Times Past

  • Linda Knapp

  • Linda Knapp

Published: 9/2/2019 9:38:10 PM
Modified: 9/2/2019 9:38:06 PM

In a turn-about of last week’s decision supporting a curfew, the curfew taskforce voted this week not to recommend a curfew to selectmen at this time. The decision followed an earlier vote to recommend a disorderly conduct bylaw to selectmen, which, if approved by a town meeting vote and by the Attorney General, will allow police to take action if they observe disorderly behavior in public places. Approximately 30 teens attended the meeting, with many youths offering opinions on alternatives to a curfew, such as opening a teen center. Encouraged by the input from the young people, the committee voted to recommend to selectmen that a teen committee to suggest options for teens in town, including organizing a teen center.

The Athol Police Department will hold a Teen Youth Dance in Memorial Building for Athol residents from 13 to 19 years of age. According to the police department announcement, the event is free and “meant to foster good will between area youths and the police.” It is also intended to provide the youth of Athol with positive alternatives.

The Orange Armory Commission is inviting local organizations to submit a design for a town flag. Groups, such as scouts and churches, will be allowed to participate.

Not many 14-year-olds know what they want to do with the rest of their lives, but Kevin Kennedy II of Tully has started on his career path to professional dog handler. He will be showing one of his Boston Terriers in the Minuteman Boston Terrier Club this week with his mother and 12-year-old sister, Sarah. Next February he will travel to New York City where he has entered the Westminster Kennel Club Show at Madison Square Garden.

Dean Cycon and Dee Waterman will be among entertainers performing in “Yankee Spirits: A Temperance Tale of New Salem,” an original musical at the 1794 Meetinghouse in New Salem.

At a recent public hearing, consensus favored stationing the Wendell Police Department’s operations in the town’s old fire station. The part-time police force has operated without a facility for some years. Referring to police operations, Chief Ed Chase suggested that it is “about time that it was moved out of my living room and into a central location to conduct business.”


The Athol School Committee voted to equalize first grades in elementary schools by transferring students from crowded classrooms to Lyman Ward School where only 17 first grade students are enrolled. Acting on the recommendation of Doris A. Tappin, elementary supervisor, the board authorized transfer of students from Ellen Bigelow and Pleasant Street schools where first grade enrollment necessitates classrooms of 34 and 35 students. Transportation will be taken into consideration, Miss Tappin said, with children from the Bearsden, Petersham and Templeton road areas considered for transfer.

The Athol Grange Fair in Grange Home drew an estimated 250 persons. Mrs. Katherine Reed was general chairman. A chicken pie supper was served to 125 persons, with Mrs. Francese Hodgson chairman.

Police are investigating extensive vandalism to a pay-loader parked in the gravel pit near the town dump on West Royalston Road. The machine is property of C.F. Richardson and Sons, contractors. Police said some machine parts and tools are missing. Patrolman George Chaisson who investigated said all seven instrument panels in the machine were wrecked. All glass on the machine is broken, including windows, windshield, front and tail lights, he said.

Following Gov. Francis W. Sargent’s signing of legislation authorizing construction of $10 million worth of swimming pools and skating rinks throughout the state, Sen. Philip A. Quinn of Spencer said he would urge the Department of Natural Resources to give high priority to a proposed regional skating rink for the Orange-Athol area. The regional Orange-Athol facility, which would be located in Orange on land donated by the LaChance real estate developers, Gardner, is one of 47 sites under consideration.

Earl Matthews, only son of Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Matthews, will never return to their home on Brookside Road in Orange, but he “lives” for them in a newly constructed room which contains mementos of his childhood, his army medals, citations, ribbons and the flag which draped his casket. Sp/5 Matthews gave his life attempting to rescue comrades from a blazing helicopter, shot down by enemy action in Vietnam March 21.

The entire town of New Salem was blacked out for 90 minutes due to an electric outage caused by a tree which fell on a line on Chestnut Hill Road, near Lake Mattawa in Orange.


Never in the long history of the Athol Fair Grounds, now officially known as the Athol Athletic Field, have there been as fine a lot of horses as were shown at the second annual Horse Show of the Pioneer Valley Horse Association. Over 200 horses appeared in the 35 classes during the day. A crowd of around 3,000 attended the show. There were many entries from all over the state, as well as from outside.

Any man or woman in uniform who is going to New York or Philadelphia, may obtain free train fare through the courtesy of Athol soldier, Pvt. Charles Plotkin, son of Mr. and Mrs. Isadore Plotkin, who has left two furlough train tickets at the Daily News office to help somebody who may be traveling that way.

Thousands of residents of Orange and vicinity turned out for the colorful annual Mardi Gras parade which formed at the State Armory on East Main Street and marched to the carnival grounds at the Town Park.

The Minute Tapioca Co, Inc., of Orange, observed its 50th anniversary. The company celebrated quietly, for, while the occasion calls for a suitable ceremony, the officials decided, because of the war, to dispense with all festivities such as they would have in normal times. However, the milestone is not being passed unnoticed. In a manager’s letter to the employees, Howard P. Warren has recounted the history of Minute Tapioca from its humble beginnings to its present nation-wide stature and reputation. He tells of its ups and downs, its also insurmountable problems, brought on by floods and wars, its employees who worked shoulder to shoulder together to make the firm what it is today.

Sgt. Everett P. Belloli, a native of Orange, was slightly wounded in action, somewhere in France, according to word received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Belloli. He was an employee of the Union Twist Drill Co. before the war. For some time, he served with the 181st Infantry on patrol duty on the Maine coast and his wife still resides in Kennebunk, Me.

Word has just been received by Mrs. Yvonne Dyer of Orange, that her husband, Staff Sgt. Harold Dyer, 29, holder of the Air Medal and Four Oak Leaf Clusters, is listed as missing on a flight over Romania. He has been stationed in Italy.

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