Remember the March 14 BeeLines about an old friend, Odell? It included excerpts from a funny letter written by Joyce Swan in 1971, describing the death throes of the St. Peter's Episcopal Church historic Odell pipe organ, the phoenix-like rise from wood-dust and a lot of blood, sweat and tears resurrecting it as a primarily Cassavant pipe organ with Odell innards.
In the letter, Swan uses an organist's inside joke about "swell" and "great" - two keyboards on an organ - and mentions a number of well known - in 1971 - Westfield folk who were "instrumental" in getting the organ breathing and singing again.
For those who are still pondering and puzzling about the identity of the people, here is a list of the mystery members:
first character on the scene was the dentist, Lou Habig, a member of St. James' Catholic Church;
does anyone know who his dental assistant was?;
the hair dresser was Bob Beehler;
The office of the Westfield Historian is located at 117 Union St., in the small green building on the north side of driveway. Office hours are by appointment; call or email a request. The Westfield Historian phone number is 326-2457 and email address is email@example.com.
the Episcopal padre was Reverend Bruce Kirkwood;
the shoemaker - another Catholic - was Ross Canella;
the airline pilot was Ron Worley;
the chemist was Ed Race;
the druggist was the late Don Nash;
the grape farmer was the late Frank Riscili; and
the fabric shop proprietor was June Waite.
As yet unidentified, in addition to the dental assistant, are the electricians, plumbers, bargain barn proprietor, "a Presbyterian" and "a few wives." If anyone knows any of these, contact the Westfield Historian as indicated at the end of this article and thanks.
Have a burning desire to research, write or do other
While on a much-needed vacation last week, but being unable to get to sleep one night, the Westfield Historian brainstormed and scribbled down a bunch of ideas for her return. But the list is so daunting, and there seem to be a lot of Westfield and former Westfield folk who love to explore and preserve local history, that one of the ideas is to recruit historian volunteers and aspiring historic writers to assist in the ongoing projects, suggest and explore others, and even become "historian-in-training."
Some current and future projects include:
correcting and updating the official History of Westfield book;
sorting and organizing the historian files that are in a sad state of disorder;
consolidating and locating resource documents, books and archives;
history mystery contests with prizes;
locating and acquiring historic artifacts, property and ephemera for preservation;
writing, photographing, giving presentations about historic topics;
organizing a Westfield Historical Society - information available at the historian office;
organizing a Westfield Historical Museum - information available at the historian office;
developing and maintaining a useful Westfield Historian website; and
ethics and history education.
Anyone who has skills, ideas, time, talent, the desire and energy to help with any of the above should contact the Westfield Historian and thanks.