Love Across the Ocean

By Amanda Sanborn

A pale sunrise to begin my days.

Coffee, apples, a mother who prays.

“Let’s go” she said to me, holding wide the door,

the beach’s heat struck my chest, my cheeks, once more.

Seagulls, reeds, and driftwood flutter across this scene,

the hazy June air turns the water blue to green.

To the shore they sauntered, with hats and sunblock.

Salt sticking to fingers, she holds out a rock.

From our shaking hands, the stones jumped free,

the wind taking our tears out to sea.

We called and wept to our men,

buttoned and sick with uncertainty.

Will we see them?

And when?

Will I be safe, happy?

Will we be three?

The clouds passed above like the waves before us.

We hope, wish, for a moment longer, we must.

We stood, gave our far away loves one final glance,

hers old, mine young, both yearning for another chance.

2 female souls alone, to 1 war they band,

we leave our wilting hearts raw, spent on the sand.

Until tomorrow’s fragile sun,

Until I’m told to go again

Maturity at Last

By Di-Anne Graveline


Not too long ago

On white paper, with blue lines

This wild young, boy I thought I knew so well

Wrote me a poem and called if ‘’Freedom”

And It told of how he thought it would be great

To break loose from the hold of his parents

And live in a world which I called “Fantasy.”


On yellow paper, with green lines

He wrote me another poem

And In it he said he had been drafted

And he called his poem “Slavery”

Because that’s what he thought it was all about

He said he couldn’t see why men had to go and fight

For people they didn’t even know

He said people should learn to shovel their own snow.


On an old piece of muddy paper, from Vietnam

He wrote me another letter

And he called it “Question - marked Innocence”

Because that’s what it was all about

He told me of how the war, does funny things to people

He said how just being there seeing

How close these people were to losing their freedom

Made him shake

He said how he wanted to win or help win this war

For the next may be closer, to home than Vietnam.

That’s why,

I’m here, Lord, in front of you

To let you know of this wild young boy

I thought I knew, I say without a doubt

He’s changed, Lord, And because of that

He’s on his way to you...

“Why are you selling poppies, Mommy?”

My Son asked me the other day.

“Do you make the poppies, Mommy?

And what do people pay?”

I thought before I answered him,

This little boy of seven.

“Mommy’s selling poppies, dear,

To honor our soldiers up in heaven.”

“The poppy is the nation’s memorial flower

in the fields of France it grows,

Over the graves of our solders that died

In the war - most everyone knows.”

My son sat very deep in thought

With the answers I was giving,

“Not only do we honor the dead, my son,

We also remember the living.”

“Many of the soldiers went off to war

And some came back it’s true,

But they are ill in hospitals now

Making these poppies for me and for you.”

“They are the disabled veterans

You’ll hear more about some day.

Some are in wheelchairs or on crutches,

And others in their beds just lay.”

“And those who are able to use their hands

Make poppies with crepe paper and wire.

The stem is green, green as the grass,

And the blossom is red, redder than fire.”

“The money Mommy receives for the poppies

Goes back to the soldiers who are ill,

And it makes them feel almost better

Earning money for them is a thrill.”

“In eighty hospitals in forty states

These poppies are now being made.

American Legion Auxilliary gives the material

To these soldiers so brave, so unafraid.”

“Gosh, Mommy, that’s quite a story,

How can I do my share?”

I looked at this little boy of mine,

He seemed too young to care.

“Why there’s two things that you can do.”

I said as I held him oh so near.

“You can buy a poppy son

And you can pray, my dear.”

“Wear the poppy over your heart,

honoring the veterans as we pray.

May God bless and keep us all

On this Memorial Day.”

Why are you selling Poppies, Mommy?



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DIRECT MAILED to 13,500 homes & businesses

in the towns of Southwick, Westfield, Feeding Hills, Tolland,

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Serving Massachusetts and Connecticut

Publisher: Carole Caron

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Remember and Honor: Memorial Day Poetry Multiple Authors .........................................................3

May 1952 By Clifton J. (Jerry) Noble Sr ...........................4

The House of Hall By Ross Haseltine ...............................8

Jimmy Carter: The Farming President By Lucas Caron ...10

Approve of Yourself By Jeff King ...............................14

Southwick’s First Meeting House

By Lee David Hamberg .....................................................16

Seeds transformed to life By Michael Dubilo.........20

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

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


By Clifton (Jerry) Noble, Sr.

The optometrist for whom I worked in Fresno California nicknamed his wife “Hester” because he thought she was TOO careful about money matters. My mother, Minnie E. Noble, managed my teen age earnings VERY well so I nicknamed her “Hester” in imitation of the doctor. After returning to Mas-sachusetts in 1945 we sold show cards to stores in Springfield and Westfield in addition to my work for the Westfield Athenaeum. In October 1947 I started as rodman in a survey party with the Mas-sachusetts Department of Public Works. Hester’s management of finances enabled us to buy an abandoned country schoolhouse for $800 from the town of Montgomery, remodel it and move in by April 30, 1949. There was no running water, but I dug a ten-foot deep well on adjacent land. At first we used the old school-house wood stove for heat, but finally replaced it with a pot-type oil burner which kept the house warm when we were away all day. We also acquired a 1949 Plymouth car.

My late father’s cousin, Walter D. Allyn, was Town Clerk. He, along with Selectman Myron Kelso, helped arrange purchase of the school on Carrington Road which had not yet seen electric poles and wires. My journal shows what happened day by day.

May 3, Saturday. The wood shingles on the rear schoolhouse roof did not leak, but new asphalt shingles were needed so Wal-ter’s son, Kenneth, put them on as he had promised de-spite having a bad cold. I had the same thing Friday night.

May 10, Saturday, I took the Junior Civil Engineer exam at Technical High School in Springfield. Passing can qualify one permanently as chief of survey party. I know I made one mistake in the 15 math questions. Am doubtful about some of my other answers.

Clarence and Doris Barnes have bought Mr. Duggan’s old Clark farmhouse across the road, and have done a lot to fix it up. The foundation wall and one chimney have been rebuilt and a heatolater fireplace installed. The kitchen wing was separating from the main house. That has been pulled back with a turn-buckle and solidly reattached. A cesspool has been added and the water pipe from the spring up behind our schoolhouse has been replaced.

Charles Peckham, from whom we bought our well lot, told Hester that at rate of $49 the Barnes’s tax bill is $135. Although he lives in Russell, Mr. P. owns a lot of land in Montgomery and complains that he is taxed more for his farm than some folks on Main Road are taxed for houses, barns, and land altogether. We think he paid $388 for his land.

On Sunday Mrs. Barnes walked over to talk when she saw me working on our lawn. Finally she said bluntly that she heard in Westfield that Hester was disturbed to learn that they had bought the place. I told her that Hester likes to be alone. Saying she likes to be alone is apt to be taken by some that she doesn’t like people. Mrs. Barnes says she looks forward to leaving Westfield. Neigh-bor children have begun calling her unflattering names. She has anemia, a bad leg, dark complexion and everyone (including Mrs Sykes) says she has never gotten over losing a son in the war. She

May 1952

Above: Clark (Duggan, Barnes House across Carrington Rd.

Right: Clark barn opposite schoolhouse.

Photos by the author.


said that of course Hester has had her share of trouble, but in-timated that it couldn’t compare with Mrs. B’s burden of woe. She appeared to lie in wait to catch my words and probe them for hidden meaning by remarks such as “Do you really think so?” and “What do you mean, so and so?” Such was my first impression of Mrs. Barnes.

Bill Clarke took his Grade One and Grade Two Civil Service exams the same Saturday I took my Grade III Junior Civil. He doesn’t feel secure about passing either one. He and new wife Irene have bought a place out in Leverett for $3,000. They have electricity and telephone and Bill got a dog from the SPCA. Irene doesn’t mind living in the country. Bill is taking trigonometry and Eng-lish two nights a week at Western New England College in Springfield. In remaining free time he lugs wood and works in his garden. He does well at work.

My survey party and I are cross-sectioning the big field in front of Brightside on Riverdale Road in Holyoke. A new hospital is to be built there and D. O’Connell has the grading contract. He can use what he excavates for fill on the Route 20 (eventually Mass Pike) bridge approaches. I have a big Irishman in my survey party who is very good natured and helpful. However, he talks a blue streak. He finally asked, “Jerry, what can I do to help?” With my best smile, I answered, “Shut up.”

In cooperation with Larry Clarke’s party I will do a lot of survey for what will become the Mass Pike bridge over the Con-necticut River. If two points with the exact long distance known between them are established on each shore and angles at all four points are measured precisely, then the span length across a thousand-foot-wide river can be calculated to within an eighth of an inch. This is called triangulation. After a work ramp to cof-fer dams for pier construction is built most of the way across the river it is possible, with a 200-foot steel tape, to check-measure the calculated distance and insure that prefabricated steel gird-ers of the proposed bridge will fit. Points on additional traverse lines made on shore provide accurate centerlines of each pier. When interlocking steel cofferdams shut out river water I will

lay out positions for each “pipe-like” steel pile to be driven into the river bed and filled with concrete. These support the concrete footing-slab for each pier. When pier tops are formed to proper height we set transit up on them and mark exact posi-tions for bearing plates which will support ends of steel girders. Without survey engineering none of the other construction crews could know how to make anything fit.

May 31, Saturday. This morning, while waiting for the car to be greased at Holcomb’s on Free Street, I went to the library (Westfield Athenaeum) to prac-tice in the Lang Auditorium (I have no piano.) I had been playing about a half hour when a girl came in. She said her curiosity got the better of her. She stud-ies at the Community School of Music in Pittsfield where she lives and works as accompanist for a voice teacher. She played for me including some original compositions. She did well, but, like me, needs practice and ex-perience. Hester came in at the end of the concert so I had to ask the girl’s name in order to introduce her. It was Connie Willis. She had never been to Westfield before and was here for a track meet. She came originally from Vermont. This season her last concert is next Wednesday evening at the Pittsfield Museum.

In the afternoon Uncle Ralph Emerson came up to our schoolhouse bringing granddaughter Leslie. We went hiking in the wet, wet woods up on Chester Hill.




Calvin Fuller and Edward Cooley arrived at Jesse Hall Jr.’s house in Tolland, Massachusetts, around 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 2, 1837. Jesse was sitting inside his house reading from a bible; a bottle of rum sat on the table next to him. He invited his visitors to partake in the drink.

Drinking alcohol was frowned upon in certain circles, especially on the Lord’s Day. About an hour of drink-ing had passed, and not wanting to be known for keeping an ill house, Jesse would later claim that he asked both men to leave, which Edward did. Be-fore Calvin could go, the pair, at least according to Jesse, started conversing about Jesse’s second wife, Lucy, whose whereabouts were unknown.

The topic of Lucy appeared to have started (again, according to Jesse) after Calvin mentioned that he was heading to Granville in the morning. Jesse re-quested that Calvin stop at Noah Cooley’s store to inform the clerk that Lucy had deserted him and that he would not be pay-ing any debts she may try to obtain on his store credit account.

Lucy, tired of her husband’s alcohol-fueled abuse, recently

fled. Not expecting her to return, Jesse drew up a notice on June 30 for publication to alert the community of Lucy abandoning him without reason. The gist of his note forbade anyone to harbor or trust her on his account.

Folks in Tolland who knew Jesse would later testify that he had been a man of good character. But in the same breath, they said when he was about 30 years old, he started drinking exces-sively and continued to do so for the past 12 to 14 years. And when Jesse drank, he sometimes became quarrelsome and saucy, hurling insults.

It turns out that what really hap-pened on Sunday was that Edward Cool-ey left after Jesse told him that he had a private matter to discuss with Calvin. Calvin, now drunk, attacked Lucy’s char-acter -specifically, her infidelity - with him.

When Calvin failed to return home by Monday morning, his wife and the couple’s six children started to worry. With each passing hour, suspicion grew, and on Wednesday, locals began searching for Calvin, entertaining the notion that he may have met his fate by being murdered.

Early Thursday morning, more than 100 people gathered and set out in search of Calvin, centering their efforts around the House of Hall, his last known whereabouts.

On Friday, some searchers found Calvin, his body having floated to the surface of a pond not far from Jesse’s property. They fished his body out of the water; it lay on the shore until an inquest the following morning.

Calvin’s severely mangled head substantiated the local townsfolk’s worst fear, for it confirmed with zero doubt that he had met a very violent end, a murder most foul.

Calvin’s body was still dressed in the same clothes he wore when he arrived at Jesse Hall Jr.’s place: a cotton shirt, a light-colored vest, blue wool pantaloons with matching stockings, suspenders, and boots; his light fur hat appears to have gone missing.

Calvin’s clothes were badly torn, almost to the point of be-

The Southwick Time Machine presents:

The House of Hall

By Ross Haseltine

Map of Tolland


ing naked on his backside, leading authorities to conclude that something dragged him along the ground for some distance. They also believed that the killer or killers may have used Cal-vin’s suspenders to attach a weight to sink him as they were hanging loose on his body, and a piece had broken off.

Upon closer inspection, Calvin’s skull showed multiple fractures, with one side broken into many fragments driven into his brain, and his left shoulder was bruised and swollen. The rest of his body remained largely untouched, with only some sporadic bruising.

Authorities turned their at-tention to Jesse Hall Jr.

Jesse had joined in the search for Calvin, offering assis-tance and showing great interest in locating the missing man as the townsfolk combed the woods and fields around his property. However, Jesse kept making dis-paraging comments and contra-dictory statements, which were amplified when the searchers di-rected their attention to the pond; he also got highly agitated at the prospect of them dragging it.

As the searchers neared the pond, Jesse, largely unnoticed, perched himself on an incline on the west side of it. It provided the perfect vantage point where he could observe and hear ev-erything happening. And when he knew Calvin’s body would be found, he quietly fled: northbound.

A manhunt was soon underway. Fearful that his vigilante pursuers would shoot him as he trekked through the woods, Jesse cut his throat, thinking such a move would disappoint them. The self-inflicted four-inch wound, however, turned out to be superficial, and Jesse, weak from losing about a quart of blood, made his way to a house and was eventually brought to a doctor’s house. Authorities took him into custody there on Saturday, about ten miles from his home in Tolland, in the adja-cent town of Blandford.

Jesse Hall Jr.’s murder trial started in December, with Pat-rick Boise, who became a distinguished lawyer and statesman, representing the accused. Jesse offered little to his defense; speculation was that he wanted to spare the Widow Fuller of the information he had surrounding her late husband’s adul-tery, but perhaps more so, his horrific demise.

Jesse was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. The governor and his council scheduled Jesse’s execution for Valentine’s Day, 1838, at the Charlestown State Prison between

ten and one o’clock.

Facing the gallows, Jesse seemed unfazed. In an attempted last-minute reprieve, Squire Boise visited Jesse at Charlestown to secure his signature on a petition for commutation. When Jesse hesitated to sign the document, Boise became provoked and reminded him that he was facing certain death. Jesse rea-soned that death was a better option, as the state prison was no place to live. Boise angrily responded that the prison was “A great deal better than any place you ever lived-in in Tolland,” and Jesse signed the paperwork. Soon after, Jesse’s punishment was commuted to imprisonment for life at hard labor.

At the time, legal scholars and others formed the opinion that had Jesse chosen not to spare the Widow Fuller of the details of her husband, he more than likely would have been found guilty of manslaughter instead of first-de-gree murder due to Calvin Fuller’s provocation.


By Southwick Agricultural CommissionWritten by: Lucas Caron

Agriculture is undoubtedly at the heart of United States history and culture. From the time the United States first gained their inde-pendence as a nation in 1776 to now, agricul-ture has served as a strong foundation for our beautiful country, both playing an integral role in supporting the U.S. economy and provid-ing food and vital crops to families and busi-nesses. As a result of the United States’ close relation to agriculture, American citizens have come to deeply value agriculture and desire to see the industry grow and prosper. Further-more, many key figures throughout American history have come to be revered and respected for their contributions to the growth of agri-culture. Arguably one of the most prominent of these figures is James Earl Carter Jr., who is more frequently known as Jimmy Carter. Al-though he is most famous for his time serving as the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981, his unwavering passion for agriculture has left a significant impact on the industry. I’m not here to discuss Carter’s politics (I’m sure that is quite a relief for many of my readers), but rather I wish to shed light upon his out-standing contributions to agriculture that pushed the boundaries of agriculture to new horizons.

Early Years

Since his early childhood, Jimmy Carter’s life has been deeply intertwined with agriculture. In 1928, at the age of 4, the Carter family moved to a farm in Archery, Georgia, an unincorporated community residing about 3 miles from the town of Plains. On

this farm, The Carters produced a wide variety of crops, including cotton, sugar cane, and corn, as well as vegetables and livestock for their own consumption, however the farm was most famous-ly known for its production of peanuts. Although he was only a young boy, Jimmy Carter did his part on the farm throughout his childhood and teenage years, performing important tasks like mopping the cotton, turning watermelon and sweet potato vines, carrying slop to the pigs, and gathering eggs. He also sold boiled peanuts on the streets of Plains. Though certainly a hefty load of work for some-one his age, Carter’s efforts were worthwhile in that his family always had enough to eat and never faced any significant financial hardship. It is through his hard yet fruitful work that Carter learned the value of agriculture to America, both on