The Great Rubber Duck Mystery of 2012

So I get back from my time off and sitting on my desk is this box. Zip Code 01581

If anyone has any information on how this wayward duck made it to the dock let me know and you will be rewarded with a shout out on these here pages!


Take advantage of Gloucester’s #1 tourism marketing asset for FREE


By now, everybody probably knows that the Web is the number one source of tourism information and referrals.  That’s why Tracey Muller and Jan Bordinaro, who started PR for Gloucester, organized a group of volunteers to save the City owned from being turned off.  They asked Peter and me if we’d re-design the site to accomplish 4 major goals:

  1. Promote Gloucester’s authentic natural beauty, maritime & cultural heritage, food, music and arts.
  2. Build a database-driven engine and admin-system that empowers volunteers to ensure every Gloucester business is represented.
  3. Code the site in a way that helps to boost it’s search engine position.
  4. Make it work on a smartphone.

We agreed — and we donated our time along with many others to accomplish these goals.  Plus we added one more goal: promote the site.  For that we asked our good friend Joey C.  And what a job he did!  He gave us an ENTIRE WEEK of videos, podcasts and write ups!  I can’t imagine how he got any other work done that week.  THANKS JOEY.

Just in case anyone wonders, the City of Gloucester still owns, and has always owned,  The city of Gloucester offers the free listing as a public service. is managed by the volunteer group at no cost to the City.

It’s been just about a year since we launched.  Here’s what’s happening:

  • Traffic for 2011 was about 5 times the traffic for 2010.
  • The vast majority of traffic comes from Google & other search engines and nearly 80% of traffic is from new visitors.
  • is the first or second search result for almost every search phrase containing the word “Gloucester”.
  • Percentage of mobile visitors shot up from 6% when we launched in March to 16% by the end of the year.

If your business serves travelers to Gloucester, you want to be sure your listing on is up to date.  Notice the last bullet about smartphones?  In case you were wondering, smartphone usage is skyrocketing!  And if your phone number is on, all smartphone users have to do is tap it and their phones will dial your number automatically!

So check and be sure you’re listed.  If you’re not listed or your listing needs to be updated, click here:  and a volunteer will fix things as soon as we can.

Please remember, this is an all-volunteer effort to boost one of the three pillars of Gloucester’s economy.  We need your help to keep the information fresh and current.

A Very Cool Story! Keep ‘Em Coming!

Yesterday I asked for submissions of your favorite vintage item: a snapshot along with an explanation about why the item is meaningful to you. In response, Ann Kennedy sent a photo of a portion of her collection of a 40-year correspondence between her mother and grandmother – a letter a week (2,000 in all!). Here’s what she says:

My most beloved old thing is my letter collection–nearly 2000, written over almost 40 years by my mom, to her mom.  We found these when my grandmother passed away in 1979.  The letters are from 1941-1976, one a week, every week.  I post 2 of them per day on my blog.  I love them because they are such a terrific social history, such a good portrayal of my mom and what interested her.  The box shown is about half of the letters.

Ann Kennedy’s collection of correspondence from her mother to her grandmother.

Be sure to check out her blog where she posts the contents of the letters. She’s right — even without a sentimental connection, the letters are fascinating to read as social history. You can find the letters at

PLEASE keep your submissions coming in! I love reading your stories and I need to collect as many as possible for The Roving Home’s upcoming gallery show! Click HERE to submit.

Chris Leahy at the Sawyer Free Library

Chris Leahy is a fantastic speaker and I am looking forward to attending his lecture next Thursday night at the Sawyer Free. Chris holds the Gerard A. Bertrand Chair of Natural History and Field Ornithology at Mass Audubon. He has been a professional conservationist for more than thirty years and served as Director of Mass Audubon’s Center for Biological Conservation. His interests in natural history are comprehensive, and he is a recognized authority on birds and insects. His published works include Birdwatcher’s Companion to North American BirdlifeThe First Guide to InsectsIntroduction to New England BirdsAn Introduction to Massachusetts Insects, and The Nature of Massachusetts. He grew up in Marblehead and has lived in Gloucester with his family since the 1970s.  ~ Information found on Mass Audubon website.


Rubber Duck washed up on a foreign shore today

You’re not from around here are you? (Weird looking Homies no?)

But the locals are very friendly.

Yes, beverage please.

Rubber Duck is very sad (can’t you tell by that face) that she won’t make it back to the Sunday morning GMG Mug-Up so she is drowning her sorrows. Mostly with drinks with little umbrellas.

Q: Who are the Wild Tchoupitoulas?


A: Charles Neville’s Mardi Gras Indian tribe.  In this video, Henri Smith talks about bringing Charles Neville to Gloucester on Tuesday for Mardi Gras.

The video has some of the traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian music you’ll here as part of their concert to help raise money to send local teens to New Orleans for the third year of their service-learning trip led by Rick Doucette.

Show starts at 7:30pm at Minglewood Tavern (the front of Latitude 43).  Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door.  Seating is limited.  Call 978-281-0223 for tickets.

Teens currently scheduled to travel to New Orleans are:
Brian Amero, Courtney Ashwell, Katharine Boucher, Colby Ferris, Shannon Gallagher, Tyler Hurst, Alex Jones, Nick Lucido, Jared Marshall, Joey O’Brien, Emily Ohrtman, Zoe O’Leary, Emma Ottenheimer, Zeke Pasquarelli, Kevin Redmond, Mariah Salah, Evan Shay, Jenny Sonia, Ali Steer, Rina Takahashi, Steven Verga, Zachary White, Andrew Widtfeldt, Brittany Williams, Nikki Williamson and Caleb Wnorowski.

Don’t wait till Tuesday to go out and hear some great music – see tonight’s lineup.

The Rhumb Line ~ Tonight at the Dave Sag’s Blues Party ~ 9:00 to 12:00

Dave Says,

It’s Hadron Collider Week at the Rhumb Line and in keeping with the Blues you can use, allow me to introduce The Earley Birds. No, not led by the riveting saxist you’re used to, but by yet another Marque Earley. This Marque is a fine and dangerous vocalist and top-notch harmonicat. He’d rather drink heavy water and sleep in a hollow logarithm. He won’t take any answer for an answer.
  He’ll be backed up by that fine glitartist, vogelist and tree surgeon: Mr. Larry Sortwell or “Lawrence of Ipswich”. His torpedo tube style is sure to please. I like it. He laughs at all my jokes, even when I’m not kidding. Formerly with that great north shore ensemble “Grapevine Road”, now he’s on easy street playing with us. John Loud , drumb octopus, another GV gold medallist will be beatin’ those skins. Of course, Greg T. will be armed and dangerous and so will I, still suffering from chronic euphemism, puttying up the cracks. It’ll be swell! Free admission with prosthetic device!

Julia Garrison Carrying On At The Sarah Elizabeth Shop


Dear Joey,
I love what you do. I’m writing you because you seem to be a more important source of news in Gloucester than any other blog or publication around. Many people have come in to the shop since Kathy posted Isabel Natti’s Sailor’s Valentine telling me that they came because they saw the shop mentioned on "Good Morning Gloucester". There are a lot of people who are inspired by what you do and by your enthusiasm and I want to thank you for sharing it online.
I wanted to let you know that Isabel’s son and her partner Italo asked me to carry on printing her work and my own on the Acorn Press at 5 Whistlestop Mall in Rockport. I am a decorative painter, printmaker and fabric designer and have been using her press to do my work off and on for 12 years. I grew up with her nephew Matt Natti in Lanesville and had been a friend of hers since about 2000. Right now, I’m working on restructuring the business in a way that honors the traditions of her work but also brings it to a contemporary audience. Because I have another career as a set painter for film and television, this is something I do when I’m not busy working. I plan on keeping weekend hours but directing the majority of the business to the web. Her cards and other work are being carried by The Cape Ann Historical Museum Gift Shop, Alexandra’s Bread, Toad Hall Books and Turtle Alley in addition to the Sarah Elizabeth Shop in Rockport and the website
Isabel’s work continues to be made and block printing in this area has not died with her. The press and shop are an important mainstay of the area that I am determined to keep open one way or another. So please visit the shop again and see what I am trying to do there. I’d appreciate it if people knew the continuation of her story and continued to support this very special, native craft.
This is a photo of me taken by Kathy Chapman 3 weeks ago, about a week after the family gave me the keys. I’m very happy and honored to be given the opportunity to print a very talented woman’s art as well as my own. Thank you to the Natti family for their dedication to the art and to her.
Thanks for all your good work for the community.
Julia Garrison

Sunrise- Skip Montello

Glad your back, looking forward to coming down to the dock for some morning coffee…

Cape Ann sunrises just rock with explosive color this time of season; Loblolly Cove


IMG_6137_sunrise at Loblolly

North Coast Angler

Skip Montello Photos

Community Stuff Thursday

Fundraiser ARTS and ENTERTAINMENT Gloucester

Cape Ann Theatre Collaborative
Gloucester, Massachusetts




Winter into Spring Pottery Classes in Rockport




The Rockport Rotary Club held their Valentine’s Luncheon on February 14th at Brackett’s Oceanview Restaurant for Rockport’s local Senior Citizens. This event was sponsored by the Rockport Rotary Club. Brackett’s Oceanview Restaurant graciously allowed their restaurant to be opened for this event. Den-Mar Rehabilitation provided chocolates, and many of their residents were in attendance. The Early Act club in Rockport made valentines and heart-shaped pins for all the attendee. Flowers from SeaCoast Nursing Home were handed out to every guest, and lunch was served along with a beautiful Red Velvet Cake for dessert. The event generated many smiling faces and a wonderful time full of camaraderie and fellowship amongst Rotarians and the Seniors alike.