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The Sounds of Saugus

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Back-to-School countdown

  Hey, Saugus kids! Hope you’ve made the most of your summer vacation, as you will be headed back to school next week. Classes begin on Tuesday (Aug. 30) for students in grades 1 to 12. Kindergarten and pre-K classes start on Wednesday (Aug. 31). Enjoy the remaining days of your summer. Read a little. Have fun. Relax.

  If you are interested in local places to visit to spice up your summer, go to the Saugus Public Library, the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site, Breakheart Reservation, the Youth & Recreation Department or the Saugus Senior Center. Collectively, these places offer a lot of summertime options for Saugus residents.

Show some respect for Old Glory

  Recently, we received a few disappointing reports about tattered and torn American flags flying on staffs outside town municipal buildings. It seems this is an issue that surfaces periodically. And, when it does, it should be addressed as soon as possible.

  Since U.S. Army Vietnam War Era veteran Joe Johnson brought this to our attention this week, we’ll share from his emails and hope that Saugus town and school officials respond promptly to replace the flags.

  “As I drive and walk around our town, I’ve noticed that our American flags are being flown tattered and torn. The flags at our new SHS are in poor condition as well as the flag at the World Series Park,” Joe wrote in his email to The Saugus Advocate.

  “As an Army veteran I’m upset. I’ve aired my complaint at the Veterans Council and to a few town officials. I’ve been told that it will be taken care of. Simple solution is to take down the damaged flags as it is against federal law to fly a tattered torn U.S. flag,” Joe said. “I understand that they may not have enough American flags to replace but they can at least remove the torn ones. It looks terrible seeing them fly like that. And is against federal law. I hope they take the torn flags down and respectively dispose of them.”

  Joe apparently shared his concerns with several selectmen and a member of the Saugus Council on Aging. I understand the Board of Selectmen’s Office has also been fielding a few complaints from concerned citizens who feel the same way as Joe. Hopefully, the powers that be read this and take care of the situation quickly.

Some quality time off

  I am back on the job after enjoying some time off over the past two weeks resting, relaxing and doing some fun things unrelated to newspapering. For the folks who ask me how my vacation went, my standard answer will be as always: “There’s no such thing as bad time off.”

  I didn’t go on any special trip this year. And I didn’t focus my time on a major home improvement project like last year, when I spent most of my two weeks gathering and removing clutter from my garage. I decided at the outset that I would spend my time stringing together some day trips while visiting friends and relatives that I haven’t gotten to see a lot of since before the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020.

  There’s no question the highlight of my trip was visiting my 91-year-old aunt in Danville, N.H. Elsie Rondeau is my late dad’s sister and my only living aunt. I wanted to take her out. But she insisted that I drive up to visit her one day and join her and her daughter, Sharon, who I haven’t seen in many years. We had a great lunch. My cousin brought some very tasty pizza to my aunt’s house.

  As we enjoyed the pizza, some huge and well-fed hummingbirds entertained us at the feeder set up near the front porch. I’ve never seen humming birds as big as these birds hovering in the air, oblivious to people nearby watching them.

  After lunch, I spent about four hours sitting on the couch in my Aunt Elsie’s living room, catching up on things and sharing memories about people from our past. Four hours sitting on a couch, and the time just zipped by. It was amazing how my Aunt Elsie was able to share wonderful memories and stories of the past. She’s very articulate and still has a great memory and a great sense of humor. It was special – leisurely spending an afternoon with the sister of my dad, who has been gone for over 30 years. My aunt has got some mobility issues but points out proudly that she does about six miles a day on her exercise bike.

  There are not too many people I would spend four hours of casual conversation with. That’s a long time. But it was well worth the time with my Aunt Elsie. She’s great. And I wish I would have spent more time with her.

  All in all, it was a great vacation. I did get up to Portland, Maine, to enjoy a baked, stuffed lobster at Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room – a place I haven’t been to since 1975. Back when I was a young reporter based in the Bridgton-Fryeburg area for The Portland Press Herald, I would occasionally splurge on a good seafood meal at Boone’s – a popular restaurant on Portland Harbor since 1898. I really loved the place back then when life was less complex.

  Oh my, have things changed. There wasn’t any parking issue back then. But I wound up spending $40 for parking this time on the Portland waterfront. The parking and the $14 in Maine and New Hampshire turnpike tolls combined cost the same as the $54 for the baked stuffed lobster. The total lunch bill came to $114 – a lot more than what I paid on the last time I dined at Boone’s.

  Another high point of my vacation was a day trip to Nantucket. I got up at 5 a.m. one day and picked up my UMass Amherst college buddy Bob Callahan in Woburn. We got down to Hyannis in time to catch the first steamship to the island. We arrived at 11:30, had lunch and spent about six hours and six miles walking around the island, visiting places we used to go to during the three years I lived and worked out there when I was editor of the now-defunctNantucket Beacon. The steamship trip was two hours and 15 minutes each way.

  I didn’t run into any friends and acquaintances during my time on the island. I walked into the Nantucket Town & County Building to see if anyone remained since I left the island 26 years ago. Libby Gibson had worked as an administrator back at the time I left. She’s still around and became town manager when Nantucket changed its form of government from the town administrator position.

  I got to enjoy some cookouts with a few other close friends.

  So, yes, indeed, it was a great vacation.

Navy Band Concert canceled

  The Friends of Breakheart were looking forward to hosting the U.S. Navy Band’s “Rhode Island Sound Machine” on Wednesday (Aug. 24). But the forest fires at Breakheart Reservation forced the cancellation of this week’s concert.

  “We’re going to try to reschedule, but we don’t know what date yet,” said Peter A Rossetti Jr. of the Friends of Breakheart. “This is a free concert and a very popular one that’s been enjoyed by local residents over the years. Unfortunately, it got canceled because of the fires.”

  We’ll keep you posted on whether the event can be rescheduled this year and related details.

This event is proudly cosponsored by the nonprofit, all-volunteer Friends of Breakheart Reservation and the state Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR).

We have a winner!

  Congratulations to Linda Pogson for making the right identification in last week’s “Guess Who Got Sketched!” contest. Linda was 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:

  “This sketch of the week was a tough sketch to complete without giving into cravings of ice cream and frozen yogurts! Five pounds later…

  “The sketch is of the generous Ms. Sharon Cacciola

  “Sharon and her husband Paul and son Stephen became owners of Soc’s Ice-cream in 2014.

  “Stephen, their son, is an experienced ice cream maker.

  “The Cacciola’s kept the Soc’s name, which was named after the previous owner Socrates.

  “Soc’s hand crafts and churns out ice cream daily. Soc’s ice cream has a delicious unique creamy, yet thick texture. Soc’s was recognized for being one of the distinguished ice cream places in Massachusetts by WBZ Boston!

  “The Cacciolas’ Soc’s ice cream was featured in The Saugus Advocate Aug. 5 edition, Front cover “A Great Saugus Scoop” & “Here’s the Real Scoop” article & photos by Mark E. Vogler & page 10; and Aug.12 edition, pg 8 “A Delicious Day” by Mark E. Vogler.

  “Sharon provided Saugus Youth and Recreation Dept. Summer Camp children and staff with over 100 ice creams and toppings at the outdoor pavilion at the World Series Park hosted by WBZ Boston! Sharon’s Ice Cream palace Soc’s includes many flavors of ice cream; soft and hard styles as well as slushes, sundaes and other sweet & non sweet treats. Sharon found an old ice-cream cart and restored it to a Soc’s lovely old fashioned Ice-cream cart.

  “Soc’s is a wonderful relaxing place for an ice cream! It’s a place you see many friends and families gather! Soc’s is located at 67 Lynn Fells Parkway. They are open every day from Noon to 10 p.m. 1-781-233-0009. On their website you can sign up on “Soc’s “get the scoop stay in the loop” email.

  “Soc’s patio is lit for a pleasurable evening nested right up against nature! Sitting out back amidst views of nature, birds and crickets chirp filling the air with a euphony of surround sound.

  “Back in June at Soc’s, a friend and I enjoyed a visit from a little brown baby rabbit who stayed close by my side till he scampered off into the brush. Such an enjoyable place and fabulous tasting ice creams!

  “Keep creating fabulous slurrys for wonderful tasting ice cream flavors! What amazing artistic decor & talent!

  “Thank you

  “P.S. At Soc’s, it’s a misty Monday night 7:45 p.m. and a friend and I stood in line to get a kiddie coffee ice cream cone to enjoy and view the outdoor patio cafe; Rejoicing it’s raining to ease the efforts of the firefighters at Breakheart!

  “Yours Truly,

  “The Sketch Artist”

A Shout Out to firefighters

  We didn’t receive any nominations from readers this week on folks who should be recognized publicly for contributions to the betterment of Saugus, good deeds or heroic acts. So, as I usually do when I don’t receive reader nominations for “Shout Outs,” I will recommend some worthy candidates to shower with praise.

  And this week is easy. How about a thousand “Shout Outs!” for the men and women who stepped up – as paid firefighters and volunteers – for pitching in to help out as firefighters battled the fires at Breakheart Reservation. Many of these firefighters are in harm’s way, along with folks from various agencies that are working alongside them. “Shout Outs” for any citizen volunteers and local officials for their good deeds to provide backup support, whether it be food, water and/or provisional supplies, to the folks out there who have been battling the fires over the past week.

  Shout Outs to the men and women from fire departments in surrounding communities who contributed in the way of mutual aid to Saugus, covering the Central Fire Station and responding to fires and emergencies while Saugus firefighters have been at Breakheart.

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.

Summer Concert Series concludes Wednesday

  The National Park Service and Saugus Public Library have been cosponsoring a free Summer Concert Series that concludes next Wednesday (Aug. 31) at 6 p.m. with the final performance of the season at the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site, which is located at 244 Central St. in Saugus. Decades of Rock Band – which features Classic Rock of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s – was supposed to perform on Aug. 17 but was forced to reschedule because of bad weather.

  Come to the park and enjoy Marina & Bernardo: Acoustic Folk. The concert will be held outdoors, weather permitting (see SaugusPublicLibrary.org for updates/cancellations). Bring your own chair or blanket. Picnics welcome! Enjoy the grand finale of what has been a successful outdoor concert season “in the park.”

“Zoom” Book Study

  The Rev. John Beach of St. John’s Episcopal Church wants to get the word out to Saugonians who might be interested in participating in a new book study via “Zoom” video conferencing.

  The book is “The Violence Project: How to Stop a Mass Shooting Epidemic” by Jillian Peterson, PhD and James Densley, PhD. It’s the Winner of the 2022 Minnesota Book Award.

  According to the website of The Violence Project, “Using data from the writers’ groundbreaking research on mass shooters, including first-person accounts from the perpetrators themselves, The Violence Project charts new pathways to prevention and innovative ways to stop the social contagion of violence.

  “Frustrated by reactionary policy conversations that never seemed to convert into meaningful action, special investigator and psychologist Jill Peterson and sociologist James Densley built The Violence Project, the first comprehensive database of mass shooters. Their goal was to establish the root causes of mass shootings and figure out how to stop them…”

  Sandy Hook Promise Cofounder and Managing Director Nicole Hockley stated, “If you ever wondered how can we stop mass shootings, this is the book for you. By mixing compelling first-person interviews with mass shooters and significant data analysis, The Violence Project illustrates the tangible ways we can intervene and prevent a tragedy from occurring. No one is helpless—read this book and help stop violence before it starts.”

  Rev. Beach says the book study group meets on Wednesday evenings from 7:30-8:30 East Coast Time from Sept. 7 through Oct. 5. For more information, contact The Rev. John Beach at revjbeach@gmail.com.

What’s happening at the Saugus Public Library

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

  Curious about snakes? Cape Ann Vernal Ponds will present “Snakes of New England & the World” on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 10:30 a.m. outdoors at the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site. This special program, which is cosponsored by the Saugus Public Library and the Iron Works, is open to folks of all ages – from children to senior citizens – of people who are interested in learning more about snakes. No registration is required. Please check the library’s online event calendar for weather-related updates.

  Reading Squad: The Reading Squad will be meeting Sept. 8 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Community Room at the Saugus Public Library, where there will be discussion, activities and snacks. Squad members will read the award-winning novel “The Year of the Dog” by Grace Lin. Copies are available at the Children’s Desk. This program is recommended for children from age nine to 12.

  “Be Cool! Learn to Sew! Here’s a great idea offered by Joyce Rodenhiser:

  “Would you like to save and have fun? JUST SEW! Come to the Saugus Public Library and learn to sew on the second Monday of the month at 6 P.M. The class is tailored to the needs of the students! We teach basic sewing skills that you can use now! It’s air conditioned and we can do a lot in an hour. Join the JUST SEW class, it’s Free.”

Grand Knights Banquet in September

  The Saugus Knights of Columbus Council #1829 is hosting a Grand Knights’ Banquet on Friday, Sept. 9. The event will be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall (57 Appleton St., Saugus) starting at 6 p.m. This event is to recognize all past Grand Knights, but it’s in special recognition of Former Grand Knight Chris Luongo for his devotion to charity and the Saugus Community.

  The Knights of Columbus was founded in 1882 and has1.9 million members around the world. Core values include integrity, professionalism, excellence and respect. Charity is at the heart of everything they do.

  Everyone is welcome to attend this event! Tickets are $30 each. For more information, please call Richard at 781-858-1117.

Saugus seeks student poll workers

  Town Clerk Ellen Schena’s Office is looking for student election workers. It is a great way for them to learn how their government functions and how important it is to vote. Sixteen-year-old students are eligible to work a half day (six to eight hours); 17-18-year-old students may work a full day (eight to 12 hours). All students can receive community service, which is imperative to them in order to satisfy their High School requirement mandated for graduation, or they can be paid for their hours worked. In addition, the Town Clerk’s Office will gladly write letters of recommendation for the National Honor Society, Colleges, etc.

  Interested students can stop by Town Hall or contact the Town Clerk’s Office to apply for work. Ask for Andrew DePatto, the Saugus Election Coordinator. He can be reached at 781-231-4102.

In-Person Early Voting

  Town Election Coordinator Andrew DePatto wants Saugus residents to know about some important dates coming up, as it relates to In-Person Early Voting for the Sept. 6 State Primary Election. There are several dates when folks can participate in Early Voting at the Saugus Public Library (295 Central St., Taylor Street Entrance):

  • Tomorrow (Saturday, August 27) 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (***Also, last day to register to vote for September’s Election)
  • Monday, August 29–8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, August 30–8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 31–8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 1–8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Friday, Sept. 2–8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  This pertinent information regarding early voting is also on the Town of Saugus website under the Town Clerk, https://www.saugus-ma.gov/town-clerk/bulletins/person-early-voting

Food pantry seeks volunteers

  Here’s a message from Pastor Joe Hoyle of Cliftondale Congregational Church about a collaborative community commitment to help needy Saugus residents:

  “The Saugus United Parish Food Pantry is a partnership between the churches in Saugus to ensure that no one in our community faces food insecurity… With faithful donations and volunteers, we have been able to give out thousands of meals to our neighbors in need throughout the years.”

  The Food Pantry is open every Friday from 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m., distributing prepackaged groceries (including meat and produce) at 50 Essex St.

  “We are always in need of volunteers. If you would like to volunteer or donate, please contact Pastor Joe Hoyle, Executive Director at office@clindalecc.org or 781-233-2663.”

Concerts for vets

  Rockin’ 4 Vets presents “Homegrown Rock Concerts” and “Throw Back Thursdays” for New England Vets this summer at the Kowloon Restaurant’s outdoor venue on Route 1 North in Saugus. For tickets and prices go to gimmelive.com.

  Home Grown Rock Lineup – doors open at 3 p.m. – concert at 4 p.m.

  August 28 – Veronica Lewis.

  Tribute Bands – doors open at 6 p.m. – concert at 7 p.m.

  September: September 1–Being Petty–Tom Petty; September 8–Studio Two–The Beatles; September 15–Completely Unleashed–Van Halen.

  If you would like to attend a show, please call Lauren at 617-247-4112. Band photos are available upon request.

More outdoor music at Kowloon

  The Kowloon Restaurant announced their outdoor concert series for August with a variety of live bands at their Route 1 North in Saugus outdoor venue. For tickets call the Kowloon Restaurant at 781-233-0077.

  Live Music: WildFire, today (Friday, August 26), 7 p.m. ($10 per person for reserved seating).

  Live Music: The Adam Hanna Band, tomorrow (Saturday, August 27), 7 p.m.

A Sunday Jam session on Sept. 4

  The Kowloon Restaurant is set to host a “90’s End Of Summer Dance Jam Under the Stars” at their outdoor venue on Sept. 4 featuring Grammy Award-winner All-4-One. Also performing will be Vinyl Groove playing 70’s and 80’s music and Betty Dee, the freestyle dance diva. Doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets are $49 per person for general admission and $69 per person for VIP reserved seating.

  All-4-One is best known for “I Swear,” “So Much in Love” and “I Can Love You Like That.” The group is comprised of Jamie Jones, Delious Kennedy, Alfred Nevarez and Tony Borowiak from the Antelope Valley and Mojave, California areas. The group has sold 69 million records worldwide.

  For tickets, please call the Kowloon Restaurant: 781-233-0077.

Founders Day Sept. 10

  The Youth & Recreation Department is already busy making preparations for the town’s Annual Founders Day, which is set for Saturday, Sept. 10. It is indeed one of the community’s signature events – an event so popular it draws folks from neighboring towns to enjoy a day of fun and fellowship at Saugus Center. It is a major fundraising day for various community and youth organizations that gather in booths near Town Hall and the Saugus Public Library and on both sides of Central Street, headed to the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site.

  Sept. 10! Mark the date down on your calendar and stay tuned for details.

Mums for Youth Soccer

  Starting on Friday, Sept. 16, Saugus Youth Soccer will be selling beautiful, hardy mums at

Anna Parker Field (124 Essex St., next to Fire Station). There will be many colors to choose from: red, lavender, yellow, orange and white – priced at $8.00 each. The mums will be sold starting Friday around 5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sunday (if needed) 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  They have ordered over 300 hardy mums, so don’t hesitate and come down to the field to support Saugus Youth Soccer! Thank you and if you have any questions, please contact Mary Migliore at mry8765@aol.com or 781-521-5081.

Buy a brick to honor a Saugus veteran

  The Saugus War Monument Committee once again is sponsoring the Buy A Brick Program to honor all those who have served their country. If you would like to purchase one in the name of someone who is presently serving or has served, in the memory of a loved one, or just for someone from your family, school, etc., the general pricing is $100 for a 4″ X 8″ brick (three lines) and $200 for 8″ X 8″ brick (five lines). Each line is a maximum of 15 characters. The improvement and upkeep of the monument on the corner of Winter and Central Streets rely on the generosity of donors through fundraising.

  The brick application must be in by Sept. 15 to ensure the bricks will be ready for Veterans Day. Please contact Corinne Riley at 781-231-7995 for more information and applications.

SHS Class of ’62 plans 60th reunion

  Leaders of the Saugus High School Class of 1962 would like you to “SAVE THE DATE.” Their 60th Class Reunion will be held on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, from 1 to 5 p.m. at Prince Pizzeria in Saugus. They are reaching out to contact fellow classmates as well as other alumni who would like to join them.

  The well-known 50’s and 60’s music group of Howie Conley will be there for musical enjoyment. Those of you who have heard them know what a performance they put on. There will be pizza and salad combinations plus soft drinks. The price includes all you can eat, tax and gratuities – plus Howie Conley’s group – and is $29 per person. There is a bar available for wine, beer and mixed drinks.

  There is no need to purchase tickets at this time. Please let one of the following people know of your interest either by a phone call or a text message so that you can be easily reached when the time draws near. No commitment is necessary. They are just exploring the number of interested classmates.

  • Donna “Cann” Olivera – 781-987-4308
  • Jonni “Giantonio” Matrona – 781-439-4200
  • Janice “Cristiano” Pomeroy – 617-512-2097
  • Larry Seavers – 704-906-2606

Looking for book donations

  The New Friends of the Saugus Public Library are asking for donations of gently used adult hardcover and softcover fiction for the ongoing book sale in the Community Room. They would also appreciate donations of gently used children’s books. Please limit donations at this time to only fiction and children’s books; they do not have storage space for other genres or media. Please….clean and newer books only – no tattered pages, bad odors, stains or dirty covers!

  Books may be dropped off at the Main Circulation Desk during business hours. Please do not place donations in the outdoor book drops.

Want to be a Knight?

  The Knights of Columbus is looking for new members to join. If you are interested in becoming a member of this local organization, please call 781-233-9858.

Compost site now open

  The community’s compost site will be open to residents on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The site is located behind the Department of Public Works at 515 Main St.

  Stickers are required to gain seasonal access to the site. Stickers may be purchased for $25.00 at the Department of Public Works (DPW) located at the Compost Site when making your visit to the Compost Site. The Town of Saugus accepts checks only for payment of the $25.00. No cash will be accepted. Kindly bring a check when visiting. Thank you!

  Compost site stickers must be permanently placed on the lower left corner of residents’ automobile windshields. Vehicles registered out of state are not permitted.

  Yard waste must be disposed of in brown compost bags or open containers. The Town will accept grass clippings, leaves and brush. As in years past, no branches or limbs larger than three inches in diameter are permitted.

  We ask all residents to please wear a mask and maintain and respect social distancing from others while visiting the site. Residents may call Lorna Cerbone at the Solid Waste and Recycling Department at 781-231-4036 with questions or for more information.

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 nearly 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 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.


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 Dunkin’ in the Food Court at the Saugus Square One Mall. 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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