Spring Cleaning? Think of Families-in-NeedCheckin’ in with the Open Door & Second Glance Thrift Shop

Submitted by Terry Weber Mangos

Did you stockpile canned goods last winter and now you’re concerned they may expire before you can eat them? Consider donating your surplus (but not-yet-expired) foods to the Open Door’s Food Pantry in Gloucester. And, what about the clutter piles that started multiplying in your house over the winter? Pack up your unwanted holiday gifts, toys, or clothes that you don’t wear or fit into anymore and donate them to the Second Glance thrift shop, which is also operated by the Open Door. 

Now’s the time to do your spring cleaning, and your donated items and efforts can benefit a family-in-need, many of whom relied on community services for the first time last year when the pandemic began. The shop accepts many items in good condition including clothes, kitchenwares, small appliances, furniture, art, and unique home decor pieces.  

While vaccination rates are rising and some Covid related restrictions are being lifted, no one knows how long it will be before the job market (and life!) returns to what we remember as normal. “All proceeds benefit the community by supporting the hunger relief programs of the Open Door,” said Susan Zwart, Director of Thrift Store Operations. “We are so grateful to the community for their donations. Keep the treasures coming!”

What You Need to Know Before You Go

For details on the Open Door’s Covid-19 protocols; their many programs and services; and how you can help; visit: https://www.foodpantry.org

You may drop off food donations at the Open Door’s Food Pantry, but be sure to check out their food drop-off schedule and guidelines first at: https://www.foodpantry.org/ways-to-give/donate/donate-food/

To drop off clothes, housewares and other non-food donations be sure to check the Open Door website first to verify which items are accepted. Donation appointments are available Tuesday to Saturday 10AM to 4 PM, and you must make an appointment. *Please make an appointment on the website only – no phone calls. 


Currently the thrift store shopping hours are Wednesday to Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM. 

Given the ever-changing nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, please be sure to follow the Open Door Facebook page or visit their website for the latest programming and schedule changes.

Gloucester MA Elks Lodge

We are planning an outdoor craft fair for May 15th 10-3pm.
Space is limited and offering to Elks Members First, – $35 for a 10Ft space.
Supply your own 8ft table or Elks can supply for extra charge.
Nice view from the Elks.

Farmhouse Fixer Concord Street House: The Story Behind the Story

As you probably heard, the HGTV show Farmhouse Fixer visited Gloucester to “fix” an old farmhouse on Concord Street. It is Episode 4: “A Farmhouse for a Chef”. I recently watching this episode with special interest to hear what stories were told about the house and property.

In early 2020, GMG was contacted by Heidi Gemer, a producer at High Noon Entertainment about researching the properties HGTV was interested in. Joey forwarded it to me, and off I went! I love this kind of assignment and I dove in head first with great enthusiasm. I found all kinds of cool stories about both properties but the pandemic brought all my communication with Heidi to an abrupt halt. I had wondered what had become of the project, which obviously moved forward without my able assistance.

So I was very intrigued by what might be presented in these episodes. They told a wonderful warm story with all the usual Fixer-show drama and flair. BUT here’s one story they missed and I think it’s a pretty good one.

One longtime resident at this home on Concord Street was Harold Maddocks, who trained as an artist but became associated with his father’s drug store in Gloucester. This is perhaps how the story that a doctor lived there came to the attention of the current owners. It is unclear when Harold’s father lived there, but Harold lived there for a good chunk of the 1930s and 1940s.

Not only did he become a renowned local artist with a studio in Rockport, he was also president of the Addison Gilbert Hospital 1941-47 guiding it through the war years. A portion of his Dec 30 1963 obituary in the Gloucester Daily Times:

I went to Addison Gilbert to see if I could get more information but they were understandably busier with other things last spring. This is an example of his art work as seen at Images of a New England Seacoast 1900-1950 website and it is called Gertrude Thibeaud & Bluenose, Schooner Race, 1938 (when he lived on Concord Street).

I found a great deal of information about him at the Cape Ann Museum in their artists folders. Lucky me I snuck in there right before the shutdown. Here’s a picture that was included in that file along with a profile which included:

“A Sunday painter who had art training as a graduate of the old Massachusetts Normal Art School and very easily could have qualified as a professional painter if he had not gone into his father’s drug business.” I believe the profile prose and the writing seen on the photograph may be his own.

I was so sure HGTV would find this story as fascinating as I did, but alas I went down the wrong rabbit hole of research. Not all is lost though because I get to share this story of Gloucester with you! The lovely home today:

Shop for a cause and buy your cold-tolerant veggie seedlings from Backyard Growers

Cape Ann Community

The Backyard Growers Online Shop is now OPEN for our April Seedling Sale, and chock full of cold-tolerant veggie seedlings like kale, cabbage, broccoli, swiss chard, and more, organically-grown by our friends at Cedar Rock Gardens.

The Sale also includes other supplies to get your garden going this spring, like Black Earth Compost, Neptune’s Harvest fertilizer, and a range of vegetable and flower seeds. Start (or expand!) your own container veggie garden with our felt custom GrowBags.

Proceeds support nonprofit organization Backyard Growers‘ programs in the community connecting families, seniors, and kids with the resources to grow their own food.

The fine print: The 2021 April Seedling Sale is online only for curbside pickup only next Saturday, April 24. The shop will close at noon on Thursday, April 22, to allow time for us to prep your orders.

Happy Growing!

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Sawyer Free Library’s Technology on the Horizon: Big Data in Small Slices Presentation on Thursday, April 29

Cape Ann Community

The Sawyer Free Library is pleased to announce the launch of “Technology on the Horizon,” an informative series that spotlights individuals and organizations on the North Shore working with critical or emerging technologies.

Throughout the year, the Library will be hosting local industry leaders who will share their knowledge, insight, and the economic implications of their work in a way that is accessible to all. The series is intended to inspire and inform individuals about new and exciting innovations happening in our community and the possibilities of new career paths in Technology. The live virtual presentations are free and open to the public with advance registration through the Sawyer Free Library’s website.

The series will kick off with “Big Data in Small Slices” on Thursday, April 29, at 7 pm. Data analysis and visualization expert, author, journalist, and resident of Rockport, Dianne Finch-Claydon, will share how data visualization can…

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