This Thing Called Courage

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sending Things

ONE OF THE NICEST THINGS about the writing is hearing from people all over the world. This morning I received an email from a wonderful man down in Atlanta who has written several great reviews of my books. He wrote today to tell me that a therapist friend of his uses my first book in his practice with his clients, as a springboard to address their own issues with coming out.

Several people that have read my books are artists and have sent me their own work inspired by my writing. The pic above is a scan of something that the very talented Boston artist Russ Gilfoy sent me after he read A Map of the Harbor Islands. It shows Danny and Petey at the end of the book, out in the islands, watching the moon rise. It's really beautiful and, like the best art, stops me in my tracks and uplifts me every time I see it. I reallyc an't think of a better tribute than this.

I also wanted to report that the wild blueberries I picked in Happy Land the other evening made the best blueberry muffins I've ever had in my life (I found a whole wheat blueberry muffin recipe on the web) and I just made a second batch last night and half of them are gone already. Fionn likes them too! George (and maybe Bob)want to go out looking for some more some time this week, and we may try to do that. We're going to the farmers market today in Arlington, which is wonderful. Everything's coming on now, and any time now we should start to see the first corn and the first tomatoes. My own tomoatoes are coming by the hundred, but are still green.

And speaking of blueberries, this came in the other day from Dave Gott, proprietor of blueberries par excellance at Benson Place in Heath, Massachusetts. If you want to go picking blueberries, this is the place to go!

Dear friends and loyal customers,

This year’s lowbush blueberry harvest is close at hand. Our second annual spring visit from blueberry sawfly larvae, which chomp blueberry foliage, necessitated a thoughtful and coordinated response from us and our lessors. We have maintained as much of the crop as we could in an organic manner. Feel free to ask us more about this as you pick and order your berries. Meeting the growing demand for the healthy little blueberry is not easy, but between ours and two neighboring farms, we hope to provide as many of you as possible with fruit.

Upcoming Season:
We are now accepting berry orders for the upcoming season, which we expect to begin somewhere between July 26th and 30th. If you have not already done so, feel free call us at (413)337-5340 or email us at to make plans. While we don’t require an appointment for PYO, any large parties or large appetites would do well to check in with us in advance. Also, please mark your calendars for our 6th annual Blueberry Jubilee. It is scheduled for 2-8 pm on August 4, rain or shine, and advance reduced price dessert tickets are available at Green Fields Market in Greenfield. Chuck Roberts of The Bluesberry Brothers will be strumming the guitar again, and Bill Byrne of the MA Division of Fish and Wildlife will offer a visual presentation on one of our esteemed competitors in the blueberry fields, the black bear.

Farm Transfer:
Farm transfer is still very much on our agenda, and we welcome your interest. Specifically, we are seeking to facilitate a transfer of farm ownership to a party or collaboration of parties who share our community, conservation, and agricultural goals. We hope to preserve the productive and ecologically unique land, offer an affordable farming opportunity, welcome visitors, and preserve unique historical features. Further information is available on our website at Please feel free to contact us with questions and ideas or to offer assistance. There may be a job waiting for you! Email Anne at if wishing to help.

Hoping to see you here soon,

Dave Gott
Mark Benjamin
Anne Conger
Louise Legouis

Friends of The Benson Place
Box 89, 182 Flagg Hill Road
Heath, MA 01346


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