Varian Semiconductor / Applied Materials and the Gloucester/ Silicon Valley connection

Catherine Ryan submits-

Hi Joey

There’s a long and continuous through-line of innovative and inventive companies and entrepreneurial spirit throughout Gloucester ’s history.

Here’s some background from James Kawski, Market Analyst and CI Manager for Applied Materials Varian Semiconductor, on the Gloucester/Silicon Valley, full-circle high tech connection.

  • Late 1940’s, brothers Russell Harrison and Sigurd Fergus Varian formed Varian Associates in California creating one of the early stalwarts of Silicon Valley. In 1953 they moved their headquarters to Palo Alto .
  • In 1975 Varian Associates purchased Extrion Corporation of Gloucester and Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates was born.
  • 1999 VSEA was spun off in 1999 and established itself as the world leader in the manufacture of Ion Implanters: large, technically complex machines used to make microchips.
  • 2011 Varian entered a new market making tools to build better, more efficient solar cells. In keeping with sustainable business practices Varian built the first power generating wind turbine on Cape Anne (which now forms a trio on our horizon with the two from Gloucester Engineering)
  • Late 2011 Varian merged with Santa Clara California ’s Applied Materials, reconnecting Gloucester ’s high technology history with Silicon Valley .
  • June 2012 Varian’s CEO Gary Dickerson named President of Applied
  • February 2013 Bob Halliday named CFO of Applied Materials


Sigurd Varian


Russell Varian

Photos courtesy Applied Materials © Ansel Adams

Statues & Plaques in Gloucester Part II From Peter Dorsey

Peter Dorsey submits-


Another statue that I found both artistic and interesting is located at the intersection of Prospect and Pleasant Streets. It is made of large granite blocks, and commemorates the War with Spain from 1898 to 1902, and the Gloucester men who served then, ” Gloucester Honors Her Men Who Served in the War With Spain, 1898, Volunteers All, Erected 1923″  There is a copper relief plaque commemorating the Liberation of Cuba on one side honoring, “Gloucester’s Sons, 100 Strong”  and on the other side a copper relief plaque showing the U.S.S. Gloucester, and commemorating her “Sinking of the Spanish Destroyers Pluton and Furor” in July 1898, and the 300 men from Gloucester who “Volunteered for Naval Service”. 

If you have never looked closely at these beautiful relief plaques, I recommend that you park you car nearby, and walk carefully around the traffic; and spend a little time gazing at this beautiful commemorative artwork.


Four Tracy Pirates Represent! in Bodin Historic Photo Gallery


Fred writes-

Left to Right: Uncle Sid Tracy (Moran Tugboat Company), Emma Tracy, Karen Tracy, and Theo Tracy. Lacking a GMG sticker, I gave Sid my pirate patch, but Theo is holding a GMG mug that was left here after our GMG/Bodin holiday party (come get it if it’s yours). Emma and her husband are residing at Mother Ann Cottage on Eastern Point for the winter, which is the outermost house next to the Coast Guard Station. Her comment to me about living there: "Magnificent and dramatic views of the ocean, but windy and very cold." The weather will improve for us all, and I hope to see the Tracy Pirates at our next gallery event. They’re definitely a fun crew.

Fredrik D. Bodin

Bodin Historic Photo

C.B. Fisk Open Shop Invitation March 9th, 2013

Greg MF Bover writes-

Dear Friends and Family,

Although I will be away on another installation in Indiana, my Fisk Colleagues will be ready to show folks around the shop and answer any questions during this event.  We are expecting a large contingent of visitors from the school in Niiza, Japan where this organ will be going, I hope you will come see this unique organ too.

Please feel free to bring along anyone you think might be interested, or to forward this invitation along to your own friends.

Regards, Greg

141 Open Shop Invite - Email

Visitor 2


R/V Connecticut

The R/V Connecticut is a 76′ steel single screw research vessel that was designed and built for the University of Connecticut in 1998 and is outfitted for year-round coastal service. The vessel can accommodate up to 30 people for day trips and up to 12 people for overnight and extended science missions of 7-10 days duration. The vessel is equipped with a dynamic positioning system connected to bow and stern thrusters. The vessel design favors stability and precise low speed handling and positioning. Vessel features include wet and dry laboratory spaces and a mid-ship mounted, 20″ diameter instrument wet well which allows transducers or sampling gear to be installed through a main deck access hatch with conduit connection to the dry laboratory and reconfigurable transducer/equipment mounts. Science vans up to 20′ in length can be placed on the large work deck and a full suite of deck machinery is available to perform a wide variety of oceanographic tasks.

Willowdale Estate Wins TV Show TLC Four Weddings!!!

Four Brides Judge Each Other’s Weddings. Even with Superstorm Sandy threatening to dampen Enza and John Procopio’s day, Willowdale takes the cake!

“In Italian tradition, rain is supposed to be good luck. We have the hurricane, so that means we are going to have life-long happiness.”  said groom John Procopio.

Willowdale Estate Topsfield ©Kim Smith 2012

Willowdale Estate pulled out all the stops to make the event a success. The competing brides were blown away by the catering “My sea bass was fantastic!” said one competing bride. Willowdale received a perfect score for the catering and also achieved the highest score for guest experience. The couple walked away with a luxury vacation in the Caribbean Islands and a wedding story that will be in the family for many years.

Watch the full episode:

Willowdale Estate is a special events venue in Topsfield Massachusetts that provides celebrated restaurant style catering for all events, as well as complementary planning services. Willowdale’s fieldstone mansion is surrounded by over 700 acres of forest, the Ipswich River, and beautiful flowering gardens, with sweeping views, privacy, and endless possibilities for any event. Willowdale Estate is a full service venue with many amenities including a pristine Sperry Tent, equipment, and guidance from our experienced event planners.  For more information about planning your wedding, corporate event, or fundraiser contact or call 978-887-8211

March Continues with A Variety of Concerts at Rockport Music

Check out all the action at Shalin Liu Performance Center (sent by Karen Herlitz)

March Continues With A Variety of Concerts at Rockport Music

Rockport Music presents the highest quality of concerts and presentations year-round at the stunning, seaside Shalin Liu Performance Center.  This March provides a variety of musical opportunities for people to enjoy—from classical to jazz.

Classical Concerts

On Sunday, March 24, at 3 pm, Blue Heron performs under the direction of Scott Metcalfe.  Blue Heron – Boston’s top early-music vocal ensemble—presents Divine Songs, connections and exchanges between secular song and sacred music, featuring the music of Johannes Ockeghem.  Unknown to many, Ockeghem is one of the greatest composers of all time. His endlessly fascinating sacred music has been characterized as mystical; his songs—each one a gem of invention—can be funny, heart wrenching, or profound.  The program includes Ockeghem’s songs Ma maistresse, Fors seullement, and Presque transi; De plus en plus by Gilles Binchois; and movements from the masses by Ockeghem based on those songs.  The Boston Globe proclaims, “Sensually rich, yet balanced and incandescent.”   Tickets:  $28-$48

Jazz, Folk, Pop, and World Music

On Friday, March 22 at 8 pm, Larry Coryell, known as the pioneer guitarist merging jazz, rock, free-form improvisations, and Eastern influences will perform at the Shalin Liu Performance Center.  Larry Coryell brings his eclectic style described by critic Whitney Balliett as “the most innovative and original guitarist since Charlie Christian,” Coryell’s career spans four decades, over 60 albums (dozens more as a sideman), and performances with some of music’s heavy-weights like Eric Clapton, John Scofield, Elvin Jones, and Chick Corea, to name a few. Also a consummate composer, he tells Rockport Music, “I write music because I can’t help it. I think perhaps I want to complement all the great compositions already out there…Wayne Shorter and Sonny Rollins come to mind, and of course, Monk!”  Tickets: $19-$34

Back by popular demand, the 17-piece Cape Ann Big Band will delight audiences at the Shalin Liu Performance Center on Friday, March 29, at 8 pm, with jazz, swing, soul, and rock n’ roll that will make you want to dance.  Led by Carlos Menezes, the diverse 17-piece big band performs big band classics from a nostalgic era like “Mack the Knife,” “I’ve Got You Under my Skin,” and “Take the A Train.”  Tickets: $19-$34

HD Broadcasts

On Saturday, March 16, at 12 pm, the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD broadcast of Zandonai’s early 20th-century melodrama Francesca da Rimini returns to the Met for its first revival in more than 25 years, in Piero Faggioni’s production. Marco Armiliato conducts Eva-Maria Westbroek in the title role of a noblewoman who is tricked into marrying the brutal Gianciotto, sung by Mark Delavan, instead of her true love Paolo, sung by Marcello Giordani. Tickets: $20-$32

National Theatre of London presents People in a HD broadcast on Thursday, March 21, at 7 pm.

In this hilarious new play, celebrated playwright Alan Bennett (Madness of King George, The History of Boys) takes a stab at modern society by examining  the consequences of a self-serving government that turns a once-dignified nation into a “captive market,” with its people “rebranded as customers… available for easier exploitation.”   Through satirical social commentary, People offers up “classic Bennett comedy with a Downtown tinge” (Daily Express).  Tickets: $22 Adult, $15 Senior

For ticket information and details on these and other 2012-13 Season offerings, please visit our website at  Tickets are also available through the Box Office at 978-546-7391 or visiting 35 Main Street, Rockport, MA.  The Box Office is open Monday-Friday, 10am-4 pm.

Great Music for the Whole Family Starting Tonight and the Whole Weekend

Don’t let this little storm get you down — the weekend starts tonight — here are a few highlights:

At Seaport Grille: Last night of Customer Appreciation Day!! 1/2 off Appetizers Lobster Rolls $9.95 Raw bar on the Deck with the amazing duo Renee & Joe starting at 6:30.

At The Rhumb Line starting at 8pm Dave Sag’s Blues Party with John Keegan, John Hyde. Dave Brown & Benny Benson

Pete Lindberg at the Dog Bar starting at 9pm

The weekend is packed full of great stuff for the whole family, see the full lineup here and make your plans now.

Join Grammy award winners Debbie and Friends for “Story Songs and Sing Alongs” at Old Sloop Coffehouse on Saturday

Cape Ann Represents at MIT Museum Nautical Night 2013

Hi Joey,

MIT Museum has a FREE program on the second Friday of each month, and this month’s program is their fourth annual Nautical Night.  Families are invited to come explore the museum and see special demonstrations and presentations focusing on MIT’s Commitment to Marine Sciences.  Harold Burnham will be there demonstrating his shipbuilding skills and talking about building the Ardelle, and representatives from Maritime Gloucester will be there sharing the rich nautical traditions of Gloucester. There’s also a lot of other demonstrations and presentations including one from the MIT’s Marine Robotic Team. It’s a great family outing, and the MIT museum is a fabulous place to see the where the technology that surrounds us today started.

~Bill O’Connor
North Shore Kid


Key to Gloucester City Hall’s City Council in Session 1937 New Deal mural by Charles Allan Winter

Catherine Ryan submits-

The Committee for the Arts is excited to share new “in situ” photographs of Gloucester ’s City Hall murals by noted architectural photographer, Chuck Choi.


Here is Chuck Choi photographing and Mayor Carolyn Kirk eyeing his composition



Here’s one featuring Charles Allan Winter’s City Council in Session in the lobby of City Hall (don’t miss our killer ship chandeliers!);

followed by a photo zoomed in to show all 34 figures

followed by a photo of the framed “key” that his installed below the mural, just above the collectors’ windows—more to follow on the key!

There was media coverage in the 1930s for the murals as they were completed, and many times since then. Here’s a fun one: In 1972 Senator William L. Saltonstall (Manchester resident and member of the Massachusetts Senate from 1967-1979) enlisted the help of media to announce a contest to help identify the portraits in some of Charles Allan Winter’s New Deal murals within Gloucester ’s City Hall. The Cape Ann VF insert published a photograph of the Winter mural in Kyrouz Auditorium, The Founding of Gloucester, with the caption: “Senator Saltonstall is offering dinner for two at a Gloucester restaurant to the first person to identify the most real people in the mural painting above.”




March Nor’easter, Long Beach, 1958 From Fred Bodin

March Nor’easter, Long Beach, 1958

A massive storm barreled up the East Coast from March 18th to 21st,1958, impacting the East Coast from North Carolina to Maine. It was a Category 2 storm, which means it was “significant.” In addition to high winds, waves, and surge, it also brought snow. On Cape Ann, the concrete boardwalk on Long Beach was destroyed, and houses were damaged. These photos are courtesy of Eloise Como Brown.

Fredrik D. Bodin
Bodin Historic Photo
82 Main Street