Letters to ...

Letters, letters, letters ... the Mirror reflects

... Whimsy, wonderment, and a few pats on the back

from the SilverStringers

Editor's note: We writers of the Melrose Mirror are surprised (pleasantly so, usually) at the reaction we get from our readers around the country -- when a new issue comes out. Most don't bother to write, but in November, Editor Don Norris (one of seven) sent a message to some 50 of his friends, associates and cousins, noting that the new issue is now on the stands.

The responses further reflect our town, our people, our country ... so we reprint them below. See if you don't get a chuckle.

... interesting bunch of people

From: Barbara Pontecorvo
To: John Averell
Sent: Saturday, November 19, 2005
Subject: Re: November issue of Melrose Mirror

I'm so impressed with the M.M.....Before reading it, I'd thought of Melrose simply as a town on a map beyond Malden...but reading what's going on there, and the lively and interesting bunch of people who make these events happen, it's an inviting town to live in! Barbara

... as long as you want

Dear Don,

You should have stopped here in Coral Springs. We have a nice guest room and we do not charge a dime for guests to stay over. We even feed our guests. Next time, please just give us a heads up so I can wash the sheets and mop the floor. You are welcome any time and for as long as you want.

Love to all, Mary
(cousin, in Florida)

... unusually rich issue

Dear Don,

I visited the MELROSE MIRROR this afternoon, and enjoyed it very much. It appears to be an unusually rich issue (November), and I'm looking forward to returning to the unread articles.

Last month I especially enjoyed the piece on the Daniels-LeSaffre auto agency. I knew Bob slightly, and recall meeting his cordial father once.

We had two weeks in Peru and Ecuador (Machu Picchu and Galapagos) in early October. We missed the landslide that closed the railway by a week.

Best wishes, and keep the MIRROR polished.
Don Morrison
(classmate, MHS '49, Philadelphia)

... a class necrology?

Dear Don,

I enjoy The Melrose Mirror very much every month. I never knew most of the contributors, but I'm always looking for stories about familiar people and places.

I was doing a little Googling yesterday, and came across a death listing of our classmate Zantine Greenwood in the Norheastern University alumni magazine. Since his class was 1956, I assume it is the same person we knew. I know his brother Zina was a highly-esteemed member of the Melrose community, and had a memorial service in Memorial Hall, Melrose.

Is anyone keeping a class necrology? Have you heard anything further?
Don Morrison (MHS '49)

... government and our ranch

Hi Don & Lorry,

Thanks for your informative and amusing news from Melrose.

Your report on the old Melrose school being built on a bog reminds of the Hinson property and our wetlands that make up a big part of this land [in Pensacola, Florida]. Since my mother passed away in the summer of 2002, my sisters and I inherited this original 60 acres. The government forced my parents to sell about seven of these acres for the Blue Angle Parkway in 1970. The parkway cut the west pasture in half and effectively put us out of my dad's ranching business.

Then, a wetlands ordinance was passed that removed about 30 acres from development. So my sisters and I were left with about 23 acres of useful land. In 2003, the government again decided to pass an ordinance to protect the navy air station from encroachment and zoned about nine acres of our land within the airport zone. We are now left with 14 acres. My sisters were eager to get rid of the property and so we hired a real estate firm to market it. No takers were found.

Now, I have decided to make a small residential subdivision of what is left and have purchased my sister's interest in the property. Presently, I am involved with the seven government agencies that I will have to appease in order to finally begin the development. All of this makes me wonder how much better off property owners are in the USA compared to, let's say, China. At least in China, the government admits to owning all the land in that vast country. Here, the government pretends to title the land to the citizens so they can tax us for it, and still control it with all these ridiculous and orerous (sic) laws.

Thanks again for news from Melrose....

Cousin Jim Hinson
(in Pensacola, Florida).

... the Mirror in Pennsylvania

Hi Don

Karen was visiting me this weekend when I opened up the Mirror. We sat here and looked at the pictures together. (She has trouble getting onto the website from her home on Tremont Street.)

We talked about the demolition of the school and she was telling me about the town meetings concerning El Pond. It was great having something to share. Great pictures.

Eleanor (Eleanor Jenkins from Philadelphia, whose daughter Karen is a Melrose resident, and now Eleanor is a full-fledged member of the SilverStringers.)

... invitation from Mexico?

Dear Don and Lorry,

Read your letter - Don, congratulations. You must be very proud of your Melrose Mirror and ten years of connecting with citizens all over the country. Wow, that is a big thought. Historian!!

And to receive an invite from your brother, Doug - that is also a big one. Can't you get to Mexico with Lorry? Can I go?

Hope you get to Mexico - it would be worth it. Love, Priscilla

(Priscilla Simm of Hillsboro, NH)

... out of town

Hi. Thank you for your email, unfortunately I am currently out of the office and will not return until 11/9.

(niece, from Melrose)

... skip to M'Lue

From:    "M'Lue Zahner"       
Subject:    Carol Nelson's work       
Date:    Thu, 10 Nov 2005

What a treat to read Carol Nelson's writings. Her pieces are short, sometimes sweet and really fun to read. My favorite one was about Adam and Eve. You go girl!

Love is our Soul Purpose

M'Lue Zahner
Cambridge, Ma.

... Oklahoma City bombing

Fri, 11 Nov 2005
From:    "Hazel Leiblein"Book" Add to Address Book  Add Mobile Alert        
To:    melrose@media.mit.edu    

What a shame! That was a beautiful school. It now looks like the Oklahoma City bombing.

... pictures of Melrose High


Your pictures of the abortion of Melrose High were graphic but sad. In my mind's eye as a freshman (1938) it had just emerged from the womb.
You Stringers keep up the good work.

(Stringer Jerry Norton of Kent, Washington

... Thanks for the memories

Mon, 14 Nov 2005
Subject:    MHS Photos       
To:    melrose@media.mit.edu    

I was "Googling" the Internet looking for information on MHS, in anticipation of going to Melrose for a 50th reunion next year, and came upon your site. It was a little shocking to see that the place that provided so many memories is gone. My family moved from Melrose the year after I graduated, so my memories of the building are those of a teen-ager who (naively) thought it was a grand building and would probably last a lot longer than us. Thanks for the photos and commentary.

Ed Reinhardt, MHS 1956
Laguna Hills, CA

...  Uh oh, wrong newspaper.

Editor's note: Author Tony D'Ambrosio sent his complaint to the wrong newspaper. We are the Melrose Mirror. His article appeared in the Melrose Weekly News. We will, however, print his message about paintballs.

Mon, 14 Nov 2005
From:    "Anthony "t2" D'Ambrosio"
To:    melrose@media.mit.edu       
Subject:    November 10-16th issue.    

Hello my name is Anthony D'Ambrosio, I am a resident of Melrose and a graduate of Melrose High School class of 2001. I am writing you in reguards to an article I read in your current issue, I believe there is a bit of mis-information that I would like to clarify.

Let me start by saying I am currently employed by Boston Paintball Supply, I play competitive paintball which currently is the 3rd largest extreme sport in the world. Our sport as a whole has a "black eye" so to speak, the only press we get is bad press. I am writing to clear up a myth about paintball that has not only been reported by your paper but other media as well about the Halloween night assault of Melrose youths.

Paintballs in fact CANNOT BE FROZEN, drop in temperature below 40 degrees will cause the shell of a paintball to become brittle and swell. The paintball would NEVER even fit inside the chamber of the marker nor down the barrel. Technically they are considered to be a food product and are 100% edible.

Here is an excellent resource on paintballs facts and myths.... http://www.ottersccustoms.com/paintu.html. To be honest with you "frozen paintballs" are an urban myth ... everyone knows a guy, that knows a guy, that knows a guy that did it.

I in no way condone any vandalism and harmful acts that are committed with a paintball marker. Frankly they hurt my sport and make my job harder, for example the incident that occurred after the Red Sox game last fall, the 60 minutes spot a few years back w/ Southern California youths doing "drive bys" while video recording the entire event. These are isolated incidents and should not reflect the sport as a whole.

The actual numbers would surprise you: http://www.paint-ball.org/paintball/safety_report.htm

I have been playing this sport for half my life, it is now my career. I live to help the sport progress and grow. Unlike other sports age, size, or physical condition has hardly anything to do with your success. Everyone has the same chance and a good time reguardless if you win or lose. It increases teamwork, communication skills, and sportsmanship in people from all backgrounds. When you step on that field you are all equals and all abide by the same code of ethics and conduct. It is beyond a hobby or a novelty for some people it is a lifestyle, I would guarantee if you were to ask ANY paintball player if they agree with the use of a paintball marker for a harmful act they would tell you they hope they get the book thrown at said offenders.

Melrose as a whole has many players ranging from 10 to 50+, our indoor field was host to a large group of Melrose youths just this past weekend. I think most parents realize the safest way to play is at an organized field with proper supervision.

I just wanted to inform you of those facts, I enjoy your paper every week keep up the good work.

Anthony D'Ambrosio
Boston Paintball Internet Guru / Manager

December 2, 2005

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