Adventure Sails!

adventure under sail



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Guests of the captain aboard Adventure as she pulls away from Maritime Wharf for her first official passenger cruise in 27 years.

The Schooner Adventure sailed proudly from Maritime Wharf in Gloucester Harbor Saturday afternoon, past Pavilion Beach crowded with Fiesta revelers, and 13 miles out to sea toward Boston, with an appreciative group of 65 guests on board.  With that four-hour trip, Adventure reclaimed her place on Gloucester Harbor.


No longer a work project, Adventure has again taken her place as a functioning member of Gloucester’s working waterfront, where she made her mark from 1926-1953 as a high-liner,  a workhorse of Gloucester’s historic schooner fleet, becoming, by her last season as a fishing schooner in 1953, the last of the legendary Grand Banks fishing schooners.


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Passengers and crew work together to raise the mainsail




Captain Stefan Edick  with volunteer crew member Elisabeth Kerr at the helm.

The guests for this first passenger cruise since Adventure was issued official passenger certification by the US Coast Guard a few weeks ago were all friends and family of Adventure’s Captain Stefan Edick and president of  the board of Schooner Adventure, John Morris. For each person walking down the gangplank, the afternoon’s outing held its own significance.



Helen Garland with Adventure’s board president John Morris, and Shirley Morris

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George Smith of Manchester with Helen Garland of Gloucester











Helen Garland, widow of Joe Garland, renowned Gloucester historian and author, Adventure’s principal fundraiser and advocate for the 27-year, 4.5 million-dollar restoration project, was pleased to be on deck for Saturday’s trip,  surrounded by people, natives as well as newcomers  who “represent various aspects of Joe’s  vision for Adventure.”



Joe Garland, 1923-2011

“We have with us today,” she said, ” our native sons like author Peter Anastas and Captain John Morris, symbols of Gloucester’s proud heritage, along with our new friends like Bing McGilvray, who respect that heritage and have chosen to become part of Gloucester’s story.  The children running over the deck, they all give me hope for the future.  Gloucester and Adventure are proof of the spirit and bravery …that created the vital democratic energy which defined this country.”

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Three members of Enduring Gloucester’s board of editors, Bing McGilvray, Lois McNulty and Peter Anastas

Helen Garland noted that she hopes to honor what the gift of Adventure means to Gloucester, in the way that  Jim Sharp, Adventure’s former captain and owner,  who donated the ship to the city of Gloucester in 1988, envisioned it. Sharp called his gift of Adventure  “a monument to the history of Gloucester and for the education and pleasure of the public.”

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Peter Anastas with Helen Garland and Judy Walcott

Helen Garland adds, ” If Adventure can be allowed to play an active and daily role in teaching children and their parents to nurture the health of our oceans, I know that Joe’s work will not have been in vain.”



Adventure board member and volunteer crew member Greg Bover helps a child with a life jacket.


From Adventure’s website,

The Gloucester Adventure, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit maritime historic preservation and educational organization. We are the stewards of the 1926 dory-fishing Schooner Adventure. Our mission begins with restoration and preservation in perpetuity of the National Historic Landmark Schooner Adventure, one of the last surviving Grand Banks dory-fishing schooners. The Schooner Adventure is a national treasure that is resuming active sailing as an icon of the American fisheries and as a floating classroom for maritime history and environmental education programs. The Schooner will be operated at sea, primarily along the New England coast, as a living monument to Massachusetts’€™ fishing heritage. As such, the Schooner Adventure is important not only to Gloucester, but also to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and all America.

Today Adventure is a rare survivor, an irreplaceable artifact from an extraordinary era in American history. Adventure was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, designated a National Historic Landmark in 1994 and was honored to be selected as an Official Project of Save America’s Treasures by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1999. A prominent destination site on the Essex National Heritage Area Maritime Trail, Adventure serves as a living memorial to the more than five thousand Gloucester fishermen lost at sea.


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Peter Anastas and Bill McLauchlan on the deck of Adventure, with the Schooner Thomas E Lannon sailing alongside .

Lois A. McNulty












Two New Poems by Melissa Cummings

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Boats Docked in Fog (Copper Paint Factory as seen from East Gloucester) Joseph Margulies (1896-1984)

The Wind Turbines

The wind turbines
are still
Fog in East Gloucester
may be down town
Lanesville free of it
in a barefoot sun
pitching tennis balls 
to young hitters
who want to be
inside may be 
then leave all that
for the increased 
warmth of Beverly
Feel a fog
half way there
coming across
Pride's Crossing
And on the return
see the white stuff
and how it blankets
half the turbines
Find home 
still free of it

Melissa de Haan Cummings
29 May 2015


Two streaks on the water 
rush toward the river
like giant fish
waiting for the suck
back of ocean
preceding tsunami
in a wash of potential fog
which fails to arrive
with a brisk northwesterly 
followed by no storm
a miniature willi waw
soon returned to calm
bringing out a sweatshirt
and a sweater
bringing Marge 
off the porch
with its temperature drop

Melissa de Haan Cummings
13 May 2015
74bdd-melissa2bcummingsMelissa de Haan Cummings majored in French and English Literature at 
Bryn Mawr. She has published poetry in a number of journals. 
 She describes her interests as including, “much small boating around Cape
 Ann, love of Charles Olson, Hatha yoga practice since 1969."


Isaac’s First Fiesta

Peter Anastas

St. Peter’s Fiesta, which opens its 88th year with music on Wednesday, June 24, at St .Peter’s Park and concludes on Sunday night, June 28, with a procession through the Fort, is Gloucester’s most meaningful celebration of our collective identity. Watching the lights and the altar go up this week and feeling the excitement in the air of impending carnival, which so many of us have experienced since childhood, I couldn’t help but remember the first time I took my grandson to Fiesta…


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Isaac and “Papou” go to Fiesta


 It was June of 2009.  My son Ben and I were taking his 19-month-old son Isaac to his first St. Peter’s Fiesta.  My mother had accompanied my brother and me when Fiesta started up again after the war, and I, in turn, took Ben and his two siblings, beginning in the 1960s.  If you count the fact that my mother, who was born in Gloucester in 1910, had attended the earliest Fiestas, beginning in 1927, four generations of our family have been celebrating the Feast of St. Peter with our Italian friends and neighbors.

Though a bit overwhelmed by the crowds along the midway, the music from the rides, and the amplified voices announcing games of chance, my grandson seemed to take to Fiesta.  Eyes shining with wonder, he refused to be carried by his father or me, rushing instead among the legs of those on their way down Beach Court to where we could watch the seine boat races and greasy pole contest from the shore.


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Isaac with “Papou” and his dad watching the greasy pole contest


Returning to Commercial Street, we decided to walk to Fort Square for a better view of the events and so that Isaac, who loves to play in the sand boxes of Brooklyn’s city parks, where he lives, could fully enjoy Pavilion Beach.  On the way there I pointed out the old Birdseye plant with its iconic white tower to Ben, where, from 1928, his grandmother had worked as Clarence Birdseye’s secretary.  On our way back to Fiesta we walked around Fort Square to Charles Olson’ house, where we took a picture of Ben, Isaac and me in front of the commemorative plaque to Gloucester’s great poet.


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Isaac points to the memorial plaque for Charles Olson at 28 Fort Square


That afternoon we covered the entire Fort, from Beach Court to Fort Square.  We shared fried dough and Ben shot a few baskets to see if he could win a stuffed animal for Isaac.  What came home to me during our walk, along with the powerful sense of attraction I’ve always had for Fiesta and for the Fort itself, where I once worked on fish, was an increased concern that if a proposed hotel were to be built at the Birdseye there could be unforeseen consequences.  Prospective developers had already expressed reservations about this traditional marine industrial neighborhood (one was quoted in the Gloucester Times as having said, “When our guests arrive we want them to know they’ve arrived somewhere”—as if the historic Fort were nowhere!); and one wondered how many of their guests would spend a lot of money to stay in a busy neighborhood full of trailer trucks and early risers. What would be the impact of the new hotel on Pavilion beach, which was public and protected as such?  And while I could imagine some hotel guests enthralled by Fiesta, would others on vacation be annoyed by the noise, the crowds, or the smells from the working waterfront—the engines of the fishing vessels, the early morning activity of taking on ice?



During our walk I tried to envision the Fort with a fancy upscale hotel in its midst.  All I could think of was that the hotel might ultimately displace the neighbors, the neighborhood, the Fiesta, and all the traditional kinds of single and multi-family housing on the Fort.  Once the hotel was in place, there was certain to be greater pressure for upscale housing or condos.  Then, quite covertly, we would have the beginnings of Newport right in the heart of the waterfront.
I was especially concerned about the potential for “collateral damage” in the neighborhood as a consequence of outsize development, especially if traditional fishing industry businesses were pushed out, and long-term residents with them.  These thoughts troubled me as I walked with my little grandson and his father—three generations of Anastases enjoying Fiesta (and a fourth if my mother, who first took me, were still alive)—and suddenly a great sadness came over me, followed by a profound sense of loss.


What should ultimately have been an occasion of joy with my family, my grandson’s first Fiesta, prompted a bittersweet reverie, in which I could imagine all that has meant so much to our family and every other Gloucester family of Fiesta and of the Fort itself, taken from us were we not vigilant about protecting our heritage and the very places in which it lives and breaths.


Today the hotel, so utterly alien to everything the Fort has stood for, is fast becoming a reality, and we can only hope that Fiesta, along with the Fort itself, will not be swept away by this new wave of urban renewal called gentrification.

Viva San Pietro!



Photo courtesy Document/Morin

Peter Anastas is Editorial Director of Enduring Gloucester

Gloucester and the International Dory Races

by Jimmy Tarantino
One of the great traditions of Gloucester is our participation in the International Dory Races. For 63 years the best dory rowers from New England (mostly Gloucester) have competed with the best dory rowers from the Maritime Provinces of Canada (mostly Nova Scotia). I believe that most New Englanders possess an honest, genuine character because our environment forces us to endure nature at its harshest in winter. Add to that the struggle of fishermen working on the powerful North Atlantic and you have the Finest Kind.
Nova Scotians, being even farther North and East have that strong composition as well, perhaps to an even greater extent. As a result the International Dory Races have become so much more than just a competition. Having been blessed to be part of this great tradition for a quarter century, I’ve had the opportunity to experience many of the Finest Kind of the Southeast shore of Nova Scotia, seen their hometowns, met their families, shared their joys and pains over the years.
If you can, put down whatever you’re doing tomorrow morning, (Saturday, June 20)  from 10 ’til noon, and come down the State Fish Pier and meet some of the most genuine souls on the planet!
I’d like to pay tribute to my friends from Nova Scotia with my sincere gratitude for their friendship:

Toast to the Northeast Coast


Jones, Atwood, Brackett and Croft

We’ve known throughout the years

 Spindler, Hyson, Mawhinney and Swim

shared laughter and we’ve shared tears


Atkinson, Nickerson, Mossman and George

Kindred spirits of Sea and Tide

Henneberry, Zwicker, Knickle and Heisler

All share our Fishermen’s Pride


From Sambro down to the Hawk’s rugged coast

All along that beautiful shore

We raise our glass, with respect, we toast

      And welcome our friends once more!


Jimmy Tarantino is a Gloucester native, a doryman, and a passionate advocate of Gloucester’s heritage.

Neptune’s Harvest Does Gloucester Proud

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By Laurel Tarantino

My friend June and I were fortunate to accompany Ann Molloy and her sister Maria Churchill up to Hampton Beach, NH last night, to see them accept Neptune Harvest’s award from the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment. The award was for outstanding innovation and leadership in achieving sustainable practices in the Gulf of Maine.

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The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment was established in 1989 by the governments of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts to foster cooperative actions for a healthy Gulf of Maine. Let me say, Neptune’s Harvest is doing just that and then some.
I grabbed an agenda and started jotting some highlights as the presenter of the awards gave a brief description of why each recipient was being given their award, thinking I could write all about it from my notes. Well, I never did take shorthand, and I can barely read my chicken scratches, but what I did bring out of this ceremony was a great sense of pride, for my friends, for Neptune’s Harvest, and for the City of Gloucester. The company that Neptune’s was in last night was exemplary on so many levels. Volunteerism, Protection, Conservation, Recycling, Awareness, Sustainability, Stewardship, Future… I capitalize these words as they are titles with so many efforts and people backing them up and following through on behalf of our Ocean, Watersheds, Wildlife, Forests, and even included, Community Pride.

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As it turns out, I won’t make a great journalist, but I can tell you I’m terrifically happy there are people out there, not only watching over our environment, but doing things to protect it. When I went outside and saw young kids on Hampton Beach, I thought, “Do they know what’s going on in that big old ocean behind them? Are they aware how privileged they are to be playing in the surf and sand? Will they be the next generation of Stewards who will do great works like the people upstairs in that conference room?” I certainly hope so. If they don’t,  where are the birds going to migrate, fish spawn, plants flourish and children play?

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Why should Gloucester be proud of Neptune’s Harvest? Since 1986, they have been a leader in the industry and a model to follow. A spin off of their parent company, Ocean Crest Seafoods, a wholesale seafood company established in Gloucester in 1965. After processing a fish for its edible portion,  up to 70% becomes waste. With the state of Massachusetts and local universities they developed a process to turn 100% of that waste into a highly beneficial organic fertilizer. Waste once dumped back into the ocean or into landfills is now improving soil locally and worldwide. Producing stronger healthier plants reduces and eliminates the need for pesticides. Increasing the organic matter in soil allows the soil to retain more water, reducing runoff and in turn, maintains healthier watersheds. Neptune’s sells their products out of Gloucester in one-pint containers and up to 4,500-gallon  tanker trucks. The times that we’re in, with folks wanting to be rid of GMOs in their foods, I can only see Neptune’s growing each year.
Let’s just hope we can hang onto our fishing industry so the wonderful things that Neptune’s is doing can continue for generations to come.
I was truly impressed with each award recipient. As much as I wish I could talk about all of them, I have to stick with our home team as I’m short on time. I was never once bored at this function, as can happen as we all know.  I think  these people were so passionate about this all- important subject Marine Environment, they made you want to learn more.
On the ride home, on Rte. 133 just outside of Rowley, there was still enough daylight to cast a beautiful glow on some horses’ healthy coats. All four of us, at the same time said, “Wow!” Guess you had to be there. Green, green grass, happy romping horses, just an all around perfect scene. Ann beat us to what we were all thinking… “We truly live in a beautiful place, don’t we?” A question that didn’t require an answer, but one we should all think about each day and ask ourselves, “What can I do to help keep it this way?”

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Congratulations Neptune’s Harvest. You absolutely deserve the recognition.

Laurel Tarantino is on the Board of Editors of Enduring Gloucester

In Memory of Linda Crane

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Linda Crane performing her opera. Photo courtesy of Kent Bowker



We are watching Linda flicker

between living and dying

frail, morphine fogged she reclines

in her hospital bed at the head of the stairs

planning her new kitchen cabinets.

Her smile is for us to see

to say she accepts our love.

She’s the shaman sometimes, or not

the force is dimmed the light remains

clear sometimes, her poetry seems

to have been written.


Do we grieve, or celebrate

the planned on positive future.

We will celebrate today for tomorrow

none can see longer than this

she is thinning each week

her smile broadens across her thin cheeks

wider each week it seems

as her faith belays our fearful

expectation, her strength flickering

each day toward tomorrow.



The poet has become bird

light, translucent reaching up

the presence of invisible wings

golden, radiant in the faith in nature

there is no betrayal, no flinching

no crying, the bear stalks about

the spirit cave containing her

We can’t see these as we sulk

about in the shadow of our fears.


The Crane dances with the snake

overland to rippling waters

of the mother’s fecund ocean

we travel in the lower world to

seed the ending start beginning

her drum beat leads the passage

of the teacher, of her living

power animal, to come to

the lady of grace, Mary.


“Barnard’s windows open into life

a hard cold thing inside me melts.

I can see all the beauty within

the violet iridescence of light

sliding past the dread night sweat

I call for help as the stream

is strong at the crossing. Weak in fear

stroke with me together

at this crossing I am afraid.


“I can see the crossing, that is my job

come help me stroke, share these berries

the spring sweetness, the taste of life.”


Kent Bowker 6/18/2000




ashes to sea

Friends watch Linda Crane’s ashes scattered from Halibut Point.  Photo courtesy of Kent Bowker

On casting Linda’s ashes into the sea

at Halibut Point,


Linger the sound of our hearts,

beating, sad, deep and slow.

Remember the circle of hands

the touch rippling one to another.

Remember the sea wind shine

illuminating our emotion,

gulls overhead cawing,

hard lucent shore rocks.


Linger the sound of the sea,

linger the tears and sorrow,

as the slow drum beats.

All of us will eventually come

to this hard chiseled space,

a quarry for pavers and headstones

the place where her soul’s ashes reside,

floating, leaving and returning on the tide.


Kent Bowker 6/1/2015 (from 7/9/2000)



Kent Bowker

Kent Bowker  started with poetry at Berkeley in the Fifties, then became a physicist working mainly in optics.  His new book of poems is Katharsis: Sifting Through a Mormon Past.  He lives in Essex, next to the Great Marshes and is treasurer of the Charles Olson Society.

The Fort Community

by Mike Cook

As July, 3 approaches, I can’t help but hearken back to 1992 when I was living at 51 Fort Square, where I had the honor of being a friend to and, on occasion, taking care of, John Barnes, as he waged his heroic fight against AIDS and then serenely accepted his time had come as he lay comfortably in his bed overlooking Gloucester Harbor and Ten Pound Island.

On July, 3, 1992, it was clear to me and Tanny Martin, our upstairs neighbor and “sister” in the fight against HIV/AIDS, who just happened to be the nurse who coordinated the Visiting Nurses Association of the North Shore’s AIDS home care program, that John was getting ready to leave us.

The previous few days had seen John lapsing more frequently in and out of consciousness. His breathing was becoming more labored, and he would speak openly of how tired he was and how ready he was to move on.

But that said, he never lost his wicked sense of humor. A few nights before his passing, his sister, who was full of anticipatory grief and anxiety, insisted on opening the strong box Johnny kept his personal papers in and had asked be opened only after his death.

John had been sleeping for hours, but almost as soon as his sister opened the box, he opened his eyes and with an impish grin on his face said, “Jesus, Cheryl, you couldn’t even wait til I’m dead!?”

An uncomfortable silence fell briefly over the room, only to be broken by John’s laughter as he told his sister how much he loved her – in spite of her disobedience and nosiness.

By late afternoon on July 3, Tanny encouraged me to take a break, catch some rays on Pavilion Beach, and hang out with coworkers from NUVA at the Horribles Parade.

About mid way through the parade, this intense feeling came over me and I knew I had to get home to 51 -fast. I set out at a full run, trying to make my way through the crowd on the Boulevard – which was no easy task. I was as focused on getting home as I have ever been on anything in my life.

I raced into the Fort and up the hill to 51. As my feet hit the first step, Tanny opened the door and simply said, “He’s gone”.

I went into  his room and sat on the edge of his bed. I remember  whispering, “You still look like Patrick Swayze, even dead you stud muffin you!”

Tanny was in the kitchen on the phone with Dr. Doug Fiero. As an RN, she was able, with Doug collaborating, to declare John dead.

She then called John’s mom who asked if Tanny would call Greeley’s. John’s mom just could not bring herself to do it.

When Tanny hung up the phone with Greeley’s, she came into the room and said, “They can’t get here for a couple of hours because of the traffic from the parade.”

I looked at Tanny and said, “Now what do we do?”

We got to talking about what John would want to wear at his wake – a ritual he wanted no part of but agreed to because he believed it would help his family, especially his mom,  accept the finality of his passing.

So, we went into John’s closet  and perused his wardrobe. We both agreed his black leather jeans, a faded denim shirt, a silver and turquoise bolo tie and a leather vest would be the clothes John would want to spend eternity in, perhaps with the multi-colored boa that was in the closet as an accent piece. But we also knew his mother would be mortified at just the thought of her “Glosta” boy being laid out in such an outfit. So we picked out something more “Glosta” for our friend to wear at, what he often called, his “going away party”.

We then settled into a comfortable silence, sitting on different sides of the bed thinking about how much John had done to educate people, especially young people, about the dangers HIV/AIDS could pose to them if they did not educate themselves and make responsible decisions regarding their behavior.

As the sun set, the hearse came around that 90 degree corner in the Fort just beyond the playground and the reality of what had transpired finally settled in on me.

The staff from Greeley’s came in and were a bit taken aback when Tanny and I not only stayed in the room as they placed John in a body bag, but actually assisted them in doing so.

As all this was going on, two other dear friends and neighbors came racing into the house after they had seen the hearse coming into the Fort. One was actually John’s cousin, and the other a neighbor in the Fort who, along with her two little children, had become part of what was and is a kind of extended family.

Her son, in fact, just weeks before John’s death, had walked with me in the AIDS Walk for John – well, he walked three quarters of the way until, as many eight year olds are wont to do, he began to whine about how tired he was – which resulted in me carrying him on my shoulders for what seemed like an endless trek along the banks of the Charles River. When I see that young man today, all six foot three and a rock solid 240 pounds of him, I can’t help but smile warmly at the image of him wearing a tee shirt he designed for the walk that declared John Barnes was his very best friend and would be “..until the end of time..”.

We all stood by the hearse as the men from Greeley’s put John inside, closed the doors, and started the engine.

As the hearse took John away from 51 for the last time, a loud boom shattered the silence and this enormous burst of purple fireworks seemed to light up the entire Fort. Ever one for both dramatic entrances and exits, to this day I think Johnny timed everything to his liking. Purple, after all, was his favorite color.

In the weeks and months after John’s death, several other leaders in the local fight against AIDS, including Sam Berman, who’d served as the director of what was then called the North Shore AIDS Health Project, passed away or saw their health begin to decline dramatically.

On the one hand, those were pretty somber days for people affected by AIDS in Gloucester, not unlike what is happening today for those people and their families who are bearing the brunt of the heroin/prescription opioid epidemic today. But they were also kind of heady days because they were days that saw people come together in the face of a seemingly insurmountable challenge in ways that made Gloucester stand out as a community – not just within Massachusetts, but across the nation.

The level of cooperation and collaboration that emerged in Gloucester, not just between agencies but between various citizen’s groups and volunteer organizations in response to AIDS, actually became models that the MA Department of Public Health held up for other communities to emulate as they struggled with both the epidemic and the turf issues that often arise, especially among service providers, when significant funding becomes available, and the competition for that funding often causes people to take their eyes off the really important stuff. For the most part, that never happened in Gloucester.

I see something like that happening again today in Gloucester in the face of the heroin/prescription opioid epidemic currently roiling the city. The overall positive response to Chief Campanello’s innovative and courageous shift in police policy regarding drug addiction and the people devastated by it, and the kinds of collaborative efforts between professional service providers, people in recovery, and ordinary Gloucester folk who’ve recognized the old approaches to the drug and addiction issue have failed, are strikingly similar to the kinds of collaboration and cooperation of two decades ago.

As a result Gloucester is, once again, being viewed by other communities, especially here on Cape Cod where the heroin/prescription opioid epidemic is as severe as it is in Gloucester, as a community to emulate in terms of how to address the drug/addiction issue. Chief Campanello’s actions and the response of the wider community have been the topics of both individual conversations and news stories here – most all of them positive.

Gloucester is, once again, showing itself to be a leader in the face of a controversial issue that many people either do not understand or would rather not talk about because they mistakenly view the issue solely through the lens of morality or criminality as opposed to the public health issue it really is.

But beyond Gloucester’s responses to health crises like AIDS and addiction, the kind of community spirit and activism that fueled those responses needs to be tapped into again in the face of the huge socioeconomic and demographic changes bearing down on Gloucester as the decline of the fishing industry leaves Gloucester vulnerable to the kinds of gentrification, real estate speculation, and false belief that a “visitor based” tourism economy is the key to a sustainable future for all the city’s residents.

Nothing, absolutely nothing could be further from the truth.

Anyone who doubts that assertion should just look, as I have said before, at what has happened to once socioeconomically diverse coastal communities like Provincetown, Nantucket, and Newburyport.


But what motivated me to write this was a desire, even from a distance, to remind people of what I told John 24 years ago when we lived together at 51. It was then I told him that, if people didn’t keep their guard up, someone with very deep pockets was going to descend on Gloucester and  transform a vibrant, ethnic working class, waterfront neighborhood like Fort Square into little more then an upscale, exclusive harbor front version of Louisburg Square by the Sea,

That someone has arrived and the process is well underway. The only question now is, “How far will people  let that process go and will it be allowed to remake Gloucester into little more than a clone of Newburyport, Provincetown, and Nantucket – where the economies are largely based, to paraphrase Peter Anastas, on the “chimera” of tourism, but the workers in that industry can no longer afford to live in the community where they work?”

People need to be thinking long and hard about that question because the clock is ticking as to whether or not keeping a semblance of the “enduring Gloucester” we love so much is even a possibility.

Still, I am betting Gloucester, given her big heart and even bigger soul, will yet find a way to navigate the social and economic changes bearing down upon her so that she remains a coastal city where all are welcome and able to live and raise their families – not just a select, well heeled few.





Mike Cook



Mike Cook  is a long time liberal and gay rights activist who saw the uniqueness of Gloucester from the first moment he drove over the bridge during his move from Cambridge to Cape Ann in 1991 to run NUVA’s AIDS education and services programs.


Poetry by Robert Gibbons

Without the Twin


roger martin pebble beach

Pebble Beach ~ woodcut, 1973. Roger Martin (1925 – 2015)


I’m camped out around the Paleo fire.

All my irons in it, when one half-second

after I want to ask her if she’s seen the gold-

finch yet this spring, it darts out of the sumac.


It’s a Jungian shudder flows through my bones,

as soon after I think of Charles Olson, that Titan,

who downright stole fire from the gods, & paid an

awful price with voracious eagle gnawing at his side.


Damn, jazz & poetry, painting, I told her

I thought immediately of Francis Bacon, let

alone Bob Rauschenberg, damned, to have such

insights require light from the fire of the gods, but


who’d trade it in for any normalcy I see all around,

some poor excuse for life barely lived, some life

without the twin, as Olson wrote, of life itself:


Robert Gibbons



Robert Gibbons

Robert Gibbons, a former Gloucester resident, is the author of nine books of poetry. In 2013, in addition to completing a Trilogy of prose poems with Nine Point Publishing,  he published Olson/Still: Crossroad, a brief study concerning the similarities in approach to art by Olson in words, and Clyfford Still in paint.



New Poem by Dan Wilcox


Portrait of Marsden Hartley, undated, Helen Stein (1896-1964) Cape Ann Museum



Marsden Hartley’s eyes



Marsden Hartley’s eyes

stare out of Helen Stein’s portrait

into this Gallery ringed by his portraits

of the boulders of Dogtown

the paintings mostly red

or green, but always blue

like his eyes that stared outward

when the oils were wet

where the granite sat against the sky.


(Cape Ann Museum  September 28, 2012)


Dan Wilcox


dan wilcox

Dan Wilcox is the host of the Third Thursday Poetry Night at the Social Justice Center in Albany, N.Y. and is a member of the poetry performance group “3 Guys from Albany”.  He is a frequent visitor to Gloucester and his book of poems Gloucester Notes  is forthcoming this year from Foothills Publishing.  You can read his Blog about the Albany poetry scene at



Tourism Can Not Make For an Economic Plan


by Mike Cook


If I were not working this summer in Provincetown, I, after reading Peter Anastas’s most recent contribution to “Enduring Gloucester”, (read it here,)  would be at the forefront of a draft “Peter for Mayor” movement.

Now, that news might not thrill or excite Peter. But the issues he spelled out in his recent essay, and the way in which he proposed they be addressed, was in, many ways, a manifesto of what is needed, not just for Gloucester but for many other seaport and fishing communities around the country who are seeing their economies devastated by burdensome federal regulations, and the very things that made them such authentic and unique places threatened as some in positions of power chase what Peter called the “chimera” of tourism and the illusion of a sustainable “visitor based” economy.

The morning Peter’s essay was posted, I received a news story in my inbox about a survey conducted by the National Low Income Housing Coalition documenting the hourly wage needed to rent a two bedroom apartment in the various fifty states.

In Massachusetts, in order to be able to just afford a two bedroom apartment, a person needs to be earning just under $25 an hour. That is more than three times both the federal and state minimum wage.

As Gloucester’s fishing industry, and other industries associated with it decline, there are a lot of eggs being put into the tourism and hospitality baskets  and the belief that high end, boutique hotels, marinas filled with luxury yachts, and a harbor rung by chic, over priced restaurants,  coupled with once working class neighborhoods like Fort Square and “Portagee” Hill being transformed into “Louisburg Square by the Sea” and “Beacon Hill by the Bay” respectively, lie at the heart of Gloucester’s salvation and renaissance.

Well, folks, let me tell you. It ain’t so.

I, by choice, have chosen to work in the hospitality/tourism industry these last seventeen summers because doing so earned me enough money to save several thousand dollars each summer so that I could spend the winters exploring Costa Rica and its Central American neighbors. I worked in coastal towns from Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod to Camden on the Penobscot Bay in Maine.

To be sure, in July and August, I often made much more than twenty five dollars an hour but such earnings were, truly, limited between, in Gloucester, Fiesta at the end of June and Labor Day. In the weeks and months before and after that time span, there were days when going home with tips that did not even meet the state’s minimum wage for the hours you worked were not uncommon.

In short, tourism in coastal New England is very much a seasonal industry and in no way provides an individual, never mind a family, the $25 an hour
wage  year round that individual or family needs just to rent a two bedroom apartment – never mind cover life’s  other expenses like transportation, food, and health care.

In addition, the industry is notorious for not only low wages but also minimal to no benefits, long hours, and very little concern for the well being of its employees.

In the off season, many industry workers, from Provincetown to the Penobscot, either migrate somewhere to follow yet another tourist season in another milieu, or they hunker down to a long winter struggling to pay their bills while living off their summer savings and a meager unemployment.

It is, except perhaps in July and August, as we say in the gay community, “not pretty”.

All this is not say tourism and hospitality and some gentrification  do not have key roles to play in a community like Gloucester’s economy. They do. But neither can they be the  mainstays of such a community’s economic base. Anyone who thinks they can is either living in a fool’s paradise, or one of the lucky few who stand to make a killing in a trend that from Provincetown to the Penobscot has greatly enriched a select few at the expense of the hard working many.

So, Peter thank your lucky stars I am marooned at Land’s End this summer, otherwise – well, Mayor Anastas, I think it has a nice ring to it.





Mike Cook

Mike Cook  is a long time liberal and gay rights activist who saw the uniqueness of Gloucester from the first moment he drove over the bridge during his move from Cambridge to Cape Ann in 1991 to run NUVA’s AIDS education and services programs.




“While I appreciate Mike Cook’s suggestion about a mayoral candidacy on my part, I’m a writer not a politician.  My job is to raise the issues and hopefully encourage a community-wide discussion about what we are looking for in a new mayor and what the city’s future will be.”

Peter Anastas