Kristen Wright, left, her mother, Ann Marie Wright, and Tammy Meranti watch one of the Wrights' trees put into place at the bottom of Main Street.
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Ann Marie Wright remembered planting the two fluffy blue spruces not long after she and her husband, Peter Wright, had moved to their home on Mountain View Drive.
They were about this high, she said, her hand hovering just about her knee.
"We planted them after we first came to this house ... We were here what, 47 years? They were little," Wright said. "It's a sad day in my heart."
Wright was teary-eyed as one of the 25-foot trees swung aloft, dangling from a crane, to be deposited on a trailer and ferried to North Adams. One will sit by City Hall, in Dr. Rosenthal Square, and the other will be the main Christmas tree at the top of Main Street on Monument Square.
Both trees were being donated by the family in loving memory of her husband, a Drury High School graduate and longtime educator. He had been an administrator at McCann Technical School and Drury and retired after 22 years as superintendent of the Windham Southwest Supervisory Union in Vermont. He was probably best known to generations of children as Dr. Wright, having earned his doctorate in education in 1973.
The high school sweethearts were married 51 years until Wright's death last year at age 75. They have two daughters, Lisa and Kristen, and three grandchildren.
Kristen Wright was with her mother early Thursday morning at the former family home to document the removal of the trees and a huge part of her family's life.
"They're going to be beautiful," she said, and believed her father would be pleased to see the spruces they'd cared for for so many years brightening up the city's downtown for the holidays.
The home is being sold and Ann Marie Wright had been concerned over their future. They'd paid to have them regularly clipped and maintained to keep them healthy and shaped.
"We've always taken care of our property," she said. "We're afraid somebody's really not going to care for them. ...
"I'd rather donate them and in my heart, I'll know maybe that people come down, seeing the lights will think of him."
The trees were removed by the North Adams Highway Department and Fire & Alarm and Atlantis under the direction of Fire Director Stephen Meranti. Two times the large crane from Atlantis Corp. of Stephentown, N.Y., lifted a tree above the electrical wires on the narrow corner and to the nearby trailer and then followed it down to the city where it again hoisted the spruce into position.
The annual tree lighting will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 21, Thanksgiving Eve, on Main Street. A number of events are planned to coincide with the tree lighting, which Santa Claus will attend.
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Drury Graduate to Direct Horror Film in North Adams
By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A Drury High School graduate is hoping to bring his dream — or, more appropriately, his nightmare — to film life.
The horror film "The Uncredited," written by Nick Burchard, will be filmed in North Adams this spring, pending fundraising and the COVID-19 pandemic. Burchard's Tiny Viking Productions is making the film in conjunction with Sancha Spiller and Kasey Rae of Skylah Productions of New York City.
"I grew up in the area, and I've always appreciated the historical places, in particular the Hoosac Tunnel, Mohawk Theater, and the old mills," Burchard said. "I think North Adams has a very unique setting, with the mountains surrounding the city and of course, all the steeples.
"The Uncredited" follows a young woman who appears in an independent film. While watching it, her friends notice something disturbing in the background of her scene. This leads to rumors and distrust in even the closest group of friends.
"My goal is to make great characters, and even though it's a spooky thriller the characters in it are just friends sitting down to watch a movie together," Burchard said. "They crack jokes, roast each other, and are all collectively trying to have a good time … but that juxtaposed with the realization that one of them might be hiding something is what creates the thriller edge to this. I think it's really fun."
Spiller added that the film does not rely on horror tropes such as jump scares. She said the screenplay is character-driven.
"It showcases our greatest fear of not knowing the people around us as well as we think," she said. "It makes us second guess who we trust and remember that just being in the wrong place at the wrong time can have horrifying consequences."