Wednesday May 23, 2012

There will be a second, and a third, annual Berkshire Cycling Classic on the heels of the debut event that attracted nearly 300 riders to a 12-town South County course on May 6. Organizer and promoter John Eustice of Sparta Cycling, in a message to participants, described Lenox, the host community, as "very impressed by all of us, and in how you treated them as hosts."

Describing the ride -- divided into a 62-mile recreational and pleasure course and an 81-mile competitive contest -- as "by almost every account a fine success," Eustice enthused about positive impressions that "help ease the path for next year's event but, more importantly, are key in creating an awareness of cycling in the Berkshires region, making cycling safer and more accepted."

Noting that the business, civic and cycling communities "loved it," Eustice proclaimed that "as a united community, we are now galvanized into making the Berkshire Cycling Classic a truly world-class event."

This Memorial Day will have a special significance for the citizens of Adams. For the second time in six months, the memory of well-known Adams resident George Coope will be honored with the dedication of a permanent memorial in front of the Pope John Paul the Great Parish in Adams.

The Rev. Daniel J. Boyle will bless the memorial during a short ceremony that will include Mr. Coope's three daughters, Shirley Deneault, Jean Fortier and Linda Lagess, unveiling the monument. The ceremony will take place on Memorial Day (Monday) following the town's holiday observance at the adjacent Maple Street Cemetery. It will be around 11:15 a.m.

Last November, the Pope John Paul the Great Parish dedicated a flagpole in Mr. Coope's memory.

Mr. Coope was the longtime sexton and caretaker of the former Parishes of Notre Dame and St. Thomas, as well as a life member and past commander of American Legion Post 160. Coope was known for his love of family, church and community, as well as polka music, especially when it was played by Happy Louie. In 2002, he was awarded the Bishop's Circle of Stewards of the Diocese of Spring field. For many years, he served as grand marshal of the town's Memorial Day Parade. He also participated in the burials of countless veterans in local cemeteries.

The Berkshire Highlanders will participate, along with the Honor Guard of American Legion Post 160. Commander Ralph Schwarzer will assist.

Mr. Coope lived by the motto of the American Legion: "For God and Country."

Just in time for the 100th birthday of American author Louis "Studs" Terkel, Kellie Houle's English classes at Mount Greylock Regional High School are reading Terkel's 1997 book, "Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do."

"We read some of the narrative essays he wrote, and we discussed the perception versus the reality of various jobs," said Houle. On Tuesday, community members visited Houle's class to share their own work experiences.

Born on May 16, 1912, Terkel received the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1985 for "The Good War." He is also known for his work as a radio broadcaster, historian and actor. He died on Halloween in 2008.

County Fare, a weekly column featuring "tales from throughout the Berkshires," is compiled by Eagle staffers. Visit the County Fare blog at www.berkshireeagleblogs.com/countyfare.