Often times there are people in your life that don’t get nearly as much appreciation as they deserve. 


I mean first things first, mother’s first off give you everything- LIFE.  They carry you around in their belly, get all stretched out and fat lugging your pre-born self all over the place and I don’t even want to go into the whole birth thing and how messed up it is to see something the size of a smallish watermellon come out a coochie. 

The amount of love and support and work that goes into raising a child is mind boggling but somehow we bounce along as we get older and lose sight of just how much our mothers have done for us.

This year as those of you that are close to me know, we had to put my dad in a nursing home for his alzheimer’s.  Mom tried to keep him home as long as she could but the time came where she just couldn’t provide the 24/7 care he needed.  She took a job at Seacoast Nursing Home to work and be able to still spend lots of time with him and the care the staff provides knowing how much they care for him is the only thing that allows me to sleep at night.

I’m going to be all over the place but please bear with me.

The point I’m trying to make is that through GMG, the opportunities to be able to help other people have been many.  The accolades that we’ve received many as well- CBS Boston’s Most Valuable Blogger, The Community Recognition Award from the Unitarian Church, The Golden Sou’Wester Award from Discover Gloucester, Action Inc’s Community Outreach Award, US Congress Special Recognition award from Congressman Tierney,Special Recognition From the Mass Senate from Bruce Tarr and Ann Margaret. 

Though I do not credit my mother nearly enough for all she has done (does any child?) the fact is that the part of me that created GoodMorningGloucester and the reasons behind it are mostly due to the characteristics in me that I got from my mother.

When I had a school project in middle School she would sit down with me and we would work together and when there was supposed to be one posterboard sized presentation for a school project she would help me along and we would make 10 panels.  Nothing was ever done half way.  Everything over the top. 

The desire to create- from her.  The desire to please others- from her.  The desire to have parties and entertain- from her.  Her neurosis and anxiety, yeah I got that too although thankfully I have the blog to bang away at and throw that nervous energy into something positive.

But the blog is what it is because of many of the traits genetic and learned from one incredible woman.  My mom.

Oh and by the way, Sista Felicia always credits our Grandmother Felicia who undoubtedly was the all time greatest cook but the fact is that our mom was no slouch in the kitchen and she spent way more hours alongside her than our grandmother preparing incredible meals for our dad who worked like an animal alongside his brother Charlie and grandfather Captain Joe.


In this most difficult year, the year we had to put dad in the nursing home you’ve handled yourself with such dignity and grace even through what has to be the toughest year of your life. You’re still as beautiful as ever (all my friends used to tell me how beautiful my mom is when we were growing up).  I’m so proud to say that you’re my mom, so thankful for all the support you’ve given me to get me to this point with this medium where I can help others and bring people together just the way you always have done throughout your life.

So mom if you ever get around to reading this because I know you are incredibly computer challenged (one thing I did not get from you) know that even though I don’t express it nearly enough, I want you to know that I know it was you more than anyone who made me who I am today.  I love you and as you already probably know this as every mother knows- I’ll never be able to thank you enough.











Inauguration Ceremony for Mayor Kirk, City Council and School Committee

Sunday, January 1, 2012, 4:00 PM

222 Wellness Center

seARTS welcomes members and friends to join in celebrating the installation of Members of the City Council, the School Committee, and Mayor Carolyn Kirk for her third term in office.  The ceremony will take place tomorrow, January 1, 2012, at 4:00 PM in the Kyrouz Auditorium of Gloucester City Hall. This event is free and open to the public.
We are also pleased to announce that in recognition of the importance of art and culture as a key ingredient in our future, Mayor Kirk has invited seARTS Chairperson Jacqueline Ganim-DeFalco to be the mistress of ceremonies.
Some of the important developments that will impact our local economy include the pending application going before the City Council for a Cultural District in East Gloucester and the recent vote of the Rockport Board of Selectmen to endorse the creation of the state-designated Rockport Cultural District. At the upcoming seARTS 2012 Annual Meeting (date TBA), we will host a keynote speaker with hands-on experience in working with Cultural Districts.
It’s also time to vote for Gloucester to maintain and elevate its status as a top Arts Destination by casting a vote at We must vote by March 3. Click here to cast your vote!
As you can see, there’s a lot to celebrate around the arts and the local economy!
To learn more about Mayor Kirk’s visions for Gloucester’s future, click here for a Gloucester Daily Times article and here for today’s editorial by the Mayor.
We look forward to seeing you at City Hall.

Come One Come All To The Rocky Neck New Year’s Day Plunge

I spoke with my peeps at CBS Boston and I think they will be sending a news crew to cover it!  Come hang out and have a ball!  This is the first day of 2012- come break down that comfort zone and set yourself to try new things with the incredible fun and energy that IS THE NEW YEAR’S DAY ROCKY NECK PLUNGE!

Meet us at Passports before hand 10:00AM for the $8.99 New Year’s Day breakfast buffet (I suggest you get there a little before 10 because it’s gonna be a crazy scene just like last year).

Then on To Oakes Cove Beach for the noon time plunge.  Click here for directions so you have no excuse.

Even if you’re not plunging come down and revel with the crazy people.  If you take any pictures or video send your pics or YouTube videos to and we will post them!


Info from Cathy Mccarthy


I know we have a lot of who plungers who have not participated before and want to make sure we all honor our traditions.

My husband ,myself and Amanda Nash started this years ago as Jeff and I were L street Brownies and his friend who brought us to southie passed away, we decided we would do it on the neck.

We have George Sibley do an poem . Its quick ….. We do a count down from 10 and we all plunge in mass. That’s it.

I have got a few calls about what we are about and we are just a great group people who like to celebrate every occasion.

I thought it was important this year to do something to give back and organized the food drive.

Thanks for the plug. Fyi. My husbands name is Jeff Surette (not Mccarthy)


Cathy Mccarthy

Here’s a video I took way back in June 2008 telling folks where it is-


Erik at Passports Is Offering Up an $8.99 Breakfast Buffet Pre Plunge!  We plan to meet there at 10AM, come eat with us!

If you enter your name here on GMG beforehand, get listed as a pledge to plunge and do it, we will enter your name into a hat and pick one of the GMG listed plungers post plunge for a $100 Azorean Gift card. Card was donated by our Terry Weber.  No entries will be accepted on the scene of the crime, you have to put in a comment here or contact me ahead of time to confirm you are on “The List”.

The List Is Now Closed!

If you pledge to plunge and then bail out for ANY REASON, that gives us free license to ridicule you for the entire year!

I can tell you it is incredibly invigorating and the very best way to start your year. It sets you up to overcome a fear and once you do it the rest of the year you feel like you can and will do anything!

The plunge goes off at noon on Oaks Cove Beach on Rocky Neck.

The List

Joey C, Donna Ardizzoni, Rick Moore, Ed Collard, Paul Morrison, Rick Paolillo, Melissa Cox, Dr. Ray Cahill, Colleen Apostolos-Marsh, Lotus Marsh, Lukas and Lasse Struppe, Owen, Henry, and Jon Hardy, Alexandra Rhinelander, Charles Du Deaubien Gaspien (or something like that), Ericka Hyam, Steve LeBlanc, Jamie Verga, Kevin Ryan, Patrick Ryan, Denny Cunningham, Carolyn Kirk, Bill Kirk, Amanda Nash, Tom Robinson Cox, Mike and Eva DiLascio, Amandacakes and Beasley, Keara the chick with the heavy green eye shadow (I forgot her last name), Vickie Van Ness, Greg Bover, Brian O’Connor, Skip Montello,Kane Oshiro,Barry “Cuda” Pollack, Charles Rodgers, Lindell Willnow, Terry Weber, Jason Grow, Maisey, Jeamima and Matilda, Karen Ristuben, Wendie Demuth,Scott LeVasseur ,Tony Goddess,Mike Nicastro, Alicia Pensarosa, Nicole, Ben and Emma Duckworth,Lily Steiner, Chelsea Audin, Malena Lund, Jennelle Rhodes,Jim Dowd and Rebecca and Treely Dowd, Kellie Rich, The Del Vecchio Family,Bob and Andrea Ritchie, Sonja, Evelyn, Daniel and Edward Merz,Brendan and David Driscoll,Tom Bruno,Tim Bushfield .

Food Drive

Carol McCarthy is organizing a food drive for the Open Door Food Pantry.  Here’s the deets-

Just a heads up that I am organizing a food drive the day of the Plunge… PLunge will be at Noon and the food drive is to benefit The Open Door..  They are in real need this year and Its time we give back on the Neck..   I asking everyone to bring what is needed by the Pantry.. I emailed Judy Cox and she is posting in the newsletter this week.. We need to make a HUGE push for the food pantry… What is desperately needed!!!!   Barrels will be set up at the entrance of Oak Cove Beach for the non-perishables.. Thanks Joey..

Cathy McCarthy  8978 317 2352

TUNA, Peanut Butter, Pasta Sauce, 100% Juice, Baking Items, Breakfast Cereal…

2011 Rocky Neck Plunge Video From InterMurph

Skip Montello- Catching The Curl

Skip writes-

Hi Joey,

Surfers love catching and riding the best waves but getting one on camera just right may require upwards of 150 or more camera clicks; here is one from (more than 140) yesterday at Back Beach.

Thanks, Skip

North Coast Angler

Skip Montello Photos

Catching the Curl

Top Gloucester Stories of 2011- GMG Style

Joey's favorite

Judith Monteferrante Photo

This morning I was contemplating doing a top ten list of the year’s best stories but it always seems so daunting.

But then I read another list which seemed so damn depressing and it didn’t seem to represent to me at all what the top Gloucester stories of 2011 and once we started putting the list together over The Worlds Greatest Coffee Rolls, Ed and I put this list together.

I should note that the depressing list was the one from the Gloucester Daily Times but God bless the Times and what they do because they have the responsibility of reporting the puss and if they weren’t getting paid to do it who would ever want to?

Here’s the Gloucester Daily times version and the inspiration for the GMG one

(note there are no numbers as they are all of different order of importance for different people) We’ll use letters in no specific order.

I’ll list them and then link to the stories underneath each listing

A) seARTS Effort gets Gloucester Recognized As #3 Small Arts City In The Country

Gloucester Voted #3 Small Arts City In The Country

B) City of Gloucester Under Carolyn Kirk’s Stewardship Once Again Raises Our Bond Rating

From the Gloucester Daily Times-

The Mayor’s Desk: Moving the city forward into the new year

C) The Passing of Joe Garland and Harriett Webster Two Great Lovers of Gloucester

The Joe Garland Tribute Post
In Memorium – Harriet Webster

D) The Removal of Blight and Installation of Community Park From Cape Ann Museum

Cape Ann Museum Pocket Park New Sculpture Photo From Bob Hastings
Cape Ann Museum New Pocket Park Panorama

E) Jim Davis Buys Birdseye and Renews Potential For Growth Downtown

Breaking News!!! Here’s the Official Scoop On The Birdseye Property From Sheree DeLorenzo

F) Bhuddist Monks Liberate Lobsters Fun

Audio We Talk About The Liberated Lobsters On The Bob and Sheri Radio Show In Charlotte

G) Temple Ahavat Achim Opens It’s Doors To the Community

Up On The Roof- Temple Ahavat Achim Views Of Gloucester and Construction Video

H) The Greasy Pole Toppled and Is Being Reconstructed

GMG Greasy Pole Reconstruction Coverage

I) Burnham’s field Community Garden Beautifies the Heart of The City

Burnham’s Field Community Garden Coverage on GMG

J) GMG Takes Home CBS Boston’s Most Valuable Blogger Award (biased, who me?)


Sista Felicia Sets The Table for New year’s

Setting the table for New Years Day Dinner! On our menu  top neck stuffed clams, fried ricotta crustini, grilled  muddica steaks, twice baked potatoes, field green salad with candied pecans, cauliflower  gratin, peppermint ice cream ! What’s on your menu? Happy New Years!




Remember Rabbit Rabbit

Tomorrow is not just the first of the month, but also the first day of the new year, so remember . . . say “Rabbit, Rabbit” first thing when you awake on New Year’s Day (no need to spin around 3 times), or right after you say Happy New Year, if you are up at midnight to ring in the New Year, for a year of good luck.  Happy New Year everyone!  See you at the Rocky Neck Plunge.

E.J. Lefavour

Rockport’s Greasy Pole

Yes, folks.  Rockport had a Greasy Pole.  We learned this from Jennifer Ober, Music Director of the Rockport U.U. Church while shooting Thursday’s gimmesound video.

Jennifer’s dad filmed this some time around 1930 and she was kind enough to put on a DVD so we share it with all of you.

As you can see this Greasy Pole is very different from Gloucester’s.  Does anybody remember Rockport’s Greasy Pole competition?  Was it part of a “Fiesta”?  When did it start?  Why did it stop?  What did they do with the pole during the winter?  (It looks like it’s on a float).

Rubber Duck Book Review: The Big Year; A Tale of Man, Nature and Fowl Obsession by Mark Obmascik & Rubber Duck New Year Resolution for the Birds

Rubber Duck again trying to figure out the Family tree. My sisters over lunch at the Museum of Fine Arts were raving about this book. One is a birder, the other not but both enjoyed it. So I got it for myself as a stocking stuffer.

First the Facts: They made a movie from this book starring Jack Black, Steve Martin, and Owen Wilson that had sucky reviews. I’m reviewing the book, not the movie.

The book is about three guys who decide that  in 1998 they are going to do a “Big Year”. In birding, this means that they are going to see how many different birds they can see in one calendar year in North America. It starts out slow with them running about on the first of the year and around 60,000 frequent flyer miles apiece ends 365 days later. At the start they did not know that the two others were going to do this but since some rare birds are always in the same place they bumped into each other and the race to the top becomes an obsession. I won’t spoil the drama at the end but all three finish north of 700 birds! There are only 625 native birds currently residing in North America so how do they do this? By staying for a week in a godforsaken island Attu off the Bering Sea to count birds that have accidentally been blown in from Asia. Or taking boat rides off the coast of New England and Monterrey California to nail birds that never see dry land. Or they are in Texas one day and driving up from Logan to Plum Island the next because a rare duck was spotted.

I thought it was pretty good. An hour after I finish it I get an email from a friend who is coming to Gloucester so her son-in-law can add a King Eider to his life list. (This is kind of weird since I have never gotten an email about birding ever and so I take this as a sign.) Driving from Penn State to see a bird here? I guess this lunacy is common. My sister went to Panama a month ago just to see birds. So Jim Barber emails me back that there is a King Eider off the Elks Lodge and I go down there. Do you know how many different really weird looking diving duck like birds are down there? Looked like a thousand. And I had one birder show me a few but it seemed insane. The males and females look completely different. I knew that. But depending on whether they were adults, teenagers, just toilet trained, or ready to retire they all looked completely different even though it was the same exact species.

So my birding interest waned again. But then I went and sat at the same rock I sit on to watch the waves near my house and I now notice that there were 23 common eiders, 12 harlequin ducks and two surf scoters paddling about. There were four other strange groups of feathered objects out there but in two days of “birding” I could figure out a few.

So I am going to do a big year too starting on Monday. Different rules though. This one involves no traveling. In fact, I won’t even get up. I will identify and count every waterfowl that I can see from my one specific favorite rock I sit on to watch the sunrise and the surf. If it seems to be of interest I will post the results as a GMG Sunday 2PM post. Maybe I last a month, who knows? Sort of a way to force me to learn a thing or two about our fowl friends. Since we do live in this paradise that includes birds that visit us from the north pole and they sure look like penguin like fowl it might be fun. If I can do it for a year and learn the names of more than a dozen birds, cool. I sure hope they don’t change their plumage often or new flocks arrive. OK, maybe I could handle two dozen but first I have to figure out what the names of these four other weird birds are. ( I’m pretty sure one is a single female mallard WTF!)

Fun Fact: The Bookstore of Gloucester did not have this book when I stopped by at 4PM the week before Christmas. But in two minutes they figured out the name of “that book about birds and three guys” and had it on their delivery for the next day and when I stopped by at noon the next day I had the book. No plastic wrap, blister pack, foam peanuts or box to throw away. I hear that Toad Hall in Rockport can do this same amazing trick. Buy Local! Cape Ann is a blessed place with a bunch of great bookstores. Imagine Cape Ann without them. How awful would that be? Buy your books here on Cape Ann and save the hassle of boxes.

New Year’s Rockport Eve Winners ~ Dave & Jill Buchanan & Family


Thank you New Year’s Rockport Eve for sponsoring this week’s giveaway.  We hope to see you all in Rockport Tonight!  Click Here for New Year’s Rockport Eve schedule.  We were surprised at how hard the questions were!   Here are the answers:

Question 1: What was the inspiration for the name New Year’s Rockport Eve? Answer:  New Year’s Rockin Eve

Question 2:  Who wrote  Auld Lang Syne , what does it mean and what language is it in? Answer:  Written by Robert Burns, means  ‘old long since’, Old Scottish language.

Question 3: In the Polar Express Movie how many people snuck into Santa’s workshop and accidentally got into Santa’s bag loaded on Santa’s sleigh!  Answer:   4 kids

Question 4: What used to be in Rockport Harbor that will be again in Gloucester Harbor this summer?   Answer:  Greasy Pole

Question 5:  Henri Smith has three friends (he has more than that) who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and are pioneers of New Orleans music, who are they?  Answer:  Dr. John, Dave Bartholomew, Fats Domino

There is an amazing amount of music happening tonight on Cape Ann  ~ Check out the Full List Here and Get Out and Ring in 2012 with some of the great music around town. 

Happy New Year From gimmesound

Poll: when do you take your Christmas decorations down?

“When should I take my Christmas decorations down?” A surprising number of people search on Google for an answer to this question. I got a startling number of hits on a poll I posted on this topic on my own blog last year.  For the many curious people who search for suggestions about this, and to get the opinion of our GMG readership, I am reposting my poll this year with a few additional reflections.

Really, there is no day when you “should” take the decorations down (or put them up).  In a place of worship of an organized religion, there are usually rules about decorations according to liturgical seasons, but how you decorate your own house is your own business. Nonetheless, it can obviously be helpful to take cues for these things from the traditions of one’s Church, family, and society. People might look askance at you if you have your nativity scene on your lawn during Holy Week, or an illuminated Santa on your roof in August.

For secular Western society, Christmas ends pretty much at midnight on the 25th, and some stores have all the Christmas decorations down seemingly within hours. Liturgically (at least for Catholics), Christmas lasts until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord (Jan. 9 this year). But when it comes to taking down Christmas decorations, family and regional traditions vary widely. Some people clean house on Dec. 26.  Others do so on or immediately after the Epiphany, a.k.a. “Little Christmas” (traditionally Jan. 6).  That date, on which we celebrate the visit of the Magi to Bethlehem, is actually the climax of the Christmas season for Orthodox Christians, rather than Dec. 25.  Some particularly fervently “Christmasy” people leave everything up until Feb. 2, Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. I even met one man in Boston who keeps his Christmas decorations up until St. Patrick’s day approaches, and his St. Patrick’s Day decorations stay up until Advent.

Personally, I will be taking most of my decorations down on or after the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

Is there a Gloucester tradition in this regard? When will you be taking down your decorations? Have you done it already? Vote now! And/or leave a comment about why you answer the way you do.

My Christmas tree. All the decorations (except the lights) are origami models. The garland is a string of traditional origami "peace cranes", part of a set of 1000 I folded for an exhibit once...

Sir Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff Quote of The Week From Greg Bover

December 29, 2011

“… a man may do an immense deal of good if he does not care who gets the credit for it.”

Attributed to “Father Strickland, an English Jesuit” mid- 19th century.

This quote has been attributed to many people, from Edward Everett Hale to Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan, but according to The Quote Investigator, and others, the first reference in print was as above in the 1873 diary of Sir Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff. Further research has not revealed any details of Father Strickland’s life, not even his given name. However, the concept of altruism coupled with anonymity continues to appear down the years in the words of many who recognize that removing the ego from acts for the common good gives those acts a special power.

Greg Bover

Community Stuff

Free Admission & January 2012 programs at the Cape Ann Museum

The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to offer free admission to all residents of Cape Ann during the month of January 2012. Visit us and see what we have to offer! The Museum presents a full schedule of public programs during January.

Saturday, January 7 at 3:00 p.m.: As the Wind Turns or There is No Such Thing as Plain Sailing: Mishap and Mayhem on the High Seas, an illustrated talk by Cape Ann Museum Librarian/Archivist Stephanie Buck about three local ship captains’ diaries from the Museum’s collection.

Saturday, January 14 at 10:00 a.m.: Gallery Talk with Jay McLauchlan, in the special exhibition gallery featuring Jay McLauchlan: 55 Years of Woodworking and Design.

Saturday, January 14 at 3:00 p.m.: The Empire and the Seaport: Salem and Gloucester Trading Overseas in the Early Republic. Robert Booth discusses Federal-period Gloucester in the context of his new book, Death of an Empire: The Rise and Murderous Fall of Salem, America’s Richest City.

Saturday, January 21 from 10:30 a.m. until 4:15 p.m.: Winter Shorts: Cape Ann Museum docents present a day-long celebration offering mini tours highlighting their favorites from the Museum’s collection. See website for a complete list of tour topics –

Jan 7th  Busting Breast Cancer Briefings for North Shore  Women

“Breast Cancer has now become an unnecessary disease”, according to Susan Wadia-Ells, founding director of the National Breast Cancer Prevention Project.

On Saturday January 7th, at  1PM , Wadia-Ells of Manchester, MA,  will discuss research on why: higher levels of Vitamin D3; avoiding contraceptive drugs; having an annual thermogram and changing your diet,  can virtually eliminate your ability to develop breast cancer tumors.

Saturday’s briefing will take place at the Sunbanque Tanning Salon in the Commodore Shopping Plaza, next to the Super Stop & Shop on Enon Street/Rt 1A,  in North Beverly.

So much of what we teach women, regarding how to stop breast cancer before it starts, goes against everything Americans have been told by commercial sunblock advertising and by pharmaceutical companies, said Wadia-Ells.  For example, women are shocked to find that using  safe year-round tanning and stopping contraceptive drugs, no matter what your age, will help reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. 

Know Breast Cancer’s website and Wadia-Ells’ forthcoming book explain that the most significant way to help stop breast cancer from happening, is to raise your vitamin D3 blood level. This is best done by allowing the sun to slowly and safely tan your skin, all year round. In Massachusetts this means that every woman, with a skin type that can tan, needs to spend time in the summer sun,   without any sun block, for short periods of time as UVB rays activate enough melanin to create a natural protective tan.  Using short but regular amounts of indoor tanning time from September through May enables the body to continue making vitamin D3 year-round.  Taking Vitamin D3 supplements is a slower but effective way to help raise and maintain optimal D3 blood levels of 60 ng/ml-80 ng/ml .

“Everything we will share with women at Saturday’s briefing is backed up by objective, professional and long standing research,” said Wadia-Ells.  Participants at Saturday’s free briefing will also receive copies of recent studies linking year-round tanning with lower breast cancer rates, how to begin to enjoy a cancer-blocking daily diet,  and why using contraceptive drugs can increase your risk of developing breast cancer, especially if you are over 40 years old.  A list of thermography services north of Boston, will also be available.

“Holding this information session at Sunbanque, will help women understand that Know Breast Cancer is serious about encouraging women to learn how to develop and benefit from safe year-round tanning and how to choose non-toxic sun block products,” said Wadia-Ells. 

Wadia-Ells will also lead briefings in Gloucester at 11AM and in North Andover at 3PM on January 7th. For more information on the Know Breast Cancer Project, visit;  for information on the Jan 7th briefings,  contact Lisa Vincent at 978 546 5987, or email   Seating is limited, please RSVP at 978-927-3003.

The CAT’s Out of the Bag:
Auditions for Neil Simon’s “Rumors”

Wednesday, January 4 and Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Cape Ann Theatre Collaborative invites you to audition for its March play, Neil Simon’s comedy-farce “Rumors,” Wednesday, January 4th and Thursday, January 5th from 7 pm to 9 pm at 5 Heritage Way (in the Roy Spittle Associates building) located in the Blackburn Industrial Park, Gloucester MA. Rehearsals will take place on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, 7pm to 9pm.