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Summer Memories By Bernadette Gentry ...................3

July 1951 By Clifton J. (Jerry) Noble Sr ..........................4

Southwick Master Plan By Maryssa Cook-Obregón ....8

A History of the Stars and Stripes By Judy Vanelli ......10

New London, Italian Style By Michael J. Dubilo ... 14

Castles, Ruins, & Fairytale Houses

By Todd Shiveley .........................................................16

Be a Barrier Breaker By Jeff King .............................20

Bulletin Board ............................................................ 22

Classifieds ..................................................................23


When I was a little girl, most homes and cars didn’t have air conditioning. On a hot summer’s day, the best way to cool off was to go the beach and swim in the ocean waves. I loved floating on my back and just relaxing in the water. After, there was sunbathing on a blanket spread out on the sand. We didn’t know about the dangers of sun-burns back then.

In the picnic areas there were grills for the hot dogs and hamburgers we brought. Also, in the Scotch cooler were juicy peaches and plums, cold sodas, and fresh tomatoes. In the background the portable radio played the top hits or baseball games of the New York Yankees, Brooklyn Dodgers, or the New York Giants to accompany the gathering.

While my family played pinochle on the picnic table, I would sit on a sun warmed rock. I watched the endless movement of the waves as the sun began its journey to sun-set. I would think about my future when all dreams seemed possible.

It is in the memories of those innocent times and dear people that I found the courage to meet life’s challenges. These memories are with me still.


By Clifton (Jerry) Noble, Sr.

After working the full year of 1950 for Massachusetts Department of Public Works I accu-mulated two weeks of vacation time. Thus I’m taking off the first week of this month.

Just for fun, July 3rd starting at 6:45 a.m., I hiked from Montgomery to Middlefield and back (28 miles) by 2:30 p.m.

After a light lunch and a short rest I took Hester (nickname for mother, Min-nie E. Noble) to Westfield for groceries. (She is 64. I am 25.) I parked as near store doors as possible for her convenience as I was practically unable to walk.

On the way home we stopped at Town Clerk (cousin) Walter Allyn’s. He thought my white gym, hiking shorts were appropriate for a hot day. In the past the Al-lyn family has had the town hall on July 4 for a family reunion, but this year an auction is in progress, so the reunion will have to be next weekend.

On the Fourth Hester and I went to Uncle Ralph and Aunt Georgia Emerson’s on Mort Vining Road in Southwick. Chil-dren and grandchildren totaled seven plus four dogs. Eating on

the picnic table in the woods was swell. Hester and I brought our new puppet theater and put on a show in the ga-rage for the party and some neighbors. Cousin Lester was interested to see results of his handiwork with lights. There was a shower while we did dishes indoors and watched Uncle’s slides of construction of the natural gas pipe line. Outside again we enjoyed sparklers, roman candles, sky rockets, fountains and pinwheels.

Last week the State (Public Works) lost its rowboat (and found it). It was Ernie’s duty to secure it after work. He chained it to a tree by the Westfield River but neglected to lock it or say anything to anyone else about locking it. Next morning it was gone.

Supervisor Tattan was miffed. Par-ty chief Larry Clarke was mad. Friday Larry made inquiries about renting an-other boat to help in the search. The man at the seaplane base on River Road, Agawam, said he knew what we were looking for. Sure enough! He had the “Queen Mary” tied up safe and sound. He’d spotted it drifting in the Connecticut River and towed it in.

We visited white-haired Marion Shaw and papa’s cousin, Mildred Moore at “Little House” on Whitman Hill. Marion is thinking of experimenting with oil paints. They both hook rugs.

Sunday, July 8th, we had cousin Carl Emerson and his Finnish wife, Esther (Hunenen) up to dinner. (They are in their late forties.) They have killed two copperheads on their place on Avon Mountain in Connecticut.

After dinner we took them to ride up the Middle Branch of the Westfield River to Glendale where Ester once taught school. She told of riding all the way to Huntington on the snowplow after a blizzard to catch her train home to Chester for the week-end. We let her visit the Olds family and then went up the hill to the top of Glendale Falls where we found picnickers and swimmers. Continuing over the mountain at Middlefield we went south down the valley to Bancroft where I took a snapshot of the Emersons beside the granite railroad arch over brook and road. On south to Route 20 and east to Chester where we stopped to let Esther visit a Finnish friend. Carl is a nut about trains. The railroad ran behind friends house so Carl got a thrill from the passing of a show train and the whizzing by of the

July 2011


“New England States” passenger train.

Helping Percy Helms and Myron Kelso gave me experience at pitching hay. I enjoyed it and started helping Walter Allyn. He paid me three dollars Saturday for the few hours I put in. Thursday evening I hoped to help again, but there was a special town meeting and, as Town Clerk, Walter had to get his milking done and go. The least I could do was rake and tumble the remaining hay by hand. While doing so there was a loud crash over on Brace Hill. Two cars col-lided from opposite directions and had to be towed away. Walter’s son Kenneth had to put on his badge and direct traffic instead of going to town meeting. Paul Baylor, our other constable, didn’t want so much responsibility in a crash case so phoned the state police. They didn’t show up. On our way home Hester and I found the cruiser beside the road with a flat tire.

The last edition of The Mountain Breeze criticized selectmen and town clerk for being too “close mouthed and for omitting “To consider matters of special interest to the town’ from the warrant. I was told that tax commissioner Lang denounced that article as be-ing too indefinite and troublesome especially when it involved transferring money from the general fund. Marion Shaw vis-ited Eileen Gaunt and on being shown the Breeze office discov-ered a portable bathtub in its middle with a little girl in it.

Mr. O’Donnell claims that no property in town is assessed as much as it should be. To please him the assessors valued his new $10,000 home on New State Road as high as $3,000. He squawked loud and long for a hearing and rebate. He plans to have his wife’s folks, the McCarthy’s, live with him. Hence the two bathrooms with picture windows and other conveniences.

Sunday, July 22, I took Hester to Clairmont, New Hamp-shire to see her cousin, Myra Saunders. Myra used to play piano and direct the theater orchestra for the movies before talkies. She had given mother four of her collections of “movie” music

Esther and Carl Emer-son, photo by Clifton (Jerry) Noble, Sr.

which I still have. Now Myra teaches piano and plays Sundays for the Christian Science Society. Her son Errol’s family were enter-taining company for dinner. He and fam-ily will go camping the first two weeks in August. They had an old picture of him, his mother, my mother and father and others. They said it was taken the day he squirted a water pistol at my father.

Uncle Ralph has mentioned that he would like us to come to the Palmer Camp Meeting so I took Hester there on Sunday, July 29th. We parked at the outer end of the drive because we were late (almost 4 o’clock). We could hear Brother Ross as soon as we got out of the car. He reiterated, “These are the signs of the last times.” He gave serious and sincere descrip-tions of the New Jerusalem without hospitals or funeral parlors. During the singing of “Jesus is Calling” he pleaded for nearly ten minutes for some sinner to step right up the aisle and be saved this afternoon. None responded. WE met the Adventist minis-ter from Westfield along with other we knew..




By Maryssa Cook-Obregón

The world is changing and it is going to affect Southwick and its residents. How can you help your community prepare for the future?

In late 2021, the Town of Southwick created a Master Plan Advisory Committee known as MPAC. The goal of this committee is develop a master plan, which is a planning document designed to guide the future actions of our town through the next approximately twen-ty years. Its goal is to help our community create a vision of what we want our town to look like in the future and how to achieve it.

Many communities surrounding South-wick have master plans or equivalents that get updated every 10 years or so. Having a master plan helps communities determine what kind of look and feel they’d like their town to have, what sorts of businesses they’d like to attract, what kind of development and conservation they’d like to see in the fu-ture. Master planning is long-term envisioning about a town’s growth and how it chooses to develop. Southwick is overdue for a new master plan as the last one was developed in 1967. A 1997 master plan was created, but not implemented.

This current process that MPAC is engaging in is set to take place through 2023. The final product MPAC produces will be presented to the Southwick Planning Board, which will then

review it and determine how to implement the plan. MPAC has named the master plan project ‘Southwick 2040’ with the tagline ‘Creating our Future’.

A critical step in producing the master plan is getting public input from the community. Southwick 2040 is meant to represent the the honest opinions of the community to help build agreement on what our town wants to see over the next two decades. MPAC is creating a survey with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) that will be available for all Southwick residents and business owners to take starting in early July 2022.

There will be electronic and paper copies of the survey. The electronic copies will be acces-sible online through the MPAC website, and paper copies will be available at Town Hall and the Southwick Public Library. If you need a copy of the paper survey sent to you, please call 413-569-6056. It takes about 30 minutes to complete the survey but your answers will impact the next twenty years for Southwick. We thank you for your honest participation and time.

For more information on when the next MPAC meeting takes place, please visit


Electric vehicle accommodation

Housing availability & affordability

Technology in schools & in jobs

Public transportation availability

Loss of farmland & natural habitats

Congamond Lake & invasives

Population decline & aging population

Climate change

Solar energy


Remote work


SAMPLE QUESTIONS ON Southwick 2040 Master Plan Survey


“The flag (Space for picture) a symbol of what humanity may (Space for picture) aspire to when the wars are over and (Space for picture) the barriers are down; to these each (Space for picture) generation must be dedicated (Space for picture) and consecrated anew, to defend with (Space for picture) life itself, if need be, but, above all, in (Space for picture) friendliness, in hope, in courage, to (Space for picture) live for.” R.L. Duffus, Editorial, New York Times, June 14, 1940.

In many countries the flag is not the symbol for loyalty or patriotism. For instance in England, the queen is the symbol of the nation. In the United States the national flag is used and respected more than in any other country.

The United States was one of the first countries, to establish a national flag. Many other nations fought under the flags of their monarchs. But after the United States adopted a national flag. other na-tions decided to adopt their own national flags.

English symbols dominated the design of our first flags. For instance the Bunker Hill Flag has a blue (sometimes red) field with the Cross of St. George in the canton. In the first quarter of the can-

ton is a small pine tree. The Continental Flag was also car-ried at the Battle of Bunker Hill. This flag eliminates the red cross and enlarges the pine tree in the white canton.

The Grand Union Flag (also known as Congress Flag or Colors of the United Colonies) resembles the Bunker Hill Flag except that the Union Jack appears in the can ton, and crossing the red field are six white stripes. In 1775 the Continental Congress formed a special commit-tee to study the design of this Grand Union Flag. The committee consisted of Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, States-man Benjamin Harrison of Virginia, and planter Thomas Lynch of South Caro-lina. This special committee met with George Wash-ington and other Revolutionary leaders. The result was the Grand Union Flag. This flag was adopted by George Washington as the Continental Army’s Flag. This flag signified colonial unity against oppression and continued union with Great Britain. This flag is said to have been designed by Francis Hopkins.

The Grand Union Flag was hoisted by John Paul Jones on December 3, 1775, when Commander Esek Hopkins took command of the new Navy. Along with this flag, also hoisted on this date, was the First Navy Jack. It consisted of a red field crossed by six white stripes and a rattlesnake squirming diago-nally across it. The motto “DONT TREAD ON ME” appears across the bottom of the flag.

After independence was declared, the Continen-tal Congress in Philadelphia passed the Flag Reso-lution. June 14. 1777, resolving “that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be ‘thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” The Continen-tal Congress defined the symbolic meaning of the colors red. white, and blue as “White signifies Purity and Innocence; Red, Hardiness and Valor; Blue signifies Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.”

By Judy Vanelli

July 1988


George Washington explained the new Stars and Stripes as follows: “We take the star from heaven. the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to, posterity representing liberty.”

The story of Betsy Ross sewing our first flag has never been sub-stantiated. The new flag a was first flown from Fort Stanwix, New York. August 3, 1777 and in just three days our flag was launched into its career at the Battle of Oriskany. This particular flag is said to be made of a red petticoat belonging to a sol-dier’s wife, a soldier’s white shirt, and an officer’s blue coat. Tradition-ally flags are made of silk or of bun-ting, a light and tough woolen or cotton material.

The arrangement of the stars were displayed in different ways. One version has the stats arranged in an oval with a star in the middle and another has the stars in a circle.

As new States were admitted in to the Union they demanded to be represented on the flag. In 1795 Congress voted to increase the number of stripes to 15, alternate red and white; and arrange the stars in five rows of three each. This was the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key during the bombardment of Fort McHenry on September 13 and 14, 1814. Mary Young Pickersgill of Baltimore made this version of our flag.

In 1818 the legislature standardized the design of our flag by

re-establishing the number of stripes at thirteen and creating the policy, “that on the admission of every new state into the Union, one star be added to the union of the lag ... In 1959 Hawaii and Alaska were admitted into the Union thus cre-ating our present flag of fifty stars representing our fifty states.

“And for your country, boy,” and the words rattled in his throat, “and for that flag,” and he pointed to the ship, “’never dream a dream but of serving her as she bids you, though the service carry you through a thousand hells. No matter what happens to you, no matter· who flat-ters you or who abuses you, never look at another flag, never let a night pass but you pray God to bless that flag. Remember, boy, that behind all these men you have to do with, be-hind officers, and Government, and. people even, there is the Country Herself, Your Country, and that you belong to Her as you belong to your own mother. Stand by Her, boy, as you would stand by your mother, if those devils there had got hold of her to-day!” Edward Everett Hale, Toe Man Without a Country,” Atlantic Monthly, 1863.


When Freedom, from her mountain height,

Unfurled her standard to the air,

She tore the azure robe of night,

And set the stars of glory there!

She mingled with its gorgeous dyes

The milky baldric of the skies,

And striped its pure, celestial white

With streakings of the morning light;

Then, from his mansion in the sun,

She called her eagle-bearer down,

And gave into his mighty hand

The symbol of her chosen land!

Flag of the free heart’s hope and home,

By angel hands to valor given!

Thy stars have lit the welkin dome,

And all thy hues were born in heaven.

Forever float that standard sheet!

Where breathes the foe but falls before us,

With Freedom’s soil beneath our feet,

And Freedom’s banner streaming o’er us!

~Joseph Rodman Drake




On a sun filled morning, groups of geese are traveling along the inviting waters of Hampton Ponds. The visual line up of families are Mom in the front with several little one’s ar-ranged in a disciplined line, with a watchful Dad paddling in the back. I describe this natural picture as sym-bolic of a special Italian family I encountered during a reunion in late May 2022. The gathering in New Londan Ct. was a planned, collec-tive effort. This event was guided by a stand of 3 sharp Italians: John Zuccardy, Frances Daly and Susanna Dubilo. John comes from the line of great uncle Frank Zuccardy a stone mason who was instru-mental in the construction of Rocky Neck State Park Pavilion, a cobble stone beauty in the 1930’s. Fran Coloroso Daly is a re-search minded, exquisite woman. The arrow that led the re-union was my awesome, skillful wife Susanna Hawkins-Dub-ilo, Originally, I was getting tired of all the phone calls and hours of research that is required for positive outcomes. Truth-fully, traveling the distance and appearing as Polish outsider, was not something that I was excited about. Boy, I am glad

my attitude changed. Sup-port my wife and spring forward to encourage the group. I was given op-portunity on the path set before me. My heart was beating with joy, experi-encing such love, provi-sion and acceptance from a circle of smiling, warm strangers. Evidence of a deep-rooted learn-ing exposure, over the course of 6 days of God given grace. Allow me to deep dive into what stood out, in a plea-surable, enlightening story.

The setting of the stage began when Frances Ann Coloroso Daly, the author of The History of an Italian Ameri-can Family, arrived at our Westfield Home for a two night stay. Then onward to New London, CT. where we were invited to be guest at Donna Vendetto’s Beach Hotel. Wow, the home is lo-cated about 1000 yards from Ocean Beach Park. The very beach I enjoyed as a young boy. Come to find out wife Susanna was adventuring this beach during the same time period. Thinking back as we look at beach pictures I found a young curly hair boy looking at an attractive teenage girl, a young flower ready to bloom. Is this the heavenly beauty destined to be in my fu-ture? Nice to think that way. Susanna joins me in believing of the strong probability of meeting in spirit in the 1950’s. We love engaging in positive thoughts. In contrast, on September 21, 1938, one of the most destructive and powerful hurricanes in recorded history struck Long Island and Southern New England. The storm developed near the Cape Verde Islands on September 9, tracking across the Atlantic and up the Eastern Seaboard. The Great Hurricane of 1938 boldly and aggressive-ly slammed onto Ocean Beach Park. In addition surrounding shore homes were wiped out or structurally crippled. The good news was the Beach Hotel stood strong. Ocean Beach Park was rebuilt and resulted as a much needed blessing. “Big improve-ment at the beach” were words from New London residents.

Back to real time entering the reunion. The scope of the olive oil skinned attendees were filled with elder men and women appearing energetic and in good health. I was meeting people filled with wisdom, in their 80’s and mid 90’s. Learning from senior’s is always a great privilege. They have been there, witnessed events, experienced the difficulties, survived and even thrived. I enjoy gaining knowledge and hoping to apply

New London...

New London...

Italian Style!

Italian Style!

By Michael J Dubilo


the good stuff in my life. Of course, a younger generation was also on course for fun and un-derstanding. Nice to see minds soaking in the stories being told.

After the reunion, some were invited to the Beach Hotel. Access is the seed for opportunity to de-velop relationships. Food, drink, laughs and a galore of pictures. Treasures found in moments. A registered dietitian and the nu-trition specialist at Health Canal states that you’re more likely to have a long, healthy life if you live in Italy. For the most part, adults share one drinking habit: drinking a moderate amount of wine. Which gives thought about The Zuccardi Vineyards in Argentina. Several Zuccca-rdi’s attended the reunion. Anyone have a bottle of red wine from Argentina? Yes, we have a bottle from 1945. Uncork it and pour me a glass please. We have asked Jesus for a healthy, purpose filled life. By the way, biblical truth tells us one of the miracles performed by Jesus was turning large pots of water into wine in Cana of Galilee. His mother said “they want wine”. The Son provided for the needs of the guest. The best wine kept till now.

Let me channel my thoughts on three Italian characters that impacted my mind: Jimmy Orlando 90 years alive, Fran (Frances) Daly 78 years of a ac-tive mind set and Donna Vendetto, 72 years of high octane energy.

Through out her trip, Fran has experienced the works and wonders of Jesus. For example, she fueled the car at a New Lon-don gas station. With out realizing her actions, she placed her purse on a stand adjacent to the gas pump. Hours later Fran realized her purse with a wave of cash and must have identi-fications were missing in action. Forgotten at the gas station. Immediately we went to our Savior “cast your cares upon me, because I care about you”. Help us Lord. Inside the store we awaited the verdict. The clerk was holding Fran’s purse, purse intact, all is good. Thankfulness is the seed for Joy. The journey for Fran resulted in a grand slam, in baseball language. With that said, we know who moved the home run fence in. Praise to the “One and Only Jesus”.

Are home addresses a link to relationships? Jimmy lives on Beach Pond Rd, Fran on Old Pond Rd and Susanna on Long

Pond Rd. Pond Rd commonalities. Mr. Orlando lives in health with his Norwegian wife Pam. He tells the story growing up in a large Victorian home overlooking the ocean. One early evening in his teen years Jim heard the honking of a car beneath his second story window. Looking out he spots his good friend sitting in a convert-ible with two young ladies. Come on down and join us was the call. He quickly dressed, exited the win-dow and slide down the drain pipe at the corner of the home. “I hope it holds” says Jimmy. Amazing re-call, spoken with a wide smile at 90 years young. A story teller he is, we could not stop laughing, along with his wife. Special indeed. Never slid down anything from 2 floors up, did you?

Donna Vendetto is next for top notch kindness and generosity. This gal received us and lodged the 3 of us cour-teously. We were truly welcomed, ac-cepted, and valued at her beach home.

Some of us have not experienced the mountain top blessing of a loyal, loving, caring family. If that is the cur-rent situation, you posses ability to turn the table around. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. “I came to heal the broken hearted”. I say this because I have been there. Jesus will adopt you into his family. Believe in him, through faith. This gracious, gentle, living Spirit will never forsake you or let you down. Promise guaranteed. Open the door to your heart--- Victory has arrived. May every one of you abound with Love, toward each other. Put on a smile, light up your attitude and share the joy of hope. You will experience a sense of purpose.

Above: Family Photo of the Zuccardi Descendents

Right: Fran Daly inside the beach hotel


By Todd Shiveley

While gas maybe a bit expensive at the moment but you have an urge to travel, New England offers a number of local places I’m personally recommending that will leave you with memories to cherish. I’ll start with two castles that will cost some money to visit, but is worth every penny.

Hammond Castle Gloucester, Massachusetts!

This literal medieval style -built castle has all of the as-pects of the traditional historic ones including a drawbridge. The inside includes artifacts from the Romans down to the Re-naissance period including the large tapestries hanging above and an actual miniature courtyard centered in the middle of it. And yes it has all of the luxuries inside expected from a castle from a 6th century Saxon dinning tables to a Christian chapel.

Around the back, the castle opens up to the Atlantic ocean. Built by eccentric American inventor John Hays Hammond Jr. who was also a protege of Alexander Graham Bell.

Hammond Castle is like a walk back in time and they cater to different kinds of personal tours from the candlelight tour, focused on the Spiritualist movement of the 19th century, to the decked out Hallow-een night tours, which is very fun.

Hammond Castle is located at 80 Hes-perus Ave, Gloucester, MA 01930. Interior tours: adults $20, Children 5-12 $10, Four & under free. However, you can view and walk around the exterior for Free. Open Hours: June Sept 9:30 a.m.. - 4 p.m daily - other times of the year. Check or call (978) 283-2080 for more info.

Gillete Castle, Haddam, CT

Another mountaintop castle also built in medieval design, was created for and by actor, director and playwright William Hooker Gillette. He was most famous for his portrayal of De-tective Sherlock Homes in stage plays (he actually co-wrote with the original writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) seen in both America and Britain in the late 19th and early 20th century. He designed the home himself and periodically checked every phase of its construction from 1914-1919. From the hand carved wood work of every door latch, to the local field stone of which the structure is made of every detail was meticulously planned and executed. There