Category Archives: Good eggs


Laura Lepionka writes,

Hello Folks,

She simply didn’t believe me. There was no way that there could be carrots growing in her school garden because all she could see was a bunch of green leaves. But this little kindergartener from Veterans School had the surprise of her life when she reached down, scraped at the soil surface and found some orange! In the next moment she was yanking a carrot out of the ground along with her classmates and holding it up in the air with the biggest smile.

Please join us this year by donating to our end-of-year campaign in conjunction with Giving Tuesday, which is TODAY!

Why Backyard Growers this season? School, community, and backyard gardens yield delicious veggies, increase access to nature, provide learning opportunities, and improve children’s health — But more than that, gardens grow community and a powerful source of self-reliance.

This Giving Tuesday, help Backyard Growers strengthen our work serving Gloucester’s families and children. When you give today the first $2,250 we receive will be matched by three of our generous donors. This match represents a year’s worth of garden supplies for our district-wide Salad Days and Fall Harvest Days programs in Gloucester’s elementary schools. Double your impact and help us meet our match! Our partner, The Giving Common, will cover credit card fees so that 100% of your donation goes to Backyard Growers.

Please click the link to make your donation:

Thank you!

Lara Lepionka, Executive Director
Backyard Growers
269 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930



The One Hour at a Time Gang Clean UP

clean upFirst Happy Thanksgiving..
Saturday Clean up
Where: Main Street
When: Saturday, November 28, 2015
Time: 8:00 – 9:00
Please park at near City Hall since it is also Small Business Saturday and the building of the Lobster Trap Tree.


Set electrician Alec Roy, from Watertown, reports from Russell Orchards (the current Katie Fforde base camp) that filming will continue on the Northshore at least through Thanksgiving. We talked a bit about the film tax credit and he made a point of thanking everyone who supported, and is continuing to support, the film tax credit. Sending a huge shout out to our Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante for all her tremendous work in preserving the credit and undoubtedly saving thousands of well paying jobs!!!

Saturday’s Clean Up

Good Morning All:

 Saturday’s Clean Up

 Where:                 Pavilion Beach and St. Peter’s Parking lot

Time:                    8:00 – 9:00

When:                  Saturday, November 14, 2015


Please bring gloves, etc. 

 I have my grandchildren so will not be there.  If anyone needs bags can bring them to you today.

 Stay warm and dry and thank a Veteran


Thanksgiving Food Drive with North Shore 104.9 Saturday, November 21st

12234845_10153145630601771_3034007594913679439_nNorth Shore 104.9 and State Senator Bruce Tarr and Representatives Ann-Margaret Ferrante and Brad Hill will join The Open Door in a one-day Food Drive Extravaganza! Drop by with food donations at these locations:

In Gloucester:
Market Basket at Gloucester Crossing
Shaw’s on Eastern Avenue
Stop & Shop on Thatcher Road

In Ipswich:
Shaw’s on High Street in Ipswich (for Ipswich Food Pantry)
Market Basket in Rowley (with the help of the YMCA and will help benefit Acord Food Pantry)

Items most needed: Cereal, 100% juice, tuna, peanut butter.

If you would like to volunteer, hit us up at

WWII photo exhibit at City Hall

Hi Joey,
Titled the “World War II Veterans Portrait Project”  the free exhibit, is taking place at City Hall, in the Kyrouz Auditorium. 
This is an inspiring  project that was put together by Jason Grow, a prominent portrait photographer that we are so lucky to have in Gloucester!  59 WWII Veterans from Cape Ann will be featured; the portraits are all black-and-white and each 16 by 24 inches. 
There are four women in these portraits and Jason admits that he wish he could have found more to represent.  As the male soldiers were dubbed the “Greatest Generation”, I think that the women of the WWII era should be known as being from “The Gracious Generation”.  These women fought hard in and out of the military.  As a caregiver myself, I have seen so many of these women caring for their husbands.  They do this with poise, dignity, and without ever complaining; women that all future generations should aspire to emulate.
Here are two photos of my father, Ralph Hendrickson, who will be one of the 59 honored in the display.  One photo here shows him as a 19 year old just entering the army.  The other is Ralph 81 years later, still a humble and grateful man.
Cheers to these fine men and women!
All the Best,
Cindy Hendrickson

Dad - WWIIDad's first wheelchair ride in Gloucester (1)

Rotary Club of Gloucester Supports International Surgeries

Rotary Club of Gloucester Supports International Surgeries

The Rotary Club of Gloucester recently sponsored a medical mission to the Philippines through Rotaplast International, a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, CA. The club’s support allowed for 122 surgical procedures to be performed on patients in Cebu City, on a south central island in the Philippines. Medical treatments focused on surgically repairing cleft lips, cleft palates and dental work for patients aging three months to 35 years. Medical Director Evelyn Abad explained, “Often children and adults with these deformities are shunned by their community. We give them a second chance to smile.”

The medical team consisted of eight non-medical volunteers from Rotary Clubs in the Greater Boston area as well as a team of surgeons, anaesthesiologists, nurses and Rotarians from California, Washington, Hawaii, and South Dakota. With three operating tables in use, the team was able to complete 122 surgical procedures and over 300 dental procedures. All medical treatment was free of charge to patients and many travelled up to six hours to visit the hospital in the central part of Cebu City. The team was supported locally by Filipino volunteers from the Rotary Club of Cebu City Port Center.

For photos and videos of the medical mission, visit  and click “2015 Rotaplast Mission” under the Club Information section.

About Rotaplast
Rotaplast International, Inc. is committed to helping children and families worldwide by eliminating the burden of cleft lip and/or palate, burn scarring, and other deformities. Working with local professionals, Rotarians, and other organizations, Rotaplast sends multidisciplinary medical teams to provide free reconstructive surgery, ancillary treatment, and training for the comprehensive care of these children and adults. Rotaplast supports education and research towards prevention of cleft lip and/or palate. Their aim is to help local professionals build sustainable models for the care of these patients. For more information on Rotaplast, a non-profit charity, visit

Nearly 190 patients came to be seen by the Rotaplast team on the hospital’s 5th floor which was set up as a temporary staging area for the patients.


Cleft lip surgeries required the patients to stay in the hospital two nights.


3-month old Kobe was the youngest patient treated this year


A Mother’s Prayers From Virginia McKinnon

Hi Joey, I would like to share this story with you and your readers of “A Mother’s Prayers”.
I am continuing my classes at the Gloucester Veterans Writing Workshop. The facilitator,
Dorothy S. Nelson, has been a wonderful inspiration and teacher to me, as I continue to write
my husband, Robert Hilary McKinnon’s, WW2 war stories. This story was written as a class assignment
on “Returning, Coming Home, Back Home”   after the war in my voice or someone else’s voice.
Saturday, November 7, 2015 1-4pm my husband at age 91 will be one of Cape Ann World War 11 Veterans
honored at the City Hall. I want to thank Jason Grow for his dedication to our veterans with his
Exhibition of Photographs of “Our Greatest Generation.”   

Mother’s Prayers by Robert McKinnon, as told to his wife, Virginia

Mother's Prayers Photo

Returning from the Navy after World War 2 in February 1946, I was sorrowed to find my mother’s health had declined. She had suffered several strokes. She was unable to greet me at the train depot, now weak, and frail. I believe my Mom was also a causality of WW2. My half-brother “Buster,” a Marine, was stationed at Pearl Harbor, I remember, how my Mom cried, when she heard the news of the “Attack of Pearl Harbor”. My Mom would sing to me “I didn’t raise my son to be a solider, I raised him to be my pride and joy.” My half-brother, Woodrow, was drafted. I was drafted and I had no choice, but also to serve my country. Mom cried when I left. A little banner was hung in the window with three stars, three sons in the military. My Dad and sister related to me how my Mom would look at our pictures and her heart would be breaking with worry. She was overcome with grief, more than she could bear. Dad stated Mom spent many hours in church, praying fervently for our safe return. Mom embrace the Catholic faith, receiving the sacrament of Confirmation, same day as my sister Margaret in 1935.

On the living room wall hung a portrait of my Mom, as a young lady, blond, beautiful and angelic. No wonder my Dad fell in love with her. He was just discharged, as a Chief Petty Office, from the Navy after World War 1.

Mom was a widow with three small sons. Dad married her and later her aged parents, my grandparents, Rachel and Gabriel came to live with us. I remember Mom playing hopscotch and jump rope with the neighbor kids on Washington Square. She was always laughing and a very happy, strong person, loving to cook wonderful dinners and dedicating her life to nurture and love all of her family

Mom was bedridden for six years. My Dad had a nurse come daily to care for Mom, while we were all at work. She would laugh, when I hugged her and told her jokes. Her love for me so apparent in her eyes. Secretly, she would ask my sister and niece to invite some nice girls to visit, looking for a companion for me. I believe her goal was to have me married and cared for before she went to

heaven. I had no interest in the girls they invited. Mom suffered several more strokes, losing her speech.

One day while I was walking up Duncan Street on my way to Sterling’s for my “mug-up” coffee break, looking in the window of Johnson’s Insurance office, there she was, the girl of my dreams. It was love at first site. One day I saw her walking home on Middle Street, as I was leaving the YMCA. I was too shy to approach her. Working on the engine of the F/V American Eagle, I inquired to my friend, Peter, “I would like to be formally introduced to the girl in the insurance office.” To my surprise Peter stated “That girl is my niece.” Peter arranged a meeting. Our meeting was magical in April 1953. Soon we were dating and married on Thanksgiving Day the same year. During our courtship, we visited my Mom often. After the wedding our first stop was to visit my mother. She was bedridden with no speech. Looking at me and my new bride, my mother cried tears of joy, as her prayers had been answered. I heard my wife tell my Mom she would take good care of me. I was a lucky man.

A few weeks later, just like on my wedding day, I was walking down the aisle of Saint Ann’s Church. This time following my mother’s casket for my Mom’s Funeral Mass. At age sixty-four my Mom was now at peace.

Yes, as I look at my life today, I realize my mother’s prayers were answered. I just celebrated my 91st Birthday on Halloween, a loving family of seven children, eight grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren at my side at the Gloucester House for a grand celebration. My mother would have been so proud. She had a special love for children. Thanksgiving Day I will celebrate my 62nd Wedding Anniversary. Holidays are so special for family gatherings.

A mother’s love is a precious gift, her prayers are powerful. My Mom’s three sons returned safely from WW2. Now I treasure memories of my angel Mom, so grateful for her care and concern for my well-being and happiness, as I believe she continues to watch over and bless me from her home in heaven.

Virginia (Frontiero) McKinnon November 2015

Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team at the Green Energy and Sustainability Fair

Logos.AIRick Roth writes,

I know it was a while ago now, but we did have a very nice pumpkin carving session the other week there. Good crowd. Lots of great pumpkins.  Check ’em out on the Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team facebook page.

Saturday  November 7, 2015  9am-4pm
Green Energy & Sustainability Fair
Gloucester High School Field House.  We’ll be there with a bunch of snakes, and maybe some frogs and salamanders.  This may be our last event of the year.  We do have a couple volunteers, but we need more.

Please get in touch if you can help out.


Saturday One Hour at a Time Clean up

Good morning all:

clean up 

Hope everyone is doing well. 


When:                  Saturday, October 31, 2015

Time:                    8:00 – 9:00

Where:                 Wallace Pond


Directions from Magnolia Avenue

Turn right onto Essex Avenue

Turn right onto Cole Avenue


The following link will help give you a map




2,000 tulip bulbs planted Saturday by Generous Gardeners

Hi Joey,

On Saturday morning 15 Generous Gardener volunteers planted 2,000 tulip bulbs at the Fishermen’s Wives Memorial.  The bulbs were purchased from proceeds from the annual Garden Tour with some funds from the Fishermen’s Wives.  Thank you to all who came to help.  Stay tuned for significantly expanded gardens after the seawall project is complete!

Susan Kelly


Saturday Clean Up

clean up

Saturday clean:
When:     Saturday, October 24, 2015
Time:       8:00 – 9:00
Where:    Myrtle Square

Please make sure you have GLOVES and sturdy shoes. This is a wetland area. If you really want to be productive wear something that will allow us to get into the wet area.

IT WAS BEX!!!!!!!!

2015-10-20 14.06.54

The sign maker was BEX!!!!  She had been working on it since May, she had us over for dinner and had it hidden the whole time!

Unbelieveable!!!  You know when you hear the term “Random acts of kindness”?  Well here you go.  Bex- one of the good ones!

How about that?  You know with my predictions of David Calvo and Bex yesterday, I had absolutely no idea, no clue who had done it.  wowzers, just wowzers.

Thank you so much Bex!

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