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Cecile Love waves as a car parade drives by to celebrate her 105th birthday on Tuesday.
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Cecile Love poses with family.
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New Ashford Shows Love Love on 105th Birthday

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
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Balloons and sign outside Love's house. 
NEW ASHFORD, Mass. — There were balloons, there was family, there were noisemakers — actually, fire trucks — and there were jokes, courtesy of the guest of honor.
 
It was as good a birthday party as one could hope for in the age of social distancing.
 
Cecile Love celebrated her 105th birthday on Tuesday, and the town turned out to celebrate with her, even if most of the residents had to settle for delivering drive-by greetings at noon at her home on Route 7.
 
Asked how she explains her longevity, Love poked a little fun at herself.
 
"You've just got to stay on your feet and don't sit around," Love said. "I think that's the main thing.
 
"And here I am sitting like a lazy thing."
 
Love does not sit around much.
 
The nearly lifelong New Ashford resident lives next door to the house where she was born. And she has a large extended family — including 20 great-great-grandchildren — to keep track of.
 
Her daughter Priscilla Haig was among those in attendance on Tuesday. She said the town's Select Board set up the drive-by party when it learned that the milestone birthday was just around the corner.
 
"We've had parties since she was 90," Haig said. "I think 90, 95th, 100th and this one. This is the best we can do … with the way things are going.
 
"For 105, we think she's doing great. She still lives alone and takes care of herself very nicely. We all try to pitch in and help with things. But this is the way she wants it. Not the way we want it, but this makes her happy to be in her house."
 
As if the global COVID-19 pandemic was not enough of an impediment to a proper birthday gathering, the ongoing resurfacing project on Route 7 happened to hit the stretch right in front of Love's house on Tuesday morning.
 
But the work crew took a break long enough to let the parade of well-wishers, led by the New Ashford Fire Department, make two passes as Love watched and waved from the comfort of her lawn chair.
 
Next time, Love will want to share some cake with the party-goers.
 
And there will be a next time.
 
"For her hundredth, we had a big open house party at our church, and everybody came," Haig said. "I don't know what we'll do for her 110th.
 
"She had a cousin who lived to be 108, so we'll be doing this next year. From now on, we'll do it yearly."

Tags: birthday,   centenarian,   

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Mount Greylock Committee Member Pushes to Reopen Schools

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff

Steven Miller participates in a recent meeting of the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee via Zoom.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The chair of the Mount Greylock School Committee's Education Subcommittee on Tuesday repeatedly pressed the district's interim superintendent to develop benchmarks that could be met in order to allow a return to full in-person instruction.
 
For now, school officials are planning to begin school in mid-September in a hybrid model that sees half the students in preK through ninth grade attending classes in person two days a week with the rest of their time on learning spent remotely; sophomores through seniors in high school would attend school one day a week under the current plan.
 
Several times during a more than two-hour virtual meeting, Steven Miller reiterated his contention that the Lanesborough-Williamstown district is uniquely situated to move to full, in-person instruction.
 
"We are in a wonderful situation where we are in a rural setting with people who are responsible, who are socially distancing and wearing masks," said Miller, who also referred to the county's low incidence of COVID-19 positive tests.
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