First, please accept our huge "Thank you" to the many emails, phone calls and snail mails that have arrived at the offices of the Westfield Historian and Westfield Republican in response to recent stores and photos in BeeLines. Below are excerpts from several of those responses. Also, please note requests from readers. If you, the readers, have answers or items requested, or further information, contact Marybelle Beigh, Westfield Historian, as indicated at the end of this article. Thank you.
In an email at the end of January, subject line "Canella," Curtis Ross Canella, grandson to Ross Joseph Canella Sr., writes, in part, "It was a treat to read about my Grandfather's shoe store I have just started putting together a family tree. I will put this article in with some of my documentation. You think you could put me in touch with the 'handsome bearded man'? Maybe he would part ways with the coinsend it home so to say."
If the "handsome bearded man" who provided the special coin reads this, will he please contact the Westfield Historian with a response to the above request? Thank you.
Within a few days of receiving the above email, a letter dated from the end of January, arrived at the office of the Westfield Historian from Robert M. Wallace, who wrote, "Dear Ms. Beigh: My wife and I read, with great interest, your article in the Westfield Republican, dated January 26, 2012. The pictures on page B6 brought back many delightful memories of my early childhood because Doris Holbrook was my mother.
"I am the son of Robert M. Wallace, killed in WWII, and Doris Wallace (Holbrook). My mother married Donald Holbrook, after the war, when I was about 2-1/2 years old. I grew up in Westfieldand spent many enjoyable hours with the rest of the 'cast' in the pictures calling some of them 'aunt or uncle' even if we were not related.
"I am happy that Julie Mathews McGill was able to start the ball rollingJulie, and later her sisters, have always been very good friends. Their father Alva (Matty) was one of the best trumpet players you have ever heard. It always brings tears when we hear taps being played at the cemetery on Memorial Day. That job has been passed to Rick Mascaro the son of another couple in the photo, Bob and Mary Leah Mascaro. Whatever you find out, please publish an additional article to help us all remember the life of those days in Westfield."
Marybelle Beigh is the current Public Historian for the Town and Village of Westfield. Her office is located at 3 East Main Street in Westfield, N.Y, 14787 - inside Parkview Ice Cream Parlor. Her scheduled office hours are Monday through Friday 9 to 11 a.m.; other hours by appointment.
Beigh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 326-2457 (office), 326-6171 (home) or 397-9254 (cell).
Your letter, Robert M. Wallace, is the first of, hopefully, more memories to share with the readers about those times surrounding life in Westfield during World War II. Thank you. And if others have further memories to share, contact the Westfield Historian, as noted at the end of this article. Thank you.
Soon after the story and photo of Elton Tubbs and his invention, the currant-picker, was published, the editor of the Westfield Republican received an email requesting a link to the article that the daughter of the inventor had mentioned to her out of town family. Thank you, Jenna Loughlin, editor, for providing the link and for sharing the email. The following day, the phone rang at the historian office, and the mother/daughter shared her delight with the story and photo, telling, as did the email, of the over 50 years of family reunions of the Elton Tubbs family at their home in Westfield.
The Westfield Historian says, "Thank you, all who responded in so many ways, to this story, which also was a wonderful remembrance for me."
And again, thank you all responding readers of BeeLines. You make the many hours of research and writing about the history of Westfield even more enjoyable and worth the effort.