Beautiful breakers and sunset light slipping through the clouds after the storm.

Mother Ann’s silhouette through the waves


Friday afternoon, after the nor’easter, the sun came out just barely before the skies again darkened with a brief snow squall. I was driving along Atlantic Road during those fleeting in between moments when way off in the distance I spied a flock of birds, with the distinct shape of swans in flight. Swans fly with their long necks extended, unlike herons and egrets, which fly with their necks tucked in. What is Mr. Swan doing out in this wildly windy weather I thought. But it wasn’t Mr. Swan, it was an entire family of Swans! There were two adults and four cygnets. Stunning to see and very uplifting. They flew over the Twin Lights and then further and further until I could not see them any longer. 


The first and third swans are the adults, the second, fourth, fifth and sixth are the cygnets, or first-hatch year juveniles.The young swans will retain their grayish brown feathers until their second summer.

Please write and let me know if you saw the Mute Swan family on Friday afternoon. They were flying along the backshore at about 2:15. Or, if you live on the Northshore and know of any swan family with two adults and four youngsters, I would love to learn more about them. My email address is Thank you so much for any leads!

Swans and wave crashing

A few more of the Mute Swan family flying toward and over Thacher Island

Massive and beautiful Ken Gore painting repaired and returned to City Hall

Information labels were applied to City Hall walls with an epoxy that is ill advised near art. In early spring a label for this Ken Gore painting migrated to its surface and pulled away a small patch of paint.  Elizabeth Mehlin, an expert painting restorer in Ipswich, Massachusetts, repaired the accidental damage. She was able to tease out pulverized pieces of the paint stuck to remnant epoxy and match the loss so beautifully the fix is indiscernible. The painting is large and heavy. I suspect that its original custom frame was likely carved by multi media artist and Montserrat teacher, Alfred Czerepak (1928 – 1986). Gloucester’s Department of Public Works are such great stewards of the city’s art and history!

BEFORE painting surface damaged_ by epoxy from wall  label_ brought to restorer E Mehlin_©Catherine Ryan.jpg
Before repair – and remnant epoxy

DPW rescue_Mike Hale KEN GORE back to City Hall after conservato repair necessary due to ill choice for wall label_ nasty epoxy migrated to painting surface_20180907_©c ryan.jpg

Mike Hale and Bobby return KEN GORE painting to City Hall after slight repair necessary due to ill choice for wall label_ nasty epoxy migrated to painting surface_20180907_©c ryan.jpg




Gloucester Ma Public Works_reinstalling  restored KEN GORE painting to City Hall_Gloucester Mass_20180907_©c ryan.jpg
To the rescue as usual. Fantastic Deparment of Public Works – Mike Hale, Bobby Gross, Phil Curcuru, Mike Tarantino –  the return of the repaired Gore painting

(American, b.Oct 2 1911 Elvira, Illinois -1990 d. Gloucester)
Ken Gore visited Gloucester for the first time in 1948 and settled into a home and studio within a year. Eventually he purchased 186 East Main Street where he resided and maintained a studio and gallery. (Today it’s Lynzariums, aka the Plant Shack, across from Beacon Marine Basin in East Gloucester.)  Gore was a student and art professor at the  Detroit Meisinger Art School. He served as president of both Rockport and North Shore Art Associations and for the Cape Ann Festival of the Arts. He performed regularly with the Cape Ann Symphony. He taught regularly. Apparently his personality was as joyous and musical as his painting: his art students and friends considered him “one of the nicest mans they’d ever met.” I’ve heard that his plein air road trips and truck “studio” were quite a sight.  I would love to see a picture of him on location by his truck. I do love seeing Jeff Weaver and his signature truck around town.

186 East Main Gloucester Ma_ 2018 September 14_former home gallery and studio of artist Ken Gore_©Catherine Ryan (1).jpg
186 East Main Street, Gloucester, was former home, studio and gallery of artist Ken Gore

Cape Ann Festival of the Arts detail map of artists locations

Grandson Chris Muise talks about life in the Army

From the Beacon 

by Jason Brisbois

Chris Muise, 19, talks about life in the Army-

In a hostile environment, in a foreign country, miles away from family and across the Atlantic Ocean, finding any level of comfort is a challenge.

For Chris Muise, who is currently back at home in Gloucester while on leave after serving for six months in Afghanistan with the United States Army, comfort comes from knowing the person standing next to him has his back.

“Me, personally, I rely on everybody around me,” explains the 19-year-old Gloucester native, who graduated from Gloucester High School in 2010 and graduated from basic training in February of this year. “We rely on each other to keep each other sane. We try to look on the bright side of stuff while we’re over there, doing what we can.”

For now, he finds a level of comfort simply being back home with family, including parents Cynthia McDonald and Michael Wall. He anticipates spending Thanksgiving with his family members, but most likely will be assigned to his next tour of duty (with destination unknown) before Christmas. It’s possible he could be back in Afghanistan, or another war-torn country with a hostile terrain and populace. Such is the life of the modern-day soldier, a reminder of just what current service men and women endure as we celebrate Veterans Day on Nov. 11. Read more here.

Gloucester Gig Rowers – Open House on Sunday

Wicked Local Photo by David Sokol

WHAT Open House

WHO Gloucester Gig Rowers

WHEN Sunday, May 15, 5-8 p.m.

WHERE Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center, Harbor Loop


With warmer weather just around the corner, the Gloucester Gig Rowers want to offer a unique alternative to those looking to get out a bit more and meet new people this summer.

The group rows in a pair of Cornish pilot gigs –seafaring craft that are traditionally about 32 feet long and require six rowers and a coxswain to be considered fully manned – from April to November every year out of the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center. Some row recreationally, some row competitively and some are just trying it out for the first time.

Billed as a social experience as well as an opportunity for exercise and a little competition, members of the Gloucester Gig Rowers are hoping to attract others to what makes gig rowing and being part of the group so appealing. With that in mind, the non-profit organization will host an open house to the public on Sunday, May 15, from 5-8 p.m. at the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center.

Read more: Gloucester Gig Rowers to hold open house on Sunday – Gloucester, MA – Wicked Local 

Beeman Students Plant Dune Grass

From the Beacon
Wicked Local Staff Photo by Ian Hurley Beeman School fourth graders Joshua Gibbs and Juleika Rodriguez, l to r, plant dune grass at Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester alongside their classmates, representatives from the Gloucester Conservation Division as well as Gortons on Wednesday, April 6. Over 100 students worked to plant over 7000 strands of grass to repair the damaged and depleted dunes.

With much debate happening around the city about just what to do with Gloucester’s waterfront, it might be refreshing for some to know that local youth are learning about the importance of caring for our coastline well before they reach the age that they have to make such decisions.

Students and teachers from Beeman Elementary School’s fourth- and fifth-grade classes recently combined with the Gloucester Conservation Commission and Gorton’s Seafood to plant dune grass in the dunes of Good Harbor Beach. The GCC reported that 7,500 culms of American Beach Grass were planted by volunteers from the school and Gorton’s last week, with Gorton’s footing the bill for the dune grass and sending 40 or so volunteers to help the students out.

The project is part of an effort by the school to teach students about the importance of a healthy coastline in a community that is surrounded by the ocean. It is a natural follow up to a similar school project held in 2010, which was funded by a grant from MIT and worked in conjunction with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

“It’s something we call ‘Living Blue,’” explains Beeman principal Ellen Sibley. “It focuses on the added responsibility of a coastal community to live green because we are the gatekeepers of the ocean.”

Read more: Students put in grass roots effort to replant dunes – Gloucester, MA – Wicked Local 

From the BEACON-TODAY!: Help us capture a ‘Day in the Life’

It’s Not Too Late!

I’d love to see some pics on Chronicle from fellow GMGers!

From Wicked Local at the Beacon

Grab your camera or cell phone and help us capture Monday, Jan. 25 in your community for our “Day in the Life” special project.
Wicked Local is joining with WCVB-TV’s award-winning news magazine “Chronicle HD” to document Jan. 25 across New England.
Send us the ordinary and the extraordinary: kids going off to school, a moment at the office, a stunning sunset, a great basketball shot, your favorite local character. Start at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Jan. 25, and keep your lens open until 11:59:59 p.m.
We will publish some of your pictures on photo pages in your local paper, post photos on Wicked Local and share your pictures with WCVB’s “Chronicle,” which will air a special program in February.
Please include complete caption information about your photo’s time, place and subject, along with your name and town.
E-mail only one photo at a time to and put DAY in the subject field.

Gloucester Santa Parade steps off Nov. 29

From the Beacon-

Santa will make his annual trip through downtown Gloucester on Sunday, Nov. 29. The parade in his honor steps off from the State Fish Pier on Parker Street at 3:15 p.m.

The parade follows Main Street through the business district, then heads down Stacey Boulevard to Kent Circle for the annual Tree Lighting ceremony, which starts at about 4:30 p.m.

Ringo Tarr has made his annual trip to Nova Scotia to pick up a Christmas tree for Kent Circle, which is located at the intersection of Western and Essex avenues.

Floats and others taking part in the parade may line up at the State Fish Pier starting at 2 p.m. Any groups with a Christmas theme are welcome to take part.

Espresso Restaurant will be “Parade Headquarters” at 154 Main St. Espresso will be serving free hot chocolate to all parade watchers. Children under 10 years old will receive a little gift.

To read more from the BEACON article, click here.

Kingston Trio Tribute planned for Oct. 3 at One World Coffee House

kingstonFrom the Beacon


The One World Coffee House will salute the magical folk revival group The Kingston Trio on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 8 p.m.

The celebration will include the songs “Tom Dooley,” “This Land is Your Land,” “Greenback Dollar,” “Where Have all the Flowers Gone,” “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Scotch and Soda,” “MTA” and a score of others. This will be an evening of remembrance and joy as the musicians perform individually and collectively in a revue of the songs that launched the folk music revival in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Scheduled performers include Daisy Nell & Capt. Stan and the Crabgrass Band, Travelers Three, Russ Sollitto, Allyn Hawes, Tamarac, Sid Tracey and others.

Be part of the celebration and sing along on this exciting evening with all the songs from the “old days.” If you have any old Kingston Trio records, or memorabilia, bring them along and share the covers and memories.

This performance is a fundraiser for the One World Coffee House, with all donations to the Coffee House Fund. Requested donation is $15. Reservations, strongly recommended, can be made by calling 978-325-3252.

Coming to the Coffee House on Oct. 24: Favorite David Mallet.

The One World Coffee House is located at the First Universalist Church, 59 Main St., Essex.

Gloucester legends: Willie Alexander’s latest CD focuses on poetry and life of Vincent Ferrini

By William Routhier/Beacon Correspondent

Gloucester – First thought, best thought, always. Write free-flowing, spontaneous prose. Give birth to artistic creation in the heartbeat of the moment, the now, the ever-present now.

Sharon Lowe photo
Sharon Lowe photo

These were credos of Beat writers Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, and that spirit of unbridled creativity is alive and well in Gloucester musician Willie Alexander.

Alexander, who played with The Lost, the last version of the Velvet Underground, his own Boom Boom Band and The Persistence of Memory Orchestra, is a Boston music legend. Stephen King put Alexander’s song “Mass Ave.” at number 13 on his list of top 25 best rock songs of all time.

Thin and fit at 66, Alexander displays the buoyant energy of an edgy young rocker, but also carries with him the calm wisdom of a man who’s learned what is valuable and lasting. For Alexander, a major part of what is valuable and lasting is the city where he was born and now lives, Gloucester.

Alexander spent the first five years of his life in Gloucester, where his father was the minister of the Baptist Church, then moved to East Providence, R.I., and later to Newtonville, Mass. Just a subway ride away from Boston and Cambridge, Alexander would travel in to hear music at various music joints, like Club 47, which later became the famous Club Passim. It was just before the folk music boom, and Club 47 was a jazz club, home to hipsters and beatniks. To read more, click here…

What’s happening today around town?

From the Times:

Friday, May 15

Preschool story time, for children ages 3 to 5, 10 to 10:45 a.m., Sawyer Free Library.

Council on Aging Coffee Talk program, 10 a.m., Rose Baker Senior Center. Peter Jenner presents “National Parks of Arizona, Utah and Wyoming.” Light refreshments served. 978-281-9765.

Constituent services, 11:30 a.m., Rose Baker Senior Center. Senior aide Cheryl Gresek from the office of Congressman John Tierney available. Call 978-281-9765 to schedule an appointment, or stop in.

Holy Family Parish bingo, 6:30 p.m., Monsignor Sullivan Hall, St. Ann Church, Gloucester. Anyone 18 and over invited. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Proceeds support Holy Family Parish. 978-281-4820.

Cape Ann Shakespeare Troupe’s “Twelfth Night,” 8 p.m., Gloucester Stage, 267 East Main St. Advance tickets available at Toad Hall Bookstore in Rockport and The Bookstore in Gloucester, or online at Tickets, $15 and $10 for students and seniors, available at the door.

Spring Music Festival, 8 p.m., Blackburn Performing Arts, 1 Washington St. Features Gary Backstrom Band. $10. For reservations or information, call 978-281-0680.

And from the Beacon:

School Connection Spelling Bee

The Gloucester School Connection will host a Spelling Bee on Friday, May 15, 7 to 9 pm, at the O’Maley Middle School Auditorium. All are welcome.

Funds raised by teams of four adult spellers and sponsors from the community will help the Gloucester School Connection support innovative programs and projects throughout the public schools. Read more here.


Online votes could net funds for Gloucester’s Schooner Adventure

From the Beacon

From the Schooner Adventure website
Photo from the Schooner Adventure website

The Schooner Adventure, a historic schooner that is the last of the “Gloucesterman,” or the great Gloucester Grand Banks fishing schooners, is calling on its supporters and friends to vote for it as it competes for funding dollars from the Partnership in Preservation. American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the Gloucester Adventure one of 25 historic sites in Massachusetts that are eligible for part of $1 million in preservation grants. Click here to read more.

Schooner Ernestina gets a facelift

By Leslie Friday/Correspondent/ Beacon

Mon Apr 13, 2009, 02:50 PM EDT

Essex – Few things could survive 115 years without a little touch up.

The Ernestina, an Essex-built schooner launched in 1894, is undergoing rehabilitation in Booth Bay Harbor, Maine, and is scheduled to pass through Gloucester on its way home to New Bedford next month.

This is not the first time the Ernestina has had work done.

“If you know sailing vessels, it’s a constant process,” said Ken Folley, deputy director of state parks for the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

The Ernestina has earned its rest over the years. Originally named the Effie M. Morrissey and built in the James and Tarr Yard, the Ernestina launched from Essex on Feb. 1, 1894. According to the vessel’s Web site,, it served as a fishing vessel, an arctic explorer under Capt. Robert Abram Bartlett, and a WWII survey vessel used under Commander Alexander Forbes….. To read more, click here.