A Ukelele Love Affair- John Hicks Part I

John Hicks Talks About Cape Ann Connections To The Ukelele

His website – http://www.tinpanhaole.com/
Check Out Ukulele Hootenany At Eastern Point Lit House-
Join us each month for Uke Night @ The Lit House! All levels of uke enthusiast is welcome.

The Next Uke Night is December 15
Ukuele Hootenanny with John Hicks
6:30-8 p.m. |Third Monday each month

Feel free to publish my email, TinPanhaole@gmail.com

One Pirates Lane Sign Beautifully Recreated by Master Woodcarver David Calvo and Question for Our Local Historians and Long-Time Residents

One Pirates Lane sign ©Kim Smith 2014JPGNext time you are heading to East Gloucester or Rocky Neck, take a look at the striking new sign at One Pirates Lane, which was recently restored by Gloucester’s own David Calvo. David was commissioned to recreate the sign as the old one had rotted through and through; made of solid mahogany, the new sign will surely last a lifetime.

David’s studio is located at 235 East Main Street. Visit his website to see more of David’s outstanding portfolio of beautiful designs and workmanship here: David Calvo Studio

David shares a bit of history about the sign: The building was owned by Howard Richardson who ran his trade show design business there. The sign was done by Alfred Czerpak. Richardson and artist Czerepak attended Mass College of Art at the same time. Howard asked Alfred to make a sign for him. The original sign went up in 1981. Al was the name he went by and he lived in one of the homes behind Richardson’s business on Pirates Lane. Al pursued a painting career and also created many multi media pieces. Thank you Colleen and David for the information!One Pirates Lane ©Kim Smith 2014

Questions for our old-timer GMG readers: We who live in the East Gloucester/Pirates Lane neighborhood have all heard that One Pirates Lane was at one time a Russian tea house. Can any of our readers confirm that and if so, share their recollections. We would love to know more and thank you so much for taking the time to write.

See previous GMG post with Adam Bolonsky interview of David Calvo








Revitalization of Magnolia

On Sunday evening Lights on Lexington Avenue took place.  LEXICON Gallery had an opening during the festivities,  Seyrel and Chris Williams have opened this gallery.  They are also part of the Cape Ann Ceramics Festival.  The gallery was pact with people admiring these beautiful works.  Also Jessica Lynn has opened a studio for her portrait photography.  Most important was Olaf at 525.


Greg Verga Announces Bid For Mayor

Greg Verga official announcement –
After long consideration and many conversations with colleagues, friends and family, I have decided to run for Mayor of Gloucester in 2015.

I seek the Mayor’s office because I believe I am the right candidate, given my knowledge of our City, my commitment to building community by respecting the City’s past and embracing its future, and because of my proven abilities as an active participant in the issues and people of Gloucester for many years. 
Now is the correct time for a new approach to the City’s administration.  To be an effective Mayor requires experience, proven leadership, and, more importantly, a willingness to listen to all sides of an issue. A true leader is not timid and must want to listen to all points of view from all the City’s constituency, and must be flexible enough to adjust plans which will serve the best interests of our City.
In the coming months, I look forward to discussing how my four terms on the School Committee, two terms as a Ward Councilor, and now as an At-Large Councilor establishes my experience to become the next mayor of Gloucester.  

I would like to mention two highlights of this experience at the present time.  One is my demonstrated commitment to transparency and inclusiveness. In my early days as a member of the School Committee, I pushed to have agendas and minutes posted online, and later, as its chair I moved our meetings to City Hall where live broadcasting was available.  On the City Council I have always insisted on more public engagement and accountability from us and the administration.
Secondly, is my record of willingness to embrace and consider change that would benefit the City and its people. An example of this commitment during my time on the City Council, and after careful review of the facts and listening to all points of view, I have welcomed and encouraged new ideas such as the Beauport Hotel and the DPA revisions of the new Harbor Plan.
As Gloucester’s Mayor, I will ensure that an open door policy will not just be a slogan, and there will be no surprises.  We will generate ideas in public not behind closed doors.  Our public buildings will not be neglected, and I believe that the ‘team’ is more than a select few.
My roots are deep here – with my mother’s family making their way here from Portugal and Nova Scotia at the end of the 1800’s and my father’s family’s immigration from Italy.  It was nearly 100 years ago when my grandmother, Ma Verga, sailed across the Atlantic to this community that opened its arms to her.  My goal is to keep Gloucester a welcoming city that remains full of hope for all who now and in the years to come will seek to build their homes, businesses, and lives here.

For Anyone That Doesn’t Think A Cell Tower In West Gloucester Is A Good Idea- Are You This Person?


From Gizmodo-

What’s The Strangest Thing You’ve Done to Get Cell Reception?

I’ll confess to standing outside on the furthest corner of a Lanai on my tippytoes holding my iPad over my head to try to upload a post to the blog.

Not on Any List of Tourist Destinations

So, you may know by now that I live in Rockport….but, I’m not FROM Rockport.

I lived in Middleton until I was about 12 and then moved to Hamilton.  Both of my parents are from Gloucester and I moved there right after college graduation. After meeting my husband I moved to Rockport, his hometown, back in 2000. So, looong story short, I’ve lived in Rockport for 14 years now, but again…I’m not FROM Rockport.

That being said, I can usually hold my own.  After 14 years I’ve finally learned the names of most streets (kind of), I know not to take a left down Broadway from South Street on Sundays because it is closed during church services, I know that if you want a cranberry walnut muffin to die for you go to Helmut’s, if the kids are jonesing for a shaved ice you go to Hula Moon, and if you’re planning on a long day at one of the local beaches you’d better plan around the tide…because some of our favorite beaches all but disappear at high tide.

I’ve learned a lot, I’ve met tons of truly kind and fantastic people, and…probably because of my local hero loving young boys…I can greet the harbor masters and police officers by name.

A couple of years ago I wrote how a bunch of the community came together to help celebrate Thatcher’s 5th birthday.  It was incredibly heart warming and perfect and to this day I tear up at how special that day was for him.

All of that having been said, there is one part of Rockport that, I have to admit, still intimidates me a bit.

The Dump.  Well, see right there…that’s part of the problem.  It is not actually called the Dump.  It is the Transfer Station….and rightfully so.  Back in Middleton we went to the Dump (in our giant wood paneled station wagon with no carseats)…and I remember it clearly, but it was before recycling, and it was truly just piles of trash.  I am certain that it is no longer like that now. In Hamilton, we put our trash out for pick up.  No trips to the dump necessary.

Now, in Rockport, my husband typically does the, as I call them, “dump runs.” He doesn’t necessarily appreciate the fact that I call them that and has explained that, in no uncertain terms, if I feel that it is simply a dump, then I am not necessarily worthy of making the trips.  Awww, shucks.

So, for YEARS, I had never actually taken a trip to the transfer station.

My husband had come home forever with random “treasures” from the swap shop….much to my dismay.  The swap shop alone began to spark my interest. Not because I was necessarily in love with anything that he brought home, but because I started to grow intrigued by the vision of the “Land of Misfit Toys” that he loved to visit.

Don’t tell my husband, but I actually found myself having “dump run” envy.  It didn’t help that my boys would also come home singing the praises of the dump. I started to feel a little left out.  The only girl in the house and all….and the only one not worthy of the weekly pilgrimage to the mysterious place at the end of the driveway on Nugent Stretch.  “What is down there?”, I started to wonder.

So, finally, I was allowed to tag along….

And I’ve been meaning to do a blog post about it ever since.

This place is not for the faint of heart and it is truly a fine oiled machine.  This place is the Disney World of recyclers, the Tour de France of the obsessive compulsive, and the Super Bowl of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” While you’re not going to find it on a list of tourist destinations, it is truly a sight to behold.  I’m also a bit smitten that it has an area for “Scrap Fishing Gear” as that kind of screams “Good job making a life for yourself in this quaint little town by the sea” if you ask me.

So, if like me, you have never had the opportunity to witness the wonder of the transfer station….here’s a peek inside.  Behold.

The Absolute No Brainer Easiest and Most appreciated Secret Santa/Stocking Stuffer- Dinner Dealer Decks

The New Dinner Dealer Decks Just Came Out-

Jess and Dennis (and baby Emerson) will ship them out to you the same day you order them and guarantee delivery for Christmas right up until December 21. They are good from now through next year so you get an extra month to use them if you get them now.

No Brainer City Baby!  Order Your Decks Here- https://www.dinnerdealer.com/decks/

imageWho’s in the 2015 Deck-

Brown Sugar By The Sea
The Spot
Whoo(Pie) Wagon
En Fuego
Salt Kitchen & Rum Bar


15 Walnut
The Farm Bar & Grille

Duckworth’s Bistro
George’s of Gloucester
Latitude 43
Mile Marker One
The Pub at Cape Ann Brewery
Wally’s Blackburn Bistro
Willow Rest
Casa De Luis
Foreign Affairs

Nate’s At Front Beach
Half Baked Café
Marino’s Café
Organic Garden Café
Prime Meats & Provisions
The American B.B.Q.
9 Elm
Daily Harvest Café
Goodies Ice Cream
Little Depot Diner
Maki Sushi Bar & Grill
The Nest
Maggie’s Farm
Boston Hot Dog Co.
Comida Mexican Taqueria
Flying Saucer Pizza
Longboards Café & Bar
Naumkeag Ordinary
Scratch Kitchen
The Ugly Mug Diner
Cygnet Bakery
Le Bistro
Lime Rickey’s
Warwick Cinema
Caffe Paolina


Monday December 8th , 2014 Cape Ann Weather..

Marine Forecast :
Today NE winds 15 to 20 kt…diminishing to 10 to 15 kt this afternoon. Gusts up to 25 kt. Seas 4 to 7 ft. A slight chance of snow showers.
Tonight E winds 10 to 15 kt with gusts up to 25 kt. Seas 4 to 7 ft. Patchy fog. A chance of rain. Vsby 1 to 3 nm.

Pod Cast Weather :

Hourly Forecast :