December 19


Thanks to Nancy Brose for today's notes

The president, Carolyn Holstein opened the meeting with a poem by Richard Wilbur, "Asides";it described winter, the changing of seasons and had been introduced to her by member, Lorraine Desrosiers.

Carolyn confessed that the e-mail that had been circulated under the name M. Greenbaum (or Greenebaum?) which related to Love Notes, desecrating it and calling it "stupid" was not generated by her or by anyone in our Club.  In fact, Michael G. claimed, "I only use the name 'stupid' when I refer to politicians!"

Many e-mails were referred to the president regarding the poor audio system, requesting a new microphone.  Larry Siddall who knows the audio system well was not present.  No volunteers willing to take on the project of a new microphone stepped forward.

Club Announcements:

1) Bonnie Isman announced the Jones Library Christmas policy.  A gift of food for the homeless would eradicate overdue fines during the holiday.
2) Vivian Carey has a toboggan which would hold three grandchildren she is offering to whomever.
3) Sarah Berger has a stroller she'd like to offer a grandparent.
4) Mike Greenebaum has a new grandson born December 13th named Nicolas Vidali.

Harry Brooks introduced Stephanie O'Keefe, a writer who created a website entitled:In  Life, news and the pursuit of happiness in Amherst, Massachusetts.


Nancy Brose introduced Annie Cheatham, who owned and ran  Annie's Garden Shop in North Amherst from 1982 until 1994.  She came to Amherst from Washington, D. C. where she had been the Director of the Congressional Clearing House on the Future under Al Gore..  She currently is a candidate for our State of Massachusetts Commissioner of Agriculture.Annie's new role is that of Director of the Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture:  A Commitment to Farm and Community Development.  We all have seen her "Be a Local Hero; Buy Locally Grown" signs in grocery stores or bumper stickers on local autos.  The shift in perception about farming to "the greatest activity that takes place" has been a counter-reaction to what 
once was regarded as "cute" or "pretty" by the average person.Farmers are under tremendous pressure to make profits, to protect their farms and their occupations which are not only strenuous but desirable because of their nature.  They like what they do!Her illustration was Chase Hill in Warwick, a 200 acre dairy farm with 100 head of cattle.Jeanette's ingenuity in producing cheese (cheddar, chevre, etc.) with her own label is now sold in places like Atkins Farm.  She and husband Mark started pasturing their cattle and "drying off"their animals so that they can have a break.  Jeanette also quilts and shows 
at local fairs.  Folks come from Boston to purchase their "raw milk".This couple is "trying to build a life that makes sense", Annie testifies, while not building a huge bank account.

Another aspect of Annie's work is that of coordinating efforts in the five college community.UMass has elected to invest a million dollars in local produce.  They tap local sources for food in their 21 kitchens, attempting to purchase 20% of their food from local farms.  Amherst college is committed to 10-15% local produce.Consumers are responding.  Schools are responding.  In a recent poll 65% of those interviewed admitted to the power of the slogan and 75% agreed that bumper stickers caught their attention.

Farmers with woodlands, heretofore selling to Canada in order to produce lumber have begun a Woodlands Cooperative, supplying Greenfield and Northampton Rugg Lumber customers.  In fact, Kuhn and Riddle were able to supply the new Amherst Cinema Building floors with local lumber.

What can we do to enhance the value of the CISA initiative?  We can write letters to the Editor about issues with long-range buying (onions, spinach, etc.) and the need for increasing the availability of local produce in our markets.  We need to seek the attention of managers of our local markets.  The Whole Foods produce manager has the authority to buy 10% locally, for 
exampleQuestions were raised about the quality of farms in the Valley.  Yes, Annie replied, we have soil that is the best in the world.As for sustainable energy(another question), CISA is holding solar and wind workshops.  UMass Extension Services presented a series of workshops this past summer.Annie introduced prospective buyers to the blankets woven by Peggy Hart of the wool from Bramble Hill Farm.

December 12, 2006

President Carolyn Holstein has been wrestling with and preoccupied by household plumbing problems. Though her search for a poem on that topic was unsuccessful, I would like to offer her a paraphrase of some lines by her favorite poet, Emily Dickinson:

If I can stop one pipe from bursting,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can stop one valve the leaking  . . .

Michael Wolff, welcomed back after a long absence, was Elsie Fetterman's guest.
Other guests were invited by Eileen Vincent, Trudy Darity and Nancy Brose.

Jacquie Price  pointed out that the Home Magazine section of the Gazette featured an interview with Elsie Fetterman, and photos of the single  floor  addition she made to her house-a comfortable option should she become incapacitated.

"No," said Phyllis Lerher when she handed us our envelopes with tickets to be sold for Love Notes, "this is not a wedding invitation." Time to polish your sales pitch.

Jim Scott added that checks and cash received for sold tickets should be handed over to him or to Roger Webb.

Nancy Foster has a Petition to Repeal the Military Commission Act of 2006. The petition was initiated by the Pioneer Valley Coalition Against Secrecy & Torture.

Ruth Miller says we all should pat ourselves on our backs: we raised $1420.50 at last week's auction. She thanked Bill Hart for his stupendous auctioneering and presented him with a medal.

Hub Smith added that three people in the room today still owed $90 of the above total. Bill Hart himself immediately leapt up and paid his portion of that debt.


Jim Scott introduced Johan Brongers who was born and raised in The Netherlands and is now Vice President and Treasurer of Hampshire College, a position he has held for the past seven years.

After thanking Jim for not introducing him as Hampshire's "Money Man," as frequently happens, Johan gave a brief synopsis of the growth of Hampshire where the current enrolment is about 1350 students. While that's a strong number, their board of directors is concerned with finding strategies that will bolster the school's financial position. To this end Hampshire has been 
partnering with cultural institutions-the Yiddish Book Center and the Eric Carle Museum-and more recently with a developer who will build a residential community, called Veridian Village,  on their land.

Though Hampshire is "cash poor," it owns some 850 acres which makes the school "land rich."In all cases the school develops only land on the periphery of the college and leaves land in the core academic area undeveloped. They also want to preserve most of their agricultural and open space. Where they do build, they want to uphold green concepts in their designs.

Veridian Village, which will be across from the main entrance to the college, is to be an early retirement community keyed to the interests of people from about fifty-five to seventy-two years old. It will be on a 54-acre-site. Buildings will take advantage of sunlight and radiant heat. They will also be clustered so as to maximize the area's open space: two-thirds of the total acreage will be left undeveloped and preserved as a natural habit for the spotted turtles and lots of other animals which are already tracking through.

There will be bus routes and stops, safe means of crossing the busy street, and a bike/foot path to Atkins market. It has long been an goal of the town to create a kind of village center at the Atkins Farm corner.

The financial advantage to the college  will be gained by leasing  land to the developer. People will buy and own their homes, but the college will continue to own the land.

For more information on this project I refer you to:

December 5, 2006


(There was no newsletter for last week's meeting-during which Love Notes committees met-though Anne McIntosh wishes everyone to know that Love Notes 2007 will start at 7:30 p.m.)

Carolyn Holstein opened this week's meeting with a poem about snow because, yes, because it snowed, briefly but seriously, for the first time this season!

And Carolyn inducted new member Ed Kozcur, a branch manager of People's Bank who lives in Ware, is interested in horses and is a collector (!).

June Farmer is at the Center for Extended Care, room 72, telephone 253-7459. Cards, calls and visitors are welcome.

Jones Library, December 12 at 7 p.m. Archer Mayor reads from his latest mystery, "Second Mouse."

Guests, Cynthia Brubaker-Marybeth Bridegam, Nancy Frazier-Jack Frazier.


Beautifully, VERY BEAUTIFULLY, choreographed  by Ruth Miller and Lorraine Desrosiers, and masterfully, but I mean MASTERFULLY conducted by auctionero numero uno William  E. Hart, aka The Bill.

We'll hear more of the specifics as time goes on but, for the sake of flavor, let me say that a Dream Journal right up front went for $5 (so dreaming is a bargain) and, what may be the top price went for six hand blown wine glasses: $75 which might suggest that drinking isn't a bargain . . . unless you're lucky enough to win the raffle or the three bottles of wine that sold, in the auction for around $20.

Treasurer Hub Smith reports that "the grand event today raised a total of $1,427.50 for the Endowment, with $1,337.50 received today in cash and checks with $90 promised to be paid next week."

So cheers and thanks to Ruth, Lorraine and Bill and the "runners" who displayed, modeled, paraded and delivered the objects of desire: Lois Barber looked elegant in the Ralph Lauren silk scarf decorated with toy soldiers, and I can only ask you to imagine Glen Gordon in a sort of Viking helmet with red hair attached.

 November 14, 2006

 Remember food for the Survival Center

 Carolyn Holstein began the meeting with an Emily Dickinson poem about nature,  a clock, and a cricket, one of which "keeps esoteric time."

 Carolyn said there was a "great board meeting yesterday," and invited Club secretary Joan Hanson to announce the board's decision about announcements.

Joan announced that, regarding announcements, the board voted unanimously  that they should be:
Less than 30 seconds long.
Limited to Who, What, When, Where [scratch Why]
Contain no excessive advocacy or call to action.

 And that, Joan proclaimed, took her less than 30 seconds to announce. (See appended board minutes.)

 Jim Wald reported that the Love Notes' allocations committee has reviewed grant requests and has   decided on $11,000 of allocationsm so far.

Guests: Karen Tarlow and Bill Hart brought guests.

Anne Mcintosh.: All Love Notes chairs and their committee members meet at 
 Hickory Ridge November 28. (See speaker program below) 
 Dee Waterman: A public service announcement-"If  you take Zicam, see me. And stop taking it." 
Rachel Mustin: Cynthia Brubaker has a serious ankle sprain which makes driving difficult. She lives in North Amherst.
 Jim Scott: Bob Grose is home and doing well after surgery, sends greetings.
 Nancy Brose: Cranberry Fair (Brunch and Lunch as well), First Congregational 
 Church, Main Street & Churchill (next to police station). Saturday, November  18, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
 Arthur Kinney: Peter Worstman's Burning Words this Friday, Saturday (8 p.m.) and Sunday (8 p.m.) at the Northampton School of the Arts. This is the premiere of a play about Johannes Reuchlin who single handedly prevented the Germans from burning the Talmud in the 16th century.
The Hampshire Choral Society will perform Mozart's Mass in C at John M. Greene Hall on Sunday, November 19 at 3 p.m.
 Kathleen Scott: Son Kelvin, a musical instrument maker (, won at a week-long international competition: gold for viola, silver for cello, his first, and silver for his entire string quartet (no gold given). 
Ruth Miller: Attention Amherst Club Members. Yes-Search your home for the useful, the decorative. Yes-Offer the use of your vacation home, or provide a gourmet lunch, etc. BECAUSE-It's time to get ready for our December 5 auction! Bring your donations to lunch on 
Tuesday, and receive a tax deductionl You can help make this exciting day a success! 

* Note from Onawumi Moss follows Minutes


Larry Siddall introduced Gail Mc Clung whose topic was The History of Playing Cards, and whose talk was lively and interesting. Gail and her husband, Bob, began playing cribbage in 1972, and by the time he died in June this year they had played 5,000 games together.  He was 129 games ahead of her, she said.As much as she's enjoyed playing with them, she only recently began to wonder about suchthings as how on earth a deck came to have fifty-two cards, face cards, and decorated backs. She discovered that there is an international playing card society, and that many museums have card exhibits, as does the Beinecke Rare Book and the Manuscript Library at Yale. (It's fun to visit the Beinecke website: 
which has images that range from an old photo of "Two men in suits and straw hats seated at a makeshift table outdoors playing cards" to a wonderful, colorful 18th century Tarot card of a man dancing and playing the flute, entitled "Le fou."), It's all about the allure of chance, Gail reminded us, and she followed the  chronology of cards and card games through history, citing curious enigmas, such as the information that cards as a form of gaming were considered dishonorable while chess was not. Although paper and cards made from paper originated in China, they were all over Europe by the 13th century and  "everybody seemed to have cards by the 14th century" when a great many people were employed to produce them.The suits we know today were based on chivalry. Costumes on the face were in the fashion of the court of Henry 8th.There is a legend that the crew which sailed with Columbus was made up of inveterate gamblers,  and that during one spell of bad weather they became so fearful of their fate that they threw  their cards overboard. Once the weather changed, so did their repentance, and when they got to shore they collected leaves so that, once back on board, they could resume their sinful ways. In 1624 the Virginia assembly decreed there could be no card playing by ministers. While Plymouth Colony prohibited all card playing. Later, in America, for some  reason playing cards were  used as money, and in 1765 they were used for admission at the University of Pennsylvania. (FYI George Washington played lots of cards.)
*A note from Onawumi Moss:

 Since I have been unable to attend any meetings, I offer this brief update on what I've been up to. As it turns out I am both responding to invitations  and in  pursuit of bookings considered suitable for a FULL TIME STORYTELLER. Indeed! Indeed! In light of the fact that my 'agent' is word-of-mouth, I am pleased to say my schedule is moving along nicely. In the course of preparing for many presentations (1991-present), I am still amazed by the labor intensive nature of this work. I am my own administrative assistant; on a scale of 1-10 (with either one or ten being the highest) my rating is (to put it kindly) abyssmal. Talk about meeting a challenge...UGH! Even so, I find this livilihood (e.g,rehearsal, research, rehearsal, writing,  rehearsal, rewriting, rehearsal, performing, attending to the details of a contract, typing, printing and copying ) interesting, challenging and enjoyable--the latter, when I come close to getting it right.  Oh yes, the truth to be completely told, storytelling (including one woman shows, keynote speaking, conducting 20-40hr academic residencies) demands a 
discipline that I would love to rebel against but dare not.Nancy, please let everyone know that I am in the process of putting my FULL 
TIME storytelling life in order (to the extent possible); I will try to attend some meetings in the spring. Hold a seat for me. 
Blessings on one and all. OJM

November 7, 2006

Remember food for the Survival Center


Carolyn Holstein opened the meeting.

Guest: Claude Tellier's wife. Visitor: Alan Musgrave.

Remember : This is the last weekend to see VLO's The Gondoliers: performances Friday and Saturday. And Therese Donohue's Hermit Crab program 
continues at the Eric Carle Museum Saturdays through November.

Bill Hart introduced Ellen Story who became our state representative in 1992. She's a former and sorely missed member of the club, but she returns as a speaker from time to time, and has graciously given members tours of the State House.

In the thick of this so long anticipated election day Ellen's frank and humorous perspective was welcome. Her topic was  "What's really at stake here?"

"I'm a Democrat, " she announced. "That does not mean I've always voted for democrats, because sometimes I thought the party's candidate was terrible." That Ellen Story follows her own best judgment is not a surprise, and 
contributes to the strong support behind her.

During all of her years in the legislature there has been a Republican governor  and an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature. Currently there are even fewer  republicans than ever before, or at least since people started keeping records in 1867. "We haven't had real minority party in years," Ellen said.

The big news is that the party affiliation of the governor may be about to change. "It looks like there's a chance we'll have a Democrat for governor by the end of tonight," said Ellen, who was an early supporter of Deval Patrick. She believes that his victory will change the landscape in the state house. For one thing, the governor appoints secretaries and commissioners. Before Romney these people could represent their positions, needs, and requests before the Senate and House. Under Romney they are not allowed to make their case before legislators since all lines of communication come  through the governor's office.

It is probable that communications between secretaries, commissioners and legislators will be restored  if Patrick wins. He, himself, is likely to encourage participation and listen to people's suggestions and ideas. His slogan, after all, is "Together We Can." Ellen says that the thought of having a friendly person in the governor's  office is "thrilling."

"If it works the way I dream it will work, there'll be a sea change on Beacon Hill," Ellen Story said.

It won't be long before we know.

October 31, 2006

Remember food for the Survival Center

In Carolyn Holstein's absence Jim Wald opened today's meeting. And in recognition of the date Jim read a column written by Ray
Hanania about Halloween: "My favorite Holiday."As a child Hanania lived in a largely Jewish neighborhood. where  most Arabs, and especially Palestinians chose to live because "we looked alike, loved the same food, talked about the same region of the world and were 
pretty much hated by most other Americans" who, he added, couldn't tell them apart.In his effort to get the best  Halloween treats
Hanania's strategy, after the 1967 war, was to wear  the full flowing robes of an Arab and to "swagger" house to house.  It worked-"[H]omeowners would look at me with shock and literally threw the candy at me like Cofax pitching in the World Series." Best of all they chose the choicest pieces of candy for their ammunition.  "I didn't care how I got the candy, as long as it was the large candy bars that, granted, could spin my eyes and head in a little dizziness if they hit their mark."This eccentric memoir earned a round of applause-but no treats.

Guests: Ruth, Hooke brought a student from Hampshire College, Sarah Berger brought her husband, Harry Brooks his friend, a physicist, film producer and vice president of ACTV.


The board will meet November 13th at the Renaissance Center.

Thanks to Lorraine Desrosiers and Ruth Miller for a splendid event last Saturday night.

Bonnie Isman: Thanks to Ruth Black the film In Search of Mozart will be shown at the Jones Library Wednesday, November 15 at 7:00. It's a fundraiser for Amherst town libraries and Mohawk Trail Concerts.

Glen Gordon: Valley Light Opera presents The Gondoliers at the Amherst Regional High School. Performances Friday(Nov. 3), Sat (Nov. 4), Sunday (Nov. 5) matinee, Friday (Nov 10), Sat. (Nov 11).

Hub Smith says that on occasion, there are more cars with handicap placards at lunch than the four marked spaces can handle.  A way to squeeze in at least one more would be for the first person there to pull in as far to the right as possible, paying no attention to the painted lines.  Then successive cars each pull in as far as possible to the right, also paying no attention to the painted lines, thus creating more overall space in the lot. This will work for as long as we don't have anyone who needs space on the side for a ramp.
Perhaps it's worth a try.


Bill Hart introduced Craig Asche who spoke on the topic of alternative investing.He is the executive director of the Chartered Alternative Investment  Analyst association, hereafter CAIA. Alternative investments are composed of everything outside of traditional stock & bonds investments.These asset classes include:hedge fundsprivate equitycommoditiesmanaged futures real estate.

This is the fastest growing segment of the investment economy.Craig made a persuasive case for diversifying a portfolio to contain a 
smaller percentage of the standard stocks and bond mix (usually 60% and 40% respectively), and with perhaps 30 % invested in alternatives you will have a steadier return over twenty years and "peace of mind."This strategy is followed by those Craig calls the "sharpest" of investors: the managers of the portfolios for Harvard, Yale, Stamford, the University 
of Texas, and Princeton.

The role of CAIA, which was founded as a research think tank at UMass in 2002, is not to sell commodities of any kind, or to manage anyone's portfolio. It is, rather, to educate  professionals who do so. They now have members in 56 different countries. They offer course work and conduct examinations which  lead to the professional designation of  Chartered Investment Analyst Associate.
They have over 1400 exam candidates from all over world and teachers who help them get through the exams.   They provide a curriculum, and detailed study guides on the internet so that, matter where you are you can participate. Moreover, since ethics is stressed throughout this certification program, people who become certified not so likely to make the kinds of mistakes that have plagued the investment world in recent years.  (For example, certified financial planners and analysts very seldom get into trouble.)

October 24, 2006
Remember food for the Survival Center

To get announcements in the newsletteremail them to  give them to Nancy Frazier in writing.
Carolyn Holstein opened the meeting.

New member Eileen Vincent,  cosponsored by June Farmer and Bob Grose was introduced by June. Eileen was born Holyoke, raised in Chicopee, has one daughter, three grandchildren, and a degree in business administration. Eileen has been at Applewood since 1979, and as marketing manager has been selling the Applewood community very successfully. She also volunteers at various organizations.

Guests: Arthur Kinney: a visiting fellow from Germany who, added  Lois Barber (who hosted him), is not only a great
scholar but also a fabulous cook.

 Sarah Berger's husband.

As promised, Nancy Brose brought her new friend, Anna Messengill, who went  the 9 miles with her on the ABC Walk. Thanks to the generosity of the Amherst Club.

Carolyn reiterated that announcements should be kept brief. On the subject of political announcements she has received about 75 emails. The board will discuss the topic at its next meeting, the second  Monday of next month (Nov.13).
News from the Print Design Committee of Love Notes:  The graphic artist who did the layout for the Love Notes program last year without charge, Katya Missry, has agreed to do the program layout again this year gratis. We paid her to update our other 4 printed items last year and will do so again this year.Wednesday, October 25: "The Portrait in the Time of the Renaissance," with Alex Chajes at the Renaissance Center Reading Room at 4:00. 
Next Wednesday, November 1, "New England Mill Towns," with John Mullin.
Malik Hakim, founder of Common Ground, will speak at 7:00 Thursday, Oct. 26, at First Churches, Northampton. The topic is post Katrina grassroots reconstruction efforts in New Orleans.
 The Valley Light Opera is presenting The Gondoliers at the High School on  November 3-4-5 (matinee).
 Jim Scott: Five College Learning In Retirement will have a "Meet the  Moderator" session on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2:00-4:00 at Davis Center on the campus of Smith College, between Henshaw Street and Prospect Street off Elm Street. Moderators of the seminars and workshops for the Spring  Semester 2007 will be present. For  further information call 585-3756 or email Check  our
Remember, Therese Donohue's Hermit Crab program continues at the Eric Carle Museum Saturdays through November.
Claude Tellier: On Saturday October 14th, we had our dinner fundraising for thePDF-Massachutsett Water Project as annouced at the Club lunch recently. The event was a success with 75 attendees. We have raised so far this year $4,000.  This is wonderful and will allow us to continue our work in Cambodia.  It is stillshort of our objective of $7,200.  If anybody who had not contributed wishes to do so, please contact Claude Tellier at 256-1721 or send directly your contribution to   Peace Development Fund at 44 N. Prospect, Amherst, MA 01002.

 Julie Johnson, has been Executive Director of the Hitchcock Center for the last five of the center's  forty-five years of operation. She is also a member of the Energy Task Force for the  town of Amherst, and in that role she spoke to us about the Climate Action Plan adopted by the town in its effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent.

 For background, there has been about a two degree increase in the temperature over the last century, and it is projected that there will be a an increase of four percent over the next century.

 The Amherst task force group is part of The International Council of Local  Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). ICLEI's mission is to build and serve a  worldwide movement of local governments to achieve tangible improvements in global, environmental, and sustainable development conditions through cumulative local actions. ICLEI has set forth various actions local communities can do, and Amherst has been guided by these. The process  encompasses anemissions inventory, emissions reduction target, action plan, implement plan, and monitoring and measuring success.

 The first step, an Emissions Inventory, was done in 2001. It was learned  that the town produces 320,960 tons of eCO2 emissions. (e represents  equivalent, since not all problem emissions are CO2 they are included in  the total as equivalent emissions). The largest amount of this tonnage,  51%, is from commercial sources, Residential emissions are at 22%.   Most if this is the result of the use of electricity from the New England grid,  which is largely dependent on fossil fuels. The next  largest source of emissions is the coal burning plant at UMass. Since they are  converting to oil and natural gas, a large amount of that problem will be solved.

 The immediate town goal is to reduce annual CO2 emissions by 139,201 tons.  The Climate Action Plan adopted last fall by town of Amherst has over 80 
 different strategies to accomplish this goal. These range from replacing the incandescent bulbs on traffic lights with high efficiency LED, to replacing oil diesel with bio diesel in public transportation vehicles.Amherst is now in Implementation Stage, and so far greenhouse gas emissions has been reduced by 43,000 tons.

 Now, Julie said, is the time to get everyone involved, and every household to participate. The average household of two people produces about 5,000  tons of emissions per year. And if, for example,  everybody drove just 10 miles less per week, that would save a total of some 90,000 tons of eCO2  emissions.

 To download a pdf copy of the Climate Action Plan go to:

October 17

Remember food for the Survival Center.

To get announcements in the newsletteremail them to nancyfraz@hotmail .comor give them to Nancy Frazier in writing


Carolyn Holstein started the meeting with an Emily Dickinson poem (which I missed).
Welcome back Jacquie  with her new leg  which is, she says, all titanium all the time.
Vivienne Carey, welcome back!
Nancy Brose walked 9.2 miles in the ABC walk for the Amherst Club. She made a new friend she'll bring to the Amherst Club. And it's not too late to sponsor her walk ex post facto.
Ruth Miller reports that the Amherst Club won the Trivia Bee's first prize for the best costume: "That's what it's all about," says Ruth.
Barbara Palmer speaks about the Great Halls at the Renaissance Center tomorrow at 4:00.
Nancy Foster called for 30 seconds silence on behalf of the Bill of Rights since Bush today signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006. This act creates new rules for prosecuting and interrogating terror suspects.
Sadly, Bill Ritter is now working in Greenfield and has regretfully resigned his Amherst Club membership.
Jean Miller arrived back from Las Vegas at midnight after watching the Sweet Adelines in an international competition. She sent along a poster which I am attaching to this email, for the Heart of the Valley Chorus show on October 29. Take a look, it's a super great picture.
Two events October 28: The Renaissance Banquet and Fundraiser at the UMass Amherst University Club. Call 545-2551 for reservations and menu information. 
And Pioneer Valley Symphony (at Smith College) plus a potluck. Call to Lorraine Desrosiers at 586-9222.
Lois Barber is still looking for bookkeeping help in Earth Action's office. (Three to five hours per week, paid or volunteer. Call 549-8118.

Ann Perkins of Rural Development  Inc. ( spoke to us about the efforts of her organization to build affordable green houses for low or moderate income families. The average cost for one of their houses, including land, is $200,000.

RDI houses are traditional in style, small (1200-1300 square feet), green and energy efficient.

Energy efficiency alone is not enough any more. Location is also key. An example of "smart growth" was building on an infill lot in
Greenfield. Another location preference is to build within walking distance to downtown.

Examples of "sustainable sites" include using permeable paving materials, such as brick and tiles, which allow water to trickle down for drainage. And water efficiency involves using "dual flush" toilets: one flush for liquids another for solids.

Indoor environmental quality calls for control of humidity, and control of outdoor intake -"build tight, ventilate right "is the rule.

To conserve materials RDI promotes educating themselves and their builders on how to use less wood. That means sizing for actual load not for overload when such things as studs, joists, beams, etc are specified. They also concentrate on using durable materials & techniques. They uselocal sources when possible. For example, the cellulose used for insulation comes from Bondsville.

RDI builds Energy Star homes, values good insulation, good windows, compact fluorescent lighting, and high efficiency boilers that are small and quiet and have a system that senses the most economic way to heat water.  They almost routinely use photovoltaic electric on roofs. This is very expensive to install-about $23,000, but half of that may be refundable and there may be tax credits available. Not to mention that in time (perhaps about twenty years) the full cost will be recovered by savings made over traditional energy costs.

While this non profit organization provides most of the financial support, the families who will live in their houses provide "sweat equity" by helping with the building.

While zero net energy homes is the goal they are "not quite at zero yet," Ann said. But they are doing pretty well: one house in Greenfield she showed us a picture of uses about $200 per year of propane gas.


October 10

The web-site for the Amherst Club is:

Remember food for the Survival Center

To get announcements in the newsletter email them to  or give them to Nancy Frazier in writing

You could tell the moment you walked in that something was different. There was a buzz in the air, a kind of party ambience. It was finally the day that had been announced over several weeks.

It began when  the co chairs of the membership committee,  Honoré David and Trudy Darity, called a meeting of all the men in the club to get their ideas on what could be done to increase the membership and, especially, recruit more men.

One thing they began to do right away was to give a copy of the newly rewritten description of the club-its purpose and operating procedures-to weekly speakers.

And then, with the encouragement of president Carolyn Holstein, they came up with the idea of planning today: Every member who had a potential new member in his or her neighborhood, address book, or pocket, was asked to invite her and especially him, and moreespecially if he or she was young. (Which I took to mean younger than me.) The club would pick up the tab.
So today was the day. The exact count of guests isn't in yet but we think it was twelve.  And we hope they will all join.

Carolyn announced that the board had voted to give a $100 gift to the ABCWalk. She also noted that David Scott has taken over our website (see above for its address), and has posted an audience counter, that is, something that records the number of "hits" on our page.  He saw some 95 in a day, but confessed that many of these hits were probably made by himself. Carolyn also noted that we were Number One in the list of Habitat for Humanity sponsors.

Susie Lowenstein said Nancy Frazier was brilliant when she came up with the idea of putting blank sheets of paper on each table so people could write their announcements down for the newsletter.  Only one person took advantage of the opportunity (which I seem to have lost, but I know who and what it was), but, you know, it's a learning curve question. I think. Hope.

So here are new announcements:
Honoré's guest, R. Todd Felton, will sign his new book, Journey Into Transcendentalists' New England,  Saturday, October 21 @ 2:30 at The Jeffrey Amherst Bookshop.
Phyllis Lehrer reported, on behalf of Arthur Kinney, that free programs begin at the Renaissance Center October 11, at 4:00 and continue five weeks.
Lois Barber thanked club members who provided furniture for the young women from Ghana who moved into an empty apartment.
Roger Webb noted that the ABC Walk is this Saturday, starts from 9 to 10:00 at Mill River Recreational Area.

And repeats:

Therese Donohue:  Eric Carle's A House For Hermit Crab adapted to dance and puppets in a thirty-minute program. Every Saturday of October and November at 1:00 and 2:00. Participants include several Amherst Club members. Admission is $3. For advanced tickets call the museum and reserve by credit card 658-1126.
Ruth Miller: TRIVIA BEE  October 12, 7:00  p.m., at the high school. Attendance will be taken.
Claude Tellier: October 14, Saturday, at 6:00, a fund raising dinner of Massachusetts Cambodia-Water Project. At Pulpit Hill Community building. Donation. (Please call Claude, 256-1721)
Carolyn, Dickinson poetry set to music October 14, at 7:30 and The Belle of Amherst at Unitarian Society meeting house. On the 15th Harrison talks on satire in Dickinson's poetry at 10:00 at the meeting house. October 15, is Shelter Sunday. To volunteer contact Zach at 582-4276

Bill Hart introduced Guillermo Cuellar who he has known ever since the New Age when Guillermo was teaching Yoga. Today he is an organizational development consultant, therapist and portraitist. He painted the first color portrait of Emily Dickinson which, talk about coincidence, happened to be reproduced in Todd Felton's book (see new announcements above).

Guillermo, who was born in  Colombia,  is a founder of the Center for Creative Consciousness which works in two areas, organizational
development and personal and professional development. "One way to express creativity is to understand what you have to do to
collaborate," he said. Recognizing that people have blind spots, individuals should endeavor to try to understand what others see. To illustrate he showed a drawing that looked either like a very old and ugly woman or a very young and beautiful woman. Though each individual might recognize only one portrayal, at least at first glance, it is important to understand, and try to see, what otherpeople perceive. Not only do we convince ourselves that what we see is the truth, we also have low tolerance for ambiguity, which makes us nervous and anxious. Guillermo spoke of Motivational Learning  for which transparency and valid information are key.  So is compassion and knowledge that we are all in the same predicament. And keep in mind that "If I make a choice and knowI'm well informed, then I'm committed to act." Guiding principles of Motivational Learning are 1) Test Assumptions and Inferences. 2) Share Relevant Information. )3) Jointly design next steps and ways to test disagreements. Finally, and importantly "Shift mental models from those of control to
those of learning."

   October 3

"Gorgeous, gorgeous day. What are we doing inside?" said Carolyn Holstein, who then segued into a poem by Emily Dickinson.

         The grass so little has to do . . . it begins

No guests this week.

Carolyn announced that Jacquie Price is doing well and should be back next week. (Hooray!) Cards for Chris Blauvelt, recovering from surgery, and Jean Haggerty, who is still not well, were circulated. At the last board meeting it was decided to turn Chris Blauvelt loose to raise all kinds of money for Love Notes, and we will allow space on our banner for large donors ($5000 or so.) Allocation committee letters have gone out.

Three cheers for Therese Donohue who sent me her announcement by email: I just wanted to give you info for the next newsletter about my upcoming performance at the Eric Carle Museum. I have adapted Eric Carle's A HOUSE FOR HERMIT CRAB to dance and puppets in a thirty-minute program. This will be presented every Saturday of October and November at 1:00 and 2:00.There are several Amherst Club members participating as puppeteers or backstage assistants: Joan Hanson, Nancy Brose, Sandy Riggs, Nancy Maglione, and Karen Tarlow.  Karen Tarlow composed the score and Walter Carroll is the recorded narrator.  It is a charming show that will appeal to adults as well as to children. Admission is $3. For advanced tickets call the museum and reserve by credit card 658-1126.

Jean Miller gets the second prize for giving me this in writing: Sunday 2 p.m. at Belchertown High School, Heart of the Valley, a Sweet Adelines Chorus, presents a Barbershop Show! Tickets for seniors $12. You can buy tickets from Jean or get them at the door.

Next week is guest week for potential members and Honoré let it be known that she has found and invited a model possible member-a young guy in his forties."

Ruth Miller  did show and tell: a giant stuffed lion and a Styrofoam steak. What does it mean?  Find out October 12, 7:00  p.m., at the high school. That's when the TRIVIA BEE begins. We, the Amherst Club, have "an outstanding team . . . . at least in terms of costume."Harrison Gregg: We have a date for Love Notes-Friday February 9, 2007. And we're lucky to have it considering how busy Amherst College is with  curriculum dates. (A round applause for  Harrison greeted the news.) Valentine Hall is reserved also.

Arthur Kinney: The Renaissance Center book sale last Saturday raised just short $2000,  This Friday is the center's first open house of the semester.

Lois Barber knows a young woman from Ghana who has moved into an empty apartment and needs everything in the way of furniture.

Claude Tellier: October 14, Saturday, at 6:00, a fund raising dinner for Massachusetts-Cambodia-Water Project. At Pulpit Hill co Housing Community Center. Donation. (Claude 256-1721)

Also October 14, at 7:30 The Belle of Amherst-music and excerpts. At Unitarian Society meeting house. And next day, on the 15th Harrison talks on satire in Dickinson's poetry at 10:00 at the meeting house.

Our speaker for next week has been changed. (John Green had to cancel.)  See below.

Nancy Brose introduced Marla Singleton,  Director of shelter and housing services for Service Net, which is head-quartered in Northampton.

Marla talked about the roadblocks to getting people the services they deserve. These include the excessive amount of time it takes to gather the paperwork required of people who need emergency services. Fortunately, based upon Service Net advocating on behalf of such clients rules have been changed to allow them 30 days to gather  such paperwork.

Why are people homeless? That is the question Marla is most often asked.The easiest way to answer such a question is to blame the victim for the misfortune. But, she says, every person who comes to shelter has a separate and unique profile, specific problems, and different obstacles to overcome.

An inability to work or to find a job is not the only roadblock. "Today there is no place in this country where working a job at the minimum wage per hour enable an individual to pay the monthly rent on an apartment."  Marla also described changes in housing regulations that have made the stock of housing for disabled people harder, if not impossible, for many who should qualify to get.

Besides having to fight against many unreasonable regulations there are problems endemic to to the experience of homelessness. "People with histories of homelessness, poverty, and past criminal records have things in their heads that tell them they are failures. They show up at shelter, and their "CVs" are about where they've been sleeping,"  Marla says. "They have 
to try to look at their strengths. You have to do a science project on your 
self every day."


October 15, is Shelter Sunday.
Shelter Sunday is a special day each year whencommunity volunteers go door to door collectingdonations to support local homeless shelters, emergencyhousing, and survival services. The funds raisedon this one day help hundreds of homeless individuals
and families obtain essential services. Last year, 50volunteers raised over $40,000 in Northampton alone,and this year's goal is to raise $50,000 by enlisting 100volunteers to canvass the entire city of Northampton.All of the homeless shelters are full throughout theyear, and the waiting lists are long. However,Northampton has shown their commitment to building
a stronger community by helping those with the mostneed.To volunteer for this important event please contact:Zach at 582-4276

Next week:
October 10:  Guillermo Cuellar, organizational development consultant, therapist and portraitist. He painted the first color portrait 
of Emily Dickinson.(For this meeting, invite guests who are potential new members and their lunch will be on the house. You get several pats on the back if your potential member is young and/or male (though the relativity of age, and perhaps gender too, are contingent and/or arbitrary factors).

 September 26

This morning president Carolyn Holstein awoke with a cold and saw the sun rise. She turned to Emily Dickinson:

I'll tell you how the sun rose,-- 
A ribbon at a time. 
The steeples swam in amethyst, 
The news like squirrels ran. . . .


Jean Haggerty is ill at home (33 Kellog Avenue).

Cynthia Brubaker asks all to participate in Planning Amherst Together. A series of five meetings, at different times and places (the first is Thursday October 12 at the Middle School) are scheduled so that everyone can find a time to join “idea gatherings” for the town’s Master Plan. For information call Niels la Cour, 259-3040 or go to

Larry Siddall distributed flyers for a new exhibition at Mount Holyoke College: Quabbin Reflections: Stories from the Lost Towns. Thursday, Sept 28, opening reception 4:30. Saturday, September 30 1:00-3:00 at Joseph Allen Skinner Museum refreshments and tours of the museum.

Arthur Kinney: Renaissance Center book sale Saturday, noon to 4:00 in the Barn.

Lorraine Desrosiers needs people to sign up for the Love Notes party committee. She also notes that there is a sign up sheet for a party at her house before the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra concert at Smith on October 28.

Lois Barber: Earth Action is looking for a bookkeeper.

Ruth Miller: Saturday October 7, band day at the football stadium and also, October 12 come to support the Trivia Bee at the high school for which Susan Lowenstein will play trivial music.

Honoré David reminded us that the Club will buy lunch for guests, especially young men, on October 10. The idea is to rebalance the demographics, I guess. (See calendar below.)

Guests: Phyllis Lehrerthe new editor of the Amherst Bulletin, Noah Hoffenburg. Sara Berger her husband and designated driver.


Bill Hart introduced Kent Faerber, President of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. Kent is also one of the founding members of the Club and he pointed out, in reference to the Club’s rejuvenation effort, that “when we started, we were the young revolutionaries.” Yes, and those were the days!

Kent gave us an overview of the work of the Community Foundation which was founded fifteen years ago. The organization’s purpose is to enrich the lives of people in our region. Through philanthropy the foundation has directed it’s efforts toward the needy in innovative ways. One example is the creation of 5 & Under: Access to Opportunity for Children in Poverty.

This group is one of the most vulnerable of all and according to the national census conducted in 2000, 22.2 percent of children age 5 and under in the Pioneer Valley are living in poverty. During 2006 and the next two years, at least, the foundation will devote one third of its “competitive grant-making funds” to this group.

The Community Foundation works to encourage philanthropy and to develop a permanent, flexible endowment. The foundation assesses and responds to emerging and changing needs, serves as a resource, catalyst, and coordinator for charitable activities, and promotes efficiency in the management of charitable funds.

Some Amherst Club funds are currently managed by the Community Foundation.

Carolyn asked Kent to discuss the pros and cons of our developing an endowment fund. “The question is whether you want to accumulate principal or spend it right away,” Kent said. He added, “I’d encourage you to think long term . . . to be able to give a lasting legacy to the town of Amherst.”


September 19

Lukas Dreier, a student at Yale, spoke to us about how they have worked, with surprising success, to get locally grown organic food provided in the Yale dining halls.


September 12

President Carolyn Holstein began by recalling the Club’s meeting five years ago. September 11 fell on a Tuesday. Harrison Gregg , then president, spoke eloquently and called for a moment of silence. Today we observed the fifth anniversary of that tragedy with another moment of silence, and Carolyn asked us to think not only about the thousands killed on 9/11/2001, but also the many thousands killed since then, Americans, Iraqis, and others who are victims of the terrible war.

Welcome back to Hubbard Smith and Patty Branch.

Everyone in the Club is invited to celebrate with Arthur Kinney at Bowker Auditorium this Friday, during the UMass faculty convocation, which begins at 11:00 a.m. Arthur is one of nine faculty members who will be presented an award by Chancellor Lombardi for outstanding accomplishments in research and creative activity. The event includes a lunch and an opportunity to cheer for the celebrity in our midst.

Honoré David: As part of our membership drive, the Club will pick up the lunch tabs for guests who are brought as potential members on October 10.

They should be young and available distant relatives from far away don’t qualify. Nature photographer John Green will be the speaker, and that, in addition to young guests meeting other young guests, should be a great incentive to join.

Harrison gave a pep talk for supporters of the Amherst Club Trivia Bee team. Since Eddy Goldberg has left the club, his place on the team was offered, and cheerfully taken by Charles Stevenson.

Carolyn noted that at their meeting yesterday the board conceded that they miss the kind of announcements that let people know what members are doing. So the experimental ban on those announcements has been lifted. But announcers are asked to stand up and be brief: Who, What, When. No speeches.

And the newsletter chair asks/implores/demands! Please give the newsletter writer details in writing.

Ruth Hooke: Our Communities Our Water, workshops, speakers and more September 22-24 at UMass Campus Center

Sign up for Pioneer Valley Symphony, and Pot Luck at Lorraine’s, Saturday, October 28

Miriam Dayton: A membership Gathering September 14, 1:30, at the Ann Whalen House for the Massachusetts Senior Action Council, Amherst Chapter.

Rough Cut Premieres at the Northampton Center for the Arts Saturday, September 23, 7:00 p.m.

Bonnie Isman: Come to the Jones Library next Tuesday to celebrate the birthday of Samuel Jones himself. Free coffee and cake all day.

Lois Barber wants to energize the Amherst Tree Committee. If you are interested, get in touch with her.

Guests: Tina Berins brought Michael, Honoré brought her friend Libby Klekowski, president of the Amherst Women’s Club.

Our speaker, introduced by Harry Brooks, was Amherst’s new Town Manager, Larry Shaffer. In briefly reviewing his career, which began in Oneonta, New York, thirty years ago, Shaffer gave us examples of ways in which creativity, ideas, and experimentation, as he put it, could benefit a community. Promotion of the local baseball team, and the soccer teams of the college and universityincluding a Soccer Hall of Fame were examples of successfully drawing attention to Oneonta’s resources.

Amherst is the fifth community Schaffer has worked in, and its assets, he said, exceed those of all the other places where he has worked. The challenge is to raise the level of the towns confidence in its ability to solve problems. To tackle the town/gown problem, he is establishing relationships with the presiding heads of the preeminent educational institutions. But it has been made clear to him that when it comes to budgetary matters, it is the state legislators who make decisions, and to be successful in that context, the town will have to do its work at the state level.

Shaffer discussed property taxes, and described the difficulty the town has in getting through this year. The problem is the hole created because $1 million from the spending reserve was used to pay operating costs last year. That leaves the town $1 million “in the hole,” he said. “But if we can get through this year, future years should be less painful,” he added.

Cherry Hill Golf Course was praised as a “great asset” of “spectacular beauty.” Historic preservation is “an important economic development engine” and from the Dickinson House to the Eric Carle Museum, Shaffer is working to make connections and move forward. As to the question of whether he sees evidence that the town of Amherst is not business friendly, he answered, “I have not seen an unfriendly attitude but . . .”

He went on to describe the discouraging and self defeating permit process that any builder has to face as an example of procedures that can be remedied by bringing logic to the system and coordinating efforts.


September 5

The temperature and rain are falling. The tomatoes are still green. And it’s still a distance to Indian Summer. (noun a period of dry warm weather in late autumn. A period of happiness and success occurring late in life. I want both, please.)

I would like to thank Nancy Brose, Ruth Miller and Nancy Foster for their super notes over the past three weeks. I am grateful.

President Carolyn Holstein is recovering from her knee surgery, and Jacquie Price has just had knee replacement surgery so Carolyn saw fit to quote Shakespeare: “Supple knees feed arrogance.” (Does anyone feel better?)

Carolyn noted that food is needed by the Survival Center. That Habitat for Humanity, in gratitude to its donors, invites club members to a party on Tuesday, September 12, from 5:00 to 7:00, at the home of Jack Hornor, 46 Ladyslipper Lane, Florence. (RSVP 586-5430.)

Carolyn read a note from Dee, Abby and Tom Waterman thanking club members for their donation to the Nature Conservancy in Bob’s memory.

And a note from Onawauni/Jean Moss saying that, though she’s still taking care of some pressing matters she hopes to be back to club meetings on a regular basis before long.

Love Notes. Anne McIntosh needs chairs for the sponsorship, invitation, ticket, party, and program development committees. She still needs more people to sign on for the sponsorship committee which asks people to buy ads in the Love Notes program.

Ruth Miller needs help from someone who is computer savvy.

And a personal good news note, Carolyn’s son, Jessie Holstein, is one of the musicians featured in this week’s New Yorker magazine, a story about bringing music back into the classroom (after the budget cuts that have widely banished it). Jessie is a violinist and member of Community MusicWorks in Providence, Rhode Island. They are located and teach in a low income neighborhood, and their students, seven to eighteen years of age, come from Dominican, Haitian, Liberian and Cambodian backgrounds.


Bill Hart introduced Jay Demarath, professor of Sociology at UMass and author of Crossing the Gods: World Religions and Worldly Politics, among other books.

“A sociologist,” said Damarath, “is a person who, with four children, takes two to church and keeps two home as a control group.”

Damarath’s talk today was about making sense of what’s going on in the Middle East from the perspective of the sociology of religions.

He made clear that the association of Islam with violence is mistaken, that the concept of jihad predates the Koran, the book which is the foundation for the religion of Islam. “All kinds of matters are misassociated with Islam.”

The Koran is a small book, that is memorized by Muslims, but though it is short its reach is long. While violence is not intrinsic to Islam, internal self-discipline is. But one thing Islam lacks is a strong authority structure, such as the Vatican is to Catholicism. Without such a vested authority Islam is easily amenable to many interpretations.

The history of Islam also lacks a liberal tradition that might spawn the kinds of reforms that are needed.

Because there is no separation of mosque and state in Islamic countries, there are continually efforts to gain control of the state by various groups, like Hamas in Palestine.

It is important to understand the contending movements in the Islamic world in terms of their political contexts. That is, as people acting to overthrow the corrupt regimes that have a grip on their countries.

Movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood are good at getting to people in crisis. They provide the social services that the government fails to provide. They are comparable to freedom fighters. They need money, and we need to negotiate with them,. We need to invest in the infrastructure of these countries.

Damarath read a passage from The Cat in the Hat that begins, “Now look what you did said the fish to the cat.” It is chaos that the cat had boisterously created, but with gusto and metered bravado the cat cleans up the mess he made and, in the end, leaves the place very tidy. “That’s the way I would like to leave Iraq,” concluded Damarath.


August 29

Honore David chaired the meeting in the absence of President Carolyn Holstein who is recuperating from arthroscopic knee surgery.

June Farmer introduced her guest, Eileen Vincent of Applewood.

Susan Lowenstein introduced her granddaughter Hanna.

Ruth Miller said that the Club’s second annual Auction, a fundraiser for the Club, will be held on Tuesday, December 4th. when everyone will be encouraged to bring in items of potential interest to someone else.

Dee Waterman announced a tag sale on behalf of the Dakin Animal Shelter to be held on Saturday, September 9th, 8:30 - 3:00, at the home of Doris Holden, 88 Blue Hills Road in Amherst. Contributions and customers are welcome.

Honore reminded us that the reopened Survival Center needs donations of food and clothing.

Tina Berins encouraged host families and potential host families to attend a reception for international students this afternoon at 4:15 at the Women’s Club.

Honore introduced today’s speaker: Matthew C. Emerson, Ph.D, Five Colleges Associate in Archeology. Dr. Emerson told us about his work among the Edo people of Nigeria, illustrating his talk with slides and making available photographs of their transitional tropical savannah..

Nigeria, formerly an English colony, is now a fledgling democracy encompassing many ethnic groups. English is only one of over three hundred languages spoken in Nigeria.

Emerson’s international research team focused on ancient settlements in the farming region occupied by the Edo people. They found houses built on mountaintops or surrounded by mountains or at the base of escarpments.

They also explored rock shelters, some small ones offering minimum protection for refugees from slave traders, while another was spacious enough to accommodate several mudbrick houses.


August 22

Another enjoyable lunch! Invite a friend to join us next week.

Disclaimer: As volunteer note taker, I offer this information "as is," taken to the best of my ability. At a minimum, it provides a hint of what transpired. Feel free to offer your own service as a future scribe.  Ruth Miller


THE SCENE: A picnic style lunch with hot dogs, chicken, hamburgers, salads. Fun to watch friends pile on the mustard and relish. Ruth Hooke smiling and upbeat as usual, though sporting a bruised face as the result of a fall. Nancy Foster feeling better and welcomed back to Amherst Club lunches. Jim Ward making the rounds with raffle tickets.

WELCOME: President Carolyn Holstein opened the meeting with some poetry about food, from Claire Hopley’s column.

GUESTS: Miriam Dayton brougnt Amy and Cody Zradnik (sp?) from British Columbia.


1. Board Meeting "today," Aug. 22, at Jones Library, 4:30 p.m.

2. Jacquie Price reminds us all to sign up for a Love Notes Committee! It’s time to set the wheels in motion. Chairs are Chris Blauvelt and Anne McIntosh.

3. Doris Holden reports that docents are needed at the Renaissance Center.

4. Ruth Miller invites all scrabble devotees to sign an "Interested in Playing" list.

5. Ruth also reminds us of the Saturday, Oct. 7 Band Day extravaganza at the UMass stadium. Join other Amherst Club members for the marching band (300 strong) and the game, plus guest bands in full regalia, filling the field at half time for a super "play-along."

6. Harrison Gregg was thanked for his expertise in hooking up computers and other electronics for our weekly meetings.


Suzie Lowenstein introduced Peter Kitchell, a fine artist who concentrates on color and texture, combining photography and painting in a unique style.

He is the father of singer Sonia Kitchell.

Peter has been a painter and a photographer. He puts his current work in digital form, combining a painted surface with actual photos, and focusing on quality and detail. His images include material from his travels to many places including Chicago, California, Antigua, UMass, Okefenokee, a lumber mill in North Amherst, Main, Newburyport, Japan, etc. Images range from dancers and architecture to a leaf, bones, woven material, and a dead bird.

His work involves using a photo as a starting point, removing background, and reworking. He says he paints reality and turns it into something abstract the next day, with layer upon layer of information.

He picks up texture wherever he can, with photos and paint.

Peter does a lot of work for hospitals  art that is laid back, peaceful, healing through nature. Some of his paintings have been quite large, for lobbies and open spaces in buildings. He will soon be creating art for Caterpillar headquarters.


Merilee Hill won the wine, and Miriam Dayton won the raffle.

Fall is almost here. Join us next week to kick off the season! See you there.


August 15


President, Carolyn Holstein, opened the meeting with “The Latest in Math Conversions”


2,000 pounds of Chinese soup equal Won-ton.

One million aches equal one megahertz.

The weight an Evangelist carries with God equals one BilliGram.

The shortest distance between two jokes equals a straight line.



Surinder Mehta shared with us the celebration of India’s Independence Day initiated in 1947.

Rachael Mustin is back from New Orleans where her professional conference introduced her to the resilience of that city combined with the extensive damage one-quarter of its former residents have returned to.  Celebrating visitors are wanted and hoped for.


Anne MacIntosh encouraged us to include our names on the Love Notes’07 Sign-Up Sheet.


The Daily Hampshire Gazette carried a half-page article and picture of Therese Donohue’s Eric Carle quilt project, from her in-school work in suburban Maryland.  The quilts can be viewed in the Eric Carle Museum until August 22nd.


Lois Barber is excited about a 5,000,000 Euro grant she has been working on for Hamburg residents.  She will be in Germany and unable to fulfill a contract on Deer Isle, Maine.  The accommodation is available August 25-29, sleeps 5 @ $90.00 per night.


Tina Berins reminded us that the International Student Host Program hospitality forms on our tables have two sides.  Please fill out both.


Ruth Miller has a signup sheet for the UMass football game on Oct. 7th.  This is a Club activity.


Nancy Foster is returning home from the Center for Extended Care on August 16th.



Bill Hart introduced his wife, Vicki, and his sons Matt and Tim (our speaker of the day).

Nancy Gregg‘s friend, Ray Farrick, is visiting from New York.



Bill Hart introduced his son, Tim, who is a graduate of Amherst Regional High School, and graduated from Grinnell College this year.  He is entering a three-year master’s program at the University of Minnesota in Classical and Near Eastern Studies.   This past year he joined a Tufts University archaeology team in Tuscany, Italy, under the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies.   His colorful slide presentation covered the archaeological excavation he called “eclectic”.  The Etruscans inhabited Italy from 800 to 300 B.C. before they were assimilated by the Romans. 

Their pottery work has been highly valued, as is their gold work. The area Tim and his Tufts team have concentrated on in their excavations may have been a center for ceremonial gatherings.

He is proud of having discovered an unusual  bronze arrowhead in his excavation work.


Tim’s headquarters were in Vescovado, a half-hour walk to his work site in Murlo. Vescovado is the scene of the Cinghiale Festival honoring the wild boar.  In nearby Siena, the Palio is a community festival between city neighborhoods called contrada which features a race between selectively chosen horses.  The colors which are worn by the contradas create a spectacle that  attracts

thousands of visitors from all over the world, filling the  town square.

Tim has discovered exciting “puzzles” in his work and very warm hospitality among the Italian townspeople whose culture he has absorbed.


 Nancy Brose, Scribe


August 8

Carolyn Holstein opened the meeting with ten more gardening commandments. I will repeat only two:

  “Honor thy mums and poppy” got a loud and well deserved groan. 
   The tenth, “Thou shall rest on the seventh daisy” managed to get away just a grunt.

Susie Lowenstein’s granddaughter was on last Friday’s cover of Hampshire Life.

Nancy Foster is walking now and should be home in a week.

Jacquie Price left committee sign-up sheets for Love Notes on our tables. If you missed out, you’d better hustle: who wants to be assigned to a committee when there’s still time to get onto the committee of your dreams.

There will be a board meeting on August 22nd.


Larry Siddall was our speaker. I knew that Larry was a retired psychotherapist, but learned today that he had once been in the Peace Corps.

And also that he was born in Canton, China. His father was a medical missionary. The family lived in China until Larry’s mother died, then they came back to the US and settled in Ohio.

Two years ago Larry went back to China to see where he was born and visit other sites. This year he went back with a two week Elderhostel tour, then stayed another ten days to explore on his own.

[I was sitting with Nancy and Harrison Gregg so I will pass on this aside. At a dinner party they had, one of the Gregg’s guest wanted to sit next to a guest who, she was told, was an expert on China. After the meal she was asked how she enjoyed his company. She answered with exasperation, “He didn’t know a thing about Spode!”]

From the Great Wall and terra cotta warriors to busy markets and the interior of a mall, Larry’s pictures were wonderful. There were beautiful portraits of people, especially children. He illustrated and described China’s booming economy, population, traffic, pollution (which creates a haze over the cities), new architecture and beautiful old buildings, though “much of old China is being torn down.”

The wealth and growth we hear so much about refers to China’s cities, meanwhile people in the countryside, who do not own their own farms, are still living in poverty. There is, Larry said, a lot of unhappiness, and he predicts an uprising.

Larry highly recommends the Elderhostel tour.


August 1

President, Carolyn Holstein, opened the meeting with a reading of the Ten Commandments of Gardening:
(1)   Thou shalt be patient ‘til it’s thyme to garden.
(2)   Thou shalt be outstanding in the field.
(3)   Thou shalt lovingly care for the earth.
(4)   Thou shalt remember the forget-me-nots.
(5)   Thou shalt sympathize with the weeping willow.
(6)   Thou shalt weed thy garden diligently.
(7)   Thou shalt take time to smell the flowers.
(8)   Thou shalt give freely of the bounty of thy harvest.
(9)   Thou shalt keep a fresh-from-the-garden attitude.
(10) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s garden.
Nancy Foster is in the Center for Extended Care for rehabilitation after hip surgery.
Jacqui Price asked us “…if this is August can Love Notes for far behind?”
This year there is a Transportation Committee because of the blizzard conditions of last year which prohibited some members from attending.
A sheet is circulating for Love Notes committee signups.  The Party Committee has been divided into three sub-committees.
Tina Berins is asking for International Student host families—who will take a student to a ball game, etc. and to a family meal or gathering.   The gathering of hosts and students will be August 29 at 4 p.m. at the Woman’s Club.
Roger Webb asks all members to pick up a copy of the new Directory for themselves.
Arthur Kinney is proud of his UMass Shakespearean students who devised a data base to present to the World Congress in Brisbane, Australia, and convinced scholars that their approach is the way to go.

Honore David and Trudy Darity asked all male members of the Club to meet with them after the meeting to discuss ways to recruit more men.

Guests:  Harrison Gregg introduced his sister-in-law, Jennifer Gregg,
Susie Lowenstein’s guests were Millie Marnin  and Jerry Hausman,
Nancy Brose brought Vivian Newman.
Michael Greenebaum presented Judith F. Moran, Associate Professor Quantitative Studies and Director of the Math Center, Trinity College.

Judith has, in her fifteen years at Trinity, refocused her concentration on pure geometry to include mathematics in the real world, or as it is called in the mathematical community, Quantitative Literacy.  In the Math Center which she directs Judith oversees a program which has as its goal the creation of a mathematical “habit of mind” that will ensure that a Trinity graduate can cogently assess the many quantitative decisions he/she will confront—from health options to government fiscal policies.
We were treated to a slide show which illuminated Judith’s love of combining patterns with geometry. Several medieval Italian church floors were presented in intriguing detail of construction which has been preserved since the 12th and 13th centuries.( Floors from San Saba Church in Rome, Santa Maria in Cosmedin, San Miniato al Monte in Florence). Judith has created two new courses: Mathematics of Patterns and Mathematics in Art and Architecture, leading to projects in Hartford incorporating the wealth of decorative motifs in the state capitol and patterns in brickwork and tiling on the campus.
Judith will teach these courses at Trinity’s Rome campus in two years.
She  thanked Harrison Gregg profusely for managing the technicalities of her presentation.
Nancy Brose won the wine, Jean Chapman won the lottery.
Scribe, Nancy H. Brose


July 25

Reminder: New Amherst Club policy is that only announcements of club and personal news about members should be made during the meeting. General event announcements may be submitted for the newsletter. You are asked to provide information in writing to me, Nancy Frazier, or in my absence to Nancy Brose, or Nancy Foster. Emails are ok if they arrive before the newsletter is sent out. My address is

Carolyn Holstein opened the meeting with a poem by Mary Oliver which I tried to find. I think and hope it was Morning. And if it was, this is how it begins: Every morning/the world/is created.

No guests today.

As Nancy Brose reported, the good news is that Nancy Foster recovered from her first bike accident but the bad news is that, getting back on the saddle yesterday, she fell off again and broke her hip. She’s in the hospital.

Harrison and Nancy Gregg are celebrating their thirty-sixth wedding anniversary.

Bill Hart said that the Program Committee is getting going and is open to suggestions for speakers.

Bill then introduced today’s speaker, his friend David Bollier, a 1978 graduate of Amherst College who lives in Amherst.

Bollier is an author, activist, and consultant with a public interest portfolio. Here are titles of a few of his publications: Brand Name Bullies:

The Quest to Own and Control Culture, Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth, and with coauthors Thomas McGarity and Sidney Shapiro, Sophisticated Sabotage: The Intellectual Games Used to Subvert Responsible Regulation, published by the Environmental Law Institute. “Drawing upon dozens of law review articles,” according to the write-up, “this book explains in rigorous detail how regulated industries exploit cost-benefit analysis, risk assessment and other dubious quantitative models to avoid health, safety and environmental regulation. An excellent explanation of how economics has overwhelmed law and thwarted government protections for the public. Valuable for legislators, public policy analysts, journalists, law scholars and students.”

David Bollier spoke of his use of the term “commons” to think about politics, culture, and economics and the things we, as citizens may or should own in common. These are such things as public libraries, open spaces, parks, and the federal r&d for new drugs as well as public land and genetic information. But these communal benefits are often “enclosed” by the market and the state who act to benefit from them. “We like to think there is a lot we can control ourselves,” said Bollier. To that end he not only writes books and articles and speaks at conferences, he also has a blog:

Out of some 48 million blogs, Bollier’s is ranked in the mid 19,000s, and he gets about 1,000 visitors per day. He spoke of blogging as a force for energizing democracy, and his certainly fills the bill. I’d also recommend looking at his website,


July 18

Reminder: New Amherst Club policy is that general event announcements will not be made during meetings. Personal news from or about members, such as today’s happy note that Kathleen Scott has a new granddaughter, however, are still welcome.

Events may, however, be submitted for the newsletter. You are asked to give the information to me in writing, preferably at the meeting or by email, as long as the email arrives before I send the newsletter out. My address is

Carolyn Holstein opened the meeting with a few local news items from yesterday’s paper including the Gazette’s move to a new office and the a new hot tub in town. Are these items related?

Guests: Susan LowensteinJudith Moran.

Announcement: Glen Gordon, on piano, plays for his sister Elaine Fligman, who will sing popular songs Friday at 2:00 at the Gangs Community Center.(That was a typo, but I decided not to correct it.) There is a pot luck board meeting next Monday at Anurag Sharma’s house at 5:30.

Carolyn introduced our speaker, Aliza Stewart, who was born in Cyprus. Her parents had escaped the Holocaust and the family settled in Israel. She studied piano there and has performed in Israel, England and the United States.

Aliza began her studies in the Feldenkrais Method in 1982 and completed the professional training program in 1987. She lives in Baltimore and is in Amherst now teaching Feldenkrais at the Yellow Barn music school. She has also taught courses at the Peabody Institute and at the Mannes College of Music.

Aliza began her talk by commending the personalized, non competitive and non traditional approach at Yellow Barn, and the experimental nature of the programming. She went on to describe the ideas behind Feldenkrais and her use of the method to help musicians “feel good” when they play. The lessons includes recognizing that there is no sound without movement, from negotiating breath to moving fingers on a piano. Everyday movements are broken down into little pieces and students look at playing in terms of movement. Besides relieving pain and avoiding injury, the Feldenkrais Method promises improvement in strength, posture, coordination, and efficiency.


July 11

Greetings as a new Amherst Club year begins.

Our new president Carolyn Holstein opened with sad news about the death of Dee Waterman’s husband, Robert. Condolences will be sent on behalf of members.

Recalling some time back when Dee was president of the club, Carolyn said that Dee used to start meetings with quotations and ask members to identify them. So, thinking of Dee Carolyn also offered a few quotations, starting with . . .

Double, double toil and trouble;/ Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Yes, Macbeth, and yes, Vivienne’s superb witchery in the recent performance were brought to mind.

Outgoing president Anurag Sharma was thanked for his term in office, and his weekly readings from Tales of Amherst. Anurag was presented with a handsome glass paperweight made by a Leverett artisan.

The very happy news is that Bob Grose is back, looking and feeling very good.

Nancy Gregg introduced our new member, Jean Haggerty, who moved here from Texas six years ago after retiring from FEMA, an acronym that has become all to well known of late. Nancy talked about Jean’s activism, especially in housing, and allowed as how the Ann Whalen House, where Jean lives, has become a much livelier place since Jean’s been there.

Jean herself spoke about her new home: “I think being in Amherst is a wonderful thing. Amherst allows me to do what I want to do and be what I want to be. Amherst is now my town.” Heartening words.

Guests: Glen Gordon’s daughter, Vivien; Bobbye Hertzbach’s friend, Elaine Barkin.

Announcements: WELL, THIS IS A REMINDER THAT THE NEW CLUB POLICY IS THAT EVENT ANNOUNCEMENTS WILL NOT BE MADE DURING THE MEETING. However, any member with such an announcement may post it on a bulletin board, if one is acquired, or put notices about it on lunch tables. And the newsletter writer will include, in the newsletter, written event announcements. These may be given to her during the lunch meeting.


Our surprise, unscheduled speaker was Bill Hart, member of the program committee who lost track of his committee and gamely spoke to fill the unexpected gap. Lucky for us.

“I’m often accused of speaking about the obvious. Today I’m not speaking about the obvious,” Bill said. “I’m speaking about the inevitable.”

Death and Taxes.

It was a lively and interesting synopsis of the history of federal estate taxes and the current questions of tax reform.

Bill pointed out that the institution of estate taxes was originally seen as a peaceful way of redistributing the wealth. By now one percent of the population own some 40 percent of the wealth in the country, and the “reform” of estate taxes seems to be the establishment of a means for them to keep every penny in perpetuity. In terms of social policy, that is a truly awesome perversion of original intent.

This is a political football that may come to the foreground next week, so we are advised to pay attention to the news.

June 27

Anurag Sharma opened the meeting, reading a chapter about a late 19th century Christmas from Daniel Lombardi's "Tales of Amherst".

Claude Tellier introduced guest BenEzra. Someone (?) introduced guest Marian Shane.

Vivienne Carey encouraged us to attend Hampshire Shakespeare's production of Shakespeare's "MacBeth" at the Hartsbrook School in Hadley, assuring us the performance will take place indoors in case of rain. We get to see Vivienne on stage!

Larry Siddall reported that Bob Grose is back home and much better.

Jean Miller reported that a 3-bedroom condo is for sale in the Upper Orchard in South Amherst.

Bill Hart informed us that Bob McClung had died on June 24th and a memorial service would be held at First Congregational Church on Saturday, July 1st at 2 pm.

Harry Brooks introduced today's speaker, Judge Jim Collins of the Massachusetts Juvenile Court, ordinarily sitting in sessions in our part of the state. Judge Collins graduated from UMass where at one time he headed the student government. He went on to a degree from Suffolk University Law School and the practice of law. From 1979 to 1986 he served as an elected Representative from Amherst in the lower house of our state legislature. He gave up the practice of law when he was appointed to the Juvenile Court in 2001.

Judge Collins categorized activities of the Juvenile Court as "actions against a child" and "actions on behalf of a child". A child in the first category might be considered stubborn or a runaway. Judge Collins is proud of the 90% success rate of "diversion" programs for such a child, avoiding incarceration if the child keeps a clean record and performs an action of "restorative justice".

Actions on behalf of a child hold the potential for termination of parental rights if a family is adjudged abusive or neglectful. Judge Collins reported that two-thirds of these cases result in help for the family and their reunification with the child.

He sees as factors in both categories the prevalence of "terrible" poverty and the high incidence of babies born addicted in Holyoke and Springfield.

He described as "suffocating" the poverty prevalent in rural areas such as Orange which are also marked by a high incidence of incest and few resources to help the poor. He salutes the "heroism" of the Department of Social Service workers who often risk their own safety to investigate these cases.

Judge Collins closed by labeling poverty "the most important issue facing our country today" and one we should address "to save our children".

The Amherst Club will not meet on July 4th.


June 20

*This newsletter includes Joan Hanson’s notes on the on the important board meeting last week. See below.

Anurag Sharma read from Dan Lombardo’s Tales of Amherst. Amusing, as always, but with that touch of dark comedy native to our town, the topic was Halloween Pranks of Amherst College Students. Said pranks described as “medieval” and “barbaric.”

No guests.

Anurag read a card from Ann Grose thanking club members of the flowers sent to Bob. He is now home from the hospital.

Aurthur Kinney said that if there’s no rain tomorrow we will be able to see Macbeth (Shakespeare Under The Stars) at the Hartsbrook School(visit And on Friday we may hear Arthur talk about Macbeth. (Call 577-3600 for when and where Arthur will talk.)

Tina Berins announced that Family Outreach drew 150 people and earned $28,000 from its event last week. She suggested there might be something we can learn from their success.

There will be no meeting on Tuesday, July 4.

Anurag said that minimizing announcements during our luncheon meetings was one of the topics the board discussed. See notes below.


Nancy Gregg introduced Erica Johnson, Program Director at Massachusetts Fair Housing Center which is headquartered in (800-675-7309).

Started in 1989 by a group of homeless shelter workers and attorneys, MFHC now works in five counties against housing discrimination that is illegal according to state and federal fair housing laws. Questions of discrimination concern race, color, national origin, sex, religion, children, mentally or physically disability, marital status, age, military or veteran status, ancestry, public assistance, housing subsidies or rental assistance.

The most common complaint of people who come to MFHC has to do with disabilitiesusually because the building owner doesn’t want to install a ramp. Also frequent is reluctance to rent to people with very young children because of the possibility of lead paint.

Besides following up on complaints, MFHC sends people out to the field to find out how potential renters or home buyers are treated. They have done “linguistic profiles” and compared the number of callbacks: 58% of calls made by white males were returned, 18% made by African American Males, 20% by Hispanic speakers.

MFHC helps in many ways besides rentals, including helping people avoid predatory and other unfair lending practices and fraudulent refinancing .

A lot of the calls they receive from Amherst concern public and rental assistance, and people who do not want to rent to a family with young children. Amherst calls also result from discrimination based on issues of race and national origin.


Amherst Club Board Meeting: Tuesday, June 13, 2006, 1:40 PM, Hickory Ridge Dining Hall

Members Present:, Vivienne Carey, Nancy Frazier, Michael Greenebaum, Joan Hanson, Carolyn Holstein, Arthur Kinney, Ruth Miller, Rachel Hare Mustin, Sandy Parent, Jacquie Price, Anurag Sharma, Isolde Stein, Roger Webb

Minutes of May 9, 2006 were approved as written.

Membership: Jean Haggerty was nominated and approved for membership. Rachel gave the annual membership committee report. 4 new members have been nominated and accepted, the information brochure was updated and became available in April.

Recommendations included suggestions that the brochure be more widely distributed, the committee engage with the Fundraising committee in a marketing campaign, that there be cooperation with the program committee in writing thank you notes to speakers and adding that the Club welcomes new members, and finally that more male members be involved in sponsoring new male members so the Club can achieve more diversity in regard to gender.

Future of the Club: Michael suggested that the Bylaws that are waiting to be approved wait until the ideas and suggestions raised at the Annual Meeting be reviewed and acted upon. Michael moved and Rachel seconded a motion that an Ad Hoc Committee be appointed by the new board of directors to look at the nature, structure and purpose of the Amherst Club.

Passed without dissent.

The Committee will address the issues raised at the Annual Meeting of May 2006. The Committee will also report regularly and lead a discussion of its ideas 1 time per quarter at a luncheon meeting.

Meeting Length: After lengthy discussion, it was decided that the Announcements at the beginning of meetings should be curtailed in order to try to shorten meeting time. Michael moved and Carolyn seconded a motion to eliminate all event announcements (Starting June 27, 2006). Passed with 2 abstentions.

Nancy Frazier will put announcements in the newsletter during a 2 month trial period. Announcements can be given to her on paper.

A board will be provided for posting announcements and the President will list the announcements during the opening of the luncheon meeting.

Personal announcements will continue to be taken from the floor. (births, illness, accolades)

The Endowment Fund: An even lengthier discussion resulted in the general agreement that the Endowment Fund strengthens the Club, but that it may change how the Club operates internally. A paper on Endowment fund questions and its potential, written by several club members, will be further refined and presented for discussion among the general membership at a future luncheon meeting.

Treasurer’s Report: Bill Ritter  Accepted as presented. The Club is healthy.

Meeting Adjourned at 2:55 P.M

Next meeting: July 11, 2006 at 1:30 PM.


June 13

Anurag Sharma opened the meeting with the formal induction of our two new members, Karen Tarlow, who was introduced last week, and Jean Chapman.

Anurag read a message from Nancy Brose, who is away until late July. “Jean and I have shred life’s paths for over twenty years.” Jean is a retired editor who worked at Harcourt Brace Janovich, among other publishers, she is an active volunteer with SeriveNet, and serves on a church committee which oversees divinity students in Hampshire County.

Susie Lowenstein’s guest was Millie Marnin.

Anurag announced that flowers from the club have been sent to Bob Grose who is in Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Larry Siddell added that Bob went into the hospital suffering from intermittent angina last Wednesday. Larry, who found Bob quite “chipper” when he visited, said that Bob should be home soon, and that cards should be sent to his home.

Karen Tarlow: reminder that the Nataraj Dancers’ performance is Saturday, June 17, 3 p.m., APE Thornes Market, 3rd floor. Anurag added that his daughter is one of the dancers.

Ruth Miller: Gypsy jazz at Helen Hills Hills Chapel, Smith College, this Friday night.

Vivienne Carey will celebrate her 60th birthday Friday, June 23, playing a witch in Macbeth. For information about this and other productions of Shakespeare Under The Stars (at the Hartsbrook School) visit

Tina Berins: Family Outreach dinner 6:30 this Friday


In introducing Ruth Hooke Michael Greenebaum said, “For me she is a model of committed engagement in the world.”

Ruth was one of ten travelers to South Africa, seven of whom were from Western Massachusetts. Nancy Foster was also in the group. The theme of the tour was The Legacy of Gandhi in Africa. Gandhi spent twenty-two years in South Africa and the tour visited several of the sites where exhibits and buildings reflected his work.

Ruth spoke about the beauty of the landscape and the struggle against apartheidthanks to club member David Scott they spoke to a man who was imprisoned with Nelson Mandela. Wire cages were used to display one of the anti-apartheid exhibits they visited. It was “torturous” to wend one’s way around. Ruth said, “I asked myself, ‘Am I ever going to get out of here?’ ”

Surely, she comment, the intention of the exhibit was for the viewer to ask such a question, and to deepen her understanding of the confinements of apartheid, of poverty, and of prison.

Ruth and her fellow travelers were introduced to members of two grass roots community rights organizations. The first was Women of Wentworth, or WOW.

WOW is made up of thirteen women who have launched important programs such as after school tutoring , volunteering at an AIDs hospital, and helping people get child support. Wentworth is the site where their “headquarters” are located. At the moment, headquarters consists of thirteen chairs in the middle of an empty field. They are determined to build on that site.

Another grass roots action group they learned about is committed to fighting against the newly begun efforts to charge for water and electricity. This is a vigorous group that removes meters newly installed to monitor water and electric usesutilities previously free.


June 6

Carolyn Holstein, standing in for Anurag Sharma, opened the meeting.

Guests: Hub Smith: wife, Linda, and Kay Cowperthwait. Zina Tilona: Diane Kelton.

Announcements: Ruth Hooke, who speaks next week, wonders if anyone has Power Point equipment she might use. And, Ruth and Nancy Brose among singers of St. John’s Passion at John M. Green Hall, Smith College, next Sunday at 3:00.

New member, Karen Tarlow (see below) announced the Nataraj Dancers’ performance of Roots & Wings: Dances of India, “celebrating young dancers learning ancient traditions.” (Her daughter is one of the dancers.) Saturday, June 17, 3 p.m., APE Thornes Market, 3rd floor.

Claude Tellier carpools to Amherst Club meetings with two other members and has room for a fourth to join them.

Bill Hart’s eldest son graduated from Grinnell, the Greggs are currently attending a family graduation.

Honoré David introduced our new member, composer Karen Tarlow. Recently retired from teaching music theory at UMass, Karen writes a variety musical compositions on commission. One of her published pieces “Five Shaker Lyrics” for SATB chorus, unaccompanied, is published by E.C. Schirmer Music Company and has been performed by the UMass Amherst Chamber choir.


Michael Greenebaum overcame Hub Smith’s reluctance to speak about himself by persuading Hub that Club members could benefit from knowing what he learned from the medical disaster he had experience d. In the title of Hub’s talk, C Day, the C stands for Catastrophic, which is what medical events such as the one he experienced are called.

It began in spring of 2002 when Hub was diagnosed with prostrate cancer and the results of his MRI scan showed not only that the cancer was operable without radiation or chemical therapy, but that he also, unexpectedly, two aneurysms. The cancer surgery went smoothly, however when Hub went on to have the aneurysms taken care of, bad news began to accumulate. First an ultrasound revealed not only that one of the original aneurysms had grown, but that a third one had formed.

On April 28, 2003, Hub went to Baystate Hospital for what was predicted to be a five hour operation with five to seven days in the hospital. When surgery began the blood vessels were clamped off and then, as he lay on the table, one of the aneurysms burst. Blood clots and toxic fluids shot through his legs. As doctors concentrated on repair, new damage occurred: it is surmised that deprivation of its blood supply caused injury to the spine.

His legs began to swell. Six fasciotomies were performed on his legs to let the fluid drain. His kidneys failed. He was in surgery for nine hours.

Linda and the kids were going nuts waiting for news, and when it came it was awful: chances were 70 to 30 that he would not pull through.

Instead of five to seven days in the hospital, he was in ICU for three weeks. During that time he became convinced that one of his doctors was living under his bed. He had a round faces and glasses and every now and then he would pop up and say, “Hi! How’re you doing?” Then he would disappear.

From Baystate Hub went on to the hospital’s Weldon Rehabilitation Hospital for a month. He was so weak he couldn’t lift his head, and when he was tilted up at an angle greater than 20 degrees he passed out. But there were landmarks of progress, such as when he was able to wiggle his big toe. “So there was hope,” he said. From Weldon he went to Heritage Hall in Agawam. He received occupational therapy for his upper body, physical therapy for his lower body. Recovery, he said is “spotty.” Other important landmarks include standing by himself, taking a few steps between parallel bars, and little by little, progressing from a walker to a cane. An important test was to show that he could get up off of the floor if he fell. And the final exam was that he had to climb a flight of stairs with his cane.

Hub finally went home in September 2004, where he had visiting nurses and home health aides. He returned to Weldon for therapy, transported courtesy PVTA three times per week. Then, a great breakthrough, he is able to drive his own van.

Now at Amherst College’s fitness center, Hub works with personal trainers.

His luncheon guest, Kay Cowperthwait, is one of his trainers.

Hub’s words of advice: If you feel a little strange, tell your doctor about it. (He ignored a slight difficulty in walking the dog which was possible symptom.) Accept all the help you can get. Grateful for the support of Club members, Hub especially thanked Nancy Brose and Arthur Kinney for their gifts of a plant (which still thrives) and teddy bear.

When he walked away from the podium, Hub’s cane swung jauntily from his arm.

After the meeting Hub mentioned that he’s currently wearing ankle-foot orthodics (two leg braces) and thigh-high compression stockings which, he says, makes him sympathetic toward women who wear panty hose.


May 30

Death and the Dickinsons cont. Edwin Dwight Marsh was front page news in Amherst when the “warm hearted” man know for arranging funerals and selling furniture died. His most famous client was Emily Dickinsohn whose white casket was an exceptional one, and whose entire funeral was “one of the most expensive that spring.” That sounds like an understatement.

Guests: Anurag’s father-in-law, Arthur Kinney invited a Renaissance Center visiting scholar, and Nina Scott was there with Jim.


Zina Tillona noted that a David Mamet play will be presented by New Century Theater next Thursday evening.

Ruth Miller said that Odetta is at the Iron Horse next week. Let her know if you want to join her.

Ruth Hooke: Sunday, June 11. Hampshire Chorale singing St. John’s Passion at John M. Greene Hall.

Arthur Kinney: Lois Barber has an exhibit at Burnett Gallery, Jones Library.

Michael introduced our speaker, club member Lois Jewel Barber.

Lois spoke about her work at Earth Action of which she is Executive Director. 2006 is The International Year of Deserts and Desertification and because Earth Action has an network and had worked on 83 global campaigns, she was contacted by someone at the United Nations to lead a battle against desertification. Desertification is the loss of soil and soil fertility in the dry land regions of the world.

Some facts:  Over 40 per cent of the earth’s land surface is desert.

Deserts are home to over two billion people who depend on the fertility of its soil.

Some causes: Overgrazing, Deforestation, Not rotating crops, Poor irrigation resulting in salinization.

Humans have caused this disaster, and we are losing desert topsoil at an alarming rate. It takes 6,000 years to build up six inches of topsoil.

That is some of the need-to-know information, and everything Earth Action does links information with action. In this case part of the action is an international treaty ratified by 191 countries. The rest is combating the problem.

Lois ended with a note about another extraordinary project, a World Future Council, which will be composed 100 moral/ethical leaders . She has just returned from Geneva where the founding of the Council was launched.


May 23

Since Anurag Sharma and Carolyn Holstein were absent Michael Greenebaum conducted the meeting. Because the newsletter committee was also unavailable, Michael also provided newsletter notes:

Linda Smith joined Hub for lunch today.

Speaker Dr. Nancy Hendrie was a pediatrician in Concord for thirty years before she decided to commit herself to providing medical and educational care for Cambodia’s orphaned and disadvantaged children. She founded The Sharing Foundation in 1998, and presented her inspiring work in words and pictures.

In the village of Roteang, the Foundation has built an orphanage that accepts children without regard to clinical status. It is home to sixty infants and children, many of whom will remain in the care of the Foundation indefinitely. The Foundation also provides substantial support to the village school and has initiated highly successful high school and college scholarship programs, vocational training for women, and a farm project for indigent farmers.

The Sharing Foundation has an annual budget of about $300,000, with most of the funding coming from individual donations. It has a web site:


May 17 - The club's Annual General Meeting

The meeting was called to order by President Anurag Sharma at 1:00. Arthur Kinney presented the slate of Amherst Club Officers and Directors, 2006-2007. The slate was approved without dissent and with no additional nominations from the floor.

President - Carolyn Holstein 
Vice-President and Chair of Allocations - Jim Wald 
Recorder - Joan Hanson 
Treasurer - Hubbard Smith 
Registrar - Jacquie Price 
Attendance - Nancy Gregg 
Newsletter - Nancy Frazier, Nancy Brose, Nancy Foster 
Membership - Trudi Darity, Honore David 
Activities - Lorraine Derosiers, Ruth Miller 
Program - Bill Hart, Nigar Khan, Susan Lowenstein, Jim Scott 
Fundraising (Love Notes) - Chris Blauvelt, Anne McIntosh 
Internet Technologist - David Scott 
Archives - Bonnie Isman, Kathleen Scott 
Nominations - Anurag Sharma

Open discussion followed regarding diversifying membership. The following ideas, suggestions, thoughts, questions were raised by members: 

* The Club is now made up mostly of retired people with a ratio of 2:1 women. 
* Do many young and working people have the time and money resources to become members? 
* Can scholarships be made available from the treasury? 
* Would having a scholarship call attention to a person’s financial status? 
* Promoting our partnership membership could help make the Club more affordable. 
* Taking more than an hour for lunch could be difficult for some. 
* Suggestion was made to set up an Ad Hoc Committee to look at luncheon hours. The idea of having a Saturday Brunch was not met with enthusiasm. 
* Moving to a location in Amherst, closer to businesses, would make parking an issue. 
* In these times, both spouses need to work and this constrains time commitments, which effects every group and organization in the area. 
* The Club complexion has changed over the years. In the past, members seemed to have a lot more motivation and excitement about being a Club member and joined for the networking, business contacts. New people in town sought out the Club. What percentage of members now come because it’s good for business? 
* Emphasis is now on philanthropy (not a bad thing). 
* Women can now join Rotary. Do we need both organizations? 
* It was noted that the programs in Rotary are mostly on Business and Sports. 
* The programs in the Amherst Club are mostly cultural and hearing from charitable organizations.

A suggestion was made to set up a committee to explore ideas on how to generate excitement, within the Club, become more visible, articulate why we are members. Perhaps we should follow up on why people drop out. 

* At the fundraiser do minor recruitment - have a paper to fill out 
* Engage our new members right away in an activity to get them involved. 
* Since the new brochure is available, place it in the speaker’s gift mug. 
* We could add a free coupon in the mug to come and bring a friend for lunch. 
* Put our speakers on ACTV every week. 
* Do the drawing for wine and money before the speaker. 
* Invite newcomers right away to speak - Town Manager, Superintendent of Schools, etc.


May 10

Death and the Dickinsons Part 2, was a chapter from Lombardo’s book entitled Death of a Promising Boy. Gilbert Dickinson, Emily’s nephew, died at age eight. Emily followed around a year later, but before she did she wrote about Gilbert’s death attributing to him the words, “Open the door, open the door, they’re waiting for me.”


Michael Greenebaum ‘s guest, Marta Ostapiuk, executive director of the Amherst Cinema Project; Vivienne Careyher friend and neighbor Ursula; Nancy FosterHwei-Ling Greeney, member of the Amherst Selectboard and the chef of Not Bread Alone.


Jim ScottFive College Learning in Retirement meeting to “Meet the Moderators” is Friday May 12, 2:00-4:00 at the Amherst College Alumni House.

Zina Tillonasponsor a bowler on behalf of the New Century Theater. If you didn’t get a chance to sign up at lunch, contact Zina.

Lois BarberYellow Barn Music School and Festival is looking for housing for performers during the summer between June 13 and August 6.

Ruth MillerFriday, July 14 trip to Mohawk Trail concert preceded by dinner.

Arthur KinneyColonial Dinner Saturday, 6:00 with tour of homestead, Stockbridge House.

The play Arden of Faversham will be presented at 2:00 both Saturday and Sunday

Speaker: Our speakers today were Carol Johnson, Barry Roberts.

Michael began by introducing Carol, President of the Amherst Cinema Arts Center who showed us a rendering of the center project by the architects, John Kuhn and Chris Riddle, in order describe what was going on “physically” with the building project. She also spoke about what was already going on insidecoffee house populated by “grown ups;” and what is to come: Tenants Kuhn/Riddle (who had donated a substantial portion of their design fee to the project) will move in on the second floor, as will an environmental consultant. A financial consultant will hang out a shingle, and a “white tablecloth” restaurant run by the previous owner of Bottle and Bread (a wonderful restaurant in Shelburne Falls) will open.

And, as Carol said they want to make the “best art film cinema in the country.” There will be three screens, one with 190 seats, the two others with 49 seats each. There will be state-of-the-art equipment, and comfortable seats. Hypothetical programming includes every movie you ever wanted (or will want) to see.

Both Carol and Barry Roberts, who spoke after her, talked about what an enormous difference the project will make to the town center. Barry said he believed they could make their deadline for opening this fall (and since he’s doing the construction, he should know). He also remarked on the interesting fact that downtown real estate has declined in value, while all other real estate has increased. Part of the transformation of downtown they have in mind is to increase the downtown’s value, both culturally and financially.

Both speakers told of the generous gifts they have received, from bank loans to bank right-of-ways, from $75,000 donated by Amherst College, to an unsolicited phone call offering $50,000, and a check arrived within the same week. But of course, the need for contributions remains, and will remain after the project is up and running.

As Barry Roberts said, there will be stuff going on all day long. Imagine, for example, children’s Saturday morning films. He added,

“We may never get a hardware store back downtown, but . . . .”


May 3

It rained, but everyone smiled anyway. It was a light, steady spring rain, just what lawns and gardens needed.

May I say a few words about golf club aesthetics? The first is pansies. In full, colorful bloom, individual pansies were equidistant from each other in well planned beds, laid in with a measuring tape, I’m sure. The effect is a kind of perfection appropriate to a game that requires a very good eye for distance. But there wasn’t just the spectacle of pansies to marvel at, there were also trees in blossomy splendor in the foreground of grass greener than anywhere else. I know the secret: rain or no rain, great, high intersecting arcs of water jetted from hoses to saturate the rolling greens. I thought it was a mistake at first, then decided it was not a mistake but a strategy.

Death and the Dickinsons was the subject that brought us to order.

Specifically, Anurag Sharma read to us about the death of Edward, Emily Dickinson’s father. The funeral service was brief and simple, with modest white daisies strewn about. Befitting a man of his stature (and a daughter of hers), businesses were closed during the funeral. Emily stayed in her room when the guests assembled at the house, but she left the door open a crack.


Michael Greenebaum and Kathleen Scott shared guest Carol Johnson (who is next week’s speaker). Lois Barber’s guest was Craig Anderson.


Jim ScottFive College Learning in Retirement Sprint “Meet the Moderators”

Meeting May 12, 2:00-4:00 at the Amherst College Alumni House.

Bill HartSalamander Soiree, Friday May 5, 5:30-8:30, at the Amherst College Alumni House. A Benefit for the Hitchcock Center for the Environment.

Tickets $20 in advance, $25 at the door. 256-6006.

Michael G.Saturday, a great moment for the Amherst Cinema, a ground breaking with Stan Rosenberg and Ellen Story, starting at 11:00.

Dee Waterman said, “Woof, woof,” and added “meow, meow”: buy a book of 6 raffle tickets to benefit the Dakin Animal Center.

Chamber of Commerce Awards dinner is tomorrow (Wednesday). Tickets $50.

Cynthia BrubakerLeague of Women Voters’ book sale, this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoon.

Ruth Hooke has a new grandchild.


Cynthia Brubaker introduced Barbara Weiner, founder of The Garden, an organization designed to help children who have experienced the death of someone they love. Before starting The Garden in 1998, Barbara was a counselor at Wildwood school. The Garden, “A Center for Grieving Children and Teens,” is a community program sponsored by The Hampshire Regional YMCA.

The Garden also works with parents and guardians of these children, assisting them as they try to help the youngsters in their care.

Services offered by The Garden are free of charge and are available for as long as the young people and their families need them. It provides an opportunity to talk about the experience of death and grief with others who are facing loss. Families meet together twice a month.

The Garden has a wide reach: it is available to Western Massachusetts families from Vermont to West Springfield, and has worked with several hundred such families so far. There is a paid staff of two part time counselors, one of whom is Barbara who is retiring next year. The other staff member, Shelly Lynn, will become director. They depend on volunteers, whom they train, and on donations, which are fully tax deductible.

When Barbara asked how many members of the Amherst Club had heard of The Garden, only two people out of a pretty full house raised their hands.

Fortunately, as of today, that number can be multiplied many times over.


April 25

After a splendid meat loaf luncheon, President Anurag Sharma told us about cattle shows on the town commons in the mid-19th century.

Joining us for lunch were Karen Tarlow, guest of Honore David, Michael Berins, guest of guess who, Geena O’Brien, fought over by Arthur Kinney and Nancy Brose, and Jean Chapman, solely Nancy’s guest.

In conformity with the bylaws, Arthur Kinney, chair of the Nominating Committee presented the slate of officers and chairs for the 2006-2007 year beginning July 1. See the end of these notes.

Ruth Miller is organizing a club trip to the Mohawk Trail concert on July 14th, when William Bolcom and Joan Morris will be joined by Estela Olevsky.

Hampshire Health Connect is having a tapas dinner on May 4th at 6 p.m. The dinner is free but significant contributes will be requested. More information from Keri Heitner.

The Renaissance Center will hold a Sonnet Fest Friday, April 28th at 4.

Several club members are among the readers.

Miriam Dayton reminded us about the Mass Senior Action bus on May 1st from Northampton at 8 a.m. More information from her.

The Yellow Barn Music Festival will have a concert season in Amherst this summer and needs housing, both long and short term, for its artists. More information on its web site.

Amherst residents can meet with the new Master Plan consultants next Tuesday at 7 in the Town Room at Town Hall.

Anurag introduced his dean and friend, Tom O’Brien from the UMass School of Management. Dean O’Brien is about to retire after 19 years at the helm of this greatly enlarged and influential school.

He spoke to us though about his work on the Court Management Advisory Board, a group of lawyers and management specialists appointed by the Chief Justice of Massachusetts to recommend and oversee improvements in the efficiency of the commonwealth’s courts. He spoke about the different viewpoints of the lawyers and the managers on the board but is pleased that the board has agreed upon specific indicators of gains and goals for the court system. He is enthusiastic about quantification in public policy (such as measurement in education), but warned that the forces opposed to this change are real and strong.

Slate of Officers and Chairs, 2006-2007

President - Carolyn Holstein 
Vice-President - Jim Wald 
Secretary - Joan Hanson 
Treasurer - Hubbard Smith 
Registrar - Jacqui Price 
Activities - Lorraine DesRossiers, Ruth Miller 
Archives - Bonnie Isman, Kathleen Scott 
Attendance - Nancy Gregg 
Communications - Nancy Frazier, Nancy Brose, Nancy Foster 
Fund-raising - Chris Blauvelt. Anne McIntosh 
Internet Technologist-David Scott 
Membership - Trudy Darrity, Honore David 
Nominations - Anurag Sharma 
Program - Bill Hart, Nigar Khan, Susan Lowenstein, Jim Scott


April 18

With spring on our minds, Anurag Sharma’s reading from Lombardo’s Tales of Amherst was on the subject of seasonal things. Notable among the anecdotes was one about hunting season. It had to do with two hunters from North Amherst who shot the same squirrel.

There were no guests today, but plenty of announcements:

Arthur Kinney: a great Renaissance dinner party at the University Faculty Club starting at 6:00, benefit the Renaissance Center. Only $25 per person.

Sandy Parent: Thursday at noon at the Amherst Historical Museum a talk by the director.

Cynthia Brubaker: The League of Women Voters is beginning to collect books for their annual sale. Many of those left over will be given to the Reader to Reader program we learned about a few weeks ago.

Also, a discussion on Wednesday at noon in the Community Room at the Police Department. The subject will be Crime in Amherst.

Miriam Dayton: On May 1 seniors will “storm” the Statehouse. A bus will leave early in the morning and will be back by 3:00.

Ruth Hooke: “What should our country stand for?” is the topic Wednesday at 7:00 at the First Church in Northampton. Notable speakers will be there.

Jim Scott: Whole Foods Market supports certain non profits with a donation of 5% of their profits on a given day. Jim hopes we will all shop there tomorrow because the Kestrel Trust will be the beneficiary.

Nancy Gregg: April is Fair Housing Month, and there will be a film next Tuesday about Lewiston, Maine, at the Ann Whalen 5th floor Community Room.

Vivienne Carey: Please return the form Vivienne passed out today with or without any changes to be made in the membership directory.


Michael Greenebaum introduced Matthew Andrews who talked to us about the work of Best Buddies, an organization founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver. Best Buddies is committed to linking volunteers with people who have intellectual disabilities. The organization serves some 250,000 people every year.

Matthew, who has been with Best Buddies for a year, described the difficulties intellectually disabled people facesuch as isolation, rejection, segregation from the rest of society, low expectationand how those difficulties affect their lives. He told stories about how volunteers working with such people have succeeded in changing their lives. Through empathy and friendship Best Buddies have succeeded in giving people with “special needs” what they really need: integration, hope, independence, respect, and a sense of their own value.


April 4

A wintry spring day. Enough said.

Anurag Sharma read from Lombardo’s Tales of Amherst about the “avaricious appetite for newspapers and magazines” in Amherst during the nineteenth century, especially in the Dickinson household.

Guests: Tina Berins’s husband, Chris Blauvelt’s wife, Vivienne Carey’s friend.


Dee Waterman will oversee distribution of raffle wine for Jean Miller who, after being ill herself, will be caring for someone else who is ill, and she will be unable to attend meetings for a few weeks.

Rachel Mustin: The new Club brochure will be ready for distribution next week.

Arthur Kinney: Tomorrow for the last Wednesday @ 4:00 at the Renaissance Center, Bill Peterson will talk about the cosmos. Friday is open house, and Saturday, April 8, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., is a Conference on Women and Agency Ruth Hooke will be giving a talk on South Africa at Applewood and needs help getting her pictures from the camera to a PowerPoint presentation.


Janet Sadler introduced our speaker, Ron Luchsinger, who is the new artistic director of Commonwealth Opera of Western Massachusetts. His directing credits are impressive and include productions for Knoxville Opera, Connecticut Opera, Eugene Opera, Anchorage Opera, Abilene Opera, Lyric Opera of Dallas, Shreveport Opera, the OK Mozart Festival, Baton Rouge Opera, the California Music Center, Jacksonville Lyric Opera and Amarillo Opera.

Luchsinger’s talk was informal, anecdotal, amusing and enthusiastic. He spoke of former students who have turned up famous, of his love for opera, and of his hope to start a young artists program at Commonwealth.

More immediately, Commonwealth is presenting Guys and Dolls on April 28, 29, and 30 at the Northampton High School.


March 28

A special lunch meeting today, to honor the recipients of money raised by the 2006 Love Notes concert (just over $16,000). A representative from each of the recipients attended, and gave wonderful presentations.

Ruth Miller arranged for Channel 40 News to attend, and the Amherst Club was featured on the evening news.


March 21

Anurag Sharma read from Lombardo’s Tales of Amherst. The subject was John Musante, aka Peanut John, whose peanut shop, on the common, was open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.


Carolyn Holstein invited a former selectperson, Harry Brooks had two guests, one the previous and the other the current chair of the select board.

Anurag’s guest, from Turkey, is a visitor at the School of Management.


Vivienne Carey asks people to let her know when they joined the Amherst Club.

Tina Berins asks for hospitality program volunteers. This involves inviting an individual to a meal, and perhaps one or two local events. There is currently a young Korean woman at UMass who would like to be part of the program.

Bonnie Isman: the Community Reading Program—“On the Same Page”meets in Amherst, at the Newman Center April 19, and at the Jones Library April 27, to discuss Michael White’s book, The Garden of Martyrs. To see the full calendar of events for the for the program go to

Sign-up has begun for the May 15 trip to Mass MOCA. Contact Ruth Miller.

The League of Women Voters sponsors candidates’ night this Thursday at Town Hall.


Harry Brooks introduced retiring town manager Barry DelCastilho who studied at theological seminary before he went to Syracuse University for his degree in public administration. He was working in Durham, NC but when he saw an ad for town manager in Amherst in August 1982, and he said, “That’s the town I’ve been looking for.”

DelCastilho recollected some of the problems he has encountered, which range from the “peeper” who lurked in the Sunset Avenue area during his first year, to ongoing concerns with water quality and with bringing businesses to Amherst. The biggest single issue during his long tenure was the parking garage , a controversy that continued for three years.

Amherst, said DelCastilho, is like a house of cards. That is, its balance is difficult to maintain, and the structure is continually on the verge of collapse. Pursuing the metaphor, he touched on who might be king, queen etc. and added that he would say that the town manager is probably the joker.

“This joker is moving out,” he said, “and another joker is coming in.”

The DelCastilhos will be moving to Buckland where they have a lot of work to do on their house. Apart from that he looks forward to relaxing and reading for a while, at least, before he plunges back into anything serious.


March 14

President Anurag Sharma began the meeting with a reading from "Tales of Amherst" about Tyler Wedge, an Amherst College grad, who lost his senses and then lived at the Poor Farm. The building is still there at the corner of Station Road and South East Street.

Dee Waterman's guest was Ruth Elcan, retired HCC prof.

Notices: Amherst Ballet will have three performances this weekend at Bowker Auditorium. Dances: two with environmental themes and a "Firebird" excerpt. Call UMass for tix.

Musician Horace Boyer will perform gospel March 27 at the North Amherst Congregational Church. No tix at the door.

The club is sponsoring a bus trip to Mass MOCA May 15. Call Sandi Parent or Ruth Miller to reserve a seat. Tix are $35.

Arthur Kinney was featured in the Bulletin.

Ruth Hooke returned from a trip to South Africa.

Lois Barber went to her son, Tim's, photo exhibit opening at the Spencer Brownstone Gallery on Wooster Street in New York City. The exhibit ends April 8.

Ruth Miller and several Amherst Clubbers will be at the Harp restaurant Thursday for Celtic music including Craig Eastman on fiddle. She will be there at 5 for supper. But if you want to go at 6 ask her to save you a seat. The music starts at 8.

Michael Greenebaum introduced our program - story teller Barbara Autley and harpist or harper Sarah McKee. The story of Finn, an Irish hero, an ancient wonder tale that W.B. Yeats translated into English was very appropriate with St. Patrick's Day on Friday. Not a sound was heard from members as Barbara read the story of the Finn, a creature of the forest, who measured time by the moon and the leaves in bud or falling.

The story details the history of the earth's beginning by a woman who has more names than could be said in the hours of the day. One name - Bridget.

Sarah's harp echoed the story whether the ripping water or the call of the wolves.

It was a lovely tale well told.

Today's notes, courtesy of our Scribe, Phyllis Lehrer


March 7

Carolyn Holstein opened the meeting.

Rachel Mustin announced that spring is a good time to think about bringing prospective new members to the club, and the new brochure describing the club will soon be ready for distribution.

Bill Hart called attention to a great Amherst College basketball match this weekend.

And, this Sunday (March 12) a free concert at 3:00 at South Church featuring a top ranked flutist, Bobby Jones.

Claude Tellier: A “comedy concert” benefit for Men’s Resource Center at Munson Library, 2:00 p.m.also Sunday.

Arthur Kinney: tomorrow (Wednesday, March 8) an Islamic scholar speaks at the Renaissance Center.

Contact Ruth Miller if you are interested in a bus trip to MassMOCA.

Members also shared “good news.” Bill Hart’s son has been accepted at the University of Minnesota to do graduate work in archaeology. Sandy Parent’s youngest daughter was married at Disney World. Chris Blauvelt’s son graduated from the University of Michigan where he received a leadership award and an Intel scholarship. Therese Donohue will be designing a caterpillar costume to be worn by the person who greets visitors to the Eric Carle museum.


Ruth Miller introduced her very accomplished daughter, Laura Wattenberg, who has written a new and successful book, The Baby Name Wizard. Laura, Ruth said, married a teammate in the Schools Match Wits contest.

Laura’s interest in names does not run along the linguistic or numerological tracks that are most often traveled. Instead she studies the social meanings and information encoded in names. With graphs and statistics (mainly from the Social Security Administration), we learned how fashions in names change over time , and how names seem to travel in packs. O, as in Olive and Oscar, for example was popular 100 years ago. And, a 100-cyclical-phenomenon, O is just coming back into vogue. “If you meet an Olivia (the current form of Olive) today, she is likely to be under ten years old.

Certain names go well together: Nancy and Ronald, for instance, Sean and Bridget. Ethnicity, race and religion are often encoded in names. A naming rule that hasn’t changed much is that “We like our girls to sound boyish (e.g. Leslie), but we do not like our boys to sound girlish.”

“Names speak to our values,” as Laura says.

Interesting, innovative, first class research, and a provocative talk.

Laura has a website and a blog. To find her blog go to google, ask for baby name blog, and select the popup I’m feeling lucky. Her website is namevoyager.


February 28

President Anurag Sharma opened the meeting with a coda to his talk last week. He gave us a short list of good things to know about Italy.

 You pay less in a coffee shop if you stand up to eat than if you sit down.

 If you order pizza you won’t necessarily get it with tomatoes and cheese unless you ask for them.

 Don’t expect to get salt in your bread in Tuscany. (Well, I guess I’ll never go there.)  Italians are wild about soccer. But if you go to a game, be aware that fans often wave huge flags, and should you sit behind someone with a flag you won’t see the game. Also, members of the audience build small fires to keep warm and now and then send a flare onto the fieldnot a good thing.

And, away fans are caged in one corner of the stadium, while home team boosters are on the other side, behind goal posts.

 To strike is the birthright of every Italian, and it is a right acquired by visitors.

 The best-selling Perugina chocolate is called Bacibaci means kisses.

No guests today.


Arthur Kinney: Frank Murphy, who spoke to the club last year, will read from Edward Taylor’s poems at the Renaissance Center. And Arthur announces himself as a committee of one looking into an Amherst Club booth at the town fair.

Dee Waterman: The North Congregational Church and the Horace Boyer scholarship fund will have a concert (with Boyer performing) at the church on Monday, March 27.

Glen Gordon: The VLO presents The Chieftain by Sullivan (of Gilbert &) and someone else (i.e. not Gilbert). The Chieftain may not ever have been done before, and may not be done again. So see this productiona benefit for the Red Crossat the Middle School Saturday, March 4, 8:00, for $10. You may never have the chance again.


Michael Greenebaum introduced David Mazor who spoke about the Reader to Reader program he started about four years ago when he learned, in the library of his daughter’s college, that state budget cuts were severely effecting state libraries. The school his daughter attended hadn’t been able to buy books for two years. The next time he went to see his daughter he brought a bag of books with him. That’s when he started collecting books to build libraries.

A month later Mazor had collected 1,000 books. And he had started on the road to distribution by searching Google for the poorest stateMississippiand the poorest town in that stateDurant. He talked to the high school librarian in Durant and learned that they’d had no new books in four years. Unlike gymnasiums where if something breaks it will soon be fixed, school libraries have no constituency. Or had no constituency.

Mazor’s project has grown from a bag of books for one school to books for hundreds of schools. Books are donated to nation’s poorest communities, including inner-city schools, Native American Reservations, and poor rural towns, Over 300 schools across the U.S. have joined the program with over 300,000 books shipped to date. Some of the highlights include:

Over 5,000 books donated to the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams, MA.

Over 1,800 textbooks shipped to the Pine Ridge School in Pine Ridge, SD.

Over 2,000 books, including 80 volumes of poetry, donated to the Navajo Pine High School, Navajo, NM.

Over 1,000 books donated to the John Essex School, Demopolis, AL.

Reader To Reader, Inc., headquartered in donated space at Amherst College, is now a 501(c)(3) public charity. Donations of books and funds are made by individuals, publishing houses, and foundations. Mazor and his assistant are the only paid employees, and the rest of the work is done by volunteers, many of whom are retired teachers and librarians.

You can read about this great organization at


Here are excerpts from Joan Hanson’s notes for the last board meeting held on February 14.

Love Notes :Jacquie Price: Over $15,000 was taken in and there were 277 tickets sold. Thank you notes are to be sent where appropriate. The Board left it to the Love Notes Committee as to whether an honorarium would be given to the PVCS and the oboe soloist.

Treasurer's Report: Bill Ritter The Board accepted the Treasurer’s report as presented by Bill. $15820 was collected from Love Notes, $971 has been paid in expenses with about another $1000 in bills expected. Bill also noted that the Endowment fund balance at the end of December, 2005 was $3743.23. Another $1600 is to be added from the Auction. A $1000 CD will be maturing in early April and members will decide in March where it would be best to place that money.

Bylaws and Policies: Michael Greenebaum and Rachel Hare Mustin: A draft of rewritten bylaws and a draft Policy Manual were distributed for future discussion. Michael reported that the goal with these two documents is to separate the Club’s permanent substructure from changeable items.

Establishing a policy manual gives more authority to the board of directors because this board approves any policy or policy change whereas the whole membership has to vote on bylaws. Michael and Rachel asked that the board members read the drafts carefully and make suggestions/comments to Michael in advance of the March 7 meeting. The project should be finished by early May in order for a vote to be taken at the Club’s Annual Meeting.

Registrar’s Report: Vivienne Carey The Board accepted the resignations of Eddie Goldberg and Joanne Chandler. The Club has 85 members. The Registrar was also asked to do an annual report reflecting the names of new members as well as those who have resigned during the year. This report will be kept in the archives.

Membership: Rachel asked about the new Club brochures. Carolyn Holstein has them.

Web Committee: Roger Webb: Roger requested information on upcoming speakers for addition to the web site.

Activities: Ruth Miller A trip to MASSMOCA with a stop at the Lee outlets is being planned for early April.

Archive Committee: Kathleen Scott: Kathleen distributed a draft of a list of items to be saved by Archivists. This list as well as archival ideas and plans suggested by Kathleen and Bonnie Isman were discussed.


February 21

More Love Notes donations auctioned off by President Anurag Sharma: A $10 credit at the Lord Jeff’s Boltwood Tavern went for $12, and breakfast at Kelly’s for two was also won for $12.

Phyllis Lehrer gave an update of the post Love Notes review held at her house on Sunday. A majority of those present like the February date and also like the afternoon schedule followed by party. Some of the other topics discussed had to do with whether we should be able to provide transportation for performers, how cancellations should be decided and communicated.

Jim Scott’s ticket sales “bottom line”: $10,485.

Miriam Dayton: The Massachusetts Senior Action group has a meeting at Bangs tomorrow at 1:30. Health care issues (including the single payer plan) to be discussed.

Carolyn Holstein: Allocations committee to meet next Tuesday after lunch etc.


Anurag sat down so that Michael Greenebaum could introduce him as speaker.

Michael said the real act would be when Anurag came forward to tell himself that it was time for him to stop talking. (Truth to tell, Michael raised his hand to alert the speaker that he had two minutes left.) Figuring out what makes companies tickor notis Anurag’s academic interest.

He teaches at the Isenberg School of Business where a lot of the talk is about globalization, and students have been studying its reality in various foreign countries. During January intercession Anurag and two other staff members took 23 students to Italy to explore the Italian business world first hand. They stayed for twelve nights.

Before their trip the group spent the fall semester preparing and planning their excursion, posing questions such as Why do Italian goods have such cachet? How is it they are so well designed? How did Italy come to be known as a market for luxury goods?

They had three cities on their itineraryMilan, Florence, and Venice. Their goal was to talk to as many people as possible, from other students to shopkeepers to American consuls general. In Milan they hooked up with students at the university to whom they gave a Powerpoint presentation on the American college experiencea terrific idea.

In Florence the consul gave them a Powerpoint presentation on Italian business. One thing they learned is that the low birth rate in the country results in a lot of people owning and pampering petswhich could be a golden opportunity for American pet supply companies to take advantage of.

In Milan they discovered that the region was once rich in mulberry trees, silk worms and silk. There is a still a silk industry there, but now the raw material comes to them from China. Indeed, China is much on the minds of Italians these days, and they fear that China is taking their business away.

As Anurag later remarked, sharp Italian designs might be manufactured in China and sold in the US. Such is one of the stretches of globalization.

So why is Italy known for well designed, high end luxury goods like clothing, cars, wine, and cheese? There is no easy answer but Anurag has some thoughts. One is that Italian culture is a “display” culture where, for example, people dress up and go to the piazza. They are highly attuned to design.

Another thing, Italians have made a conscious decision not to be a big business kind of country. Mass production and fine design are hardly compatible.

Finally, Italians have a deep sense of aesthetics embedded in their culture, perhaps from their education, from their familiarity with antiquities and with the powerful influence of the Italian Renaissance.

This was a very interesting discussion. Just too short.


February 14

This was the Tuesday after a notable, if not illustrious, Sundaythe Sunday when dire weather forecasts forced the cancellation of everything from church services to Valentine parties throughout the Valley. It was all about snow. But it was also the long anticipated Sunday we’d dedicated to Love Notes, and, yes, our show did go on!

And it was a totally fabulous show. The turnout was awesome and the fun, the satisfaction, the success and enjoyment of it all still dazzled as our Tuesday meeting began, with President Anurag honoring our incomparable Maestro Jacquie Price. Jacquie’s heroic intrepidity (a word we thought Arthur Kinney coined, but it hasn’t been nixed by Spellcheck©) inspired all of us, and our shared intrepidity was cheerily toasted. (But of course, Arthur is an English teacher.) Then there was a quickie auction of miscellaneous party leftovers, from saltines to sodas, deftly executed by Phyllis Lehrer.

***NOTE: There will be a debriefing and celebratory potluck party for members and guests at Phyllis’s house, 197 Pondview Drive, Amherst, at noon this Sunday, February 19. If you haven’t signed up to bring a dish call Phyllis at 253-5179.

GUESTS: Larry Siddell and Nancy Brose brought guests.


Susie Lowenstein is collecting signatures for Ellen Story.

Jim Scott applauded the “generosity and ferocity” of ticket sellers and concert goers. $2400 was collected at the gate and the current total ticket take is $9410.


Anurag introduced his colleague at UMass’s Isenberg School of Business, Larry Zacharias. Zacharias teaches business ethics, and he conceded that the term “business ethics” would seem to be an oxymoron. With a background in law, and a job with the Federal Trade Commission as well as, briefly, in business, he says that most of what goes wrong in business is not just unethical, it’s illegal.

Many problems that lead to unethical business practices result from disjunctions between new technologies and old laws. Zacharias cited reproductive rights and the genetic modification of foods as examples of areas where such disconnects occur.

Changes in society which leave the law in flux present other problem areas.

It was fascinating to learn the socio-historical context out of which the insider trading scandals we’ve been absorbed with during the past years emerged. That, for instance, a wish to bring small investors into the stock market during the 1930s was behind an effort to make the market seem fair and equally open to all, not just to savvy insiders. This effort led to overlooking some of the dubious activities of said market “experts.”

Further, when perspectives change, what once seemed clearly wrong (read insider trading) is instead rationalized, and as ideas about the stock market evolved during the 1960s and 1970s it was deemed not only defensible but, arguably, even good to give market experts with an inside track more trading freedom. One such argument was that fewer constraints on insiders would allow the market to move faster and more efficiently.

When Zacharias worked at the FTC during the early ‘70s the Regan inspired idea that government was the problem was gaining ground, and by the time Zacharias quit the FTC in 1978 it was clear that business could get away with anything it wanted to do, regardless of what the government charged it with.

You begin to understand how what has come about came about. Astounding.


Zacharias was showered with questions almost as soon as he began talking, the questions continued, and he answered each one directly and thoughtfully.

It’s hard to know how his talk might have gone had he proceeded uninterrupted, but as it was he was tremendously interesting and enlightening. I believe we’d all like the opportunity to have him back and to learn more.


February 7

Notes thanks to Phyllis Lehrer

President Anurag Sharma called the Amherst Club to order Feb. 7 with 45 members present.

Cynthia Brubaker was inducted as a new member by President Anurag Sharma and Membership Co-Chair Rachel Mustin.

Many Love Notes notes:

Lorraine Derosiers asked for sweets and savouries (Brit. spelling) for our party Sunday. She said that food should be brought between noon and 2 p.m. to Valentine Hall. If pick up is needed call her. Remembercut into bite-size.

Arthur Kinney said ushers should be there between 2 and 2:15 p.m. and wear red and black.

James Scott said $1,500 in ticket money was turned in Tuesday.

Phyllis Lehrer said the annual Love Notes debriefing will be held Sunday, Feb. 19 at noon at her house, 197 Pondview Drive to discuss what to keep, change etc. It's potluck and spouses and partners are invited.

Susie Lowenstein brought Nancy DiMatto as her guest. Arthur Kinney had Hugh Craig from Australia as his guest.

Pat Schneider was the speaker. She has many claims to fame including author, poet, opera librettist. She is best known in the area for founding Amherst Writers and Artists.

Besides being a wonderful writer, she is an excellent storyteller describing her St. Louis childhood, living in an orphanage when her single mom couldn't care of her and her brother, who became an alcoholic. She was a minister's wife for 25 years.

The couple moved to town in 1966 and in the next 15 years the town changed dramatically. She noted thousands of students marching past the church to a protest in the center of town.

She believes all people can write, and that literature doesn't require an expensive liberal arts degree. She focused on giving voice to those who have not been heard, the poor and not formally educated. She conducted writing workshops in the Chicopee projects and those woman are now training others.

Her work was the subject of a documentary aired on PBS.

She shared a very funny story of her worst workshop.

While she has stepped down from AWA, she still conducts workshops across the country and abroad.


January 31

Carolyn opened the meeting by reading from the information guide prepared by Rachel Mustin. It is a handy description of the Amherst Club’s character, goals and activities, designed to inform potential and present members, weekly speakers, and others.

Guest: Nancy Brose brought a guest.


Rachel: Cynthia Brubaker is our first new member in 2006.

Also, Keep in mind that Love Notes is a great opportunity to interest prospective members in the Amherst Club.

Harrison Gregg: Running again for Town Moderator, Harrison has a petition to be signed.

Lorraine Desrosiers: A sign-up sheet for members to designate what foods they will contribute to the Love Notes Party. She reminds us to bring our dishes before the concert. The best strategy is to bring them on disposable platters. Or else, be prepared to take your platters etc. home.

Jacquie Price: An update on Love Notes committees and activities. The sponsorship Committee has its work “in the can.”

Sandy Riggs has tickets. Call her if you need some.

Think of your favorite recipes, Jacquie suggest, when you try to decide what treat you might bring.

Sponsorship funds currently stand at $7800.

Joan Hanson, Ruth Miller and Nancy Brose in HATS, sang an irresistible ditty in praise and promotion of Love Notes. WHAT TALENT!


Margo Culley taught American literature (Faulkner and Morrison), American Studies (Autobiography, Ethnic Literature), and Women’s Studies (New England Women Writers, “Lost Women Writers”) during her 30-year tenure at the University of Massachusetts. After those years of teaching and writing books about diary literature, American women’s autobiography, and women’s literature, and after winning the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1995, Margo retired two years ago.

Margo’s interest in autobiography and memoir has not faltered during the past 24 months. And as genres, autobiography and memoir are more demanding, perplexing, and controversial than ever. Consider James Frey, author of the A Million Little Pieces, and his supporter/destroyer Oprah. A prime time travesty.

And then there is Joan Didion’s Year of Magical Thinking. Diametrically opposed to Frey’s misdemeanor, we might think, but both are drawn out of the depth of self.

Think of the problems of truth, memory, the story in history, and the qualities of “discovery” and “invention” attached to the definition of story. Think of the postmodern crisis and the ongoing political crises, and it is clear that the question of fiction/nonfiction and truth/lies is very shaded.

Margo took us through this dappled-to-dark territory providing illumination, insight, and humor(her reading from Everybody’s Autobiography by Gertrude Stein left us all gasping for breath). She spoke of doubt, absence, presence and language’s inventions of truth. And she told personal anecdotes.

During her last year at UMass Margo taught a class about memoirs of the Civil Rights Movements. “I was there,” she said, “and there was indisputably, positively there.” An entirely persuasive non-theoretical argument of autobiographical truth.

Another story was about friends from the Civil Rights Movement who were trapped on a rooftop in New Orleans’ lower 9th ward during Katrina’s pass.

Four generations from a family of 6 and a dog. Each of them grabbed something important to hold onto as they waited for salvation. What did they take? Journals and tape recorders. What deep human impulse is this, Margo wondered, that makes us want to save and tell our stories?

At the end, Margo left us with some questions to think about:

Why, as a culture, are we so saturated in personal narrative? Could it have anything to do with the sense that we are personally under assault?

What is the distinction between our public and private lives?

Are genres like autobiography and memoirs now created and labeled by publishers because memoirs are selling and novels aren’t? (IE is it a problem of the marketplace?)

Has our president created the atmosphere in which lie masquerades as truth, and people like Frey, his editors, and publishers feel entitled to follow the leader?


January 24

Harrison Gregg called the meeting to order and read a brief poem before I found pen and notebook.

No guests.


Nancy Gregg: One of the groups we support, through the Ann Whalen Wellness Program, could use some help. For breakfasts at the Ann Whalen House a 10 cup coffee pot, a microwave and a toaster oven are needed.

Ruth Hooke: Next week Ruth is going to a distribution center in Mississippi. Donations from food to socks are needed. Donations are collected at Grace Church. Or contact Ruth.

Lorraine Desrosiers, reminding us to plan what wonderful food contributions we will bring for the Love Notes party. Next week a sign-up sheet will make it official.

Jacquie Price, remember, remember LOVE NOTES is ALMOST HERE.

Jim Scott, collector of money from ticket sales: STAND UP AND DELIVER!

Forget about the medium, the MESSAGE is the MESSAGE.


Nancy Frazier introduced potter Donna McGee. A graduate of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and of the Jacob Cramer Center for the Art at Leeds University, Yorkshire, England, Donna is a featured artist in Who’s Who in America, recipient of three grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the subject of other awards and articles.

Donna made a slide presentation of her work which began with the forthright comment, “I just wanted to be an artist.” She learned the stoneware tradition and throwing in England, but her driving interest was in drawing on the stoneware more than throwing or building it.

Donna loves to talk about her work and says that if she doesn’t love it how can anyone else? So her slide show was of her favorite pieces, some influenced by Picasso’s ceramics, others by Matisse’s paintings, and most by her own interest in people, places, and things before her eyes, from the kitchen table and chairs, and bunches of flowers from her garden, to views of the Mount Holyoke Range, roosters, hens, and people. She always carries a sketchbook. “I paint what I see,” Donna says. And she is always trying new ideas. Among her recent innovations are tea pots with handles woven of (local) grape vines. They are extraordinary.

Enthusiasm radiates from the artist and from her work. She has a website at, and has a studio sale upcoming in March. Keep tuned for details


January 17

During Anurag’s continued absence Carolyn Holstein called the meeting to order. In recognition of Benjamin Franklins 300th birthday she talked about him a bit, and read some words from Poor Richard’s Almanac. Did Franklin follow his own advice she asked? Not really, was her own answer.


Lois Barber introduced a colleague of hers at Earth Action.

Announcements: (many!)

Nancy Foster: a forum at the Jones Library This Thursday (1/19) beginning at 6:45. Topic is Criminal Acts: Torture and Domestic Spying. Speakers, Bill Newman, director of Western Mass. American Civil Liberties Union and Christopher Pyle, scholar, whistleblower and professor of politics at Mount Holyoke.

Harrison Gregg: townspeople can learn about candidates for the position of town manager at a meeting to be moderated by Harrison Friday evening.

Ruth Miller: reminder about Doc. Watson concert in November. About Irish music at The Harp in Northampton (if you want to go let her know).

Nancy Brose: On offer, a very cheery, colorful Christmas stocking for anyone who answers to Bob (whose name is in the design).

Jim Scott who is collecting money for Love Notes tickets, so far sales are behind last year at this time.

Arthur Kinney: there will be a reading of Burning Words by Peter Wortzman, directed by Lucinda Kidder, in the Glass Room at Bangs Center at 7 p.m. Friday

With inimitable bravado and enviable gusto, decked out in a (sort of) top hat and a numerous colorful necklaces, Phyllis Lehrer entertained us with a one-woman pep rally on behalf of Love Notes


Michael Greenebaum introduced Jackie Wolf and Diana Stein, members of the Health Care Committee of the League of Women Voters of Amherst. The League is supporting the concept of Universal Single Payer Health Care and our speakers were here to explain how it works. I’m very glad because I’ve long wondered about it, and now I know.

The money to pay for health care under the single payer system will be collected from taxes. It’s a simple and outrageously logical concept. In principle, under the single-payer system only one administrative agency collects and pays money used for health care services. (Currently there are about 1,500 insurance companies involved.)

With graphs and statistical analyses we were shown the areas where efficiency and money are lost today: clinical waste, administrative waste, excess prices, theft and fraud. This waste accounts for about 50 per cent of what is paid for health care today.

Moreover, about 40 per cent of each health care dollar is spent on paperwork, marketing and huge executive salaries.

Jackie presented many anomalies, including the fact that we are the only major developed country that doesn’t have a system of national health care insurance.

And while the US leads in spending for health care, it ranks 29th in life expectancy.

The state of Massachusetts alone has some 650,000 people without health care. They are largely between the ages of 18 and 34: people who for one reason or another may have no job, have a part time, or be changing jobs.

Another startling notation concerns the great number of bankruptcies that occur after people have suffered major health crises, the cost of which are ruinous.

The health care system the League supports is available to everyone, and in terms of quality, access, and affordability is “simply the best.” A bill for Universal Single Payer Health Funding, S755, is in our state legislature now. It is An Act to Establish the Massachusetts Health Care Trust. We are encouraged to let our state senators and representatives know that we want to see it passed


January 10

This meeting was called to order by Carolyn Holstein whoacknowledging our all-out concentration on and devotion to Love Notes in the immediate futureread a poem about love . . . and concentration.


Jacquie: We have now a four-week countdown to Love Notes. Please take flyers, hang up posters in public places (ask first), distribute bookmarks and invitations.

Ruth Miller is now chair of the publicity committee. Ruth asked for assistance in getting materials (releases, calendar events, etc.) to the right people. Dee Waterman, Honore David, Dick Mudgett volunteered to make phone calls.

Ruth also mentioned that “musical legend” Doc Watson will be at the Calvin in Northampton in this coming November. She is going to get tickets and asks if others would also like to attend.

A reminder that money collected for Love Notes tickets goes to Jim Scott.

Lorraine Desrosiers: the deadline for a program listing of those who are donating to Love Notes is January 19.

Also, please think of food you will contribute to the party. The first sign-up sheet will go around next week.

In your Club Directory, please change Dick Mudgett’s telphone number to 253-4068.

Arthur Kinney read a wonderful poem by Jim Cahillane that is dedicated to Ruth Hooke. Ruth taught writing at the University Without Walls and with her guidance Jim’s muse was liberated.

A new issue of Mysterious Women, Sara Berger’s quarterly publication, is out. It is devoted to providing “information, education, and some entertainment about mystery series written by women.”

Susie Lowenstein: The annual Roe Event, held at the Alumni House at Amherst College, is scheduled for February 4, from 4-6:00. the speaker is Frances Kissling, head of Catholics For Free Choice.


Miriam Dayton’s son and a friend from British Columbia; Bill Hart’s eldest son who is about to finish his last semester at Grinnell.


Sandy Parent introduced her daughter-in-law with discernable prideand no wonder!

Tracey Parent is humorous, committed, and an extraordinarily charismatic person. A uniquely successful mover and shaker. And as a speaker she held us in thrall with admiration and amazement. I’m not exaggerating.

In her career to date Traceywho studied nursing as a non-commissioned officer in the Air National Guard has been able to make connections between people who need help and people who can help them. In her first amazing venture, after learning about a woman who was working on behalf of orphans in Haiti, Tracey decided to throw herself into that project. She used the business connections she’d established as a corporate saleswoman to collect necessities like cases of formula and diapers. Then she picked up the phone and made a cold call to the head of American Airlines. A cold call, after hours, when a chief exec might answer the phone himself or herself. He did.

“Bob, you have to help me,” she told a man she’d never spoken to before.

He donated a plane to transport the supplies.

Given what we quickly learned about Tracey Parent, who now lives in Loudoun, Virginia, it wasn’t surprising to hear that the Katrina disaster set her in motion. She said it was “a tap on the shoulder that just got stronger and stronger.” The result was Project Virginia Cares: She gathered together a voluntary medical group, launched successful donation drives, and “it all unfolded.” They collected over $1 million of medical and mission critical supplies which were transported in an 18-wheeler to Bay Saint Louis, Mississipi. After setting up a Medical Clinic there, they went on to establish a tent school to help the adjustment and education of children in Waveland Mississippi.

Tracey went on to describe the situation today. National attention has shifted away from the Gulf Coast, but problems persist, are still terrible.

For example, insurance isn’t being paid to insured people who have lost everything. She also alerted us to the ineffectiveness of the Red Cross. We can only commend and support people like Tracey who tackle the impossible.

(When I made a Google search for Project Virginia Cares I found several references. See, for example,


January 3

The January 3rd meeting was cancelled due to snow.