December 18,  2007
Ruth Hooke brought Jim Wald’s mother who is a new resident at  Applewood

There were many Love Notes announcements.
Lois Barber brought some of her watercolor cards to sell  as gifts.


Nancy Folbre, an Economist, spoke about “Whose Priorities?”In the field of Macroeconomics, she told us that less than 1/3 of  state universities are paid by tax 
payers.Taxes are not going up, but are very complicated.Due to globilization, students and their families are less rooted in  one place. Industries can and do threaten
 to leave, thereby getting  tax breaks. The decline in corporate taxes shifts the burden onto  those less able to pay.

The “War Among the States” is the competition between the states for  industries (thus jobs and tax monies).Workers without college degrees are losing out, but
 globilization is now affecting collge educated also. There is an increase in global  college education.There is a fear of talking about tax increases. Local communities are  
facing a money crunch.

There will be no meetings on the 25th or January 1st. The next is  
January 8th and will include the ‘worst gift exchange.’

Recorded by Sara Berger

 December  11, 2007

President  Jim Wald welcomed Club Members at 12:55 p.m.


Roger Webb & Vivienne Carey brought Amherst newcomers  Jonathan &Stephanie Westphal, who have moved into a house on Middle Street.


Jim Wald reminded members that there would not be meetings on December 25th andJanuary 1st.  After next weeks meeting, (12/18), the next meeting will
 be Jan. 8th
Jacquie Price announced that Love Notes printed materials (tickets, etc.)will be picked up this Friday and will be distributed to the committee chairs at next week’s meeting

Lois Barber shared an Earthwatch poster and other printed materials urging a switchfrom fossil fuels to renewable resources that will be distributed to delegates at theConference on Global Climate Change in Bali, Indonesia.

Ruth Miller announced that Lewiston Taylor (James Taylor’s brother) will perform at theIron Horse on Saturday, January 5th.  Ruth went on to explain to the new members of the Club the nature and fun of the “Worst Gift Exchange”, which this year will take place at the January 8th meeting.


Dee Waterman, acting as Director, led club members in the casting and production of a
“Who Done It” playlet, created by Dorothy Johnson of New Salem, MA.
Jean Miller was cast in the part of the Assistant Director.

 Scene I:  Margaret & The Detective:

 Phyllis Lehrer was first cast as Margaret Plumbbottom, Maid/servant girl, with Harrison
Gregg as the Detective.  The first read-through reveals that something dire has occurred
in this dysfunctional household.

 “Cut!!  Stop!!  That’s enough for now.  Thank you very much.  Take your seats”

 The next casting included Bobbye Hertzbach as Margaret and Larry Siddall as the
 Detective.  Same lines with new interpretations by the new actors.

 “Cut!!  Stop!!  That’s enough for now.  Thank you very much.  Take your seats”

 The Director and Asstistant Director huddled to make the casting decision for the parts of
Margaret and the Detective and retained Bobbye Herzbach and Harrison Gregg,
respectively, for these parts.  Phyllis and Larry left the stage crestfallen and in tears.

Scene II:  The Wife & The Detective:

 Bill Darity is cast as the new Detective and Nancy Foster as the Wife.  The reading of

the lines revealed that the Doctor (Head of Household) has been murdered, and the Wife

is a new bride of the Doctor.  The grown children are from a previous marriage and are 

referred to only indirectly.

 “Cut!!  Stop!!  That’s enough for now.  Thank you very much.  Take your seats”

 New casting of actors with Glen Gordon as the Detective and Trudy Darity as the Wife.
More action in the same scene.

 “Cut!!  Stop!!  That’s enough for now.  Thank you very much.  Take your seats”

 The Director and Assistant Director again huddle to make their decision that brings joy to

some and sadness to others, with Glen Gordon and Nancy Foster cast for the final



Scene III:  The Doctor’s Partner, George & The Female Detective

Lorraine Desrosiers tries out for the Female Detective with Chris Blauvelt as George. 
The plot thickens as we find that the relationship between the partners is cool at best.  An
argument over money has occurred between the partners to create dramatic tension.

 “Cut!!  Stop!!  That’s enough for now.  Thank you very much.  Take your seats”

 The final trial casting has Zina Tillona as the Female Detective and Claude Tellier as the
Partner.  The Italian and French overtones add a new dimension to the reading.

 “Cut!!  Stop!!  That’s enough for now.  Thank you very much.  Take your seats”

The Director and Assistant Director again huddle to make their decision for the finalcasting, which now lists Zina Tillona and Chris Blauvelt in the last scene.

“Quiet, Please…..Readers take your places…..and Action!!!!.” demands the Director.  “Let the show begin!”  And it does.  The complete run through with the chosen cast.  Triumph!!


 Applause from the audience.


Wine Raffle Winner:                       Dee Warterman            Cash Raffle Winner:  Tina Berins


Respectfully submitted:

Jim Scott, Scribe of the Week

December 4, 2007            

The Amherst Club met Dec. 4 with 38 members present on a sunny cold day presided by President Jim Wald.


The Party Committee and Love Note Chairs met after lunch. The board will meet next week.


Nancy Gregg introduced our speaker Molly Mead, the director for the Centerfor Community Engagement at Amherst College. She was on the faculty at Tufts
for 18 years and started a project similar to the Center there. She lives inNorthampton and has two college-age children.

Mead said she began her post in Sept. She said students want to do community service and there is a community outreach program. Students volunteer in
Amherst and Holyoke, but Mead said the first obligation should be to thehost community. Service ranges from a few minutes to a few hours each week. Student's community 
service is limited  by time and a deeper issue: if students volunteers without direction or do superficial work. The center's goal is to build on the existing community service and 
deepen it, so it is not extra curricular but connected to the academic lives of students, to create a habit for life.

She cited examples of professors connecting class to service. In one case, math students taught math games at an after school program. There is also aPipeline project providing
 mentors for 6th graders at risk. Summer interns are paid $3,500 to do community service.

She asked for community service suggestions. The response:

Cynthia Brubaker: voting and politics
Nancy Gregg: visit elderly at Ann Whalen 
Lorraine Desrosier: drug and alcohol abuse 
Claude Tellier: non-violent conflict resolution in prison
Elsie Fetterman: the Council on Aging
Carolyn Holstein said there is a UMass service fair
Kathleen Scott: can Amherst professors be involved in the community 
Bill Darrity: individual and family health

Ruth Miller won the wine. Eileen Vincent won the raffle

Your scribe
Phyllis Lehrer

                November 27, 2007:

President Jim Wald opened the meeting at 12:55.


 Roger Webb re-introduced his father from Great Britain, John Webb, who is returning there this
 week  after 3 weeks here in the “Colonies”.


Z. Tillona:  New Century Theater:  “Santacide”.  Dec. 7, 8, 9
T. Donahue:    Last Weekend for the Children’s Ballet at Eric Carle
R. Hooke:  “Polar Bear Plunge”.  Dec. 8 @ 1 pm   An Event to raise Awareness  of global warming:  “Keep our Winters Kool”
A. Kinney:  A Moliere production at the Renaissance Center this weekend
V. Carey:  Love Notes Chairs:  Short meeting after next week’s meeting

 Literary Reference:  President Jim Wald read from a reference manual for safe navigation on
Ice of various thicknesses for loads of various sizes.



                                N. Gregg introduced Kevin Perrin as today’s speaker:  Poet, Major in US National Guard, who was suggested by K. Scott
 after hearing Perrin at a recent poetry reading.

                                Kevin Perrin introduced himself as recently publishing a book of his poetry, from which he read today, entitled “Gesture of 
 Descent”, inspired in part by Western Massachusetts Poet, Richard Wilbur, whom he admired in his training, and from whose poem he used this line as title.
 Perrin’s attachment to Amherst is two-fold:  an admiration for the poetry of Emily Dickinson, especially its brevity and apparent simplicity of  form, and secondly, his    studies here at UMASS as a journalism major, but more importantly, as a participant in a creative writing class taught by a TA, who excited him about poetry as a   genre of creative writing.

Perrin read from his new book, “Gesture of Descent”, a  number of selections with commentaryFor Richard Wilbur:  “Winter’s End”, with the illusion of a leaf half frozen in the ice. “The Centuries” with images reflecting the natural and human antiquities around us.  “The Barking Dog” with allusions of emotional contact with a much-loved pet

                               As a career military man, he first joined the service out of high school, some of his poetic work reflects these emotions and experiences: “Casualty Notification Officer 2004” lays bare the emotional encounter of the military officer assigned to the duty of informing the family of a soldier who will not return.

Perrin told of his Massachusetts National Guard unit which was the first to arrive in the post- Katrina disaster of New Orleans, also the oldest Militia unit in the US, and the problems that confronted them, including displaced pets, especially dogs.“New Orleans – September 2005” was inspired by this experience, and Perrin commented upon the ‘dog adoption mission’ of their National Guard Brigade.


                                At several points in his comments, Perrin proudly remarked about his 19-month old daughter, saying that her birth was long yearned for and finally achieved.  This  was  reflected in several poems: “Baby Weather Forecast”:  a view of the day ahead from the point of view of a new parent. “Thinking of the Baby’s Room in the Birthing Room”, literally written in the delivery room while reflecting upon the preparations that had been made at home for the arrival of the new child.  This poem explains the back-cover photo, taken by Perrin, of the curtains in thchild’s bedroom in the morning sunlight.


                                In preparation for the publication of this book, Perrin discovered a poem he had written 16 years ago entitled “Two Dreams on a Summer Day”, which he explained had been written when he awakened from a deep afternoon nap.  In the first he dreamed he was a hill; in the second he dreamed he was a pond.


                                On a darker side, Perrin read “Sudden Death at the Student Center”, a poem based upon his personal experience of a student death while he attended Westfield State College. At one point he travelled to Puerto Rico for a wedding during which he encountered a poor seller of sugar cane stalk “roses”.  His poem “Puerto Rico April 2000” confronts the issues between the emotions of the seller and the buyer of the sugar cane stalk “roses”.


                                Perrin shared with us some of his examples of the Japanese Haiku strict form of poetic expression, one of which reflected upon the metaphor for life of the act of placing an additional log into a wood stove.


                              Other final poetic moments were expressed in “Up River” with allusions to salmon returning from the sea and swimming upstream against all odds for fulfillment. Perrin’s final poetic reference “Leaving the Factory for College at 35”, chronicled his transition from a “worker” to a “poet”.  It reports his near-loss of his arm to machine as vulnerability, and also his liberation to aspire to poetic expression. 


                                “Perrin personally rose from the projects”.  He continually bettered himself with hard work in the market-place, and continually modified his approach to the public,

                                 Raffle Winners:


                                 Wine: Elsie Fetterman                                                                                 
  Cash Prize:
  Miriam Dayton



                        Respectfully submitted:        

                        Jim Scott, Scribe of the Week



November 20, 2007

The Amherst Club met Nov. 20 with 24 hardy souls who braved the first snowof the fall season.Vice President Jacquie Price told us 
a wonderful parrot story apt for the holiday.


 Vivienne Carey introduced her father-in-law, John Webb.

 The club inducted a new member. Ellen Kosmer was introduced by RachelMustin. Kosmer has degrees from the Mass College of Art 
in painting andillustration; Case Western Reserve  in art history and Yale University in art history and 13th century manuscript. Her focus 
is Northern Italy and popular religious art. She taught at Worcester State, has published articles, illustrated children's activity  books. She
 moved to town 18 months ago and is a member of the  Woman's Club, University Women, South Amherst Thursday Club and volunteer 
at the Dakin Shelter. Her garden was in the tour for the Historical Society. She has four cats. 


Bill Darrity introduced our speaker Leslie Cox, who is the farm manager at Hampshire College Farm Center, a post he has held for 12 years. 
(At night he works for Valley Transporter) Maple syrup is in his blood and he grewup on a  farm.

The college began with 150 acres and added 650 more 10 years ago. Professors were asked to deal with the land. Ray Coppinger (now retired)
developed guard dogs for sheep and is an expert on dog behavior. The farm is a CSA and involves students. Nikki Raab developed the School
 to Farm program for special education students who feed the animals and build coops She runs a summer farm camp. Nancy Hansen is the 
vegetable grower.

Cox took us a slide show of a year in the life of the farm center January begins with logging with a machine that cuts, trims and hauls
logs. This is the first wood harvested from the forest.  February and March maples tress are tapped and spring is lambing season.
There are 25 ewes. The llamas guard the sheep. There are calves, belted cows, turkeys, 75 acres of hay that yield 5,000
> to 7,500 bales, hives (two of which were lost to colony collapse).
The greenhouse was turned into a shed for the animals with student help.
In summer and fall the crops are sold to shareholders. Compost is ongoing.
One issue with turkey production. Our state is the only one that doesn't allow turkey growers to process the animals on site, a major economic
issue.  There is a mobile processing unit developed by the Small Farm Institute, but it needs approval, which has yet to happen. Cox despairs
for the future of his turkeys.
The slide show ended with a photo take Tuesday of a tractor turning compost  in the snow. The steam was generated by the 150 degree 
Save the date. There will be an indoor Farmer's Market at the Red Barn on campus Dec. 15.  Free admission.

Bill Darrity won the won. Phyllis Lehrer won the raffle.Thanksgiving greetings to all.

Your scribe,  Phyllis Lehrer 

November 13, 2007


Marjorie Nott – guest of Dee Waterman
Janki Darity – guest of her father, Bill Darity
Sokha Mar – guest of Claude Tellier
John Webb – guest of his son, Roger Webb

Ruth Hooke is going to Ft. Benning GA on a peace mission
Terese Donahue – 3 more weeks of the show at the Eric Carle Museum
Phyllis Lehrer congratulated the VLO on their production of the Mikado
Jim Wald mentioned Book Programs at Mt. Holyoke:
            Thursday at Gamble Auditorium
            Friday at the Library
Jim read a poem from Yehuda Amitai about Peace

Bill Darity and Lynn Miller (husband of Jean) spoke about the Middle East, especially the American University of Beirut (AUB) where both had
 taught. Bill worked with World Health with Palestinian refugees about 50 years ago.
The Middle East is made up of countries with long histories, some dating back 5,000 to 10,000 years. He explained that Shia and Sunnis have 
differences in philosophy as well as other things.
Lynn Miller, now a Prof at Hampshire College for 35 years, taught biology at AUB. He and his family arrived in 1965, but were moved out by the
 US government during the Six-Day War.
The newest crisis in Lebanon concerns politics. They must elect a new president by November 24th, but Parliament is split by 3 contending parties
 – Druse, Hezbollah, and Christian. French and Italian foreign ministers are arriving, but many countries have met with all parties trying to broker 
the election without undue influence. Hah!
AUB is accredited in the US. The language is English, although Arabic and French are spoken also. Most professors try to learn Arabic. It has been
 a beacon of hope for modern Arabs for 150 years. Now it is in terrible trouble since the country might break out into Civil War. AUB needs support.
The AUB hospital had a wonderful reputation. In answer to a question, he said that Jews do not have their large community anymore, but are part of
 the melting pot.
AUB started as a Protestant institution, but is no longer. A former treasurer of  Hampshire college has gone to Kabul, Afghanistan to start an American
 University there.
The gender split is 60% female students, 40% male.
Reported by Sara Berger

November 6, 2007


President Jim Wald called the meeting to order at the Hickory Ridge CountryClub Nov. 6 with 37 members present. 
Mr. President began with a bad joke that gained a few laughs culled from thePrairie Home Companion Joke Show.
Lois Barber has turned her watercolors into note cards. There are 12different scenes in each set that cost $20. She will donate $5 to the Club's
endowment fund for each set sold to members.
Ruth Hooke is willing to drive anyone from South Amherst to "The Mikado"Nov. 9 to save gas. She has a Prius. Nov. 9 is the club night.
Roger Webb said the National Religious Partnership for the Environment needsan administrative assistant. He has a job description.
Ruth Miller said the Marcia Ball group should meet at the Iron Horse at 5p.m. to get a good seat.
Harry Brooks bought the Nov. 17 UMass men's basketball ticket for $5 thatJim Walk auctioned. Ruth Miller   donated the ticket and the
 proceeds go to the endowment fund.
Love Notes is Sat., Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall, AmherstCollege. Stan Rosenberg will emcee. We are waiting to hear from
 Ellen Story.

Tiger Press is again doing our printing at no cost. If you see Reza thankhim profusely.
Vivienne Carey won the wine and Phyllis Lehrer won the raffle. 
We broke up into Love Note groups to plan our major fundraiser. The more weraise the more we give away.
If each member does one or two tasks, we will succeed.
Your scribe
Phyllis Lehrer

October 23


The Amherst Club met Oct. 23 for lunch with 41 present


Nancy Brose guest: Connie Conn
Elsie Fetterman guest: Kevin Hutchinson


Harry Brooks: ACTV potluck and annual meeting.
Bonnie Isman: Saturday  7:30, ESL fund raising  concert at Keefe Center,
Amherst College;  Oct. 30, 7 p.m., Story of Tea, free, Jones Library.
Arthur Kinney: Renaissance Center Wednesday lecture 4 p.m.; Sat. early music
conference  with afternoon concert; Sat. Ren. banquet, 6 p.m., Faculty Club;
Sunday Book sale 10-4.
Therese Donoghue's ballet "Tiko and the Golden Wings" opens at the Eric
Carle Museum this Sat.  with shows at 2 and 3 and continues until Dec. 1.
Ruth Miller thanked the members who were in the Trivia Bee especially
Harrison Gregg, who was pictured in the Gazette blowing bubbles, and Arthur
Kinney, who passed his tin cup and gave donations collected to the Amherst
Education Foundation. The club won the costume contest again. 
Marcia Ball is at the Iron Horse Nov. 11
Jacquie Price thanked Ruth Miller for her wonderful imagination and doing
all the costume work.  The club gave Ruth a well deserved round of applause.
Carolyn Holstein has  a Nov. 9 Mikado ticket to trade. She will be at her
son's recital. "Emily Rocks" concert, Thursday, 3:45 at Amherst Cinema.

President Jim Wald read an Ambrose Birece letter noting that being a gringo
in Mexico is euthanasia. Being shot beats old age. He also read some art

That was a nice segue to Arthur Kinney's introduction of Thad Dabrowksi, who
is an art professor at UMass, Rotary member, NES consultant and on the
Cinema Board. His works are on now display at the Northampton Cooperative

He started art at age 12. Louis Silvia was his mentor. There is great joy in
the act of drawing, he said.
He showed slides from his foundation art class where students have to
acquire skills, such as scale, shape, repetition, tone.
A component of every course is students have to do a project  based on an
issue of special social interest, a personal interest or literature.
The student progression was shown from drawing to collage, developing shapes
and lines, color and final works. Editing is an important part of art
He showed a series of student works. Their topics included endangered
species with drawings of animals, anorexia with drawings of an emaciated
body, divorce, contrast of smiling tents and scowling skyscrapers. One
striking series by Lebanese student featured images of  guns, bomb and fire.
It was done in 1999 and that now seems ominous.
The different genres included graphite, pen, pencil, oils, photos and fabric
with one student creating 12-by-12 inch quilts inspired by "Love in the Time
of Cholera." 
 Miriam Dayton won the wine and Carolyn Holstein won the raffle.

Your scribe,
Phyllis Lehrer

October 16, 2007



President Jim Wald opened the meeting at 12:55 p.m. with a reading from writings by Susan Dickinson, wife of Austin Dickinson and sister-in-law of Emily
 Dickinson, about life in Amherst during the middle of the 19th Century, in which she compares life and services in Amherst with those of the more cosmopolitan and busier Northampton.


                               Guests:  surprisingly, there were none.



          Roger Webb:  He, his dog Chestnut, Nancy Brose, and other Amherst Club members raised $400 for the Amherst ABC House by walking in the Annual Fall Foliage Walk of 20 kilometers (15 miles).  Contributions still accepted.

·        Ruth Miller:  She demonstrated the horse-head headdress that her team at the annual Trivia Bee will wear at the AmherstRegional High School auditorium on Thursday, October 18 at 6:45 p.m.  Be there to cheer them to victory!!

·        Harrison Gregg:  Unlike most entering organizations, the Amherst Club this year will enter two teams in this year’s competition.

·        Harrison Gregg:  He also announced that Love Notes Concert will take place in the evening of Saturday, February 16 at Buckley Auditorium at Amherst College.

·        Arthur Kinney:  The speaker at Wednesdays at the Renaissance Center this week at 4 p.m. will be Bob Eisenstein on English Madrigals.

·        Arthur Kinney:  Also announced that the annual Renaissance Banquet will take place Saturday, October 27 at 6 p.m. at the University Club on the UMass Campus.  Come, eat Renaissance foods and hear and watch period entertainment.

·        Correction:  The correct spelling of last week’s speaker’s name is Amity Gaige.




                        Arthur Kinney, President of the Board of the Amherst History Museum, introduced Pat Lutz, who is completing her first year as Director of the museum.   She is a graduate of the Smith College Ada Comstock Program and the Tufts University Museum Studies Program.  She worked at the Smith College Art Museum in marketing and membership.  She did membership work at the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, CT.  She has been a guide at the Emily Dickinson house and garden in Amherst. Before coming back to Amherst in her current position, she was Director of Collections at the Stacey Russell House inArlington, Massachusetts.


                        Pat Lutz structured her talk by comparing her work at the Strong House/Amherst History

                        Museum with the fate of the Fogg-Rollins House in Exeter, NH.  Both houses are 18th century

                        historic houses in relatively small rural New England towns, each adjacent to a college or

                        university.  Unlike the Strong House which has an operational program and is financially sound,

                        the Fogg-Rollins House is struggling to come into existence as a preserved historic house.  She posed the question, “What is a ‘Practical’ course of action to take with a historic                                     house/museum?”

                        The situation with the Fogg-Rollins House was complicated by the nature of the gift by the owner’s estate to the town ofExeter, NH, in which the house, which is as it was in the 1850s,                         has no electricity or interior plumbing, and a very modest endowment.  The majority of the estate was left to the care of the donor’s ten cats!  Lutz described the dilemma of the trustees                         of the Fogg-Rollins House and the various present-day options they had tried in order to preserve this historic house.  The nearbyUniversity of New Hampshire, the town of Exeter, and                         various foundations all said, “No thank you.”


                        By contrast, Lutz described the “cockeyed optimism” of the late 19th – early 20th century founders of the Amherst Historical Society/Museum, a group of women, including Mabel                                     Loomis Todd, and how they took action first and worried about details later.  They were confident that they could make it all happen and that they could convince others of that reality.                              Today’s approach of cautious planning of details and business plans before taking action could not be further from these founders’ methods. 


                       “Did the trustees of the Fogg-Rollins House do the ‘right thing?  The ‘practical’ thing?”  Lutz’ conclusion was “Yes”.  They offered the house to the Historic New England Stewardship                         Program, which will evaluate the historic value of the house and its contents, and determine what should be preserved as is and what can be changed and modernized in order to make                             the house saleable. 


                        Lutz then commented upon why the Amherst History Museum works; why is it a success.  The Museum in the Strong House is in a way the “soul” of Amherst:  Emily Dickinson’s                                 dress, the old maps and photographs, the high boy bicycled, Bob Grose’s collection of woodworking block planes manufactured in 19th century Amherst.  It has a constant supply of                             new, dedicated trustees, corporate support from the business community of Amherst, a large membership base, and a corps of volunteers to help in the daily running of the                                                 Museum/Strong House.  Sherman Williams donated the paint and an UMass fraternity will supply the manpower to paint the Strong House.


                        Pat Lutz closed her talk with this quotation:  “If we earn the trust of the community, the community of Amherst will take care of us.”




                        Items in the Question & Answer Session:


    • Nominations for the Conch Shell Award are still open to honor a member of the community who has contributed greatly to the Town.  Polly Longsworth, last year’s recipient of the award, will be the speaker at the Award Celebration on Feb. 13, 2008. Contact the Amherst History Museum with nominations for the award.
    • The Amherst House tour will take place Saturday, October 27 from 10 – 4 p.m.  Tickets can be purchased through the Amherst Historical Society
    • The current exhibit at the Strong House/Amherst History Museum is “Emily Dickinson’s Amherst”.  Artifacts from the time of Emily Dickinson.
    • Hours of operation of the Strong House/Amherst History Museum are:  Wednesdays and Saturdays, noon to 4 p.m.



                    The winners of the Lottery this week were:


    The winner of the Wine was Ed Koczur.


    The winner of the Cash was Joan Hansen




These minutes are respectfully submitted by your scribe:  
                     Jim Scott, October 21, 2007

October 9, 2007


Rachel Mustin brought her daughter, Jim Scott introduced the Conservation Director of Belchertown, Lois Barber brought a friend.
 (I hope I didn’t miss anyone)


Coming schedule for November:
6th              Bill Darity and Lynn Miller presentation on the MidEast
13th            Love Notes discussions
20th            Leslie Cox, Manager of the Hampshire College farm
27th            Dee Waterman in a dramatization
Sara Berger announced the arrival of their 6th great-grandchild
Ruth Hooke is going to Bolivia with Witness for Peace
Arthur Kinney—Othello at the Renaissance Center
Harrison Gregg—Love Notes will be either Saturday evening February 16th or Sunday, February 17th
Kathleen Scott asked that we bring things for the archives
Roger Webb—the tag sale made $37.00. Also, he and Chestnut will be doing the ABC Walk and he asked for donation pledges.
Harrison Gregg—the Trivia bee is October 18th. We will field two teams of 2 men and 2 women each.
Dee Waterman showed us the animated skull given to her by Arthur Kinney.
Jim Wald read bits from Lincoln and Churchill in response to requests.


Arthur introduced Amity Gage, a teacher of Creative writing at Mt.Holyoke College. She reads from her new book, Folded World.
The book is about love—romantic love, love for a child, love for a stranger or coworker. The main characters are Alice and Charlie.  Gage’s words formed vivid pictures for us. In response to questions, she reveaed that she loves teaching, does a little research, writes in the morning, gets inspired after reading poetry.
Submitted by Sara Berger

October 2 2007


The Amherst Club met Oct. 2 at Hickory Ridge Golf Course with 39 present. 
President James Wald read letters between President Lincoln and Secretary Stanton about appointing a chaplain. Short and to the point.
Nancy Brose had Anna Massengill as a guest.
Joan Hanson invites all to the West School House Museum, corner Leverett/West Pelham roads  Oct. 8, 1-3 p.m. 
Ruth Hooke and Flo Stern spoke of the Interfaith Fast for Peace. Breakfast at the Immanuel Lutheran Church Oct. 7 and pot luck and comments
 Oct. 8 at 6:30 at the Unitarian Meetinghouse.
Ruth MiIler said need back up for the two Trivia Bee Teams the club willsponsor Oct. 18. We will go to the VLO "Mikado" Nov. 9. Call her for
Ruth's son-in-law won the 16th Century French Prize. She will be a grandmother in Dec. Mazel Tov.
Lorraine Desrosiers' son helped found Buzz Word, a program that enhances word processing. Adobe just bought the company. See story on
 today's Globe business section front page.    
The Renaissance Center fall programs begin tomorrow at 4 with VirginiaScott and continue on Weds. through Oct. On Fri. see new items 
from 4-6.   
Nancy Gregg said Honore David will speak at the Center Oct. 14  abou t"Faithand Fortune" exhibit. On Oct. 21 take a bus trip to see the art at the
Doris Holden needs docents at the Renaissance Center.
Larry Siddal has info on the Book Marks Exhibit at Mount Holyoke. 
Vivienne Carey. Some have not signed up for Love Notes. Do it.


Harry Brooks introduced speaker James Lescaut, the new ACTV (AmherstCommunity Television) director. (Stan Rosenberg couldn't come). 
He has background in video production and worked for the Even Start program in Holyoke.  

He outlined history  of public access that began in the 70s with newtechnology. It changed how people gathered information and the 
community was able to have its own voice. ACTV has three channels: Public, Education GovernmentPublic: comes from the people culture 
arts etc. Education: school committee meetings and programsGovernment: Select Board, Town Meeting and Planning Board Amherst is one 
of the most politically active towns. People watch Select Board meetings. 

In his job, he will assess the equipment, consider remote use so wires don'thave to be set up, outreach - meet with the campuses, the Noho
cable TV director, school superintendent, talk to the Chamber of Commerce, social service agencies, businesses.The goal: increased service 
to the community, to be able to provide shows on regional and national issues, more local programming. Agencies and businesses can become 
members for $100, which allows five people to be trained to conduct their own programs. Individuals can become members for $10.

ACTV is on College Street, open Mon. - Thurs. 10-9, Fir 10-6. 256-1010.

He spoke of freedom of speech and challenge from Verizon that wants localdecision about being a cable carrier taken away from local control. 
They promise lower rates and better service. Don't believe it. If you lose the local control  where will people go to have a voice heard. Channel 22 
and 40 won't air all Select Board and Town Meetings. He wants the community to support the independent local control.
He doesn't know where the technology will go next. Will the meetings be seen on standard TV, iPod, cell phone?

Anything can be on cable except nudity, vulgarity and picking on the lottery. He will look into airing a listings schedule.  ACTV needs more than
24 hour notice of meetings. Love Notes can be aired if musicians signstandard release form.

Suzie Lowenstein won the wine. Zina Tillona won the raffle.

Your scribe,
Phyllis Lehrer 

September 25, 2007


             President Jim Wald called the meeting to order at 12:50 p.m.



                Nancy Brose had as her guest Connie Conn from Alaska,  Rachel Mustin had as her guest Ellen Kosmer of South East Street,Amherst,
                and Eileen Vincenat had as her guest Carol Constant of the Loomis Communities Development Office.




Ruth Hooke announced an meeting concerning Immigration on Thursday, Sept. 27 @

                7 p.m. in the St. Mary's Church in Northampton.

Jacquie Price announced a Love Notes Allocations Committee meeting immediately after today's meeting.

Arthur Kinney announced an outdoor performance of "King Lear" by the Hampshire Shakespeare Company in the Meadow
                of the Renaissance Center off East Pleasant Street on Suncday, September 30 @ 2:00 p.m.

Vivienne Carey and Roger Webb announced an Open House to celebrate their new house at 292 Potwine Lane in South 
                Amherst from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, September 30.  There will also be a tag sale of treeasures.

Doris Holden announced that she will deliver donated books and magazines to the Reading Table at Cooley Dickinson Hospital.

Jim Wald had three announcements: 

 On Saturday.September 29 the Emily Dickinson Museum is holding another marathon reading of all of Dickinson's

 poems, and they need readers.  No prior experience reading Dickinson aloud is required.  the time commitment can

 be as little as 10 minutes (each reader will be asked to read 10 poems.).  The times and venues are:

    6 - 9 a.m.            Emily Dickinson Museum -- 280 Mian Street

    9 a.m. - Noon      Town Room, Town Hall -- Boltwood Avenue

    Noon - 3 p.m.      Frost Library, Amherst College

    3 - 6 p.m.            Emily Dickinson Museum

    6 - 9 p.m.            Fiber Art Center -- 79 South Pleasant Street

    9 p.m. - ??          Emily Dickinson Museum


 The Citizens Review of the Amherst Draft Master Plan will take place Thursday evening 7 - 9 p.m. at the Bangs Center.


 A newly opened exhibition at the Mt. Holyoke College Art Museum entitled "Two by Two:  Lines Rhymes, and

 Riddles"  is the result of the collaboration of the brothers Brad (poet) and Mark (artist) Leithauser.


Jim Wald read a poem "Alphabet" from "Lettered Creatures" which was featured in the above exhibit.





  Harry Brooks introduced Stephanie J. O'Keeffe whose topic was her writing about Amherst on the Internet.  Stephanie grew up in Amherst, moved 
  away for a while and returned with her husband in 1996.  In 2006 she decided to run for Town Meeting in Precinct 9, which always has more candidates than
  seats available.  To make herself more recognizable and accountable to her constituents, she created a blog site (www.StephanieTown
  to inform people about how Town Meeting works, how she voted on each article and why.  She explained that a blog site is an interactive website on which any
  viewer can post responses to what she has written.  Stephanie was successful in getting elected, and she went on to create the blog with the goal to "demystify 
  Town Meeting".   She went to each session of Spring 2006 Town Meeting, carefully taking notes on what was happening, and then going home and transcribing
  these notes into narration and commentary on Town Meeting. To her surprise she found that the most vigorous audience of this site was the Town Meeting
  members themselves.  She commented to the Club that she could not understand why Town Meeting members would sit through endless sessions and then go
  home and read about it all over again.  She found that she thoroughly enjoyed the process of what she was doing, so that on September 30, 2006 she created the
  "In" website. (  She wanted it to be more formal and in-depth than the blog site, more like a newspaper but without the space
   restrictions of print.  She envisioned it to include articles and photos of town news, events, business openings and so forth.  She soon added coverage of Select
  Board meetings, which she thought would fill a niche and help keep people informed of Select Board business when they were unable to watch the full meetings
  on television.  She wanted to not only include the decisions made by the Board, but also the manner of process and debate that led up to these decisions.  She found
  herself attending the Select Board meetings, taking copiously detailed notes, recording the proceedings, and then spending about two and a half times as much time 
  writing up the piece for the website.  She said that the political coverage has squeezed out the more general town news, but that she hopes to be able to get back to doing both. 

 Stephanie told Club members, "I really found my niche.  People were truly interested in what I was creating.  That felt very good.  I found that I have to understand the topic I am writing  about before I could write about it, and some of John Musante's presentations were really complicated."  She also explained that she and her husband have created a Town 
Meeting Tally Vote Data Base on the inAmherst website that has the results of all the tally votes of Town Meeting for the last several years.   She closed by saying, "An interestingfeature of the website is that people can give feedback on the articles and opinion pieces with comments on the website."

 In the question period Harrison Gregg asked if there were other town blogs.   Stephanie replied that Larry Kelley has one  --, Mary Carey has one --,  and Alisa Brewer has one -, among others. Lois Barber thanked Stephanie for the excellent presentation and more importantly, the service that she has performed for the whole community of Amherst.  Stephanie ended with the comment, "The Blog and the website are "my job".  I was trying to find my niche when I returned to Amherst, and now I think I have found it."

      The drawing for the wine was won by Jim Scott
      The drawing for the cash was won by Nancy Gregg

     Respectfully submitted by:

    Jim Scott, Recorder

September 18, 2007


        Amherst Club Minutes of September 18, 2007

        Guests: Select Board member Hwei-Ling Greeney joined us for lunch.


        Roger and Vivienne will host an open house at their new home on Sept. 30.
        The Renaissance Center will host Museum 10's Rare Book Open House on Sept. 23, 5-7.
       Larry Siddall mentioned that Museums 10 is focusing on the history of the book.
        Jim Wald told us that Smith College would have an exhibit of Leonard Baskin's works.
        Ruth Miller mentioned the Mikado and also the UMass Marching band performances.
        Harrison Gregg reminded us that the Trivia Bee will be October 18th. If we get enough people, we can field two teams.

        Jim read a poem bout Bees and Wasps which ended with: Tobacco poultice for the sting.


        Our speaker was member Alan Musgrave, an immigration lawyer, who is recently back from Washington. He told us the Immigration system
         is dysfunctional and malfunctioning, but Immigration reform is dead for now.
        There are 10-12 million immigrants across the US, with only 200 judges to deal with their cases. All of New England has 5 judges in Boston.
         He said "Building new prisons is a major growth business in Texas. In New England, they are thrown in with regular prisoners." It is a $1 billion
         undertaking just to house them before hearings."Let's just enforce the law" doesn't work.
        A big raid in New Bedford found women seamstresses who were making bullet-proof vests for troops in Iraq.
        Alan spoke of the emotional toll it is taking on immigrants. Securing borders means militarizing them. The Agro-business is very unhappy, they need
        the labor. He pointed out that there are no provisions for farm workers, highly skilled professional workers, or children of immigrants. We need better 
        laws, including a guest worker program. 
        The US was doing better before 9/11.

        Sara Berger, recorder

September 11, 2007


The Amherst Club met on a rainy Tuesday Sept. 11 with 40 members present.President Jim Wald called the meeting to order and read a 
school-theme poem "Did I Miss Anything." 


Sandra Mullin, a volunteer for the Jones Library, spoke about the Beds forBooks Fundraiser. Twice a year parents need housing for campus 
weekends.Hosts provide a bed and modest breakfast. The money is collected and used bythe library for books. Last year $5,800 was raised. 
Sandra said  she has 28requests for housing for Oct. 14-16 and Nov. 1-3 and 8 for next May. Yourchoice of providing one, two or three nights 
fro guests. Bobbye Hertzbach has done this three times and it was loads of fun. Jean Miller has done it for years. You meet interesting people
 and many don't eat breakfast, she said.

Give Sandra a call if you can help or visit

Mike Greenebaum reminded us not to leave anything in the room. 

Arthur Kinney said there are free events at the Renaissance Center. All arewelcome.
Jim said there will be a brief board meeting after lunch. Committees withmulti members should pick one to attend. He reminds us that the
 Survival Center needs food. The weather is getting colder. Remember to bringnon-perishable items. 

Harrison Gregg said Dee Waterman is terrific in the production at the New Salem Meeting House that continues  Fri., Sat. and Sun. 


Harry Brooks introduced our speaker Eva Fierst, who is the curator ofeducation at the UMass Fine Arts Center but founded the Fisher Home 
Hospice Shop formerly called Threads of Life.

 Hospice provides quality of life careat the end of life. It began with Elizabeth Kubler Ross in England who recognized there was very little care 
for those at the end of life.

 It's a growing idea as a way to approach the last six months, to make it the best time possible that can be pain free with sophisticated medication.
Patients have control over the way they exit life.Hospice staff are trained to deal with the patients as well as the family.Mortality is a topic not much
 discussed in this country with its emphasis on the youth culture. But with baby boomers aging change is coming.
Eva said she is an 18-year breast cancer survival and was asked to join theFisher Home board three years ago, just after her brother died. 
She was pleased that the Fisher Home was a residential facility. But it needed funding. A shop was her goal and she was successful. The 55 University 
Driveshop is run by volunteers and one part-time paid staffer. Furnishings came from the closed Lord and Taylor store.The shop has clothing 
and housewares and a monthly silent auction of special items. Prices are reasonable $1-$5. Nothing is wasted, items arer ecycled to the Survival 
Center and Salvation Army. She said it's more than a shop but a community builder.

The Northampton Hospice Shop netted $80,000 last year. This shop is not close but sales increase monthly. She said the word has to be spread. 
Nancy Brose noted that member Jean Chapman managed the end of her life. Member June Farmer was a resident of the Fisher Home when she died.
 Harry said he was opposed to any Hospice program for his late friend Ken Mosakowski. But is now a supporter after seeing the wonderful care 
Kenreceived. "He was just beaming," Harry said.

Ruth Miller won the wine. Honore David won the raffle.

Your scribe,
Phyllis Lehrer 

September 4, 2007



               The play Big Winner will be at New Salem
Signups for Love Notes are going well but still need volunteers forthe Party Committee

                Prez Jim Wald told us about Labor Day and read an 1840 poem by a 
                Silesian weaver, and another by Bertoldt Brecht about who was there with the great men of history.


                Our Speaker was Town Manager Larry Schaffer who told us that Budgetary issues are the looming challenge. They continue to be a 
                serious problelm. Last year, the Finance Committee recommended a 1% across the board raise, which with health insurance and salaries, 
                amounted to a 3.5 - 4% reduction. The past 5 years have used up our surpluses. Town Manager, School Superintendent, and Library delivered 
                the 1% budgets, and then Town Meeting had to struggle with cuts to Public Safety, Police, and LSSE, and General Government (such as 
                office hours, number of clerks available to help, legal services, and a job freeze.)

                Cherry Hill had its best July and August ever, and we are starting to rebuild our Health Insurance trust. The Town is using a three pronged 
                approach to deal with the financial situation.

                1. talks with educational institutions about our revenue stream; 
                2. economic development to grow the tax base and 
                3. state funds to bring alternative revenue such as meals tax.

                The five year agreement with UMass sets the base for dealing with the other institutions. Equity resonates with the University (fire and ambulance 
net cost per call is subsidized by the taxpayers. Water and Sewer usage and costs. Cooperation on economic development. Marks' Meadow
Police Mutual aid agreement.

                The Town is etter in being friendly to business. Many inspections need to be synchronized, and we are going from paper permits to the 

                We have a $2 billion tax base, but we have a gap of 2-2.5%. We have to grow the tax base over time.

August 28, 2007


The Amherst Club met Aug. 29 at the Hickory Ridge Golf Club with 35 presenton a beautiful sunny day.
President James Wald called the meeting to order with a reading of poetryand Haiku by Japanese poet who lived 1866-1912.
Dee Waterman announced she will perform at the 1776 Meeting House in NewSalem the weekend of Sept. 7 and 14. 
She promises frivolity.
Ruth Hooke said an Iraq war protests will be held that afternoon in SouthHadley.
Tina Berins said a reception for international students will be held thatafternoon at the Amherst Woman's Club.  
Ruth Miller said UMass football begins Saturday.
Roger Webb said the Love Notes Invitation Committee needs a computer guru tohelp with the mailing list.
The membership directory will be mailed. 


Bonnie Isman introduced our speaker Tony Maroulis who is the project mangerfor Museums 10 and their new collaboration
 Bookmarks.Museums 10, founded three years ago, includes the art museums at Smith,UMass, Amherst, Hampshire Mount 
Holyoke. the Dickinson Museums, NationalYiddish Book Center, Eric Carle and Historic Deerfield and partners with 30
other organizations.The goal is to spread the word about the cultural opportunities, increaseattendance and increase the
 economic opportunities. 

The museum directors meet monthly. They planned the very successful Go Dutcheffort and developed the Bookmarks theme
 that begins this month and runsthrough Jan. Bookmarks includes displays, exhibits, readings, panels,poetry, movies. Three 
themed weekend are planned: Art of the Book, Sept.20-23; Book Out Loud, Oct. 11-14, and Books to Blog and Back,
 Nov. 15-18.Details can be found on the Web site.

There is something for everyone, he said. Publicity is in nationalpublications, as well as local through Chambers of Commerce, 
college Websites and public schools and he is willing to talk to local groups.  Thereare 750,000 in the three counties to be 
attracted. Museums in smaller communities is getting attention such as the Guggenheimin Spain and cultural tourism is a focus
 for travelers. The Go Dutch campaign increased Museums 10 attendance by 15 percent from105,000 to 160 and would like
 to increase that by 5 percent.   One inducement the stamped passport validating visits will be entered into adrawing for a trip
 to Rome.

He only works 20 hours a week so the idea of an art trolley will take some time.

Vivienne Carey won the wine and Zina Tillona won the raffle.

Your scribe,
Phyllis Lehrer

August 21, 2007



 Lois Barber brought her friend Doug Wolf


Vivienne Carey requests volunteers for the Sponsorship  and Party committees.
Sara Berger needs someone to take minutes next week when all of the  newsletter folks will be away.


Tree Warden Alan Snow. He is only one of two tree wardens in  the state and his region covers from Rt. 495 west. 
He has lived in  Amherst since his college days.

Snow talked about Urban Forestry. In our town, we have more forest  from the Wagner Farms north, and less from there 
into the center of  town. He pointed out that when funding dries up, tree planting suffers.There is a new by-law in the works 
to have healthy trees in the  public way that are removed, replaced according to the caliper of the  old tree. The landowner
 would contribute a set amount to have those  new trees planted. Currently, there is an ongoing tree inventory  being done for
 a management plan. Public Shade Trees are in parks and in public right-of-ways.

Questions were asked about native vs. non-native trees. Some of the  non-native trees are naturalized, they have adapted to
 our conditions  and cause no problems. Other non-native trees (and shrubs) are  invasive and we don't want them. They crowd out the native species.
"The Right Tree for the Right Place" is the motto. Green  infrastructure which includes conservation land, parks, and yards  
affect the amount of runoff, oxygen, and temperature. There is less  storm water runoff, less pollution."People who will not
 sustain trees will soon live in a world which  does not sustain people." --Bryce Nelson

August 14, 2007


                Minutes of the Amherst Club meeting August 14, 2007 


                Cynthia Brubaker brought a Chinese law professor and two  


                The speakers were Beth Gershman and Lynne Weintraub of the Jones  Library. 

                 They discussed the English as a Second Language or ESL  program. Beth is the head of Adult Services at the library, Lynne is   
                in charge of the ESL program. 

                There are many people in Amherst who do not know English. They are here are students, families of students (these are usually 
                 handled by 
the schools), and immigrants. It is the last group that need our  help. They come from Latin America, Africa, and Asia. 

                We were told of success stories of women who were prisoners in their own homes when they could not communicate with the outside, 
who were able to get jobs and be self-sufficient when they could peak English, and those who wanted to become citizens but 
help for the exam.

                Lynne has written award winning books for citizenship. Her students have all passed and joined us as Americans. One woman was then
to send for her son in Asia. They were all touching stories. 

                The teaching is done by volunteers in class or individual settings, and is a needed, appreciated, and wonderful service. 

                 Submitted from recollections after the Meeting as notes were not taken.
                 Sara Berger

August 7, 2007

Remember Food for the Survival Center

The Amherst Club met on the first Thursday in August at the Hickory RidgeCountry Club for lunch with 34 present.
 Vice President Jacquie Price called the meeting to order and read two EmilyDickinson poems.
Arthur Kinney brought three guests: Izumi Nemoto, (Ren. Center VisitingFellow from Japan);  his wife Michiko Nemoto; 
and a former student ChihiroHara.

Nancy Brose said member Jean Chapman died in her sleep July 27. There willbe a service Sept. 6 at the First Congregational
 Church. We had a moment ofsilence.

Ed Koczur has directories.

Ruth Hooke said the Raging Grannies will sing at a free concert at the KeefeCenter Amherst College this weekend.Ruth Miller
mentioned Marsha Ball's  Nov. 11 Iron Horse concert as a must see. 
Sign up sheets for Love Notes are now out. Get out a pen.
Bob and Ann Grose celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary Aug. 9.
Larry Siddal said "The Cocktail Hour" at the New Century Theater is verygood. Subscriptions for next year at current prices 
will be available at theTuesday meeting 
The board will meet next Tuesday.


Bonne Isman introduced Patty Brandts the new Amherst Area Chamber ofCommerce Executive Director who has been on the
 job nine weeks.She moved to the area from Washington state 12 years ago and worked in real estate.She loves the area and
 is a proponent of buy local citing a study that indicates more dollars remain in the area if used at a local store versus a chain.

A positive perfect storm is converging with override failure, business notbeing a dirty word, a wonderful town manager, 
rezoning and easing the permit process.Other positives: the Comprehensive Plan Committee with a report expected in
 Sept., the Promote Downtown Amherst group that includes 64 businesses andthe Town Commercial Relations Committee.
 She attends all their meetings.

Her vision is events to bring the community together - one is in theworks, an October forum for chamber and community 
members to get the ear of Town Manager Larry Schaffer. She said chamber  members want the universityto be more involved
 with the  town. She wants to ensure a friendly face inthe chamber office.Amherst is a great town. Don't lose sight how lucky 
we are to be here, shesaid.

The Chamber used to offer opinions on Town Meeting articles thatwas valuable.  The practice should be restored.
Lois Barber supports the buy local campaign. She said Donatello's was hardhit by the Dunkin Donut store. Dee Waterman 
said Donatello's is more thanpastry and coffee with ravioli, soup and sandwiches.  The chamber web site needs to be updated.
Brandts said she hasn't heard any comments about high rents downtown asindicated in a newspaper article but she will talk to
 people and listen.As for businesses moving from town like NES talking to them after fact istoo late. Brandts said you need to
 be proactive rather than reactive.The chamber is not affiliated with the National organization.Brandts said she is meeting with
 her Northampton  counterpart to work oncommon issues. She also wants to work with UMass more. She suggested the
chamber provide a  scholarship to the university.The new office is easy to find across from the Jones Library and many people
stop by. We are all invited as well.
Carolyn Holstein won the aromatic white wine and Mike Greenebaum won theraffle.

Your scribe,
Phyllis Lehrer  

July 31, 2007


The Amherst Club met on the last day of July 2007, a warm sunny day,  at theHickory Ridge Country Club for lunch with 
32 present. President Jim Wald  called the meeting to order and read a poem "To TheFates" by  German writer (Hundelein sp?)
 in 1789.

Cynthia Brubaker went for lunch at the Survival Center and she was veryimpressed. The center needs more space, does 
anyone have real estate connections to help.

Jean Haggerty invites the club to attend a gathering with food and musicAug. 3 from 4:30-9:30 at the Bangs Center.
The Mohawk Trails Season was wonderful. Everyone should go next year. RuthBlack received a round of applause.

Club activity suggestions go to Ruth Miller and Tina Berins. A UMassfootball game is in the works and a Nov. 11 Iron Horse

Sign up sheets for Love Notes are now out. The party group is now onecommittee instead of being split, according to
 Jacquie Price.

Tina Berins has forms for the Hospitality Program for International Studentsto help acclimate new arrivals. It's low commitment
 just meet the studentonce and see where it goes. 

 Lois Barber is hosting a German male who wants to practice English skills.She has him for Aug. but needs a Sept. host.  

Ed Koczur distributed the new directories.


 Nancy Gregg introduced the speaker Dan Nachbar, who was born in Chicago,has degrees from Berkley and Columbia. 
He did R and D with computers and wasinvolved with start up computer companies, is a pilot and has a commerciallicense.
Dan was a lively speaker and is very passionate about his project: personalblimps Flight began not with the Wright Brothers but with hot air balloons in Paris
in 1783.   Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian, combined a motor and balloonto create a blimp that won a flight contest in Paris
 in 1901. He was the most famous man in the world at the time and is now mostly forgotten exceptin Brazil.

Dan showed slides of Dumont and various flying devices and their history and his Boston Globe video.
 Factoid : heavier- than-air refers to planes, helicopters, gliders; lighter-than-air refers to devices where no movement is 
required, balloons,air ships.  
For the past several years he has been trying to overcome flight problems:Hydrogen is flammable, helium is expensive, steering
 and control, the largeballoons require large spaces since not collapsible and a large ground crew. One Good Year Blimp costs
 $5 million  a year to maintain. His solution: a double collapsible rib system, like an umbrella, using hotair heated by propane 
and a motor. His black-and-yellow creation is 102 feet long, holds 205,000 cubic feet, runs on a lawn tractor motor, goes
 8 miles an hour, has two seats and can park on tree tops.  The first flight was Oct. 27, 2006. He now has FAAapproval to
 give joy rides. 

Personal blimp applications: forest canopy research,  wetlands and geologystudy. His goal: build another blimp, reach 40 miles 
per hour, land in 20 milewinds. He is applying for patents. It will take four years before the modelcan be commercially sold. He
 has made no profit and it's been expensive buthe is reaching for the sky.  
Dan Nachbar won the white wine from Spirit Haus and Elsie Fetterman won the raffle.

Your scribe,
Phyllis Lehrer

July 17, 2007


The Amherst Club met July 16 at the Hickory Ridge Country Club for lunch with 28 present.Vice President Jacquie Price 
called the meeting to order in President  JimWald's absence.

Jacquie read a Billy Collins poem about the true feeling of a dog for its owner.

The meeting of the new and old boards has been postponed until Septembersince so few were available. However, the new 
board is officially on duty. 

Larry Siddall asked to meet with the Program Committee after the meeting.


Nancy Gregg introduced Cheryl Zoll, the new director of the Amherst SurvivalCenter. She has a doctorate in linguistics and
 worked at the literacyproject.

 Zoll said she spoke to the club three years ago, liked the mug and isdelighted she will get another. She said the center has 
been in the  press a lot but was never in the stateof chaos as the press indicated. It has been successful for 30 years, but
needed a more administrative style of management and there was a lack ofcontrol. In such a small space incidents will occur.
 Throughout the transition, the service never wavered. Our challenge was to keep the strength strong and be predictable.
No other center combines the sense of community, long history and service. Iam happy to shepherd. She noted the center's
 food is better than its Northampton counterpart. The center has many volunteers who help with meals, distribute food and at
the free store that offers clothing and household goods.   Local stores suchas Whole Foods, Atkins, Trader Joe's and Henion's 
donate food and area schools and faith communities hold food drives for the center. (Reminder:the club also collects food 
weekly.)   Zoll noted the need for the center because of the severe poverty problem.She distributed a map that showed 
Amherst was fourth in terms of poverty. A total of 44 percent of Crocker Farm students are eligible for free andreduced meals.
 The sheet included statistics about the number of meals and pounds of food distributed.  The center isn't used just by the 
unemployed but by working families who rely on the center to manage. Zoll said the center has new staff, is collaborating with 
the Health Care for the Homeless,  planning a Health Fair and mobile pantry to deliver foodto South Amherst. The center 
would like more space,  needs new computers (donations welcome)and money. There is no counseling at the center, but that
 is a priority, she said. The center  would also like to offer training  for volunteers to improve skills that will enable them to move
 on. The Survival Center is an incredible place. Amherst should  be proud of it. Come visit, she said.

Larry Siddall won the wine from Spirit Haus and Bobbye Hertzbach won the


July 24: Erik Nakajima, UMass Donahue Institute   
July 31: Dan Nachbar,  My personal Blimp

Your scribe,
Phyllis Lehrer

July 10, 2007


The Amherst Club met for lunch July 10 with 34 present on a very hot day.President Jacqui Price began the meeting by
 reading the poem, "You Reader" by Billy Collins.


Ruth Miller announced the club will hear Bolcom and Morris July 21 at MohawkTrails. Bring $10 for the barbecue. If
 anyone needs one ticket call Phyllis Lehrer.

Ruth Miller needs a ride around 8:30 a.m. July 18 from her home on Columbia Drive to the center of town.

Claude turned 63 today. He also won the wine. Happy Birthday.

The new and old board will meet July 20 at 5:30 p.m. at Carolyn Holstein's

Let Jacqui know if you got the wrong dues bill.

Irv Howards of Amherst was inducted into the club. He has a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin and taught political
 science at UMass from 1965-87. He then worked as a lobbyist for AARP. He is a Town Meeting member,served on the 
Finance Committee and was president of the JCA (JewishCommunity of Amherst). He is an intelligent, talented, caring person,
according to Ruth Miller's intro.


Nancy Gregg introduced Jean Ryan, executive director of VNA Hospice, who introduced Mo Grossberger, program manager
 for the Health Watch System. He explained the personal response system, a water proof pendant worn aroundthe neck. If a
 person falls he or she can press the pendant's button thatactivates a console connected to phone that calls the National
 MonitoringStation (on duty 24/7). Operators can hear the person from any room in thehouse including behind a closed door.
The console has a back up battery that lasts for 18 hours in case of power failure.It costs $50 to install the console, which is 
demonstrated and tested.  Clubmembers received a coupon waving that fee. It costs $1 a day for the PRS.Some insurance 
pays for it but not Medicare.  Falls are major reason behind the program. One of three over 65 are expectedto fall this year. 
Getting help within 60 minutes of a fall improvesrecovery, according to statistics he cited. Sixty percent of falls occur in
the home and most of those in the bathroom.  Such a system provides peace of mind and allows seniors to live in their
homes longer. He also described another device, a medical dispenser that can hold 60doses. The machine issues a verbal 
reminder to take medication. It will doso every minute for 45 minutes. If the medication is not take within thattime,  a care 
giver is called.Health Watch is the largest PRS system in Western Mass with 1,300 clientsand predicts it will boom with the
 increasing elder population.He also predicts an increase in monitoring services, such as blood pressure,and two-way video

Nancy Gregg won the raffle.    

Your scribe,
Phyllis Lehrer

June 26, 2007

Carolyn Holstein opened the meeting with a count of who can be expected à table for the meeting next week, July 3. It looked like about
 2/3rds of those present today. (Please note the accent over the a. But, Claude, is it grave or the other? I don't remember.)
Saying that one of the number of things she loved about being president of the Club (and this was the last meeting at which she officially,
 and, so à la Carolyn, humorously, albeit modestly presided, she read from her  second 
favorite poet in the world, Mary Oliver. (Anyone who doesn't know her first favorite will be assessed double dues next quarter.) She read 
Oliver's Wild Geese. I'm appending the whole poem because it's  so perfect, but I'll just 
quote two lines right here:

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.

So it does.

No guests today


Friday is King Lear in Hadley at Hartsbrook School. At 7:00 on Friday, Arthur Kinney will be there to talk about the play.

Amherst Garden Tour is this Saturday.

Ruth Hooke is still collecting stuff for the Cuba Caravan (see last week's newsletter). This Saturday they are having a celebration at 
the First Church in Northampton while loading the bus, from 12 to 2:00.

Tina Berins announced a new Cambodian grandchild,  two days oldBonnie Isman announced, unofficially  (though happily) that the Jones'
Library fund drive had topped $45,000.


Nancy Gregg introduced JoAnne Campbell, Executive Director of Valley Community Development Corporation which is headquartered in
 Northampton at 30 Market Street.

JoAnne has been director of Valley CDC or eight years. She has her MSW from Columbia University, and her BSW from the State University
 of New York in Rockport.

Valley CDC is a nineteen-year-old organization with a goal: to empower low and moderate income people, helping them gain access to housing
 and economic opportunities. They do this nationwide, in rural, suburban and small towns working with individual households and families.  
They provide help with budgeting, credit etc. and inform people about the responsibilities of ownership, both pro and contra. In other words
 they help people figure out what they want and how to make decisions.An important component of their education involves the question 
of how to avoid predatory lending. "We've been complaining about predatory lending for the last few years," Jo Anne said. "Mortgage 
companies are not regulated, as banks are. People respond, unfortunately, to that kind of advertising  [i.e. that characterizes predatory lending].

 The sad part of the whole situation is that probably 70 percent of the families coming to us now [victims of predatory lenders] will probably 
loose their homes." There are some people Valley CDC can help after the fact, but many they can't. Before the fact, they offer clients classes 
with sessions offered by banks, real estate attorneys, realtors, home inspectors, insurance agents, and representatives from fair housing worlds.

Valley CDC also offers financial literacy workshops (for example, about budgeting) ."We've also marketed affordable homes working with 
non- and for-profit developments."JoAnne discussed housing projects her organization has been involved with, including Go West in Florence
and the State Hospital in Northampton. "I am also pleased to say that we are going to develop an eleven- unit rental property on Main Street 
in Amherst. Funding for that was approved by the state in December.  Bids have just recently come in and the winning low bidder is Don 
Teagno, a local contractor. The Valley CDC is now in the process of getting a contract together and they expect to begin construction 
around Labor Day. (Amherst Housing Authority will manage that project.)

Addendum: Wild Geese by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good./ You do not have to walk on your 
knees / or a hundred miles  through the desert, repenting./ You only have to 
let the soft animal of your body/ love what it loves./  Tell me about 
despair, yours, and I will tell you mine./ Meanwhile the world goes on./ 
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain/ are moving across the 
landscapes, /over the prairies and the deep trees, /the mountains and the 
rivers. /Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, /are heading  
home again. /Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, /the world  offers 
itself to your imagination, /calls  to you like the wild geese, harsh and 
exciting--/over and over announcing your place / in the family of things.
(c) Mary Oliver. Online Source

June 19, 2007

To open the meeting, president Carolyn Holstein invited Lorraine Desrosiers to read from her poetry. Lorraine read a fine, moving 
 composition, Perfect Understanding,  which raises questions about knowledge, understanding, and not understanding:

"Surely all God wants
is our admiration of this world
to grant perfect understanding,
but still we know nothing."


Vivienne Carey: former Club Member Joann Chandler; Ruth Miller: Irv Howards; Ed Koczur: Ben Larabee.


Ruth Hooke is collecting goods for Passage for Peace to benefit students in Cuba. Wanted are all kinds of school supplies from pencils
and paper to computers and other electronic  items.  Drop off donations at the old rectory of Grace Church.

Ruth Miller:13 people have signed up for the July 21 Mohawk Trail concert/cookout. Also, if you are interested in seeing the Capitol Steps,
contact Nancy Brose. And, check out Business Week online to read about Ruth's son-in-law, Martin Wattenberg.

Jacquie  thanks everyone for their help in looking over their entries in the new Club directory, and reminds anyone who may not have
 done so to return his or her sheet.

Tina Berins thanked us åall once again for the gift she received last week. She also noted that the recent fundraiser for Family Outreach
 netted $37,000 and suggested we "need to take some clues from them."

Nancy Frazier's son, David, who teaches graphic arts at Hallmark Institute of Photography, has organized a print exhibit and sale of 
students' works for the benefit of  Doctors Without Borders. The exhibit is at the Hallmark Museum of Contemporary Photography in
 downtown Turners Falls.


Roger Webb introduced  Sue Tracy, program coordinator for All Out Adventures which is headquartered in Easthampton .All Out Adventures
 helps people many kinds of impairments enjoy outdoor activities such as kayaking, canoeing, camping , hiking , biking. Even ice skating and 
sled hockey. Sue  brought one of the pieces of equipment, a recumbent bicycle called  Terratrike, that enables people who probably would 
not otherwise have the opportunity to cycle through the countryside.

The mission of AOA is to contribute to the advancement of a more fully inclusive society. Sue's slide show illustrated many examples of 
outdoor equipment that was adapted for that purpose. Quite amazingly, a "low tech modification" allowed a 47 year-old man who had no
 use of his legs,  and weak stomach muscles--but strong arms--to paddle a kayak. To adapt the kayak's standard seat was taken out and a 
kind of molded foam seat was installed to keep him stable. Trainers helped him practice in a pool before taking him out paddling  in a lake
 in Vermont. "He was beside himself, he was so happy," Sue said.  They also trained the man's son so that they could go kayaking together.

All the inventive ways  devised to adapt equipment in order to make recreation accessible to everyone was amazing, as were the 
accompanying stories. Cynthia, for example, who is 80 years old, went snow shoeing for two hours every weekend this past winter.
You will find more information, and a Summer 2007 Schedule for AOA at www.alloutadventures.orgBy the way, lots of Amherst Clubbers 
enjoyed a spin around the dining room on the Terratrike.

June 12, 2007

In the absence of our president due to illness (get well, Carolyn), vice president Jim Wald  presided, and announced that the scheduled
board meeting was postponed.Guests: Harry brooks brought Carol Gray.


Ruth miller: This Thursday at 1:30 Larry Siddall  will give club members a private guided tour of the Egyptian exhibit at Mount Holyoke 
 At 1:30 museum this thursdayTina Berens: Family Outreach is holding a fundraising $75 per person dinner auction on Friday.
Dee Waterhouse: Estella Olefsky will be playing at the 1794 Meeting House in New Salem on Saturday.
Lorraine Desrosiers had a special announcement:  "This is a present for Tina,"  Lorraine said, and she went on to talk about Tina Berins's 
contributions to Love Notes and especially her donation of time, energy, and food to our last fund-raising celebration. On behalf of the 
Club, Lorraine presented Tina (to whom the honor came as a "total shock," with two boxes wrapped in silver. In the smaller box was brown 
leather organizer, and in the larger box was a handbag of the same beautiful brown leather.


Jim introduced his friend and Hampshire College colleague  Salman Hameed who, Jim said, is an astronomer by training, and also renaissance
 man. Salman teaches about the dynamics of  science and religion .

Salman  argued that the topic of aliens and gods belongs in science classrooms, and that we should pay attention to the paranormal. 
He presented a graph that shows the strength--up to 50 percent of a student population--of belief in paranormal phenomena.
He presented a number of examples from the popular press which confirm a widespread interest in mystical, mysterious, religious and spiritual 
experiences. After 9/11, for example ,there was a huge interest in Nostradamus according to the Yahoo Buzz Index which tracks internet 

It is clear that in this context students should try understand motivation for beliefs in the paranormal. The perceived hostility of academia 
to non scientific ideas needs examination, and ideas about topics such as UFOs and Aliens should be discussed with a balance between 
skepticism and wonder.And what if UFOs are real? That is, what are theimplications?

Consider historical, sociological  and psychological analyses. Talk about the ideas of abduction by aliens and what that means. Think also
 about God as Nature and Nature as God, a struggle between science and religion that is slightly different but equally important. Understand 
that what we may think of as a polarization that has existed throughout history was originally motivated as much by power politics and 
economic self-interest as by anything else--and may still be so motivated today.

This is a fascinating topic. is a site to explore if you find the subject interesting.

May 29, 2007

President Carolyn Holstein began the meeting with a poem by metaphysical poet, John Donne, who is a favorite of our speaker,
 Courtney Gordon.  Donne is associated with "For Whom the Bell Tolls", having been a lawyer, politician and minister in the 1500's.


Ruth Miller had fourteen tickets for the U.S. Coast Guard Band Concert on the evening of May 29th.
Carolyn acknowledged the work David Scott and Larry Siddall have done in procuring our effective new sound system.
Larry Siddall encouraged Club members to visit the Mt. Holyoke Art Museum's Egyptian Exhibit, and Nancy Brose encourage potential 
visitors to call Larry for a customized tour.
Nancy Foster is in the Ludlow Rehab Center with pinched nerves and massive arthritis, will be home soon.
Ruth Black presented seasonal highlights of the Mohawk Trail Concerts, which have a "strong current of poetry" running through them.
Ruth Miller invited Club members and friends to a July 21st Mohawk Trail Concert featuring Bolcom and Morris.  Call her at 253-7855 for 
(gourmet )dinner reservations at the Charlemont Federated churchbefore the concert.
Bonnie Isman announced a Saturday, June 9th event at Jones Library:  "Ha Ha 
Sisterhood" in the Large Meeting Room, a $10 contribution for a Fund Drive wrap-up.


Harry Brooks brought Jodi Simpson, chair of the Town Meeting Coordinating Committee.
Jean Miller introduced Barbara, her friend from sixth grade who has moved to Massachusetts.


Carolyn Holstein introduced Courtney Gordon who arrived with her husband as a teaching team in Hampshire College.  Those were 
astronomy days  Courtney  later moved into nursing and worked at an inner city high school in Springfield.  She became interested in autism 
and is currently doing private consultations with parents and children as a volunteer, having recently retired.  The book she is writing with her
 daughter, a highly-functioning adult with autism has given Courtney new understanding of the condition she finds can be modified with 

She has found that autism is reflected in three aspects of daily life:
(1)  social interactions (lack of social skills)
(2)  repetitious habits
(3) difficulties with speech
One problem is that society equates speaking skills with intelligence.  Courtney has proven that clients with autistic tendencies may be
 highly intelligent but have not the usual social skills to convey their thoughts.  Reading and writing may be mysterious to them.  Some have
 obsessions with schedules, a bus schedule for example.  He daughter explained to her that much of her life she felt "locked in involuntary 
solitude" and wanted to interact but didn't know how.  A simple  "And what do you do in your spare time?" gave her opportunities for more 
interaction.Experts wonder about the growing numbers of cases of autism and how it might be connected with pollutants in our atmosphere. 

 It is well-known that genes are carried in families.  Sensitivity to stimulation and to light and noise are quite common in autism.  Children 
who have been vaccinated may have lighter cases.Other factors which inhibit behavior are:  digestive trouble; motor skills limitations; sleep 
difficulties (some have no sleep cycle) and lack of common sense.Early intervention and guidance make all the difference in an autistic 
situation with a promise of a normal lifespan.

Ruth Hooke won the wine.  Congratulations to the winner of the lottery.

Submitted by:
Scribe, Nancy Brose

May 22, 2007

President Carolyn Holstein opened the meeting  with a test of the new speaker system. Judging from her surprise it seemed
 to be testing her, too.

Larry Siddall, saying he's had Emily on his mind, read "her version of sunset."

Blazing in gold and quenching in purple,
Leaping like leopards to the sky,
Then at the feet of the old horizon
Laying her spotted face, to die

Stooping as low as the otter's window,
Touching the roof and tinting the barn,
Kissing her bonnet to the meadow,-
And the juggler of day is gone!

Nancy Brose: Gina O'Brian;  Susie Lowenstein: Nancy D'Amato.


Kathleen Scott: First has a low mileage Ford car to sell for $800-900 dollars. Second, wonders if anyone would like to stay in their house from 
July 16 to August 20.

The Bowlathon takes place in Northampton this Thursday night with Cynthia Brubaker bowling for the Amherst Club. So far Zina Tillona and 
Cynthia have  raised $300.  Checks should be  made out to New Century Theater.

Next week Ruth Miller will  send around a sign-up sheet for a Mohawk Trail concert in Charlemont scheduled for July 21. Program includes
 Bolcolm  and Morris, Da Camera singers and Estela Olevsky.  There will be a barbecue on the grounds before the concert.

Jim Wald has set up our new and easier email system for Club messages and newsletters. Jim has heroically added all available names manually, 
and so this message comes to you courtesy Jim Wald and Google Groups. Three cheers for Jim!

Noting that the board will decide today whether to purchase the new microphone system, David Scott pointed out some of its features: it can
 have a computer plugged in, music can play, also it allows you to record your presentation.  It can have as many as four mikes .

At the Annual Meeting  on June 5 members will vote on the new bylaws-to arrive on the wings of Google Groups, I believe-and  a new slate

Anurag, Sharma  Nominations Chair, presented these names:
President: Jim Wald
Vice-president: Jacqueline Price
Secretary : Joan Hanson
Treasurer: Hub Smith
Activities: Tina Berins, Ruth Miller
Archives: Kathleen Scott
Program:  Arthur Kinney, Bill Darity, Nancy Gregg, Bonnie Isman, Harry 
Fundraising: Vivienne Carey, Roger Webb
Newsletter: Jim Scott, Phyllis Lehrer,  Sara Berger
Membership: Honoré David, Karen Tarlow
Attendance: Dee Waterman
Nominations: Carolyn Holstein, Nancy Brose
Webmaster: David Scott
Registrar: TBA


Nancy Frazier introduced Ron Luchsinger, Commonwealth  Opera's new artistic director. He's also director of productions for Opera North
 in New Hampshire. Ron's directing career is distinguished by its wide range  and diversity. His directing credits include at least fourteen 
companies, from Knoxville to Anchorage. Ron has served on the faculties of several schools including the University of Connecticut and the 
Hartt School. As it final performance of this season Commonwealth Opera is about to perform "Jacques Brel is Alive & Well & Living in Paris." 
First performed in January 1968, it will be at the Sweeney Concert Hall, Smith College on June 1 and 2 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, June 3 at 2:00.

As a member of Opera America, which id devoted to the production of new American works, Ron went to a conference in Miami in the spring
 where he saw the world premiere of a new opera, David Carlson's Anna Karenina (by Leo Tolstoy), with libretto by Colin Graham.In recent 
years new works have been launched by major companies.

Another opera Ron mentions is Dead Man Walking, by Jake Heggie  with liberetto by Terence McNally. It was premiered by San Francisco
Opera in October 2000.An argument against war the at the very least, this story begins with the re-enactment of murder and ends with 
executions. A powerful work, with young people in the aucience sitting in rapt attention. At the end they were on their feet clapping and 
shouting "as only young people can."

Ron's assessment is that, "There is great hope for opera, American opera in particular."

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Amherst Club" group.
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May 15, 2007


 this is the magic link to join the Amherst Club google email group:

Just click on this (or copy and paste it into the address line) and it will lead you to the simple sign in process. Newsletters, lists of  upcoming 
speakers, and other important information about Club affairs will soon be sent exclusively through this email group. Please sign in and sign
up today.

President Carolyn Holstein opened the meeting. She noted that every year for the last twenty-five Harrison Gregg has joined a walk in honor 
of Emily Dickinson. Though he couldn't do so this year, he did give us the pleasure of hearing two of her poems on this, the one hundred and
 twenty-first anniversary (today) of her death. Both poems express the poet's reaction to the night sky. The first:

The Lightning is a yellow Fork
From Tables in the sky
By inadvertent fingers dropt
The awful Cutlery

Of mansions never quite disclosed
And never quite concealed
The Apparatus of the Dark
To ignorance revealed.

Sure enough the thunder roars as I write this, and lightning is probably in tow, but I never before  thought of them as events of divine culinary 

The second poem Harrison read was about the Northern Lights. When we were discussing it after the meeting Susie Lowenstein remembered
 the first time she saw the Northern Lights and asked Peter Kitchell, her husband, whose car lot was shooting those beams of light across the 

Guests: Nancy Frazier's husband, Jack.


Vivienne  Carey had two: (1) The Love Notes Banner is currently in the hands of the DPW, and needs someone to store it. (Someone 
volunteered.) And Vivienne and Roger have just sold theirer home and are looking for a house to rent from about mid June to mid July.

Nancy Brose: Jean Chapman's daughter has arrived. Jean, who has cancer and heart problems, is not doing well. Everyone sendds his/her
 best wishes.

Zina Tillona reminded us about bowling for dollars on behalf of the New Century Theater.


Nancy Frazier introduced Jim Harvey who was born in Allahabad, India, grew up in the Midwest, and went back to teach in Pakistan, from
 1965 to 1970, after earning his BS in Physics at the University of Illinois. He also did graduate work at Yale (MA in Religion), at the University
of Connecticut (MS Physics) and at the San Francisco Theological Seminary. He is now retired and living in Hadley. And he is a United 
Methodist pastor.

In 1965 Jim and his wife, Gerry, were on the Queen Mary headed to London for a honeymoon before settling in Pakistan where Jim would 
teach physics."Living abroad," Jim observed, "is a wonderful way to learn more about your own country."

A war between India & Pakistan began soon after they arrived: "Thousand-pound bombs started dropping out of sky. Some not did 
explode-they were unused American munitions-decorated with our red, white, and blue flags-that had been left in India after World War II
." This entirely unintentional gaffe outraged Pakistan, understandably.Jim cited this as one example of American bad luck: the unintentional 
alienation of an otherwise congenial population. Another example was the American effort to assuage a famine in  the year the Harveys 
arrived. The US sent in a supply of wheat which, "unfortunately" had the wrong gluten content for kind of bread Pakistanis bake. A rumor 
started to the effect that Americans were dumping second rate flour on Pakistan. However that was not the case. Just having a Pakistani 
woman try the flour for baking would have prevented a sad misunderstanding. The problem "illustrates that we often do not do our homework."
 Instead we assume that what is good for us is good for everyone."We do things that are unintentionally abrasive,"  but they are harmful. 
Nevertheless, Jim found that his students did like Americans, whose culture appealed to them.However, Pakistanis do have a somewhat 
distorted view of Americans. It is an impression derived from American movies, Time magazine and Newsweek. People he met were surprised 
that "I did not get drunk a lot. They thought part of being American meant being 'bombed.' "  They were also surprised to learn that he believed
 in marital fidelity."

When in 1967 war broke out between the Arabs and Israelis students in Jim's school announced a strike, and the loyalty to ones peer group
 is such, in Pakistan, that "not a single student entered the gates of the college. In that part of world you stick with your group through thick 
or thin." Some students expressed disagreement with the idea of the strike, but they were loyal to their group."This ethic is enlightening when
 we realize that specific groups and affiliations mean more in that part of the world than national boundaries, or what we think of as "patriotism."
 After all, the nations were carved out by colonists, not by native choice. So it is understandable that, as Jim said, "They stick with their group
 whether right or wrong." And American should pay attention to that, and understand that Iraqis are not Iraqis first and Sunni or Shia second, 
but rather the other way around.

 Jim described a frightening demonstration on a field hockey field behind his house when one thousand students gathered to protest American 
support of Israel, shouting that (President Lyndon) Johnson was a dog. Jim and his wife were frightened. However, four students who he 
recognized from class showed up at their door. "Cautiously we let them in, because they did not seem angry. 'Professor Harvey, we want to let
 you know that we are not angry with you, we are angry with your government.'"Pakistanis can differentiate," he said. But not the radicals who
 have taken over and who can not differentiate between American civilians and the American government.

Jim described the historic circumstances that led to the situation of Americans leaving a mess behind in Afghanistan, and the event of Pakistan 
ending up with two million refugees. "The CIA, the Arabs, and the Pakistanis all seemed to have a hand in creating a fighting force against th
 Russians. . . . When the war was done we left. And we left the country next door, Pakistan, with the dishes to clean up. The refugee camps
became the home of the Taliban.I think one of the problems that we did not stay and clean up mess. Had we spent a few million dollars helping
 then, we would have a very different 
situation than the one we have today."

 May 8, 2007


*PLEASE NOTE* this is the magic link to join the Amherst Club google email group:
Just click on this (or copy and paste it into the address line) and it will lead you to the simple sign in process. Newsletters, lists of  upcoming 
speakers, and other important information about Club affairs will soon be sent exclusively through this email group. Please sign in and sign
up today.

Jim Scott borrowed a lavaliere mike from Learning from Retirement for our use.

President Carolyn Holstein used it to advantage to read a Maya Angelou poem:

                                                                                "I know why the caged bird sings."
                                                                                                (final verse)
                                                                                The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
                                                                                 of things unknown but longed for still
                                                                                 and his tune is heard on the distant hill
                                                                                    for the caged bird sings of freedom.

Guests:  Suzie Lowenstein introduced friend, Millie Marin; Nancy Gregg introduced colleague, Flo Stern


 Zina Tillona announced  the May 24th Bowlathon Benefit for the New Century Theatre and a request for sponsorships for Cynthia Brubaker
Dee Waterman told us about "Play in a Day" on Saturday, May 12th at 8 p.m. at the Fine Arts Center.  It is a benefit for the Rand Theatre
 refurbishing project and a $12 donation is suggested.

The Community Fair runs from Thursday, May 10th through Saturday May 12th on the Town Common.  Phyllis Lehrer suggests it is time for
 us all to get our  "fried dough "!

The Garden Club has its sale on the Common on Saturday, May 19th.


Jim Wald introduced our speaker of the day, Omar Dahi of Hampshire College whose topic was"Global Trade in Developing Countries".  
Omar is Syrian and a new colleague of Jim Wald's whose recent studies at the University of Notre Dame prepared him for a career in 
Developmental Economics.

He explained that his work has led him into study about South-South trade in physical commonalities as well as trade negotiations.
The first word that comes to mind when we talk about international trade is globalization.  Traditional development economists looking 
at world trade have tended to focus on the so-called North-South trade, that is trade between industrialized and developing countries.  
The tendency in recent years has been the spread of neo-liberal economics, in which developed nations, through international institutions
 and agreements (WTO,NAFTA, etc.), require southern trading partners to adopt northern free-market institutions and to trade on the
 basis of strict reciprocity.  Critics have challenged the effectiveness or morality of the new global order from a variety of standpoints.  
For example, there is evidence that neo-liberal policies in some cases harm key sectors of the population (peasants, organized labor), 
at least in the short run, and that economic liberalization and deregulation increase social tensions and social inequality, thus setting back
 the goal of political liberalization.

Trade between "Southern" countries has never attracted as much attention, in part because it makes up only a relatively small share of 
world trade.  Recent years, however, have witnessed a resurgence in political and economic cooperation among the developing nations 
of the South.  Prof. Dahi discussed some of the political motivations and economic implications of this pattern.   Among the questions that 
he asks are:  "Does South-South cooperation hold the promise of an alternative economic model to neo-liberal globalization or is it best 
thought of as unity against Northern hegemony?  How has colonialism previously and economic liberalization more recently changed the 
structure and pattern of trade among developing countries?  What will be the impact of rising alliances within the South such as those 
between China and many Middle Eastern and South American countries or between Cuba and Venezuela?  Does the Non-Aligned Movement
 that emerged during the Cold War still have a role to play in today's world?

Prof. Dahi described some of his research results, which, surprisingly perhaps, reveal that South-South trade in technology (rather than, 
say, raw materials) has in some cases been efficient and mutually profitable.  Predicting the future of any trade pattern remains a very 
tentative undertaking because it depends on so many variables, but results so far suggest that this is an area bearing further investigation.
 He further reports that recent tallies have proven that South-South trade has grown by 10% while global trade is up 5%

There was lively discussion after Prof. Dahi's presentation.The wine was won by speaker Omar Dahi and the lottery went to Millie Marin.

With thanks to Jim Wald  for his help with these minutes, they have been recorded by Nancy Brose

 May 1, 2007

*PLEASE NOTE* this is the magic link to join the Amherst Club google email group:
Just click on this (or copy and paste it into the address line) and it will lead you to the simple sign in process. Newsletters, lists of  upcoming 
speakers, and other important information about Club affairs will soon be sent exclusively through this email group. Please sign in and sign up 

After wishing us all a happy May Day president Carolyn Holstein first read a  frivolous May Day ditty, and then a serious seasonal poem by
 William Carlos Williams: The Crowd at the Ball Game.  It ends:
                                                                        It is summer, it is the solstice
                                                                                    The crowd is

                                                                     Cheering, the crowd is laughing
                                                                                         In detail

                                                                                Permanently, seriously
                                                                                    Without thought.

Doris Holden was back and congratulated on her community service award. Dee Waterman  was recognized for her run in The Crucible


Anurag Sharma's  friend Mark Lambert visiting from New York.
Zina Tillona: New Century Theater Second Bowlathon is May 24.
Ruth Miller. This Sunday morning at 10:30 musicians at will be performing on the town common in Montague; and Ruth's daughter may 
be on Today show this Monday,
Cynthia Brubaker: this weekend is League of Women Voters booksale.
Lois Barber: will be going to Germany for the World Future Council.


Nancy Frazier introduced Laetitia La Folette, Associate Professor of Art History at UMass where she has taught Greek and Roman art for
 the last 20 years.

Laetitia spoke about the trial in Rome of Marion True, curator at the Getty Museum, on charges of dealing in stolen antiquities, and the 
restitution to Italy and Greece of a series of antiquities from American museums over the last year and a half.

Why has this happened? Laetitia asked.She showed pictures of various works of art whose ownership was challenged-not only works 
from the Getty but also from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and from the Museum of  Fine Arts in Boston. And she 
explained how countries that claimed these works had been stolen, primarily Italy and Greece,  lodged claims against the curators, directors, 
and dealers who they accused of conspiring to deceive.It is clear that, so far, nothing is clear. Whether curators knew they were 
buying stolen goods, and even whether, or by whom, the goods were stolen, remains indeterminate. All that can be said right now is that, 
if nothing else, museums are (one hopes) more careful about provenance, and becoming more cautious about who they are buying from.
How and when a statute of limitations kicks in (do the Elgin Marbles belong in London or back at the Parthenon?) is, as Laetitia says,
 a "vexed" question.

Fascinating philosophically, aesthetically, financially, and ethically, this question of cultural ownership is ongoing.

April 24, 2007


*PLEASE NOTE* this is the magic link to join the Amherst Club google email group:
Just click on this (or copy and paste it into the address line) and it will lead you to the simple sign in process. Newsletters, lists of  upcoming
 speakers, and other important information about Club affairs will soon be sent exclusively through this email group. Please sign in and sign up

What a beautiful day! Jacquie Price returned with a back brace, looking  and feeling well. What could be better!Jacquie handed me this note for
 the newsletter: As wonderful as it feels to add your name and a phrase of well-wishes to a card for a club member who is under the weather, it 
doesn't compare to the comfort felt when one of is the recipient. Thanks for your recent card and its wishes.

President Carolyn Holstein commented on a full house today. She also noted that both Susie Lowenstein and Doris Holden had been honored
 for their community service. Noting that Doris was not present at lunch Carolyn said that it was because she was undoubtedly out volunteering.
Bonnie Isman read a poem today. It was "Tell me a story" by Robert Penn Warren (1905-1989) whose birthday is today and who also was the 
country's first poet laureate. It's a wonderful poem in two parts and here is Part B

Tell me a story.
In this century, and moment of mania,
Tell me a story.

Make it a story of great distances, and starlight.

The name of the story will be Time.
But you must not pronounce its name.

Tell me a story of deep delight.


Harry Brooks guest, Margo Perault;  Nancy Brose guest, Anna Messengill, Jim Scott's wife, Nina.


Lois Barber: consider hosting faculty from Yellow Barn faculty. They are looking for housing from July 1 to August 5. Contact Maurey 
McNaughton at 802-387-6637, ext 101.Party May 6 for June Farmer, 2-5 p.m. at Susie Lowenstein's house.

Speaker: Jim Scott introduced Cinda Jones, current President of the Amherst area Chamber of Commerce and President of W. D. Cowls, Inc.
Cinda just won a Business West award given to 40 individuals under the age of 40 who have been successful and who give back to their
 communities. Jim also noted that the Cowls corporate offices are located in the same farmhouse that Jonathan Cowles built in 1768, which 
has been lived in by every generation of the family since.

Before taking up the family business Cinda, who graduated from Colby College, worked for non profit organizations in Maine. She said her
 father told her that her non-profit experience  was perfect preparation for their family business.

After asking where we buy our books, office supplies, coffee, and where we rent videos, Cinda made a persuasive argument on behalf of 
patronising locally owned businesses which have both an emotional as well as a financial interest in our community."These are choices 
we make every week. If we prioritize choosing locally owned, we're helping to sustain the walkable, vibrant place where we live and work."

Here are some statistics she cited: In 2003 economists in Austin Texas compared the impact of shopping at a new Borders bookstore to 
shopping at a remained in the Austin economy. When the same $100 was spent at a locally owned bookstore, $45 remained local. Calling 
herself a reformed Internetaholic and Big Box shopper, Cinda described her own reform. It includes giving the Jeff Amherst bookstore her 
credit card and emailing  the store her or newspaper generated book selections. The books were personally delivered to her
 by the local store for just $2 more than they would have cost through the internet.She made the same kind of commitment at Hastings which 
gave her a thick catalogue of office supplies to choose from. Her orders from Hastings turned out to cost less than those she'd been making at
 Staples.Not that the internet is entirely unacceptable. For example, through the internet, our local Essentials in Amherst and Northampton is 
the second largest Tintin retailer in North America . . . and expects to be first by the end of the year.We learned, in short, that there is much gain 
 from supporting local business, and a great deal to learn as well.

 April 17, 2007


President Carolyn Holstein opened the meeting with a poem by Arnold Kenseth called Lucifer. It was the just right poem to express this 
awful April.

Guest: Jim Scott's guest was a colleague at the Kestrel Trust, Judy Eiseman

Announcements: from Doris Holden-Learning in Retirement is sponsoring a group trip to Hyde Park on May 10th. If you'd like o join them 
please get in touch with Doris.

Dee Waterman: The Arena Civic Theater presents The Cricible, by Arthur Miller. It will be at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls on April 
20, 21, 27, and 28. Tickets are $12.50 and $10 for seniors/students. Tickets are available at the Jones Library or World Eye Bookshop or 
call 413-863-2281 x 3.

*PLEASE NOTE* this is the magic link to join the Amherst Club google email group:
Just click on this (or copy and paste it into the address line)and it will lead you to the simple sign in process.Newsletters, lists of  upcoming speakers,
 and other important information about Club affairs will soon be sent exclusively through this email group.Don't be left out! Sign in and sign up today.


Jim Scott introduced Kristin De Boer, Executive director of The Kestrel Trust. A graduate of Bucknell, Kristin has a degree in economics.

The Kestrel Trust was founded 1970, the year Kristin was born-a nice symmetry. The life of the Trust has paralleled the growth of the most 
recent conservation movement. The organization  works behind scenes on most conservation efforts of the town, and the region  it coveres
 has expanded to include the eight towns adjacent to Amherst, an area that represents the heart of the Pioneer Valley.

The Pioneer Valley has some of the richest soils in the world, as productive as those of the Nile Valley. Kestrel works toward saving this land 
from development. Kristin mentioned the "great meadow," 350 acres of historic farmland they're working hard to preserve. She described how 
strips of land of a size that could be plowed by a team of oxen  in a day were laid out along  the Connecticut river during 17th century. There 
are numerous land owners, and Kestrel not only encourages them to keep their land under cultivation, but also tries to find resources and incentives
 to enable them to do so.

Mount Holyoke Range is important for its scenic and ecological value, and Kestrel is working with the state to identify its most important parcels of 
land. Kestrel sponsored a Summit House exhibit focusing on the range and showed 500 photos taken by private photographers.Kestrel also works to
 conserve the Connecticut River watershed and the Quabbin Reservoir. The Reservoir is the largest contiguous block of protected land in Massachusetts. 
Not only the source of  drinking water, it is an "accidental wilderness" where moose and bobcats live, and perhaps even cougar (cougar scat has been found there).

How does Kestrel save land before it is too late? They are looking for federal funding and thinking about launching a major capital campaign. They 
partner with other organizations, towns, look for community preservation grants, work with conservation commissions , and do "landowner outreach," 
 encouraging  people to support conservation. "Landowners are key to it all," Kristin said. She mentioned a new federal tax benefit for conservation 
easement donations that will be available until the end of the year. Meantime the cost of land is skyrocketing,

April 10, 2007


We welcomed President Carolyn Holstein back after her surgery, happy to see her moving, albeit on crutches, and looking well. She wished us Happy Spring, 
and said she looked for a poem for the day, but didn't find one, so we moved on.

Guests: none.

Announcements: many.

Happily we can report that Jacquie Price is home after her surgery and getting around, slowly but surely. Her ordeal is compounded by the loss of 
her dog, and those of us who have endured that know her suffering. We send love and good wishes.Jacquie lives in North Hadley and welcomes visitors.

Ruth Hooke took the time to write this out and so she gets not only pride of place but an accurate account: Western Mass World Social Forum Saturday, 
April 14, 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the School of Management at UMass. Workshops on climate change, neoliberalism, unions, peacemaking etc. All welcome
. Sliding scale from $5 to $25. Thank you Ruth.

Ruth Miller: the UMass Men's Soccer team against Syracuse, April 28. It you want to sit together call Ruth.Susie Lowenstein is having a party for June Farmer
 on Sunday May 6, from 2-5:00 at her house. Everyone is welcome.Phyllis Lehrer: tomorrow is the last Renaissance Wednesday of the semester with a presentation
 on Mexico.Larry Siddall: Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, where he is a docent, has a fine exhibit on Excavating Egypt. (On view is one of the world's oldest
 surviving dresses-c. 2400 BCE.) For more information go to or call 413-538-2245.

Jim Wald offered an opportunity to enhance communications between members. There is now an Amherst club mailing list on Google Groups. "In order to send a 
message to all members, you will now have to type in only a single common address: This will henceforth (after an appropriate t
ransition time) be the only address used for Club correspondence.

For those of us who don't read our emails unless they're from our kids, but don't want to be left behind, go to
And sign up.

This will be our means of communicating, and after two years of copying and pasting email addresses for the newsletter, and people continuously wondering why 
they didn't get a newsletter, I welcome it. I'm trying it out for the first time today. I'll copy and paste, too, but I hope not for much longer.


Zina Tillona introduced her  friend Lisa Trahan. Lisa has published two books based on her experiences in wartime Vienna and her travels and experiences in the U.S. 
Today Lisa read from her second book, "$10 in my Pocket: The American Education of a Holocaust Survivor."

Her books are "pretty personal" Lisa said, and added with a touch of humor, "I claim I am no longer the person who wrote them." What she read today is based on a
 combination letters, her diary, and her own reflective commentaries from her current point of view. She moved through different periods of her life in this country and
 her reactions to what she experienced."Can you imagine," she wrote to her friend Trudy about her new job as a secretary in an office where people addressed everyone
 by his or her first name, "calling your boss Fritz? I find it disrespectful." She also noted the American absorption with youth, "especially older women like to look young, 
not mature. Odd," she concluded.These were interesting recollections and musings, and especially the last one where she talked about a literature professor (at Cornell, 
I think) who was idiosyncratic impassioned and, as it turned out, was named Nabokov.

April 3 , 2007


Thanks to Nancy Foster for talking this week's notes

Michael Greenebaum chaired the meeting.

Larry Siddall encouraged members to visit a special exhibit on Ancient Egypt at the Mt. Holyoke College art museum.

Jim Scott announced the arrival on March 13th of his son Samuel Scott's twin grandchildren.

Announcement was made of the League Booksale May 4th to 6th and donations were encouraged.  These can be dropped off at any town library, Stop & Shop, the UPS store on University Drive or at #7 Pomeroy Lane, on the southeast corner of the interjection of that street with Route 116.

Bonnie Eisman announced that Gail McClung will speak about her new book, At War and At Home: One Family's War, Wold War II Correspondence, on Tuesday, April 10th at 7 pm at the Jones Library.

Jim Webb encouraged members to sign up for Google system he is developing which will allow members to post notices to each other.  He assured us he will not permit spam.

Vivienne Carey introduced today's speaker, Tom O'Brien, an artist who over time turned his talents to designing homes and now runs O'Brien Associates for that purpose.

He said a typical builder has learned his trade by doing, starting as a teen-ager.  On the other hand the typical designer turned his interest to building perhaps only when he got to graduate school.  The designer and builder may have a hard time working together.  Now some builders have their own designers, but it is the builder who creates the working drawings and proceeds from there.

However a prospective homeowner may hire a designer and then look for a builder.  Architectural schools do not teach homebuilding.  A builder will worry more about technique because he is responsible if a design doesn't work .  This also makes him cautious about trying new designs.

O'Brien recommends that someone who wants to have a new home built ask his builder for references from other customers.  A good part of his presentation was devoted to his answering questions from the audience.

March 20 2007


Vice president Jim Wald opened the meeting today since President Carolyn Holstein is recovering from knee replacement surgery. Those present were able to wish her well in a card that was passed around.

We were also told that Jacquie Price is awaiting spine surgery. We will keep up to date on her progress.

The arrival of spring, and tonight marking the first time we have exactly twelve hours of day and night, is good cause for celebration. There may be a foot of snow on the ground, and a cold wind blows, but the sun is shining.

Jim read three lovely seasonal poems, two by Emily Dickinson and one by Abraham Ibn Ezra which describes the mark of winter on the garden. The last lines read:

No artist could ever conceive the like of that.
And this is why the earth, grown jealous of the sky,
Embroidered stars in the folds of the flower beds.

One guest: Dee Waterman's friend Mel Carlson.


Rob Okun announced that Susie Lowenstein will be honored by the Men's Resource Center at a dinner to be held at the Log Cabin on Sunday, April 22, Center are appreciated.

Ruth Hooke: Threads of Life, the hospice thrift shop of the Fisher Home, located at 55 University Drive will be opening March 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


Nancy Frazier introduced Bob Woo, who grew up in Amherst and, after graduate school, returned to set up as a full time studio potter. His work is in galleries and collections near and far, he's had numerous exhibits, given workshops and lectures. He is a ceramics technical specialist at UMass, and an adjunct faculty member at Deerfield Academy.

Bob's talk to us today, however, was about something very different: His experiences on an Earthwatch Expedition last summer, an archaelogical excavation of Renaissance pottery in Tuscany.The site they were digging in was right downtown in the little town of Castelfiorentino where they worked and stayed. Castelfiorentino is in middle   if a triangle created by Florence, Sienna and Pisa

 "Nice place," Bob said. The small area roped off for their work, and covered by a tarp, looked like less than half of a basketball court. Amazingly, the dig was only three feet deep, but 27.000 shards of pottery were found.Traditional archaeology in Italy has concentrated on ancient Etruscan ware and majolica, a luxury item made for the upper classes. However the crew of Earthwatch volunteers on this dig, led by principal investigator Anna Moore Valeri, was looking for pottery used by ordinary people. On their Castelfiorentino site simple, inexpensive  earthernware was produced. It was made from reddish clay covered with a white slip which was scratched away for decoration, a process called "sgraffito."

Bob showed photos of the archaeological work in progress, of the shards being washed, reassembled like jigsaw puzzles with too many pieces missing, and the current method of reconstruction which insists on reversibility. 
There is no longer any effort to make broken objects look like new, instead pieces remain distinctly glued together with a removable glue, and the whole process of reassembly can be undone. Indeed, every single layer of the site, and every object taken from it, is carefully labeled  should anyone (heaven forbid) want to put things back again.

Bob's professional expertise was a valuable asset. Not only his drafting skills-he did about three dozen drawings-but also his familiarity with potting. At one point Valeri handed him something that had been found and asked him what it was. "I said, 'a bone.' Then I stopped we [potters] have something we use for scraping. We call it 'a rib.' " What she had handed him 
was, in fact, part of a rib.

Some of the reassembled bowls and plates were simply beautiful, the photos were wonderful, and it was a fascinating talk.

March 13, 2007

Vice  President Jim Wald announced that President Carolyn Holstein is currently awaiting hip replacement surgery. We all send her best wishes.

With St. Patrick's day coming up, Jim read excerpts from two articles that appeared in the New York Times. The first, by Nicholas Wade, reports on geneticists' findings that, in contrast to what historians teach (i.e. that the Irish descended from the Celts and the English from the Ango-Saxons), the original settlers in the then (i.e. 16,000years ago) unpopulated British Isles came from Spain.

In a second riff on these genetic reconstructions, also in The Times, John Tierney, an Irish American by heritage,  adds that since more of the Irish carry those Spanish settlers' genes (along with their Celtic genes) than the rest of the British population,  "next to us, the Angles and Saxons are barbarian arrivistes."  Is this or is it not science in the service of . . . something else?

No guests today.


Call Nancy Foster about readings sponsored by PEN and the ACLU at Northampton's First Church.

Glen Gordon: The annual meeting of the Valley Light Opera at the Middle School on Friday is followed, at 7:30, by a show-a parody of parodies-to which everyone is invited.

Bonnie Isman said the Jones Library is having a meeting tonight to which the public is invited.


Honoré David introduced two members of Five College Learning and Retirement, Chuck Gilles and Joan Hasting.Chuck was an attorney and independent headmaster at several schools until he retired in his sixties. He has been a member of LIR for ten of the eighteen years it has been in operation. 

 There are now 275 members of LIR, some who have lived here and others who are transplants, like himself. The membership covers a broad spectrum of people, from kindergarten teachers to doctors, lawyers, and academics.And what draws all these people to LIR? The amazing variety of seminars, arranged and run by members themselves on topics as various as Plato's 
Republic and Autobiographical Writing , the Connecticut River Valley and Mexico. Chuck showed slides of many seminars in progress, including the Lobster seminar of last semester, run by Jim and Nina Scott.In addition to the seminars, which conventionally meet at one of the five colleges for two hours, once per week for ten weeks, there are also special programs. This year the Foreign Policy Association's Great Decisions Program 2007 is scheduled for five Fridays, from March 23 to April 27. Topics include South Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and  International Migrations.

Joan talked about a program entitled Aging Creatively to be held at Smith college Campus Center on Saturday, April 14. There will be morning and afternoon workshop on the full range of subjects that touch the lives of aging individuals, be they financial, practical, medical, volunteer, creative or of just about any other category imaginable.On June 18, moderators of next (academic) year's seminars will present information about their upcoming seminars and be available  to answer questions.

If you are interested in finding out more about activities or seminars at LIR, it is suggested that you contact Callie at 585-3757, or visit the website at

March 6, 2007

Today's meeting began with singing: Happy Birthday to David and Charles.

Guest: A guest of the Club was Catherine Fair, director of Amherst Ballet.


Dee Waterman's daughter emailed to tell Dee about a class of Shakespearean  enthusiasts doing Hamlet, all under twelve, with English as their second  language, and none white!

Phyllis Lehrer noted that Joann Chandler's husband, John, died this week.  Calling hours are at Douglas Funeral Home Monday, March 12 from 10-11.  Service at 11. Reception at Hickory Ridge follows.

Katherine Fair announced Amherst Ballet's 30th Anniversary Celebration of  Dance, Saturday March 17th, at 2 pm & 7pm, and Sunday March 18th, matinee 2 pm at the Bowker Auditorium of the campus of the University of  Massachusetts. Tickets are $12 for children, students, and seniors, and $16 for adults and can be purchased at Amherst Ballet (413)549-1555, or at the Fine Arts Center Box Office at (413) 545-2511.


Jim Scott introduced intro Melinda LeLacheur, former motorcycle saleswoman and Amherst History Museum director, current co owner, with her husband, of Amherst Computerworks, Inc.

As a worker in the non-profit museum world Melinda wished she didn't always have to worry about her next paycheck, and dreamed of being in a more secure business. Now she wears a completely different hat, but she has the same paycheck worries.
With frankness and humor Melinda described the pitfalls of owning a small  business.

Example One: she'd intended to make a PowerPoint presentation to the club, but they had rented the Computerworks projector and so she brought a box of show-and-tell equipment instead.

Example Two: she'd intended to make the presentation with her husband and co-owner, but since their tech staff were all out on a job, her husband had to mind the store.

Amherst Computerworks Inc., ACI, is in the Amherst Carriage Shops, between an antique store, a nail shop and the Mercantile. That's been their location for almost six years.It's a full service computer store. They do just about everything except for the design software.

Melinda described the history of the business, which began around 1990 as American Computer Innovators on Triangle Street. They had a software component but it moved to Boston in 2000. Melinda's husband, Mark, was then appointed manager. When the software people cut their ties she, Mark and a partner bought the sales and service component. Renaming themselves Amherst Computerworks Inc. they got to keep the ACI acronym. They moved to their Carriage Shops storefront. They are still attached to UMass, as the original business was, but they also cater to the general public.

Melinda described the challenges they face, and the ups and downs inherent in the computer field, but it was clear (as testimonials from the floor and her own finesse demonstrated) that ACI is flexible , competent and 

February 27, 2007

Thanks to Nancy Brose for the following notes:

President, Carolyn Holstein announced Henry Longfellow's birthday and his poem on "Snowflakes".  In lieu of same, Carolyn read a Robert Frost poem she preferred: " Stopping in Woods on a Snowy Evening" which was sung at Florence Bert's memorial service on Saturday.


Miriam Dayton introduced her daughter, Emily.  Nancy Gregg introduced Alisa Brewer who is a Select Board candidate for the upcoming town election.

Tina Berins who lives on Lincoln Avenue where she discovered exploratory footprints in her yard the same night as a robbery next door to her suggested we consider locking our homes. (The neighboring home was unlocked.)

Our "Love Notes" featured pianist, Stephen Porter, will be performing at the South Congregational Church on Thursday, March 8th at 2:00 p.m., Phyllis Lehrer reminded us.

The next Amherst Club Board meeting will be next Tuesday, March 5th, instead  of the usual 2nd Tuesday of the month.


Our speaker of the day, our very own Nancy Frazier, was born in Brooklyn, New York and attended Sarah Lawrence College.  Newsweek was Nancy's workplace for five years, before she started a family and moved to  (Bernardston) Massachusetts. She edited the popular Hampshire Life section of the Daily Hampshire Gazette from 1977-87, earned her M.A. in Art History and PhD in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts. Meanwhile she authored eight books.

Nancy's talk, "The Secret Art of Lobsters,"  which was inspired by the Learning in Retirement seminar led by Nina and Jim Scott, has been heretofore uncharted territory. The lobster, we learned, is Homarus americanus, an arthropod that dates back to the Jurassic period when dinosaurs were alive.

Roman feasts featured seafood of all descriptions, including the lobster. It factors into the scenes of Roman decadence; many artists whose work she depicted portrayed ostentatious feasting.How to eat a lobster is an art form various publishers have tackled and produced instructions for distribution.

The Lobster Quadrille in Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" may have been the impetus for Elsa Schiaparelli's evening wear with an enormous lobster design spread over the full skirt.Salvatore Dali uses lobsters in his works, and we saw several of them.

The personality of the male lobster is at best mean; fights for dominance are fierce.  The female lobster apparently chooses her mate, attracted to the dominant male, and can expect to be fought off.  She pacifies him by releasing pheromones, and when ready to mate she molts.This theme was illustrated with Titian's art works which featured nudity among females (a sign of vulnerability), and beautifully clothed gentlemen.

Fascinating fact:  since a lobster walks both backwards and forwards, the sea creature is symbolic of indecision. 

Nancy ended her talk with the word  that Rockland, Maine has a popular  Lobster Festival every summer.

Scribe pro tem,
Nancy Brose

February 20, 2007

It being that time of year, President Carolyn Holstein opened the meeting by informing us that the first Mardi Gras ball and parade dates back to 1869 "and they haven't stopped celebrating Fat Tuesday since." She then auctioned off a Love Notes contribution-$25 gift certificate toAmherst Brew House, bought for $23.


Zina Tillona reported having received a check for $100 for the Amherst Club from a couple to whom she'd given complimentary tickets. Their note read, "It was such a lovely evening last Friday, and we would like to contribute to the Club's work in the community. Best, Ed and Eileen Golden.
Both Elaine Barken and Jean Chapman (a Club member) who became ill at the Love Notes party (see last newsletter) are doing well.
People who took flowers to enjoy at home after the party are asked to return vases which will be used again next year. Kathleen Scott to those took home primulas:  they must be watered every day. If you can keep them alive until May you'll be able to plant themoutdoors. She, alas, did not benefit from that advice.
Phyllis: Pianist Stephen Porter will perform Thursday, March 8, 5 p.m. at the South Amherst Congregational church. A free concert.


Carolyn introduced today's speaker, Jim Scott. Born in West Virginia,  a 1959 graduate of Amherst College, Jim received his MA  at Harvard, and taught science at Amherst High School and Springfield College. Now retired, Jim is active in the Amherst Club, the Kestrel Trust, and the Five College Learning  in Retirement  Before he began his PowerPoint illustrated talk, the title of which was Lobstering in Friendship Maine: The Secret Life if Lobsters, Jim put on his Friendship, ME sweatshirt. First, you have to know that Nina and Jim Scott moderated a seminar on the topic of  lobsters for one last year's most dearly loved Learning in Retirement seminars. I know because, along with club members Rachel Mustin and Bob Grose, I was there. It was
inspired, and inspiring.

Why lobsters? Answer: "Good fortune. My grandfather bought a summer cottage right on water in Friendship Maine in 1918," Jim said, and he showed us a recent picture of the cottage, covered in snow. "From thefront porch we watch the lobstermen and  women who ply the water". More than 170 boats of all sizes are registered in the town of Friendship, which has a population of just 1500.

The title of the seminar was based on a book, The Secret Life of Lobsters by Trevor Corson, which was also the seminar's text. In 2005 the Scotts had been to Corson's book signing in Friendship. They enjoyed the book which they found well written and very informative, including  its discussion of the tensions between lobstermen and scientists (who try to decided what lobstermen can and can't do), which may have something to do with why there were no lobstermen at Corson's signing.

Jim's talk covered the whole business of lobstering,  from the process of capturing the lobsters to that of getting them to the dinner table. He discussed ways in which the catch is regulated by measuring  each lobster's carapace to make sure it's neither too small nor too large, and by preventing female "breeders" from being taken. Jim showed and described the outfitting ofboats, the traps, the system of trapping, the process of hauling  traps, of selling and shipping lobsters-and their experience of living on the very cusp of it all: "Sometime in August there seem to be so many lobster buoys on the water that you could walk on them from one side of the river to the other." And since lobster fishermen and women are up in time to be out on the water at dawn, and stay out from nine to twelve hours per day, and because, along with all their very elaborate electronic equipment for fishing they also have am/fm radios on which the play rock and country music, VERY LOUD, you can hear as well as see the scenes he talked about.

Jim's pictures are excellent and I hope he and Nina decide to offer the seminar again so that you, too, can share their fascinating knowledge, stories, and enthusiasm.

February 13, 2007

Remember Food for the Survival Center

Club president, Carolyn Holstein, opened the meeting by wishing us a Happy Valentine's Day (tomorrow)and two  announcements:

Two women in attendance at our Friday evening "Love Notes" party at Valentine Hall had been taken to Cooley Dickinson Hospital for treatment.  One, a member, Jean Chapman, who is recovering from a slight heart attack, complicated by her chemotherapy treatments, will be released by the end of the week; the other, Elaine Barken, received a pace-maker and is doing well.  Both women exclaimed at the success of the party and hated to leave it!!


 The practice of celebrating matters of the heart, said Carolyn, began in 446 A.D. in an attempt to supersede the pagan holiday, Lupercalia, on February 15th. ( It was a celebration to purify the city and rid it of evil spirits.)   Claudius II had decreed marriage a crime, because he needed men for his armies.  Bishop Valentine, however, defied the rules.  He was subsequently charged and thrown into jail where he fell in love with the jailor's daughter.  On the day he was beheaded, February 14th, he had sent a love note to the young lady with the words "Love from your Valentine." Therein lies the tale.  Carolyn reminds us that Valentine did not support the resurgent troops!


The Amherst Historical Society will confer the first Conch Shell Award to Polly Longsworth at the Cinema Arts Center at 7:30 tonight, February 13th.Doris Abramson will sign her book  Time Will Tell at the Jeffrey Amherst Bookstore on Saturday, February 24 th at 1 p.m. A Board meeting will follow today's program.

Chris Blauvelt and Anne McIntosh took the podium for discussion of Friday's "Love Notes" and its impact upon our community, extending kudos to all who had contributed to our success with a more-than full house at Buckley Hall 
on Friday evening...


Jim Scott, Chair of the love Notes Finance Committee, reported sale of tickets:
2004 -  $9,300
2005 -  $10,500
2006 -  $10,200
2007 -  $11,645

Hub Smith, Treasurer, reported a 2007 total of $21,000 in our Love Notes bank account, which began this year with $3,000 in it.  All expenses are not in, he estimates a final figure of $18,000. We can anticipate donating to our charities $15,000/$16,000.
Ads in our booklet this year amounted to $7,500 as compared to $7,250 for 2006.
Anne McIntosh reminds us that all committee chairs need to return their 
record folders, with additional comments from this year, to the Love Notes 


Ruth Miller was pleased that our  banner over Pleasant Street had been so effective..
Vivian Carey gave a report on the radio coverage on WHMPand  publicity in the Advocate and the Hampshire Life despite the lack  artists' pictures which had been procured. Letters had been sent to all churches to inform their congregations. Friends and family of the performers had swelled the audience, were allowed  complimentary seats in the balcony.

Party Report:

Lorraine Desrosiers' supply of wine and champagne fell short.  Thirty-two bottles were not enough to supply a thirsty, larger-than  crowd of people who feasted on substantial food, heartier than usual. Comments were made about the attractiveness of the event.


Each committee member had procured an act.  We had an eclectic program and a greater number of performers.The strain was telling on the college staff; the hall custodian who makes clear the demands we place upon him was properly thanked.

Missing Items:

Therese's red tablecloth, extra Love Notes programs, and the Wildwood Ensemble Sign-up Sheet.


The policy of comps for performers is an important factor.  Michael Greenebaum as Director of House has been granted discretionary powers with performers and guests.  He learned how important this event had been for the performers who felt they were contributing to the welfare of the community.


Phyllis Lehrer reported not enough folks were on hand afterward.  The leftovers were distributed to Not Bread Alone, the ABC House and Jessie's House, thanks to Phyllis.

Items looking for Owners:

A glittery black purse with cosmetics, but no ID's.
A glasses case containing reading glasses and a car key.  Call Jean Miller at 256-8090.

 February 6, 2007

Carolyn Holstein, opened the meeting with excerpts from Harrison Gregg'sprogram notes for the Love Notes of 2002:" The Amherst club proudly welcomes you to Love Notes 2002, the fifth of our annual Valentine concerts and our 18th annual benefot for localcharities."

The sentiments Harrison expressed are as fitting today as they were four
years ago:

" 'We must love one another or die,' wrote W. H. Auden in September 1939,
another time of great uncertainty and world crisis He spoke of a love
that goes beyond the sweet personal emotion we celebrate on Valentine's
Day, to embrace all of our neighbors at home and abroad-a love that sees
and responds to the continuing suffering around us as well as to the
catastrophic pain of war and terrorism. . . ."

Guests: Ruth Hooke-Pat Holland and Bob Winne.

Nancy Gregg-friend Ellen Fetu who teaches at the American School in Paris.

Love Notes announcements:

Lorraine Desrosiers & Tina Berins spoke about delivering food. It is hoped that all members will bring something for the after concert party. You may:

1. Take your contribution to  nancy Brose's house at 36 Triangle Street
    before 3:00. The driveway and entrance is on Lesey Street.
2. Take food to Sebring Dining commons between4:00 and 7:00.
     Today's rough tally of what to expect
     Sweet chocolate platters now=9 contributors. Please make double recipes.
     Cake-y deserts that have to be cut  =2
     Other and plain fruit cut up=5
     Non desert=3
     Tina is making ham, salmon and many other gourmet dishes.
     Tea, coffee, hot chocolate and champagne and sparkling wine will be provided.
     They estimate that150 people will come to the  party.

Phyllis Lehrer: Love Notes debriefing and suggestions for the future willbe held February 18 at  noon at her house, 197 Pondview Drive. Pot lucklunch, no desert because they expect to have party leftovers.

Roger Webb: Collected  from Love Notes tickets today $750 today.

Two non-Love Notes announcements:Phyllis on behalf of Arthur Kinney: February 13th at 7:30 is Amherst
Historical Society's 1st Annual Founders' Festival. It will be held at the Amherst Cinema. Polly Longsworth  receives the 1st annual conch shell award. Don Lombardo is the speaker. Also, Not Bread Alone will host a benefit concert, called Soup and Song, on Saturday February 10. It will be held at the First Congregational
Church in Amherst. Pre concert, from 5:30- 6:30 there will be a hearty soup meal. For more information contact Hwei-Ling Greeney, 253-4882, .

A note from Anurag Sharma arrived after last week's newsletter was sent out. Anurag wrote to Carolyn about June Farmer: Just got back today evening and saw the news about June's passing away. I'm deeply saddened by the news. She was an amazing person...I admired herfor being so gentle and kind-hearted and just so completely engaged.  I think we'll all miss her very much. I'm sorry I also missed the meetingtoday when people remembered June.


We were all still remembering  June when Joan Keochakian began to speak.Joan is the executive director of the Fisher Home  a relatively new (two-year-old) Hospice home and inpatient care facility where June spent her last days, a comfortable and comforting place. Joan is also the founder of hospice services in Hampshire County.

 She explained that a person is eligible for hospice care when there is no longer a cure for his or her disease. "Then we are able to say that though the time for a cure has passed but there is a lot more we can do. "We can help with the symptoms of disease such as pain, nausea -we can get level of pain control under control. "We encourage people to live, get out, be with friends, go to concerts. "Traditionally we have brought services to people in their homes, certified. We also focus on extended family. We stay with the patient's family for a year after the patient's  death."

 Many in the room found this both surprising and wonderful. Hospice provides spiritual as well as nursing care: " We  take our team to patients's homes depending on what they need." The Hospice team is interdisciplinary with physicians, nurses, social workers, counselors, home health aides, clergy, therapists, and trained volunteers. They also provide alternative care such as massage. Hospice is reimbursed by insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid. They receive $130/day. But since they also have to pay for medications, radiation and so forth, that is clearly not enough. They must also do fundraising. Some funds come from churches which tithe on their behalf. 

 When asked why radiation and chemotherapy would be used on terminally ill people, Joan explained that is used in a palliative rather than curative way. It can, for example, alleviate the pain of a tumor. Hospice will soon be opening a Thrift Shop at 55 University Drive, the old Amherst Bulletin office. This is one way they will be able to raise money. They are looking for  volunteers to help in shop. Also looking for donations. They would like clothing  and small household things, no books, and no large  furniture. They will have free pickup if necessary.

January 30, 2007


Guests today: In addition to Jim Scott who brought his wife, Nina, Carolyn Holstein and  Surinder Mehta brought guests.

We learned after last week's meeting  that June Farmer had died. June was a quiet woman,  thoughtful and kind, and a dear friend to many members of the Club, as we found out. Carolyn, who had received a number of emails  about June, invited people
to share their memories of her. Carolyn herself noted how much June loved music.

Lois Barber  recalled a day she and a friend were in Brattleboro and got in touch with June who had a summer place nearby and invited Lois to stop in. "It was a lovely spot. June took us for a walk, and we shared stories. It was a perfect day."

Jim Scott recalled that, when he was gathering information for a physics presentation he was to make at a Learning in Retirement seminar two years ago, he sought information from June, who had taught grade school in Los Alamos while the Manhattan Project was underway. June shared her information about the project and showed him her collection of memorabilia  from that historic site during a lovely visit Jim paid her. Jacquie Price remembers June once telling her that she did not like to
read fiction. Reason: There was enough "real stuff" going on in the world to keep her occupied with non fiction.

Hub Smith reminisced about his and June's romance: one year he got to know her because of Love Notes, when she was the "ticket person" and he was the treasurer, and they exchanged critical information. "She referred to me as her boyfriend. So I began  to call her my girlfriend." At the club she'd make a point of sitting at his table. "When she was at Extended Care, I went to visit her and she said, 'Here's my boyfriend.' I'm going to miss her terribly," Hub said. June and Susie Lowenstein were friends for 60 years. They met on an airplane when both were going to Mills College- June to teach and Susie to study music.

 Susie gave us another link in the Los Alamos chain: "June wanted me to meet a young scientist she knew. We all three ended up in New York. This young man she wanted me to meet was my first husband."

Dee, Waterman told about how she and Brian Marsh used to perform a skit. Although they changed identities several times, after June had seen the skit in which Dee played Maud, Dee was always Maud, from then on, as far as June was concerned. Dee went to visit June at Hospice: "I went see her, clutching a plant" said Dee, " and she had passed away."

Zina Tillona remembered June's goodness of heart and hospitality. Eileen Vincent of Applewood, where June had lived for just a brief period, knew June as a loving , kind, and gentle soul.

Carlolyn added a footnote to her earlier reminiscence:  her favorite babysitter when she was a child, was named Ann Farmer. From the first time she met June she kept calling her Ann. June, by any other name, was always a wonderful person.

Love Notes Announcements:

Lorraine Desrosiers took a tally of who plans to bring what in order that those who have not yeat decided might fill in gaps. (Dessert is the preferred contribution.) Here's the gist of it, based on the number of people who raised hands: Chocolate, 5-7; Sweets like lemon squares, date nut bars etc., 2; cut-up fruit platters, 5; cheese  & crackers, chocolate  covered strawberries, lemon pies, and salmon/cream cheese dip, were also mentioned.

Nancy Brose will accept food items at her home,33 Triangle Street, across from the Women's Club. She and Lorraine will transport the food to Valentine Hall.

Jim Scott said 144 tickets had been sold as of this morning for a total of $4655. He estimates that including the checks brought in to he meeting he probably had a take of some $6000. Hub added that along with money from sponsorships the bottom line is probably a little over $14,000 which sounded pretty good. 

Jacquie has more invitations for distribution.


Jim Scott introduced his friend John Green, who is a freelance interpretative nature photographer. John has lived in this area for a long time and his work is well known and greatly admired by a large number of people. To see his photographs is a great treat, and to hear him talk about them as they appear on screen -with anecdotes about where and how they were taken-is a terrific bonus. He is a lively and humorous speaker.  He titles this talk My Favorite Slides by John Green  Jr.

We started on Bonaventure Island, off the Gaspé Peninsula, with the long necks and elegant heads of a pair regal sea birds, Mr and Mrs. Gannet. Went on to a colony of gannets sitting on their nesting mounds, looking  like a field of white flowers. A puffin, a moose which looked threatening until we learned that John had a 500 millimeter lens and was shooting from quite a distance, with a whole bunch of people with little cameras in front of him. "That moose had a lot of people to get before he got
me," John said. John never uses a flash but depends on natural light.  He will wander for  hours looking for his subject. And one picture he showed us had taken him three years to get. There were spectacular pictures from Arizona, and from the Florida Everglades-a  pile of 8 alligators sleeping in the sun was topped by a shot of a crocodile at edge of a pond-it's mouth open
wide-mirrored in the perfect stillness of the water. A portrait of a black vulture, also in the everglades, looks a lot like
someone's grandmother. (Which, come to think of it, many of us are.) And ice. A symphony of ice, so many shots, and so beautiful. Really extraordinarily beautiful.

Take a look at

Jan 23, 2007
Remember Food for the Survival Center

Lorraine Desrosiers opened the meeting with Richard Wilbur's poem "Orchard Trees, January."

Club President, Carolyn Holstein, announced that Amherst Club member, June Farmer, is at Hospice at Fisher House, North Amherst. . . (June died on January 24th) She also announced the death of a community friend, Florence Bert.

Joan Hanson, Board Clerk reported a new policy for Junior Membership.  A one-year membership would cost $50 per quarter and allow the individual to attend two meetings a month.  At the end of the year a review would hopefully lead to full membership...


Kevin Hutchinson, a former member has re-upped.  He is now with the Amherst Branch of the Greenfield Savings Bank.

Honore David introduced Loretta Yarlow, new director of the University Gallery.

Susan Lowenstein introduced her granddaughter, Hannah...

Ed Kozur introduced Beverly Orloski, Residential Mortgage Lender for PeoplesBank.

Jacquie Price asked us all to take "Love Notes" invitations from a new supply.

Phyllis Lehrer has tickets to Love Notes for new members.

Ruth Hooke invited all to the Hampshire Choral Society performance of Mozart's "Requiem" at Northampton High School at 3 p.m. on Sunday, January 28, a benefit for Cancer Connection.

Sandy Parent told us her daughter, Sara, has been hired for public Relations position by the Kennedy Space Center.

Bill Hart's son has a good part in the Amherst High School production of the musical, "Cats" the first weekend of March.

Jim Scott announced:   the good news - we have taken in $3,600 for "Love Notes" The bad news - we have sold but 120 tickets, with three weeks to go (!)!


Bill Hart introduced Susan Moore, Director of Marketing at Apple wood, Loomis House and Loomis
Communities.She presents "Senior Living Options:  Why Should We Care".

Her opening remark;  Of all the numbers of  people in history who managed to reach the age of 65, more than one-half are alive today.

In the U.S. the population over 65 is 35 million, in 25 years that number will rise to 70 million.

Ms. Moore referred to the various characteristics of population groupings and their expectations for housing:

(1)    The Depression types who are tight with their money want more for less.

(2)    The Silent Generation who are ambitious, place great value on services and space.

(3)    the Baby Boomers we are not seeing yet, but who are willing to spend, want it all

The Loomis Community market research team discovered 45,700 of our citizenry is age 55 or older.  By 2011 a 25% increase is expected, or a figure of 58,480.

Services at Applewood and Loomis House provide housing for those over 55 at a cost of $7,000 to $315,000 per unit.  These Continuing Care Retirement Communities provide a range of services which include dining,
nursing, and assisted living, along with a variety of transportation and social opportunities.

Should financial resources be an issue, or a preference for independent living, Ms.Moore pointed out the social and physical isolation that can complicate disabilities, along with safety and security issues. Private
nursing costs are in the range of $270 per day.  Amherst's Arbors, an assisted living facility, unlike Applewood, has no entrance fee and costs from $2,500 to 4,500 per month.

Elsie Fetterman spoke of Adult Family Care/Foster Care and the local councils on aging which provide support and information to the elderly.  Chicopee provides low income elder housing.

Ruth Miller suggested that we refer to the British video series "Waiting for God".

Carolyn Holstein will entertain reminiscences of June Farmer at our January 30th meeting.

Jan 16, 2007

Remember Food for the Survival Center

Carolyn Holstein opened the meeting with a poem by Richard Wilbur honoring Emily Dickinson.

Miriam Dayton introduced her Korean friend, Jiwan Park, wife of a visiting professor at UMass.

Harry Brooks announced a memorial service for well-known radio host and Town Meeting member Ken Mosakowski., taking place in the community room at the Jones Library on the coming Saturday, January 20th.

Dee Waterman asked if anyone had recorded the Golden Globe Awards program on television last night and, if so, could lend it to her.

.Lois Barber called attention to a free presentation by Amherst health and fitness experts which she was planning to attend the next evening, January 17th, at 7 pm in Northampton; (information at 413-387-6784).

Hub Smith noted he is sending the latest financial report to members of the board and would be glad to honor a request for a copy from any other member of the Club.

Prizes were awarded in the lottery, wine to Cynthia Brubaker and $10 to Miriam Dayton.

Members were urged to turn in proceeds of ticket sales so far of Love Notes tickets and to sell many more. In the spirit of that promotion Phyllis Lehrer made a grand entrance in costume singing her version of "Habanera" from the opera Carmen.

The meeting then broke up into gatherings at separate tables of the various committees involved in planning for the Love Notes event on February 9th.

Jan 9, 2007


Carolyn Holstein opened the meeting.

Guests: Nancy Brose brought former member Ruth Bakus, Dee Waterman 'sguest was our speaker, Doris Abramson's partner, Dorothy Johnson, ClaudeTellier's guest was Soka Mao, president of the Mass. Cambodia Water Project.


Doris Holden is back to receive and distribute magazines.
Nancy Brose is participating in the project to collect silk scarves for Muslim women in Amherst.
As of January 1, Bill Hart has joined the biggest law firm in Western Massachusetts. He has a new office at 21 Pray Street as well as offices in Springfield and Boston.
Ruth Hooke will be in a delegation from Western Mass to demonstrate infront of the Supreme Court protesting the five-year extension of the Guantanamo Bay prison.
Nancy Foster: A candlelight vigil on the Amherst Common this Thursday, January 11, 7:00 p.m. Participants will walk to the Unitarian Meeting House for a film. Buz Eisenberg, lawyer who represents detainees, willspeak.

Re Love Notes:

Anne McIntosh needs someone with a four-wheel drive for transportation should the weather be inclement on Love Notes night.
Jim Scott has collected $1,000 for Love Notes tickets which is not enough.
Phyllis Lehrer has more tickets if anyone needs them.
Lorraine Desrosiers suggests members who want to bring desert make up platters of cut fruits for the party


I know that the most important and exciting people in Western Massachusetts sooner or later turn up as speakers at the Amherst Club, often when you're not expecting them. Today was one of those days, in part because the calendar recorder (meaning me) mixed up some dates, an in part because even listing her, and recognizing her name, was hardly preparation
for her warm and humorous voice, her love and understanding of all those things that deserve our love and understanding, from  cats and dogs to tattoos and old soldiers at the Soldiers' Home.

Dee Waterman introduced Doris Abramson, former professor of theater at UMass and said, "It is such a nice occasion that I wore a skirt."  Indeed, she did.

Doris and Dorothy live in a wonderful house in New Salem . They used to own the exceptional used book shop there, known far and wide: the Common Reader-which we heard about in one of Doris's poems. 

Doris began by mentioning a recent New Yorker cartoon with an announcement that an author was giving a reading. And there he was, inthe cartoon, sitting quietly in front the audience reading a book. Someone in the audience shouted the reminder,
"Aloud!" Doris is unique in our roster of local academic celebrities in that she is an Amherst native. As evidence she showed a picture of herself, from the back cover of her book at almost two years of age,  with her dog, Buster, in Amherst. To this day she lives, if not in Amherst, still nearby, and in a house filled with animals. They always have five cats, she said, and usually three dogs. And true to form, those are the current demographics. Most, though not all, of her readings were from Time Will Tell. I will not do them the injustice of telling you the sentences I recorded in bits and pieces. You will only get the full benefit if you plunge in, as I plan to do tomorrow, and pick up a copy at your very local book store. From Harlem where the Boys Choir of Harlem sang "Is there such a thing as Day?" to a (local?) nursing home where "she held false teeth like castanets in her hand . .  reminiscent of a painting by Goya," Doris Abramson is a poet to read with pleasure and sadness, five of one, three of the other,

Next week:  Love Notes.

Jan 2, 2007


In President Carolyn Holstein's absence Harrison Gregg opened our first meeting of 2007 and the infamous gift exchange. But, before the wild rumpus began he honored the occasion by commemorating  The New Year's Resolution:

Quoting Samuel Johnson about the dangers of announcing one's resolutions:

"(W)e resolve to do right, we hope to keep our resolutions, we declare them to confirm our own hope, and fix our own inconstancy by calling witnesses of our actions; but at last habit prevails, and those whom we invited to our triumph laugh at our defeat." (1758)

And Mark Twain:

"Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink, and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings considerably shorter than ever. We shall also reflect 
pleasantly upon how we did the same old thing last year about this time." (1863)

Thank you, Harrison, for that great gift.


Harrison: There is a Board Meeting Monday and the Renaissance Center at 4:30.Jacquie Price has Love Notes posters available. If you weren't there to pick one up today, you can still get some next week. Please take as many as you can place in appropriate sites to be seen by the public: doctors' offices, retail stores (having asked owner's permission), bulletin boards at colleges, churches, etc.

Nancy Frazier brought the only guest, her husband.

With Ruth Miller presiding the gift exchange began.  And with absolutely no hope or intention of being all-inclusive these were among the best of the worst: a tie ("I actually like it," said Lorraine"; a glasses case, a little 
bronze shoe, a used candle, a house for the birds, a moose dish, i.e. a covered dish in the form of a moose ("For chocolate mousse ," opined Susie who got a moose of her own, dressed in a tutu); a little red pillow with little silver bells (?!?);Irving Rothberg held up what looked to me like a very large ornate vase about which he said, "Take a very good look, this is a phantom light and also the holy grail-it shall return!"

Award winners were
Zena got rubber chicken,  for having received one of those recycled uglies- a music clock with roses-that Ruth brought in 3-4 years ago,.
Most helpful or beneficial  award-squeezable little pink pig-for box of 
chocolates opened by Bill Darity.
Most historic: Harrison's Statue of Liberty ashtray. Prize: a lazer blaster.
Most cultural: Susie's tutued moose. Prize: a percussion instrument.
Most spiritual, Michael Greenebaum for his DVD about a deranged serial  killer. Prize: a remote control whoopie cushion.
Most entertaining: Lois Barber's seqin-covered computer mouse. Prize: a bag of marbles.
Most amusing (I think): Miriam Daytobn's mad cow tee shirt. Prize: cheerleader's  pom poms.
Most truly truly ugly: Tina Berins' cauliflower head /brain, one of those second- or third- or more-time-around gifts. Prize: a marching band (or cheerleader's) baton.
(Nb: an anonymous guest and sometime proofreader suggested that most of the moose looked a lot like reindeer.)

Next Week: Love notes meeting.