I have come to think of it as our Amherst connection. It began 15 or 20 years ago when our nephew Wes Dripps was a geology major at Amherst College. Craig and Betsy Dripps, Wes’s parents, became friends with one of Wes’s professors, Dr. Anna Martini, a hydrologist. She was looking for a field trip for her students, and Craig had the perfect project.

Crystal Lake. Over the last 15 years an Amherst group of geology majors has come to East Chop four times to conduct a wide variety of tests on Crystal Lake. This year nine students under the leadership of Professor Martini came in mid-April. They stayed in our home with their sleeping bags, turning the kitchen into a laboratory.

In early May they mailed their findings to Craig in a 13-page report. Craig was particularly worried about the high acidity level in the lake, which was discovered in earlier tests of the water. The report from the Amherst students found improvement in the acidity level, though further progress needs to be made. Other tests confirmed the overall health of the water. It is reassuring to know that every three or four years the water of Crystal Lake is thoroughly tested by students from that fine college.

Walter Vail, our selectman in residence, reported to me in a recent telephone conversation that repair of the bluff is a top priority of the town. While the engineering studies are near completion, the larger problem is finding money to do the important stabilization work. The current plan is to repair the bluff in stages, beginning with the section across from Lincoln Park. Walter is hopeful that the money issues will be resolved soon.

Book Den East has added a new dimension. Upstairs among their collection of fine used books is an art gallery which will be open through Labor Day.

The gallery currently features the work of Piret Meisner. Piret’s favorite subject is people. She has paintings of a wide variety of people in different poses using different media. Her use of color is fascinating. Recently she has branched out into doing animals. If you have a favorite pet you would like to have painted or are looking for something fun to do, drop by Book Den East to see her.

At the Tennis Club luncheon on July 18, court #1 will be dedicated to Bush Richardson. For older members of the club, Bush captures what the club is all about: excellent play and committed volunteer labor that makes the club work and such a special place. Bob Blacklow and I will be speaking at the dedication. Other club members are invited to join us.

If you happen to see Barry or Barbara Carroll in the next few days, make sure to wish them a happy anniversary. They will have been married 50 years as of July 16—a great accomplishment for a great couple.

Finally, if you haven’t completed your update for East Chop Families, please don’t postpone it any longer. Send your draft to me at the email address above. We also have a few copies left of the 2001 edition. For information on how to purchase one, contact Jane Meleny Coe at 508-693-9669.

Send East Chop news to herricklr@verizon.net.