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Turners Falls, Massachusetts

Melissa Nykorchuk, Author

Hidden at the Northern tip of the Pioneer Valley, within the town of Montague, is a small village called Turners Falls, Massachusetts. Within this small village is a number of neighborhoods with nicknames leftover from a time when kids could walk alone to Equi's Candy Store and buy a bag of candy for a quarter. If you are from the patch, the hill, or slippery gap, you know exactly where you are from and more than likely you are proud of it.

Turners Falls is the home of the Blue and the White, the official colors of the Turners Falls Indians. Whether you are watching the boys football team at Bordeau field or the girls state championship level softball team coached by Gary Mullins, without blue and white on, you are only a visitor to this town. Downtown Turners Falls is not without nightlife or culture despite its small size. The Shea Theatre often has live productions and JaDuke Performing Arts Center has been a large part of the revitalization.

Before a show you can have dinner at the now infamous DiPaulo's. With an affordable yet finely tuned menu, DiPaulo's has brought fine dining to Turners Falls in a way no other restaurant has in years. Make a reservation for your special night out because the place fills up fast.

The Rendezvous has also changed its stripes from a rundown bar to a hip, jazzy restaurant with tofu on the menu and live music several times a week. Culture is in Turners Falls, you just have to know where to look. If you are interested in a going to a sports bar, the Second Street Café continues to get better with age. Owner Luis Collins works hard at keeping the place a fun, sports filled environment for people of any age (any legal drinking age) to gather and play pool, sing karaoke or just hang out.

The Shady Glen diner has been a mainstay of Turners Falls for decades. Previous owner John Carey is deeply missed by his dedicated following at the Glen but the new owners have tried to keep up the old time charm the Glen has to offer. You can still find Stash sitting at the counter most mornings. If he's not there, go up the hill to Scotty's Store where he'll be scratching tickets with Koldis and Shadow. They won a hundred thousand a few years ago, so I guess their daily trek to Scotty's paid off. Turners Falls, Massachusetts, a little village in Western Massachusetts where everyone has a nickname and everyone knows your name.

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