Big Name in a Small Room Concert Series Continues in the Hilltowns

Strange Coincidences

I have a friend named Dave Taylor who I worked with in New Orleans. Dave now lives in New York.  His best friend is named Seth Bernard. Seth lives in Michigan and his girlfriend is named May Erlewine. Dave Taylor’s mom was in the hospital having surgery in Florida. While she was recovering from surgery, a young woman came in to sing to her as part of the hospital’s new recovery through music program.  The young woman sang a gorgeous and uplifting song that she said was written by a friend of hers named May.  Dave’s grandmother, who was there visiting her daughter said, “I know a May.  She lives in Michigan. Her name is May Erlewine.”  The young woman said, “That’s the same May who wrote the song!”  And the young singing woman?  That was Rani Arbo of Ashfield!

The only part of the story I don’t know is why Rani was singing in a hospital in Florida.  But I don’t really care—I love the story!

Not this last summer, but the previous August we had a concert by May and Seth across the street in the backyard of the inn and it was beautiful!  May wrote the Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem favorites, “Shine On” and “Rise up Singing.” (Remember that concert?  It rained all the way through it, but it was such beautiful music that no one left!)

This Saturday Elmer’s in Ashfield, MA is going to bring them back and inside as part of our Big Name in a Small Room Concert Series continues with May Erlewine and Seth Bernard! This Saturday, November 20th. Dinner will begin at 5pm and the concert begins at 7pm. Tickets for this are required so that we don’t go over room capacity. Git ‘em now! (413) 628-4003



Nan Parati - Elmer's StoreNan Parati

Nan is the proprietor of Elmer’s Store in Ashfield, MA. A New England transplant from the Deep South, Nan shares her southern wit, wisdom and charm in her column, “Notes from Nan.”

Scary Trees in Ashfield

Just in Case You Were Wondering …

Scarier things were seen on Halloween night in Ashfield! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

One day a few weeks ago, while walking down the sidewalk towards Elmer’s, I thought, “It’s almost Halloween! I should make bark-like faces to put on the trees on the Common!” I could use the same technique many of the float-builders use at Mardi Gras in their Papier Mache—same words, completely different process from what others think of as Papier Mache.

I proposed it to the Select Board, they approved, Tom Poissant the Tree Warden approved, I called the only place in the country I know to get the kind of glue one needs for this kind of stuff (New Orleans) and ordered it, got my paper all ready along with all the other accoutrements I would need for the project and waited for the glue to arrive. We had some glorious days before Halloween, but the glue never arrived until the evening of the last of the glorious days.

This particular glue needs a temperature of 65 degrees or higher in order to Act Right and so, since all the days after it arrived had top temperatures of only 55 degrees even while standing on their tippy toes, it was not possible for me to make the trees scary.

Upon the Eve of Halloween, however, some one or ones decided to enhance the trees of the Common (and all the trees up South Street) with their own form of decoration using Scott toilet paper. (I found the balled-up wrapper in my yard.) JUST IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING, that was not I. I would have made the toilet paper look like something other than toilet paper hanging in the breeze. Not at all to disparage anyone else’s craft, I just didn’t want to take away from their art and have you think it was mine.

I plan to keep my glue until next summer when we have a stretch of days above 65 degrees. I will make my faces at that time and then hold on to them until October, when I will ask the Select Board if I may put them up for the week before Halloween. I’m sorry for my lack of display this year, but wait indeed, until next year!



Nan Parati - Elmer's StoreNan Parati

Nan is the proprietor of Elmer’s Store in Ashfield, MA. A New England transplant from the Deep South, Nan shares her southern wit, wisdom and charm in her column, “Notes from Nan.”

Grilled Pork Chops with Chimichuri Sauce

Summertime and the Porkchops are Grilling . . .
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati

Ice cream man! Ice cream man!
Ice cream man’s gonna be at Elmer’s this Friday night! After dinner you can go outside (if you’re not already sitting outside) and get ice cream for dessert! He’ll be in his big truck! But you have to eat all your dinner first!

Friday Night Menu (06/06/08):

Here’s what we’re having for dinner first:

  • Grilled pork chops with chimichuri sauce
  • Chef Jim’s potato salad
  • Insalata Caprese (fresh mozzarella, basil, big tomatoes, field greens, balsamic vinaigrette)
  • and Grilled vegetable

You know what hearing that menu makes me do? Jump around with my eyes closed and a big grin on my face, rock back and forth and go, “Um um um um um ummm!” And then I make little fists and hold them up to my face and scrunch my cheeks up and —oh wait. (What? This isn’t my Diary of Embarrassment? Oh. Right. Thank you.) Ahem. So, I uh, I think you’ll like our offering this Friday night.

So this whole bit about Rob being really, really funny is starting to bother me. That, along with the “but you’re funny toooooo!” I don’t like that. There can be only one major funny guy here and it’s my store. There can be a major funny guy and a minor funny guy, but not two majors. There can be a major funny guy and a drum major, but not two major funny guys. So Rob sent his report and I will now read it aloud to you. If you laugh audibly, you’ll be kicked off this list. Read the rest of this entry »

Lunch-Without-a-Special- Event-Surrounding-It Comes to the Hilltowns

Notes from Nan: Good Evening and Welcome to Elmer’s!
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati

Kelli  Ann & Family (from Canada) at Elmer's (c) Hilltown Families

Hello and thanks for tuning in tonight! We have a really big show for you that I think you’re going to like a lot.

Hey! So we started Lunch-Without-a- Special-Event-Surrounding-It this past weekend and it was so very good. We’re doing Beta testing on lunch right now, working out all of the kinks with the transfer from breakfast (which cuts off at noon) to lunch (which goes from noon to 2.) Because of our tiny little kitchen, we can’t continue the breakfast menu into the lunch time, with the exception of omelettes—we can still do those from noon to 2 if you’re still feeling an envie for some breaking of the fast. So since we’re still doing Beta-testing, I’m not announcing the addition of lunch to everyone—just to you. So come in, get yourself some great lunch and be guinea pigs (not for the food! That we have worked out!) Be guinea pigs for the changing of the staff, for the figuring out exactly how many wait people we need, etc.

This weekend for lunch we’re having:

Read the rest of this entry »

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