On our way back from our still to be unveiled Big Adventure, Jeff Ziff and I stopped in Hadley so I could take this snap of Eddie's Cruisers on Route Nine.
Now closed, in its day it was a mecca for the Valley hotrod scene. Where we parked cross the street is this produce stand for Wanczyk Farm.
Just when we were about to leave I noticed something on the side of an old truck container located on the farm. Could it be? Yes, a fading ad for the long lost Sweet Life Foods!
I guess you have to be of a certain age to recall how ubiquitous Sweet Life was. Their ads were everywhere! They sponsored every local TV show, had billboards in every community and their products were prominent on the shelves of every food store. However, eventually they were forced to sell out to a big conglomerate. Sad how that happens to so many of our local companies. Here is a picture of the back half of the container, showing the Sweet Life motto.
Suddenly who should pull up but old Walter Wanczyk himself, the owner of the farm! He was suspicious of us at first, perhaps afraid that we were city slickers come to scope out his farm for a future condo or casino development or something; but once he realized it was the internet pioneer Tom Devine and videographer Jeff Ziff, all was cool. We chatted and he told us about some of the things on the farm, like this old Ford truck.
Wanczyk told us he had learned to drive on that vehicle and said, "If you could handle the ball gears of that truck, you could drive anything on the road!" He went on to say that he was among the last of only about three "real farmers" in Hadley, lamenting that the rest of the farms were run by "gentlemen who work at UMass" and do a little farming on the side. "The Hadley I knew growing up," he said, "the Northampton I knew, it's all gone!"
He did not make this observation in a positive tone.
Are you familiar with Amherst singer/songwriter Will Adams? If not you need to check out his new album.
Great acoustic guitar with sophisticated lyrics, including one called Dirge for Sylvia Plath for you literary types. To listen and buy click here.