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The Westfield Athenaeum releases fall schedule of events

WESTFIELD The Westfield Athenaeum, located at 6 Elm St., is announcing its Fall 2005 Lecture Series along with a number of special events for children and adults, starting this coming weekend, with a booth at the Westfield Arts on the Green festival on Sept. 3 from 10:00 a.m. 7:00 p.m. This daylong series of events, sponsored by WOW! Westfield on Weekends!, celebrates art, cuisine, music and humanity, including performances by Matt Hebert, MaxxTone and Swinging Steaks. The Athenaeum will be helping kids make their own bookmarks at a craft table on the green. For more information, visit

On Sept. 14 at 7:00 p.m., author Mike Donovan of Russell will present "A Place of Many Windings: The Rise and Fall of a New England Mill Town." Donovan writes for the Country Journal, covering news in Huntington, Russell and Chester. His 300-page book is a self-published history of Woronoco, a Native American word meaning A Place of Many Windings. Russell, where Donovan grew up, is a unique community where everyone worked at the local mill, lived in company housing, and celebrated their own traditions such as the Harvest Exhibit and picnics at Strathmore Park. A book signing will follow the talk.

On Oct. 5 at 7:00 p.m., Private Edward E. Stanard, of Westfield, will present "Salient Points in The History of Company K (the Westfield Company) of the 10th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry."

The 10th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment was notable for its heroic service during the Civil War. Ed Stanard is an amateur historian and Civil War re-enactor who appears in full uniform and gear. His great great grandfather, Sergeant William Mallory Stanard, of New Marlborough, served in Company A of the 10th Mass. Infantry. Private Stanard maintains a website at

On Oct. 8, the Athenaeum will participate in the Second Annual Westfield Colonial Harvest Day celebration on and around the Green, from 10:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m., sponsored by WOW! Westfield on Weekends! The Athenaeum will be sponsoring colonial games and crafts for kids and parents at their harvest day booth. Look for future announcements about this daylong autumn festival on the Green!

On Oct. 19 at 7:00 p.m., poet Bessy Reyna will present "When Poetry Happens...And What To Do About It." Reyna is an award-winning Latina poet who lectures extensively on poetry that speaks to our daily lives. Poetry is all around us the simple act of shaving, driving a car or doing the laundry can inspire poetry, according to Reyna. She is a monthly opinion columnist for The Hartford Courant. Her latest book, The Battlefield of Your Body, a bilingual poetry collection, was released in June 2005. Come and be inspired by this inspirational poet of the seemingly mundane! A book signing will follow the talk.

On Nov. 2 at 7:00 p.m., hiker Henry LaFleur will speak about "Completing the Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike: One Man's Experience."

The Appalachian Trial (or the AT) has sparked the imagination of countless hikers and lovers of the wild since it was formed in 1925. The AT extends 2,175 miles from Maine to Georgia, crossing six national parks and eight national forests. LaFleur, of Montgomery, thru-hiked the trail from June 29, 1995 to January 3, 1996, hiking from Mt. Katahdin, Maine to Springer Mountain, Georgia. He turned 55 on his hike and only fourteen people completed the adventure that year. Come and hear one of the fourteen who did it!

On Nov. 29 at 7:00 p.m., author and newspaper columnist Michael Tougias will present a slide lecture on his newest book, Ten Hours Until Dawn: The True Story of Heroism and Tragedy Aboard the Can Do. Tougias' book captures the perilous sea journey of five civilian crewmen aboard the Can Do, trying to assist two other vessels stranded during the legendary blizzard of 1978. The crew perished during the storm, only a few miles from shore. Tougias has done extensive research on the fate of the crewmembers and their families following the tragedy, and he includes details on other search-and-rescue missions and maritime disasters over the past 300 years. A book signing will follow the talk.

The Fall 2005 Lecture Series and special events sponsored by the Westfield Athenaeum are funded in part by a generous donation from the Friends of the Westfield Athenaeum. For more information, call the Athenaeum at (413) 568-0716, or visit