On Masks that work, and Masks that don’t

So they want you to go back to work. They tell you they will sanitize your work area and space out employee desks and provide you with hand sanitizer. You must wear a mask. Bring one from home. Don’t do it unless you are really up against it.   The government and colleges and all kinds … Continue reading On Masks that work, and Masks that don’t

Remembering Angela Plassman 

A  look into the archives Ward Three sprawls over a big area, and is one of the most important and well organized wards in Northampton.  Mayors regularly attend  meetings of their powerful neighborhood association. It has a piece of downtown and a variety of residential neighborhoods. There are modest homes around Hockanum Road, well-to-do mansions … Continue reading Remembering Angela Plassman 

Covering the Spread

 Danny May, who worked many years at Beardsleys, published this piece in the Berkshire Homestyle Magazine in November 2006, shortly after Danny Constance’s death.  He sent it along to me, and kindly agreed to have it reprinted in Kirbyontheloose. .      Early on the morning of September 24, I opened an envelope that I had … Continue reading Covering the Spread

Musante Beach is open! (kinda)

The water is nice, the sun shines, but the beach is almost empty. And what are all these little yellow flags dotting the beach? Is this a beach or some kind of WW II era minefield? COVID 19 strikes again. Public Health regulations from the State now mean some work and some diligence from swimmers. … Continue reading Musante Beach is open! (kinda)

Reform is a rough slog

  The videotapes of the murder of George Floyd has changed the world. It was diabolic, the deliberate way with which Derek Chauvin knelt on George’s throat, and kept it there, ignoring the suggestion from one, and maybe both of the rookies that he should turn George on his side.  Just saying that took a lot … Continue reading Reform is a rough slog

Look Mom, No zoning!

It was a couple years ago and I was talking with our former Building Inspector, Louis Hasbrouck  and we were talking about why he approved this huge solar heated building on a dead-end street off of Prospect Street.  I thought I had got the best of him, because the building was much too tall for … Continue reading Look Mom, No zoning!

“It’s an ill wind that blows no one any good.”

I thought of that old saying last night after watching about an hour and a half’s worth of public comment before the City Council. The Corona virus has blown away many old customs and one of the casualties was the public comment session. God knows I have wasted many hours of my life getting aggravated … Continue reading “It’s an ill wind that blows no one any good.”

Cummington Farms

“In the ski business we call projects like Cummington Farms ‘monuments.’   To make money, you can’t spend too much on the building.  All the floors and windows at Cummington Farms had to be replaced.  If the Rockefellers or Donald Trump were funding the place, the work would have been perfect.  The big horseshoe shaped building … Continue reading Cummington Farms

Just Say No

cSo they want you to go back to work. They tell you that the safeguards are basically up to you, although they will sanitize your work area and space out employee desks and provide you with hand sanitizer. You must wear a mask. Bring one from home. Don’t do it unless you are really up … Continue reading Just Say No

A Selection from my upcoming* book about Northampton in the Eighties

  (author’s note: The footnotes look they might be clickable, but they are not.  You can find them by scrolling to the end of the document) The Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind visited Northampton in the nineteenth century, newly married and full of herself.  She marveled at the views around town and pronounced Northampton, “A Paradise.”  Much … Continue reading A Selection from my upcoming* book about Northampton in the Eighties