To the editor of THE EAGLE:

It is with great sadness I read of the passing Josiah (Joe) Low. I had known Joe for many years. From time to time when he was in town he would always make it a point to stop in to town hall and see me in the assessor's office. He was one never to complain to me about his assessment or his taxes. He was actually one of the few people who praised our office for the difficult task we had. He said one of the things he loved about the smallness of Williamstown is that he could, if he decided, stop in and chat with many of the town employees. I would drop anything I was doing to speak with Joe. He was so worldly wise yet so down home. What a big warm smile he had.

When he found out that my true métier was as an artist and discovered my work on the web, he demanded that I show him my paintings in person at my apartment. We set up a time and he arrived punctually. He was very impressed with what he saw and said that he would like my opinion of the art he has collected over the years, of which some of it was hanging in his Williamstown home. I said I would be thrilled. On the appointed day I arrived at his house and he took me on a tour of his home, pointing out various beautiful paintings; some by very noted American artists. When I was leaving and thanking him for his gracious hospitality he said: "Now I have to make room for some of your work on my walls." I said I would be honored.


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It was the last conversation I ever had with Joe. I will miss his friendship very much. But more so, I will miss his genuine unpretentious character. He always made me relaxed in our conversations -- whether it be art, politics, the weather, cars, you name it -- Joe always had something pithy to say that would make me think.

I will miss him tremendously.

WILLIAM BARKIN

Williamstown

The writer has been the principal assessor for the town of Williamstown for 28 years.