Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cider maker dead at 70

I saw the above headline on the Greenfield Recorder front page the other day and stopped in my tracks. It was a story about Terry Maloney, who, with his wife Judith, started West County Cider in the little town of Colrain many years ago. And it made me think about what a remarkable experience it is to work as a small town reporter. And how it connects you to such interesting people you would never otherwise get to know. And then you miss them when they go.

One of my first feature assignments for the Recorder (or was it the Globe? I can't remember), was to write about the couple, and what a fun story to report. I spent an afternoon with them at their house in Colrain--they brewed a high quality sparkling cider from local apples. And over the years, they created a terrific product and helped promote local agriculture with Cider Day, an event that brought lots of visitors to the breathtaking apple orchards of western Franklin County.

I served their cider at my wedding 24 years ago, and got to know their son Field when I taught a journalism workshop at The Academy at Charlemont. Field Maloney went on to become a wonderful writer (no thanks to me), and I love to come across his work.

Anyway, Terry died when a compressor machine exploded in the cellar. It's a big loss for Franklin County.

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