Entertaining romantic comedy at Quannapowitt Players
“When a woman says she wants a new car, she really wants a whole new life,” middle-aged Becky Foster (played by Barbara Douglass) muses in the opening scene of “Becky’s New Car.” The highly entertaining romantic comedy by Steven Dietz is currently on stage at Quannapowitt Players in Reading and is directed by Wakefield resident J. Mark Baumhardt.
But is Becky’s current life really all that bad?
Continue reading ‘A Fun Ride in “Becky’s New Car”’
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Tags: Becky's New Car, comedy, drama, J. Mark Baumhardt, Mark Sardella, play, Quannapowitt Players, Reading MA, stage, Steven Dietz, theater, theatre, Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield MA
2013 Veterans’ Day Ceremonies in Wakefield, Massachusetts
“I’m a kid from Roxbury who grew up to become a soldier and a lawyer,” keynote speaker US Air Force Lt. Col. Enoch Woodhouse told the Veterans’ Day crowd assembled at the Galvin Middle School Auditorium. Yesterday’s ceremonies were presented by Wakefield’s Veterans’ Advisory Board and local American Legion Post 63.
Lt. Col. Woodhouse is past president of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first black servicemen to serve as military aviators in the U.S. armed forces, flying with distinction during World War II. He was one of the first black graduates of Yale in the 1950s, one of the first black Judge Advocates General in the U.S. Air Force, and the first black member of the 371-year-old Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts.
“People say, ‘I want to thank you for your service,’” the 87 year-old veteran said. “I appreciate that very much, but sincerely – don’t thank me. That was my job. That was my responsibility as an American.”
Continue reading ‘Honoring Veterans’
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Tags: American Legion, Brian Falvey, Donald Wong, Enoch Woodhouse, Galvin Middle School, Katherine Clark, Kristina Valenza, Paul Brodeur, veterans, Veterans' Day, Wakefield Choral Society, Wakefield High School Wind Ensemble, Wakefield Massachusetts
In defense of Open Town Meeting
Wakefield‘s Regular Town Meeting opens on Monday, Nov. 18, and it seems like a good time to reflect on the institution of Open Town Meeting.
While some towns have gone to a watered-down “Representative Town Meeting,” with voting members elected from each precinct, Open Town Meeting remains a New England tradition. It has been called the purest form of democracy because it’s open to every registered voter, who is welcome speak, vote and even propose amendments to any measure on the warrant.
There’s only one catch: You have to actually show up.
In an October 17, 2013 op-ed column in The Boston Globe, Edward L. Glaeser, a Harvard economist and director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, argues that requiring people to show up at Town Meeting in order to hear arguments, voice opinions and vote on how their town is run is just too much to ask of busy people for whom “time is a scarce and precious commodity.” Continue reading ‘Point of Order’
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Tags: Boston Globe, Edward L. Glaeser, Mark Sardella, Massachusetts, Open Town Meeting, town government, Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield MA
Game 2 of the 2013 ALCS was One for the Ages
David Mamet couldn’t have written a better script.
We headed into Boston for game 2 of the 2013 American League Championship Series with the Red Sox already down one game to the Detroit Tigers. Another loss would have put the home team down 0-2 heading for three games in Detroit – not where you want to be – either in the series or geographically.
Going in town two hours early meant getting a $40 space in the lot off Beacon Street, rather than paying $30 and having to walk a mile down Commonwealth Avenue. First stop: Lansdowne Street and dinner at the Sausage King. Peering in from the street at the TVs inside the “Game On” bar, the Patriots were still losing.
With darkness descending, we entered the park through the gates on Yawkey Way. With less than a minute on the clock and the Patriots still down by 3, crowds gathered around the TVs along the concourse. Cheers erupted as Ton Brady hit Kenbrell Thompkins in the end zone to win the game, foreshadowing what those who stuck around Fenway would experience four hours later.
We headed for our seats in Section 9, Row 2 of the right field grandstands. If you were paying attention, you picked up on another bit of foreshadowing as Dave Roberts took the mound for the ceremonial first pitch and threw a strike to David Ross.
Detroit jumped to a 5-0 lead with one run in the first inning and four in the sixth. But the way Max Scherzer was pitching, it felt like 20-0. Boston managed to scrape together two hits for a run in their half of the sixth, but it didn’t do much to change the Fenway mood.
The seventh inning came and went, still 5-1 Tigers. The Tigers went quietly in the top of the eighth. The Fenway PA system began blaring “Sweet Caroline.” It’s irritating enough on a good night. I took out my phone and tweeted, “Forget Sweet Caroline. I’m not in the mood.”
Stephen Drew grounded out to start the Red Sox eighth. Down to five outs. Then, Will Middlebrooks doubled. Ellsbury walked on a full count. Faint hope began to stir.
Shane Victorino stepped to the plate. The PA system played his at-bat song, “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley. “Don’t worry ‘bout a thing” Marley’s voice intoned over the loudspeakers. As has become a 2013 Fenway custom, the crowd finishes the lyric, “cause every little thing gonna be alright.”
But mighty Victorino struck out. There was still no joy in Hubville as, by all appearances, every little thing was not going to be alright.
Then Dustin Pedroia singled to right, loading the bases with two outs. Detroit went to their big closer, Joaquin Benoit, for the four-out save.
Aging slugger David Ortiz strode to the plate. On the first pitch, he lined a bullet into the Detroit bullpen for a game tying grand slam. The eruption at Fenway Park could be heard by those “fans” walking to their cars after leaving in the top of the eighth inning to beat the traffic. It warms my heart to picture them listening on the car radio with the brims of their pink hats pulled down to hide their faces as Saltalamacchia singled home Johnny Gomes with the winning run in the ninth.
I checked my phone as we were leaving Fenway at midnight. A friend had tweeted to me, “Somebody’s mood just changed.”
It had indeed.
[This column originally appeared in the October 24, 2013 Wakefield Daily Item.]
Filed under: baseball, Columns & Essays, Feature stories | Leave a Comment
Tags: 2013 ALCS, Bob Marley, Boston Red Sox, Dave Roberts, Detroit Tigers, Fenway Park, Mark Sardella, new england patriots, Sausage King, Shane Victorino, Tom Brady, Wakefield Daily Item
Part 3 of a series on the Walton Family of Wakefield, Massachusetts
[Part 1 ; Part 2]
Mary E. Walton did not live to see her granddaughter, Mary C. Walton, marry Valentine Giamatti. But her husband, 82 year-old Arthur G. Walton did attend the elegant wedding in South Berwick, Maine on July 3, 1937, just one month before the wealthy shoe manufacturer died at his Lakeside Wakefield estate at 108 Main St.
There were almost certainly cultural differences to be overcome in 1937 when the daughter of an old New England Yankee family married the son of Italian immigrants. But the fact that the groom was a Yale man probably didn’t hurt, and in any case there is no record of any objection to the union from either family.
Continue reading ‘The Walton Family Legacy’
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Tags: A. Bartlett Giamatti, Arthur G. Walton, Bart Giamatti, baseball, MA, Mark Sardella, Paul Giamatti, Pete Rose, Wakefield Massachusetts, Walton, Walton Family
The Massachusetts Tech Tax is going to be repealed, and that’s a good thing.
But now that repeal appears certain, all this “let bygones be bygones” stuff is just a little nauseating.
Massachusetts is Democratic state – I assume we can all agree on that much. A state’s political leanings tend to be reflected within any of its sectors and that’s certainly true in the high-tech sector, which tends to skew young.
Tech professionals who support liberal Democratic values recognize the need for tax revenue to fund their agenda, including things like public transportation. But when faced with a Technology Tax that threatened to not just hurt their pocketbooks but to undermine their entire industry and send companies and jobs scurrying for cheaper pastures out of state, well that was a different matter.
Continue reading ‘Repeal, but Don’t Forget the Tech Tax’
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Tags: Brad Jones, Bruce Tarr, High Tech, Karen Spilka, Katherine Clark, legislature, MA, Mark Sardella, Mass., Massachusetts, repeal, Software Services Tax, taxes, tech tax, technology, technology tax, Wakefield Daily Item