Running on Change. Standing for Change. The Race is ON!

BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati

My name is Nan Parati and I am running for president. And I am running on change. I collect change—in fact, today, alone, I collected four dollars in brand new shiny Jefferson dollars and that is a lot of big, gold change. My opponent, Rob Taft also claims to stand for change. I happen to know, however that my change collection is much larger than his is; I have so much change I can’t even pick it all up. It’s about to break through the floor into my basement. Most of it is gold dollars. I also have several silver dimes –that Rob gave me. He’s probably going to want to change that. In fact, he probably won’t give me any more change, since we are now adversaries in the presidential race, a change that I will find to be too bad.

I am Nan Parati and I approve this message.

I am also going to change the Farm Report this week, giving you Donna Elwell’s Produce report, but I would also like to add that: Not only do we carry Steady Lane Beef from right up on the corner, we also now have a whole shelf full of Tom and Sandy Carter’s Lamb, all kinds of cuts and ground! Now that’s a full Farm Report!

Friday Night’s Menu (01/11/08):

For dinner on Friday night, January 11th, Jim is making:

  • Shrimp Scampi over Linguini with sundried tomatoes, artichoke Hearts and Baby Spinach
  • Caesar salad with house-made dressing
  • And for vegetarians we’ll have Pasta Primavera.

Frequently, by the time he actually gets down to making the actual food, he has even more in there, but that is the seed of his idea for this week.


Incidentally, we’ve discussed: Which is better? Epicurian delights or good old down to earth comfort food? For now we’re trying a bit of both: sometimes fine dining, sometimes, GODtECF. Do you have a preference? Let us know what it is you’re looking for on Friday nights.


Also, some have requested that we take reservations on Fridays. We’ve always seen Elmer’s as a place that you could decide to go to at the last minute, without reservations. What do you, the diners think? Let us know.


And speaking of voting, here’s Rob’s Grocery Talk with Rob:

SPONSORSHIP: Brought to you by Grand Crest Baking Soda. It’s the baking soda for folks who think a muscular arm holding a deadly hammer is sending the wrong message to our children. Pick up a box of Grand Crest Baking Soda at Elmer’s Store today. Look for the distinctive and non-threatening yellow box.

First of all, I want to thank all ONE of you for emailing me your grocery requests. You will find your desired product (or something close to it) on our shelves in the near future. As for the rest of you, stop being so shy! Let me know what you want. Who knows? You ask for something, we start carrying it, other people start buying it. Pretty soon it’s a hit. You can brag about that the rest of your life.


Tea drinkers rejoice! We finally landed a shipment of tea in the unique pyramid bags. If you had given up looking for them, take a gander at the top shelf of our tea section. If they’re too high to reach you can call me over but I will snicker at your shortness. Do not take it personally.

If there’s one stereotype I enjoy about you New Englanders, it’s your universal and undeniable love of clam chowdah. Can’t get enough of that clam chowdaaaahhhh! Well, neither could we but we just got in some New England Clam Chowdah. Pick up a couple of cans and a box of Oyster Crackers. Can’t you just feel the salt spay on your yellow rain slicker?

COMMERICIAL: (Ominous timpani beat)

Coins all over the floor.
Dimes in the quarter compartment.
Nickels in the little have-a-penny-take-a-penny bowl.

These are just a few of the ways Nan Parati “handles” change. In fact, Nan Parati’s ineptitude with change is so bad it led one respected newspaper to declare “don’t expect correct change at Elmer’s Store anytime Parati’s behind the counter” –NY POST.

Is this the kind of change our country is looking for?

(orchestra crescendo)

Robert Taft is different. With over four years experience counting change in the toughest circumstances, he is ready for the challenges ahead.

Accurate to the penny.

Robert Taft knows change. Robert Taft lives with change. Robert Taft organizes change into little mason jars and has a stack of those paper rolls he gets free from the bank.

This February fifth, vote for correct change. Vote for Robert Taft

(I’m Robert Taft and I approve of this message.)

Congratulations To Kettle Foods (whose delicious potato chips we proudly carry) for being featured on NBC Nightly News for having the most environmentally efficient plant or something. Watch the video. Pretty cool stuff they’ve got going.

Happy Birthday to my sister Nancy, who is also Nan’s BFF and therefore the reason you all have to put up with me here in Ashfield. I love you Nancy- Happy Birthday!

Week 4

Man, it’s tough to hit three Whipples!

Still trying to think of a tagline,



Whoa, Whoa, Whoa! Incorrect change! Who ever—WHEN did anyone from the New York Post ever shop at Elmer’s and when did I EVER give anyone incorrect change?! I’ll show you some *Bleep!* –ing change around here all right! Rob, you’re FIRED! *Bleep* *Bleep* Son of a—*Bleep!*

Wait—oh—is this thing on? . . . *Bleep!*

And now back to Nan–

Thanks, Rob, for that report. I’m sure if you hang in there, you’ll get your Whipple up one day!

(What? What was wrong with that? *Bleep!*)



Don’t forget that we now serve lunch every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 2pm, right after breakfast!

At Elmer’s we’re re-upping our Sunday Afternoon Interesting Talk Series. These are talks given by local people who know a lot about what they’re talking about. They are on the dates specified below, are free to anyone who would like to come and begin at 3pm.

Sports Talk with Howard Bryant
On Sunday, February 10th.

Not only is Howard one of Ashfield’s most recent new residents, he’s also a senior sportswriter for the Washington Post, and appears regularly on the ESPN programs The Sports Reporters and Outside the Lines. He is a regular contributor to NPR on Saturday morning’s Weekend Edition with Scott Simon. His books are “Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston” and “Juicing the Game: Drugs, Power and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball.” He doesn’t only know baseball, but all sports, and his talk will be the Sunday after he returns from covering the Super Bowl.

Then, get down to business with Money Talk with John Perkins (following the previous talk) Ashfield Resident John Perkins CFP® is a fee-only Certified Financial Planner (CFP) with Compass Planning Associates. He has been awarded the CFP® designation from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. He has also completed the Financial Planning Association Residency Program. John is active in the financial planning community, including the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the Financial Planning Association (FPA).

February 17th
Knowing Your IRAs – pros & cons

This talk will discuss the different types of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), who is eligible, how much you can contribute, is this my best option, what type of investments should I use, tax deductibility and more.

March 9th
Do you Know What & How Your Planner Charges

There are three main compensation models in financial planning, Fee-Only, fee-based and commission. If you are not familiar with exact differences between these, and you are interested in working with a financial planner or already are, it is in your best interest to know. We will discuss the three different models, the different share classes (A, B, C, etc.) that indicate how a planner may be receiving compensation from you and the expense ratio that all mutual funds have & how much the can differ widely.

March 30th
Organizing and Simplifying All of Those Accounts

Many people have numerous accounts, including IRAs, 401ks, 403b and many other types of accounts at various providers. I am a big believer in simplifying and organizing accounts into the fewest places possible to achieve your goals, with the account services & features you need and with the fewest account statements as possible. We will discuss different providers, such as Fidelity, Vanguard, TIAA-CREF, Schwab, T. Rowe Price and online savings accounts. Life is too short to be digging through a handful of statements, mailings and emails each month from all those account providers.

We’re celebrating Mardi Gras in Ashfield with Eilen Jewell
Elmer’s has moved into the bigger-time with Eilen and her band and the event will be held at Ashfield’s Town Hall, upstairs. If you don’t know her, her style is blues-country and just great. Kind of a road-house style with a guitar player who reminds you at times of Dick Dale and his surf guitar style of the 60s. You can dance, or you can just listen and tap your feet. It’s gonna be great! Saturday night, February 9th at Ashfield’s Town Hall at 7:30pm. ($)
We’ll be serving a New Orleans dinner, too, but that will be a separate deal so that people can either have dinner with us or just attend the concert. Dinner will begin at 5:30, also at Town Hall. Tickets are available at Elmer’s Store – 396 Main Street in Ashfield and at Turn It Up in Greenfield and Northampton and in Brattleboro, Vermont. Call us at 628-4003 for details.

Vote for me and I promise change in every pot!

Big Elmer

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