TLC #63—We catch up, then cross the line to cover the Poor People’s Campaign
Lt. Gov. candidate Quentin Palfrey, poet Clarrisa Sacherski, Northeast Fiddlers’ Convention, mystery author Chris Wondoloski, The Poor People’s Campaign
Welcome, Greylock Nation, to episode #63 of the Top Left Corner here at the Greylock Glass. We’ll hear more from Carrisa later in the show, and if you behave, I’ll even treat you to one of her recent poems she was kind enough to record and share with us.
We have a pretty sizable show for you this week. Guests include candidate for Lt. Governor, Quentin Palfrey, Poetess Carissa Sacherski, author Chris Wondoloski, organizer of the first ever Northeast Fiddlers’ Convention Jim Wright, AND special coverage of the June 4 Poor People’s Campaign rally and action in Albany, including speaking with North County activists Sam Smith and Reverend Mark Longhurst, Poor People’s Campaign- NY organizer Barbara Smith, and Vocal-NY staff member G.G. Morgan.
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From the website of Quentin Palfrey:
Throughout his career in government, law, and non-profit management, Quentin has been a leader in fighting poverty and inequality, expanding access to good jobs and fair pay, and standing up for consumers. His breadth of experience and dedication to improving the lives of others make him the right choice for Lieutenant Governor.
Quentin worked with President Obama to support innovation and create jobs as Senior Advisor for Jobs & Competitiveness in the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy and Deputy General Counsel for Strategic Initiatives at the US Department of Commerce from 2009 to 2013.
At the White House, Quentin led a broad range of initiatives to increase American competitiveness, including serving as lead White House policy staffer on a successful patent reform effort that led to the signing of the America Invents Act. He also coordinated White House input into a report to Congress on the national strategy for innovation and competitiveness, and was involved in a wide range of other initiatives including the launch of Patents for Humanity and the re-launch of the Privacy & Civil Liberties Oversight Board.
Links mentioned in this episode:
E.W. Hobbs, in the Salem Willows Park has been serving up light fare and tasty beverages, like the famous Raspberry-Lime Ricky, since 1897.
Northern Berkshire Community Coalition
The Northeast Fiddlers’ Convention
The Hoosac Tunnel Murders, by Chris Wondolonski
The Poor People’s Campaign
First Congregational Church, UUC — Williamstown, Mass.
Carrisa Sacherski — “Sailor’s Song”
Carrisa Sacherski is a full time youth worker with a background in poetry both educationally and personally. She has been writing since she was a young teen and has been inspired to continue doing so into her adult life. She is passionate about how we use writing as a tool, how we work with our younger generations and, the greater picture. She has never, until now, shared her poetry outside of classroom walls. Also, she is a Gemini who really loves scary movies and rainy weather.
Northeast Fiddlers’ Convention
This weekend at Hancock Shaker Village sees the first-ever Northeast Fiddlers’ Convention Saturday, from noon to midnight. This is a really big deal in the world of American Roots music. Brought to you by the folks who put on the Oldtone Music Festival, the Northeast Fiddler’s Convention will feature workshops, competitions, food and square dance in the 1910 barn that might be the foot stompin’-est night all summer and for miles and miles around. I spoke with one of the founders of Oldtone, Jim Wright, about the event.
Oldtone and Hancock Shaker Village aspire to create a beacon in the Berkshires for Old-time enthusiasts. The first-ever Northeast Fiddlers’ Convention is inspired by the great Southern Old-time music conventions. Participants are invited to jam, learn, compete, eat, dance and celebrate together in an atmosphere of participation. We envision a new annual tradition in the preservation of the rich Old-Time music culture in the Northeast.
This year’s convention features instrument and historical workshops by Bill & the Belles, Nils Fredland, and Tara Linhardt. We are offering picking & singing in the historic round stone barn, instrument contests, jamming, and a square dance with live music from Bill and the Belles, one of the most popular roots bands on the scene today. The Square Dance will be called by renown caller and the Artistic Director of Revels North; Nils Fredland. Historic demonstrations available all day from Hancock Shaker Village.
ALL DAY PICKIN’ ENCOURAGED! Participation is Preservation!
We will have chairs in nooks and crannies throughout the site for you and your friends to hang out and jam. Beer, beverages, and local food available all day provided by the Hancock Shaker Beer & Wine Bar, Sky View Farm and the Sol Gypsy Food Truck. No outside food and beverages are permitted at this event.
Christopher H. Wondoloski — Author of The Hoosac Tunnel Murders
The Hoosac Tunnel Murders begins when seventeen-year old Ginger O’Leary is driven from her bed in the dead of night by a vision of murder within the depths of the “bloody pit.” Terrified by what she has experienced, Ginger could little know that this gift from her ancestors would not only set her on the path of self-discovery, but also a quest to secure justice for the victims.
It’s 1865 and two Massachusetts railroads are competing for an exclusive route across the state to Troy, New York and the emerging markets of Chicago and the west. However, a mountain range nearly five miles wide at its base blocks completion of the northern route. Since 1852 the plan has been to blast a hole through what engineers called the Hoosac Tunnel and workers sardonically named the “bloody pit.”
There is absolutely nothing in my background to suggest I’d end up writing historical mysteries and other reminiscences … or anything else, for that matter. Possessor of degrees both bachelor’s, master’s and then some. Purveyor of information unheard of and uncared about by ninety-nine percent of the population. For thirty-five years my mind reveled in the “if, then, therefore” world of science by day, and dreamed only at night and only to maintain my sanity. But somehow, here I am. The imagination of childhood that had been lost to career-hood, reemerged with retire-hood. And I found myself reborn and living in a fantasy world of my own creation. Life is good.
Poor People’s Campaign, June 4, 2018
June 4th marked the fourth week of the 40 day launch of the Poor People’s campaign, occurring nationwide. In the New York state capitol of Albany, hundreds of demonstrators gathered for a rally in Lafayette Park before crossing the road to file into the capitol building for direct action in the presence of lawmakers, lobbyists, and a small army of police. In the intro to this piece, you heard the assembled activists singing “I am not afraid” as dozens of their number were arrested in acts of civil disobedience. You also heard Willie White, founder of local community empowerment group, a village, stoke the enthusiasm of the protesters gathered in the park prior to their ascent of the Million dollar staircase.
Barbara smith, one of the organizers of the poor people’s campaign, NY, spoke with us inside the capitol to give us an overview of the movement.
Reverend Mark Longhurst, pastor of the First Congregational Church of Williamstown Massachusetts, and Sam Smith, a church member, crossed the border into New York with the aim of supporting the efforts of the clergy and lay people in Albany who had already staged demonstrations and direct actions the previous successive three weeks. He spoke with at the rally preceding the march on the capitol.
Some of the attendees at these rallies are exposed daily to the struggles at the center of the poor peoples campaign, either as individuals or as staff members at organizations that provide social services, and sometimes both. I spoke by Skype before the June 4th event with G.G. Morgan, a staff member of the group Vocal—New York, which is works for progress in the areas of ending mass incarceration, the aids/hiv epidemic, the drug war, and homelessness.