By my senior year of high school I had conjured up an elaborate escape plan to leave Gloucester. It would begin with four years in college and after that it didn’t matter. “Anywhere but here,” I told myself. Anywhere but here…So I left.
College came and went. In the following years I moved a bunch of times and traveled all over. My feet walked the majestic lands of Machu Picchu. My eyes witnessed the dramatic and powerful culture of Northern Ireland. I danced my ass off all over Boston. At each new destination around the globe and within our own country, I met some cool people. But I still felt restless. Something was missing.
It wasn’t until I got pregnant with Emerson that I actually figured out what that void was. I missed my hometown. I missed LIVING in Gloucester. I missed the people. I missed the landscape. I missed the food. I missed the traditions. I wanted my children to grow up here.
A place where the people work hard, swear often, love beer, tell the best stories, have the biggest hearts, and use the word “wicked” perfectly, every time… A place where the people are tough and the community always takes care of its own. I would learn firsthand how important this last quality was when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last year.
A place that has the best sunrises AND sunsets. A place where the ocean glistens more than anywhere on Earth. Where a classy, historic, and rocky coastline makes its shores the most unique on the planet, just like its residents. A place where the Atlantic surprises the locals daily with her ever-changing colors and temperature.
A place home to the best traditions. Fiesta. Vinegar Fries. July 3rd. Horribles Parade. GHB. The Creek. Boulevard. Seaglass. Fisherman at the Wheel. Backshore. Niles. A place home to the best food around. Where seafood means “fresh haddock” not “Frozen Crab Balls,” (sorry Texas!). A place that still believes in and supports “Mom & Pop” shops.
A place that rallies like no other. Who else but Gloucester can boast that it can raise thousands of dollars for its residents in mere hours! Gloucester is living proof that social media can have a positive impact upon society. Gloucester has given a new meaning to the term “crowd funding.” A place where the locals actually feel empathy for others that are struggling.
And let’s face it….NO ONE can party like we can.
I am beyond proud to say that I am from this city. But I am even prouder to say that I am raising my daughter and son here.
Lori Sanborn was born in Gloucester and returned to live permanently in our seaside community three years ago. She has been a public educator for 12 years, teaching eighth graders. Lori is most proud of her role as mother to her children, Emerson and Ryder.