Author Archives: Kim Smith

THREE ACTIONS WE CAN ALL TAKE TO HELP THE PIPING PLOVER CHICKS SURVIVE

Piping Plover chicks nestlings -2 copyright Kim Smith 6-13-16ACTION NO. 1) HELP NEGATE THE LITTER PROBLEM

The number one threat to the Plover’s survival is the trash left on the beach. If you see someone littering, please remind them to clean up after themselves. Explain that we have a threatened species nesting on the beach and that the trash left behind attracts gulls and crows, which will undoubtedly eat the baby Plovers. Additionally, if you are so inclined and can lend a hand, please bring a trash bag and fill it on your way out. I know tons of friends already do this and it is a huge help. If more of us did it, and folks saw us doing it, they might be inspired not to leave theirs behind. If you see me on the beach filming, I now carry trash bags in my gear bag and would be happy to give you one. Getting rid of the trash on the beach doesn’t just help the Plovers, but all marine and wildlife.

ACTION NO. 2) HELP NEGATE THE THOUGHTLESS DOG OWNER PROBLEM

Inform the dog owner about the law. Explain to them that their dog, leashed or unleashed, can easily squish cotton-ball sized chicks. The babies are all over the beach now, not just in the roped off area. If the dog owner still disregards and if you can, take down their license plate number. I did it today for the first time and Diane, who is the animal control officer, just happened to be at the beach shortly after it happened. She asked for the information and studied the photo that I took to determine what type of dog.

ACTION NO. 3) HELP INFORM BEACH GOERS ABOUT THE CHICKS

The baby Plovers are at their most vulnerable in the first 10 to 14 days. As of this writing, all three chicks have survived the first three days, and that is nothing short of a miracle. The Plovers chicks are now running to the water’s edge. Please walk carefully on the beach and along the shoreline as they are not yet quick enough to get out of the way. Upload a photo of a Piping Plover chick to your phone and show it to folks on the beach. Explain that they aren’t much larger than a cotton ball. Additionally, David Rimmer, Director of Land Stewardship at Essex County Greenbelt, who was checking on the Plovers this morning, is concerned that a child may see a Plover chick and try to catch it. This has happened! In case of any kind of emergency situation such as this, David urges that the the Plover be place in the cordoned off area.

Thank you for you help, and the Piping Plovers thank you, too!

Piping Plover chicks nestlings copyright Kim Smith 6-14-16In the above photo you can see how tiny the Plover chick is in relation to the sunbather.

DSCF2770This woman claims she brings her dog every evening after five and states she has for fifteen years.

MEET THE GOOD HARBOR BEACH PIPING PLOVER BABY CHICKS!

Please help get the word out that the Good  Harbor Piping Plover chicks have hatched and that they are extremely vulnerable. Feel free to share these photos on social media.Piping Plovers chicks nestlings babies Kim Smith

Monday Day One: Judging from when the nest was first spotted, I had a feeling the Plovers were going to hatch Monday. The morning was drizzly and foggy and it was difficult to see into the nest but there appeared to be more activity than usual. By the time I returned later in the afternoon it was a wonder and joy to see all three Plovers had hatched!

Unlike songbirds, the Piping Plover chicks leave the nest almost immediately. They are not fed by the adults and begin to forage for insects in the sand soon after hatching. Although only hours old, they can run, and run they do, looking mostly like jet propelled cotton balls.

Piping Plovers chicks nestlings babes copyright Kim Smith 6-11-16

The chicks snuggle under Dad. Both Mom and Dad take turns guarding the nestlings, in thirty minute intervals, just as they did when on the nest waiting for the babies to hatch. 

Piping Plover chicks Mom Dad copyright Kim Smith 6-12-16Dad (left) and Mom (right) changing guard.

Tuesday Day Two:

Piping Plover chicks nestlings -3 copyright Kim Smith 6-12-16Miniature rockets zooming over miniature sand mounds, running so fast, they’ll often land in a face plant.  I captured a somersault on film!Piping Plover chicks nestlings copyright Kim Smith 6-12-16

Nature’s camouflage in hues of sand and dune.

Piping Plover chicks nestlings -2 copyright Kim Smith 6-12-16

Mom and chick, all three survive day number two!

Read More Here Read more

SUPER COOL BEE SWARM AT CAPE POND ICE

Honey Bee Swarm -2 copyright Kim SmithCape Pond Ice and City Councilor Scott Memhard are the Bees Knees!

There was plenty of excitement at Cape Pond Ice this morning when a swarm of honey bees was discovered on the brick wall at the Ice House alley. Scott called honey bee remover Marty Jessel. Marty is a wealth of information about honey bees, which he shared generously with the crowd that soon gathered to watch him carefully vacuum the bees with a special bee removing technique (do not try this on your own).
Honey Bee Swarm Cape Pond Ice Scott Memhard Marty Jessel copyright Kim SmithCity Councilor Scott Memhard and Marty Jessel, honey bee remover
Honey Bee Swarm Cape Pond Ice marty Jessel copyright Kim Smith

 

Beekeeper (and remover) Marty Jessel removing bee swarm at Cape Pond Ice

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Watch in action and listen as Marty describes one aspect of bee communication, the waggle dance.

The Waggle Dance! Listen to beekeeper Marty Jessel describe the Waggle Dance, at Cape Pond Ice

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Saving One Bee Hive One Bee at a Time  ~ Marty Jessel may be reached at m.jessel@comcast.net

Follow this link from the Essex County Beekeepers Association to learn more about honey bee swarms.

Cape Pond Ice is open for tours seven days a week during the summer. For hours visit the Cape Pond Ice website here. While there check out the Ice House Art House. ART@the IceHouse Gallery is thrilled to be exhibiting wonderful original marine and working waterfront paintings by Gloucester artists Peter F. Vincent ASMA (1946-2012),http://peterfvincent.com, and Capt. Phil Cusumano, http://www.philcusumanoart.com, as well as photography by Eoin Vincent.

ART@the IceHouse Gallery on the Fort is open 7-days a week, Monday – Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-3 and Sunday 9-Noon.

Vacuuming bees slo mo

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Honey Bee Swarm vacuuming bees copyright Kim Smith

BEE SWARM AT CAPE POND ICE!

It’s that time of year when bee swarms occur. City Councilor Scott Memhard shares photos from a bee swarm at Cape Pond Ice. More photos and complete coverage tonight at 6pm!IMG_3130

Please leave a comment in the comment section if you are interested in removing the bee swarm.

From the Essex Count Beekeepers Association website:

Honeybee Swarm Information

If you have a swarm, you may call us, however please read below and make sure they are HONEY BEES first and not something else. We are not exterminators!
If you have a swarm, please call one of the contacts below right away, an email through ‘ecba contact’ will result in a delayed response.

SWARMS

Swarming is part of the natural reproductive life cycle of honey bees. The swarming season in Massachusetts usually begins in June and can last through August. Warmer weather, combined with an abundance of nectar and pollen stimulate the colony to increase in population. This causes over-crowding which prompts some bees to swarm so they can reproduce. Swarms usually emerge from the colonies between 10:00am and 2:00pm on warm sunny days. The old queen together with about half of the bees from the colony, leave the hive and cluster on a nearby object such as a fence or a small shrub. The swarm may remain for a few hours or one to two days while scout bees search for a permanent nesting site. Once found, the swarm will move to this site and establish a new colony. Bee swarms are NOT normally aggressive because they are gorged full of honey and homeless, which reduces their defensive behavior. A swarm will become increasingly defensive, if provoked, the longer it remains in a given location. In the original colony, a new queen emerges and continues to maintain the parent colony.

Below you will find a list of Essex County Beekeepers Association members that are willing to assist in the removal of swarms, answer bee related questions or point you in a direction to help resolve any bee related issue you may have. Beekeepers are listed by town for the general geographical area they are willing to respond to.

Please be aware that in some instances the physical location of the swarm may present challenges. For example, if a swarm is too high in a tree, retrieval may not be a reasonable or safe option. Swarms located in structures or otherwise concealed may require the skills of qualified craftsmen to dismantle and rebuild portions of that structure. The manpower and equipment necessary to complete this type of retrieval is an expense that the property owner is expected to bear.

 

Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team Update

Rick Roth writes,
Nice snake show at the Hamilton Wenham Library last week.  Thanks to our volunteers: Keith Bertone, Colleen Andersona and Lorraine Der for a great job.  And thanks to Lorraine for inviting us.  Check for photies on the Cape Ann
Vernal Pond Team facebook page.Friday  July 15, 2016  12:30- 3:30pm
Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Perkins Row, Topsfield MA
We will do two Intro to Vernal Ponds programs for kids 7-12 years old.  Video critters and likely a brief field trip to one of their vernal ponds.  We’ll need a volunteer or two.

Last month, Evilyn, the white-lipped python, and Skeletor’s girlfriend, laid eggs.  Looks like 6 or 7.  They are in the incubator at 85 degrees F. and quite humid.  We got two babies from one of our ribbon snakes.  They are live born.  And our garter snake had 12 babies.  Also live born.  On July 7th our Honduran milksnake laid 3 eggs.  Today, our albino Nelson’s milksnake laid seven eggs.  Whew.

I know you’re all saving the date for:

CAVPT Benefit Concert/Auction with Charlie Farren all acoustic show. He’s really a talented musician, fun and dynamic performer.  Local musician, Satch Kerans will open the show.  Rick Roth, from Littleton MA will be there with some of his cool critters.  He’s the guy that was at our concert last year.  And Gloucester Rick Roth (that’s me) will be there with some critters as well.  There will be some auction/raffle action.  This is going to be a great show.  Its also a benefit for CAVPT so we need all of you to come out and support us and bring your friends.  Gonna be fun.
Friday September 9, 2016  7-11pm at Mile Marker one in Gloucester.
We need sponsorships for this show… so, if you know somebody… or you are somebody who would like to sponsor us for this event, please get in touch.It has come to my attention that some people have been responding to these listserv emails, and they are not getting to me. So… if you want to get in touch, please send an email to me at cavpt@yahoo.com

I  keep leaving this in here because nobody keeps responding to it.  Someone out there must know something about listservs.  Please get in touch.  People are telling me they are not getting these listserv emails.  We had this other listsev before and the same thing happened after a while so we got a new listserv (this one) and now its happening all over again.  Anybody out there know anything about listservs who might be able to help get this straightened out?  It is certainly our most important form of communication for notifying the team about events and stuff.

Later,  Rick

we only have one earth, save it

PLAYTIME STORIES CONTINUES WITH DR. SEUSS DAY

AT GLOUCESTER STAGE COMPANY ON SATURDAY, JULY 16

Live Theater Performances and Activities for Young Audience Members Age 2 and Older

Gloucester Stage Company proudly continues Playtime Stories, an engaging combination of children’s stories, live performances and activities for ages 2 and older, on Saturday, July 16 at 10 am at Gloucester Stage, 267, East Main Street, Gloucester. Playtime Stories offers young children the unique opportunity to experience the fun and magic of live theater as they watch their favorite books come to life onstage. Following the performance audience members will be invited to join the Playtime Stories Company in fun and interactive workshops relating to the story. Each Saturday the Playtime Stories Company, consisting of members of Gloucester Stage’s apprentice company, veteran Youth Acting Workshop students and special guest narrators will perform a children’s story against the backdrop of the story’s illustrations as well as create a dynamic weekly series of interactive events related to the story. Each week Playtime Stories explores different stories ranging from classic fairy tales to new stories to works by local authors. The books for included for July 16: Dr. Seuss Day: What Pet Should I Get?; The Cat in the Hat and The Lorax; July 23: Virginia Lee Burton Day: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and The Little House; July 30Rumpelstiltskin and Where the Wild Things Are.  All Playtime Story performances are held at 10 am at Gloucester Stage, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. Admission is $5. For more information, call the Gloucester Stage Box Office at 978-281-4433 or visitwww.gloucesterstage.com

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GLOUCESTER STAGE COMPANY HITS A HOME RUN WITH THE LAST SCHWARTZ!

GSCLastSchwartz0010The Last Schwartz, in its New England premiere at Gloucester Stage, introduces us to the Schwartz siblings—Nora, Ben, Gene, and Simon—who have inherited the family home from their parents. Along with Bonnie, Ben’s wife, they meet at the house over a weekend. Tension fills the air as Nora is determined to keep the home while Ben, a businessman, wants to sell it. Meanwhile, Simon, who is autistic, spends his time staring into a telescope and dreaming about space travel.

Into this powder keg comes Gene and his pot-smoking California wild child girlfriend Kia. Like a heat-seeking missile, Kia explodes the delicate balance that the siblings have managed to construct, ripping the lid off passions long suppressed by family decorum and the stern order that Norma, the oldest of the Schwartz siblings, has maintained during the year since their father’s death. Secrets are revealed, promises broken, and conflicts erupt as the four Schwartz siblings, joined by Kia and Bonnie, struggle to find a way forward.

At a pace that feels like you’re on a roller coaster, playwright Deborah Zoe Laufer delivers a potent blend of laughs and bitter revelations. The ensemble cast is uniformly brilliant, creating vivid characters that feel like people you know and may even be part of your own family. With expert direction by Paula Plum, evocative lighting design, and a set that looks exactly like your grandparents’ musty old house, The Last Schwartz delivers comedy and heartbreak that’s perfect for a midsummer night. Run, don’t walk, to the Gloucester Stage Company to be a part of this delightful and touching experience.

Starring Brianne Beatrice (Bonnie), Andrea Goldman (Kia), Gabriel Kuttner (Herb), Paul Melendy (Simon), Glen Moore Gene, and Veronica Anaxtasio Wiseman (Norma.)

Now through July 30. For more information and to purchase tickets visit the Gloucester Stage Company website here.

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All Photos by Kippy Goldfarb/Carolle Photography

CONGRATULATIONS TO MIKE FORGETTE AND SEVEN HILLS MUSIC, “WALK MY WAY” 26K VIEWS AND COUNTING!

In just three weeks, Seven Hills Music “Walk My Way,” featuring Mike Forgette, has received over 26,000 views. Click here for a free download of the song.

On Friday night you can hear Mike Forgette and his band Over the Bridge at Katrina’s at 9pm. 

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CAPE ANN’S WINGED CREATURE UPDATE

As you’ll hear in Sunday night’s podcast (our 191st!!), the Piping Plover’s nesting continues. The Plovers are defending their territory against predators, using the “injured wing” trick. Learn more about this defensive behavior in the podcast.

In this batch of photos you can see how to tell the difference between the male and female.

Female Piping Plover copyright Kim SmithThe female’s neck collar, or band, is broken in the front and is paler in color.
Male Piping Plover copyright Kim Smith

The male’s neck collar is darker and goes nearly all the way around. Note too the black bar across his forehead.

Male and Female Piping Plover copyright Kim SmithGenerally speaking, the male is a bit larger and the bill a bit brighter orange (male left, female right). After the breeding season, the plumage of both male and female will become paler.

Mr. Swan is doing well and looking very healthy, but with no signs of a new Mrs. on the horizon. Here he is enjoying a stretch in the sun.Mr. Swan outstretched wings Niles Pond coyright Kim Smith

Our caterpillars of the beautiful Cecropia Moth, given by friend Christine, are in their second instar and growing rapidly on a steady diet of birch leaves. The Cecropia Moth is just one of the many reasons why we would never spray trees with pesticides and herbicides.

A HUGE SHOUT OUT to Gloucester’s drinking water chief engineer Larry Durkin and to Senator Bruce Tarr for working hard to keep glyphosate (Monsanto’s Roundup) out of our water supply. Glyphosate is a known carcinogen and extremely bad news for bees, butterflies, and all pollinators. Durkin is pressing Keolis, the company that operates the MBTA commuter rail track service, to cut its use of glyphosate along the track adjacent to the Babson Reservoir and to manually cut back the growth.  Read the full story here in the Gloucester Times.

Cecropia Moth caterpillars copyright Kim SmithCecropia Moth Caterpillars

ADVENTURES OF THE CRAZY HAT LADIES!

Fiesta Hat ladies copyright Kim SmithThe Crazy Hat Ladies write, “The Crazy Hat Ladies of Fiesta have been invited to the largest folk festival in the US in Lowell, Massachusetts over the weekend of July 29th and 30th. This is our 2nd time being invited to come and share our love for the St. Peter’s Fiesta and our love for our community. We will be representing Gloucester and with our hats with people from all over. We will have our hats and a photo display of the history of St. Peter’s Fiesta.. We will also proudly distribute Gloucester Visitor guides to promote our beautiful city. We hope you can make it to this cultural event that has lots of music, cultural cuisine and entertainment and of course…

THE CRAZY HAT LADIES OF FIESTA”SAINT PETER'S FIESTA 2016 PROCESSION Bruce Tarr Amy Robyn Clayton fiesta hat ladies copyright Kim Smith

MYSTERY OF THE MISSING FAMILY PAINTING

Nina Goodick writes,

Hi Kim:

I was wondering if you would post this portrait painting on GMG.

It is a painting of our grandfather, Rosario Testaverde, painting by Armand Sindoni.

It went missing about 10 years when a family member moved.

The family would very much like to get it back again if possible.

Thanks

Nina (Testaverde) Goodick

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Congratulations to Cape Ann TV for Winning Two National Video Awards!!

Cape Ann TV reeled in two first place awards in the Hometown Media Award Contest.

The two winning videos are Gloucester’s Giant Lobster Trap Christmas Tree & Menorah, and Behind the Scenes at Gloucester Election Night 2015.

Gloucester’s Giant Lobster Trap Christmas Tree & Menorah was entered in the Access Center Professional Division and won in the Community Events-General category. The program was produced by Cape Ann TV staff members, Lisa Smith and Rebecca Tober and was narrated by Cape Ann TV intern, Jill Wach. The ten-minute video profiled the people who created the Lobster Trap Tree on Main Street and the Menorah at the Temple Ahavat Achim, and the importance of these structures to the Cape Ann community.

Behind the Scenes at Gloucester Election Night 2015 was entered in the Independent Producer division and won in the Democracy in Action category. Matt Morris created this short, two-minute video. The video creatively shows the hustle and bustle at City Hall on election night and the live election coverage by Cape Ann TV. Matt Morris won a Hometown Media Award last year for his Awesome Gloucester series. Video link to Behind the Scenes at Gloucester Election Night 2015

The Hometown Media Awards is a national contest, sponsored by the Alliance for Community Media, that honors and promotes community media and local cable programs that are distributed on community access cable television channels. Awards are presented to creative programs that address community needs, develop diverse community involvement, challenge conventional commercial television formats, and move viewers to experience television in a different way.

Charles and George Civil War Coat News Update

image002 (2)Hi Everybody!

We thought you’d like to read about Breaking news: the coat is a positive model!

Stories about the poll for the display

1) Last night the  Bay State Banner published a second article about the Bacheler Civil War coat helping spread the word about the poll on GMG (which will help decide how the coat is displayed). Jule wrote a great article. You can share it a bunch of ways from their website.

2) America’s Civil War Magazine (historynet.com) had the coat in their FIELD NOTES section, “Coat Tales”. They sent us an advance copy of the September issue. It comes out bi-monthly and they said it’s for sale at Barnes and Noble. The article compares Bacheler’s coat to another Civil War era coat. It’s really interesting.

The White House mailed back photographs and a note from the President. We believe it’s something that is sent out to kids. It doesn’t mention the Bacheler coat or Gloucester. We’ll scan that later.

Thank you Dr. Powers for contributing to the display and adding another Gloucester business in to the support.

Sincerely

Charles + George

gloucestercoatkids@gmail.com

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Snapshots From the Cape Ann Museum’s Fantastic Design / Build Lecture

IMG_9559Moderator Bill Cross, Deborah Epstein, and Maryann Thompson

New Spaces/Od Places was the title of last evening’s Design/Build lecture. The lecture was given by Deborah Epstein and Maryann Thompson, two of the area’s leading architects, and was the second in a series that is part of the Design/Build: The Drawings of Philips and Holloran, Architects exhibit currently on display at the Cape Ann Museum. Deborah Epstein designed the stunning Shalin Liu and Maryann Thompson the beautiful Temple Ahavat Achim. The lecture focused on the creative process and challenges of designing new public buildings in an area surrounded by older buildings.

IMG_9531On exhibit, the scale model of the Temple Ahavat Achim

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Shalin Liu

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Wendy Frontiero and Maryann Thompson

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A peak at the Phillips and Holloran drawings -so interesting!

IMG_9525IMG_9528Hotel at Bass Rocks -The Hotel Thorwald was a rambling hotel in business for fifty years. It was in walking distance of Good Harbor Beach and could accommodate 200 to 250 guests. The Hotel Thorwald was destroyed by fire in 1965.

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Twin Light Garage, East Main Street, now home to the Gloucester Stage Company. Note the very cool ‘Twin Lights’ flanking the sides of the sign.

Save the date for the third and final lecture in the Design/Build series on the life and accomplishments of Eleanor Raymond, presented by documentary filmmaker Lyda Kuth. Raymond was a pioneering woman in the field of architecture during the 20th century. In 1948, she designed one of the first successful solar houses, the “Dover Sun House,” and is credited with designing the first Northeastern regional modernist home (1931), predating by six years the Walter Gropius House in Lincoln. Architect Eleanor Raymond: A Pioneer in the Field, Thursday September 29th at 7:00 p.m.

IMG_9539Outstanding hors d’oeuvres Chef Matt Beach!

HOW TO QUICKLY TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SNOWY EGRET AND A GREAT EGRET

Often asked this question, I thought it would be helpful to post the answer again, especially as at this time of year when we see numerous numbers foraging in our marshes and along the shore. Both species of birds breed on Cape Ann and the coast of Massachusetts.

Snowy Egret Egretta thula -2 copyright Kim SmithThe first clue is size. Snowy Egrets are small, about the size of the Mallard Duck. Remember the letter S for small and snowy. Great Egrets are much larger, nearly identical in size to that of the Great Blue Heron.

Great Egret Ardea alba copyright Kim SmithGreat Egret (Ardea alba)

Great Egrets have  black feet and yellow bills. Snowy Egrets have reverse coloring, yellow feet and black bills.

Great Egrets stand very still while fishing. Snowy Egrets are wonderfully animated when foraging; they run quickly, walk determinedly, fly, and swish their feet around to stir up fish.Snowy Egret Egretta thula copyright Kim Smith

PLAYTIME STORIES CONTINUES WITH CURIOUS GEORGE AND LITTLE BUNNY FOO FOO

AT GLOUCESTER STAGE COMPANY ON SATURDAY, JULY 9

Live Theater Performances of Classic Stories for Young Audience Members Age 2 and Older

Gloucester Stage Company proudly continues Playtime Stories, an engaging combination of children’s stories, live performances and activities for ages 2 and older, on Saturday, July 9 at 10 am at Gloucester Stage, 267, East Main Street, Gloucester. Playtime Stories offers young children the unique opportunity to experience the fun and magic of live theater as they watch their favorite books come to life onstage. Following the performance audience members will be invited to join the Playtime Stories Company in fun and interactive workshops relating to the story. Each Saturday the Playtime Stories Company, consisting of members of Gloucester Stage’s apprentice company, veteran Youth Acting Workshop students and special guest narrators will perform a children’s story against the backdrop of the story’s illustrations as well as create a dynamic weekly series of interactive events related to the story. Each week Playtime Stories explores different stories ranging from classic fairy tales to new stories to works by local authors. The books for July 9 areCurious George and Little Bunny Foo Foo. Other Stories planned for July include July 16: Dr. Seuss Day: What Pet Should I Get? and The Cat in the Hat; July 23: Virginia Lee Burton Day: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shoveland The Little House; July 30Rumpelstiltskin and
Where the Wild Things Are.
  All Playtime Story performances are held at 10 am at Gloucester Stage, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. Admission is $5. For more information, call the Gloucester Stage Box Office at 978-281-4433or visit www.gloucesterstage.com

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