We had decided arbitrarily (but not without tacit approval by spouses) to telephone home for pickup daily once we had crossed the Connecticut River.
Wanting to visit Olive Branch Press in Northampton, publisher of David Ray Griffin’s 9/11 books, we stayed an extra night at a motel in Hadley in order to cross the river into Hamp on a weekday, Monday May 07. Arriving after 9:00 AM, we found the Olive Branch warehouse not yet open.
Proceding through “metro” Northampton we visited a bookstore in Thornes Marketplace (formerly a department store), which had two copies of DRG’s latest opus.
Outside, we spoke in succession to: 1) octogenarian who was not too sure but generally with us, then 2) college freshman or sophomore Ethan on the same page as we, who estimated 40% to 60% of his age cohort think likewise.
Moving uphill out of Northampton, we gained the village of Florence and stopped for lunch at the Miss Florence Diner, where a pair of workers in another booth indicated approval of our signs and a “Why the Truth about 9/11 Still Matters” folder and thanked us.
On into the Leeds section of Williamsburg … where a woman from a hilltown further west approached us, apparently starved for 9/11 conversation. We jawed with her for a half hour, then had to break away. I referred her to Jonathan Mark, a Valleyite, and his FlybyNews.
The chat touched on the Bonnie Prudden Institute (of which she is an alumna), which I am proud to have honored with a limerick from circa 1968 and recited it:
There was a young woman called Tina
Who loved to eat creamed wheat farina [Andrea Shalit]
She blew up like a blimp,
Took a look and went limp,
Bonnie Prudden gave her a subpoena. [B. Henry]
In metropolitan Williamsburg a pair of high school students stopped us briefly looking for our perspective on 2001-09-11, when they were toddlers.
The Brewmaster’s Tavern at the upper end of downtown Williamsburg provided a welcome beer-and-sandwich stop and we telephoned Ellen, who soon enough rolled up in the Gillespie-Henry Honda Civic to wing us to Pittsfield for the night, marking the end of our walking with heavy backpacks.
Dropped off there by Ellen the next morning (T, MY 08), we met two post office patrons successively: a knowledgeable man and a woman identifying herself as the wife of a third-generation ironworker who had said the World Trade Center demolitions could not have happened as in the official account.
MA route 9 runs between Pittsfield and Boston. Milage from the center of Pittsfield is posted every half mile much of the way. The marker near the pick-up point in Williamsburg read 35.0 miles (to Pittsfield). Two days’ march? Three?
We started the climb to the summit in Goshen … then (after three separate conversations) down into Cummington where (after two conversations) we “ran out of gas” at mile 19 from Pittsfield.
Having picked us up there, Ellen delivered us back Wednesday morning to the 19-mile mark, and we began the climb out of West Cummington and over into Windsor (and a bite and a beer at a picnic table outside Friendly Fred’s Citgo), thence down into and through Dalton and into Pittsfield.
The western terminus of MA9 is Park Square, about two miles west of our respective houses, so our milages MY 09 were on the order of 17-18 miles, covered gratefully leaving for another day undetermined to reassemble at intersection of South Street and US route 20 for a final ~10 mile leg to the New York State line.