Letters to ...

Mirror readers backtalk SilverStringers

 ...Praise, chagrin, social commentary, it's all here ...

Mail, and the people speak!

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What's this?! $600,000 for that MDC park? ...

I agree the park is attractive, but at what cost?

The Friends of the Fells recent newsletter stated cost for the property was
about $600,000. What was the cost of the improvements. These mprovements
sure happened quickly.

Was this the best use of MDC funds? I am not convinced.

Carl "Rick" Mockler
Captain, U.S. Coast Guard (Retired)
40 Holland Road
Melrose, MA 02176-2606

MDC steps up, builds nice park

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John Murphy from Florida talks about Swains Pond ...

I lived on Goss Avenue in the 1930's-40's. We would walk though the woods from the end of Herald St., down the Main path to the junction of Pussy willow Swamp path, down to the swamp and then over the ledges to Swains Pond. We fished and swam there. I don't remember the water being dirty and the fishing was good. We caught pickerel, perch and bass. I was taught to fish by my next door neighbor, Walter Clark. He was several years older but took the time to take a 9 or 10 old to the pond and teach him to fish. I have never forgotten Walter. We also skated every winter on Swains pond, pickup hockey games, sometimes falling into the pond because of thin ice then walking home in the dark, through the woods, freezing to death. During this time there was a dump on the north side. The entrance was across from Mr Towner's house. The dump took up a portion of the pond and no doubt polluted it some. I don't remember when it was closed. (Also, there was another dump on the corner of Beech Ave. and Swains Pond Ave.) There was a time when Swains Pond was a beautiful area, relatively clean, little graffiti, and, I suppose, unknown to us, there were cars being dumped in the water.

Fond memories, John E Murphy

Differing viewpoints over Swains Pond

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Barbara Bennett recalls the Cocoanut Grove fire ...

I remember the horror that was reported but had no such personal experience. I guess that Russ himself could have been there in the Nightclub. There were many stories of those who ALMOST were there!! It seems impossible that this was SIXTY years ago. Thanks, Russ, for saving that picture and for reminding us to look for "safe exits" wherever we go. And thanks for writing about it.

Barbara Bennett, Marblehead, Mass. - Melrose High School 1940
Ehbbb@aol.com

Cocoanut Grove -- Sixty years ago

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Ex-Melrosian goes for 'new look' in Melrose Mirror ...

Have been away from Melrose for 33 years. Thanks to the photographers for their monthly pictures. They are great. It is amazing how Swain's Pond is so differently reported by two people seeing the same site. Loved it.

How is Ell Pond doing. I used to swim there 65 years ago. Last time I was there, there were giant goldfish swimming but it was a mess. I heard that a clean up was in process. How did it make out? Maybe that would be an interesting assignment.
The Incarnation stained glass windows are beautiful. Nice to see that people will put their money into such a great project.

Will look forward to the first Friday of each month.

Ginny Galvin Foley (My dad was the police officer, Dan Galvin
Kay McCarte is a childhood friend.

Differing viewpoints over Swains Pond

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More memories of the Cocoanut Grove fire ...

Hi Russ,

Your story in the Melrose Mirror about the Cocoanut Grove fire brought back memories of that Horrible Night In Boston. I didn't know that you were there. You gave a good account of what happened.

Russ, I want you to know that I was very disappointed that you no longer could put the MHS Reunion together any more (I wish that I could be there to help you - fortunately I am blessed with good health). I really looked forward to attending the reunion, spending a little time with you, Barb., Tommy Powers, Bill Hinden and so on. It gave me a good reason to get back to Melrose. I really love my home town and all of New England.

As you might remember, I stayed with my sister Edna in Reading and while back there every year, Edna and I would toured New Hampshire, Maine and three years ago went to Nova Scotia and found my Mom's old homestead and farm. That was a great experience, as I didn't expect to find it. It had to be over 100 years old. I remember as a 6 year old, our family used to go there every summer. There was no indoor plumbing or electricity. For as old as the farmhouse, barn, sheds were, they were in unusually good condition.

Russ, if you get time, I would love to hear from you and get some news from you about our class & friends. Thanks, am looking forward to hearing from you.

Elie -- EBour3430@aol.com

Cocoanut Grove -- Sixty years ago

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Grandma shoots picture, chases grandkids ...

What an exciting feeling , seeing my snapshot of the Boston Light in the Newspaper. I didn't realize all the special things I had done in order to attain this special picture. Especially since I was chasing my two young grandchildren all over the Island that day!! Thanks again. When will there be another group photo shoot?

Barbara Leedham,

Editor's note: The photo group (all amateurs) shoot every Friday, 1pm, all year long -- except Spring, Summer and Fall, when we meet Tuesdays before dawn. Really!

On considering Boston Light

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COA Boss Jack Beckley lavishes praise on the SilverStringers ...

To Shirley Rabb, on poety:

What a touching poem! I enjoyed it very much and felt that it offers some
sage advice. I wonder if you would permit me to run it in "Looking Ahead"
next November? Let me know.
Thanks, Jack

Thanks ...

To Marianna Cerretani, on wrestling with Melrose High ...

Must admit that I don't know much about wrestling so I found you photos and
story interesting. As it happens, some freinds of ours, the Leones, have two
sons, now in college, Joey and Nickie. They were big into wrestling at Melrose High.  
Best, Jack

Speaking about wrestling at MHS

Enjoyed Ella Letterie's stained glass photos at Incarnation ...

They were beautiful, capturing the vivid colors. It was also interesting to learn who donated the stained glass.
Best, Jack

Incarnation Church, Stained Glass Windows

Just a note to thank Don (Norris) and Shirley (Rabb) for their photo shoot and narrative on Swans Pond. I was impressed with Shirley's upbeat story and knowledge of the plant life. Don's also impressed with his history of the ponds. I had to look up eutrifying. Always glad to learn a new word. Sad about the condition of the pond.

Going along with Don's view of the decline of Swan's Pond, as a bird watcher, I rarely see birds at Swains Pond. Along the shores, I would expect to see bittern, night crowned heron, and egrets, but they have never appeared while I've been visiting. It's not that they are gone, I have seen all of these birds at other spots in Melrose or around Spot Pond.
Best, Jack

Differing viewpoints over Swains Pond

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