Topside Grill Closing for The Season

Friday night entertainment ~The Bandits ~ Dan and AnnMarie

Hey everyone,

I wanted to say thank you for a great season here at the Topside Grill! We had a tremendous spring,summer, and fall this past year, and it would not have been that good if not for our terrific regular customers such as yourselves. Please join us for our last night this Saturday the 15th starting at 7:30pm as we have our customer appreciation night. We will have a buffet and some giveaways throughout the evening. We hope to see you there!!


Doug Silva
General Manager
Topside Grill
50 Rogers St.
Gloucester, MA
(978) 281-1399

Did you Know (Willows of Annisquam)

Painting of the Willows of Annisquam aka Willows at Riverdale and Annisquam Willows
Painting by E.J. Lefavour

That sometime in the 1840’s there was a need for a road to be built on a bit of land, which was almost a swamp.  Horses and oxen would sink in the mud and mire.  At that time, the city did not provide roads, so the neighbors decided to build their own.  They used stone from the local quarries for the paving; however, the land was too unstable to support stone.  Discouraged by their failed efforts, one of the men suggested setting out willow trees, which easily reproduce from cuttings and were known for their rapid growth – the idea being that their roots, remarkable for their toughness, magnitude, length and tenacity of life, would meet across the road and make a foundation, thus reinforcing the road.  From the swamp, they cut some willow switches.  After gathering a good number of them, the men stuck the slender branches into the ground on each side of the roadway.  These branches sprouted and thrived and their roots held the roadbed firm.  In time, these willows, with their green and lovely plumes, became a Cape Ann landmark.

This painting was done from an old black and white photo of the Willows of Annisquam in winter at the suggestion of an older neighbor who remembers and loved the Willows.  She also loaned me the Anne Kelly Lane book about the Willows.  They were located on the stretch of Washington Street near where the Willow Rest and Riverdale Post Office are now, and most disappeared after a blight killed them off in the 1950’s, although if you look, you will still see a few along the roadside.

Going Thru the Willows

Two men planted twigs

On a road nearby the sea,

One by one they sprouted up

And grew into a tree

Love sought their shade at evening

And there breathed its early vows

And old and young alike

Would stroll beneath their boughs

Cape Ann loved the dangling plumes

Of the willows on the shore

But “going thru the willows”

Is now just a bit of lore?


(edited excerpts from “The Willows of Cape Ann” by Anne Kelly Lane)

E.J. Lefavour

Quote of The Week From Greg Bover

January 12, 2011
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
Anais Nin (1903-1977)
Born in France to artistic parents of Cuban descent, Nin spent her entire life plumbing the depths of her own psyche and recording her explorations in detailed journals. From the thirties through the fifties, with literary luminaries Henry Miller, Lawrence Durrell, Gore Vidal and others, she defined the open bohemian lifestyle. While perhaps best known for her female erotica, Delta of Venus and Little Birds, her seven volume Diary of Anais Nin contains extensive self study. "We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are."
Greg Bover

Community Plots At Burnhams Field

soon to Burnham’s Field: Fresh tomatoes and cucumbers?
you like to grow your own cucumbers or tomatoes but don’t have a sunny spot to
do it? Burnham’s Field is the largest green space in central Gloucester.
A community garden at Burnham’s Field would allow Gloucester residents to
grow fresh, healthy vegetables or flowers of their choice and save money
on their shopping bills. Gardeners will be able to have their own plots and
share growing tips with other gardeners.
are now underway. The garden could open this spring if enough people are
interested. Plots will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
you are interested in having a plot in the Burnham’s Field community garden,
please contact me at
John McElhenny is a member of the
City of Gloucester’s Open Space and Recreation Committee

Scott Memhard Barbie Caption Contest

Hey Joey – While you’re down there with your family in the southern sunny warmth, my wife Martha, daughter Marie and I came upon this chilly photo opportunity at Good Harbor Beach yesterday afternoon (Sunday). The tide had just turned, there was a brisk wind keeping the walkers and dogs to a minimum, and the upper beach was covered in snow. It would be good for a GMG caption contest….

A few possibilities: "Survivor (casualty?) from New Year’s Polar Bear Dip at Good Harbor"; or "Good Harbor sunbathing – clothing optional in January"
I’m sure you and your readers could come up with some more captions.