The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Old Hamp

Scenes from the past.

People send me really cool stuff. For example:

Hi Tommy,

I wrote to you about a month ago when you were wondering about "the thing with feathers" Unitarian sermon title. Glad I was able to assist in solving that mini-mystery. As I said in my first e-mail I grew up in Northampton, but have lived in the New Haven CT area since my mid-20s. I still have family living in the Valley and when I think of "home" it's usually in reference to greater Northampton (the Young homestead was in Leeds). I love seeing the area photos (both new and old) that you regularly post and I decided to share some images of my own. My way of staying "connected" to Hamp/Noho is by collecting vintage photographs, postcards, and other types of ephemera/memorabilia. Over the years I've filled up several albums and shoeboxes. The random selection I've sent today date from 1880-1910.

Love your blog. All the best!

Bob Young - Cheshire, CT

Main Street parade, Northampton, real-photo-postcard, 1909.

Plymouth Inn, Northampton (corner of Green & West Streets) real-photo-postcard, 1906.

Hockanum Ferry, real-photo-postcard, 1906.

Leeds baseball team, real-photo-postcard, 1910.

Man & Dog, cabinet photo, circa 1880.

Handsome bearded man, cabinet photo, circa 1890.

Last night I saw Motown Bernie doing his thing in downtown Hamp, only this time with female accompaniment. I asked her name but she replied simply, "Freebird."

As a new part of my addiction recovery program I'm required to do community service. Every day now I go and help with the free food distribution at the Amherst Survival Center.

I like doing it. It certainly gives me a look into a side of Amherst you don't usually see. Even in a community as wealthy as Amherst there is a sizable population of hidden poor.

And I count myself in their number! Look at the cool new sneaks I got on a clothes voucher (bless you taxpayers) to replace my red Conz, which were ceremoniously put in the recycling bin to a mournful playing of taps on kazoo by the Reverend Shane.

My new pair of Converse are bright white, for the bright new future before me.

Finally, this is so bad it's good.