Letters to ...

Readers give Mirror thumbs up

... New record -- 16 letters, and all positive

from our precious readers

We Stringers hardly ever have a clue as to what our circulation is. It could be in the millions because our circulation is world wide. Or it could be limited to the in-laws of all the people on the staff.

But for some reason, we seem to have found the key with the past several issues -- although we're not doing anything different than we have for the past ten years. For some reason, we are being flooded with email -- and it is uniquely laudatory.

We really sound like the good guys!

We received well over 15 letters for the October issue alone, and that's a record. There were a couple more, but we couldn't quite make out what they meant to say.

Anyway, we decided to run 'em all, verbatim. That is, the 15 good ones. In anti-chronological order, here's what you folks out there have to say about our Melrose Mirror:


Three cheers for volunteers ...

From David Goodwin:
To: melrose@media.mit.edu       
Subject: your web site       
Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2005

I am glad to see the spirit of volunteerism still thrives in Melrose. I lived there as a baby and have several photos of my Mom standing near the stone monument dedicated to Private Boylan near 150 Green Street.
Keep up the good work!

Your photos are gorgeous.

David Goodwin

Tin can sailors ...
From: Bill Wenger, Niles, Michigan           
To: melrose@media.mit.edu       
Subject: Melrose Mirror        
Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2005

I was introduced to the Melrose Mirror by Bob Ross, whom I have never met, but being a tin can sailor from WWII we share a common interest in the US Navy and its history. The Mirror has some interesting articles, good thinkpieces and timely advice on many different views and subjects that endear us to the life we lead.

Keep up the good work, we enjoy the Mirror.

W.E. Wenger Sr.
Niles Michigan.

Shades of World War II ...

From: Wallace D. Salisbury
To: melrose@media.mit.edu       
Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2005
Subject: Excellent -    

Thank you very much for pointing out the Melrose Mirror - I know we
should have found it for ourselves. To be honest all I did was read the
Fw.and then move on to the next one. What a lot we were missing, last
night I read WW 2 memories. Now I see that this was only the tip of the
ice berg. I know that I must speak for a lot of others when I say Thank
You Very Much.

Wallace D. Salisbury - From the USS Anthony list  


Tell the people about out art show ...

To: melrose@media.mit.edu       
Subject: MACA       
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2005 08:16:09 -0400    

Good morning. There is a new Association that has begun in Melrose called, The Melrose Arts and Cultural Association” or “MACA” for short. We will be revitalizing the once successful Arts Festival which many of your readers may have remembered. It was held from 1995-2000.

We will bring it back in more than it’s former glory and will be having a two day event on April 8-9th 2006 at Memorial Hall from 12-5pm. We hope this will be an exciting and annual Spring event for our community and plan on having live music and a café set up during the festival.

I am writing to not only "put the word out" but to mention the need for active senior volunteers who may want to be part of a fun and creative weekend. We need people to simply hand out programs at the door, direct visitors to the various venues, and help out with easy clean-up in the kitchen. Our goal is to get the whole community excited and involved in this affair and showcase a lot of local talent!

I was hoping that your monthly newsletter would put a “Call for Volunteers” in the next issue and run it for the months leading up to the event. We have a wonderful website that will have a lot of information and updated postings as we get closer to the event. It is www.melrosearts.com.

Anyone who may be interested in volunteering can respond via email to me @ tdcorbett@comcast.net or call me @ 781-665-5840. Thanks for your time.

Debra Corbett
Art Festival Chair

Great pumpkins ...

"Charlie Trivette"
To: melrose@media.mit.edu (Attention Shirley Rabb)       
Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2005 20:58:08 -0400    

Shirley, A very good display of Jack-O-Lanterns.

Charlie Trivette


From Bonnie Cronin, via John Averell ...

From: "John Averell"  
To: "Melrose Stringers"        
Subject: Fw: October issue of Melrose Mirror - from John Averell       
Another letter from a Polymnia colleague, about Gerry Nadel; article written by Stringer Carol Nelson. /s/John Averell

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bonnie Cronin"
Sent: Monday, October 17, 2005
Subject: Re: October issue of Melrose Mirror - from John Averell

I first heard about Melrose from Gerry Nadel--I was running the radio
station and he was a big supporter. I got to know him and his wife
quite well -- he died of Marfan's Syndrome and I was devastated. He
was a wonderfully talented writer.

Bonnie Cronin
Director of Foundation Relations
USS Constitution Museum
P.O. Box 1812
Boston, MA  02129
617-426-1812 x 107


... really a great issue ...

From: "John Averell"        
To: "Melrose Stringers"        
Subject: Fw: October issue of Melrose Mirror - from John Averell       
One of several short emails complimenting us on the October issue.
Len Jesse is one of the computer tutors at the Wakefield Senior Center.
/s/John Averell

----- Original Message -----

From: Leonard J. Jesse
To: John Averell
Sent: Saturday, October 15, 2005 7:11 PM
Subject: Re: October issue of Melrose Mirror - from John Averell

Hi John,

Thanks. 'October' really is a great issue. Very professional plus being a nice read.

I sent out a link to the LeSaffre story to a friend in Saugus who I am sure would be interested. Also, the Myrtle Beach story to another who goes there every year.



... Great story, Russ ...

From: Walt Storlazzi
To: melrose@media.mit.edu       
Subject: (Stringer Russ) Priestley       
Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2005

hi,,,Great story ,,Keep it up Walt Storlazzi,,I have trouble with Outlook Express


... The LeSaffres and the McNamaras ...

From: "L. Granfield"  
To: melrose@media.mit.edu       
Subject: LeSaffre/McNamara (written by Bob Burgess of the Melrose Weekly Press)   
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2005     

Hi to all,

And thanks for another interesting issue of The Melrose Mirror. The story on the closing of Daniels LeSaffre Motors struck a chord--I grew up on nearby Green St and walked by that blue sign for many years on the way to the First National Store, Friendly's, and, of course, the high school. All best wishes to the LeSaffre family!

I'm writing because of the mention in the story of Dr. McNamara. Francis McNamara. He was our family doctor and he did house calls. I can remember being a child watching him drive up to our house in his HUGE car. We thought it was a limousine! Thank goodness he was coming that time to give my brother and not me a shot in the backside for some childhood ill.

Dr. McNamara was a kind, soft-spoken man. He lived on Bellevue Ave and would see patients there in his home, as well as in his Porter Street office. I believe his son still practices as a dentist on Main St. (or maybe he's retired as well, now!)

Your story sparked many memories. Thank you for that!

Linda Granfield
Toronto, Canada


... Bombay Saphire, if your please ...

From: SWJINAZ@cs.com - Stringer Steve Johnson in Arizona
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2005 14:40:42 EDT       
Subject: More on theaters...       
To: wruss2@gis.net, melrose@media.mit.edu, hatfieldr@erols.com    

To all:

I used to be an usher (remember those?) in the Malden theaters during the 1950s and I can assure you that there were originally five theaters. The Granada, the Orpheum, the Mystic, the Auditorium and the Strand. The Orpheum was the best deal in those days; 12 cents! But they didn't have any ushers there. Once in the early 1950s, when they brought back "Gone With The Wind," I saw that movie about 14 times in one week while ushering at the Granada.

The Melrose Theater, in the late 1940s cost 18 cents to get in. I remember that clearly, as my mother would give me a quarter on Saturday afternoon to go to the movies. I would spend 18 cents to get in, 5 cents for a package of "Walnettos" (because they would last all afternoon), and then have 2 cents left for penny candy at Hinchey's on the way home.

My favorite serial which ran every Saturday afternoon was, "The Black Whip." He was a Zorro-like character who fought the bad guys with a big bullwhip. Those were the days!

And across the street, as Russ said, was Hopkins, who's claim to fame was a large, thick, frappe called an "Awful-Awful." It was billed as: "awful big, awful good," hence, Awful-Awful. I think it cost $2.00, which was pretty expensive, in those days. Rumor was that, if you could drink a whole one in one sitting, they would give you a second one free. I never knew anyone who did that.

Now I drink Martinis; Bombay-Sapphire, if you please, and they are awful good, too.

Steve Johnson
The Arizona Stringer


... Whatta presentation! ...

From: nataliet926@peoplepc.com  
To: melrose@media.mit.edu       
Subject: The Old Melrose Theater by Jerry Norton       
Date: Sat, 8 Oct 2005 11:38:31 -0400    

Whatta presentation! The Old Melrose Theater by Jerry Norton. Four Stars!

Natalie Thomson


... Three cheers for Carol ...

From: nataliet926@peoplepc.com        
To: melrose@media.mit.edu       
Subject: A Melrose Story       
Date: Sat, 8 Oct 2005     

Carol Nelson's story about the life and times of Gerry Nadel, along with Paula Costello's picture, was superb. It gives a new meaning to the oh-so-familiar gazebo!

Natalie Thomson


... Another beauty ...

From: "JOHN BECKLEY" Alert        
To: melrose@media.mit.edu       
Subject: October edition       
Date: Sat, 8 Oct 2005     

The October issue is another beauty. Can't wait to see the pictures of the Fair in the next issue. Given the front page picture, we are in for a treat.

I was pleased to see that Margery Carter had a story in this issue. It was a wonderful childhood memory that I'm glad she chose to share with us.



... Searching for WWII buddy ...

Date: Sat, 08 Oct 2005        
From: "Greg"         
To: Melrose@media.mit.edu       
Subject: Robert Neil Zern    

Hi Virgina,

My name is Greg Edquist. My father, Glen Edquist was Bob Zerns best
friend in school. Every few years I do a google search for Bob Zern
and this time I came up with your articles and pictures. I have been
collecting alot of items regarding the USS Randolph for years hoping I
could find anything regarding Bob that I could give to my Dad. I have
had a little luck but nothing great. I called my Dad tonight to read
to him your articles. It filled in a few gaps, things we didn't know.

We always thought he was with the "Randy" from its launch on the east
coast. We didn't know that he was shot down on his first mission. Did
Neil train with Bob for long? Bob was at Great Lakes also. I wonder
if they were together from the start?

Do you have anymore information on Bob Zern? Any stories or letters
with Bob in them? Is it possible to get some hi resolution scans of any
pictures(from the articles and otherwise) regarding Bob? I would
joyfully pay for any costs and more for your trouble.

I have alot of shipboard photos, declassified photos, action reports
that I am willing to share with you if you are interested.

Yours truly,
Greg Edquist
1460 North Elms Rd.
Flint, MI   48532

Glen Edquist
2913 South Third St.
Niles, MI   49120


... More on the movies ...

From: "Robert Hatfield"  
To: melrose@media.mit.edu       
Subject: The Melrose Theatre - Redux       
Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2005 12:24:27 -0400    

I'm a "newby" to this wonderful site, and hope to become a regular. Wonders of cyberspace, I had done a google search on MHS to find anything on the 1956 Class 50th Year reunion, and one of the two links (the other was another MHS in - of all place, Canberra Australia) led me to the Melrose Mirror site.

Anyway, to augment Jerry Norton's wonderful (and colorful) reminiscences of the old theatre (October 7, 2005), my humble offering would be:

The annual 4th of July show, with many cartoons and the ever-popular free Hoodsies!

The adventure serials every Saturday (along with the double feature and the Movietone News) - the serial I most remember is "Don Winslow & The Navy"

My era's ticket price was a single quarter! Maybe this latent memory is why I find it impossible to pay even the "discounted" senior citizen prices of $5 or $6 these days.

Seeing the reference to Malden's Granada Theatre started me trying to recall the other three in that downtown (at least I think there were four there, the only advantage I remember Malden having over Melrose -except, ahem. liquor stores, but that's another story). I came up with The Strand, and The Orpheum - couldn't summon the 4th from the cobwebs.

Going across Main Street after the show to Bickford's (I think that was the ice cream parlor name) - now Turner's Sea Food Restaurant - when I had a few coins in the pocket for a Fribble (wasn't that the name of the super-thick frappe back than?).

Hope this prompts a few more nostalgiac memories for your readers.

Best regards,

Bob Hatfield (formerly of Albion Street in the Highlands)
Vienna VA


... Great article ...

By Eleanor Jenkins

From: "Eleanor Jenkins"
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005

Good afternoon
I had an email here from someone who read my “story”. Thought I would pass it on.

The article referred to is: Small World but it all looks the same - Letters To - December 2, 2004


Sent: Friday, October 14, 2005 9:01 AM
To: Eleanor Jenkins

Dear Eleanor

I was able to read your article and enjoyed it. Things have sure changed. I can remember staying with my Grandmother in Pensauken, NJ. when I was young. I was given a quarter (I think) and walked three blocks to a little store to get her bread and ice cream for myself. Today it is not even safe enough to let our granddaughter go over to swing on the swings at the school across the street. I either go with her or sit in the front yard and watch her. The person who drives her to school comes to the front door. I can remember the snow cones but when I got them a little colored boy pulled a big chunk of the ice in a wagon around town. that was in Pennsauken also. I used to roller skate in the street in front of my grandparents there too. I bet you have a lot of stories you can write about your childhood. I often wonder if my grandparents home is still there. It was a big three story house right by the Railroad tracks to Phila. I can also remember the train in loads of fellows on their way to Fort Dix and one threw his hat out to me. those were the good Old Days with lot less people around.

November 4, 2005


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