Thursday, October 31, 2013



Last month Essex Heritage faced a very pleasant problem with their annual Heritage Hero Event.   The tribute scheduled to honor Joanne Patton and the federal, state and local commitments made by the entire Patton Family of Wenham was scheduled to be held at the Willowdale banquet facility in Topsfield.  It had to be transferred to a more spacious local facility due to an overwhelming demand for tickets to the event.  For the event, over 450 area participants have signed up to come to the new location at Danversport Yacht Club for the dinner to honor the famous military and philanthropic family from the center of this great region.   In addition to the strong attendance, sponsorships are also quite high and that will be most beneficial for ENHC.
My Personal Tribute since I am unable to attend offered to the most admired Joanne Patton during her event:
I want to offer my heartiest congratulations on the presentation of the annual Heritage Hero Award to you and your entire family.  The work and the importance of the Patton family to this region and to the entire country have been extraordinary for many decades.   This award is a result of substantial discussion by the leadership of both Essex Heritage and the National Park Service. This is a wonderful reflection of the importance of the Patton Family and particularly you Joanne to the 35 communities that make up the Essex National Heritage Area.      You have joined a most distinguished group of previous winners including past and present community Mayors and Managers, College Presidents and regional committed activists. 

As a former much honored winner of this valued and prestigious award, I am incredibly disappointed that I cannot be with you this evening in spite of my almost three year old disability.  We were planning to be at the event to share your excitement about being identified as an outstanding community leader, but a fractured ankle suffered by my wife Marge a couple of weeks ago made our presence and participation impossible and has rendered us house bound.   Once again our congratulations on the most well deserved award as the Essex Heritage, National Park Service Heritage Hero for 2013.

I am particularly pleased to welcome you as a fellow Heritage Hero in this region that we know means so much to you and your family.   Your participation as a valued business member of this region and your continuation as a committed activist of Essex County are welcomed.   We look forward to visiting with you in the future as you continue your ongoing participation in the affairs of this spectacular section of this country that you love and have served so well.

                             Thomas M Leonard
                             President Emeritus
                             Essex Heritage Commission

 Election Results in the City of Boston
After a two decade period of leadership in the states capital city by Mayor Tom Menino, he is retiring due to health issues and has decided to step down from this role in 2013.   A wide variety of a dozen candidates stepped forward to run in a special election to choose a successor CEO for Boston on the first Tuesday in November and the field was prospective mayors was reduced to two final candidates.   City councilor John Connelly and State representative and labor advocate Martin Walsh were the winners of the run off election and will square off on the first Tuesday of this month.   After two decades of leadership by an most committed Italian American, the Mayor’s post in the short term future will be held once again by a Boston Irishman.

More Local Election Results
Even with all of the troubles and innuendo that are flying around in the community of Lawrence, the incumbent Mayor of the City William Lantiqua topped the primary election in that community and will stand for re-election as the City of Lawrence Chief Executive in November 2013 against three others.  If he wins that race, Mayor Lantiqua will confirm that he has as many lives as a cat.

More Walking Trails Open - in and around this region
In a previous edition of this presentation, I outlined many of the recreational assets in this region and their importance to both Essex Heritage and to me personally.    I presented a number of locations that can be easily accessed and enjoyed.  Following are a number of additional area recreational the assets both within Essex county and adjacent to this region.

The City of Gloucester’s Newell Stadium:  Gloucester has unveiled a $5 million dollar rehabilitation of Newell Stadium in that coastal community.  The New Balance Corporation contributed a fee for the naming right for a ten year period.   The stadium seats 2,500 people and has many scholastic as well as recreational uses.

City of Medford Opens Walking Trail:  Medford has completed a 1.7 mile walking trail called “Over the Mystic.” It has been open and is well signed.

Oceanfront Trail Opened in Revere:  The City of Revere has invited residents and neighbors to use the new Beachmont Urban Trail. The two mile trail starts and ends at the N School and runs through the neighborhood and is well marked with signage.  Some of the urban landscape runs along the ocean.

Bishop Fenwick High School Names New Principal
The Peabody Catholic co-educational High School where I spent some time as a Trustee recently named Brother Thomas Zoppo as its ninth Principal. Brother Zoppo is originally from this region and until just recently served as the President of a High School in Baltimore. He has replaced a sister of Notre Dame order that has led the school in recent years.

Topsfield Fair
I certainly hope that during the first two weeks of last month that many of you had the opportunity to visit the world famous Topsfield Fair.   The fall is the period of New England Country Fairs but none the offerings rivals the offering in Topsfield.  The event is held near the geographic center of Essex County and is managed by Jim O’Brien and his staff.  Essex Heritage is proud of the long and cooperative partnership between the two organizations.  For my wife and I this event truly means the end of the summer season but due to an injury suffered by Marge we were unable to attend the 2013 edition of the Fair, but we are looking forward to next year as we renew our participation.

Happy Thanksgiving
Even though the most American of all holidays has yet to be celebrated as this entry is being prepared, I want to offer all in this region, a most pleasant THANKSGING DAY.   It is a day for family, football and pleasant times.  With Marge now having more capacity to move around more easily and our oldest grandson, home from college in North Carolina, and the rest of our family home for dinner, all is good with our family, and we hope that the day will be as enjoyable for all of you as well.

Medical Changes in Danvers
The naming of the medical facilities in Danvers are changing names as the locations are so convenient.  The Beverly Hospital facility on the old State Hospital site has changed names in keeping with the Beverly Hospital connection with the Lahey group.

On Endicott Street The Massachusetts General facility has opened an Urgent Care function that can be accessed during the day either by appointment or as a walk in.  Both of these new name changes and functions took place during the recent month of October

Disability Matters
Disney Actions
We have heard that the Disney Company has changed the rules to allow handicapped move to the head of the line at their parks.  There is more to that story, as unscrupulous families were compensating some with handicaps to be “USED” to move families with no need to the head of lines. They are continuing to “tinker” with their policy for families with a disabled party.

COPAA to Expand
The Cornell Orthotics and Prosthetics Amputee Association is being upgraded to encourage greater participation by the handicapped in this region that have amputee issues.  The group is also creating a more efficient administrative structure and will be creating opportunities for corporate and personal contributions to support these efforts

Personal Observations
Government Shut Down
Ill Advised and Shows Unwillingness of the Two Political Parties to Work To Achieve Success.  For a most lengthy and unnecessary period last month, the two political parties in Washington were unable to come together to establish a working plan to keep this country “on track” and as a result hundreds of workers were furloughed and critical Federal Government services were discontinued.   There are numerous reasons for this difficult discontinuance of services and I will not place blame on either political party but will simply urge all of the participants that can impact the resolution to sit together, act like responsible adults and craft a solution.

End of summer reading
In previous presentations I spoke of several books read this summer.    All of the reading choices focused on a particular time of my life during World War ll where I had scant memories.   In previous presentations I reported on books about the lives and the activities of Franklin D.  Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower.   Both men played significant roles in the war effort and ultimately were Presidents of this Country.   The final book was written by the famous historian William Manchester and completed a triumvirate of War hero books telling the tale of General of the Army Douglas Mac Arthur who was a most famous five star general and who most likely aspirated to the US Presidency but never completed that journey.

The life of Douglas Mac Arthur began as the son of a famous US General and recounted his journey through West Point where he began in 1899.    The elder General Mac Arthur spent time in the American West and spent substantial time in the American managed Philippines.   Later in the life of the second General, his life focused on even more attention on that chain of Islands.

I will not attempt to outline the exploits of the General as he managed and helped to win the war in the South Pacific, except to note the he was a sensational strategist  and an inspirational leader.  During an attack on Corregidor he escaped from the Philippines and moved his base of operations to Australia and then to fulfill a promise as part of his efforts he was driven from the Island chain but triumphantly returned to drive away the Japanese.  He made the phrase “I have returned” famous.

After the end of hostilities and accepted Japan surrender on the battle ship Missouri, he was assigned to oversee the restructuring of the vanquished Japanese and was legendary in that role.   When hostilities broke out in Korea, he was again brought back at war to manage that effort.   He had numerous differences of opinions about how that war should be pursued and after several disagreements with the administration.  He was recalled back to the USA from that position by President Truman.  His return was triumphant and he was lauded with parades and great adulation in San Francisco, Washington and New York.    He provided appearances before Congress and at West Point and made the comment “that old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”  This became one of the most famous quotes of the war.  He provided testimony to the US Senate and made a triumph tour to American cities.   He died in 1964 in Walter Reed Army Hospital and lay in state in several locations.  He is buried in Norfolk, Virginia and his burial location has become his final monument to his life.

Sports Report
The Red Sox are hopefully on the road towards participation in the World Series after a dramatic win in game two of he ALCS.   The Patriots continue to surprise us with their performance.    They authored a big wins in Atlanta and an improbable comeback against New Orleans, and they have positioned themselves in the League standings. The Bruins have begun playing for real and the Celtics start of the season cannot be far behind.  

We are missing viewing the games of our two granddaughters. But we have seen a couple of tapes of their performances that have been very good.  Kate in Danvers is on a goal scoring tear. High School sports of all kinds are winding down as we get closer to the end of November.   Both girls are playing on teams that have already qualified for the State Playoffs.

Monday, October 21, 2013




Essex Heritage Annual Meeting
Congratulations to Jack Good of People’s United on his Election as President of Essex Heritage

Seven Lectures at The Seven Gables: Brunonia Barry
November 20, 2013 • The House of the Seven Gables, 115 Derby Street, Salem, MA, 01970
Salem’s own NY Times best-selling author, Baccante award winner & Strnad Fellowship recipient presents her latest novel fresh off the press.

Monthly Essex Heritage Newsletter
One of the very best ways to keep in contact with all of the activities of the Essex National Heritage Commission is outlined every month in the newsletter that is electronically distributed  to a wide groups of Friends of the Commission   If you do not receive this informative presentation you can sign up to receive the monthly newsletter sign up at the address noted below.  Essex Heritage"

On October 16, 2013 The Essex National Heritage Commission held its prestigious Heritage Hero dinner at the Danversport YC in Danvers.   This year the honoree was Joanne Patton and the Patton Family.   As noted this recognition event is held each year and many local prominent community leaders have been honored including the former Mayor of Newburyport, Byron Matthews, former Mayor of Amesbury, Nick Costello. Current Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll,  Danvers Town Manager Wayne Marquis, North Shore Community College Retired President Wayne Burton and last year, I was the honoree.   This award presentation was one of the highlights of my professional life. 

This year’s event was a great success – attended by nearly 450 guests - who toasted the Pattons and Essex Heritage.  The Color Guard from Norwich University presented the colors accompanied by Sargent Daniel Clark who recited a moving poem about Old Glory followed by a magnificent rendition of the National Anthem.   

Regional recreational Trails
One of the primary goals of Essex Heritage, and a longtime interest of this author, is the development and implementation of recreational activities in this region.  The following are details of several initiatives currently underway in the region.

Danvers Rail trail completed
With the help of a very important Commonwealth of Massachusetts Grant the two communities of Danvers and Wenham have completed valuable sections of the BORDER TO BOSTON TRAIL.   As a longtime resident of the Town of Danvers I want to compliment the coalition from that community who came together to complete this important regional asset that will be used and enjoyed by many from Danvers and nearby  communities into the future.   The permanent crushed and rolled stone surface on the trail will serve many well into the future.

City of Lawrence Opens Greenway
The City of Lawrence recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony to signify the opening of the Spiket River Greenway.   The greenway is a three and one half mile, ten million dollar project that runs from the Polartec Company to Union Square and includes green spaces, and walking paths. The greenway is now open to the general public for their use.  The project was a collaboration of federal. State, and community groups.

Walking Trail in West Newbury Built by Volunteers
In West Newbury, a group of community volunteers, students and residents constructed a one mile walking trail that crosses  four parcels on thirty acres of conservation land along Essex County Greenbelt property.

Other Regional Events and Activities

Two Local Bank Presidents and Community Activists to Retire
Announcements of two impending retirements have been offered to the region by local Bank leaders   Both organizations in question are strong financial and moral supporters of the region and particularly that of Essex Heritage.  The first of these retirements is the decision of long time leader of Rockport National Bank, Peter Anderson to step down in September.  

The second of these careers coming to an end is by the long time President of Salem Five Bank Joseph Gibbons.   This retirement means a great deal more to me as Joe and I worked together for a number of years when I was also employed by that Bank.     Joe provided substantial support to this region and particularly to Essex Heritage where he replaced me when I retired on the Essex Heritage Board of Trustees   Joe will be replaced at Salem by the institutions Chief Financial Officer, Ping Yin Chai who I also worked with for many years at the bank..     Concurrent with these changes Salem Five also named Bruce Potter of Danvers as the Executive Vice President.  Bruce is another former associate of mine at Salem Five Bank.    `Best of wishes to the two CEO’s in their retirements and  to their replacements that I am certain will represent their Banks  to the region in the future.

St. Richard’s of Danvers Golden anniversary Events
My wife Marge and I are exceptionally pleased to be serving as the honorary chairpersons of the celebrations being offered by the Danvers Catholic parish.   There have been concerts, social events, celebratory liturgical events and plans are underway to make improvements to the church facility including accessibility conditions.

         The next planned parish function scheduled is participation in a Road Race/Walk on October 6th at 1:30 followed by a parish cookout for the runners and parishioners that will be there to welcome the runners participation.   The race will start and finish at the Town’s sensational recreational venue at Endicott Park adjacent to the church.  After the race all will be invited to participate in a Parish Picnic, with a cookout, games and baked goods at noon.   The race entry fee door the run will be $20, but the picnic will be priced at $5 or $20 for a family to all other parish attendees.

North Shore Elder Services (Longevity Connection)
 We all know what is means to get old, right?
by Eileen Lubas, Manager, The Longevity Connection;  Click here to read it now!:

Personal Observations

Fall Arrives Along with Football and other Autumn sports
There are many in the region that laments when the summer passes, but the fall can be such a pleasant time as temperatures moderate and the humidity usually drops.   For those that enjoy the fall season, with numerous family activities like apple picking, leaf viewing and from my standpoint football returns to the region.   We are so blessed in this region to have a most competitive professional team and there are a plentiful group of college, high schools and youth programs for viewing pleasure. This is not to demean the numerous regional participants in soccer and Field Hockey, and I am a very vocal supporter of those two sports as I have granddaughters participating in Varsity efforts at both Danvers and Algonquin Regional High School, and my wife and I were regular viewers of school sports.   Those interests will be impacted be personal changes to our personal activities outlined later in this Blog.

The New England Patriots experienced a bump in the road with a very slow and uneven start of the season, bit sill stand an 2 and 0, but the outlook for the success of that  team is still most optimistic.    Now if Boston College, that has started two and 1 UMass and the other local colleges plus your favorite community HIGH school team can be reasonably successful then the fall will be enjoyed.
Now that Labor Day has come and gone and the local schools have reopened, it is once again time for me to offer some observations on one of my favorite subjects, my Grandchildren and their connections to school sports.   My oldest is away at the University of North Carolina where he serves as one of the leaders of a Dance Marathon event to benefit a children’s hospital on his University Campus.    The next oldest is a girl, Katherine that is serving as one of the captains of the field, hockey team at Danvers high school, that is looking forward to a successful season.  The other young lady, Caroline, after a successful Junior Varsity season last year is one of only three sophomores’ that have been picked to play on the Varsity Soccer Team at Algonquin Regional High School.   We planned to take a number of trips to the west of the North Shore to watch her perform this seas,. But those plans are now in a state of flux.   Our last grandchild Casey is still at the Jr. High Level, but in the fall and winter of 2013, he will participate on an AAU Baseball team based in Sutton.    That experience should help him as he progresses in youth baseball on the future.. 

On a Sunday in the middle of the last month, Marge and I feel very sorry that we were unable to join my sister and her family as they celebrated the golden wedding anniversary.  Nancy and her husband Neil Savianio celebrated at the Historic Hawthorne Hotel In Salem.

Woodman’s Celebrate in unusual manner
A long time friend and occasional business associate Jon  Woodman and his wife Betsy recently celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary by offering a free jazz convert for their community for their friends and associates.  It was a great way to celebrate a milestone date.

Golden Anniversary of the Organization of Father John O’Donnell of Salem
We are most disappointed that late last month we were unable due to the injury noted below, unable to attend a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the ordination of Father John O’Donnell to the priesthood.   The event was commemorated with a mass in Salem followed by a luncheon at the Historic Hawthorne Hotel.   Fifty years ago, Marge and I attended John’s Ordination in Gloucester, and his first mass in Salem.   John was a boyhood friend growing up, and he baptized both of our sons.

Situation in Syria
The ongoing situation in Syria when coupled with the Anniversary of 9/11 leaves many questions about the proposed actions of this government.   It will be a most difficult time with possible cyber attacks and other problems being considered as a offshoot.   It does appear that the Secretary of State Kerry is close to a nonmilitary solution to address these issues both in other countries and here in the USA. There has been a long period of conflicts in this world. and it appears that the majority of the American citizens do not want another military conflict, and that certainly impacts the decisions of our president and our other elected officials.

Marge Suffers a Serious Injury
My wife Marge suffered a serious injury when she slipped on a staircase and x-rays showed the breakage of two bones in her ankle.   There are a number of steps still to be considered by the tending medical people involved, and we must wait for that information before we move forward.    The one thing that appears certain, is that the daily living of our lives will change rather dramatically over the weeks ahead.  We will keep you updated on what we learn and how those changes will impact our joint efforts to continue to serve many organizations in the region.  We would like to thank our family, many good friends and neighbors who have jumped to our aid.  Many thanks to all of them.

Summer Reading
When I find an author whose writing style I enjoy, I usually seek another offering for my reading pleasure.  This is the case with Jean Edward Smith, and staying with the military theme, I have just finished reading ‘Eisenhower in War and peace’’ The life story goes from his earliest days in Kansas. Then followed by his days at the military academy at West Point.  He excelled in both academics and athletics at that Institution.

The story then continued through his early years in the Army where he worked for two army giants, ‘Black Jack” Pershing and Douglas Mac Arthur both generals and hero’s to the county.    He had a number of army heavyweights that helped his career through his association with MacArthur in the Philippines and for Pershing as he worked on the presentation of Pershing’s memoirs on the first war in Francs.   The work done by Ike on the first World War walking in the fields of France was incredibly helpful to him as he participated in the later war during the invasion of Europe.    Hus earliest days were in tanks, where he developed a close association and long term friendship with General George Paton that was very helpful later during subsequent military encounters.     The memoir carried through his work coaching football  at Army Installations and then  on to the invasion of Italy.

A great deal of the book focused on his work as the Supreme Commander of all Allied Forces the carried on the greatest invasion of all time in Normandy France.   His incredible work in building the required coalition between he English and the Americans certainly prepared him for the role he would later play as the American President.   The history carried on through his two terms as president and the difficult task of leading the USA after the war through “McCarthyism” and the emergence of the importance of the Middle East in world affairs.    The presentation covered his participation in two wars at that time in Korea and Vietnam.

The memoir continued with reports on Presidential initiatives on matters such as the development of the St Lawrence Seaway and a comprehensive national highway system.    The book also reported on social activities such as the expansion of social security recipients and increases in the minimum wages paid at that time.    The book also chronicled the work dome on a retirement farm in Gettysburg that was at the time of the death of the Eisenhower’s was deeded to the National Park Service.

`There was a heart attack and a Gastro intestinal that the President survived and severe crises in places life Formosa and the middle east that he managed successfully and after much deliberations. Ike decided to run for a second term where and won handily over Adele Stevenson

Ike became somewhat involved in the Segregation issue mote than any President before him in issues in Little Rock, Arkansas. School issue. Where he sent in federal troops

The book concluded with   the first issues surrounding the space race  and the Russian launch of a Russian Satellite and U2 flight.  The President suffered several medical setbacks including a small stroke but continued to effectively lead the country during most turbulent times.

The book concluded with the election of JFK over VP Nixon.   The final entry recorded the removal of a life support systems from the former president at Walter Reed Hospital  in Washington   Prior to leaving office as a former lifelong military man, his rank as a five Star General of the Army was restored, as he value being known as General rather than as a former President was most important to him.