How fortunate we are to be experiencing a delightfully warm El Nino December although many regions in the rest of the country are not faring as well as we in the Northeast. Thinking about where we were almost to the date a year ago at this time…see the end of this post.
Photographing from the same location last year at this time, Smith’s Cove, December 18, 2014 ~
Photo by: Mary Barker
Our FOB and Ward 2 Councilwoman, Melissa Cox, has informed us of the passing of Peter Albert Todd. Earlier today Peter lost his very long battle with cancer. Peter Albert Todd was named Poet Laureate of the City of Gloucester, Massachusetts, in August, 2014.
Often referred to as the City Poet Laureate of Gloucester, Peter had been a life-long resident of the city that he loved. He celebrated his love of everything Gloucester in his deeply personal and moving poems. His poems centered around such diverse topics as the Gloucester City Council, the city’s rich history, the fishing boats and working waterfront, Gloucester landmarks, individuals who have made Gloucester great, his adored family, and his deep personal Christian faith.
He was active in the Masonic Order for most of his life, Peter is twice Past Master of Tyrian Lodge, twice Past Master of Acacia Lodge, Past Master of Ashler Lodge, Past Master of Charles C. Dame Lodge, Past Worthy Patron of Martha Washington Chapter #21, OES, and was a faithful and loving Rainbow Dad for many years. In 2004 Pete was honored with the Joseph Warren Medal for long and faithful service by order of the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. He celebrates his love of the Order in many of his poems.
Peter lived with the angel of his soul and the love of his life, his wife of over thirty years, Barbara. He has one daughter, Jenice; a granddaughter, Ashley; and two great-grandsons, Nathaniel and Daniel.
Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken will lower the flag in front of City Hall on behalf of Peter.
Peter and his wife Barbara would visit us daily at Mamie’s Kitchen and when Peter was not sipping his hot chocolate with us he headed over to see his long time friend, Dean Salah of Georges Coffee Shop. We often heard the untold stories of Gloucester’s past and he brought copies of his poems to coffee shop to share with everyone. Peter had the most positive attitude towards life and the picture below says it all.
To help those who are in need
Just the knowing someone cares
Is a God given gift to all indeed
Time is also sharing flowers in view
Taking in their pleasant scents
Beneath the skies of heavenly blue
Rich of knowledge time well spent
As the years go by time does fly
Memories seem to all disappear
But as sure as the stars in night sky
Through God we have no fears
So treasure this gift in life each day
Share it with those you love
For does not the good book say
Trust in God beyond the sky above
by Peter Albert Todd
4 years ago, during the early Fall, Chelsea Berry and I were trying to come up with a great way to utilize a small chapel in Manchester-by-the-Sea for a performance. The idea was a Christmas show that became known as “Holidays & Wintertide.”
Our 4th annual production was this past Saturday night, and for the first time, the show took place in Gloucester. On behalf of Chelsea Berry, Renee Dupuis, Brian Alex, Joe Cardoza, Dennis Monagle and myself, I would like to say “Thank You, Gloucester and Cape Ann!”
The night was magical, the songs were perfect and the audience was divine, so I would like to take a moment to send out some thank yous:
To Chelsea, Renee, Brian, Joe & Dennis : It was an absolute honor to work with you on this years’ show. I was blown away – as I believe everyone else was. There were moments that literally brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for your professionalism, your kindness, and for sharing your talent and holiday spirit with all of us.
To Dawn Caraway and the Tavern on the Harbor: Thank for saving the day and for your remarkable hospitality in the most beautiful of settings. When we realized our past venue was unavailable, you stepped up and gave us a home, and I hope you will have us back next year. Your room is spectacular, and the acoustics are shockingly crisp… more shows to come.
To Louise Welch: You are my personal and musical Dalai Lama. You do so much for me (and the Cape Ann music community), and we are very fortunate to have you as part of our community. Thank you for always being my production sidekick and making this show such a success.
Thank you to Mark Rahilly for running sound and making the show sound exceptional. To Peter Hoare, who has worked with me on this show from the start, thank you for your production help and sharing your equipment. To Lisa Hubbard, thank you for your magic touch in making the set look so good. And to Joanne Silva, thank you for your continued promotion of my productions and all of the great musical events on Cape Ann. You are another shining jewel in the crown of Gloucester’s music scene.
Lastly, to the people of Gloucester and beyond, thank you for coming out and making the night so special for the performers and for me. This has always been my favorite production of the year, and this year was better than ever. We know you have a lot of choices in live music throughout Cape Ann, and the music community appreciates it when music-lovers come together to support a paid performance. It’s a tough environment out there for professional musicians, but your show of support for events like this reminds performers why they are on this path and doing the thing they love.
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or any other holiday, I hope it is/was merry, healthy and bright
And to all a goodnight.
Single Tree Music
Advance & Season Tickets at www.NorthShoreFolk.org
– c/o Floating Lotus 169 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930
Beware of the scams that are going around especially this time of year. One of our clients was charged $200.00 on their credit card and $34.00 per month.
Tis the Season … (to be scammed)
A long time ago, in a land we may no longer recognize, the “flim-flam man” (remember Robert Preston in “The Music Man”) had to look you in the eye personally to defraud you of your hard earned money. Now it is done from an off-shore call center or by some weasel sitting in his mother’s basement. The Internet is a wonderful place for legitimate use, but it is also the Wild Wild West of the technological age.
Recently we have had a disturbing number of our elderly and less technically savvy customers call us reporting cold calls by people purporting to represent Microsoft, Dell, or a “Tech Support” organization and stating that their monitoring software reported a problem with the customer’s computer. They then attempt to convince the person to allow them to log onto their computer to resolve the issue … usually after securing credit card information to pay for the critical repair. In one case, they signed the victim up for a monthly “maintenance” contract billed to their credit card. This “PC Help Desk” software is next to impossible to remove completely without a system rebuild.
The callers have disguised their caller ID so that the call may initially appear to be legitimate. We usually get one or two of these calls a month … some of us like to play with them for 10 minutes or so before blowing them off; I am less tolerant and tend to say politically incorrect and hurtful things before hanging up.
Generally, things to be aware of include:
- Microsoft & Dell NEVER EVER call you unsolicited to offer to fix something that you have not yet complained about. This is ALWAYS a scam.
- The IRS and FBI do not send you an email with an attachment. They never email. The IRS will send a registered US Postal Service letter; the FBI will send somebody to knock on your door.
- Banks and other financial institutions will NEVER ask you for passwords or other personal information on the telephone. If they do, hang up and call them back using a phone number that you know … not from the caller ID.
- UPS, FexEx and DHL do not send email package delivery notices unsolicited. They DEFINITELY do not send message with attachments. This is the favorite delivery vector to many malware Trojans and ransomware attacks. Businesses and people who do a lot of package mailings are especially vulnerable to this method.
- Basically be very suspicious of any mail messages that include attachments … especially if you do not know the sender and are expecting it.
- If possible, use a special credit card (never an ATM or Debit card) for your Internet transactions. We have one with a very low limit JUST for that purpose.
- If you get a suspicious Pop-Up screen on your computer, POWER IT OFF and then reboot. Run your AntiVirus software full system scan and then any AntiMalware programs you might have after updating them. Goggle “MalwareBytes” or “SuperAntiSpyware” for two that are free. They are our first line of defense for cleaning infected systems.
- Backups, backups, backups … they are your true last line of defense. Get a good one and then TEST to make sure they are actually making recoverable copies.
- There are always qualified computer professionals that can help you if necessary, but look them up in the phone book or ask your Chamber of Commerce for recommendations … do not call the number that the Pop-Up suggests.
Some Gloucester art taking place, captured on Video, at Cape Pond Ice
Company in the coolest medium of all: Ice.
This is a first draft of a new #Nike #GetOutHere commercial filmed at
Cape Pond Ice Company featuring Don Chapelle of Brilliant Ice, carving
the Rob Gronkowski sculpture that was unveiled at Gillette Stadium for
the Patriots/Dolphins game on October 29th.
I hope that when my boys look back on the holiday season, or really their childhoods in general, that they remember fondly and treasure the traditions that we’ve created for them.
While there is something to be said for being spontaneous and trying new things, there are definitely some steadfast traditions that we like to hold true each year….especially this time of year.
The boys know that on Thanksgiving night we make popcorn and hot chocolate, spread out sleeping bags, and watch The Polar Express. They know that within the next two days we’ll head to the Beverly Tree Farm and cut down our tree. They also know that we won’t leave there until they’ve tolerated a mini photo shoot. They know that one day in very early December, if not earlier, a white star will suddenly be lit near the train bridge and they’ll get the warm fuzzies when it is first spied each year! They know that we’ll be watching Santa arrive on the Freemantle Doctor from right under the hoist on T-Wharf and they walk to that spot automatically the first Saturday of December each year. They know that later on that evening will be the tree lighting at Dock Square, there will be a trip to Tuck’s to buy one treat, and then we’ll head home to decorate our own tree. The boys know that there will be fried dough on Christmas morning and that my mom will arrive later with a coffee cake that is always still warm….just like the one that she made each year when I was little (Tradition). They know that after opening presents we go downtown to the tree and say “thank you” to Santa for the gifts he left for us. They know also to thank the police officers on detail Christmas Day and to always shake their hands.
They know the Santa mugs will come out to drink from for the month of December and that one will get filled with milk to sit alongside some cookies and carrots. They know in the morning they’ll find little pieces of carrot left on the side deck from those messy reindeer. There will also be a sleigh bell in their stockings.
Sprinkled into the “givens” are the less consistent holiday activities. Usually a trip to Boston, but always for different reasons. There will be at least one night of driving around with cocoa to see holiday light displays near and far. Some years we’ve trekked to Santa’s Village….other years to Edaville Railroad. Other years neither…especially with hockey in full-swing.
And then….then, there’s the Curtis Family Countdown. We’ve looked forward to watching the days tick down from their front yard display on Main Street each December day for the last few years. It is a true sign that Christmas is on it’s way. I blogged about it last year so that you could all make a point to drive by and see how wonderful it is.
If I remember correctly, it usually begins right after Thanksgiving. So…you can imagine how off-kilter we felt when December began and there was no countdown. December 1st…nothing. Wait. What?Then December 2nd. Nothing. And even, the horror, December 3rd. It was time we take matters into our own hands. You can’t mess with tradition after all.
So, we did this.
While we could probably just do the math, it is truly much more entertaining to drive by your house each morning and night to see the Countdown to Christmas. I know that you are really busy…so this is what we’ve decided to do. If it isn’t up by Sunday morning, I will leave Thatcher and Finn with you aaaaaaall day long to help you out. (How’s THAT for motivation)
Just kidding. Kind of.
The Schrafft Family
In return, later on the same day, we got this….
Send your kids over, Nichole, they can do the lights on the rest of the house.
He decided to do the lights himself when I readily agreed to drop the boys off to do the rest of the lights while I took his wife out for some drinks.
Thanks again to the Curtis Family for helping to create lasting traditions. Thank you for making time to set up that display so that undoubtedly many children can drive by each day and see how many days are left until Christmas! It means a lot to us…and I’m sure we’re not alone in that.
I am with Cape Ann Skating Club and we are having a (free) Holiday Skating Exhibition on Saturday – Dec 19 at 1 PM in the Talbot Rink at the O’Maley School.
Attached is a flyer with information. We would love to have you attend – bring some friends & family and share some photos on your sites after the event!
There will be great holiday skating, festive music and costumes. Plus treats, cocoa, and crafts for kids.
Hi Joey- I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind putting out one more press release to help in the sale of our 2016 Rotary calendars? I have attached a revised version of the last one I sent you. Thanks so much! Because of the last press release you put on GMG, I sold more that 15 out of state (mostly to NY). Thanks again, and have very Happy Holidays-
Owner, Cape Ann Photography
The 2016 Rotary Raffle Calendars are still available. This calendar is our best ever, displaying the award winning photos of Cape Ann taken by serious amateur and professional photographers. Calendars can be purchased from any Gloucester Rotarian or at these locations: BankGloucester, Cape Ann Savings Bank, First Ipswich Bank, and at Local Colors on Main St. for $20.00 each. They can also be shipped anywhere by ordering through Rotarian Dave Stotzer at: firstname.lastname@example.org All profits go to the club’s GHS scholarships and many other worthy community and Rotary International projects. An added bonus is that this is a raffle calendar, and all are numbered, with a limited number being printed. The Club will be giving away $50.00 every week next year. There will be “bonus” giveaways of $250.00 the 2nd Tuesday of June 2016 and $500.00 the 2nd Tuesday of December 2016.
More Cape Ann Wellness News http://www.capeannwellness.com
The Holiday Season is meant to be joyful, but If you feel added stress, you are not alone. The holidays can also bring up negative thoughts and feelings and increased stress due to added commitments, financial strains, travel, and increased grief and sadness over those we have loved and lost. Spending time with others and focusing on positive memories from the past may help.
Minimize Stress for a Healthier Immune System.When we feel stressed and anxious, the adrenal glands release the hormone cortisol. Cortisol functions to reduce inflammation in the body, which is good, but over time, these efforts to reduce inflammation also suppress the immune system. Chronic stress results in high cortisol levels and reduces the body’s natural response to fight viruses and bacteria, making you more susceptible to colds and flu. Relaxation and adequate sleep help lower cortisol levels and support the body’s immune system.
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