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Tales from Beyond

Searchin’ for St. Pat, finding Posh

by Rod Lee

St. Patrick’s Day in the Blackstone Valley may not mean parades like the ones that take place in Boston and Worcester, a widespread lifting of a pint at the local pub (there aren’t that many such establishments around these parts) or much of the other fanfare that accompanies celebrations of the life of “The Apostle of Ireland”—a fifth-century bishop and missionary around whom great legend is built.

In fa... Read More

The end of an era: Brian’s closes

by Rod Lee

There is no calculating in dollars or by any other means of measurement what the loss of Brian’s Restaurant, which closed its doors on Sunday night, October 19th, means to the town of Northbridge and the village of Linwood.
Brian Snay’s eating and drinking establishment was not just the only pub-style family dining venue of its kind for miles around, it was in a real sense the glue that held a tight-knit ne... Read More

Grafton Flea is the place to be

by Rod Lee

If ever further proof was needed that the Grafton Flea Market is one of the Blackstone Valley’s most venerated institutions, one need only have visited on a Sunday morning in late June, as we did.

On the sprawling grounds situated along Rt. 140 we immediately struck up a conversation with Jonathan Giantz of Cranston, Rhode Island who was selling rope and bungee cord. Mr. Giantz is one of the Grafton Flea’... Read More

Wallis Cove: Good as gold

by Rod Lee

The three secluded cabins set off an obscure and rustic road marked by a sign on a tree that reads “Owl crossing” don’t begin to tell the story of Wallis Cove, which is celebrating a 50th anniversary this year.

Neither does the pristine 216-acre Whitin Reservoir with its sandy beach, great bass fishing and pit for bonfires.

Neither does the opportunity that is always available for a guest-house ren... Read More

Small retailers’ season to shine

by Rod Lee

The curse is lifted.

Snow, gone.

Ice, gone.

Salt and sand trucks, gone.

Television weather forecasters bearing bad news, not gone but at least tolerated.

A handful of small retailers I talked to recently are among the happiest people around now that a new morning and a more favorable climate have dawned for themselves and their customers.

Todd Willette at The Candy Shopp... Read More

Lean, Green and supreme

It must seem like an optical illusion, all of those “Marty Green Properties” for-sale signs in front of or on the sides of buildings throughout the Blackstone Valley—and beyond.

Surely there are those who have asked themselves, in seeing this blitz of red, white and blue advertising placards, “how on earth can one man, one company, seemingly have such a grip on the business of marketing commercial, industrial and residenti... Read More

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