to A Better Chance, Hampshire Health Connect, Amherst Family Center, Jessie’s House, Big Brothers/Sisters, Safe Passages, Family Outreach of Amherst, Stavros ,Greenfield Community College Found., Tapestry Health, Habitat for Humanity, Wellness .


Michael Greenebaum introduced Jane Lyons, president of Friends of Children, and her colleague Randy Laikind who coordinates volunteers for that non-profit organization.

Jane’s message focused on things we “need to know”it includes many alarming statistics. Ten thousand five hundred children from Western Massachusetts (21 percent of the state’s total) are in “temporary” foster homes.

Thirty-three percent of these children are new to the system, 67 percent are what the state calls “reentrants.” The circumstances of these children, who are frequently victims of abuse and neglect , is often “too terrible for most adults to hear.”

Friends of Children is a child advocacy agency started fifteen years ago to help all of these children.The organization operates independent programs.

CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocatestrained volunteers offer a voice to abused and neglected children referred by the Juvenile Court. Since 1993 Friends of Children’s CASA program has trained more than 200 volunteers who have served 846 children.

The teen led Foster Dignity Project provides school and personal necessities.

Trained mentors of AAMP Adolescent Advocacy Mentoring Projectprovide bridges for children, usually eighteen but sometimes younger, who are “aging out.” That means they are leaving the foster care system. But they often have few resources and no family available to fall back on. On any given day there may be about 129 teens “aging out.”

CAP, the Child Advocacy Program provides direct advocacy and guidance to parents when their children’s needs have become too complex or services have been denied.

Friends of Children needs more volunteers. “Right now we can only serve a small fraction of the children and youths who need independent advocates,”

Jane said. “Volunteers are trained and supported in each step of their work by professional staff that is available 24/7. . . .The impact a volunteer can make on the life of a child can be utterly transforming for one and for all.”


November 15

Thanks to Jacquie Price for these fantastic notes.

Anurag opened the meeting by announcing that the Board had met last week, and he called upon Joan Hanson, club Secretary, to relay the contents of that meeting.

Joan told of the Board’s decision regarding the many petitions that our members are actively involved with and that they bring to our lunches. The Board voted that petitions shall be left at one of the back tables of the dining room, that the person bringing in a petition may announcebut not advocatethe petition, and that interested people are welcome to seek out those petitions at the back table after the guest speaker has finished.

Joan also announced that the Amherst Club brochure is being edited by the Board for reissue soon. Joan then listed the recipients of the funds from Love Notes 2006, as submitted by the Allocations Committee and approved by the Board. There will be 12 recipients receiving a projected total of $10,500, more if additional funds are raised.


Ruth Hooke’s guest was Nan Archer, Susie Lowenstein brought Alice Allen, and Bill Hart’s guest was Linda Fontaine from his office.


Harrison announced the Love Notes concert program and extended his appreciation to Susie Lowenstein, Carolyn Holstein, and his wife, Nancy, for putting together what sounds to be a stellar afternoon’s entertainment!

Charles Stevenson announced that Lois Barber would be speaking Thursday evening at the Amherst College Alumni House at 7:30.

Ruth Miller reminded us that there are only a couple of weeks left to bring donated items for our club auction, since the days grow short as you reach November……ba-da-boom!

Ruth Hooke told of Scott Ridder’s talk at Grace Church, Thursday, 6:30 pm.

Bill Hart asked auction donors to write a sentence or two about the provenance of each item, so that he’ll better understand the value of each as he auctions it.

Carolyn Gold spoke about the Men’s Resource Center’s peace calendars now on sale and benefiting the Center.

Walter Denny announced the Arcadia Players’ performance of the Monteverdi Vespers of the Blessed Virgin of 1610the Holy Grail of early music!at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Northampton, 8 pm Sunday evening, Nov. 20th. More information can be had at 413-256-4888. Walter urges an early arrival because the event is likely to be sold out.

Nancy Brose noted a chorale at Mt. Holyoke College at 2 pm, Sunday, Nov. 20th.


Michael Greenebaum introduced Olga Botcharova as a conflict resolution expert, working with two-person conflict through conflict between warring countries and every level inbetween. She is a Social Psychologist who has worked for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC, and who is currently an independent contractor as a mediator.

Olga Botcharova described aspects of conflict resolution, which she has been doing since 1993 when she moved to the United States from St. Petersburg. In this work, people on both sides of a conflict share information with her.

When working for CSIS, she was part of an international team from that think tank who went to Bosnia to work with the Croats and Serbs.

She felt that no story could better illustrate the depth of her passion and belief in the work of conflict resolution than that of Boszcha and his daughter, a Croatian pair whose car was stopped at gunpoint by several drunken Serbian soldiers who had jumped out of the bushes along a roadway.

Both Boszcha and his daughter were humiliated and tortured. The atrocities went on and on. Then the Serbian soldiers told Boszcha and his daughter that they were going to be shot to death. The daughter asked for time to pray. The soldiers agreed. Then the daughter asked what the Serbs’ names were because she wanted to pray for their forgiveness and to pray for them by name, as her father had taught her was proper. Because of her very personal request for their names, the soldiers decided not to shoot the pair but left their fate to their ability to live through the minefield the soldiers made them traverse. Though battered and bleeding from their wounds, the pair crawled through the minefield, Boszcha’s daughter often pulling her nearly unconscious father along. Amazingly to report, Olga said that father and daughter made it to the other side of the minefield without being blown up. Once back on a road again, the pair were picked up and driven to a hospital and safety.

Olga told of workshops she has done with people in conflict. Her goal is to prod people full of hate into trying to dialogue. In workshops where she has told Boszcha’s story, people in conflict have been able to stand hand in hand. This is a powerful beginning at her level of diplomacy. She described Track I diplomacy as that between governments, between highly placed officials. Her participation is at Track II diplomacy, which is based on faith, long-term commitment, and building bridges. At this level, mediators deal with people suffering deep victimhood, trauma, an iceberg of hurt. The best war machines cannot heal those wounds.

Olga reported that 50% of official peacemakers’ efforts fail. The major reason is because they appeal to hierarchical leadership figures. Diplomacy at the upper reaches does not help the people who suffer the roots of the despair. Leaders can sign papers, but the people who are hurt will not forgive the opponents tomorrow because a treaty says to do so. Leaders fail because they do not touch the hearts of the multitudes who are hurt.

Conflict resolution has spiritual, psychological, and historical aspects, all of which she has been sensitive to in working out her own model of resolution by forgiveness.

Having worked with Palestinians and Israelis, Serbs and Croats, and other conflict-riddled groups, Olga has found that, if there is a change of mind in people, there is some hope for living together in peace. She reminded us of the power of Boszcha’s daughter’s plea for the opportunity to pray for forgiveness of soldiers who had done her grave harm. She left us with the thought that a grant of $40,000 allowed her to run a whole conflict resolution workshop, and that is the cost of one bomb.


November 8

Anurag opened the meeting with a reading from his book on Amherst history.


Harry Brooks introduced his wife, Paulette Brooks, and proudly announced that Paulette had recently passed the Massachusetts Bar exam.

Pat Templin’s guest was Carol Costin, newly moved into the Pioneer Valley and residing in Easthampton.


Harry Brooks introduced today’s speaker, Judge Michael A. Ponsor, who was born in Chicago, graduated from Harvard College, read English language and literature as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, taught in Kenya from 1969-71, graduated from Yale Law School in 1975, has taught at Yale Law School and Western New England College of Law, was a partner in the Amherst law firm of Brown, Hart and Ponsor, and currently teaches the seminar, Case Studies of Federal Justice, in the Department of Criminal Justice at UMASS Amherst.

Judge Ponsor opened with a story involving a lunchtime errand, a Burger King drive-through line where he drove past the ordering unit, a mystery lunch delivered into his hands when he drove up to the window, and the empty hands of someone in the car behind his. He used the story to illustrate the course of a normal day in his current role as U.S. District judge sitting in Springfield, the state’s only federal judge west of Worcester. That is, he doesn’t know what each workday will bring, what will need to be digested and handled.

In the early days of his law career, his work involved many more civil cases than criminal cases. Now, Judge Ponsor estimates that one quarter of his caseload is civil and three quarters is criminal. He offered cheerless statistics to ponder. In 1970, there were 200,000 people incarcerated in the U.S. In 2004, our country had over 1,400,000 people in federal prisons and 700,000 in jails, a total of 2.1 million people. About one quarter of this population was incarcerated for drug offenses. Women numbered 180,000 prisoners out of the 2.1 million total. Judge Ponsor posed the question, “Why does the land of the free and home of the brave imprison and execute a greater portion of its population [than other countries]?” He then relayed how this played out in western Massachusetts in regards to two cases recently tried before him in which typical defendants were presented to their respective juries.

In the first case, an African-American woman on Social Security benefits earned $75 by delivering an envelope to a man. The envelope contained 7 grams of crack cocaine. The recipient was a DEA agent. Found guilty at trial, the woman received the minimum mandatory 5-year sentence from Judge Ponsor, who explained that the law gives him no judicial discretion in this sentence.

The second defendant had two prior convictions for drug offenses and was arrested after a sting operation in which he purchased 50 grams of cocaine.

In this case, as well, Judge Ponsor had no discretionary power and imposed the mandatory sentence for a third drug conviction of life imprisonment with no parole.

The judge told us that he regularly gives out sentences of 10, 20, and 30 years for drug offenses. He feels that “there are good reasons for these sentences” and that they accurately reflect our democracy. That is, he believes that, given the opportunity, they would be approved by the public at large because “drugs are a blight” and people want those who commit drug offenses locked up. But, we are locking up huge numbers of people at ever greater expense, doling out stiffer sentences as the incidence gets more severe.

At some point, Judge Ponsor hoped that “we will begin to think of other approaches to the problem.” Instead of locking people up for such offenses, his modest proposal is to castrate them, a proposal that he would call “three strikes and they’re off!” Yes, we laughed along with him, but underpinning the humor was a serious proposition. The two cases above are the likes of what Judge Ponsor does every day. He concluded with the thought that “these are the problems facing us all--you, me, the people.”


November 1, 2005

Because our speaker had to leave early we changed our routine and saved announcements for the end. Started with guests: Tina Berins brought a friend from Barcelona, Anurag Sharma a friend and colleague, Nancy Frazier a neighbor.

Nancy Frazier introduced Kathleen Lugosch, who received her Master of Architecture from Harvard in 1983. She has been in private practice since 1986, and I highly recommend looking at her website: She’s designed some beautiful homes.

Succeeding Arnold Friedmann, Kathleen began teaching full time at UMass in 1995. For these past ten years her mission has been to reshape the Architecture and Design program and move it forward to the goal of full accreditation. There was no accredited state school in New England that granted a Masters degree in architecture. The UMass program needed teachers in engineering, both structural and mechanical, architectural history, materials research among other subjects. They also cast a wide interdisciplinary net. To achieve their requirements they have established partnerships with other departments in the university and with those in the Five Colleges. Moreover, students in the program can study in the other colleges. Enlisting teachers from all over UMass, their program expanded from a faculty of three to a faculty of thirty.

It took nine years to put together a program that the state could appraise for accreditation, and they now have a state authorized program in place and have begun to accept students in a Master’s of Architecture program. The end of the review process is national accreditation, and they are scheduled for the final step of that to take place in 2008. “And then,” said Kathleen Lugosch, “I get to retire.” (Not seriously, we hope.)

During the spring Steve Schreiber was brought to the University to take the Architecture and Design Program through the national accreditation process.

Schreiber has served as dean/director at the School of Architecture at the University of South Florida, and director of the architecture program at the University of New Mexico. He is the 2005-06 President of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), and is, Kathleen said, the right person with the experience to get them through the system.

Once they’ve passed the National Board and are up and running, the UMass program in Architecture and Design will be the only architectural program with such an interdisciplinary character. The program website is



Arthur Kinney: tomorrow (11/8) The Origins of Renaissance Music, Friday Open House, Saturday Renaissance Banquet (if a few more people sign up since they need a minimum to go forward. Contact Center.

The Merry Widow, directed by Michael Greenebaum, begins this weekend at the Amherst Regional High School Auditorium.

Lots of people brought food for the Survival Center. Very gratifying.

And we are reminded that since the Spirithaus so generously provides us with wind, it is good to support it if and when you can.


October 25


Anurag said that, through email communication, he had polled members of the Board who agreed that petitions could be brought by members for members to sign, or not, as they desire. Said petitions would be left on a table in the back of the room.

Indeed, Nancy Foster announced that one such petition, regarding “fair districts for fair elections,” was on a table at the back of the room.

Ruth Hooke: Bells are being rung to commemorate the dead Iraq.

Ruth Miller and Lorraine Desrosiers passed out forms for the December 13 auction.

Vivienne Carey, who raised lots of money by walking for ABC, has ten more people to collect from.

Claude Tellier announced that last Saturday $5,500 was raised for the Massachusetts-Cambodia Water Project, an organization working to bring clean water to needy villages in Cambodia.


Michael Greenebaum introduced Peggy MacLeod who is working with the town of Amherst to pursue a Clean Energy Campaign. MacLeod gave an overview of the problem of Global Warming, from attention being paid to it by magazinesfrom Business Week to National Geographicto ways in which local communities can support conservation. Among the goals is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, by the year 2009, to 35 percent below the levels recorded in 1997. Public transportation and biking lanes to encourage using less gasoline are part of the action plan.

Residents of Amherst who make tax-deductible payments of $50 to the town’s Renewable Energy Campaign will be investing in a “sustainable future”, and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative will make a matching contribution to the Town of Amherst. In addition, if 3 percent of Amherst households (about 285) participate in the campaign by December 31 this year, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative will double their matching contribution, and the money can fund a renewable energy project such as the Green Building project at the Hitchcock Center.

If you have questions about Clean Energy Technologies and Renewable Energy contact or call Peggy MacLeod at 413-586-7350.


October 18, 2005

Anurag opened the meeting with a reading from Dan Lombardi’s Tales of Amherst. The topic was polygamy in the Valley. Our Valley! This fellow had three wives, having “divorced” the first two unlawfully. For some reason that I didn’t quite catch, though I think it had to do with the free love movement of the 1800s, the chap got off with a lighter sentence than would otherwise have been meted out: He ended up with two (instead of five) years of hard labor in the House of Corrections in Northampton. What about his wives and ex wives? I want to know. And, did he have any children?


June Farmer’s sister and Roger Webb’s father were present. Jean Miller and Carolyn Holstein brought friends.


Vivienne Carey successfully completed the extreme sport of an ABC walk in flood conditions. Besides congratulations I hope she got a very warming cup of grog. She did raise a total of $879 for the cause.

Talking about cups, Arthur raised his to our Trivia Team for their fine performance in the Trivia Bee. He also noted that tomorrow afternoon there is to be a talk about Michelangelo at the Renaissance Center.

To Rachel 's reminder that we should focus on inviting potential members to lunch with us, Arthur said not to forget younger Men.

Sandy Parent noted that The Fine Arts Center is marking its 30th season and we should stay tuned for it’s next celebratory event.

Ruth Miller said that Tom McClung will give a concert at the First Congregational Church.

Bonnie Isman: a public session on Monday the 24th on the future of librariesall libraries, everywhere at our very own Jones.

Roger has discovered that the Amherst club has an email site. He’s dusting it off. Keep tuned so you can keep in touch.

Miriam Dayton: Mass Senior Action Council convention is this Saturday, October 22. Keynote speaker is Barney Frank. Call Miriam for details, which include a bus to Millbury where the convention will be held.

Carolyn: Larry Siddall fell off of a ladder and badly sprained his ankle.

Anurag had a few announcements:

Remember that we collect food for the Survival Center every week.

Instead of splitting the money collected for the lottery, the board has voted to restrict a member’s winnings to $10.

The board also voted to pool the money we raised for victims of Katrina with the town’s Katrina fund.


Michael Greenebaum introduced the costume and set producers for the Valley Light Opera, Linda Stark (sets) and Elaine Walker (costumes). Each in turn described how she works in tandem with her colleagues. Elaine, for instance, takes the costume designs sketched by Richard Gregory and interprets them with her own understanding in terms of fabrics. Linda looks into the appropriate era’s landscape and garden setting to come up with a set design that is appropriate to the time and place in which the musical takes place.

(There will be a backdrop 16 feet high by 40 feet long.) Both speakers are working on The Merry Widow which opens on November 11.

Also: This note is from Phyllis Lehrer: I will soon reach official senior citizendom. It’s a time to pause and reflect. This is what I have learned. I have been truly blessed. I have a house with indoor plumbing, a car that runs, a garden, a job that makes me gainfully employed and which I enjoy and family.

I live in a land of milk and honey with dairy farms and apple orchards. The area has stunning sunsets, spectacular falls, lush springs, bountiful summers and breathtaking winters when the sun on the snow sparkles and glitters releasing diamonds.

But most of all I have great friends. . . . Therefore I am celebrating the people in my life and inviting you and spouse or partner to an open house Sunday, Oct. 23 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 197 Pondview Drive.

No presents please. However if you feel you can’t come empty handed, please consider bringing a non-perishable food item for the Survival Center.

With love and great affection,

Phyllis Lehrer

AND Lorraine Desrosiers and Ruth Miller remind you to get set for the Special Program on December 13: an auction to raise funds for the Club’s Endowment fund. So go through your closets and cupboards for something you can donate to the cause. It should have a minimum value of $10. Stay tuned for more details. But, remember and save the date.


October 11, 2005

Anurag Sharma opened the meeting with the news, greeted with a groan of disbelief, that he would not read from the book on Amherst history, in deference to the time needed for today's meeting of Love Notes Committees.

Guests: Jean Miller re-introduced club members to Pat Templin, a new member who has been out of town all summer and now is back to attend our lunch meetings.


Ruth Miller reminded us of the Amherst Club auction to be held Dec. 13 at lunch.

Dee Waterman welcomed all to attend the 5th annual artists event, Oct. 15, 7-9 pm, at the Leverett Arts and Crafts gallery to benefit the animals at Dakin.

Nancy Foster talked about the Senate passing the McCain Amendment regarding requirements on interrogations that will apply to all military.

Jim Scott, as chair of the Love Notes Finance Committee, asked that clarification be made on who needs what information about Love Notes ticket sales.

Arthur Kinney announced that the Renaissance Center's benefit concert raised $7,600.

Dick Mudgett welcomed a second granddaughter to the family.

Vivienne announced that she and Chestnut would do the 20K walk for ABC on Saturday, rain or shine and thanked the club members for their sponsorship of her walk.

Dee Waterman and Arthur Kinney are going to the MIFA performance of Macbeth at the Holyoke War Memorial, Thursday, Oct. 20, and asked that others who may want to go contact her so as to go as a group.

Guest Speaker:

The program today involved committee members gathering at tables and learning from Love Notes committee chairs about jobs, timing, and other committee-specific information.

Before separating into committees, the lunch group heard from Jacquie Price that the date of Love Notes 2006 is now firmed up with Amherst College for the use of both venues (Buckley Hall and Lewis-Sebring Commons) on Sunday, February 12.

She also announced that responses from Love Notes committee chairs was almost unanimous in endorsing the 3 pm start time for the event. The concert will begin @ 3 pm, followed a couple of hours later by the reception. This new time for the event impacts the kinds of food set out at the reception, and the Reception Committee will work out details on this.


October 4, 2005

Today the focus on Amherst’s past came from Dan Lombardi’s wonderful book, Tales of Amherst. Anurag read from a chapter entitled The Fraudulent Food We Ate in which a late 19th century commentary maintained that pleasure aside, the food enjoyed “does not hold up under scrutiny.” Let one example

suffice: Half of the wine on the market is made of rhubarb! Well!!!


Jean Miller and Nancy Foster had guests.


The Fifteenth Annual Fall Foliage Walk to benefit the ABC House is Saturday, October 15. Vivienne Carey made the announcement and sent around a sponsorship sign-up sheet. When pressed she explained that Roger was away playing bridge.

Jacquie Price reminds us that next week’s meeting is devoted to Love Notes committees.

Sad news that Tina Berins mother has passed away.

At Arthur Kinney’s suggestion we silently remembered June George, a former member, who died recently.


Nancy Foster introduced Christopher Pyle, professor of politics and constitutional law at Mount Holyoke College. Pyle has a long career of speaking out against infringements on civil rights. His talk today, entitled Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and the Politics of Torture, was a powerful and frightening synthesis of how far into disgrace we have fallen.

After September 11, 2001, the president and his subordinates “sent signals to the CIA, the military, and government contractors that this war was different. Traditional legal restraints would not apply. As the administration’s counter-terrorism chief explained . . . ‘the gloves came off.’ ” Subsequent actions were directed at securing international immunity for American officials who might commit war crimes. The point man for that was Under Secretary of State John Bolton. American prisons abroad were established by the CIA as well as by the Army. “Like Argentinean generals, our government now makes its adversaries ‘disappear.’” The horrifying maneuvers by the Bush administration to immunize itself from the consequences of its activities construct an alarming scenario.

Pyle recalled the rounding up and abuse of thousands of Muslim immigrants right after the attacks on the World Trade Center. Presumed guilty of terrorism until proved innocent they were jailed for up to three months. At a federal detention center in Brooklyn, over 700 of these immigrants were “slammed around and humiliated ,” as documented by the Inspector General.

Yet the US Attorney General said he had “no apologies.” And in the fall of 2003, the man who ran the Guantanamo Bay interrogation campMajor General Geoffrey D. Miller, a soldier who liked to “fear up” prisoners with tactics like snarling dogswas reassigned to Abu Ghraib.

Unimaginably horrifying images have become familiar to us since then.

However, telling them again was not the point of Pyle’s presentation. The point was the building of the structure that allows and encourages such atrocities to take place. This is the framework carefully put in place both to authorize and to mask the terrible situation that has inevitably evolved.

“The responsibility for this sorry state of affairs, I submit, belongs to the entire chain of command, from General Miller to Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, John Bolton, Alberto Gonzales [who advised that the Geneva Convention could be ignored and that victims of torturenewly redefined- could not bring civil suits against their torturers in US courts], and the president,” Pyle said. “By both commission and omission, they unleashed the torture and abuses.”

In conclusion our speaker cited a Washington Post-ABC poll’s finding that two-thirds of all Americans don’t think what happened at Abu Ghraib was torture. “Of course, had these been photos of terrorists grinning in front of an American soldier’s corpse, they would not hesitate to call it torture.

That,” said professor Pyle, “is what puzzles me.”


September 27

WEBBSITE has up-to-date information about Love Notes, including committees and who’s on which one.

It has newsletters archived since May 10 this year, and current editions as they appear.

Lists of upcoming speakers, information about grant recipients. It lacks nothing but A BLOG! Blogs are in, and we’re cutting edge, right? (Note from the webmaster, Master Webb - whatever gave the newsletter editor the idea that we are cutting edge??)


opened the meeting by reading some more amusing tidbits from Essays on Amherst’s History. Are the comments quoted wry in intent? Or do they only seem so now? About watching the girls from Mount Holyoke and Smith, and bemused (or not) distinctions between the farmers and the professors.


Ruth Black, Bobbye Hertzbach, Hub Smith, and Nancy Frazier had guests.


All but two Love Notes committees have been filled. Names of those who have not signed up will be allocated (so to speak) to where they’re needed. So, if you have a preference, make it known!

Dick Mudgett has a new puppy, and his daughter is about to deliver a new baby. Dick went on a Washington tour of war museums and to the FDR museum which, he reports, is fabulous. We won’t see him for a spell because he’s taking a class.

THURSDAY September 29 may be the busiest night of the year. There is, of course, the TRIVIA BEE at the Middle School, with our own teamin costumeand music played by Susie Lowenstein.

Also Mystery Deserts at the Jones Library, 7:00 p.m.a panel of four mystery writers and sweet treats.

And, the comprehensive town plan under development for Amherst will be submitted for consideration at the Bangs Community Center Thursday evening.

And, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the University Gallery the first in a series of “Conversations” between artists and former directors of the gallery will begin at the Fine Arts Center Lobby Thursday at 5:30. Allan Wexler, whose work is inspired by ideas about architecture and other structures is paired with Betsy Siersma who curated his University Gallery show in 1991.

Also, "Beyond the Patriot Act" will be shown on ACTV Channel 12 this Thursday at 8 pm and Friday at 1 pm, and on the same schedule through the first two weeks of October. It describes the serious threats to privacy posed by this ACT, passed hastily four years ago, and presents some of the innocent people it has victimized. It is the first in a series of half-hour episodes entitled "The ACLU Freedom Files" produced by Robert Greenwald and the American Civil Liberties Union, to be aired at these same hours on ACTV's Channel 12 show throughout the year.

A MEMO from Arthur Kinney regarding our endowment fund.

Two years ago, when present and former members of the Amherst Club celebrated twenty years with a potluck dinner and entertainment at the Amherst College Alumni House, we also gathered money for Amherst charities.

We raised $1700 toward the first $2000 and private gifts took us over to $2100. Rather than spend it all at once the Board of Directors decided to use it to start an endowment and we opened our account. Since it should be $10,000 we have been given five years to bring it up that. The Amherst Club endowment has been invested with the Community Fund of Western Massachusetts, which pools small investors in social and environmental causes; the head of the fund is an Amherst Club member. We have already had a good return on our investment. We are now raising $2,000 a year to bring it up to what should have been a minimum opening investment; hence the auction and the additional possible charge on quarterly bills for those who volunteer an extra $5 a quarter. It is our hope that members of the Amherst community, whether or not they are or were Amherst Club members, will consider a bequest in their wills to this fund to insure a growing amount of money for Allocations to spend each year, in addition to Love Notes, in ways that benefit Amherst community members in need, such awards being decided on an individual basis by the Allocations Committees of ensuing years.


Ruth Black introduced Donald Friary, director emeritus, since 2003, of Historic Deerfield. Friary spoke of the 17th century poet Edward Taylor (c. 1642-1729) “who lived in real obscurity in the frontier town of Westfield.”

Born in Leicestershire County, England, Taylor made the 70-day transatlantic voyage to the New World in 1668. He wrote about his trip and its excitements, including the weather and the sea creatures encountered en route. Taylor had studied for three years at Harvard when he was invited to minister to the inhabitants of Westfield in 1671. He journeyed the 100 miles west with the delegation that had come to ask for his services, and spent the rest of his life there.

Friary showed slides of some of the things Taylor brought with him from England including a piece of tapestry and a punch bowl with a portrait of the Queen Anne (who looks, Friary said, like she must have swallowed some of the lemons from the punch) on the bottom. Some of Taylor’s possessions are on view at Deerfield.

Taylor had two wives and fourteen children, nine of whom lived to maturity.

While he performed his tasks as pastor and physician Taylor also wrote poems. Unlike some of his contemporaries, including Anne Bradstreet, Taylor was unpublished and unknown as a poet during his lifetime.* His manuscripts were given to Yale in the 1880s, and he finally became known, appreciated, and published in the 1930s. A major literary discovery.

Poems from which our speaker read reveal Taylor to have been learned, pious, and steeped in metaphors and images. “Make me, O Lord, Thy spinning wheel complete./ Thy Holy word my distaff make for me,” he wrote in one poem.

Grieving for the death of his first wife and children he wrote, “A curious knot God made in paradise,/ and drew it out enameled neatly fresh./ It was the true-love knot, that ne’re can be untied:/ No Alexander’s sword can it divide.”

Along with Solomon Stoddard of Northampton (grandfather of Jonathan Edwards), and John Williams of Deerfield, Taylor was one of the three giants of the western reaches of the Massachusetts colony. That they all died during the same year, 1729, was taken as a sure sign of God’s displeasure.

* As a footnote to the talk, Arthur Kinney reminds us that the current Renaissance Center newsletter has a study of Anne Bradstreet.


September 20

FALL MEMBERSHIP CAMPAIGN. Memo from Rachel Mustin:

The Board and Membership Committee have initiated a fall membership drive for Amherst Club to maintain our number of active and vibrant members. We are asking each member between now and December 31 to bring to lunch a guest who would be member eligible. The Nomination Form to be filled out and submitted by a current member and the Description of the Amherst Club will be included in the mailing of the next quarterly bill. Copies are also available at lunch or from Rachel Mustin and Iso Stein, co-chairs of Membership.

OPEN HOUSE at Phyllis Lehrer’s place197 Pondview Drive October 23, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Members and their partners invited.


Anurag’s report follows up on the general meeting and Board discussions about helping victims of hurricane Katrina. It has been decided that $500 from the weekly raffle will be designated for that purpose. An effort will be made to identify ocal connections, perhaps through the newly formed Amherst Area Hurricane Relief Task Force. Members are welcome to add to the pot, and so far and additional $200 has been donated. If you wish to contribute, give money to Bill Ritter. Anurag emphasized that the relief discussion is primarily about what we as a club can do, noting that individual members have numerous concerns pulling at their financial resources and no one should feel pressured to make additional contributions.

Suggestions from the floor: Zina Tillonathat hospitality at our tables is one way to help out; Lorraine Desrosiersthat Oprah has contributed $10 million of her own fortune to building houses for Katrina’s homeless and has a website through which other people can contribute something to help furnish those houses. Lois Barber directs attention to prevention, a focus of her organization, EarthAction.


Jim Scott, Arthur Kinney, Claude Tellier all had guests.


Jacquie PriceTiger Press will once again do the printing for Love Notes at no cost to the Club. And Committees will meet October 11 to get organized.

(See Speakers schedule below)

Carolyn Holsteinthe allocations committee letter of invitation went out to 30 organizations. Also, in response to an article by Phyllis Lehrer, Carolyn

has received 5 phone calls from groups wanting to apply. October 14th is the deadline, and the committee meets on the 18th to begin the deliberations.


Judge Jim Collins was in court and couldn’t make the meeting. Instead Eugenia Collins, Jim’s wife and Associate Vice President for Development at the Clarke School for the Deaf, and her companion, Patrick deHahn spoke. It was marvelous.

Patrick is fourteen years old, from Belchertown, and he has been at the Clarke school for 12 1/2 years. Three years ago he had a cochlear implant and learned, for the first time, what his own name sounds like. Using both the implant and a hearing aid his hearing is remarkable. The implant, he allowed, is a lot louder and clearer than the aid. Though neither works when it is wet, which leads to someone on the school team shouting “STOP” in the middle of a soccer game, at which point the coach calls for a break so that batteries can be changed.

Patrick described the implantation of a magnet inside his skull and the attachment of another magnet on the outside, near his ear. The connection between the two stimulates the cochlea and enables him to hear sounds that would otherwise be inaudible.

Patrick is active, enthusiastic, outgoing, and absolutely engaging. He enjoys everything, from drama to soccer, and, to all appearances, he has a wonderful sense of self. He likes to get up in front of people, as he did today, and show them that he “can do regular things.” Asked about his colorful wristbands he replied, “I’m into style.”

Clarke’s successful educational program, which includes early childhood programs and classes through the eighth grade, also offers services and resources to people of all ages with hearing loss. The school leads in auditory/oral education and, through widespread satellite schools, is widening the reach of its expertise and influence.


September 13, 2005

My how we’ve changed.

Not only was Amherst a town that felt removed from the rest of the world, a kind of peaceable kingdom, in the early 20th century, it was also staunchly Republican. About 90 percent of those registered to vote in presidential elections registered as Republicans. Anurag Sharma read from his source, Essays on Amherst’s History, the recollection of Jean Elder: “There was hardly a Democrat. Democrats were scarce as hens’ teeth then. . . . I suppose they thought Democrats were riffraff, and they didn’t have riffraff in Amherst.” She adds, “It was years after I’d been out earning my living, for a long time, before I ever dared admit that I would vote Democrat. But it was just unheard of, at least in my circle.”

Guests: Claude Tellier, Rachel Mustin, and Nancy Brose brought guests.


Michael Wolff : The 6th annual Michael Wolff lecture will be given at the Library of Congress this weekend.

Ruth Hooke: To honor those who died in Iraq and the victims of hurricane Katrina an interfaith group will hold and encampment on the Common on Thursday September 15th. At 7:30 that same night members of the group will speak at Grace Church.

Nancy Foster: Also on Thursday the 15th at 8 p.m. and on Friday at 1:20 ACTV will air Beyond the Patriot Act, an investigation into the widespread invasions of privacy that results from that act.

Jacquie Price: You may still sign up for Love Notes. And, Jacquie has a relative, a young man in his thirties, who is looking for a room or an apartment to rent.

Claude Tellier’s guest, Michael Dover, who is development director of the Men’s Ressource Center, announced that the Third Annual Men’s Walk To End Abuse will be Thursday, September 29 to Saturday, October 11. Proceeds will benefit the center’s domestic violence prevention program and local shelters for abused women.

Ruth Miller: A ticket available for Miss Saigon at the Fine Arts Center October 12th.

Walter Denny: Something different, Bach and beer on Sunday, October 9 at 1:30 at the Iron Horse. It’s part of a Baroque Oktoberfest which includes Bach without beer the day earlier, Oct. 8, at 3 p.m. in Springfield’s Old First Church.


Michael Greenebaum introduced Don Sanders, founder and Executive Artistic Director of MIFA—Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts. Arts and culture, Sanders said, (alluding to the new Amherst in contrast to the old), fit into the progressive character of the town because they free people from the isolation and rigidity of a narrowed mind.

MIFA started in 1993 as an effort to prevent the Belchertown Sate School, which had closed a year earlier, from being turned into a state prison. A model for what MIFA had, and continues to have in mind existed in the Berkshires: a high level of aspirations and practice in arts and culture. But this area of Western Massachusetts never benefited from the kind of advantage that the Berkshires began to enjoy during the late 19th and early 20th centuries when wealthy New Yorkers began to summer there. These people arrived with a predisposition to foster the growth of the arts. Our area had an agricultural and then a manufacturing base: it has not ever been a seasonal or a tourist venue, at least not yet.

That may be in the crystal ball, however. The new conventional wisdom is that by 2010 cultural tourism will be the largest producer of income in the state. Those of us present when Ellen Story spoke a couple of weeks ago will remember her new, important assignment is Vice Chair on the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development. As Sanders commented, there is a strong state council that recognizes the economic impact of developing culture, and the Speaker of the House suggests spending $25 million per year to fund and strengthen the “industry of culture.”

It sounds like an oxymoron, and it also sounds scary, but it’s still true that the art that pleases and sells is the art that we go to museums, and galleries, and theaters etc. to see.

As for MIFA, they are about to make an interesting move of their offices from Northampton to Holyoke. They are going to focus attention and energy on managing the restoration the once glorious Victory Theater which opened in 1919 and has been shuttered since 1979. It’s a decorative, architectural treasure with 1600 seats—more than every theater in our area except for the one at the Fine Arts Center.

In the meantime MIFA’s production schedule is exciting and exceptional this fall: Robert Kushner exhibit at Wisteriahurst Museum opens Sept. 17; The Skinner Servants Tour is at Wisteria starting Sept. 23; Wire Monkey Dance at Tree Studio in Holyoke begins Sept. 30; Eddie Palmieri performs Sept. 30 at War Memorial Auditorium, Holyoke on September 30; and beginning Oct. 12 for five nights a production of Macbeth set in a contemporary African country will be staged at a place TBA in Holyoke.


September 6, 2005


Ruth Hooke said that she had a guest, but the guest had to leave. Her guest was Amherst Club member Claude Tellier’s wife, Ruth.


Anurag announced that the upcoming Board meeting would be next Wednesday, September 14, at 4:00 pm at his home. One of the agenda items at that meeting will be discussion of what, if anything, the Amherst Club could and should do for relief of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation. He then opened this question to the members present to get their perspectives in advance of the Board meeting. Harrison’s daughter has suggested holding a public reading as a fundraiser. Susie Lowenstein voiced concern about who is in charge of relief efforts and will not give until we know that the money will go to those who need it. Trudie Darity targeted the Salvation Army and the committee being formed by ex-presidents Clinton and Bush as reliable recipients of relief funds. She also recommended sending funds to hurricane victims who are being taken in locally. Michael Wolff reinforced Oxfam as a reliable conduit. Kathleen Scott proposed that any assistance we would give to Governor Romney’s relief effort on the Cape Cod military base would provide direct and local help. Lois Barber spoke about Earth Action’s investment in raising awareness over the last 10 years about global climate changes that, in turn, alter weather patterns and pointed to the larger scope of the natural dangers that were realized via Katrina.

Rachel Mustin noted that the Membership Committee asks each club member to bring a member-eligible guest to lunch between now and the holiday season.

Arthur Kinney announced the benefit performance of Julius Caesar, starring the club’s own Walter Carroll, on Saturday, September 10, outdoors at the Renaissance Center at 2 PM. Rain date, Sunday, September 11.

Honoré David called attention to the 30th anniversary exhibit now on view at UMASS Amherst’s University Gallery located at the Fine Arts Center. The exhibit, “Looking Forward/Looking Back,” traces three decades of contemporary art in various media. Accompanying lectures will take place on September 29, October 20, and November 30.

Anurag welcomed and introduced us to Khalan, our new waitress.


Michael Greenebaum introduced Claude Tellier, a founding member of the Massachusetts-Cambodia Water Project, who spoke about the Project’s work in bringing clean water to needy villages in that country of 15 million people.

Claude reported on the inception and progress of this fascinating and adventurous water project in Cambodia. It came to be because of his neighbors, Sokha and Ny Mao, and their terrible disappointment over the desperate poverty and poor living conditions they found in the villages they had left 25 years before. On their own they had been sending money back home, but they could only do so much. Upon hearing their plight, Claude and his wife Ruth, along with several neighbors, raised enough funds for a hands-on water project focusing on well digging.

Having gotten reports and photographs showing the established wells providing water, and with projects such as building a dike in the works, Claude and Ruth, Sokha and Ny and two other Cambodians set out for a three-week trip to Cambodia to visit all these sites. In addition to seeing the finished projects, the group went to connect with partner-managers on site and to connect with the communities involved. The group rented a bus and a driver and cook, gathered the five trusted local project managers, and traveled to the projects in three villages.

Two types of wells had been planned, hand dug and drilled. A slide show let us see some of the ingenuity of the work, which also included toilets, the first in the villages. There was the basic $50 toilet and the high-end toilet where one could also wash up. These were to help ensure the cleanliness of the water.

Retaining ponds, cisterns, and rainwater collection systems were included, too. Along with visiting all these accomplishments, the group found time for some touring, including the amazing temples at Angkor Wat.

At this point, the plan is for some more fundraising (donations are tax deductible), followed by another trip to visit more water projects in two years. Claude added that the Amherst group’s trip to Cambodia was supported by vacation expenses, not Water Project funds.


August 30, 2005

It was, as President Sharma said, “A beautiful day outside to be inside.”

Fulfilling his promise to share some of his findings about Amherst as he studies the town’s past, Anurag read a passage from Essays on Amherst's History, published in 1978 by The Vista Trust. The preface mentions two familiar names - Robert Grose and Carlton Brose. He read a paragraph by Doris Abromson and Robert Townsend about Amherst written in the 1900s, when the population was around 5,000.

The writer expressed an idea that the town seemed somehow removed from the tribulations of the rest of the world. “I wonder if we are as insulated today as they were 100 years ago?” said Anurag.

Are we?

No guests today.


Harry Brooks suggests getting to the Community Breakfast at UMass at about 7:00 a.m. this Thursday at Franklin Dining Commons, UMassthough it starts at 7:30. Some 200-300 people from all three colleges usually attend.

Susie Lowenstein is recuperating from a fall. She’ll have an MRI Friday to determine what, if anything, is broken.

Nancy Frazier hopes someone will take newsletter notes when she’s away next week.

Carolyn Holstein announced that the Love Notes Allocations Committee has its quota of nine people.


Edgar McIntosh was introduced by Michael Greenebaum as “one of the notorious McIntosh brothers,” but he didn’t say what they were notorious for. Edgar’s mother is Club member Anne McIntosh, and he grew up in Amherst. In fact, he began his talk with a few memories, including the fact that the last time he’d been at the Hickory Ridge golf club was for a high school prom.

Edgar studied education at UMass where his advisor, Ernie Washington, had also been his mother’s advisor. (Anne teaches at Mark’s Meadow.) Edgar’s entire career, twelve years to date, has been in early childhood education and his first job was at Wildwood. His next job was in Wilton, Connecticut, which, someone told him, was the town that inspired Ira Levin’s book, The Stepford Wives. That school had amazing resources, the kind of place where wishing for equipment one dayfor example a larger easelmight come true the next day.

If Edgar MacIntosh was notorious in Amherst, he’s becoming illustrious in New York where he teaches at PS 41 in Greenwich Village. In this exceptional school general and special education teachers work side by side. They also work with various other specialists including math teachers and physical therapists as well as school psychologists. Many experts come as visitors, and there is an active PTA, involved with education and with raising something like a quarter of a million dollars per year. Icing the cake are supportive administrators.

It is at this school that Edgar and his colleague, Marilu Peck, wrote their book, recently published by Scholastic PressMultisensory Strategies, which is subtitled Lessons and Classroom Management Techniques to Reach and Teach All Learners. Taking advantage of the different ways children (and everyone

else) perceive and process the worldinternal and external sensory perceptionsinstructors are advised about how to make use of visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic sensory engagement to teach. Though auditory and visual stimuli probably constitute 90 per cent of learning, the touching and manipulating of sandpaper letters is an example of how tactile and kinesthetic modes can be used to teach reading.

This discussion of what can be done, and what is being done to help children learn was enlightening and also encouraging.


August 23, 2005

Opening the meeting, President Anurag Sharma announced that, in anticipation of Amherst’s 350th anniversaryin 2008he was studying the history of the town. The ground rumbled a bit beneath his feet as it was argued that Amherst would be a mere 249 years old in 2008, having been declared as a separate and distinct district of Hadley only on February 13, 1759. Well Anurag whipped from his vest pocket notes describing the original deed, signed December 25, 1658, for land which included aforesaid Amherst—“all the grounds, woods, ponds, waters, meadows, trees stones, etc.” this side of the “Quencticot River” The price tag, incidentally, was some two hundred fathom of wampum, a large coat, and miscellaneous smaller tokens.

It struck me that this friendly disagreement, really a matter of point of view rather than of dispute, was perfectly in character: the synthesis of an Amherst Moment.


Harry Brooks’ guest was his wife who has just graduated from law school.


Lois Barber, just returned from her three-day watercolor class in Maine.

(Her pictures, set out on a table, are lovely.) Joann Chandler and her husband are celebrating their 50th anniversary.

On this sunny, fall-like day Jackie Price reminded us that, in the cold, dark days of winter (too soon) to come we’ll be wanting something to occupy our time, such as working on a Love Notes committee.


Ellen Story has lived in Amherst for thirty-three years and has been our State Representative for thirteen. The only problem is that her job keeps her in Boston on Tuesdays. Although she can’t make our meetings now, she’s an honored past member of the Amherst Club. And it’s great to have her fill us in on the State House scene.

Speaker Charles Flaherty named Thomas Finneran chair of the powerful Ways and Means Committee before Ellen arrived at the House of Representatives. In

1996 Flaherty had to resign after pleading guilty to federal tax fraud charges. From his activities on Ways and Means Ellen knew that Finneran was not the person she’d like to see as Speaker, but Finneran was a deal-maker, and with the help of 32 Republicans (though not the majority of his own

party) Finneran got the job of Speaker. He resigned this year and was quickly indicted for committing perjury and obstructing justice. The new Speaker, Salvatore F. DiMasi is more laid back than his predecessor, who was a micro-manager.

“The mood in the State House now is calm and anticipatory,” Ellen observes.

Everyone is waiting to find out what the situation with the Governor will be. She believes Mitt Romney will not run again for Governor but will run for President. As to Democratic gubernatorial candidates, keep an eye on Deval Patrick. He grew up in a poor, black Chicago family, won a scholarship to Milton Academy, went to Harvard and Harvard Law School. He served in the Clinton administration and is a high-powered Boston attorney.

Rep. Story gave us a very interesting commentary on the stem cell research bill which finally passed in the House earlier this year. The Senate had passed a stem cell research bill two years in a row, but Tom Finneran would not allow it to come to a vote in the House. Discussion of the bill created an extraordinary situation in which, Ellen discovered, most of her male colleagues did not know the difference between an egg and an embryo. But that was not the only problem: “Here we were, talking about eggs, and not a single woman was involved in writing the legislation.”

Opportunity for a stem cell research vote in the House came in March, once DiMasi was Speaker. And it happened that the yearly caucus of women legislators took place on Tuesday, March 29, 2005. This is a get-together of women with diverse opinions who ordinarily would not agree on anything, but in that meeting they did agree not to support the bill under consideration until they had their questions answered.

That night Ellen received a call from the strongly anti-choice John Rogers, chair of Ways and Means under Finneran and, more recently, DiMasi’s competition for the Speaker’s post. Rogers told her he’d heard that some women have a problem with the stem cell research bill. He said that he had

67 votes and that if she could deliver the women they could join forces to defeat the bill. Earlier that day, however, the Speaker’s office had already and quickly been open and responsive to the women’s concerns and answered their questions. Still, the events had an unprecedented

significance: “That was the first time the women’s caucus was treated as a serious voting bloc,” Ellen said. And let’s hope the distinction between egg and embryo is now clear to one and all.

On Thursday, March 31, the House voted 117-37 in favor of a stem cell research bill, a day after the Senate had approved it 35-2.

Ellen’s extremely interesting insider’s account touched on other significant issues as wide ranging as same sex marriage and the reasons for and problems with the recent back-to-school buying boycott of Wal-Mart. And we were alerted to expect that this fall the House will take up the questions of health care and raising the minimum wage as well as indexing it to the cost of living.

Ellen now has two important committee assignments; she serves on the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development as Vice Chair, and is also on the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse.


August 16, 2005

The tempo is changing. How can you tell? I don’t know, you just can. People are back who had been gone a long time (e.g. Nigar Khan, Walter Denny), or a shorter time (e.g. Anurag Sharma), while the absence of people who aren’t there, e.g. Susie Lowenstein and Michael Greenebaum is apparent. Especially because I wanted to thank Michael for last week’s newsletter. (Although just when you think it’s safe to feel irreplaceable you are reminded you aren’t!)

Anurag was back from Hawaii wearing the most beautiful Hawaiian shirt I’ve ever seen. Aloha, he said, and presented assorted facts about the island so far away that it earned him 10,000 frequent flyer miles. Hawaii is 122 islands, 8 of which are major. A gallon of milk is $6. And Pearl Harbor is a great harbor, well protected from attack by sea. Air attack is another matter. But consider this: the US base there was granted in exchange for Hawaiian sugar entering the US duty free.


Nancy Brose invited three of her grandchildren, all musicians.

June Farmer’s friend, Lois Barber’s sister, and Bill Hart’s new law partner were also guests.


Harry Brooks reminded that Love Notes sign-up continues.

Nigar Kahn mentioned her travels to India, Pakistan, Arabia and South Africa.

Walter Denny distributed the Arcadia Players Newsletter and program, one highlight of which is the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 on November 11 (Saint Mary’s Church, Northampton). Another great event is the Arcadia Players tour to Istanbul Music Festival in June 2006their thirdled by Professor Denny himself.


Dick Mudgett introduced Horace Clarence Boyer, Professor Emeritus and performer of gospel music, and it most assuredly was the “do not miss” event that Michael had predicted in last week’s newsletter.

Boyer told the legend of a town in such distress that the elders went to plead their case before the lord. God was merciful and soon the trees bore fruit, the fields could be worked and were fertile, and the inn received travelers who were glad to be there. All the people in the town were happy at their good fortune and forgot about God.

God waited for their thanks, which never came. And so the town lost its bounty. And the people in the town wondered, Was there no balm in Gilead?

Well this, Boyer said, was the kind of story the slaves heard and then sang, “There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole.” They sang it while picking cotton, carrying babies, threshing corn. Songs to heal the sin-sick soul. This body of sacred folk songs came from the Old Testament where the God of Abraham was stern and harsh.

When he was a kid, Boyer said, there was a tin tub in the kitchen where he got his weekly bath, but he didn’t wash his hair. So he got sores, called tethes (however it might be spelled), and then his mother got an awful smelling ointment, a salve for his soresin the book of Jeremiah God calls itthe salvea balm.

Now there are “sorrow songs,” sacred folk songs to express sad feelings, with phrases like “sometimes I feel like a motherless child.” Or think, as W. E. B. Du Bois said, of songs like “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” that express thoughts about how life might get so awful that death is preferable. And think also of Horace Boyer playing these songs on his electric piano, and talking about them, how they came about, how the melody rises and falls, and what they mean.

And then think of the Abolitionists, the people who said that “one soul cannot hold another soul in bondage,” and the Emancipation Proclamation, and songs about it being a great gettin’ up mornin’. . . and that there’s a better day a’comin.’ “Now they call that a jubilee,” said Boyer, also tracing jubilees to the Old Testament.

From sorrow songs to jubilees these songs make up the first music created from this land. “We call it American music,” Boyer says, “it is our great contribution to the world.”

And then we ALL ended up singing with him, singing in full voice that soon, very soon, we were going to see the Kingthree refrains, and then we sang Hallelujah! Imagine that!

Next week: Rep. Ellen Story

August 30: Edgar McIntosh, author of a new book on teaching


August 9, 2005

Our splendid newsletter editor escaped this week, so I am doing my best to substitute. Actually, both our president and president-elect

were also among the missing, so Larry Siddell presided with aplomb.

Actually, those absent missed a marvelous presentation of both archaeology and the scholarly imagination at work, but more about that shortly.

First, Larry read a poem by the Persian mystic, Runi, and it felt just right in these unsettled and betwixt times we live in. Vivienne Carey and Roger Webb introduced their guest, John Root, musician and performer well-known and well-loved in senior centers and other gatherings in the area.

Harry Brooks reminded members to sign up for a Love Notes committee and to do it soon before Jacqui Price returns to apply some strong- arm tactics.

Bobbye Hertzbach has returned from her travels safe and sound, although she was in London during the second scare.

Jim Scott urged members to visit Focus on the Range at the Summit House on Mt. Holyoke.

Miriam Dayton announced a book signing by Ted Sargeant at the Jeffery Amherst Bookshop this Saturday, August 13th at 1 o'clock. Members will recall that Ted spoke to us several months ago about Elaine Goodell Eastman and the house "Lodestone," in which Miriam now resides.

Tina Berins is still seeking hospitality hosts for international students.. Hosts may offer them a meal, take them to an event or enjoy an afternoon or evening with them. Offering living accommodations is not what she is looking for.

Bonnie Isman is looking for knitting needles to use in the repair and binding of books at the Jones Library.

And somehow that feels like an appropriate segue into our speaker's presentation. Glen Gordon introduced Professor Elizabeth Chilton from the UMass Department of Anthropology. She received her PhD from UMass and then taught at Harvard for five years, returning to UMass four years ago. Glen claims that he enticed her back because she is a soprano who could sing with VLO, but today's presentation made it clear that she is outstanding in her field.

And that field is the pre-contact native history in New England.

(Note the term "pre-contact." It is no longer appropriate or accurate to talk about "pre-history," a term freighted with cultural

bias.) Professor Chilton limited her presentation to the Connecticut Valley, and especially Deerfield, which has about 120 pre-contact

archeological sites. (There are 5000 such sites in Massachusetts.)

Paleoindians arrived in this area about 11,000 bp (another adjustment

- bp means before the present) after the glacial ice bergs melted in the Mississippi River. The second long period of pre-contact history is the archaic period, from 10000 to 3000 bp. Towards the end of

this period fish reappeared after the devastation of glaciation.

There is a major site in Hatfield from about 8000 bp. The third pre- contact period runs from 3000 to 400 bp and is known as the woodland period. There are experiments with horticulture but, unlike elsewhere, maize was a supplement to their diet, not a staple, and that is why we do not find evidence of large settlements in New England. Communities were still quite mobile, planting in the spring, moving on in the summer to find berries and nuts, and returning to harvest in the autumn.

Professor Chilton has a growing interest in the period of first contact between natives and Europeans, because the archaeological evidence and the historical evidence are frequently at odds. She illustrated her talks with photographs of artifacts and digs, and maps of then and now. She reminded us that although it is easy to imagine pre-contact peoples living only with arrowheads, spears and shards, they had a rich and elaborate culture which scholars try to deduce from the limited physical remains that have survived the millenia.

Next week: Horace Clarence Boyer - a "do not miss" event

Michael Greenebaum


August 2, 2005

Thought for today: What about valet parking?

Anurag in Hawaii, Carolyn Holstein started the meeting with choice lines about summer from sources as various as Shakespeare and Ulysses S. Grant.

She included the 13th century ditty, “Summer is icumen in,/Lhude sing cuccu!” by Anon. Its counterpointlest we forgetEzra Pound’s “Winter is icumen in/ Lhude sing Goddamm,/ Raineth drop and staineth slop,/ And how the wind doth ramm!/ Sing: Goddamm.”


Jim Scott, briefly home from Maine, had a guest (Nina).


Updated membership forms now available at meetings or from Rachel Mustin or Isolde Stein. A membership campaign has begun and all are encouraged to invite at least one potential guest between now and Christmas.

Jackie Price distributed sign-up sheets for Love Notes. Please sign-up, and please think of particular talents you might contribute. For example, are you good at design and layout?

Our new website at is ready, Roger Webb announced. I checked it out and it’s terrific. Take a look.


In introducing Virginia Senders Michael Greenebaum noted that everybody in the club seems already to know her. But many people may not know about her striking credentials: studied at Mount Holyoke, Ph.D. Harvard in Experimental Psychology, clinical psychology at McLean Hospital and Brandeis. She has taught at several colleges. At the University of Minnesota she co-founded the first (1959), largest, and broadest in scope programs for women’s continuing education, and she was on President Kennedy’s Commission on the Status of Women. In 1986 Ginny moved to Western Mass to join the Sirius Community where she is still an Associate Member.

Before Ginny began speaking she distributed a survey with questions about what we believe will happen when we die. I wonder how many people would fill it out differently after hearing her talk.

“Intimations of Immortality: the Near Death Experience ” was her title for a topic that is huge, important, and crucial, as Ginny describes it. She approaches it as a rational, investigative thinker who is looking at responsibly collected data. She presented some of the data, and some of the collected reports of people who have had near death episodes and have described their out-of-body experiencesOBEs. In terms of remembered sensations there is great similarity in the descriptions: unbelievably bright light that changes into a figure and speaks, always in a male voice.

Old friends, something like a slide show of one’s life, and an ability to understand the experiences of others. Beautiful colors, heavenly music. A sense of peace, and of a moment when a choice is made to return to the living or not. Our knowledge is one-sided, but those who come back to tell of their experience are often remorseful about having to abandon the paradise they were on the verge of entering.

The Near Death Experience has tremendous philosophical repercussions on the famous and infamous mind/body question. It is true that brain scans detect no brain function during cardiac arresta condition of the NDEbut isn’t it possible that there are, as yet, no means to measure the source and content of NDEs?

The Near Death Experience also has enormous personal implications when one asks the question Ginny asks: Would you live your life any differently if you knew, beyond any doubt that youyour mind, your experience, your consciousnesswould go on forever? That, in itself, could be a life-changing question.

Although Ginny has not had an OBE, she has had a life-changing experience that has had similarly profound spiritual effect.


Next week: Elizabeth Chilton, Professor of Anthropology, UMass:

Digging in Deerfield

August 16 Horace Clarence Boyer, Professor Emeritus and

performer of gospel

August 23 Rep. Ellen Story

August 30 Edgar McIntosh, author of a new book on teaching


July 26, 2005


Michael Greenebaum and Nancy Frazier brought guests.


Roger Webb and Vivienne Carey are celebrating their 20th anniversary today

Tina Berins has information about the Hospitality Program for new UMass Amherst students in which members of the community help students from all over the world become acclimated to the area. Hospitality may include an invitation to dinner, outings, partieshowever you conceive of the kindness of strangers. Ruth Hooke spoke of a long friendship she has developed with a Tibetan man and his family after having hosted him. This is the family that now owns the wonderful Lahsa Café in Northampton.

Harrison Gregg: Town clerk looking for poll workers for September 27. Pay is

$8 per hour.


Michael Greenebaum introduced Carol Kelly, who is married to former Club member Jim Kelly.

A certified Culinary Arts Instructor, Carol also volunteers with various programs that help feed the needy.

Carol began running the Culinary Arts Program at the Amherst High School three years ago. Known as a ProStart program, it is sponsored by the National Restaurant Association. The two-year program is for Juniors and Seniorsa maximum of 15/16 students per classand the comprehensive curriculum includes all aspects of culinary arts from sanitation and safety, to management, not to mention associated subjects such as mathematics, and language. Ethnic food, food artistry, and photographing food are topics of consideration. They have even looked at pictures of foods and tried to figure out the recipe.

Students are required to do 400 hours of paid internships; they have been placed at local restaurants, the Lord Jeff, Amherst Brewery, Old Hadleigh, and Blue Heron among them. Students cater events like a staff appreciation breakfast, a bake shop in the teachers’ lounge, and a wedding for some high school staff members. For a Renaissance Center job they did research on food of the period, had a Renaissance menu, and wore period costumes.

Though she now has a commercial setup, when Carol started at the high school there were six little individual cooking areas that made her think she was in Betty Crocker’s kitchen.

This culinary arts program is fascinating, and I was especially interested in the account of a student who submitted an entry in an apple pie contest run by this country’s premier cooking school, the Culinary Institute of America, also famously, if suspiciously, known as the CIA. The young man’s crust was chocolate and it had an apple cider ice cream filling with fresh apple garnish on top. Though he didn’t win the contest, he did win admission to the CIA. Unfortunately his recipe is not available. But I think one of the lessons that came out of Carol’s talk is that interest and imagination are advantageous in food preparation, so feel free to experiment.

Next week: Virginia Senders on Intimations of Immortality: the Near Death


August 9 Elizabeth Chilton, Professor of Anthropology, UMass

August 16 Horace Clarence Boyer, Professor Emeritus and

performer of gospel

August 23 Rep. Ellen Story

August 30 Edgar McIntosh, author of a new book on teaching


July 19, 2005

This is not a broken record. Forget what I said before. Today is the hottest and most humid of all, the WORST. But a WONDERFUL meeting nevertheless.

Tina Berins, Elsie Fetterman, and Nancy Frazier brought guests.

Harrison Gregg noted an upcoming September 9 town referendum regarding Plum Brook, and looking for people willing to oversee polling stations.

Roger Webb ordered a new computer that comes with a free (except for

shipping) printer that Roger doesn’t want. Bob Grose volunteered to take the printer. See how lucky you can be at the Amherst Club even when you don’t win the lottery.

Nancy Frazier asked if people who receive the newsletter by mail might like to get it by email, if that’s possible. But of course, that doesn’t apply to you.

She also put out the news that an understudy, or several, would be welcome for those infrequent times when she is unable to attend meetings. She emphasized the glory and prestige that accompanies the position.


Michael Greenebaum introduced Norton Juster, author of the immortal Phantom Tollbooth, and a wonderful new picture book for children, The Hello Goodbye Window, which has been named an honor book in 2005 Boston GlobeHorn Book Awards for Excellence in Children’s Literature.

Norton trained and worked as an architect, and described himself as an “accidental writer” whose second career started as a form of avoidance behavior. It was a very happy accident.

Fulbright scholar in pre-Beatles Liverpool , Navy man stationed first in steamy Morocco and then in foggy, icy Newfoundland, sheer boredom led him to begin writing and illustrating. Though when he hung his work up to dry in the converted LST in which he lived, and was chastised for “destroying morale:” That was not what sailors did, he was told.

Back in New York City he had a Ford Foundation grant to write a book on cities, but what he ended up writing was a story that a friend submitted to an editor and, before he knew it, he had a contract. That sort of thing could only happen to Norton Juster, and Ford didn’t even punish him for not writing the book he was supposed to write.

The description of the collaboration between Norton and Jules Feiffer, who illustrated the Phantom Tollbooth is a funny story about a battle of wits.

For example, unwilling to draw horses, Feiffer mounted an army on cats. It became a game: in answer to the things Feiffer didn’t like to do, Norton concentrated on including things the artist couldn’t do, such as demons, one short, one tall, and one both short and tall.

The Hello Goodbye Window is Norton’s first picture book, as opposed to a chapter book. The illustrations are colorful and lively and perfectly suited to the book. Not a story with a plot, it is, rather a “slice of life.” It has mood, and voice and an amazingly warm sense of the people who move through the house and look through the window. They are Norton and Jean Juster and their granddaughter. You come to know the three of them very well, and to like them very, very much indeed.

Upcoming Speakers:

Next week, Carol Kelly on Culinary Arts in Amherst Secondary Schools

August 2 Virginia Senders on Intimations of Immortality: the Near Death


August 9 Elizabeth Chilton, Professor of Anthropology, UMass

August 16 Horace Clarence Boyer, Professor Emeritus and

performer of gospel

August 23 Rep. Ellen Story

August 30 Edgar McIntosh, author of a new book on teaching



July 12, 2005

Anurag Sharma presiding announced the formation of the Love Notes allocations committee and anyone interested in being a member should contact Carolyn Holstein.

Last year the board recommended studying Club bylaws. The committee to date includes Anurag, Joan Hanson, Roger Webb, Lorraine Desrosiers, and Bill Hart. Others interested should contact Anurag.

Bill Hart announced he can’t use his two tickets and slots for dinner for the Mohawk Trail’s Balcom and Morris concert this Friday (July 15). If you are interested contact Ruth Miller.


Leslie Harris, Executive Director of the Dakin Animal Shelter (who is also a martial arts instructor).

Leslie gave a lively, humorous, and very interesting talk about the shelter.

She has been there since 1995 when it opened its doors. Now about 1200 animals pass through those doors per year.

Dakin has a “limited admission” policy: when there are no cages available, no animals are admitted. There is an emphasis on discovering causes of and cures for homeless animals.

The overpopulation of cats has been a huge problem and, she said only half humorously, they currently have a two-for-one adoption program. Most kittens come to the shelter as the offspring of free roaming cats found everywhere from barns to dumpsters. They are tackling the problem with an energetic spaying effort made possible by volunteer veterinarians and laypeople. The Feral Spay Sunday program offers free sterilization and vaccination for feral cats and barn cats throughout the community. The Goulet dairy farm, with 75 barn cats, was quite a challenge last year. Since the monthly Sunday program began in February 2002 over 2,000 cats have been neutered.

All pets should have identification collars, tags, or microchips. Every animal that leaves Dakin has an implanted microchip. When an animal is found chips are scanned by animal control officers, vets or at the shelter.

Dakin has a policy of matching animals and potential owners, and shelter staff work with “both ends of the leash,” as Leslie puts it. While they are “overrun” with cats, that is not so for dogs. And though local dogs do have priority, there are vacancies enough that the shelter is able to bring dogs import shelter dogs from the west and south where overpopulation of strays is severe. “Dixie Dogs” as the southern adoptees are called, are typically hound mixes and have the friendly, easy going personality traits of southerners in general. (What about the drawl?)

Other Dakin programs include foster care of a pet for an owner who is temporarily unable to care for his or her animal. Besides elderly and ill owners, Dakin provides a temporary home for animals owned by victims of domestic abuse who are reluctant to seek protective shelter for themselves when they fear their pet will suffer when they leave.

Concluding her talk Leslie spoke of ways in which we all can help the


Adopt your next pet.

Tell friends about shelter programs.

Give of your time, talent or treasure.

Next week’s speaker: Norton Juster on Writing Books for Children July 19 speaker: Carol Kelly on Culinary Arts in Amherst Secondary Schools



July 5, 2005

Back to hot and humid. Oh well.

Anurag Sharma presiding thanked Lois Barber for a wonderful year in which the Club was financially healthy and ties with the community were strengthened. Anurag presented Lois with a trivet of glass into which delicate leaves were embedded. He then read a Robert Frost poem, “The Armful” about trying to carry too many parcels at a time, the whole pile slipping, but doing one’s best. But it seems clear that our new president has a firm grip on things.

Sara Berger read a note from Jane Isenberg about husband Phil Tompkins who is doing “incredibly well” after surgery on May 11. “He now takes no PD meds, has relief from most symptoms, drives. It’s a miracle,” Jane writes.

Jane and Phil were members of the Club before they moved to Washington state.

Vivienne Carey showed a sample of our new Club directory with a bold red cover. Copies will be ready next Tuesday.

Bonnie Isman thanked everybody for contributions to the Jones library fund drive. The library is a breath away from its $40,000 goal.

Rachel Mustin’s daughter, Mally O’Hare, was her guest.


Dick Mudgett introduced Arthur Kinney who talked about Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” The play is in its last week of performance by the Hampshire Shakespeare Company at The Hartsbrook School in Hadley. Walter Carroll plays Julius Caesar in a production that is, Arthur notes, close to how it would have been staged during Shakespeare’s time.

Arthur spoke of England’s attachment to Rome (rather than Greece) because of the legendary founding of England by an ancestor of Brutus. Brutus, fascinating in many ways, is especially so in his discussion with Cassius, early in the play, about the impossibility of seeing oneself other than by reflection. Cassius presumes to act as Brutus’s mirror. Brutus is also complex in his later soliloquy when he contemplates the crowning and the death of Caesar. This is a strange speech which, Arthur says, is about Brutus himself, not about Caesar. Portrayed as a weakened leader trying to preserve his authority, Caesar may be understood as representing the then ailing Queen Elizabeth. As a consideration of her possible successor, the play becomes a contemplation of England’s own politics and, Arthur commented, might have cut “close to the bone.” And it may still cut close, for those who choose to read Julius Caesar in the context of, say, our own times. So, catch the play if you can.

Next week July 12: Leslie Harris on the Dakin Animal Shelter.



June 28, 2005

Hot, humid, rainy.

Lois Barber conducted this last meeting in June which was also the Annual General Meeting and the changing of the guard. After reading three poems, Lois presented certificates of thanks to members who had served the club over the past year. She had inscribed the certificates with a fine calligraphic hand.

Club members thanked Lois for her splendid stewardship.

Secretary Joan Hanson presented her report, which mentioned the board’s long and full discussions of membership. Elsie Fetterman asked about whether potential new members should be told that they are being considered for membership or not. Answer: that people need to know, and it shouldn’t be kept a secret. “I never did,” said Elsie of the independent spirit.

Treasurer Bill Ritter’s gave his report. He was asked for a brief description of the endowment account, and spoke the intent of building it over the next ten years to the point where it will earn enough income that the club can use it for donations.

Lorraine Desrosiers gave an impromptu, anecdotal description of the ups and downs of being in charge of Nominations.

It was announced that Kathleen Scott has agreed to serve as Archivist, and Bonnie Isman said she’d be Co-Archivist.

The meeting went on to general discussion of the club’s membership, mission, public activities and social activities. We touched on whether or not the club was moving away from it’s original intent to serve the most needy, or whether the broad description of “service to the community” and its “general welfarei,” as expressed in the club’s mission statement, includes serving a wider spectrum of need.

A number of ideas and suggestions were floated, from having speakers who address broad questions to having a boating party and/or an evening of singing at someone’s house.

Having deftly overseen a spirited meeting, Lois brought it to a close right on time.

End note:

Since having taken over the newsletter several weeks ago I still haven’t figured out how to get all the addresses of members who want to receive it by email into my email system. I’m working on it.

Nancy Frazier


June 21, 2005

First day of summer!

Sandy Riggs’ guest was Gayle Lauradunn, a former Amherst Club member.

Ruth Black introduced Carolyn Gold, sculptor and painter, who was inducted as a new member.

Announcement: Michael Greenebaum, chair of the program committee, placed "Ask Your Neighbor" flyers on each table. Members are asked to help with the next year’s program by asking a friend or neighbor with a story to tell about job, travel, hobby, or special interest to speak to the Club this coming year.

Honore introduced Janet Sadler who is currently a marketing consultant for Yellow Barn. She also teaches writing workshops at Amherst College. Janet then introduced her neighbor, Aggie Williams, who lives in Sunderland. Janet helped Aggie organize all her material into a book "Legacy of Love. The Story of Walter and Ruth Williams and the Williams Farm."

Aggie’s talk was titled "Why I dropped everything and decided to write a memoir."

Aggie married a handsome, young farmer named Jim in

1946 and they went to live upstairs in his parents’

1771 farmhouse in Sunderland. Shortly thereafter, Jim’s grandfather and parents died, leaving him to run the family farm. Since Jim’s parents died at the age of 52, Aggie wanted to acquaint her children with their grandparents, Ruth and Walter. She finally wrote this book, with Jan’s coaching, after 50 years of good intentions. Reading from her book, Aggie acquainted us with the family, farm activities, and historical background of the late 1920’s and early 30’s. Mt.Toby Farm is located on North Main Street in Sunderland.

Aggie was able to make the Williams’ family farm story come together through their diaries, letters, and pictures.

Lorraine Derosiers won the wine.

Harrison Gregg won the money raffle.

Jan Sadler had donated 2 tickets to a Yellow Barn concert and Ann MacIntosh won that raffle.


June 14, 2005

Hot and humid, humid, humid. (Where are the snows of yesteryear?)

By my count Sara (Sandy) Berger has read 27 mysteries over the past four months. They are reviewed in the just published summer issue of Mysterious

Women: A Quarterly Newsletter for Fans of Women Mystery Writers. Other readers contributed ten additional reviews.

This is the third year Sandy has published the newsletter and she writes, “I am amazed and delighted at the number of mystery books written by women. “ The reviews are great fun to read. Sandy’s home page is

Vivienne Carey is putting together the new Amherst Club Directory and is distributing current information for your approval. Be sure to review and return your entry to Vivienne.

If you still have last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine handy, take another look at the photo spread in the Style section. Lois Barber’s son is among the group of friends dispatched to a Mexican beach for a photo shoot featuring swimsuits.

Speaker: Niels la Cour, Senior Planner in the Amherst Planning Department.

La Cour presented an overview of the planning process and series of illustrations of the “build out analysis” for Amherst. This process looks at all the town land and subtracts from it all that cannot be developed, from rivers, ponds, wetlands and steep slopes, to what is already developed, or is limited by other constraints such as a farm preservation designation.

What is left? Surprisingly, 4,000 acres in Amherst remain buildable. Parsing that, the potential population increase for the town is 38%, or 8,000 new residents.

One specific potential development site is at Atkins Corner, and la Cour showed proposals for that project. It will be discussed at the Thursday, June 16, 7:00 p.m. forum at Grace Church.

Next week: Janet Sadler, Why I Dropped Everything and Wrote a Memoir.


June 7, 2005

Speaker : Melinda McIntosh, Microforms Reference Librarian at the W.E.B. Du Bois Library at UMass.

Subject:: 1930 United States Federal Census.

Notes: Susie Lowenstein.

In 1930 Hoover was president, 5 million people were out of work, Grant Wood painted American Gothic, and Babe Ruth’s salary was $80,000 for the year.

That year’s US census was the 15th and on April 1, 123.2 million people were interviewed. Census takers knocked on doorsevery home was visited, nothing was mailed. It was the last time all Americans answered the same questions.

The census cost 5 cents per person.

Twelve million people owned radios in 1930. One person out of every five lived on a farm, the first time more people lived in cities than on farms.

The census is our most complete record of a given time. The 1930 census provides an overall picture of The Depression.


May 31, 2005

Lois Barber read “Welcome Morning,” a short poem by Anne Sexton. It included a line about the “chapel of eggs I eat each morning,” an image that is still cooking in my mind.

June Farmer returned, recovered from pneumonia and looking very well. Great to see her.

Tina Berins’s guest , Laura Reichsman of Family Outreach of Amherst noted the second annual Light Up the Night benefit for Family Outreach of Amherst,

Friday, June 17: buffet with Stan Rosenberg’s Tantalizing Tiramisu, music

of Cathy Bennett, dancing, and a silent auction.

Thanks to Susie Lowenstein for the great party last week (Nancy Brose).


Hamshire Choral Society June 5, all Handel concert at John M Greene Hall.

Possible pre-concert supper for July 15 Balcom-Morris. Contact Ruth Miller

Lois announced Lisa’s last day as lunch server. Lisa, who thought she’d been called out due to a spill, graciously received a bouquet of flowers. And we were reassured that we hadn’t driven her away. “I have four sons,” she said, “and I’m going to keep a close eye on them this summer.”

HarryBrooks introduced a new member, Dr. Irving P. Rothberg, a native of Philadelphia, World War II veteran, active in town government and, as Harry said, “a gentleman and a scholar.”


Sara Wolff, moved to Amherst in 1970 and took an active part in the Women’s Movement. Returning to school she earned a doctorate, and became a Licensed Psychologist. She worked in health services from 1976 to 1996.

Sara is writing a book based on the experiences of a therapy and support group she started in 1994 for women from 70 to 93 who were isolated and mildly depressed. “And I want to say right here,” Sara stressed, “I think there is a great deal of confusion between normal aging and pathology. I think this confusion gets perpetuated and marketed by everyone from drug manufacturers, to newsletters for the over-fifties, to those marketing retirement living.”

Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, the group was meant to run for six weeks but was so successful that it continued to meet every Monday morning for seven years. As it developed over the years this “Vital Aging” group was composed of twelve or fourteen women and an occasional man. Conversation ranged over concerns of living our lives as we age and included dealing with losses, with grandchildren, and developing strategies to cope with problems (e.g.

losing the car in a parking lot). Difficult topics such as leaving bodies for research were met head-on. “I, myself, was quite upset and unprepared for this discussion,” Sara said. But one member, “Marge,” a 1932 Smith College grad, proudly announced she’d donated her body to Harvard . (Later changed the beneficiary to UMass Medical School. )

Marge also commented that, “the group was better for depression than Zoloft.” Sounds like a great book is developing.

Next week’s speaker: June-7-Melinda McIntosh - the 1930 Census



May 24, 2005

Grey,cold, rainy. Lois Barber began the meeting by reading a poem by Richard Brautigan, “It’s Raining In Love.”

Guest: Jean Miller introduced Pat Templin (please excuse any misspelled

names) who was also inducted as a new member. Jean met Pat on a University Women’s bus trip. Pat was a management consultant with her own company.

Honoré David introduced Aremis Romell mother of today’s speaker and president of the Amherst Women’s club.

Reminders: July 15 Balcom-Morris concert, let Ruth Miller know if you want

to attend.

Amherst Ballet at Fine Arts Center this Saturday.

Amherst Survival Center call for furniture for its sale this weekend. Call Center for pickup.

Art Show opening downtown.

Note: Michael Greenebaum, incoming program organizer is starting a steering

committee to help him discover hidden talents.

Kathleen Scott says new name tags are ready, so look. (I will.)

Speaker: Connie Herbert, independent reading specialist, national

consultant and author of Catch a Falling Reader described new ideas and strategies for the teaching of reading. It is in first grade that children with reading problems can be most successfully “caught.” The boy pictured on the cover of Herbert’s book is an Amherst student Herbert herself helped out of the prison of self-doubt and presumed failure. He was, she announced, delighted to see his picture on the cover of her book.

Herbert operates The Read/Write Place in West Springfield where she evaluates children’s reading, writing, and spelling levels and makes recommendations for school and home support.

Party: So, the theme of the day was raining and love, and it happened that

Susie Lowenstein’s lawn party, which was wonderful looking outside from inside as it would have been vice versa, was on theme. Great food, great gang, good friends and good gossip: Honoré reported that Chuck Close’s portrait of John Roy (super artist and husband of former club member Marge

Roy) was recently sold by Sotheby for $4.8 million. Some people remember when Close, who taught, with John at UMass, painted a nude that was exhibited in the student union. Recollection has it that the chancellor, offended by the picture, closed the exhibit down. Close, even more offended, quit. Chick Close is now world renowned, but we can’t even remember the name of the chancellor.

Gossip is another word for news. Hub and Linda Smith and yours truly decided that the way to make this newsletter read by members is to perk it up with good gossip. Send your club related tidbits to

Next week’s speaker: May 31- Sarah Wolff  “So What Do You Need to Know About Aging?”



May 17, 2005

Another beautiful spring day.

Lois Barber read a lovely poem, Numbers, by Mary Cornish from the book Poetry 180. First line:

“I like the generosity of numbers.”

Guest: Dick Mudgett’s fellow marine, Kevin English.


Jim Scott: reminder that Summit House exhibition focusing on the Holyoke Range begins this Thursday.

Doris Holden: reminder that magazines are needed for the hospital.

Sandy Parent: next Tuesday’s final brown bag luncheon to benefit Historical Society.

Ruth Miller: brought lilacs and says that, at home, she has “tons” of lilacs to share. Talk about the generosity of numbers.

Ruth Hooke: reminder six raging grannies at Pathways Cohousing in Florence, talking about their trip to Haiti.

Kathleen Scott: application forms for membership now available.

Minutes, Amherst Club Board Meeting Tuesday, May 10.

Joan Hanson read the minutes. Including:

Amherst Tree Initiative has raised $325 toward the matching grant of $500 from the Amherst Club for the beech tree that was planted on the Amherst Common on Arbor day.

Membership matters: Patricia Templin and Irving P. Rothberg nominated and approved.

Larry Jackson resigned, citing busy schedule. Nigar Kahn and David Scott becoming associate members. Board hopes to reach young people “in order to add more balance to the age groups within our membership.”

Women’s Club has offered space to the Amherst Club for a potluck party in the fall.

The Annual General Meeting of the Club will be at luncheon of June 28.

Nomination Committee: Slate of officers, 2005-2006:

President: Anurag Sharma

Vice President: Carolyn Holstein

Secretary/Clerk: Joan Hanson

Treasurer: Bill Ritter

Registrar: Vivienne Carey

Membership: Rachel Mustin

Activities: Ruth Miller, Sandy Parent

Program: Michael Greenebaum

Attendance: Jean Miller

Love Notes: Jackie Price, Harry Brooks

Webmaster: Roger Webb

Newsletter: Nancy Frazier

Nominations: Arthur Kinney

Phyllis Lehrer and Merilee Hill agree to share responsibility for bringing wine each week.

NB. Tuesday, June 7, 4:00 p.m. Archive organizing at Renaissance Center.

Please bring archival material or give material to a Board member.

By a vote of 6 yes, 1 no, it was decided to appoint a club member to the Board of Directors on an ad hoc basis for the purpose of organizing a booth at the Amherst Town Fair.

Speaker: Dick Mudgett about Iwo Jima.

A self-proclaimed rebel from Boston, Dick signed up at sixteen and went into the marines at seventeen. He spoke of his experiences on Guam and the massive attack on Iwo Jima in which the participated. He landed there on February 21, 1945, two days after the initial assault.

Dicks description of what he saw and did was vivid and moving, from the coarse black volcanic sand on the beach to the two flag raisings on Iwo Jima, to the “most terrible” recollection from Guam: coming upon the bodies of comrades who had been beheaded.

He added a wonderful touch of humor when telling about a fierce firefight during which he turned to his buddy and confessed, “Gee, I’m really scared.”

“So am I, “ said his friend, “but I don’t feel like discussing it with you now.”

Next week: Sarah WolffSo What Do You Need to Know About Aging?


May 10, 2005

The most beautiful spring day.

Lois Barber read Julia Ward Howe’s Mothers’ Day proclamation of 1870, an amazing document. Howe asked for the appointment of a General Congress of Women dedicated to amicable settlement of international questions, united in opposition to war, and working for peace.

Item: Zina Tillona’s guest was Ann Foley.


A sign-up sheet for set-up volunteers and food contributions for Susan Lowenstein’s May 24 garden party4:00 to 6:00.

Jim Scott announced an exhibit of some 500 images on “The Range” opening Thursday, May 19 at the Summit House. Don David has an image in the show.

Jean Moss was in an auto accident and is recovering at Bay State.

Ruth Miller noted a sign-up sheet for those who want to attend the Friday, July 17 Bolcom and Morris concert. They present “The Tops” of American Theater and Cabaret. (Mohawk Trail Concerts)

Ruth Black alerted us to an event in July presenting music associated with George Sand and Emily Dickinson.

Catherine Fair described Ballet Stories to be presented May 28 and May 29 at the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall. Amherst Ballet will premier an original adaptation of stories from the Barefoot Book of Ballet Stories by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple, with illustrations by Rebeca Guay.


Ian Watson, Artistic Director of Arcadia Players, is a harpsichordist, pianist and conductor as well as a prize winning organ player. Watson spoke about the significance of playing Baroque and Classical music on antique instruments, or reproductions of antique instruments, as the Arcadia Players do. Those antiques have a very distinct sound, unlike contemporary instruments, and provide a different experience from both an academic and an emotional perspective. “True authenticity lies in the spirit of the music and in the age,” Watson said.

On Sunday, June 26, you can hear the Arcadia Players at the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies. There will be a performance at 6:00, followed by a Pot Luck supper and an auction to benefit Arcadia Players.

Supper reservations 256-4888.

Next week: Dick Mudgett on Iwo Jima