Affiliate notice

Affiliate links may be included in posts, as on sidebar ads, for which compensation may be received.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Talk on the Quabbin Reservoir and BESIDE THE STILL WATERS

This is to announce that I will be speaking at the Agawam (Massachusetts) Public Library on my novel Beside the Still Waters and the destruction of four towns in Central Massachusetts for the building of the Quabbin Reservoir in the 1920s and 1930s.  I’ll be bring some poster-sized aerial photographs to illustrate the setting of the novel and the towns which were systematically dismantled.

More on the book:

Four towns, gone. Dismantled slowly while their inhabitants grieve for a history and heritage that has been voted away from them. The present threatens; the future belongs to the fearless.

Beside the Still Waters is a family saga based on an actual event which displaced four entire towns in central Massachusetts for the construction of a reservoir. Today, the Quabbin Reservoir provides water for millions of citizens, primarily in the greater Boston area.

Families are divided between those who protest the construction project, those who give up and leave, and those who help to build it. The central character is Jenny, a girl who comes of age facing the extinction of her community, who becomes the guardian of her family’s heritage, and ultimately, the one to decide what happens to them.

A rift between two brothers, Eli and John Vaughn, at the turn of the 20th Century continues through to the next generation as John tries to use Jenny, Eli’s daughter, in a plot to regain the family farm from Alonzo, who now runs it, who is Jenny's love. John is broke and eager to sell the farm to the state, which is buying up area property for the coming reservoir. Both Alonzo and Eli refuse to sell their properties, and protest removal by eminent domain. Torn between loyalty to her family and heritage, and the allure of a future beyond the valley, Jenny refuses to remain powerless like the men she loves, but looks for a way to take control. A disastrous decision may prove fatal in a race against time.

The talk is free to the public; please join us on Monday, April 4th at 7 p.m. at the Agawam Public Library, 750 Cooper Street, Agawam.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

New England Churches

Ascutney Union Church, Ascutney, Vermont

Trinity Roman Catholic Church, Greenfield, Massachusetts

King's Chapel, Boston, Massachusetts 

Swedenborgian Church on the Hill, Boston, Massachusetts

A blessed Easter to all who celebrate.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

St. Patrick's Day Parade - 1958 - Holyoke, Massachusetts

Photo by Ann B. Lynch. c. 1958, c. 2015 by Jacqueline T. Lynch

High Street in Holyoke, at the St. Patrick's Day Parade.  It's 1958.  A fifteen-year-old schoolgirl from Chicopee took these photos.  Here's a float passing in front of the old WT Grant's department store.  The store is, of course, long gone.

Photo by Ann B. Lynch. c. 1958, c. 2015 by Jacqueline T. Lynch

Here's a shot of her classmates, senior girls, from Holy Name High School in Chicopee.  Holy Name High, regular participants in the parade for years, shut its doors in the early 1970s.  

Photo by Ann B. Lynch. c. 1958, c. 2015 by Jacqueline T. Lynch

But this was the big attraction, the winner of the Outstanding American of Irish Descent Award, Senator John F. Kennedy, and his wife, Jacqueline.  The float bears the sign: "Here Come the Kennedys."  You can see the old Holyoke Daily Transcript office in the background.  It would merge with the Holyoke Telegram to become the Transcript-Telegram, but the newspaper shut its doors a couple of decades ago.   

Photo by Ann B. Lynch. c. 1958, c. 2015 by Jacqueline T. Lynch

In this close-up view we can see Senator Kennedy's back to us as he waves to crowds on the other side of the street.  Mrs. Kennedy is facing us, with what appears to be a baby in her arms.  Standing on a moving float with a baby seems like an incredible risk, but their daughter Caroline would have been about six months old on this occasion, and perhaps she did, indeed, go along for the ride.

In two years, John Kennedy would be elected President, the first Irish Catholic to be so honored.  Four years later, the Outstanding Irish American Award would be renamed the John F. Kennedy Award in his honor in 1964.

We could not predict the events, triumphant and tragic, that occurred only a few years ahead at the time of these photos were taken.  They are amateur shots, but show poignantly what was important to this young girl named Ann.  She, also, is no longer with us.  She was my sister.

Now Available