Friday, December 25, 2009

52 North Main Street, and more

To: Liz',/ Bob Judge
From:Don Halket, Dec. 25, 2009
Subject: South Hadley Falls

I remember North Main St. well. George Winslow, Marty, and Bobby Judge were childhood pals. My family,and brother Guil lived at 61 High St., one of Mrs. F.M. Smith's rentals.

I remember that Tommy Quirk lived in #50. I believe he died quite young. We moved from SHF in 1937 to Newton Center, near Boston, then to Manchester, NH for my senior year in HS. While there I had a visit from two brand new Navy men, George Winslow and Georga Duncan. I was laid up with rheumatic fever at the time. My family moved back to Holyoke and I went into the Navy in 1943.

Yes, I was named "Groucho" by Bobby Judge and the name stuck. You will have to ask Marty why. For civility sake I can't reveal it here.

...I wonder if Marty remembers when we built a "divng helmet" from a large can, a piece of glass, a hose and a bicycle pump.

We had much fun in those days, but the project met with disaster when one of the shoulder straps broke, spilling all the air.

...I remember you Liz' very well.

My wife Millie and I have two daughters, two grandsons, and a brand new great grand-daughter. Time flies.


From: Elizabeth Johnson
To: Mary Lawler Sent: Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Subject: Re: 52 North Main St.

Hi Mary Lawler,
"52" was sold after my father, Sumner P. Winslow, passed away in 1968...  I left home when I was married in 1948.  I loved the house too and my children have fond memories of running up the backs and down the fronts, and having floral snowball fights with the fruit of the bush by the back steps.  I loved belting out tunes in the garage - it was like having a mike...My brother George and I used to play with cars and soldiers under the porch in the silty sand.  I loved visiting Mrs. F. M. Smith's beautiful rose garden next door.  I wonder if that has been kept in good condition...  Mary Nolen McGrath (…the Nolen family who lived at "50") is coming up today for a few days...It's nice to know you love the house...I hope you have many happy years there.
- Liz Elizabeth Winslow Johnson
From: Mary Lawler
To: Elizabeth Johnson
Sent: Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Subject: Re: 52 North Main St.
How nice to hear from you Elizabeth...Bunny Popp did indeed buy 52 from your family..  Both Bunny and Maurine are gone now but their son Steve still lives next door...the porch...had fallen into a bit of disrepair...  I am trying to keep the house as original as possible and I don't believe that Greek revival houses in 1847 had porches but I am still digging.  I would LOVE to put a porch back, it's on my wish list.  No bush by the back steps anymore.  But we have done quite a bit of landscaping and tidying up because the house had been rental property for a while and had become seriously overgrown and scraggly.  Mrs. Smith rose garden is being maintained by Mary Popkowski, she and her husband Mitch live in that big old house on the other side...  I am so grateful that your family is willing to share stories and information with me.  I am keeping records, photos and stories in a book which will remain with the house.  There are still so many mysteries..
My Best
Mary Lawler
From: Elizabeth Johnson
Sent: Thursday, July 16, 2009
To: Mary Lawler
Cc: Christine Winslow; Bob Judge
Subject: Re: 52 North Main St.
Hi Mary: My brother was George Haxton Winslow II, born on 7/5/1924 while my parents were living in NYC.  My father, Sumner P. Winslow, b. 7/5/1889 was a textile broker in Fall River, MA and later with Butler and Prentice in NYC.  He married my mother Ruth Elizabeth Webster on 8/25/1919.  They came back to an apartment in Holyoke after “THE CRASH" and lived there until "52" was ready.  Mrs. F. M. Smith made it into a two family house for my parents and grandparents.  It was probably 1931, 2, or 3 when we moved in, 'cuz I started first grade in the Old Carew St. School and I had to be 6.  I was born in 9/9/27 (I’ll expect a birthday card!).  We lived in Mt. Vernon, NY at the time though my mom came, temporarily, to be with her family in SH when it came time for me to enter the world.  The pool table was in the room off the kitchen, the dining room was always the middle room with a den off that, and of course, the living room was the front room.  Brother George had his band rehearsals in that living room.  Actually, it was Jimmy Young's Band and my brother played the trumpet in it.  My father moved to SH when he was 12 so that means they (they being George I, Mary, and children Clyde, Ethel, and Sumner, and maybe Mildred although she may have been married by this time) moved to SH in 1901.  They lived in the house on the other side of Mrs. Smith's all the time he was growing up.  He had a Morgan horse with which he hauled a wagon in order to deliver groceries for Lane's Market on Main St. Mother's parents were Benjamin and Elizabeth Webster and lived in the first house on the left (going from N. Main) on High St.  The Halket and Adams families later lived in that house.  Is there still a barn attached to the garage at 52?  This is probably more info than you wanted...I will look for pictures this weekend...  More later....
- Liz Winslow Johnson
From: Bob Judge
To: Elizabeth Johnson; Mary Lawler
Cc: Christine Winslow
Sent: Friday, July 17, 2009
Subject: RE: 52 North Main St.
Dear Elizabeth: ...I was talking this morning with Brian Duncan, George Duncan's younger brother, and Brian said he remembers you.  And tonight I spoke with my uncle Dave Judge who remembers you well.  Dave has a terrific memory for your old S. Hadley days.  He said you dated Bill Bennett, with whom I became friendly with a few years ago.  He said he remembers the shed behind 52 N. Main Street where as a group of children they once climbed onto the roof, and where he once sat on a nail that necessitated getting a tetanus shot.  He said that you went to college in Maine...  Dave and my grandmother (Amy Stone Judge 1896-1976) talked to me about Judge Nolen and his family, when the Nolens lived at 50 North Main Street.  My grandmother greatly enjoyed the book by, I believe, his son William, the doctor who wrote "The Making of a Surgeon" in 1970.  I met his brother James Nolen when he was a Massachusetts state representative in the early 1970's, when he visited UMASS, where I was in school there.  I believe that James was later a lawyer in Ware MA and I wonder if he is still there.  Dave mentioned your sister “Mary,” so I’m thinking that that Mary Nolen McGrath is the sister of William and James Nolen.  The Halket family to which you refer must have included Donald.  My uncle Martin wrote to me that, “Donald "Groucho" Halket grew up in the first house on the left as you went down High Street from North Main.  He, your father, Winslow, and I were the gang when we were in grade school.”  It’s a pleasure to meet another Winslow!

Bob Judge
From: Elizabeth Johnson
Sent: Saturday, July 18, 2009
To: Bob Judge
Cc: Mary Lawler; Christine Winslow...
Dear Bob: It's so nice to connect with you and everyone in SH.  Now that my cousin Marion Webster Lippmann has passed away (April, '08) I don't visit anymore.  I talked with Beth Dietz (my cousin Margaret Webster Smiledge's dau.) just a week or so ago...  Yes, I dated Bill Bennett.  He lived up in the center on Hadley St. and went to grammar school there.  I met him at SHHS.  His father was a or THE florist for Mt. Holyoke.  He was and probably still is a very nice guy.  The Halket gang included my brother George...My father played with Mrs. Smith's sons.  The one who was in the firm of Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and SMITH was her son "Win" whom my father accidentally shot while playing cowboys and indians.  Did I relate the info that your grandmother Judge was my girl scout troop leader?  She was a wonderful influence and genuinely nice person.  And I remember your uncles Marty and David very well.  Your dad was a member of our football team...  We played in the field across from your grandparents house when it was on Lathrop St. - now the rotary...  In reference to the shed mentioned by David---there was (and still is, I think) a two car garage attached to "52" and attached to that a large barn which was attached to the Smith's garage by a small structure about 6 ft. high (maybe the "shed" referred to by David).  We used to climb up on that to get up to the garage roof - where we usually got the whistle, stomping and hollering from my mother...  There also a good climbing tree in the area between the two garages and our house.  And a great sliding hill behind the houses in Cordes Court right down to a few yards from High St., when conditions were good.  ...Miss Pratt was very kind... Mary Nolen's brother Bill also had a dance band in which Bill Bennett played the trumpet.  Bill died after three heart surgeries while waiting for a transplant.  His wife also passed away some years ago.  He had 6 children also, 3 of each.  Jimmy Nolen is practicing law in Ware where he lives with his wife Janet.  The youngest of his six boys just graduated from college.  Judy Nolen lives in the Springfield area and has recently retired from teaching.  Has 5 children.  She and her sister Mary get together often.
Aunt Ethel Winslow was first grade teacher and principal of the Woodlawn School off Newton St.  She lived with her parents and then with my parents, and then the Cotter Nursing Home across the street, until her death in 19fifty-something.  Aunt Clyde Winslow taught school in Long Branch, NJ.  Don't know when she left 52...She passed away in 1945.  Aunt Mildred Winslow Prentice lived in NYC and later California.  She also taught school, before marrying.  Ethel went to Gorham Normal School in Gorham, Maine (now University of Maine), Clyde went to Wheelock, and Mildred went to Simmons.  By the way, she lived to be 103; died of pneumonia after falling and breaking her hip.  She had two children and three grandchildren.  I communicate with her granddaughter who lives in Corvallis, Oregon.
Mary's Kitchen and Jack and Alta Ford's Restaurant were favorite lunch places during high school.  Conti and Veto's Restaurant had the best CHOPPED HAM AND PICKLE SANDWICHES ever made on the planet.  And getting back to the band business - I think it was Bill Bennett's Band with Bill Nolen playing the sax...and they practiced at Nolen's house...  I'd like to know who else played in it...They had a great female vocalist named "Babe" of whom I was very jealous.  I am going to copy this to Mary so she can add historical facts or correct any errors.  Mary lives in West Simsbury, CT, had 5 children.  This has been fun - and who knows - there may be more MEMORIES floating to the surface of crater lake in my brain (?)  My best to you and your uncles....  Okay, I guess that is all for now.
Best always
Liz Winslow Johnson
From: Bob Judge Sent: Saturday, July 18, 2009
To: 'Elizabeth Johnson
Cc: Christine M. Winslow
Subject: RE: 52 North Main St.
Dear Liz: ...Yes Bill Bennett is a fine guy who lives in Agawam.  I met him when he visited the Old Firehouse museum a few years ago.  He has occasionally attended dinner meetings of the South Hadley Historical Society, also sometimes attended by his old S. Hadley friends John Zebryk, Ed Nardi, Bill Cary, and/or my uncle Dave.  John Zebryk graduated from S. Hadley High School in 1947 and although he left S. Hadley as a young man, he has retained a strong interest in the town and contributes to the blog, as does Bill Cary.  Both live in Florida now.  ...  I have heard of Miss Pratt of course.  She was mentioned by several people who participated in the oral history project, which you can see at  Bill Bennett also participated, but his interview has not yet been transcribed, unfortunately.  ...
 - Bob

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Labor of Love: Community project turns into tribute to town veterans



Saturday, December 12, 2009

SUNDERLAND - "Sunderland's Veterans: A Book of Remembrance" is a historical document, a collection of letters, photos and stories about every town resident who ever served in the United States Armed Forces.

It is also a testament to the gratitude and respect Sunderland residents have for the service of their neighbors.

That was not its original intent. When members of the Sunderland Veterans Memorial Committee set about creating "A Book of Remembrance" two years ago, they sought to create something that would show the town's appreciation for those who had contributed their time, effort and money to the construction of the Veterans Memorial that had been completed in the summer of 2007.

But as community endeavors have a habit of doing, one thing led to another, and the rest, so to speak, is history.

"The book grew out of recognizing the people who donated to the memorial, and kind of evolved from there to a recognition of everyone from the donors to the veterans," said Dan Van Dalsen, a Veterans Memorial committee member.

The book contains a chapter that lists those who contributed to the monument, and another that details every significant moment in the monument's construction. But it is also much more.

The crux - and perhaps most impressive feature - of the book are the chapters dedicated to telling the stories of the town's veterans. The stories begin in the French and Indian War, before the United States had declared its independence, and continue through every major conflict up until 2007.

Today, the book is available for viewing at the Sunderland Library, the culmination of two years of work by Van Dalsen and the two other Sunderland Veterans Memorial Committee members, Janet Conley and Will Sillin.

The trio solicited stories from family members, collected letters written by the veterans and pored over town records for biographical information on each soldier. The group also worked with members of the Historical Society, who provided information on veterans from the earliest conflicts: the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.

Van Dalsen, a retired lieutenant colonel who served 38 years in the Air Force, said the stories help bring to light the sacrifices made by those who served. "The story behind the name really brings home the fact that there was a real person with a real life behind that name," Van Dalsen said in a recent interview at the Sunderland Library.

He said the letters especially can be quite moving. "Some of the histories you read just bring you to tears," VanDalsen said.

Sillin made a similar point.

"When you get the personal photos with the family snapshots and the stories, it strikes you. It's a revelation in a way: You can't thank these people enough," Sillin said. "When you get the personal story, that's when that thought really hits me."

Van Dalsen noted that much generosity has gone into the production of the book. When the group took the idea to Bridgeport National Bindery, the company immediately agreed to bind the book for free. Today it is in a leather binder, giving it the look of an encyclopedia.

Van Dalsen said they chose a binder format so that future pages, about new veterans, can be added as needed. "It's going to become bigger, unfortunately," Van Dalsen said.

A condensed hard-copy version of the book will be available for purchase in the next couple of months, Van Dalsen said. Profits made are headed to maintenance costs of the Veterans Memorial, he said.

On a recent morning, Van Dalsen and Sillin flipped through the book, expressing awe at the actions described within it.

As an example of the type of heroics found in the book, they pointed to the story of Michael Magelinski, a Korean War veteran, who earned the Distinguished Service Cross after he carried his wounded patrol leader through waist-high snow to safety.

The Book of Remembrance also chronicles tragic stories as well, they noted. Richard Graves, a prodigy with machinery who first flew a plane at the age of 16, was the last Sunderland resident killed in action after his plane was shot down over Vietnam. His younger brother, David Graves, was sworn into the U.S. Navy's Aviation Program one month later.

Paul Korpita, a Sunderland native and longtime resident, submitted information to the book about his two brothers, Michael and Edward Korpita, both of whom fought in World War II. Michael was awarded a Purple Heart, the American Defense Medal and the Pacific Theater Service Medal, but died after his ship, the USS Dehaven, was sunk in an aerial attack, according to the book.

Edward Korpita also was aboard a ship that was sunk in battle, and yet he survived. Edward's ship, the USS Cooper, had been engaged in a brief firefight with the Japanese destroyer, the Kuwa. The Cooper sank the Kuwa in a matter of minutes, but not before the Japanese vessel got off one last torpedo, which sunk the Cooper. Edward found refuge by clinging to a lifeboat, which he shared with fellow survivors from both the American and Japanese ships. The boat washed up in the Philippines, where Edward was rescued by the Filipino resistance, the book said.

In a phone interview, Paul Korpita said he was glad that both of his brothers would be remembered in the book. "It's a great thing," Korpita said. "Both of them were on losing ships, but Eddie washed up on shore and was rescued by the Filipinos, who took him up into the mountains. He told quite a story, and I thought that warranted getting into that book," Korpita said.

Conley said it was an honor to work on the book. "It is something that started to grow as a seed and has continued to blossom," Conley said. "The key I think to this is that the three of us worked on this with a great deal of respect and gratitude for those on the wall."

Contact the selectmen's office at 665-1441 for information about submissions and purchasing the book.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Do you need to transfer videotapes to DVD?


I would not normally put a advertisment on this blog.  However, I know that historians sometimes need to transfer old film to DVD. 

Jean Lawler is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Harvard, a friend of South Hadley, and a good friend of mine.  I can assure you that any relative of hers would be reliable.  So, If you need to transfer old videotapes to DVD, you might want to check

- Bob Judge

From: Jean Lawler
Hello friends!

I'm writing to let you know...Mark E. Lawler this month...has decided to continue pursuing his undergrad degree starting in January here at  NorthShore Community College. He should finish his 2 year degree this summer and will transfer to UMASS Amherst to study environmental ed. Then his sights are set on Harvard Ed. (What is that about the acorn and the tree?)

Anyway, to earn money while he is in school, Mark has set up a media transfer business and will be making DVDs from VHS, miniDVD, Super8 and all that jazz.  Soon he will also be doing slides and photos to CDs.
I wanted to let you know about it in case you have recently looked at a shelf of videotapes and wondered what to do with them.

Here is the website Orders can be placed online...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Creating Holyoke: Voices of a Community

Creating Holyoke: Voices of a Community Documentary Premiere

Thursday December 10, 8 pm at Barnes & Noble in Holyoke!

You are invited to see the Creating Holyoke: Voices of a Community documentary in its first public showing!

Once considered the Paper Capital of the World, and home to premier cotton and silk mills, the history of Holyoke, Massachusetts offers a microcosm of American industrial development. Founded in 1848 as one of the nation's first planned industrial cities, Holyoke attracted successive waves of Irish, French Canadian, German, Polish, Jewish, and Italian immigrants who worked in the mills, established small businesses, raised their families, and created communities defined largely by ethnic and religious affiliation. However, by the mid-twentieth century, Holyoke, like so many American cities, found its industrial base rapidly disappearing. In the 1960s the most recent wave of people began re-creating Holyoke. Puerto Rican migrant farm workers, attracted by jobs in Western Massachusetts, began settling in old tenement houses once inhabited by earlier immigrant groups.

Join us as we tour Holyoke and learn how it has re-created itself throughout its rich history!

This documentary was funded in by The National Endowment for the Humanities, the Nan and Matilda Heydt Fund, the City of Holyoke and WGBY.

The show looks amazing and we could not be more thrilled to invite you to attend!

Please pass on to anyone you think would be interested!

Kate Thibodeau
Holyoke City Historian