SOUTHWOODS MAGAZINE September 2022 PAGE 1

PAGE 2 SOUTHWOODS MAGAZINE September 2022

INDEX

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Practice Makes Perfect By Janice Yefko .....................3

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

Coincidences By Southwick Historical Society, Inc. ..........8

The B.G. Palmer Story By Ross Haseltine .......................9

Go and do likewise By Michael J. Dubilo ...................10

Buried Treasure By Carlene Americk ......................14

Back to Bonaire By Elaine Aubrey ..........................14

The Odds are for You By Jeff King ........................... 18

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

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

SOUTHWOODS MAGAZINE September 2022 PAGE 3

It was about mid-may in 1952. Miss Horton, my first grade teacher, at Moseley Elementary school in Westfield, told us first-graders that we were having a field day in June.

Our classroom was supposed to run and jump rope at the same time down the field in the event.

I wanted to win the race so bad. Every night I ran and jumped rope up and down my backyard. I didn’t know for sure I would win, but I practiced every day.

Come time for the contest, when we were told go I ran so fast, I couldn’t believe it myself! I came in first place and won a blue ribbon!

Miss Horton was happy, I was happy, Mom and Dad, who were watching, were happy too!

It goes to show you that if you really want something and are trying for it, “Practice Makes Perfect”

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By Clifton (Jerry) Noble, Sr

Sunday, September 2, (My jour-nal continues) and tomorrow are dates for the Blandford Fair, but it’s raining hard.

We found a wonderful box of candy in the Russell Post Office from Louise (Russell) Martin, in Bristol Connecti-cut. We had Louise as guest at our re-modeled schoolhouse for a few days last month. She was a girlhood friend of Hester’s (my nickname for moth-er, Minnie E. Noble). She also sent a postcard of Gillette Castle’s miniature railway in its new home at Lake Com-pounce

Saturday afternoon Uncle Ralph Emerson came up to go hiking down the Appalachian Mountain Club’s trail to Pot Rock in the Little River Valley below Cobble Mountain Dam. Light mist made mossy outcrops of ledge slippery. Sev-eral times we went on both hands and feet. Walking sticks kept us from grabbing wet tree trunks. This “pot rock” was not the one Uncle Ralph had in mind, but it was about eight

feet across and ten feet deep and worth the trip. For his age Uncle Ralph did well at climbing out of the gorge.

That evening Hester and I went up to Walter Allyn’s (Town Clerk and cousin of my father who died in 1936). Walter came in from milking and made several phone calls about Mr. O’Donell’s claims against as-sessed value of his new house.

After telephoning, Wal-ter got to retelling some of “Ty Bee’s” (Tiberius Chapman’s) fa-mous stories. Once he asked, “Ty Bee, are these stories true?”

“Nope,” was the answer. Ya see, I tell a story to Homer Kelso. He repeats it to Klaus Wright with a little added. Klaus adds more and tells it to Ezra Stiles. Ezra makes up some to pass along to Zenas Avery. Ze-nas doctors it to his liking and tells the story as coming from me.” Here’s one.

“One night it was so cold that wood disappeared faster than I could put it in the stove. I stuffed an arm load in the stove and went outside to see what was happening. Well, there was that wood, whole sticks of it flyin’ right out of my chimney. Yes, sir, I had such a fire going that I could take a teaspoon and dip right into the red hot stove lid. But the water in the teakettle on the back of the stove was frozen.” And.

“Ya know that bridge on Main Road in the swamp just above the

September, 1951

C.J. Noble where

Glendale Falls start to fall.

SOUTHWOODS MAGAZINE September 2022 PAGE 5

church. Used to be a pretty big bump there. One day in October I was going home with the buggy when I met Ezra Stiles by the bridge. He had some fine pumpkins in his buggy. We was both driving pret-ty smart, and I see Ezra hit that bump as I passed him. Two of them pumpkins bounced clean up in the air. I didn’t think nothin’ more about it, but when I got home I found them two pumpkins had bounced clean out of Ezra’s buggy into mine.”

Walter’s son, Kenneth, came in, and I asked him how much a load of gravel would cost me. He thought about six dollars. I want to make a con-crete floor in the wellhouse.

Louis Rivard said Mr. Duggan wants to sell the old Clark house across the road from us and will take what he paid for it, $3,500.

Tuesday, September 11. Before leaving home I called O’Donell’s to find our more about putting on our puppet show for the Fair tomorrow. We went up to Walter’s this evening. He was milking and Maude was breaking fresh green cornstalks to put in the cows’ mangers. How they did go for that corn.

Last Sunday I took Hester to ride up Middle Branch of the Westfield River to Glendale Falls on Clark Wright Road. I climbed down ledges in swim briefs to the pool at the bottom. The water was cold. Back at the top I found Hester almost hiding. She had been frightened of a newspaper article tell of an attack on an elderly woman, so she couldn’t sit on the ledges where the brook drowned all other noises.

Along with other state Department of Public Works parties my survey crew is working on the proposed relocation of Route 5 through West Springfield. We are progressing south toward the Westfield (Agawam) river across the mud flats of Bondis Island where Springfield’s sewage disposal plant is located.

Pete Gravelese, a chief from Boston, has a fellow they call “Hymee.” He’s clumsy and may not be too bright. The rest of the party kids him. On our way back to the job after lunch we met a dirty character plodding up H Street. My Bill said, “Do you suppose that’s Hymee? They made him walk and carry his boots, poor guy.” I stopped and asked, “What’s the matter, Hymee?”

“I fell in again,” he said forlornly. “Does it mean you’re fired if your supervisor disapproves of you?”

“Your supervisor?”

“Well, the guy you work for.”

“Of course not. Whatever gave you that idea?”

“He’s mad at me. The other rodmen walked across okay, but I

September 2011

fell in.”

Hymee wanted a drink of water. He’d had no lunch. His struggle in the mud, the long walk carrying boots, and fear of losing his job through Pete’s ire had almost broken his heart. His hand trembled and he spilled the water. The party was staying at the Bridgeway in Springfield. It seemed a shame to let him walk into the city like that even though it had happened once before. My guys made no objection to taking him over. We put newspapers on the back seat and were just leaving when we met Larry Clarke. Kind-hearted Larry had come on purpose to see what happened. He took Hymee himself in the truck so we could go on with our project. He even found Hymee a place where he could get his clothes washed.

I took vacation Wednesday afternoon to put on our puppet show for the Montgomery Fair. At Mrs. Avery’s suggestion I started setting up in the church. Grace Hall stormed in thinking that the little Library across the street would be more suitable for the show. I didn’t care and made the transfer as painless as possible. Leslie Camp helped bring in my folding theater, scenery and puppet boxes. Mr. O’Donell supplied a screw socket as the only electric outlet was the center light. We had a packed audience. Mrs. Brown’s nephew, Norman, giggled all the way through. Afterwards several kids with shining eyes said, “That was a good show.” Mrs. Avery offered free supper, but I don’t care for chicken, and Hester had already paid her dollar and gone in. I took the show home and came back for Hester.

We have been working around the muck flats and cinder-dump railroad behind the sewage disposal plant. The place has more scents than a perfume factory, but none of them pleasant. Combs, marbles, Kotex pads, and sponges get collected by a filter before incineration and then recombined with the cinders to dump. The two-foot gauge railroad would fascinate me if laid in some other location. In low spots the much is black slime that never dries up due to being level with stagnant water in the old river bed.

Larry’s party has been taking cross sections, and he almost had an accident while carrying the transit. Joe Adams did fall in while at-tempting to help him. Joe’s clothes were a stinking mess, but, unlike Hymee’s, Joe’s cleaning bill will be paid by the state.

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The Southwick Historical Society, Inc. had a table at one of the recent Southwick Rotary Club Wednesday night concerts to display items that the society has available and to make concert-goers aware of the Root Beer Social to be held on August 14 at the Southwick History Museum. One of the items for sale was a mug with an image of Consolidated School (now the Southwick Town Hall). A local resident, Gary Nihill, picked up the mug and told us a story.

One day when he was in school here, he and his classmates cleaned out their desks at Consolidated School and brought the contents with them onto school busses and were transported to the Powder Mill School that had just opened. They were the first students there. (The cornerstone has the date 1959.)

This was quite a coincidence because the late Eldon Johnson told a quite similar story about his school experience. He was a second-grader at the Center Primary School and one day in May 1929, he and his classmates cleaned out their desks and marched carrying their supplies from that school to the new school, the newly built Consolidated School. That building

housed children from all parts of town, many of whom had never met each other. Imagine how strange it must have been to leave a school where all the students knew each other, as siblings and neighbors, to a very large school where the siblings were in different classrooms. Eldon’s experience was related in Around Southwick, a publication of Arcadia Publishing in 1997 and reprinted a few times since. (The neighborhood schools were all closed at that time, and the property on which they stood reverted to the owner or his/her descendants from the time the school was built. Several of those schools were converted to private residences and are still in use. A map showing their locations and photographs of the buildings are located at the Southwick History Museum, 86-88 College Highway.)

From those stories, it is clear that neither the Consolidated School nor the Powder Mill School had their first days of being open at the beginning of their respective school years in September.

Another coincidence also happened recently. Mike Allen did a podcast about the Southwick Jog that was broadcast at: https://AmazingTalesCT.podbean.com. He became so interested in the topic that he decided to visit Southwick and see the Jog for himself. One morning docent Pat Odiorne took him on a tour of the two buildings that comprise the Southwick History Museum. Mike was quite excited to discover a Frisbie pie plate in our cupboard, and told a story about the origin of the Frisbee. It seems that students at Yale College, now University, took the empty Frisbie pie plates that were available there and tossed them to each other on the campus. Voilá, the Frisbee craze was born! There is a facility in Southwick where people can use Frisbees to play disc golf, so evidently the craze is still going strong.

SOUTHWOODS MAGAZINE September 2022 PAGE 9

Invest in your community, drive local growth, and support your friends, family, & neighbors.

Thank you for supporting small businesses!

B. G. Palmer (58), a long-time Southwick resident, once conducted a combined store and post office, something quite common back in the day. Later, he worked as a grocery clerk at C. A. Reed’s store in Southwick (where Country Colonial Gift Shop is today).

Several years back, B.G., or Goodman as he was sometimes known, found himself in poor health and, in great dismay, could no longer work.

He lived with his two unmarried sisters, Dora and Laura Palmer, on what was Main Street in the center of town. His sisters frequently checked on him as they did their best to care for their younger brother.

Goodman’s condition worsened. Following an operation sometime around 1898, he became despondent and could barely, if ever, leave the house.

Around 3:00 a.m., on August 25, 1900, one of his sisters woke, and when she went to check on him, she found his room vacant. She noticed the doors leading from the passageway to the shed were open, so she went to investigate.

She stepped outside into the darkness and onto the grass. She only went a short distance when she found her brother’s body. His throat had been slit with a razor; his jugular vein wholly severed.

Footprints leading to and from a brook behind the house led authorities to believe Goodman tried to drown himself, but the water proved too shallow, so he returned home, got a razor, and finished the deadly deed.

Beman Goodman Palmer: Oct. 11, 1841 - Aug. 25, 1900.

Laura Ann Palmer: Jul. 10, 1834 - Dec. 23, 1907. (La grippe, senile)

Dora A. Palmer: Jul. 6, 1836 - Jan. 9, 1908. (Dementia paralytica, exhaustion)

Charles A. Reed: May 22, 1848 - Dec. 23, 1915.

The Southwick Time Machine presents:

“The B. G.

Palmer Story”

By Ross Haseltine

Charles A Reed Store between 1890 and 1900. Source: Around Southwick by Southwick Historical Society, Inc. Arcadia Publishing ,1997

PAGE 10 SOUTHWOODS MAGAZINE September 2022

As a younger man, I had the privilege to be employed as a lifeguard at private swimming pools as well as State Beaches, every summer until age 35. However, opportunities related in the story below, impacted my mind, because I never was put to the following test.

Natalie Lucas, who’s been a lifeguard for the past three years, said it was the first time she’d had to help bring life into the world, rather than just prevent death. The 18-year-old lifeguard sprang into action to help deliver a baby for a couple visiting a YMCA pool in Longmont, Colorado, on July 24 of this year. A certain woman was nine months pregnant and past her due date, according to her husband. He told a reporter the baby had been pressing against a nerve by his wife’s hip and being in the water seemed to alleviate some of the discomfort she was feeling. With an attentive eye, Lucas observed the woman in the pool and quickly noticed a few minutes later that she seemed to need assistance. Lifeguard Lucas needed to go check to make sure everything was OK there.

A more urgent situation quickly unfolded. The yet to be mother’s water began breaking while she was on the pool deck. “Adrenaline kicks in right then and there,” Lucas said. I made sure “Tessa” was comfortable and situated in the best position possible. Equipped with a medical bag and towels, the baby comes out quite fast, alive and well. This young woman kept cool, applied her first aid training and used specific skills to assist Mom and her newborn baby. Super action at the right time. Great involvement, Natalie. Go, and “hopefully” do likewise or call 911.

Let us meditate on some real-life thinking. Are you just showing up for life or are you running the race to win?

Look at some challenges that a 26.2 mile marathon presents to active participants.

The Boston Marathon will be run by thousands of runners who are going to be watched, supported and cheered at by people on the side lines. In the first several miles of the course, the grade of the run surface is a gentle downhill slope. It may not be noticed, but for good runners it a fairly easy trot. At around the 16 + mile mark, physiological designs suddenly change. A proven physical fact is experienced, the human body and mind starts to break down. It is called hypoglycemia (low blood glucose levels take control). Glucose is needed for energy. Participants feel the change and may choose to give up the journey, while others press on ahead. Now arrives Heartbreak Hill. A name associated with the Boston Marathon. To all those who have, or will ever endure Heartbreak Hill, remember its name comes from the story of an underdog’s ability to overcome the negativity and pretentiousness of others or themselves. The blueprint occurs to test you. With that in mind, will you continue? The men and women who persevere, are in line for a personal gift. Go, confront the obstacle, and overcome. Cheering you on.

All of us will face a Heartbreak Hill. Something may have caused you to be confused, to worry, to be heartbroken. Dwelling on negativity will convince you to give up the journey. We are encouraged “to get over” that characteristic Heartbreak Hill. Help is available when you ask. You will find that the real prize, is on the other side! Most have heard of people, who see individuals in need, but quit the challenge and cross over to the other side. How about you?

The parable of the Samaritan is a model for those who help the afflicted. The bible says, “As we have opportunity, let us do good unto all men”. In the book of Luke, we find a story about a traveler who is stripped of clothing, beaten, and left half dead alongside the road. First, a priest and then a Levite happen to

SOUTHWOODS MAGAZINE September 2022 PAGE 11

arrive, observing an urgent need. However, both choose to avoid the helpless man, by crossing over to the other side. Finally, a certain gentleman appears at the scene. He bent down and had compassion on the man. After binding up the victim’s wounds, the Samaritan put him on his donkey and carried the wounded man to a public inn. “Take care of him” was the request to the inn keeper. The rescuer gave money to the care giver and said, “if you request more funds attending to his wellness, I will repay you when I come back”. The honorable man is called the “Good Samaritan” because he takes the time and uses his talents, aiding a wounded person. You are called to your community, providing hope and compassion. Strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

James Francis Thorpe : Wa-Tho-Huk, translated as “Bright Path”;[4] May 22 , 1887 March 28, 1953, was an American athlete and Olympic gold medalist. A member of the Sac and Fox Nation, Thorpe was the first Native American to win a gold medal for the United States in the Olympics. Jim was in the minority, however he was considered one of the most versatile athletes of modern sports, he won two Olympic gold medals in the 1912 Summer Olympics (one in classic pentathlon and the other in decathlon). At the Olympic village before his decathlon race, Jim realized his personal running shoes were not to be found, stolen, they say. He did not complain, cry or ask for an investigation. In time two different shoes were found, each larger in size. Back at the village, he put on several pairs of socks to fill the size gap in each shoe. Excuses were not found in his vocabulary. At the decathlon, with adapted shoes, the Olympic Gold Medal was his reward. He overcame his personal Heartbreak Hill. No quitting, keep striving forward. He expected adversity, confronted it and seized the reward. We can do likewise. It might not be an Olympic experience, but opportunities may present themselves in other forms. For example, assisting others are a sure way to receive blessings.

Whatever you woke up with this morning; stolen shoes, ill health, failed relationships, don’t let it stop you from gratifying your vision.

Let us address a personal need that requires attention sooner, rather than later.

Regularly engaging in physical activity can improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of falls—both of which contribute to adding years onto your life. and maintain mobility. Effective time management can help you get enough physical movements each week.” Find a movement activity that you delight in. Easier to continue on, with enjoyable involvements.

Vital steps to remain on the “I can do it Train”. Your participation will prepare a firm foundation, for the years ahead. Wise investment.

It is clear that there is a great deal of suffering in the world and much of it is of the sort which deserves to be relieved at once!

“Offer your body as a living sacrifice, that is your reasonable service”. An opportune moment was presented to me when I married Susanna. I was furnished with the tools to become a “personal care giver.” Delivering affectionate, loving actions, for my wife, a woman with Parkinson Disease. I was challenged, as I faced a symbolic Heartbreak Hill. Ability to cheer the mind while doctoring the body, surfaced for use. We are both gifted, with housing at a waterfront. Experience in aquatic aerobics and coaching others has beneficial applications. Weaving the two, in a daily activity is supportive for Susanna. Her favorable actions, helps keep Parkinsons’ at the shoreline. Gracious and thankful, she is. Before we married, compassion did not flow in my blood. One of the characteristics found in care givers. Now, I walk the walk, keeping my balance. I am a blessed, happy man as a result. Heed that calling, be a living sacrifice to that chosen one. Today may be your time. Get involved, you are needed.

A golden rule application, “Do onto others, as you would have others Do unto you”.

In these true stories---we focused on upbeat attitudes. Many of you will be provided with specific tools to do an “assigned task”. Your path is outlined. Will you step forward and meet the challenge? It is revealed: “when you Do for the least, you Do for our friend sitting in heaven.” That is a realization, with eternal premiums. Go, and do likewise

Thank

You!

Thank you to the Southwoods Customers who have donated their change to the Southwick-Polverari Animal Shelter. Together we’ve raised $225 for the shelter.

PAGE 12 SOUTHWOODS MAGAZINE September 2022

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While excavating home an area in the backyard of their Southwick home, Michael and Charlene Silkey un-covered some very unusual stones with drawings of cartoon characters and other nursery rhyme personalities. Upon care-ful examination Charlene noticed that many of the stones had “Milton Bradley” written in the corner in small letters.

Knowing that I am a -Southwick history enthusiast she called me to examine her treasure. I suggested she call Milton Bradley Company in Springfield, who very quickly sent a rep-resentative from their office to see what the stones were. They were identified as lithographic stones that the company used, possibly as long ago as the 1860’s.

The word “lithography” comes from Greek and means “writing on stone”. The process was invented around 1796 by Aloys Senefelder and the Bavarian limestone which he sed is still considered the best material for lithography as an art pro-cess. A’ slab of stone is ground to a level surface which may be of coarse or fine texture as desired. The drawing is made in reverse directly on the stone with a lithographic crayon or ink that contains soap or,grease. The fatty acid of this material in-teracts with the lime of the stone to form an indissolvable lime soap on the surface of the stone, which will accept the greasy printing ink and reject water. Those parts of the stone which have been drawn on have an affinity for ink.

Sometimes the drawing is made on paper and transferred to a heated stone by pressure. This is known as a transfer litho-

graph and does not require the artist to reverse his drawing.

After artwork has been put on the stone it is fixed with a solution of gum arabic and nitric acid. Once the grease used in the drawing or transfer penetrates the stone its surface can be cleaned with turpentine and water, which washes off the ac-tual drawing. Then the stone is ready to be inked with a roller. Printing from the stone, which must be kept moist, requires a special lithographic press with a sliding bed. Several hundred fine proofs can betaken from one stone.

As a printing process, lithography is probably the most un-restricted, producing tones ranging from intense black to the

Buried

Treasure

By

Carlene

Americk

November 1987

SOUTHWOODS MAGAZINE September 2022 PAGE 15

most delicate gray. Depending upon technique, lithographs can look like pencil, pen, or crayon drawings. The medium was used by many artists in the 19th century including Goya, Dela-croix, Daumier, Gavarnie, Manet, Degas, and Toulouse-Lau-trec. In the United States, A.B. Davies, George Bellows, Milton Bradley and many others are noted for their lithographs. The first employee of the newly founded Milton Bradley Company in the 1860’ s was a pressman named Jack Riddle.

****Like most of his fellow craftsmen, he was an itinerant who wandered from city to city wherever employment and fancy took him. When work became scarce Riddle sim-ply picked up his things and left. Early in his business Bradley found his second em-ployee, a man named Jack Kep-py, who came from Hartford, Connecticut and who, in Brad-ley’s words, “could pull a press when he wasn’t drunk.” The trouble was that Keppy became Bradley’s first “labor problem” because he was drunk most of the time.

When a large order for several prints of “Christ Blessing Little Children” came from Gurdon Bill, a prominent Spring-field financier and civic leader who wanted the prints quickly, Keppy found everything going wrong. Bill came to the office himself, frowning and tapping his foot impatiently. Keppy fled from the office. Bradley, in a panic, went in search of him. He walked through half of the streets of Springfield before he fi-nally found Keppy sitting on a baggage cart at the railroad sta-tion drinking from a bottle. Before Bradley could say anything, Keppy told him his low opinion of lithography in general, and Bill’s orders in particular, and announced that he had quit an hour ago.

In despair, Bradley ran back to the office and began pull-ing the press himself. In the heat of the summer day, a bead of sweat rolled off his forehead onto the stone. He had to clean it

off and start again. Hours later he finished the job and took the prints to Gurdon Bill’s home. After studying the prints with a critical eye, the financier complained that Bradley’s work wasn’t as good as it used to be. Bradley regretfully agreed with him. But he promised he would improve. His work and that of the pressmen he employed for varying peri-ods of time after the departure of Mr. Keppy did eventually improve. Soon Bradley’s firm gained the reputation of producing lithogra-phy second to none in New England.

The company continued to use litho-graphic stones far into the present cen-tury. The discarded stones eventually became valuable collectors’ items after if was found they made interesting gar-den decorations. People in the Springfield area who today stride lightly along garden paths made from Milton Bradley litho-graphic stones rarely have any idea of the toil which as involved in their creation.

The stones that Charlene and Michael Silkey discovered in their back yard apparently were brought to Southwick in the 1950’s. The late Mr. Ruhl, a carpenter who was the brother-in-law of their neighbors, the Greens, was given the stones while working in Granville, Mass. He planned to use them as corner supports for a garage he was building.

Michael and Charlene have donated a great number of the stones to the Southwick Historical Society. In addition, a biog-raphy of Milton Bradley written by James J. Shea entitled “It’s All In The Game” has been presented to the Southwick Public Library in the Silkeys’ name by the Milton Bradley Company.

A Lithographic Stone for Anchor Manilla Tropical Gum and Moseleys Air Mail envelopes. (Source: Edinburgh City of Print, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

PAGE 16 SOUTHWOODS MAGAZINE September 2022

There was nothing different about the airplane, ex-cept for the fact that we had business class seats for the price of economy. Comfort here we come! But a recent conversation was still on my mind. My daughter had cautioned me to wear a mask and gloves, and to carry wipes and use them on every-thing. Everything meant all the overhead knobs and especially the food tray. She added, “Remember to turn off the air vent”. I only saw one person using wipes. No one on the plane wore a mask. It was Monday,