Tag Archives: GMG Qand A

GMG Question and Answers- Ed Collard

How long have you lived in Gloucester?25yrs   

What is your favorite season In Gloucester?
I enjoy them all but I’d have to pick summer  

Do you have any secret outdoor spots in Gloucester where you go to “get away”? My vague answer is the woods in West  Glou.
What is your favorite pizza joint in Gloucester? Sebastian’s

What is your favorite sub shop in Gloucester?Mikes

What place would you go for a romantic dinner in Gloucester?Franklin

What is your favorite bar in Gloucester? ‘Stones’ hands down. Really a pub more than a bar.

What is your favorite breakfast joint in Gloucester? There’s no way that I could pick. We’re blessed with so many great  breakfast joints.

What is your favorite local event in Gloucester? Fiesta.
In the summer do you prefer the beach or to be on a boat? Taking a boat to the beach.
Who is your favorite local artist? Very much like our Breakfast Joints to many to choose from. I will however tip my hat to Paul.  Paul’s Art Rocks series have touched many people in so many ways and brought attension to the varied artist we’re blessed with here.

Which is your favorite local beach? Wingarsheek
Who has the best chowder in town? Causeway   

Excluding GMG what is your second favorite local blog? Is there another?  I do go to Jay’s from time to time but I only have so much time.

Do you prefer haddock chowder or clam chowder? Haddock

What is your favorite Gloucester neighborhood? Mine

What is your favorite local band? Garfish

GMG Q&A Robert Newton- Head Cheese At The Cape Ann Community Cinema

Local Website everyone should know about (excluding GMG)
NorthShoreMovies.net. I’m wrangling all my unemployed movie critic friends to produce reviews and movie-related content.

How long have you lived in Gloucester?
Since the spring, but summers since birth. Actually, since before that. I’m pretty sure I was conceived in a cottage on Wheeler’s Point on Memorial Day in 1968.

What is your favorite season In Gloucester?
The fall, after the tourists and before the freeze.
Do you have any secret outdoor spots in Gloucester where you go to “get away”?
Lighthouse Beach after dark at low tide, when the bioluminescent microorganisms in the sand glow when you step on the soft damp sand, crushing their tiny, tiny exoskeletons.
What is your favorite pizza joint in Gloucester?
Sebastian’s. Best sauce ever. I think it comes from Heaven.
What is your favorite sub shop in Gloucester?
Virgilio’s, and not just because it’s next door.
What place would you go for a romantic dinner in Gloucester?
Squam Rock, despite the lingering fear of tripping and falling to my death.
What is your favorite bar in Gloucester?
I’m not a big drinker, but Dog Bar sure does make good sandwiches.
What is your favorite breakfast joint in Gloucester?
Two Sisters, and not just because it’s on my walk to work.
What is your favorite local event in Gloucester?
I love the community vibe of the Block Parties, and the total chaos of Fiesta.
In the summer do you prefer the beach or to be on a boat?
I’m a delicate flower and don’t take sun well, but give me a burn on a boat any day.
Who is your favorite local artist?
Haig Demarjian. His creations fascinate and scare me. His giant “Phantom” is looking at me right now.
Which is your favorite local beach?
Good Harbor. Egg salad sandwiches and Lik-A-Maids from the snack bar make some of my favorite childhood memories.
Who has the best chowder in town?
Last Stop. One of the things I miss most about showing movies in East Gloucester.
Excluding GMG what is your second favorite local blog?
Kenny MacCarthy’s BlynmanWatch.com
Do you prefer haddock chowder or clam chowder?
Clam chowder, no question about it (and do I even need to say “not Manhattan“?)
What were your thoughts on The Downtown Block Parties last year?
Extremely well organized, and I look forward to seeing them grow.
What is your favorite local band?
What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? Their debut album is a work of friggin’ aht.

GMG Q&A- Melissa Smith Abbott Part I (Buckle Up)

One of my favorite features of GMG is the Q&As   I just got back from vacation, opened my work email and had a questionnaire filled out by Melissa Smith Abbott that is a novel.  I’ll be breaking it up into parts because the blog formatting goes to shit when I try to format the entire thing.

Thank you so much Melissa for taking the time to write and share all you did, it’s awesome!

Hi Joey,

My name is Melissa Smith Abbott and I read your local blog fairly often. I work for the Gloucester Times as the Downtown Advertising Consultant. I have read your GMG Question and Answer column with interest but to tell you the truth the one word or even one sentence answers you mostly get from your interviews leave me wanting more. I startd thinking about what I would say if I was given a chance and today I wrote down some of my musings and really it is only a fraction of what I have thought up. I think your questions are provocative in a way that it makes me think about the history of things in Gloucester. I like delving into things a little more than the average person. I thought I would pass it on to you and if you feel guided maybe publish it but if it is too long, I understand. I have attached a recent photo of me with my husband Charlie Abbott’s 1st grandchild “Madison”.

How Long Have You Lived in Gloucester?

In June it will be 56 years. I was born at the Addison Gilbert Hospital and delivered by my mother’s father or grandfather, Dr. George Melvin Doyle,  who was a Doctor in Gloucester. The story goes that I tried to grab the scissors out of his hand when he went to cut the cord. The Doyles had come down from Prince Edward Island in Canada around 1895 and settled in Gloucester. Thier family had a big potato farm up in PEI and they also had timber so they built seine boats.  The family had gotten a land grant in PEI in 1805 and had come there from Wexford, Ireland. There are a couple of family legends about the Doyles from Wexford. One is that they were decedents of Charlmagne and the other was that it was either the prison ship or PEI and that’s how the family got there. My mother actually visited the family in PEI a few years ago and was shown the original china they brought with them in 1805. The family still owns the Potato farm there! The younger kids
who weren’t going to inherit the farm came down to Gloucester and worked in Giffords boat yard on Parker Street where The Rockport National Bank is presently.  They built working seine boats and pleasure sailing boats for the well to do customers too. My Great grandfather, Austin Doyle, ended up buying and running the boat yard from the Giffords sometime before WW1. He ran the place with his two sisters, Annie and Elizabeth. He died sometime in the early 1930’s and he had wanted my grandfather George Melvin Doyle to become an engineer but since his mother, Catherine Rice, had died at the hands of a quack doctor on Short Street in Gloucester somewhere around 1911, he had vowed to become a Doctor. He attended John Hopkins and was one of the only Doctors in Gloucester during the depression and WW2. He didn’t work for money, he just opened the back door of his house at 33 Middle Street and there would be things on the steps like fish, potatoes, molasses,
liquor…anything really. His 1st wife was Margaret “Peggy” Greenleaf from the West Gloucester Greenleafs. The Greenleafs were early settlers. My 10 greats grandfather on Peggy’s fathers side was Edmund Greenleaf who was a Hugonaut escaping religious persecution from Europe. Originally he was from England but had lived in Holland and worked as a silk dyer before buying a boat and captaining his flock to the new world. He was both the captain of the little ship that arrived in Newbury, MA on the Parker River around 1636 as well as the minister. His decedents were famous during the American Revolution and fought with General George Washington at Valley Forge. later they were given land grants in Westford, Maine for their service during the American Revolution. One of those decedents was named William Greenleaf and he and his brother Nathanial built themselves a schooner and came down to Gloucester around 1880’s or perhaps a little earlier. They were two
of the Highliner Halibut Schooner captains of thier day. This was at a time when the schooner fishing captains were like the Rock Stars and were extremely well respected. William was married to a pretty girl with long red hair he met in Nova Scotia named Mary Connors. There is some family story about a kidnapping or elopement but I am unclear of the details. This is the same family as the Connors Drugstore family. Anyway, they lived in Gloucester and misfortune did strike them when they lost a schooner on her maiden voyage. Her name was the “Henrietta Greenleaf” and on their shakedown cruise a huge storm and wind came up and capsized the boat killing several on board including Mary Connors Brother. William lived and was rescued but from that day forward he supported 5 of the family’s of the men he lost,  until he died in the 1930’s. No small feat in the earlier part of the last century.He was a real larger than life take charge kind of guy who was
fearless. He was the captain of the Grace L. Fears when Blackburn got lost on it and rowed to shore in the snowstorm. There are many legends and stories about him but he was known as “the best cusser in Gloucester” but he made of point of never swearing. So it seems he must have had some colorful language without taking the lords name in vain.
My father’s family the “Smith’s” didn’t come to Cape Ann until 1929 during the depression when they drove up here in a Model T from Connecticut (Originally they were from Scotland and Northern Ireland with a side trip to Wales for a while) to look at a Blacksmith Shop which was for sale in Rockport very cheap. The driver of the Model T was my great grandmother and she was named Melissa Collins (whose husband Allan Smith was a ships carpenter who traveled the world) and she came with her daughter (my grandmother) Melissa Collins Smith. They were shown a Forge Building on High Street in Rockport where the very popular Blacksmith had unfortunately committed suicide because everyone stopped using horses and started using automobiles. The building was practically unsalable to any locals because of the guilt the neighbors felt over his death. To make a very long story short, they bought the building and started The Blacksmith Shop Restaurant in 1929. The
Smith’s had several businesses on Cape Ann including The Andama Bread Company, The Easterly Inn, The Faraday Inn, and The Cable House Inn. I grew up working in the Smith family businesses and I was named after my Great grandmother and grandmother, Melissa. My grandmother Melissa Smith was a great mentor to me and at a time before women’s liberation, ran her businesses with a combination of cut throat fairness, kindness, and compassion. She absolutely loved and lived to cook. I have all of her recipes on the website www.anadamabread.com . Many of them seem old fashioned in this day and age but I can assure you in their day, they were state of the art delicious.  I have many recipes for old time Gloucester Specialties on this website so check it out.