They say that everybody loves an underdog – unless the underdog happens to be a moderate Massachusetts Republican. The Democrats think you’re the devil incarnate, and a lot of your fellow Republicans call you a Democrat. Scott Brown heard it when he ran, and now Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez is also getting it from both sides.
Gomez, a 47 year-old businessman from Cohasset, is the latest entrant to have the unmitigated gall to challenge one-party domination of the Massachusetts congressional delegation. He’s running against Ed Markey, a 37-year congressman and, according to his TV ads, inventor of the smart phone.
Continue reading ‘Going After Gomez’
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Tags: campaign, Congress, Ed Markey, Edward Markey, election, Gabriel Gomez, Mark Sardella, Massachusetts, Politics, senator, US Senate, Wakefield Daily Item
A cold October rain was falling as I turned my rented Nissan Sunny down the dirt lane in the village of Portglenone, Northern Ireland. The road was barely wide enough for one vehicle and had patches of grass growing between tire-worn tracks. Up on a hill in the distance to the left, I could make out a pickup truck. A man closed a gate behind the truck, then got behind the wheel and began driving down the long winding road in my direction.
One of us was going to have to pull into the tall grass along the side to let the other pass. Having no idea if I was on private property, I wondered if this could be the land owner who might not appreciate my presence.
As the truck approached, I could make a white-haired older man in the passenger seat and a younger man driving. When the elder man rolled down his window, I hastened to explain that I was an American from Boston and that my mother was a Blaney. My grandfather, John Blaney, had grown up in Portglenone before leaving for Boston in 1900. I added that the owner of the village butcher shop had sent me here, telling me that all of the Blaneys once lived at the end of this lane.
“Aye,” the man in the truck said, “They did.”
Continue reading ‘Finding My Irish Roots’
Filed under: Blaney Blog, Columns & Essays, Family, Feature stories | Leave a Comment
Tags: Ballymena, Blaney, County Antrim, Ireland, Irish, John Blaney, Nark Sardella, Northern Ireland, Patrick Blaney, Portglenone
As much as I like community theater, I have to say that for this North Shore resident, Maynard’s Acme Theatre is a little outside my jurisdiction. But the opportunity to see Nancy Curran Willis direct David Mamet‘s American Buffalo last Saturday during the show’s opening weekend was one I just couldn’t pass up. The show runs through March 23, 2013.
Located in the basement of an old school building, Acme Theatre just may be the perfect venue to recreate Don Dubrow’s basement-level junk shop where all the action of American Buffalo takes place. The euphemistically named “Don’s Resale” is an organized clutter of reclaimed items. Lamps, stereos, trophies, bird cages, hats, typewriters, globes and discards of every description cram the shelves of three walls. Parked in one corner is a supermarket shopping cart overflowing with footwear. In the center of the stage is a glass case that holds jewelry, coins and other such valuables.
Continue reading ‘Superb American Buffalo at Acme Theater’
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Tags: theater, stage, theatre, Nancy Curran Willis, Bill Stambaugh, Acme Theatre, Maynard, Maynard Massachusetts, Maynard MA, James Barton, Jordan DiGloria, American Buffalo, David Mamet
A Talk by John Wall
Many people know the story of how the town of South Reading, MA came to be renamed after industrialist Cyrus Wakefield. But most people probably don’t realize the extent to which he shaped the town of Wakefield as we know it today.
In a talk on Feb. 20, 2013 to a large crowd in the Heritage Room at the Americal Civic Center, local historian John Wall helped to flesh out the portrait of the 19th century business tycoon.
“There was not much that he didn’t have his fingers in,” Wall said. People associate Cyrus Wakefield with rattan furniture manufacturing. And while dealing in rattan supply and distribution was a key element of Wakefield’s success, Wall explained, it was only one of many businesses in which he prospered. In fact, according to Wall, it was only in the last few years of Wakefield’s life that his company on Water Street began actually manufacturing furniture.
Continue reading ‘“The Remarkable Cyrus Wakefield”’
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Tags: business, Capt. Henry Bancroft, Cyrus Wakefield, furniture, History, industry, John Wall, Mark Sardella, rattan, South Reading, Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield MA, Wakefield Massachusetts
For the benefit of those under 50, the Ed Sullivan Show was a TV staple. It was a variety show that families could watch together on Sunday nights. It was before the days when Sunday night football games featured half-time performers costumed as common night-walkers and winning quarterbacks dropping F-bombs on national TV. Back in 1964, four guys playing musical instruments in suits and ties with their hair combed over their foreheads was enough to stir controversy.
Continue reading ‘From the Fab Four to 4G’
Filed under: Columns & Essays, Community, Humor, News, Opinion, Television, Wakefield | Leave a Comment
Tags: Beatles, Beyonce, Ed Sullivan Show, Mark Sardella, phones, telephone, Television, Wakefield Daily Item
Eliminating a few dozen words from the lexicon will make for a better 2013
It’s the New Year, time for all those obligatory and oh-so-hilarious “Best” and “Worst” lists for the previous year along with predictions for the coming year.
I’m taking a different approach. Since nothing good happened in 2012, I’m off the hook for a “Best” list. And a “Worst” list would be a depressing way to start the New Year.
I’ve decided to take a more proactive approach and create a few lists that will, for me at least, assure that 2013 is a better year than 2012. In the spirit of creeping nanny-statism, I’m going to start by banning things.
Since I work in the world of words, I’ve decided to declare a “War on Words,” or at least words that I deem to be of no further use.
Continue reading ‘A Word, Please?’
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Tags: Humor, Mark Sardella, Wakefield Daily Item, words, ban, banned, 2012, 2013, New Year, War on Words
I won’t talk about any “War on Christmas,” which is probably about as worthy of serious consideration as the “War on Women” attributed to Republicans in the last election. (Still, I have little doubt that those who most vociferously deny the existence of a War on Christmas would rejoice in the holiday’s demise.)
Continue reading ‘End of Year Observances’
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Tags: Mark Sardella, Wakefield Daily Item, Christmas, holidays, holiday, marijuana, New Year's, Seasons Greetings, War on Christmas, ethics, moral equivalency