Sunday, May 26, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Carole Owens

A resident of Stockbridge, Carole Owens is the author of seven books, three newspaper columns, and numerous feature articles. As a local historian, Owens was named Scholar in Residence by the Massachusetts Council on the Humanities. She pens the Stockbridge Updates newsletter.

written articles

CONNECTIONS: Are progress and change always good?

Is all change good? Is the point of progress to improve sales or improve life? The trouble with misinformation is not just that it proliferates lies, but that it obscures the truth.

CONNECTIONS: The tale of Richard Jackson, the Tory from Hancock

It happened, according to Timothy Dwight, almost 50 years earlier. Dwight urged that the reader believe and even learn from it. Whether true or apocryphal, it tells us what we need to know today: Truth matters; lies cripple.

DATELINE STOCKBRIDGE: The case for the Joseph Franz House on Elm Street’s designation on the National Register of Historic Places

In budget and on time, Franz built the Shed at Tanglewood and saved the music festival. And that is not all. Franz also built Laura’s Tower and the theater at Jacob’s Pillow—all sound and built to this day.

CONNECTIONS: Why don’t people vote in their own self-interest?

There must be a reason anyone would consider voting for someone who would champion a form of government that suppresses and impoverishes that voter.

CONNECTIONS: Berkshire County is no stranger to strange weather

Our weather is nothing if not varied. Oh wait, don’t forget unpredictable. It is May, the daffodils are up, but it is possible that means nothing.

CONNECTIONS: Bamboozled Berkshires (Part Two)

We are nice people. Nice people have trouble imagining the worst-case scenario. We have a propensity for pipedreams and a paucity of due diligence. History teaches we might reverse the two.

CONNECTIONS: Bamboozled Berkshires (Part One)

For decades, Berkshire folk discussed, strategized, and hoped to make this a year-round destination. All of a sudden, we are. We have been discovered; we have never been so popular.

CONNECTIONS: The women are fighting for us all

The world is changing around us. In courts and legislatures, the rights of women are being diminished. The tug to control women, limit their power, and minimize their importance seems to have reasserted itself.

DATELINE STOCKBRIDGE: An experiment in multi-cultural, multi-lingual democracy

In Stockbridge, the process was imperfect and the result unfortunate. It was not in the town meeting that matters unraveled, but on Plain Street.

CONNECTIONS: How do we avoid becoming what we are fighting?

How do we protect the law without breaking the law; how do we avoid becoming what we are fighting?

CONNECTIONS: A horse-drawn carriage and a trolley collide, leaving President Theodore Roosevelt thrust onto the pavement and a Secret Service agent dead

Roosevelt was the first president the United States Secret Service would guard, and Craig, the strapping Scotsman, was assigned the task.

CONNECTIONS: Let’s hold on to what makes the Berkshires a grand place to live

Concern and a helping hand are not implied criticism. Most of the time we humans can use all the help we can get, and those who offer help are rarely intending an insult; they care—that’s all.

CONNECTIONS: Rents and rates

Berkshire County property values are rising exponentially. That makes Berkshire County an attractive investment. We are attracting investors from outside our communities. They are single-minded.

DATELINE STOCKBRIDGE: 1935 — A difficult year for the Berkshire Symphonic Festival

The message was clear: Come to the Berkshires for a concert week not a single concert.

CONNECTIONS: Stockbridge — the symbol of ‘culture in the country’

Right from the start, Stockbridge attracted the talented and the accomplished, and they, in turn, left their mark on the village.

CONNECTIONS: Tanglewood and the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Part Two) — The End

Behind the scenes, there were attempts at compromise between BSF and the BSO. All failed. The BSO stated, “We will not be employed by a lesser organization.” It was over.
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