The Lehrer Report: June 19, 2020

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Summer is officially here. My calendar says it begins June 20 and it’s the longest day. More time to enjoy the sunshine.


Garden report: I harvested sugar snap peas and beets, and the lettuce is done for now. I will plant lettuce in August for a fall crop. I planted more radish seeds since the first crop has been eaten and enjoyed.


Jennifer Page of Amherst sent me an email saying the annual South Amherst Fourth of July parade has been canceled.

“In order to best support the health and safety of our community, we have decided to cancel the celebration. Please consider donating the $5-$10 per family that you would have given to the event to the Amherst Survival Center, to support your neighbors in need at: amherstsurvival.org/donate.

Facebook page: facebook.com/SouthAmherstJuly4th/,” she wrote.

The celebration was a Norman Rockwell Americana picture. I will miss it.

Thank you to all the volunteers over the generations who maintained the tradition.


Orchard Valley neighbor Phyllis Jordan sent an email saying a mountain lion was seen on Tracy Circle. A neighbor of hers, “described it as having a cat-like face, but being much larger. It was tawny in color with some stripes on its face and it had a very long tail. We saw one in our yard years ago, maybe 12. I doubt this guy lives here, but might have been heading to the mountains. Wild kingdom meets Orchard Valley!” she wrote.


Her email is a nice segue to one from David Mix Barrington of Pine Street, who sent me this:

“There was a young moose yesterday morning at Simple Gifts Farm. I saw it on the farm road from about 100 meters away before it turned across a field in the direction of the cattle herd. Jeremy Plotkin took some video of it which he put on the farm’s Instagram site. I saw it at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, 9 June.”

Thank you David. We now have moose and a mountain lion, could an elephant be next?


On June 25, 1920, Massachusetts ratified the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. The Amherst League of Women Voters, of which I am a member, is celebrating the occasion with a walk Thursday, June 25 beginning at noon at Kendrick Park and walking — single file, physically distancing with masks — to the center of town.

Some of us will wear suffragist outfits and sashes.

If you wish to join us, wear a mask and be prepared to walk at a safe distance from other walkers. And don’t forget to vote!


Condolences to the family and friends of Glen Gordon, who died last week.

He was a longtime teacher and administrator at UMass. He was very active in the community singing with the Valley Light Opera for decades and a longtime member of the Amherst Club, as I am. He was very smart, funny, cordial and was full of ideas and conversation, a joy to be with.


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