SOUTHWOODS MAGAZINE June 2022 PAGE 1

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INDEX

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A June Day By Bernadette Gentry ..................................3

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

Bash Bish Falls By Richard Sanderson ..........................8

The Legacy of Dad’s Garden By Sue Guerrero .......10

Just another summer evening in 1960

By Todd Shiveley ........................................................ 11

Invite God into Your Difficulties By Jeff King ........14

Graveyard Chronicles: Southwick Dysentery

By Southwick Historical Society .....................................16

Be Fruitful, Multiply By Michael J. Dubilo ...............20

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

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

SOUTHWOODS MAGAZINE June 2022 PAGE 3

Birds sing their summer songs at dawn and

awaken me to an inviting morning.

Flowers of a myriad of colors welcome

me outdoors to join them. Purple petunias with their sweet

scents evoke my memories. Vegetable seedlings in the garden

grow tall and thrive. Green leaves on the trees offer their shade

from the warmth of the afternoon sun.

And, I am in awe at all that is

resplendent in God’s creation. In the evening, I give thanks for all I

was privileged to see this June day.

PAGE 4 SOUTHWOODS MAGAZINE June 2022

June 2011

By Clifton (Jerry) Noble, Sr.

More from my journal.

June 4, 1951, Monday. Have made final payment, $199, on our 1949 Plymouth.

One evening last week I took Hester (my nickname for mother Minnie E. Noble) to ride through Bancroft. In Middlefield passed lad about 16, carrying rifle and leading a horse ridden by girl. Road and brook go through stone arch under Boston and Albany railroad with Bancroft village and its Golden Fleece Company just around the corner

Visited relatives Althea and Martha Marks in Haydenville yesterday. White-haired Althea gets in at seven a.m. to head Noble Company’s office while black-haired Martha keeps books for a fuel company. They still have their Model T Ford.

At work Al Cloutier was supposed to run party 69 but went to Syracuse to his brother’s graduation. My friend, Louis Johnson, has a new fellow, Wilson Henderson, in his survey

party. Thus we had TOO MUCH help. After getting flat tire fixed on party 69’s carryall, I gave Bill Clarke Joe and Bill to help him replace baseline. He learned something about party-chief problems. Both Louis and I gave our Springfield men pep talks about getting to work on time. I surmise this made me particularly unpopular.

Party chief Bob Fay has been working in Granville west of Twining Hollow. He saw two rattlers and killed one.

May 19th, the Gortz place on Jourdain Road burned.

With the June sun many fellows are acquiring a tan. Saturday I mowed the lawn in briefs. Later I came down the steps by the wellhouse as a Chevrolet full of guys went by. One yelled, “Hey lookit! Clark Gable.”

Uncle Ralph and Aunt Georgia Emerson left Sunday for Indiana where their boys are finnishing up at Tri State College. Daughter Mabel went for the ride. Her father gave her a ten dollar bill when he found her crying because she had lost one she badly needed.

Saturday afternoon, June 9th, I took my transit and tapes over to Alan Becket’s on Whitney Avenue, Holyoke, to locate his property lines. Alan has planted a rose hedge which is on his property but his privet hedge is five feet over on Bourbeau land from whom he bought his lot. The young Bourbeaus have started a horse and buggy business but didn’t prevent the horses from trampling Mr. B’s new lawn. Sputtering ensued. Bourbeaus tethered two odorous calves under Becket windows.

I believe John Driscoll could become a first class transitman with a little training. He has initiative and reasons well. Instead of dashing off in spurts to overwhelm a notekeeper with useless measurements he observes what is needed, makes no mistakes, and passes along information without wasted words.

June 21 ,1951 Thursday. When we arrived last Saturday evening at Uncle Ralph’s on Mort Vining Road, Southwick, he had just finished mowing the lawn. Spotty had ignored warnings and got his tail too close to the rotary more. He is a wiser doggy. We saw movie “The Magic Bow” about Paganini on television. The music was swell.

Last Thursday afternoon it rained. Supervisor Jack Tattan was down and we left soon after he did. I checked for him on the State’s rowboat which was moored on the beach in west Tatham. Bill Robinson’s party uses it to take soundings across

1951

“Hester” at the well house.

SOUTHWOODS MAGAZINE June 2022 PAGE 5

the bend in the river to Robinson Park. I got soaked wandering around in the weeds looking for it.

It was in the newspaper that bids will soon be asked for the new Main Street bridge over Little River.

Last night I was digging rotted wood out of the sill under our front door. What should appear but the head of a spotted adder. I got it out with a wire and tried to snatch it away from the building. Before I could grab its tail, it got its head among the foundation stones and squirted white stuff all over me.

We went up to Town Clerk (father’s cousin) Walter Allyn’s tonight. His son, Kenneth, came later and told about black snakes and rattlers. One man found about forty snakes with eggs in a horse manure pile. They are interested in my work so we talk a lot about roads and survey.

June 23, 1951, Saturday. I cut and shaped another wooden puppet head this afternoon

At 11:30 last night someone knocked. I called to ask what was wanted. Guy said he was out of gas down by the brook. I put on jeans and T-shirt and went down to find he was alone. I had no way to siphon gas out of the car so took him to Russell with a gallon jug. Fortunately the Amoco Station at the corner of Blandford Road was open. He was John Hall son of Roy, the fire warden.

I saw a kingfisher over Roaring Brook and a redstart in our woods.

A mile of Route 20 in Woronoco has been resurfaced.

We visited Kelsos on New State Road both last night and tonight. Myron and I walked out in the pasture to see the pink laurel. Years ago they used to have a pond there, six feet deep and handy for cutting ice, but it finally seeped through the bank and wouldn’t hold water. Myron pointed out the Lambson Road across the valley and the Feldman place, now owned by Chase. Chase was the fellow I helped out one night down in Russell when his car had carburetor trouble.

This morning I got our Plymouth lubricated at Holcomb’s and returned Uncle Ralph’s movie camera. Went to the library to practice on the Lang Room piano.

June 24, 1951, Sunday. I think I have hay fever. Did the washing this morning including Hester’s wool blanket. A truck backed into the Duggan place across the road.

It was Raymond Avery and his son, Roland. He had bought Percy Helm’s hay rake which had been over at Duggan’s all winter, and was hitching it to drag home.

I mowed the lawn and set out pinks Mrs. Kelso gave me

over by the wellhouse.

Was getting tanned on porch roof of wellhouse when I heard a horse coming briskly down Shanty Hill. The strange horseman dismounted and knocked at our “schoolhouse” so Hester called me. The fellow wanted to know how to get to Wyben, especially the intersection of North and Russellville Roads. Verbal directions sounded confusing so a got out my U.S. Geological Survey maps. These showed the shortest route over the mountain. He said he left Great Barrington at 4:30 this morning and this was his second horse which would probably stay in Wyben.

After a 4:30 brook bath I took Hester to ride to Hampton Ponds hoping to rent a boat. By the drive-in theater we met car after car leaving the lake, and the stinky, crowded beach smell turned me away. We came home through Russellville.

A red truck with Connecticut plates 4904 went up Herrick Road. In view of cattle rustling and shooting of a state policeman we were suspicious. Dotty Peckham and Paul Barnes stopped on trail of the truck. I telephoned Clif Williston. The truck had come to pick up a cow that had gotten barbed wire in its stomach and couldn’t be cured.

Just before coming upstairs to bed I took a walk up the road and startled three deer in the meadow at the top of the hill. At first in the early dusk I mistook their white tails for three birds flying low.

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In the tiny Berkshire town of Mount Washington, tucked into the southwestern corner of the state, thunders Bash Bish Falls, one of the most beautiful water-falls in Massachusetts

Bash Bish Falls (also spelled Bashapish) has attracted visitors to a remote region on the western slope of Mount Washington for nearly two centuries. The name of the falls, possibly of Native origin, seems to have been meant to mimic the sound of the plunging waters.

Wildflowers Bloom

From the parking area of Bash Bish Falls Road, a trail descends through birches and hemlocks over moderately steep terrain to the base of the 60 foot high main falls. Dur-ing spring-time, wildflowers bloom along the path. Visitors who· see the falls for the first time are immedi-ately captivated by a huge boulder perched at the crest, which divides the

water into two sections and ap-pears ready to tumble at any moment. Actually, it has rested there for thousands of years, and will probably remain there for thousands more.

Behind the falls is a deep chasm with towering 200 foot cliffs which one 19th century traveler described as being “as wild as an Alpine gorge.” This chasm was carved out of granite and schist over the cons by Bash Bish Brook, which begins as a spring high on Mount Washing-ton and eventually flows into the Hudson River. Filled with boul-ders, pools, and cascades, this shady gorge was carved in such a way that the top of the cliff, known as Eagle’s Nest, over-hangs by about 25 feet.

During winter, the falls are transformed into a gigantic wall of ice and huge 20 foot icicles hang from the overhanging rock in the gorge, posing a serious threat. Hikers who venture into the gorge at any time of year should be extra cautious; there are many steep and dangerous spots.

A trail climbs high along the top edge of the cliff, through a forest of oak, maple, and beech, and affords spectacular views. Aside from an occasional falling rock, the falls and gorge have changed little during the 12,000 years since the end of the last Ice Age.

Geologist Enchanted

Amherst geologist Edward Hitchcock was enchanted by

Bash Bish Falls

Jewel of the Berkshires

By Richard Sanderson

Bash Bish Falls in Mount Washington,MA

Photograph by Richard Sanderson

July 1989

SOUTHWOODS MAGAZINE June 2022 PAGE 9

Bash Bish Falls and visited the spot several times during the early 1800s. In 1841, he wrote, “Although the most remarkable and interesting gorge and cascade in Massachusetts, it was only by accident that I learnt of their existence, after having been in Mount Washington for some time. And at that time, I could scarcely find any one in the neighboring towns who had heard of the spot.”

Native Legend

Before Hitchcock explored Bash Bish Falls, the site was un-doubtedly known to the Natives of the region, and there is an interesting legend which has come down through the ages. Centuries ago, so the story goes, an Native squaw named Lo-toskincok found a baby girl near the pool at the base of the falls, and she named her White Swan because of her fair complexion. As White Swan grew, she became more and more beautiful, and one day the chief of the local tribe, Black Thunder, chose her to be the wife of his only son, Whirling Wind. Soon the two were married, and they were very happy except for one problem. Despite the incantations of the Medicine Man, White Swan did not bear a child. Whirling wind knew that someday he would be chief of the tribe, and he needed a son to be his heir. In accordance with tribal law, Black Thunder decided that his son should take a second wife. This was a common prac-tice, but White Swan had secretly hoped to be Whirling Wind’s only wife, and when the second wife arrived, she began to pine away.

Whirling Wind’s second wife took on most of the household chores, leaving White Swan to spend her days at leisure. She began spending more and more time at Bash Bish Falls, a site the Natives knew was haunted by the spirit of a woman in a white robe. White Swan would sit upon the boulder at the top of the falls for hour upon hour, gazing into the hypnotic bub-bling and churning water below. She began talking to the spirit of the falls.

White Swan Plunged into Bubbling Pool

Late one night, when the moon was full, White Swan was compelled to visit the waterfall. Whirling Wind followed her, but she flew along the trail like a deer and he couldn’t keep up with her. When he arrived, White Swan was already sit-ting on the boulder at the crest of the falls, staring transfixed

into the water. Suddenly she stood up and cried, “Here I am, Mother, take me into your arms.” and before Whirling Wind could stop her, she plunged into the dark, bubbling pool at the base of the falls. Whirling Wind leaped in to attempt to rescue her. The next day, the body of Whirling Wind was found in the water, but there was no trace of White Swan. Legend says that she lives with her mother in a dark cavern beneath the falls, and on moonlit nights, her spirit profile can be glimpsed in the dark pool at the base of Bash Bish Falls.

Bash Bish Falls is at its best during springtime, when melt-water swells it into a raging torrent, but even during dry pe-riods there is enough water cascading over the falls to make a visit worthwhile. From the junction of Routes 23 and 41 in South Egremont, proceed south on Route 41 until you come to a fork in the road. Bear right at the fork and follow the signs to ‘Mount Everett and Mount Washington. Along this route you will see signs for Bash Bish Falls parking area. Some guide-books suggest circling around and coming in from Copake, New York.

The trail begins at the rear of the lot and is identified by markers. Allow a couple of hours to hike down to the falls and back-more if you plan to explore the area. Hiking boots are rec-ommended. For more information, contact Mount Washington State Forest, RFD 3, Mount Washington, MA 01258.

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EVERY YEAR OF HIS ADULT LIFE, my father kept a garden. As a child, I remember my four sisters and me squeal-ing unholy cries every spring when it was time to truck in the loads of manure that added richness to the deep, black son. It was a stench only a farmer-at heart could think of as sweet! And for weeks afterward, my dad could be found in the garden every night after work. His pleas for assistance with weeding and hoeing fell pretty much on deaf ears so, like the perennial mother in the Little Red Hen story, he did it himself.

But come- summer, when the tomatoes .. resembled fat, red mini-beach balls, and the corn made triangular mountains on the platter at the kitchen table, my father had plenty of takers. We all rejoiced in the generous bounty of his labors.

Raspberry Patch Grew By Leap’s and Bounds

His raspberry patch grew by leaps and bounds over the years and gleaming rubies thrust into his work-worn hands could not have brought more joy. From the first pink, blushing

berry that dazzled under the late spring sky, to the last berry, dangling from the bare branch of the bush just before the frost came to Western Massachusetts, my dad found pure pleasure in picking his raspberries and giving them away. In recent years, his grandchildren continued the tradition of .eating ber-ries fresh from Grandpa’s palm, They’d stand and open their mouths like baby robins as he stuffed the openings with juicy, sweet/tart berries.

This spring when my son asked me, “Who’s going to plant Grandpa’s garden?” I couldn’t help but start to cry. The ache in my heart was so bad it took my breath away.

“Who indeed?”

My dad died on February 3rd and I am still reeling from the stark reality of what it is like to lose a parent. Although you know it is something every person will have to face, somehow you can never prepare for it. It is one of life’s most traumatic, difficult experiences to get through and yet, we have to do it. We have to go on living. It’s the natural scheme of things, but it isn’t easy.

His Spirit Feels Close By

It’s a strange thing. Since my father’s death, I have never felt closer to him. It’s as though his spirit remains with me even though his body is gone. With all my heart, I believe my father is happy this Father’s Day. He is in a different realm and no longer has to suffer the pains of this life. I’ll do him proud and start picking the berries from the bushes he gave me and I’ll chop the new rhubarb that is coming up from his plants. I’ll make the tart tidbits into jams and pies.

Meanwhile, I have a suggestion to offer. This Father’s Day, if you can, go up to your dad, place your arms around him, and give him the biggest bear hug you can muster. He’s precious and, despite all his faults, he’s your Dad. And one day in the future, when, you’ll never know until the time comes, he’ll be gone forever.

In my own heart, even on this sad Father’s Day, I’ll whis-per, “Happy Father’s Day, Dad.”

June 1989

By Sue Guerrero

SOUTHWOODS MAGAZINE June 2022 PAGE 11

While my father has been gone for some time now and hav-ing him forgetting to tell me more about his wild teenage years, there have been a few local buddies and town residents who’ve shared his love for fast cars and being a greaser. One story goes a bit like this.

As the sun set and the stars came out and the warm air of another summer night in this year of 1960 it’d be a waste of an evening if some fun wasn’t had. So off they went Ken, Pat, Rodney and a friend from Westfield off to Chicopee to see what’s happening on the Memorial Drive strip and rotary racing action. After a few drives up and down it was time to get back and grab some grub at the El Rancho the same old friendly challenges between Rodney & Pat led to the same conclusion so we have to race, and back to the wick to have it out once again, but not without Pat having talked about the latest fuel injector work he’s done on his sweet 58’ Corvette.

Normally, the best seat to view this race would be from the balcony of the Southwick Inn, but it was long past closing and near 1 am, and whether Ken made it to town in time to spread the news, for him to get to the finish line at the State Line gas station and bar, he didn’t say. But there had to be some delay because he made it with time to spare.

Having witnessed this before between Pat & Rodney and being a bit of a hot rod mechanic & speedster himself Ken waited in the darkness of the night.

Arriving at said starting point the light in front of the Inn

and just past Hawley’s gas station next to it both engines roared in revving on their gas and brakes filling the air with dark exhaust fumes and black smoke. As the light turned green, the sparks bounced off the tarmac and a hellish fury of Red light glowed bright against the all-white 58’ tear dropped Corvette of Pat. And perhaps it had a lead, which’s to say but Rodney’s 57’ light rose colored Chevy, shot forth its fire power and off they went. Apparently our town’s only constable Ed Moore was nowhere to be seen and far too late to bring this drag race to a halt.

Fortunately it being late, the only other cars on College Highway this late are other teens and 20 somethings. Tonight the road was clear and hungry to feel more rubber burn its hot friction across its surface.

Lord knows what speeds were met; I’m guessing both prob-ably 100 mph and greater halfway South to the border since its one long straight path to glory. And so by his own words, Ken swears that the 57’ Chevy of Rodney came crossing the state line and with enough time to turn around and park by the time the 58’ tear dropped Corvette made it around the state line gas station dirt parking lot and out of the door in a heated jokingly scream of disappointment. Of course with a friendly hand shake and bravado, “maybe next time!” they egged each other on. The 4 of them, laughed and talked for a few with the car radio blaring loudly enough, and no irony should Bill Parson’s ‘All American Boy’ come up, then followed by Bobby Rydell’s ‘Wild One” end the night with another fun and no tragic end in our town of Southwick.

And for a side note, perhaps the reputation of Greasers loving hot rods being that most of them had to be mechanics to fix their own and that of their friend’s cars. It’s no lack of logic to attach grease to greaser at least in one definition.

{Special Thanks to Ken for the story and information}

by Todd Shiveley

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Here’s what I want to encourage you to do today Invite God into your difficulties.

Most of the time, when we’re facing a difficulty, we pray, “God, get me out of this difficulty Get me out of this hospital room Get me out of this problem at work.”

There’s nothing wrong with that. But here’s a thought: Be-fore you try to get out, invite God in. Sometimes the miracle is not in the getting out it’s in what God is going to do in the middle of the situation.

So, instead of just praying, “God, get me out,” why don’t you start praying, “God, come into this hospital room while I take the treatment Come into my workplace and help me with this problem Come into this situation that I’m worried about”?

The minute you ask God to come into your difficulties, you can feel a peace inside you. Suddenly, you don’t have to control everything. You don’t have to be anxious and not be able to sleep at night. Always remember: While you’re waiting to get out, God is waiting to come in.

When you are going through a difficult time, remember this promise that God makes to you: “When you go through the waters, I will be with you. When you go through the rivers,

they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned.”

God is saying: Don’t be afraid that you’re going to drown in your problems. Don’t be afraid you’re in over your head. God is

With you in the flood.

It’s interesting, God didn’t say, “I’ll keep you out of every flood.” He said, “Difficulties are going to come. But when you feel like you’re in over your head, I will be with you.”

It’s what David was talking about when he said, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.”

David was saying, “Lord, thank You that You’re in this val-ley with me. I’m not alone. I’m not worried. I’m not afraid. Because I know You’re in control. I may not see a way out of this, but I know You have a way.”

With you in the fire.

In Daniel 3, we meet three teenagers. These teenagers were ordered to bow down and worship a towering golden idol made by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. In this way, they would demonstrate their loyalty to the empire. When they said they would only bow to God, the king was so furious he threat-ened to throw them into a blazing furnace to be burned alive. The teenagers said, “We’re not worried because we know that our God will deliver us.” That made the king even more furi-ous. He ordered the guards to heat the fire seven times hotter than normal.

Now, let me ask you a question. The fire would have killed anyone at the regular temperature. Why did it have to be seven times hotter than normal? The answer is: So it would be a big-ger miracle! God wanted the odds against those teenagers to be even greater.

The fact is, God could have kept them out of the fire. He’s God. He parted the Red Sea, He opened blind eyes, and He raised the dead. It wouldn’t have been any problem for Him to change the king’s mind, or to have the teens escape, or to send a big earthquake.

But God doesn’t deliver you from every fire. Sometimes He’ll take you through the fire. The good news: God knows how to make you fireproof.

With you in the times of trouble.

Those three teenagers said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “We know our God will deliver us.” Then they said something even more powerful: “But even if He doesn’t, we’re still not going to bow down.”

These are the kind of people that give the devil a nervous breakdown! It’s when you say, “God, this is what I’m praying for. This is what I’m hoping for. But even if it doesn’t work out my way, I’m still going to keep on believing.” That kind of at-

Invite God

into Your Difficulties

SOUTHWOODS MAGAZINE June 2022 PAGE 15

titude gets God’s attention!

Too often we put conditions on God. “God, I’ll be happy when you move my boss to the backside of Mars. When You get him out of my life, then I’ll start to have a good attitude.”

Have you ever thought that maybe God is using that per-son to do a work in you? To develop your character, to teach you to love those who are not very lovable.

Instead of saying, “God, get me out of this situation,” I’m asking you to pray, “God, come into this situation. Help me have a good attitude and help me do the right thing when the wrong thing is happening.”

It’s very powerful when you can say, “God, even if my boss never moves even if he’s here until the day I go to heaven I thank You that You’ve given me the power to be happy in the middle of my difficulties. I’m not going to complain. And I’m not go-ing to let some other person take away my joy.”

Back to that blazing furnace don’t let me bury the lead! The king ordered those three teenagers to be tied up tightly and thrown alive into the blazing furnace. But when the king looked into the mouth of the furnace, he said, “Didn’t we throw three men into the fire? I see four men walking around in the fire and the fourth one looks like a Son of God!”

Isn’t that awesome? God may not deliver you from the fire, but don’t worry, He’ll come into the fire with you.

With you in the days of difficulty.

Here’s how good our God is. When King Nebuchadnezzar looked into that blazing furnace, he said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed…”

When the teenagers came out, the only thing the fire had burned up was the ropes that bound them! Their clothes were fine. Their hair was fine. Their skin was fine. Only the ropes were burned away.

That’s how amazing our God is! God can burn away the things that have been holding you back. He can use that adver-sity to your advantage. When you come out of that difficulty, the only thing that’s going to be gone is the stuff that was hold-ing you back. The fire is going to burn off the fear… burn off the relationships that were pulling you down… burn off that negative mindset. You’re going to come out of it bigger, better, and ready to go.

With you in the mistreatment.

There was an executive in a large company who was being

mistreated at work. He was very talented, which intimidated some of the people in management above him. So, they did their best to keep him down.

It just seemed to get worse as time went by. The stress was causing a real strain on his marriage. He was getting run-down physically and worn out emotionally.

One day a friend told him what I’m telling you. He said, “You’re just praying, ‘God, get me out.’ You need to start pray-ing, ‘God, come into this situation and help me shine where I am. Help me bloom where I’m planted. Help me have a good attitude even though it’s not changing.’”

Well, he took that advice to heart and totally changed his approach. The next time his friend saw him, he was as peaceful as could be and he had a smile on his face.

His friend thought everything must have turned around.

But he said, “No, the same people are still there, doing the same things. They haven’t changed, but I’ve changed. I don’t let them steal my joy. I just do the right thing even though they don’t give me the credit.” That’s what I call “passing the test.”

There’s an interesting twist to this story. Three years later the company was bought out, and the new owners let the entire management team go except for this one man! He told his friend, “Now I’m running the whole company. I’m the one in charge.”

So, let me ask you something personal. What are you go-ing through right now? Is it difficult?