Thomas Laighton on the Rails From Bill O’Connor

Hi Joey,

The Thomas Laighton was on the rails the other day and I was fortunate to be around to take this shot.  She’s owned by the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company out of Portsmouth, NH.  Apparently she is a replica of a victorian steamship and is named after the Thomas Laighton, a native of Portsmouth who was known as a politician, writer and businessman who left it all behind to live on the Isle of Shoals, first as the lighthouse keeper on White Island, then as a hotelier and land owner having bought up the other islands: Hog, Smuttynose and Cedar, and is remembered as the the ‘King’ of the Isles.



Sand Mandala

Sand Mandala


One day I watched a Buddhist monk patiently

conceive and construct  a sand mandala,

carefully selecting grain after grain and,

with great concentration, create a work of wonder.


It was a process I’ll never forget;

each grain of sand selected with a stylus,

and its worth determined by its size and

texture and color and fitness for the design.


After several days of incredible focus

and labor, the work was completed and

the monk announced that the following day

he would take his creation to a sacred spot


and empty this circle of sand, meditate

and move on to his next project, accepting

without question, the impermanence of the

product of his skill, concentration and patience.


One day I watched each wave at Folly Cove Landing

slowly and with great concentration grind

pieces of granite on the shore into grains

of sand that will, in time, become a lovely beach .


This, too, I thought, will take a long time,

in that, like the mandala, each grain must

be a perfect fit, one matched with hue and tone

to create a pattern of harmony and peace.


Then one day the wind will scatter the sand

and the sea will engulf the shore and

no more will this circle of sand exist –

disbursed and annulled by its maker’s hand.


Marty Luster

Click here for photo of the monk working on the mandala.

Our Gifts and My Shoes

Our Gifts and My Shoes

by Mary Colussi, 8th Grader at the St. Ann School, Poet Laureate of the cOupE.         

If you were to look inside my shoes during a performance, two things would happen, almost simultaneously: the play would stop, because you are trying to take my boots off without my permission, which is incredibly rude, and you would find some sort of trinket. It might be as simple as a piece of string, or as strangely beautiful as a glass heart. Or, more likely than not, it would be a tiny plastic pig.

         I do not put things in my shoes for my enjoyment (rather, it is an uncomfortable situation to be in) nor do I do it for my protection (actors have all sorts of superstitions- we never hesitate to correct a person when they wish us good luck) The reason I stick things in my shoes is simple: I am a Chicken, and Dona is my director. Ever since I started acting with Dona, my fellow Chickens and I have received gifts. They aren’t wrapped up in pretty paper with a bow and a card. I’m not sure where Dona finds these things, or how she transports them, but that would ruin the magic, wouldn’t it? Because, despite my more pragmatic side’s protests, the gifts are magic.

         Here’s why: before the audience walked in, the string connected us all. We called it “the string of the universe” and even though I lost mine ages ago, I still feel like I carry it. I had just gotten attached to my glass heart-they were handed to us with great ceremony, right before “Much Ado About Nothing”- when we were told we must exchange them with friends. We did so, and I left my heart at the Unitarian-Universalist Church by accident. Oh, well. My friendship with the person I exchanged hearts with grew a little bit anyway.

         Then, there are the most revered of Chicken gifts. Perhaps appropriately and perhaps ironically, this gift represents another farmyard animal of Dona’s childhood: a pig. They are among the easier things to fit into my shoe, since the creatures are little more than pink scraps of plastic. Most people perch them in their ears, or nudged against their temples by their glasses. This is because, while we act, the pigs give us inspiration. At the beginning of practice, kids will stand up and tell us what their pigs are saying; they are used as a medium to say what some will not say, whether it be an interesting new idea or a slightly harsh criticism of a friend’s performance.

         Everyone has gifts, and not all of them are put into boxes of bags. In Coupe, we discuss this a lot. Our parents give us the opportunity to fit into a niche of kids unlike any other; Dona gives us literal and metaphorical gifts every day. Then, there are the things we are born with, for some strange, awesome reason. I can make a soundtrack, she can sing, he can do an Australian accent. The older Chickens know each other’s abilities, but part of the fun of bringing new people is discovering what they can do and finding a way to make it work in Shakespeare and Sherwood. It is an adventure, and not always an easy one, but despite the difficulties, Coupe remains glorious in a way I find hard to put into words. But I’m going to try, because someone had to record all of this.

Instagram App

Readers Please Note: I deleted my Instagram App on December 18th, 2012 after reading Instagrams new terms and policies in regard to selling images to third party advertisers.

Before Liv retuned to school last month, she installed Instagram on my iPhone so that we could easily share photos. Instagram is very simple to understand–spoken by a techno- challenged person (although Joey recently pointed out that for someone my age, I am not too horribly technologically challenged). There has been much in the news about Instagram recently as the app was purchased by Mark Zuckerberg for one billion dollars, twice its estimated worth.

Instagram with Kelvin Filter  ~ Good Harbor Beach Sunrise

Original Photo 


Double dose of Orville & Allen today

Tonight is your last chance to catch Orville Giddings, the newest gimmesound Artist of the Week on Local Music Seen with Allen Estes at 6pm on Cape Ann TV Channel 12.  Then you can see the two of them live at the Rhumb Line starting at 7:30.

Whether he’s solo, duo with Allen or fronting his excellent band, Orville Giddings ROCKS!  You’ll be smiling as much as he is.

Remember, it’s Sunday on Cape Ann and that means you don’t have to wait until the evening to get out and take in music.  It’s already going on!

See today’s full music lineup here.

Don’t Forget To Watch Wicked Tuna Tonight at 10PM

Set Your DVR’s if you don’t get to watch it live!

Click the graphic below for the details-


SUN APR 15 10P et/pt continues its winning streak, catching two fish in one day while the rest of the fleet struggles to even find a spot to fish in between the flocks of “googans”—the weekend recreational boaters who seem to make every bite go wrong. Desperate for a catch, Bill of Bounty Hunter starts doing some sleuthing, trying to crack Dave’s code in search of the secret that will bring him the fish—and the money

Video preview here-


Easter still hanging around

Although the Easter Sunday has passed, in the church we are still celebrating – in fact, in the Catholic liturgical calendar, the Easter season lasts until May 27.  Independent of that, Easter is still hanging around my room, in the form of lots of candy, fudge, and other sweets, being watched over my origami rabbit I folded according to a design by the Japanese origami artist Jun Maekewa.

If you want to try your hand at folding one of these rabbits, someone published an instructional video here.

"Splash of Sunrise" From Skip Montello

Hi Joey,

I caught this “Splash of Sunrise” on the wet rocks at Back Beach as the sun lifted above the horizon and quickly hid behind the waiting clouds. Timing was everything as the light was lost after a minute or so.

splash of sunrise

image001Thanks, Skip

North Coast Angler

Skip Montello Photos

Gloucester Webcam of The Day- Blue Shutters Beachside Inn Good Harbor Beach Webcam



This Webcam and more can be found at

This local webcam portal project was an idea I had last year to have as many webcams streaming from local businesses or organizations as possible which highlight the incredible vistas that we as people that live and work here get to enjoy each and every day.

The idea was to have the organization install the webcam, have them embed the webcam feed on their own websites as well and have a link to each business website on the Gloucester webcam portal website to showcase their business as well.

Tim Blakeley from Gloucester Bytes provided the initial installation at ridiculously cheap cost because he believed in the project.

Community Stuff Sunday

Walter Bunten
Cape Ann Brewing Co writes-

Hey Joey,

We will be hosting a Beer Dinner on Sunday, May 6th @ 6:30.  5 food courses prepared by our Head Chef Fernando DeSouza, paired with 5 beers from our Head Brewer Dylan L’AbbeLindquist.  Also, Mr. Nathan Seavey & Friends will be providing some background jazz music during the dinner.  Tickets are $50/pp or $45 if your a Mug Club Member.  This will be a private event, closed to the public at 5, and I’m sure everyone who attends will see a different side of what we do here at the brewery!  Thanks for the post!


Angela Cook writes-

Announcing Memories For Hope – When a family is faced with a life-threatening illness, everything changes. One diagnosis can completely turn life upside down. Suddenly the littlest moments become so much more precious. I want to help families in those difficult times by preserving some of those precious memories for them. With my new Memories for Hope program, Oasis Rockport will help families experiencing life-altering disease with no charge portrait sessions. Contact for details.

Tom Bruno’s Trilogy Of Terror Free On Amazon Through Sunday

Hey Joey,
Now through Sunday I’ll be offering my three horror novellas for free
through the Amazon Kindle Store:
Thanks and go Sox!


The North Shore Arts Association will kick off its 90th Anniversary Season with its first Members’ Exhibition which will run May 5th through June 2nd.  This exhibit will include all media with a wide variety of styles.  The public is invited to an Awards Reception on Sunday, May 6th from 2:00pm to 4:00pm.
Coinciding with Members’ Exhibition I, the works of Sharon Jordan Bahosh will be displayed in the Gordon Grant Room.  This show will run from May 5th – May 24th.
Also from May 5th- May 24th, artist Steve Kennedy will display his latest works in a solo exhibition of paintings.
In addition to its five Member Exhibitions and six solo and small works shows, NSAA will highlight its 90th Season with an Anniversary Exhibit of founding artists and early artist members, as well as an exhibit by the International Society of Experimental Artists.  Throughout this exciting season which runs May-October, many special lectures, demonstrations, workshops and programs will be offered to celebrate NSAA’s 90th Anniversary, a truly historic milestone!
North Shore Arts Association has a thriving artist membership of over 350 contemporary artists recognized nationally and worldwide. They come not only from Cape Ann, but throughout North America.
NSAA’s historic old building, located at 11 Pirates Lane in Gloucester, provides the opportunity to view one of the largest collections of paintings and sculpture on Cape Ann. 
North Shore Arts Association is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sundays from Noon to 5:00 pm. In addition to exhibitions, NSAA also offers demonstrations, workshops, lectures, critiques, an art auction and more. Please call 978-283-1857 or visit for more information.

The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to present Flying Enterprises: Cape Ann Arts,
Crafts and Literary Festivals of the Early 1950s, an illustrated talk by
Gloucester resident and local historian Mary Rhinelander McCarl on Saturday,
April 21 at 3:00 p.m. in the Folly Cove Auditorium. This program is included
with admission, reservations are required. To make a reservation or for more
information, please call Jeanette Smith at 978-283-0455, x11 or email
Please see attached note about an upcoming program at the Cape Ann Museum.

Walker Hancock 1977

Image credit: Walker Hancock, 1977. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum.

Temple Ahavat Achim

Invites Mothers and children to make Challah

Looking for something special to do with your child this Mother’s Day?  Have you ever wanted to learn how to bake Challah, the special and delicious Jewish bread?  Come join our expert bakers and teachers at Temple Ahavat Achim to learn how to roll, braid, and bake a delicious Challah!

Families of all backgrounds are invited to join! Come at 10 am for the Challah baking class and stay for a special Jewish song session called Shira at 11:30. 

For more information, please contact our Director of Congregational Learning and Programming, David Wesson at or call the temple office, 978-281-0739.

Temple Ahavat Achim 86 Middle St. Gloucester.

Gloucester Public Schools Fuller School Building Survey

Click this link

The Gloucester Public School District has a tradition of reaching out to the community for input before making major decisions. Once again, the school district is reaching out for your help.
The Gloucester School Committee is considering what to do with the Fuller School site.  This building is presently underused.  It currently houses the preschool program, and the transportation and administrative offices.  The rest of the building is unoccupied. The question the School Committee must answer is whether the building is needed by the school district for any future educational use.  If the building is declared surplus, the School Committee would be reaffirming its commitment to local, smaller elementary schools and the city will decide its future use.
This survey is part of the larger citywide discussion about what should be done with the Fuller School Site.  The School Committee is reaching out to all members of the community so that everyone has an opportunity to express their views.  Input generated from this survey will be used, along with input from other sources, to help the School Committee make an informed decision.

Brought to you by the Rocky Neck Art Colony…..
ROCKY NECK (former Christian Science Church, 6 Wonson St.).  Come join
us for a fun afternoon of food, music, great company, info about the
building’s acquisition and plans, and help to paint the wainscotting
in the main hall – hope to see you there!