Fallen for a flageolet — the joys of fiddle camping

Sunday night in North Egremont, I walked into the opening night concert for the Berkshire Summer Strings, a new week of music jams and workshops and children’s programs. The instructors held a concert, and I learned that several of them teach at Maine Fiddle Camp — that camp has inspired Erika Ludwig to launch this new festival. I’ve been there and fallen in love with it, and seeing the beginnings of it here is elating. This is what it was like. (I wrote this in August 2007, when I came home.) 

For the last three days I have been back here, sleeping in clean sheets, wearing dry socks, sitting on the grass completely entirely alone. If you want a sense of how much you take for granted, spend six hours in the woods in the rain in a damp sweater, wondering whether your bedding will be dry at the end of the day. Because climbing into your sleeping bag later and feeling yourself thaw — that slow building warmth comforts to the marrow.

And getting yourself out of the dining hall in the afternoon, listening to the fiddles and drums ripping through reels under a yellow tent in the rain — getting yourself to pick up the whistle and work out a note, maybe a run, maybe a key, until they start on a tune you know and you can actually play it that fast when there’s a rhythm behind you, and who cares that over six fiddles and four drums you can’t even hear yourself, because you can feel yourself and the music in your hands — let me tell you, that turns a body on.

Banjo Residency with Rich Remsberg

Reels, recorders and flying high

Fiddle camp comes to the Berkshires

Sunday night in the rain I drove to Egremont for a concert of contradance musicians — the opening of Berkshire Summer Strings — and walked into one of my favorite memories.

Erika Ludwig, a teacher of stringed instruments in Great Barrington, wants to start a folk festival in the Berkshires. And she told me she’s inspired to do it after spending a week at Maine Fiddle Camp. Five young musicians will teach this week of children’s camp and adult workshops, and at least three of them are Fiddle Camp regulars.

I’ve been there too.



When I lived in New Hampshire, getting my MFA from UNH, I went up two summers running.



Five days in a tent uner the white pines, five days learning music by ear with a group of whistle players, five days of concerts and jams and gingerbread and not enough sleep — it’s a natural high.

Here’s what I wrote after that first week.

An afternoon at the Montague Bookmill

Yesterday I took a field trip I’ve had in mind for months — maybe a year. I spent half a day at the Montague Bookmill.


I have been hearing about the Bookmill for some time. Props where they’re due, I first came across it in a copy of Yankee Magazine I picked up at Breakwater Books, the independent bookstore I grew up with. In a roundup of New England second-hand bookstores, the Bookmill came up high. And any place with the slogan “books you don’t need in a place you can’t find” suits me down to the ground.

In February, their website showed ice along the river and live music indoors. They sounded warm and companionable in a wooden-beamed, laid-back, word-savoring way. They are also open late — and the accompanying cafe and restaurant keep open still later — and they happen to be about five minutes away from the weekly contradances at the Guiding Star Grange in Greenfield.

So on a blazing 80-degree July day I rolled down the Mohawk Trail to explore.


Coming up the path from the sandy lot, I walked along the river. This old mill is built into the river bank, and the wooden bridges and walkways between buildings feel almost over the water. You can hear the current from almost anywhere.


I walked in at a side door, open to the world with a fan and an armchair beside it. This place is full of open doors and nooks, wooden tables and old sofas, wooden stairways and window ledges piled with books. You feel invited to sit down with the novel you have just taken off the shelf, to dip into the life of a Japanese-American school teacher in northern Nebraska weary of explaining that she was born here. I remember Roger Shimomura saying the same thing, when I talked with him a year ago about his artwork in last summer’s Kidspace exhibit at Mass MoCA.


In fact the bookshelves keep up a running conversation with me about my job. Here in the New England section I meet Smith professor Newton Arvin, a highly respected and quiet man arrested for his homosexuality and devastated by the aftermath. I wonder about the Northampton he lived in 60 years ago — and I wonder what he wrote about Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Did he ever walk the college streets on a summer night and feel he belonged? Did he ever meet E.M. Forster, when Forster visited Tyringham?

And as I wonder what it felt like to walk those streets, or what it would have been like to talk with him after class, I wonder what it was like to stand by the salmon falls in Shelburne, where the sign for the glacial potholes hangs now, when the Kanienkehaka walked the trail. (The Mohawk do not call themselves “Mohawk.”) And I wonder about life in this valley now — its students and farm stands and live music, the powwow coming up along Route 2 later this month, and farmers washing spinach under the tap.


Later, on the second floor, I stand with an armfull of books from many shelves and look at the travel writing section. I am holding a western woman’s year in Baghdad, “Zazie dans le Metro” in French, Joy Kogawa’s “Obasan” (a novel), stories from all kinds of places and from many different shelves.


Who, I am thinking, is writing about my New England today and about places like this?

I want a writer like Calvin Trillin, who can make parking on the Lower East Side sound like an adventure and can lose to a chicken at tic-tac-toe in Chinatown with grace. He will make a place feel alive and unexpected.

I look around, and the fans whir gently, and students sit by the windows with their laptops. This old grist mill building was newly built in 1841 — at the peak of the Lowell mills, more than 30 years before Smith opened its doors. Who are the people sitting around me? Who are the regulars here, and who comes in for coffee in January, or sits by the river at the restaurant tables?


At the cafe, I lingered over a ham and onion marmalade sandwich and salad with farm beets. My farm share had young beets today for the first time this summer, and I’m sure these are local too. The room is full of quiet conversation, with the sound of the river running under it.

I understand that Jim Murphey and Allen Ross founded the bookstore here in 1987, and that Susan Shilliday took it over 20 years later and runs it today. Let me lift a bottle of local ginger beer in a toast and a vote of thanks. On this sunny afternoon, I’ve fallen in love with Kamila Sharmsie’s “Kartography,” a book I would never have known existed if you hadn’t preserved it for me to find. The 13-year-old lifelong friends at its core have just found a petrified cuttlefish in the garden in Karachi. Excuse me while I find out where it leads them.


Adventures in Berkshires Week’s past (1969)

E.M. Forster, a novelist I have loved for years, for his quiet, wilful originality, often visited old friends in Tyringham. (If you haven’t read “A Room with a View,” find the scene with George Emerson, Freddy Honeychurch and the Rev. Mr. Beebe swimming in the frog pond — and read it out by Pontoosuc on a quiet summer evening.)

Mark Twain visited Richard Watson Gilder here too, in the summer after Twain’s wife died. Stephen Rosenbaum, exploring Tyringham’s history in a companionable and rambling story in 1969, describes Twain and Gilder “retiring to Lucien B. Moore’s Riverside for a … Sunday supper of cornmeal mush and Riverside Jersey Cream.”

Twain began writing his “Diary of Adam and Eve” here — exploring the land in and outside of Eden with a child’s deep curiosity.


I am nose down in a two-foot-tall bound book that weights about 20 pounds, reading Berkshires Week stories from the summer of 1969. I could do this for days.

Berkshires Week — the Massachusetts taproot of our Berkshires Week & Shires of Vermont magazine, will reach its 60th anniversary tomorrow, and my interns and I have been exploring the magazine’s past.

We have microfilm going back to the first publication, on July 10, 1954, and we hve bound books and paper copies going back, with some gaps, to the mid-‘60s.

And the characters they contain are glorious.

Here, in 1969, Eugene Ionesco, the French absurdist playwright, talked with an Eagle writer before his “Hunger and Thought” opened at the Berkshire Theare Group. The reporer, expecting a flashing-eyed bohemian, found “a small, compact, dapper and delicateman with haunted eyes — bottomless, humorless, weary. … Absurdity is no joke to him. Once in our interview he smiled, and that was a paradox.”

Maybe the journalist had never seen Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros,” in which people begin turning into thundering rhinoceri, until fewer and fewer people are left human.


In the same summer, Erica Anderson, Oscar-winning documentary film-maker, was opening the Friendship House in Great Barrington as a memorial to Albert Schweitzer. Two 9-year-old twins who had survived open heart surgery rested at a local recovery center. Joe Elliot, proprietor of the general store in North Egremont, kept up his record as a professional dowser. Debbie Sue McFarlane, Pownal’s only woman jockey, won her first race.

And at Williams College, students and tutors worked with black high school students in the newly founded ABC program to prepare them for college. Any student who completed the program had a guaranteed place. (Dartmouth founded the program in 1964, and Amherst, Carleton, and Mount Holyoke had also pitched in.)

The students were reading Ralph Ellison’s ”The Invisible Man” and studying African American History. And when they needed a break from “all this whiteness” in a small town, they took a weekend trip up to Canada — to hear James Brown.

Berkshires Week turns 60

Hail fell on July 4, with thunderstorms. French troops were pulling out of Hanoi, causing panic in South Viet Nam. The U.S. army announced that it had finally completed its program to desegretate its troops. The Canadian government announced the find of a nesting site for one of the world’s last 24 whooping cranes. The IRS ruled that a martini mixed with five parts gin to one part vermouth must be labelled as “dry.”

It was July 10, 1954. In the Berkshires, Tanglewood was preparing to celebrate Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 150th birthday, and the modern artists George L.K. Morris and Suzy Frelinghuysen had work on display at the Otis Library. And the Berkshire Eagle decided to cover the summer art scene.

Sixty years ago today, this magazine began.


(It began as a black and white section inside the daily newspaper — color covers like this one and the standalone magazine came later.)

This week, Rachel Fitterman and Christopher Huffaker — my summer interns — and I have gone looking for the past. While Rachel has talked with Shakespearean actors, Chris has pored over bound books of back issues, unspooled microfilm and dug into decades of stories.

We swapped notes as he went. He found Sinclair Lewis’ bid for a Williams professorship. (Lewis owned a house on Oblong Road in Williamstown and ran his guests ragged.) I told him I’d flagged an ad from a used bookstore in Pittsfield in August 1962 Robert Frost’s daughter ran the shop, and she was announcing a new collection of his poetry, “In the Clearing.”

He found Bill Tague’s Eagle Eye photo page of Louis Armstrong performing at the Music Barn in Lenox. And I told him Dizzie Gillespie taught classes on the lawn at the Lenox School of Jazz.


Who knew that Eagle editor Mark Miller once helped playwright Arthur Miller to prime a pump in his fish pond?

After reading those sobering 1954 headlines, I am somewhat encouraged to read here about the Japanese Philharmonic Orchestra performing at Tanglewood, and to find photographs of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, in its first years, warming up to perform at Jacob’s Pillow.

And here is Sushil Mukherjee, a painter, print-maker and teacher at Windsor Mountain School in Lenox in 1962, explaining the history of printmaking back to 770 A.D. (and the difference between a print and an original.

Today I sit here and look at the list of events I can’t fit into these pages. Bang on a Can returns to Mass MoCA this week, to play in the galleries with Teresita Fernandez’ skyscapes and Izhar Patkin’s luminous veils. Mass Live Arts brings film and performance to the campus of Bard College at Simon’s Rock.

We have ‘A Great Wilderness’ at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Harpeth Rising at the Guthrie Center, Dafnis playing percussion at PS/21, jazz at Bascom Lodge on top of Mount Greylock, music from Charlemagne’s court at Tanglewood and Seeds of Harmony concerts on a Lanesborough farm and live caterpillars at the Berkshire Museum — the list is long.

At MCLA, Brian jones will perform a play by Howard Zinn, the internationally acclaimed historian who wrote “A People’s History of the United States” — or he edited it — from the accounts and letters and archaeology of the kind of people who often don’t make it into history books: the Mohican families who caught smallpox from the colonists, the colonists’ slaves, the children working in the mills, the strikers and the strike breakers.

I wonder what a People’s History of the Berkshires might look like. Looking at the papers around me, I think: It might look like this.

Inside the new Clark Art Institute

The sun is baking hot, and the crew laying down sod remind me of the July days when I mucked out the sheep pen in worn-thin jeans and boots and a t-shirt knotted at the ribs and had to stop every half hour or so for a drink at the hose nozzle and a breath of ammonia-free air.

The new approach follows a gravel path along a driveway still smelling of tar. Along a granite wall, I come to the glass doorways and walk through to the terrace, and the landscape opens out.

The reflecting pool stretches away in three tapering tiers, with a maple tree at the farthest point. Trust an art museum to get perspective lines right.

I am standing inside the new Clark Art Institute, waiting for a press lunch. 

New Clark

It’s hard to take in. Here we are around a white linen table cloth while the people in the buffet line are speaking French and Spanish and Japanese. We are looking across this stretch of calm water 13 inches deep to the grassy bank and the split-rail fence and the slope of stone hill. We can see new trees and the stacked trunks of the trees they must have replaced. The cows are either over the brow of the hill or inside in the shade.

And it’s an almost physical dislocation, because that ankle-deep lake ought to be a parking lot. I’ve known this place for almost 20 years. My freshman entry at Williams had a bonfire on Stone Hill. I’ve hunted fireflies up there and walked Mary Lawrence’s dog there on a night too dark to see the path and felt the way with my feet.  It’s the same. It’s all changed.


These renovations have been 10 years in the making. In my first summer with the magazine I wrote about the first leg, when they built the Stone Hill Center up the hill to house the art conservation lab and some small, flexible gallery space with the best view in town. They aligned the building to catch different light in different rooms. That was six years ago.

Since then I’ve seen a scale model and a film rendering of the plans and walked around the construction site and (in April) stood on the roof balcony to look out over the bulldozers … but I’ve never eally understood what it would feel like to walk around inside the new spaces.

Now I know.

You approach in a long curve around the lily pond, where the lilies are really blooming pink and white, and along a granite wall, until the glass doors of the visitor’s center block your view.

To your right, a flexible gallery space holds 3,000-year-old Chinese bronzes on loan from the Shanghai Museum — coiled serpents forming a giant bronze bowl, two cats climbing the rim of a vessel to become handles, a herd of water buffalo on the lid of a container for cowrie shells, pots with dragon heads or feet or tails. A row of screens shields them from the sunlight falling through a wall of glass.

To your left, a long open space of visitor’s center and cafe and shop angles away toward the new glassed-in entrance of the origial marble building. (One of their ongoing challenges in all this is that the three original buildings looked, in order, like a Greek temple, a granite office block built by Frank Lloyd Wright, and a warehouse built by a 1960s public school architect. They knocked down the last
one to build the space where we’re standing.

And directly before us two more doors open onto the terrace out to the sheet of water. The architects spoke to us, and then they turned us loose into the permenant collection.

I got hold of Sally Morse Majewski to show me the new works on loan — Rodin sculpture, a glass mosque lamp made by a 19th-century Frenchman, the painting of North African barber giving a shave to a man sitting cross-legged, leaning gently against him.

And she showed me their newest acquisition, a Carpeaux of Daphnis and Cloe. He is bending to whisper to her, and she is leaning into him, laughing, in white marble.

After that we slipped away, my intern and I. I had already spent a couple of hours taking with the Clark curator of the Chinese bronzes and the Chinese-American curator from Minniapolis who worked with him, and my intern and I had already spent an hour the day before talking with the contemporary art curator about the David Smith sculptures at the Stone Hill Center.

New Clark

Smith’s are geometric shapes in steel painted with automotive paint — by a midwesterner turned New York art stucent / WPA artist / abstract impressionist / Schenectady welder with a studio in the Adirondacks. And in talking about his work David Breslin used exactly, to a word, the same description that I’d heard Teresita Fernandez use about her new installation at Mass MoCA — sculptured landscape, the viewer creating an experience by walking around the work.

In both cases the work is about negative space, light and shadow, bright flat surfaces. I think of landscape, like the landscape architect who spoke to us, as a living system of moving water and trees and bats and fireflies … or like Tadao Ando, who imagined this space, as a place that draws people into it, the glass walls holding the sweep of the mountains, the water reflecting light onto the
ceiling of the room. 

And if I want to create this experience of looking at the water or the mountains, I’d need the heat and the voices and the sore feet, and the gentle aside conversations with the college girl standing beside me, and the quiet tension of the staff as this place begins to come alive.


Carmen, Caesar and Chesterwood: A good day

Today has been a good day. Any day that begins in a sculptor’s studio looking across the valley to Monument Mountain, boomerangs up the county to let a Williams College music student sing Carmen’s Habañera for me, and ends in a rehearsal room where Calpurnia (Caesar’s wife) and Julius are arguing over whether or not he’s going to the Senate on the Ides of March … is a good day.

Chesterwood Moving

I’ve just come from there. Caesar, in an accent out of the London back streets, defined this conflict as you’re not going down the pub tonight — yes I f—ing am! Brutus and Portia sounded exactly like a couple my age when something’s going seriously critical at work and he’s not admitting it. She slipped a hand into his pocket while she was leaning on him to tell her what was wrong. Casca taunted Caesar like (in his words) a cynical senator.

And Mark Antony — if there was one moment I was proud of in the interview (six actors together on one room pretty well run a conversation by themselves) it was the young actor who plays Antony, and had sat quietly for most of the conversation, lighting up about his speech over Caesar’s body. Brutus is an honorable man. This is what he makes of honor. What do you believe? Telling the citizens they get to choose, all the while influencing the choice.

I sat in on rehearsal for half an hour or more after the rehearsal, and I left the building thinking about how much I like talking to people. An interview, when it works, is intense. Being there, listening, guiding the conversation, helping someone to relax and think things through and put feelings into words and trust you enough to try — it takes concentration.

So today I stood in Daniel Chester French’s studio listening to Julie McCarthy, artist-in-residence, talking with the young guide about French’s daughter, Margaret, and looking over their hay fields to the hills.

And I listened to the young woman singing Carmen, alluring in the come-hither song and then frightened, saddened, in a part of a trio that comes (she said) in a scene when Carmen has her Tarot cards read and keeps seeing her own death.

I’m not a musician, but this young singer had me clenching my hands and holding my breath. We were all sitting on the Chapin stage, and when her professor asked her to sing she just stood up, walked two steps to the piano, hummed the pitch softly under her breath and took the roof off.

Some days I love this job more than I can put into words.

Berkshire fields and farms

It was good to have people here this weekend. My parents picked me up on Saturday on their way north, and we met my brother (Steve) and his new girlfriend (Stephanie) for lunch in Williamstown.

We walked a mild loop through Hopkins Forest  — wild lily of the valley in bloom, iron farm tools set in a sculpture by the flower garden. We read aloud the poem on the wall about what kinds of wood burn well, and my dad identified a sugar maple by the bark … and we wondered what it really felt like to collect maple sap with horses and a sledge on the mountain in the snow. I rediscovered striped maple trees (the ones Aimee Gelinas at Tamarack Hollow told me moose like). I said I’d wanted to walk the canopy walk for years now, and Stephanie said wasn’t it my job to do things like that? And I said yes.

Then the younger two went off to change for the wedding they were in town for, and my parents and and I settled their 15-year-old black lab at their B&B, said hello to two seriously miffed beagles (the B&B owners had gone somewhere and left them at home, and this was just. not. on!) and went off to Cricket Creek Farm to look for cheese.


We found eight week-old piglets and their mother (her name is Portia) rootling around their pig pen, and one of the owners, Jude Sabot, watching them. I’ve wished for awhile that my parents could meet the owners of this place … they seem to me to have a lot in common with my dad’s family. But it turns out they have more in common with my mother’s than I knew — she and Jude Sabot went to the same high school, and she remembers my mother’s father. He was her doctor for years. I only wish I’d know this five years ago, so I could have told my grandfather. He would have loved it.

We watched the cows come in for milking and stocked up on cheese, drifted down back roads to Route 43 and went sleepily to dinner at Hobson’s Choice.

In the morning they brought me a Tunnel City raspberry muffin, and we headed back toward Field Farm, to a land trust property with 1920s art deco buildings, where I ate my muffin at a picnic table, wearing dad’s jacket, with a pond behind us and a curlicue of grey shingled building beside us and hay fields stretching off to the north. And there are trails through the fields, up into the woods.

They’ve mowed a path along the edge of the fields, though the grass was thick with dew. Among the orchard grass and dandelion seed heads and wild strawberry blossom (and multiflora and dock along the edges) a sign told us this was a bobolink nesting area. Bobolink may be my new favorite word. I was thinking they were a kind of quail, but I just looked, and they’re not — they’re a finch-like blackbird, and they migrate from Argentina. I was thinking of Bobwhites. Bobwhite may be my second-favorite word.

We met a couple with a rambunctious half-grown yellow lab puppy — and then an orange newt — and walked a loop trail through a woodland growing out of marble under the soil. One glacial marble boulder was covered with wild columbine in bloom.


We walked along the boundary of Sweetbrook Farm with saplines in the sugarbush and alpacas in the fields. The trail ran along a stream, and in several places the water flowed straight into the bank under our feet — not along the channel, but underground. The path was called the cave trail, and we realized we were walking over the tops of the caves. They were in the riverbank under our feet.

Meeting Metacomet in Great Barrington

Here, by the far end of the River Walk, a stone bears a plaque: “Twenty rods north of this stone was the old Indian fordway on the middle trail from Westfield to the Hudson River. Nearby was the site of the Great Wigwam where Major John Talcott overtook and dispersed a party of Indians, August, 1676.”


The Tuesday Morning Club who dedicated it in 1904 may have meant to honor the Major for his army service. But I find it a sad reminder. What was the Great Wigwam? The tour tells me that the Bridge on Bridge Street crosses an old ford, and that the people Talcott “dispersed” were Naragansett soldiers at the end of King Phillip’s War.

I doubt he simply drove them into the trees.

In July of 1676, Major Talcott was capturing Algonquian people and selling them outside the Colonies as slaves.

In August, he was chasing down the last of the opposing army. King Phillip was the leader of the Wampanoag, and his name was Metacomet. He was the son of Massasoit, the commander who negotiated with the Plymouth Bay Colony and kept it alive.

Sixty years later the hundreds of thousands of native peoples in new England had been reduced by illness to 10,000 — fewer people than live in Pittsfield now. The Colonists were taking land aggressively. Imagine a settlement the size of Pittsfield hit by smallpox and completely wiped out, and then Adams and North Adams  and all along the valley.


Metacomet’s older brother had died after what should have been peaceful negotiations with the colonists.

If Metacomet wanted them gone, it’s hard to imagine any sane reason why he would have wanted them to stay.

By the summer of 1676, the Colonists had withdrawn into their largest towns and were facing food shortages, but Metacomet’s people were continuing to die of illness, and their ammunition was running out.

In August, 1676, Metacomet was killed by an American Indian soldier serving in the Colonial army.

The people who put up that plaque may have had other ideas, but for me it stands as a memorial of the men who died at the river ford and of the man they looked up to as a leader.


Adventures in Lanesborough: Roadside flowers

I followed a sign for “Vegetable and Flower Plants 1 mile down.” The sun has come out to stay today. Yesterday we had dramatic cloudscapes, thick banks of cumulus that took you from dazzling light to showers in seconds. But today is high 70s, summer hot without bringing out sweat and I was in Lanesborough with the afternoon ahead.



The scarlet marching band that had come to perform for a Memorial Day concert had gone home, and the road had emptied out, and I was spinning along home, slowly enough to stop for a sign when I saw it. And I was planning to get into the garden for the first time this season. I had half a dozen yellow marigolds and six more unidentified yellow flowers from a local farm.

Why not find a few more, I thought, and I pulled onto a side road I’d never notice before in all the years I’ve driven up and down Route 7. I passed a horse-crossing sign almost at once, which sent up my opinion of it. It’s a lovely stretch, fields on either side, a white farmhouse with a lilac bush, and the road curves to keep you guessing. It has that worn old pavement that weathered away its markings years ago and seems to last forever.


And about when I’d decided I must have missed the place with the plants, here on the right was a sign saying “Greenhouse” and a flag saying “open.” You pull up a short driveway onto a bit of gravel and walk up a few paces to a scrape of lawn filled with beds, semiprotected and full of rained-on pansies. There are two domed houses, one full of tomatoes and acord squash and peppers — with a handwritten poster explaining how to guage a pepper’s hotness — and the other full of flowers and an old metal stove.

The top greenhouse was thick with flowers — Impatiens, herbs, white begonais, Easter bonnet in blue and white and pink (why call it that when it blooms in May?) and marigolds in all colors. I came away with six pumpkin-orange marigolds and six only beginning to bloom, but one in deep red-orange, almost garnet.

It’s a comforting place. Two women, one with a child, wandered through the plants with me. And I came away soothed and cheered, as though I’d found a new roadside stand for strawberries in June or corn in August.

Now the marigolds and last year’s dahlias are in the ground, and the mustard-like invasive that tries to strangle the garden shed every year is out of it, and I’m sitting here on a sunday afternoon with a cup of summer punch— and in it the first thing I’ve picked out of my bit of garden this year, a handful of mint leaves.

We’ve had a busy late spring here, between Summer Previews (berkshireeagle.com/summerpreviews) and the Four Seasons Guide, now out around the county, and the South County Community Guide, which you’ll find in our magazine next Thursday. But the special sections are about to let up for a few weeks, and the summer is here, whatever the calendars say.