The Gloucester Sea Cadets were the winners at the most recent Awesome Gloucester Pitch Night, receiving $1000 from the local micro grant foundation to support the leadership training they offer to local youth interested in naval careers.

Each month the Gloucester chapter of the Awesome Foundation solicits proposals from the community and chooses the top three to attend a public Pitch Night on the evening of the thirdMonday. Submitters make their case before the 20 local trustees who have each donated $50 toward the monthly award. The top vote getters walk away with $1000 in cash. Proposals to make Gloucester more awesome can be made at Awesome Gloucester.


Hooded merganser male mallard www.kimsmithdesigns 2016Male Mallard left, male Hooded Merganser right

This charming little diving duck was spotted several days ago in Rockport Harbor with a group of Mallards. About two thirds the size of the male Mallards, the striking pattern of the male Hooded Merganser made it easily spotted in the flock. A fun fact about Hooded Mergansers is that they can find their prey underwater by changing the refractive properties of their eyes. Additionally, they have an extra pair of eyelids that are both transparent and protective, functioning like a pair of goggles.

I hope to see you at the “Beautiful Birds of Cape Ann” program on Thursday night at the Rocky Neck Cultural Center!

Hooded merganser www.kimsmithdesigns 2016

loph_cucu_AllAm_map Kim Smith Talk


Gloucester Stage Company: The 2016 Season

 One World Premiere, Two New England Premieres

A Tony Nominee & Elliot Norton Award Winners

Set For 37th Gloucester Stage Season

Gloucester Stage Company Artistic Director, Robert Walsh, recently announced the six-play lineup for Gloucester Stage’s 37th Season of professional theater in Gloucester, Massachusetts. “We are thrilled to announce our 2016 season: every story is a journey and in each of these six journeys you will find adventure, delight, surprise, intrigue and joy,” explains Walsh. The 2016 season features an Israel Horovitz world premiere, two New England premieres, the return of Academy Award-nominated actress, and Gloucester resident, Lindsay Crouse, Managing Director Jeff Zinn’s GSC directorial debut, the re-teaming of last season’s hit, Out of Sterno director Paula Plum and playwright Deborah Zoe Laufer, and the Gloucester Stage debut of Elliot Norton Award winner Benjamin Evett and Tony nominee Barbara Walsh.

Gloucester Stage kicks off the 37th season on May 19 with Gloucester Stage favorite Lindsay Crouse in Peter Shaffer’s, Lettice and Lovage, directed by Benny Sato Ambush; followed by Matthew Spangler and Benjamin Evett’s,Albatross, on June 16, featuring Benjamin Evett and directed by Rick Lombardo; Deborah Zoe Laufer’s, The Last Schwartz, directed by Paula Plum opens on July 7. Then Jason Robert Brown’s, Songs For A New World, opens on August 4, directed by GSC Artistic Director, Robert Walsh, and featuring Barbara Walsh in her Gloucester Stage debut; September 1st, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s The Totalitarians opens, directed by Managing Director Jeff Zinn, followed by the world premiere of Israel Horovitz’s newest work, Man In Snow, opening on September 29.

Special Note for Cape Ann Residents:

PAY WHAT YOU WISH: Pay What You Wish tickets are available for the second matinee of each production. Tickets can only be purchased day of show at the door.

CAPE ANN NIGHT: The reduced ticket price for the first Preview Performance of each production is $25 for residents of Gloucester, Rockport, Essex and Manchester. Proof of residency required. Limit: 2 Cape Ann Night tickets per household per production. Limited amount of tickets available per performance.

Israel Horovitz, Playwright_ World Premiere_Man In Snow



Remember Yesterday, When It Was Winter?

Video: Niles Pond Afternoon
by Marty Luster

Music by Kevin MacLeod

George Street Shuffle by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (


My Winter Creative Project

beheading of john


Since getting my mother safely and happily ensconced in an assisted care facility in her home town, near her friends and church family, I have been inspired to embark on a creative project of some magnitude. I am painting an overview of the Bible, starting with Genesis, the beginning, and going through Revelation, the final book.  Since we are in the Easter season, I wanted to share some of the paintings that correspond with this season celebrated by Christian churches around the world.  These will be familiar to the Catholic and other churchgoing readers, and may be enlightening to those not familiar with the Bible.

The style of all the paintings in this series is a modified medieval/iconic style, which at first seemed totally new for me, but I soon realized was a culmination of the varied bodies of work I have done over the past 25 years.

This painting is of the beheading of John the Baptist at the order of King Herod. In this painting, Salome, Herod’s stepdaughter, is handing the head of John over to her wicked, adulterous, bloodthirsty mother, Herodias. Herodias was married to King Herod, while at the same time being married to his brother, Philip, which John criticized, thereby making an enemy of Herodias.  While Judas is the most despised character in the Bible, I put Herodias at a close second. Bad enough she is so wicked, but to enlist her young daughter’s help in such a gruesome plot is unimaginable.

Scriptural reference: Mark 6:17-29

For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married. For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him.

Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. When the daughter of Herodias (Salome) came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests.

The king said to the girl, “Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.” And he promised her with an oath, “Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”

She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?”

“The head of John the Baptist,” she answered.

At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: “I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”

The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. On hearing of this, John’s disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

E.J. Lefavour

Shout out to FOB Ray Cahill @seaportvet

@TheBevLowDown: Harry had a great visit this morning @seaportvet! Thanks Dr. Cahill, for the care & insight on his diet. #bigfeline

Roz Gold of Rocky Neck made the front page of the paper in Bradenton, FL Submitted By Rick Gold

Roz Gold of Rocky Neck made the front page of the paper in Bradenton, FL while on a vacation on Anna Marie Island in Florida checking out the stone crab mac & cheese at a benefit for Filling Young Stomachs. Roz volunteers at Gloucester’s Food Bank.  Rick Gold



So, this conversation came up the other night…  “When is using the term Hon (or Honey) appropriate?”  Whether it should be spelled “hun” or “hon” is a conversation for another day.

I have a friend who, I’ve noticed, will often say, “Thanks, Hon” as he pays his tab at a restaurant or bar.  He means nothing by it….it is simply a habit he has picked up.  He is never trying to be condescending nor is he trying to flirt.  Nonetheless, when I hear him say it,  I sometimes wonder how well it is actually being received by the server/bartender.  So, to conduct a bit of research for the sake of the blog, I started to ask.

The feelings were mixed.  The three bartenders questioned all happened to be female.  The first bartender agreed that it feels a bit unsettling and often seems rude. The second said that it didn’t really bother her when she is working, but that her own fiancé sometimes uses it when they are out, and when she hears it coming from him, it makes her skin crawl a bit too.   The third bartender was indifferent.   All agreed that it is very situational….and sometimes it wouldn’t phase them at all, but sometimes (under different circumstances) would really annoy them.  So, what exactly are those situations?

Well, for example, these questions were posed:  The tone of voice used.  The age or the customer and/or the age of the server.  The gender of both parties involved.  Is the person a “regular”?  Was the person using the term “Hon” attractive (one very honest bartender brought that up)?  Was the customer alone?  Dining with a significant other?  Out with friends?  Was there drinking involved? And even geographic locations.

I went to college in Virginia and everyone was “hon”, “sweetie”, or “babe” down there.

There are so many possibilities to consider.  Sometimes it feels ok, sometimes it doesn’t.   I’m 44 years old.  There is a young, female employee at a particular Dunkin’ Donuts who will always hand me my coffee through the drive thru window with a, “Here you go, Hon” or a “Have a great day, Hon.”   While it doesn’t bother me, per say.  I find it interesting.  I find it interesting that someone so much younger than me would call me “Hon”.  More typically, while I don’t enjoy it, in that situation one might think she would call me “Ma’am.”  I’m not in love with either.  But, I’m not going to lose sleep over it either.

Often times I’ve noticed that when a server is older they will deliver a meal with a, “Here you go, Hon” and I find it totally endearing.  Very grandmotherly.  That never strikes me as odd…..but, why?, I wonder.  Years ago, my husband and I went to a certain place maybe once a month or so.  There was a female bartender there (in the same age range as us)  who ALWAYS called my husband, and most other male customers, “Hon” but never the female customers.  I found that a bit annoying.

I wanted to conduct a poll on the matter, but I think that there are too many factors to be considered, so I hesitate to do so.  Rather, do me a favor, and leave a comment in regards to when it is OK…..and when it is definitely NOT ok.  I’d be interested to know your opinion.

Photo from Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Grover Hudson Carter, Owner Of The Cupboard Has Passed

Grover and his wife Cindy ran the Cupboard and had countless friends and if you grew up in Gloucester you were touched by the “Cupboard Experience” that they created and maintained all these years.  


This forwarded by John Nelson –
Hi Joey:
I wanted to pass along the attached obit for Grover Hudson Carter. This wonderful man ran The Cupboard on Tolman Ave for years and passed away in Georgia this past weekend. I grew up across the street from you Grandmother and can’t count the number of cones, burgers and goodies Grover supplied. For a few years in the late 60’s/ early 70’s, Grover and Cindy held an end-of-year, Tolman Ave ‘block party’ as they closed up The Cupboard for the season; a great pick-me-up for a young lad bummed because summer was over and school had started up. He helped make my childhood in Stage Fort Park memorable and magical.

I will miss him.

John Nelson
Gloucester ex-pat

Here’s a link about the Cupboard I wrote a while back – the Cupboard – A Gloucester Classic

If you go to the blog and type in the search term Cupboard there are many posts