Things To Do- Researching Alone at Sea, an illustrated talk with author John Morris


Researching Alone at Sea, an illustrated talk with author John Morris

The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to present Researching Alone at Sea, an illustrated talk with author and Gloucester native John Morris on Saturday, January 15 at 3:00 p.m. Morris will be discussing how a personal journey to learn more about his ancestors led him to the Cape Ann Museum Archives. This program is free and open to the public. Reservations are required. For reservations please call 978-283-0455, x11.

John N. Morris’s grandfather, Steve Olsson, was a Gloucester doryman who disappeared at sea without a trace in 1935. Olsson and his dorymate lost contact with their schooner and were never seen again. Morris set out on a quest to discover what might have happened to his grandfather and what a doryman’s life was like. The result—after ten years of exhaustive research and dozens of interviews—is the most complete and authoritative history of the Gloucester fishing industry ever written. This epic highlights life at sea, life at home, and the industry that connected them, growing and then fading over more than 300 years. Alone at Sea is illustrated with over seventy period photographs and maps, many of which came from the Cape Ann Museum archives.

John N. Morris, Ph.D., is the grandson of one of the last Gloucester dorymen lost at sea. A native of Gloucester himself, John is descended from a line of fishermen going back to the seventeenth century. His father was a fish cutter, his mother a fish packer. Director Emeritus of the Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew Senior Life in Boston, a Harvard-affiliated hospital and research program, John has published widely in his field. A board member of the group preserving one of the last surviving Gloucester schooners, Adventure, he now lives in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts.

Funding for this program was made possible through a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which promotes excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences, in order to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and to contribute to the economic vitality of our communities.

The Cape Ann Museum is located at 27 Pleasant Street in Gloucester. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Museum is closed during the month of February, on Mondays, and on major holidays. Admission is $8.00 adults, $6.00 Cape Ann residents, seniors and students. Children under 12 and Museum members are free. Admission for Cape Ann residents is free during the month of January. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information please call: (978) 283-0455. Additional information can be found online at

Whoever is not living on the Edge is taking up too much room

Mixed Media Painting by E.J. Lefavour

This poem was written by my dear friend, Bina Benestante. It epitomizes life on Cape Ann to me, so I wanted to share it with all of you. You have to read all the way to the end to catch the magic.

(“Whoever is not living on the edge, is taking up too much room!”)
By Sabina Troger Benestante

Out on the edge again
One step away: a deep, steep abyss,
Yawning before my feet.
I’m standing on a towering cliff top,
High above the sea.

Gusts of cold wind whip my face
Spraying white foam on roaring waves
Forever breaking, breaking at the rough rock’s edge.
A carnivorous bird is shooting like an arrow
Down at some hapless creature of the sea
As suddenly the clouds rip open, like a ghoulish wound

A sunbeam crashes through, furrowing
A narrow band of fiery lava
Into the waves, stretching as far as the horizon
The wind is howling…

Other people exist in soft, lush valleys, I complain,
Above them clear blue skies, sweet air, a feathery cloud.
Completely cozy, they listen to the willows’ whispers,
Growing around a calm and shallow pond
Maybe next to a brook, sheltered by elms,
With flimsy butterflies, dancing above unruffled meadows
Of fragrant summer grass…

While I forever find myself just barely hanging in there
My nails like claws, clutching bare rock, and by my teeth’s skin merely holding on: Why me?
Yeah, God answered. But you have the view.

Magnolia Polar Bear Swim


Click photo for a few more views

The day started with the GMG crowd meeting for morning coffee, the I went off to the 2011 Magnolia Polar Beach Swim.  This years swim was a fundraiser for the Greater Boston Food Bank.  Thank to all that participated in the event and helping make a difference in 2011.


Rockport Music Announces Winter/Spring Events in Shalin Liu Performance Center

Rockport Music is pleased to announce its 2011 Winter/Spring season, featuring over 25 concerts and events in the beautiful, oceanfront Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, Massachusetts (Boston Globe – Best of the New 2010!). An intimate 330-seat venue, the Performance Center is unique in America, as it features stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean through a floor-to-ceiling glass window that serves as the backdrop to the stage. From January through May audiences will enjoy the finest classical chamber music, outstanding jazz with faculty from the renowned Berklee College of Music, a Celtic fiddler, an Austrian cabaret artist, legendary rock performers from the 1960s, high definition (HD) live broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera and HD broadcasts from England’s famed National Theatre.

Click Here For The Complete Calendarimage

According to the Farmer’s Almanac,

January 2nd 2011 is best to….

Cut Hair to Retard GrowthMow to Retard GrowthCastrate Farm AnimalsHarvestPick Apples and PearsWeanPotty TrainPerform DemolitionWash Wooden FloorsWash WindowsStart Diet to Lose WeightAdvertise to SellBuy a Car

So if you are motivated, I hope this list helps you with your chores! 🙂

By the way, I’m starting the 365 Project where you post a photo everyday for 2011. If you took a picture yesterday, you can get started too! I was going to do this on my own, but I think doing the Project will keep me motivated. Here is yesterday’s post Chilly Jump on 365 Project

Click in the photo and it will take you to the project. Let me know if you are going to do it!  —Sharon