Open Air Art Exhibit Panorama- Fifth Ave Playa Del Carmen


When we were planning the first Downtown Gloucester Block Parties one of the original ideas was to allow local artist to set up and display/sell their art. We had a few artists come down but not nearly what I thought we would have. The reason given was that it was a real PITA to set up and break down the artwork.

I could see that point, but as we walked the street yesterday we saw some big pieces selling.

Have I said before that I’m a huge fan of this place? Because if I haven’t, let me tell you, it’s great. Super friendly people in all of the services, great beaches, FANTASTIC restaurants, very very safe, cool architecture, I’d come back in a heartbeat.

Remembering Rick Kaloust From Andrew “Cowboy” McCloy

By Andy “Cowboy” McCloy

Some people are illuminated from within. You know it the moment you meet them — there is a spark, an essence, a twinkle in the eye, that sets them apart from the rest.

Rick Kaloust glowed with this inner light. He celebrated life. Never one to stay down for long, Rick was always quick with a laugh or up for having some fun. You would never place the word “boring” in the same sentence with Rick Kaloust.

If you were one of the many fortunate to have known him and called him your friend, you know of his big heart, his loyalty, and his fun-loving spirit. In the days since he died on Jan. 9, so many people have come forth to express how much Rick meant to them and the many ways that he touched them. He made all of us feel special. We all know how fortunate we are to have called him “friend.”

My memories of Rick go back to childhood. He was this dark haired, chocolate-eyed kid who played on the Little League team that my father coached in Manchester-by-the-Sea. Even then, he had this energy about him, something special and soulful that you wanted to be around and try to absorb. Later, when he moved to Gloucester, we became good friends during high school. We were all crazy — and carefree — back then. To the consternation and endless worry of our parents, we had a blast. And the memories were forged, indelible and life-long.

Everyone had a nickname that remains with us to this day. Rick was “Kahlua” or “Guido the Killer Pimp.” I was “The Cowboy.” Paul Murphy was “Puddles” or “Francis.” Ricky Schrafft was “Dicka.” Kevin Warde was “The Wonder.” Don Riley was “Don Juan.” What I remember most was the laughter, much of it completely silly and inane, but laughter that would bowl you over and make your insides churn. It was humor that was understood by us, that only good friends can share, like a code or a foreign language to which only we had access and meaning. The banter was constant:

“We are all very proud of you.”

“What up? Cut up! Shut the f—up!”

“My Corp, your Corp, Marine Corp.”

“Give your president respect.”

“It’s Guido, the Killer Pimp.”

“Paco Robano on ice.”

“Eddie’s on the warpath.”

“Wearing the spurs.”

“Gee Sammo?”

“The Mighty Atlantic.”

“Cowboy jumped the marsh!”

“Is the Wonder still doing the Wonder?”

“Dicka’s Number One.”

“Murphy, what is your fascination with Gay Paris?”

“She’s livin’ out on the island. Tell her to come home.”

And on and on and on.

Truth be told, we all benefited from his loving and generous parents, who, like Rick, were always welcoming people into their home. There was love there and laughter. Sometimes the love was tough, but it was good and pure, and unwavering. Ed and Joyce Kaloust are beautiful human beings. If you love Rick, you know why he is such a good soul; he came from good stock. And there are his brothers and sisters, Donna, Kim, John, and Derek. They each have that same spark within them. If you know them, you understand what I am talking about. They are authentic people, with good hearts and a loyalty that runs deep.

In recent years, Rick and I stayed in touch every week, and I visited him a handful of times in Florida. He lived in Tampa and I was in Rockport, but thanks to cell phones, we would check in all of the time. He was there for me, and he gave it away. We would end our conversation with “I love you,” a phrase that is not something I give away freely. But we both knew what that meant — that life was precious and friendships like ours were rare, and life-long friendships ever more so.

I could mention all of the good times in detail, but Joey C., another good soul who shines that inner light, captured it so eloquently in his tribute.

One memory that does come to mind somehow seems appropriate today. It was October in Gloucester in the early 1980s. The Kaloust’s power boat was still on the mooring off Eastern Point. Of course, we all decided, about seven or eight of us, after dark, to head down by boat to Salem’s Pickering Wharf for some drinks. We left Gloucester Harbor, and the seas were raging. The boat was a 24-footer with a great deal of horsepower, but we were being tossed about right outside the breakwater near Norman’s Woe. I thought we were going to capsize and drown. At the helm, Rick, of course, was laughing and pushing onward, feet solidly apart and hands steady on the wheel. Eventually, off Magnolia, the seas flattened and we made our way down the North Shore coast to Salem Harbor.

Who knows how long we stayed, and how many drinks and laughs we had, but I do remember this: Upon our return, the moon was glowing white on the water and the sea was as still as glass. I stood beside Rick at the wheel. We felt the icy October air in our faces and in our hair and we smiled silently at each other as we flew across the calm water, free and beautiful and full of light, heading home.

Do You Have friggatriskaidekaphobia? We don’t!

The fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia


Perfect for today, this song by gimmesound artist of the week Wool & Grant will make you cry.  Lots to choose from tonight even if you have kids.  See tonight’s lineup here.

Celebrating The Life Of Ricky Kaloust Saturday 9:30am Eastern Point Lighthouse

Rick’s friends will be gathering this Saturday morning at 9:30AM to celebrate his amazing life. We will meet at the Eastern Point Lighthouse for some words of remembrance and music. All are welcome and encouraged to come so together we can grieve the loss of our wonderful friend. We have all loss a special person.

Paul F. Murphy

There will be a reception immediately following at the Gloucester House Restaurant.

Clergy and the “New Media”

This post is in response to the suggestion of our blog leader, Joey.

Although many members of the clergy (Catholic and otherwise) are of a generation that is not all that accustomed to using the “New Media” (blogs, social media, etc.), there are exceptions to that rule.  A notable exception is Cardinal Seán O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, who has his own blog (updated weekly).  But there are also more local clergy who are involved in sharing information over the internet.

I started my own blog, “Perpetual Learner“, back in July of 2010, at my first parish (St. Patrick’s) in Newburgh, NY, and  I have continued here at Holy Family Parish on Cape Ann.  I post the text and podcast the recordings of most of my homilies from Masses on weekdays and Sundays (usually that’s three or four homilies a week).  If you open one of the podcast posts, there are also instructions for subscribing to my “homilycast” so you get the latest one automatically in iTunes or your favorite podcast client software.  I blog on other topics from time to time (religious or not), and post some of my photographs, although now most of my non-religiously-themed posts appear here on GoodMorningGloucester instead.  I also send out notifications of my blog posts via Twitter (@mehjg), Facebook, and sometimes Google+.

If you know of any other local clergy who are podcasting or blogging, please share the address with us! It would be interesting to know.

Eating in Playa del Carmen


At the risk of jinxing us I have to say one of the most pleasant surprises about Playa del Carmen has been the dining experiences.

At every place we’ve eaten be it fancy dinner, casual lunch or breakfast everything has been super fresh and the service SUPERB!

I’d point out a few as highlights but honestly they’ve ALL been highlights!

Lateral for dinner grouper with a a porcini mushroom cream sauce over it topped with lyonnaise potatoes. The juice bar 100% Natural, the place in this picture where they serve your food on your own personal mini-habachi, Sensei Beach Club, Thai dish. Emphasis everywhere on freshness.

Congrats To Cousin Allison Ciaramitaro On Her New Gig As Morning Meteorologist At KMID!

Little cuz Allison Ciaramitaro just got offered a job down in Texas as the morning meteorologist at a station KMID. Don’t ask me what it stands for.

Being a meteorologist was a dream of Ally from before she went to college.

I distinctly remember the standard speech I give to all kids before they go off to college and exactly where I had this conversation with Allison, in Sista Felicia’s kitchen.

It goes like this-

“listen, no matter what anyone tells you, college is a cakewalk as long as you do two things-

Devote at least an hour and a half to doing your homework, and don’t skip any of your classes. A typical college you have about 3 or 4 hours of classes and then if you add an hour and a half of homework that’s a measly 5.5 hours out of 24. Believe me if you just don’t blow off your classes and do the homework you’re pretty much easily gonna get a 3.0 or higher and then you still have 18.5 hours of the day to do whatever you want. Get hammered if you want, JUST DON’T SKIP YOUR CLASSES & DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Devoting 5.5 hours of your day to actual work will be the easiest you’ll ever have it for the rest of your working life so suck it up and then party like a rock star the rest of the time.”

Standard speech I must have given a hundred times now.

Anyway Congrats Cuz! Proud of you!!!!

A Really Cold Winter From Bill Langer

Hi Joey,

The recent cold snap (relatively speaking) in New England reminded me of the winter of ’76-’77. I was living in Newton at the time; one Sunday I drove up to the north shore and took some pictures. I can’t exactly place the landscape — somewhere on the Annisquam River, I think — but Gloucester Harbor was frozen hard enough to be able to walk out to the fishing boats. Today, by contrast, Seattle is colder than Boston….

Regards, Bill Langer