County Fare: Forging sisterly city bonds

Wednesday August 22, 2012

The delegation of Great Barrington residents who earlier this month visited Ingersoll, the town's new sister city in Ontario, said they couldn't have been treated better by their Canadian brethren.

Great Barrington Town Manager Kevin O'Donnell, among the group of local history enthusiasts who made the trek to Ingersoll, was so taken by the hospitality that he opted to stay for a day longer than scheduled, arriving back in Great Barrington just hours before the select board's regular meeting that night.

"It's been great. That's an understatement," O'Donnell told the Ingersoll Times newspaper during the visit.

In all, six south county residents travelled to Ingersoll to deliver artifacts from the Canadian town that had been found in South County a little over two years ago.

The Great Barrington delegation was treated to a banquet and visits to historical sites, including the site of Thomas Ingersoll's first cabin. Ingersoll, who lived in Great Barr ington, settled Ingersoll in the late 1700s.

The group also toured the town center and the Ingersoll Cheese and Agricultural Museum.

They plan to give a full report on the trip during the Aug. 26 select board meeting.

A perfect day for a romp in the woods: The Savoy Mountain Trail Races, celebrating its 25th year, went off without a hitch over the weekend.

Held Sunday at North Pond at the state Department of Conser vation and Recreation's Savoy Mountain State Forest, the race included a 16.5-mile course and a 4-mile one.

"It was a great day, perfect weather," said race director Isaac Tirrell, of Dalton. "I had an amazing group of volunteers -- without them it would have failed."

Tirrell said the race had a turnout of 124 runners who "raved" about the Hoosac Range Trail. "I'm definitely looking forward to it next year," he said.

'Dirt' makes an impression in Lenox: Back in February, Lenox Memorial Middle and High School liked John Morello's show "Dirt" so much that they offered both a show for the school community and a free public performance for parents.

The one-man show touches on subjects such as small-town life, bullying, substance abuse and other choices that teens face.

Inspired, in part, by the Lenox response and the responses of students from other schools, the Worcester-based Morello has written a 120-page graphic novel version of the show, which is being supported by Kickstarter donors. He first announced the graphic novel project at the Lenox shows.

The book is drawn by artist Michael McMenemy and colored by Joshua Jensen. On Monday night, Morello said the project hit the $20,000 mark of his $30,000 goal.

The story follows a kid named Pi through suburbia. In the process, readers meet the people around him and discover their connection to each other, in the "comedic, coming-of-age tale."

Morello said he's enjoying the writing process. While he'll continue to do the show for schools and youth groups, he said he also has "at least two or three sequels in mind" for the novel's characters.

"I might ‘X-Men' it out," he said.

To learn more about the novel project and the show "Dirt," visit:

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


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