the Town Reminder
Town Reminder has gone through a number of transformations throughout
the 40 years that it has been published to get to where it is
today. The first issue ever to be published had 18 pages full
of local advertisers and want ads, either hand drawn or typed.
It was printed on March 13, 1968. Gus Peterson, founder and original
publisher of “Our Town REMINDER”, began the paper
after he decided to leave the corporate life and learned from
townspeople that they needed a paper to call their own.
Peterson grew up in Greenwich, CT and attended Trinity College
in Hartford, where he studied psychology and philosophy. After
college, he wanted to enter the Episcopalian ministry, but decided
to enter the service instead, as WWII was going on. After leaving
the service, Peterson began working at Connecticut General Life
Insurance and taught at his alma mater at night. Only a few years
later, he started a new job at A&P Supermarkets, which brought
him to the Springfield area. He spent 20 years in the sales and
In an interview with Peterson in 2006, he explained, “I
just got fed up with corporate life. That’s when I quit
and started the Town Reminder.”
Peterson learned the ins and outs of the newspaper business from
the Reminder in East Longmeadow, and after talking with people
in South Hadley he learned they were not happy with the coverage
the local daily papers were providing. Peterson did not have an
office to conduct business in; instead he took most calls from
an answering service, which he dialed from a phone booth near
the Village Commons. The rest of the work was done in his basement.
It took about three months to put together everything needed to
produce the first issue.
Peterson thought the first edition would only be eight pages,
but instead it turned out to be 18. Much to his delight, W.T.
Grant Stores had purchased three full-page ads. Inside the first
edition, the ads reflect how times have changed, with a brand
new Chevrolet Corvette costing only $60 to $70 a month with $199
down. A “big new screen portable color TV”, being
15 inches, was $299.95. The center spread introduced cable TV
to South Hadley with “10 channels for your viewing pleasure”,
costing only $4.95 per month. There were also a number of cigar
giveaways to “lucky male readers.”
Our Town REMINDER was mailed to every home in South Hadley from
1968 until 1985, when the paper was sold to Jim Darby. After Darby’s
death his wife, Maureen, sold the paper to Bill Couture, Guy Demers
and Jamie Joslyn in 1995. During the many changes of ownership,
the paper also changed. It lost the “Our” in its title
and became known as just the Town Reminder, and after Turley Publications
purchased the paper, the front page was redesigned and began including
a full color photo and more news stories. Demers and Joslyn are
still involved with the Town Reminder. Its first official editor
was Tammy Landon who left in 2007. In September 2007 the current
editor, Aimee Henderson, joined the family.
In the first edition of Our Town REMINDER, Peterson wrote, “We
hope to be of service to you as we get to know each other better.
We plan to bring you each week bulletins about events in South
Hadley…Our Town REMINDER is for you, the residents of South
Hadley. We want it to be helpful and enjoyable to you. Please
support its advertisers.”
same holds true today, as the Town Reminder still brings community
happenings to its readers, and prides itself on being a local
community newspaper with great history.
Kristin Will was hooked on journalism starting in
grade four when a class project requiring her to create a
newspaper sparked her interest in the industry. That interest
continued into high school, where Will was editor of South
Hadley High School’s newspaper, Spotlight, and English
classes were her favorite to attend.
Will attended Framingham State College from which she graduated
in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a concentration
in journalism. There, too, she joined the newspaper, The Gatepost,
writing and photographing. Will worked her way up the ranks
to become the paper’s Associate Editor in her senior
year. Following her graduation from college, Will dove into
the world of freelancing, where she was able to contribute
to eight of Turley Publications’ newspapers.
Now, as Associate Editor of both the Town Reminder and Holyoke
Sun, she is able to focus on South Hadley and Holyoke. When
not sleuthing on assignment, Will can be found behind the
lens of her camera or racking up miles on her bike. Drop by
the office to say hello or submit news to your local paper
run by a local lady.
E-mail her at kwill@Turley.com
Editor, Turley Publications
A 16-year veteran of the newspaper industry, Tim
has been a part of the Turley team since 2005. He entered
the trade with the goal to make a difference in the world
by serving as a public informant and seeking the truth—and
continues to work by that guiding principle today. His favorite
assignment was breaking a series of stories in Ashland, Mass.
about one man's battle with cancer and his quest to uncover
the truth about a former manufacturer's decades of hazardous
waste dumping in town. Tim has a BA from Fitchburg State College
and attended the American Press Institute. Tim lives in Brookfield
with his wife, Danielle, and their two sons, Timmy Jr. and
Christopher. His pastimes include songwriting, drumming, writing
fiction, cross-country skiing, hiking, trail maintenance,
and volunteering for the Boy Scouts.
Editor, Turley Publications
lifelong sports fan, Dave figured a career covering sports would
be the next best thing to playing them. The Chicopee resident
is new to the Turley team but brings seven years experience
in journalism, most recently as sports editor for nearby Stonebridge
Press. His favorite assignments have included covering the Tantasqua
boys' varsity basketball team during the 2006-2007 season, not
to mention the 2003 New England Patriots Super Bowl Championship
parade and the 2004 Boston Red Sox World Championship parade.
Dave is a 2000 graduate of Westfield State College with a major
A veteran of more than 40 years of reporting, Dan started writing
for the former Holyoke Transcript-Telegram in August
of 1966 and has been a correspondent and columnist for the Turley
team since they purchased the Holyoke Sun. A graduate
of Colorado College, Dan also writes for another Turley publication,
the Town Reminder. Dan’s biggest story was breaking
the news that President Lyndon B. Johnson would not be a candidate
for reelection. In addition to his reporting career, Dan has
an extensive background in business, including owning an egg
carton manufacturing operation in Palmer, Mass., and creating
an employee recognition program (the 100 Club) that’s
been featured in TIME magazine and more than 150 other periodicals
world-wide. Dan lives in Holyoke with his wife, Angela, a nurse
practitioner with NP Care of MA, and he has a daughter, Jennifer,
who lives and works in Florida. Besides writing for the Turley
team, Dan is a professional letter writer as well as a world-renowned
management consultant. In their leisure time, Dan and Angela
enjoy traveling to South Africa where they do photo shoots.
Dennis Hohenberger is a reporter/writer based in
Western Massachusetts. He considers Los Angeles his second
home and enjoys the contrast in styles between both places.
Dennis studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts
at Amherst. Besides spending too many years in Boston, he
lived for a number of years in Washington, DC, bearing witness
to the every day happenings of life and politics in the nation’s
capital. He made it a weekly habit of exploring the galleries
and museums on The Mall, especially the National Gallery.
While living in Washington, DC, Hohenberger survived studying
method acting at the acclaimed Studio Theater Conservatory.
Later, he found himself living in the uber-hip confines of
Sunset Boulevard of Los Angeles. His passion is community-based
reporting and writing about the heroic and not so heroic events
of life in Holyoke and the surrounding communities. To him,
a story is a story.
was born and raised in Chicopee and graduated from Chicopee
High. He was retired after a long career with the Air Force
and wondered what to do next. A friend suggested he take his
love of photography and do something he would enjoy in his retirement.
After a kind of unofficial internship with Turley, where he
learned as much as he could as fast as he could, he became a
regular for the Turley papers. He then started a web site www.sweetdogphotos.com.