Chester Chatter: A town I never want to leave

By Ruthie Douglas
©2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC

In 1957, when I came to live in Chester, I knew that I would never want to leave.

It seemed that everyone knew everyone else. Folks liked each other here.  As a farmer’s wife, I was eased into that role slowly. I came to know the hardware store — what used to be Cummings — and what stepping through the door meant.

The wide floorboards creaked and the cash register was an old crank-style one, golden in color. And the smell was something great and totally unknown, made up of all the goods within its four walls.

In our local stores, such as Erskine’s grain, you would never stop there unless you had time for a chat.

Each year at Erskine’s, I got my baby chicks. Later in the year, I’d get my wild bird seed mixed up special for the blue jays I enjoyed feeding. After all this time, I still love living here. And at this time, I am doubly glad to live here during the pandemic.  Let’s hope everything will be back to normal soon. Let’s be kind to one another.

Scene and heard

Congratulations to Delaney Mager, who earned her LNA in Concord, N.H. Good job honey!

We are sad to learn of the death of Danny Putnam and our thoughts are with his son Billy.

I am so sad to learn of the death of my long time friend Larry Snide. Larry was best man and Don’s and my wedding. Pat his sister has been my friend for years as well.

Bobby Rorison, my classmate in Springfield, is in the hospital fighting Covid-19. Bobby is a fighter and I am praying for him.

Get well to my grand dog Willie Bolaski, who is not feeling so great. Willie is a big part of our family.

I am still receiving birthday cards. I sure have enjoyed looking at them.  My daughter Jeanie punches a hole in each card and clips them on a ring, keeping them all together.

Have you missed Johnny Knisely, who used to work at Erskine’s? You can find him volunteering at the Food Shelf of the Chester-Andover Family Center.

Can anyone remember Postum, the hot breakfast drink?

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Filed Under: Chester ChatterCommunity and Arts Life

About the Author: Ruthie Douglas is originally from Springfield but has called Chester her home for 58 years, and has been writing the Chester Chatter column for more than 40 of those years. Ruthie is also a longtime volunteer throughout the community.

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  1. Twyla Putnam says:

    I remember Postum when I was little my Grandfather drank it every morning with his Cream of Wheat.

  2. Walter Spinrad says:


    So many memories of you, Jeannie and Donna. My life wouldn’t be the same without a bit of your influence. Love reading your articles, it keeps me connected to Chester.