The Class of 2002
The annual SilverStringer anniversary party is now five times old, but this most recent edition -- our sixth -- was extra special. Held at the Milano Senior Center, some 35 people serenaded each other, toasted each other, and roasted some with great gusto. It was a fun occasion.
Attending were representatives from the faculty, staff, and grad students at the Media Lab at MIT, guests from the co-sponsoring Council on Aging, plus some 25 active SilverStringers.
Among them were eight who were charter members in 1996.
Jack Driscoll, editor in residence at M.I.T., introduced the folks from M.I.T. -- Missy Corley, now project coordinator for the consortium 'Information: Organized', soon to be program manager for 'Things That Think'-- robotics; Alex Stouffs, Master of Science in Media Arts & Sciences (our grad-student advisor), and Alex's father, John Stouffs, linguist and inveterate surfer who was visiting from Switzerland. All have been affectionate guardians and loud leaders in the SilverStringers Fan Club. (Aside: SilverStringers is the name given to the modernly mature Melrose group in this computer-newspaper business.)
At the same moment that Virginia Hanley arrived with wheels spinning, the beautiful white rose corsage, made by Elsie Hamilton, was pinned to her lapel, proclaiming her (justifiably) as guest of honor at the commemorative occasion. Jini was one of the founding members of the SilverStringers, and has served as an editor for these six years.
Jack Beckley, Executive Director of the Melrose Council on Aging, and not yet old enough to become a member, spoke glowingly about the members of the Silverstringers and the staff of the Melrose Mirror. With his usual poise and aplomb, he introduced those members who, through experience, communicated the enormous value of Jini Hanley to this celebration jubilee.
Jackie Wattenberg, Melrose Free Press newspaper columnist and Writers' Workshop instructor, was emcee and creative program author for the occasion. She introduced Ruth Sullivan, pianist, who opened the program with her impressive rendition of the Largo section from Chopin's Fantasy Impromptu -- "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows". When the applause subsided, Jackie entranced the audience with her appropriate solo of "Always."
Next, Natalie Thomson read her original poem of Jini's life in "Cork City," the Melrose school system, Boston College, the U.S. Diplomatic Corps and, finally, her valuable contributions to the Melrose Mirror. COA Director Jack Beckley held the copy before the author's failing eyes, complete with magnifying glass. Click here for a link to Natalie's poem.
Jackie Wattenberg then sang her revised version of "Always" humorously written with clever perception of all Jini has contributed to the Silverstringers. Link to Jackie's party lyrics.
Following the appreciative laughter,Kay McCarte joined Jackie in an Oscar-winning performance reporting on individual members of the Melrose Mirror staff. The Script
Throughout the extravaganza, Don Norris took professional photos for posterity.
To close the program of recognition, Jack Driscoll, group advisor, announced the winners of the Annual Awards, closing with a tribute to Jini Hanley which showed her sparkling personality, her spirited interest and her special talents. Click here for Jack's traditional party awards.
Helen Buckley filled in superbly as substitute coordinator for Frances Bertulli who arrived later.
OF THE ORIGINAL 25 members of the SilverStringers, eight are still active, we've lost a few, and several others who maintain their association but on a less hectic schedule. The group now includes, from left to right, Don Norris, one of six editors; Irv Smolens, our expert on World War II and social issues facing our town; Marjorie Burgess, currently our second-most senior senior; Jack Driscoll, editor in residence at the Media Lab and our advisor; Writer Dave Moreland (next to Marjorie); Jack Beckley, our Council on Aging connection; Hector French, our practical philosopher; Jackie Wattenberg, writer of everything; Editor Jini Hanley (seated), who was honored as Stringer of the Year; Ruth Sullivan (in blue) who was our guest pianist; Jack Stouffs of Geneva, our Swiss foreign correspondent; Missy Corley, Media Lab staffer. Editor Ella Letterie; Miss Everything, Natalie Thomson; MIT student advisor Alex Stouffs, also of Switzerland; Marie Moreland who keeps tabs on us and proves that most adversity can be overcome; Editor Kay McCarte, Stringer Bernie Mahoney who is head of the new mega-project, "Mapping of Melrose"; Dr. John Averell, who sparks us with his technical accumen; Editor Jim Driscoll, and Coordinator Frannie Bertulli. Missing from the picture are key Editor Russ Priestley and members Elsie Hamilton, John and Marianna Cerretani, Russ and Dorothy O'Connor Berg, Louise Fennell, Len Dalton, Bob Ross, Frank Callahan, Paul Hupper, Brian Simm, Mary MacDougall, Roseanne Green and Bill Jodrey. Special guests who are spread all over the world that day were Media Lab Director Walter Bender, Consortium Director Brian Smith, and past advisors Inge Endter and Marko Turpeinen.
July 5, 2002