Goodbye Bonnie Ascher

It took me a long time to photograph Bonnie. One day after ten years of trying to schmooze her into it I simply said, “Bonnie its time.” I know” she said following me up to the tracks complaining with every step. If you’ve lived in Northampton you knew her. She picked up cans and cleaned stores in town for over twenty years, she always had a strong opinion about everything. She had a big personality, so big that sometimes it exploded, like one time I remember when she planted herself on her bicycle in the middle of the intersection downtown screaming at the cars “come on motherfuckers!!” Bonnie was often in pain, but she was kind to others. When she laughed, it was contagious and liberating. It will not be the same around here. This was her town and we were all just renting her cans.

This is what she said about herself when I photographed her for the Advocate.” I grump and I groan,” she said, “but you never see me on a corner holding out a cup. At least I go out and try to make a buck.”

Goodbye Bonnie, I will miss you.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009 Daily Hampshire Gazette Northampton

– “Bonnie Ascher, 61, passed away Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009, at Mass. General Hospital in Boston.

Born in Springfield, she had lived in New Hampshire before moving to Northampton, where she has lived for many years. In Northampton, she was well known.

Bonnie was an animal lover and loved to donate to Native American charities.

She is survived by her daughter, Beckie (Steve Champagne) Ascher; her mother, Jeanette Ascher; her brother, Robert (Linda) Ascher; her sister, Lori (David) Seed; and her brother, Michael (Irene) Ascher.

Bonnie’s funeral will be Thursday, Oct. 29, at 11 a.m. at the Ascher-Zimmerman Funeral Home.

Burial will be at the convenience of the family. Shiva will be Thursday and Sunday evenings at the home of Jeanette Ascher at 44 Sumner Ave. in Springfield. Memorial contributions can be made to any Native American or animal related charity.”