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The Sounds of Saugus

Guess Who Got Sketched for Dec2
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Good morning, Saugus!

  What a great day for Saugus to start its holiday/holy season.

  There are two big events happening today to usher in the season in majestic style. If you prefer to be inside this afternoon and tonight instead of shivering out in the cold, then check the MEG Foundation’s 12th Annual Christmas Tree Festival, which gets underway at 3 p.m. at the MEG Building (54-58 Essex St.). If you don’t mind the cold outdoors and love admiring Christmas lights, then the annual tree lighting ceremony at Saugus is a great place to hang out. A program full of family events gets underway at 5 p.m. Santa’s arrival at Town Hall and the actual tree lighting get underway at 7 p.m.

  I may hit town early today so I can hit both events. I love browsing all of the Christmas trees at the MEG and taking in the Xmas decorations in the old building. But my favorite is watching the Petting Zoo at the tree lighting ceremonies.

  Beginning in this week’s paper and lasting through December, The Saugus Advocate will run a comprehensive listing of holiday and holy events in a column titled “HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS AND BLESSINGS.” If you or your group has an event you would like posted, please send it and we’ll get it in the column.

Spreading the joy

  Last Saturday, I got to spend a few hours in the parking lot of the Saugus Senior Center. There was a dedicated contingent of Saugus Lions Club members greeting cars as they drove in to drop off presents for the Lions Club’s Third Annual Roaring Toy Drive.

  Whatever toys that the Lions picked up were turned over to retired Saugus Fire Capt. Bill O’Malley, who along with his wife, Carole, are among the driving forces of the Saugus Fire Department’s Toy Drive. Capt. O’Malley is a modest man who doesn’t like to take much credit for the amazing organization that’s been in place since he began the toy drive more than three decades ago.

  And the success of the toy drive shows that the town really has a big heart when it comes to brightening the holidays for needy and less fortunate people.

A “Shout Out” for Old Sachem

  Jeanie Bartolo, a frequent contributor to The Saugus Advocate and a longtime contributor to the “Shout Out” (She actually was the catalyst of the popular feature in this column) nominated Bill Stewart for this week:

  “This ‘Shout Out’ goes to Bill Stewart for being recognized for his 50 years as a Town Meeting Member representing Precinct 3. Our State Representative, Donald Wong, presented Bill with a Citation from the House of Representatives at last week’s Board of Selectmen meeting. I sought Bill’s opinion many times on issues regarding Town Meeting. His fund of knowledge of the town always amazed me and I sorely miss him being at Town Meeting. Bill is also on the Housing Authority as well and the author of the Advocate’s weekly “The Old Sachem” column. This Citation is an honor so well deserved. Congratulations Bill!!”


Want to “Shout Out” a fellow Saugonian?

  This is an opportunity for our paper’s readers to single out – in a brief mention – remarkable acts or achievements by Saugus residents or an act of kindness or a nice gesture. Just send an email (mvoge@comcast.net) with a mention in the subject line of “An Extra Shout Out.” No more than a paragraph; anything longer might lend itself to a story and/or a photo.

We have a winner!

  Congratulations to Debra Panetta for making the right identification in last week’s “Guess Who Got Sketched” Contest. Debra is one of several readers answering correctly, but she was the only one to have her name picked in a drawing from the green Boston Red Sox cap.

  Here’s the correct answer, offered by the person who goes by the name of The Sketch Artist:

  “The answer to last week’s sketch is Ron Wallace.

  “So far, Ron wins the prize as being the most popular sketch in 2 1/2 years!

  “Congratulations Ron!

  “Ron has been at countless fundraisers, Volunteer efforts and Town functions too numerous to name but the people see him even if he’s picking up old dirty trash on the Northern bike strand behind a fence in Spring’s early thaw or picking up trash in September’s rain.

  “Ron is a Saugus High class of ‘87’ and still has his high-school buddies as best friends that in itself would give clues to why Ron’s so popular …because he’s a faithful good friend to keep.

  “Ron is a Precinct 5 Town Meeting Member and in his fourth 2 year term. Will it be his last? … Well, not if the people can convince him otherwise lol.

  “He assists with fundraisers car shows (antique cars are among his favorite his friends say.)

  “Ron pitches in on trails and park clean ups and on cemetery concerns and over all community betterment projects. Ron is usually spotted behind the scenes, busily happily completing tasks and assignments.

  “Ron took it upon himself to clean two headstones that were barely readable from too many years of overgrown algae etc.

  “Now Benjamin Newhall Johnson (saugonian who owned Breakheart Reservations land and gave it freely to the State for All walks of life and animal habitats to enjoy!) He took out the D-2 Bio Solution and soft brush and wooden stick and brightened up Isabelle Louise Hallin’s grave also in Riverside Cemetery.

  “Ron’s wife Amy taught Special Education in Lynn Schools; two of their children, Abigail and Andrew are successfully off on their college paths and Alex is a student at Saugus Middle School.

  “Throughout the years Ron, Amy and kids are seen enjoying life as a family throughout our memorable Saugus events.

  “Ron, keep on blazing those trails!

  “You sure have a lot of fans!

  “Yours Truly,

  “The Sketch Artist”

Friends of Breakheart notes

  This note from Peter Rossetti, Jr., of the Friends of Breakheart:

  On Sunday, Nov. 20, Breakheart Reservation hosted its annual Turkey Trot at 177 Forest Street in Saugus. Approximately 80 runners and walkers attended this year. The winner for the men’s division was Andrew Breck of Melrose with a time of 18 minutes for the 5k run which was an excellent time. Frankly he wasn’t even breathing hard when he crossed the finish line! The winner of the woman’s division was Freddi Triback of Lynn with a time of 27 minutes, also an excellent time. The last runner coming in was Bob Schrater of Salem.

  After the race there was a raffle with an assortment of turkeys, hams, and gift cards with the grand prize being a truck load of split wood donated by the DCR. It was a perfect day for a race; the weather was cool but not frigid so even the spectators were comfortable. It is always refreshing to see the camaraderie among the runners. We would like to acknowledge and thank the DCR, The Friends of Breakheart, Rossetti Insurance, and Bob Nazzaro for supplying the refreshments, and raffle prizes.

  The next event sponsored by the DCR is the First Day Hike on New Year’s Day. It is a wonderful way to start the New Year. Please check newspapers and flyers for further updates.

  Other activities are being planned to include the famous Maple Sugaring event and a park clean up when the weather improves. If interested in getting involved with the Friends Group, please call 781-233-1855 X19.

  Happy Holidays and look forward to seeing you at the Park.

Garden Club News

  Laura Eisener submitted this information on recent and upcoming Saugus Garden Club activities:

  The Saugus Garden Club held its popular Thanksgiving Centerpiece workshop at St. John’s Church recently and 43 beautiful flower arrangements were made, including some for shut-ins who might like something to brighten up their surroundings!

  There were ample refreshments, worthy of a Thanksgiving table, and a wonderful time was had by all. Volunteers prepared the containers in advance by attaching floral foam. Participants got a nice selection of ferns, varied chrysanthemum stems, purple statice, small carnations, wheat stalks, and plaid ribbon in fall colors to design their beautiful creations.

  The next Garden Club event will be wreath decorating on Saturday December 3 at 1 p.m. at St. John’s Church. If you wish to attend, call Donna Manoogian at 617-240-9003. Reservations are required because space is limited.

Legion breakfasts

  Saugus American Legion Post 210 is hosting its popular breakfasts from 8-9 a.m. on Fridays. The price is $8 for those who are looking for a delicious meal at Legion Hall. Bon appétit!

Drivers, beware of the deer!

  It’s about this time every year that I start thinking about deer and the damage they can do to your car if you’re not careful.

  Just last week, as I pulled into my driveway, I saw a deer leaving my yard and going into the street. A few weeks earlier, I had to make a quick stop to avoid hitting a deer that darted out of the woods and pranced in front of my car.

  I’ve had a lot of close encounters with deer over the years, perhaps none as earth-shattering as the time I got knocked down by one inside a store. Back in December of 1975, when I was the Williamstown bureau chief for The North Adams Transcript, I had a notorious encounter with Mother Nature. I was picking up some laundry at Drummond’s Cleaners when I got knocked down while leaning over the counter. A scared 150-pound doe came crashing through the side window, cutting itself and scaring witnesses inside the store.

  “Deer season opened today, but merchants on Spring Street are probably wondering who is hunting whom,” I wrote in my lead paragraph for that afternoon’s front-page story. “Three large plate glass windows were shattered within a few minutes. There were no injuries, but the doe did brush up against the back of this reporter after breaking the first window at Drummond’s.

  “This reporter was trying to figure out whether a sports car had crashed up against the side of the building. Once he got his bearings straight, he was staring down at the nose of a hefty, terrorized animal,” the story continued.

  It’s been 47 years since that harrowing experience. But I can still remember my first reaction was to rush into the restroom, then I ran out, my heart pounding wildly as I tried to make sense of things. “The front door wouldn’t quite open for the reporter’s escape. But doe’s destination was the front window…..” I wrote.

  After smashing that window, the doe sprung across Spring Street right into the front window of a sporting goods store. The doe shattered the front window of Goff’s Sports Inc. but did not penetrate inside the building because of a backboard for a parka display. Witnesses said they saw a hoof kicking around.

  The doe was temporarily stunned and lying down in the street. A passing mailman thought the deer was dead. But, when he went to touch it, she sprang up quickly and took off down the street and into the woods.

  When I got back to the office, my editor told me I was all over the local radio station in North Adams. So he wanted me to write a first person story for the front page about the opening day of deer hunting season in Massachusetts. I remember I was still shaking an hour after the incident as I began writing my story, which was headlined “Doe invades Spring Street. Deer season opens with a crash of glass.”

  Since that incident, I’ve had many close encounters in my car with deer, one time having to jam on my breaks on Nantucket Island to let a family of six cross the road. But, fortunately, I never hit a deer. Knock on wood.

“Holly Jolly” coming to The Kowloon

  The Kowloon Restaurant announced that the Holly Jolly Holiday Party with the Platters® Very Merry Christmas Show is slated for Friday, Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Showtime is 8 p.m. The Platters are set to perform live in concert – playing all their hits and holiday tunes. Tickets are $25 per person. All seats are reserved. The Platters – hailed a rock and roll, vocal, and Grammy® Halls of Fame group – will be joined by special guests Smokin’ Joe & the Henchmen. Kowloon food and beverage services will be available. For tickets: online ordering, front desk.

Compost/Recycling Drop-Off Site closing for winter

  The Town of Saugus Compost/Recycling Drop-Off Site will close for the winter season on Saturday, Dec.10 at 2 p.m. The site will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on December 10, prior to closing. The site will reopen for recycling on the third Saturday of the month in January, February and March, weather permitting.

  Please contact Scott Brazis, Director of Solid Waste/Recycling, at 781-231-4036 with any questions.

What’s happening at the Saugus Public Library

  For schoolchildren looking for interesting projects and programs to participate in this fall, there’s plenty to do at the Saugus Public Library.

  Just Sew! Saugonians are welcome to join a monthly sewing class for adults that will be held the third Monday of each month from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Community Room of Saugus Public Library. The next meeting is Monday, Dec. 19. The class will cover basic topics like sewing buttons, hemming clothing and mending torn fabric and will move on to more advanced topics in the coming weeks. This class is free. (See sauguspubliclibrary.org.)

  A neat teen group called Manga & Anime Club: The Manga & Anime Club, from all accounts, is a lot of fun for kids in Grades 6 and up. So, if you are curious, check out the Teen Room. Chat with friends! Make crafts! Try Japanese snacks! Club meetings will continue on Saturdays through May from 10-11 a.m. They will be held on Dec. 10, Jan. 7, Feb. 4, March 4, April 1 and May 13. Please sign up in advance; call 781-231-4168 or stop by the Reference Desk (Saugus Public Library 295 Central St., Saugus, Mass.; https://www.sauguspubliclibrary.org/new-manga-anime-club…/)

Christmas tree festival at the MEG

  The MEG Foundation has announced its schedule for the 12th Annual Christmas Tree Festival. The festival dates are

  • Dec. 2 & 3 from 3 to 8 p.m.
  • Dec. 4 from 1 to 6 p.m.
  • Dec. 9 & 10 from 3 to 8 p.m.
  • Santa arrives on Dec. 10 for photos from 4:30 to 6 p.m. There will also be a Petting Zoo on the front lawn from 5 to 7 p.m.
  • Dec.11: Winners can pick up trees at the MEG from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  For more information, contact Linda Ross at 781-233-4607.

First Baptist Church presents “Can We Talk…”

  First Baptist Church Pastor Leroy Mahoney invites troubled people to join others in a special program called “Can We Talk … Community conversations on Trauma and Healing” the first Thursday of every month from 6 to 7 p.m. at Rev. Isaac Mitchell Jr. Fellowship Hall (105 Main St. in Saugus.)

  “Join us as we gather in community to share our stories, thoughts and feelings about whatever you are going through,” Rev. Mahoney states in a written announcement.

  “As always, it is a safe space to come together in community,” he says.

Wreaths Across America

  On December 17 at noon the Parson Roby Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (MA0136P) is sponsoring their second Wreaths Across America event, helping both Riverside Cemetery and the Old Burying Ground Cemetery to remember and honor veterans by laying remembrance wreaths on the graves of our country’s fallen heroes.

  “To sponsor your wreath(s) at $15 each or to volunteer to help place wreaths on December 17, please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/MA0136P or use the QR code. There will be a brief ceremony at noon to honor all branches of the military followed by laying wreaths on our fallen heroes. Invite your friends and family to join us in honoring our servicemen and women. The cut-off date to order is Nov. 28.

  “2021 was our first year sponsoring this event, which had over 360 wreaths sponsored. The community really stepped up and we are grateful for all the support we received. However, there are more than 1500 veterans’ graves in Riverside and we are hoping that between the community and businesses there will be enough sponsored wreaths to cover all those graves this year.”

  The Daughters of the American Revolution’s mission is to preserve American history and secure America’s future through education and promoting patriotism. For more information on how to participate or “What We Do” email the Parson Roby Chapter DAR at parsonroby.saugusdar@gmail.com.

Healthy Students-Healthy Saugus

  (Editor’s Note: The following info is from an announcement submitted by Julie Cicolini, a member of the Board of Directors for Healthy Students-Healthy Saugus.)

  Who we are: Healthy Students-Healthy Saugus (HS2) is a nonprofit group of volunteers who are helping to offset food insecurity in households. HS2 provides students/families who enroll in the program a supply of nutritious food for when school lunches and breakfasts are unavailable to them on weekends.

  How HS2 can help you: HS2 bags are distributed at Saugus Public schools on Fridays to take home. Bags include such items as peanut butter, canned meals/soups/tuna/vegetables, pasta, fruit cups, cereal, oatmeal, goldfish, pretzels and granola bars. All food is provided to children free of charge. It is our hope these resources will support the health, behavior and achievement of every student who participates. To sign up go here to complete online form: https://forms.gle/gmMGguycSHBdziuE9.

  Want to partner with us: We would love to partner with organizations, sports teams, youth groups, PTOs, businesses and individuals to assist in feeding students of Saugus. To learn more about how you can partner with us, visit the Healthy Students-Healthy Saugus Facebook page or email us at HS2Saugus@gmail.com

  HS2 relies on donations to create take-home bags with a weekend full of meals. Checks can also be sent directly to: Salem Five C/O Healthy Students-Healthy Saugus, 855-5 Broadway, Saugus, MA 01906. Online donations can also be made at https://givebutter.com/HealthySaugus.

“Throwback Saturdays” at Kowloon

  The Kowloon Restaurant announces its December entertainment calendar with “Throwback Saturdays” featuring DJ RMC spinning hip-hop, top 40, dance, disco and Latin tunes in the Hong Kong Lounge Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Here’s the December Comedy Show Lineup:

  Mike Donovan

  Dec. 2 & 3

  “Showtime featuring The Best Damn Sports Show Period” – Jay Whitaker and Pat Collins.

  Brad Mastrangelo

  Dec. 9 & 10

  “Comics Come Home” – Corey Manning and James Hamilton

  Frank Santorelli

  Dec. 17

  from “The Sopranos” – Matt Barry and Andrew Volpe

  Comedy shows start at 8 p.m. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $20.00 per person. DJ music from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. For tickets: online ordering, front desk or charge-by-phone; call the Kowloon Restaurant at 781-233-0077.

Let’s hear it!

  Got an idea, passing thought or gripe you would like to share with The Saugus Advocate? I’m always interested in your feedback. It’s been six and a half years since I began work at The Saugus Advocate. I’m always interested in hearing readers’ suggestions for possible stories or good candidates for “The Advocate Asks” interview of the week. Feel free to email me at mvoge@comcast.net.

  Do you have some interesting views on an issue that you want to express to the community? Submit your idea. If I like it, we can meet for a 15- to 20-minute interview over a hot drink at a local coffee shop. And I’ll buy the coffee or tea. Or, if you prefer to continue practicing social distancing and be interviewed from the safety of your home on the phone or via email, I will provide that option to you as the nation recovers from the Coronavirus crisis.

  If it’s a nice day, my preferred site for a coffee and interview would be the picnic area of the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site.


Guess Who Got Sketched for Dec2

GUESS WHO GOT SKETCHED! If you know the right answer, you might win the contest. In this week’s edition, we continue our weekly feature where a local artist sketches people, places and things in Saugus. Got an idea who was sketched this week? If you do, please email me at mvoge@comcast.net or leave a phone message at 978-683-7773. Anyone who between now and Tuesday at noon identifies the Saugonian sketched in this week’s paper qualifies to have their name put in a green Boston Red Sox hat with a chance to be selected as the winner of a $10 gift certificate, compliments of Hammersmith Family Restaurant at 330 Central St. in Saugus. But you have to enter to win! Look for the winner and identification in next week’s “The Sounds of Saugus.” Please leave your mailing address in case you are a winner. (Courtesy illustration to The Saugus Advocate by a Saugonian who goes by the name of “The Sketch Artist”)

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