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Nick Grabbe finished his final day at the Amherst Bulletin last week still writing a story. He has been writing and editing for over 30 years in good times and lean. He hired me (and Nancy Newcombe) when the Amherst Record folded in 1984 and we have been colleagues ever since. He was a very good editor, he knows grammar and word usage, and he helped me with my stories.

I wish him the very best in retirement. However, if my retirement experience is any example, he will find little time to do what he intends — read the works of Tolstoy, Dickens and Shakespeare. It’s amazing how busy retirement is and how the time quickly passes. But we will have time to do lunch.

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Janet Ryan of the Jones Library sent me a letter about the annual Food for Fines amnesty period that runs Jan. 22 to Feb. 15. Bring in nonperishable food or a donation that will be given to the Amherst Survival Center when you bring in overdue materials. However, this doesn’t apply to lost items or existing fines on items that have already been returned. You can also bring food if you don’t have overdue materials. The food and donations can be delivered to the Jones Library and its branches.

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The Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show will be held Jan. 26 and 27 at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield. It’s quite a show — so large that it is held in several buildings. A group of us went last year and found it impressive, especially the working model displays. It’s interesting to adults and children.

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I missed seeing the alleged (using the word alleged is standard newspaper practice) unidentified flying object. I only read about it days later when I came back to town. I wonder if we should be disappointed that we were found wanting or not worthy of a visit.

Or maybe they couldn’t find a parking space.

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Congratulations to ARHS Performing Arts Department Head John Bechtold, who received the LSSE Community Theater Award for all his efforts with the arts. I attend the high school shows and musical and the award is well deserved. The award was presented on opening night of “Fiddler on the Roof.” I hope you have tickets since it will probably be sold out this weekend after the opening-night buzz gets out. It was a fabulous show.

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