Letters to ...

Letters, letters, letters ...

... our readers get involved

from the SilverStringers

Editors' note: The Stringers -- those good folks who publish The Melrose Mirror -- collected several dozen letters from readers and fans in the past six weeks. We selected a sampling, plus a couple for which we could not provide an answer. Perhaps our readers can provide help.

A voice from our past ... June 28, 2006

I came across the couple of articles Mary MacDougall wrote for the Melrose Mirror on line today … I found them interesting to read, especially the one from 1999 that Mary wrote on the Queen Mary and Filene’s Basement. I wonder what my Mom would think today if she knew I am now employed by the same Filene’s Basement.

Bob MacDougall


Bob: It is truly amazing how everything seems to be connected if you look closely enough. I have to tell you that your Mom was one of my favorite people. She was always stopping by my office to tell me the latest news, give us a candy treat, or to proofread something for me. I miss her.

Best regards,

Jack Beckley
Executive Director, Melrose Council on Aging


Where's the meat! ... May 13, 2006:

To whom it may concern. I am writing regarding the construction photos that are no longer posted for the Melrose Middle School construction. Why are they no longer posted on the site for weekly progress? It was nice to see the progress of our school and I am wondering if the pictures will return to the site or if they have been moved elsewhere. Thank you.

Sincerely, Damon Alfonso


Dear Mr. Alfonso -- Mia culpa, I confess. I am behind the MHS construction series.

After those rather dramatic demolition pix, the builders seemed to go into winter hibernation, and nothing of note seemed to be happening. I have taken photos for the past two issues, but they were insignificant -- trying to make a good picture out of nothing.

So for the July issue, I was invited to a one-person tour and have enough good photos for an update.

And thank you for the encouragement.

Don Norris, one of the editors.

Send down the rain ... June 4:  

Stringers: Great photos!! I knew there were some evacuations in Melrose, but not that many. We could use some of that rain down here- it seems to rain north or south of here...but, now that hurricane season is here maybe we will start the afternoon showers (thunderstorms). Meantime it stays 95 and sunny.

I've been taking time to help an elderly friend get her car repaired...hadn't been maintained and things were disintegrating. It's a '87 Lincoln Town Car with 25,000 miles on it. Sat in the White House for 2 years - belonged to Nancy Regan. Many fabulous stories to go along with this person.

Randy Kidwell
Tampa, Florida


Tears, adding to the flood ... June 8

Dear SilverStringers: Just received Don Norris's message and immediately read his article in the Mirror. I am saddened to hear what your town experienced in the past month. A tear is trickling down my cheek as I write this (there were others earlier when I read your article). I've read only your story so far, but it sounds like you all reacted like a bunch of pros at handling this catastrophe.

Your little town and your area of our US have become very dear to me. I am praying for recovery for all of you in whatever ways are needed. Flooding is a murky mess to clean up after, but I know you have many wonderful minds at work on how to handle the aftermath the best and fastest ways possible.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and all of your townmates.

God Bless,

Delores Wernet (New Mexico follower of the Mirror)


God bless YOU, Delores. Since your note arrived, Stringer Eleanor Jenkins in Haverford, Pennsylvania, has been catching the downpours -- along with our Capitol, Baltimore and most of New Jersey.


Fine job ... June 4:

The stories were excellent, the pictures were even better -- and in great abundance. I was surprised to find a dozen non-flood stories in addition. Congrats for digging out the story of Steve Trulli. All in all, it really told the story of the enormity of the storm in Melrose.

Jack Driscoll
Former managing editor, Boston Globe and MIT advisor to the SilverStringers


Finally got it right? June 4, 2006:

Congratulations SilverStringers for a wonderful June issue. I have enjoyed reading it. You must be patting yourselves on the back after ten years of effort. Well done.

Priscilla Powers Simm -- Melrose High School Class of l950
Hillsboro, New Hampshire


Witch Bette Davis? June 5, 2006: Hi,

I have been working on my family history for many years and recently learned of a connection with Bette Davis through a Davis in my line. It is said in her personal biography that she had an ancestor hanged in Salem as a witch. I have looked all over the web and have not as yet found to my satisfaction who this person (woman) was. I have my own guess. Could you possible help me?

Thank you for your time,

Mrs. Janine Swirtz

RUSS'S RESPONSE: June 5, 2006:

Mrs. Swirtz,

Since Salem is in another county and about 15 miles from us, the only thing we can offer is advice. The city of Salem capitalizes on the witch history with many citizens dressed as witches in Halloween week and bus loads of tourists are lured to the scene. I would suggest using a search engine such as Google or Yahoo and entering "Salem Mass. Witch history" or "Salem Mass. Historical Society." Entering Mass. is important because there are many Salems in the U.S. It is in Essex County but I think mentioning that would confuse the issue. As a last resort, try telephone information. Our local directories do not include Salem.

Russ Priestley, one of the editors


Not in the Mirror ... June, 2006

To whom it may concern:

I was told there was an article in your paper about the 40th Anniversary of Ordination of my brother, Rev. Leo B. Shea, M.M. who grew up and attended school in Melrose. We would like to obtain copies of the article and ask how to acquire them?

Thank you for your assistance.

Maureen Shea Dolan

RESPONSE: No one can recall such an article in the Mirror, Ms. Dolan. Perhaps you should contact both the Melrose Free Press or the Melrose Weekly News. Both are traditional newspapers, printed on paper -- which we aren't.

Don Norris, one of the editors.


Hey, what's the significance of a blue pencil in China? June 20, 2006:

What does 'Hold the blue pencil" mean? My friend from China wrote and asked me this and I googled it and found you

Thanks, Angela



I'm happy to find Google has faith in us. I have had some experience with publishing where the copy used to be on paper proofs. Those proofs were edited by proofreaders and editors using a blue pencil. All errors (sometimes called typos) were noted in proofreader language devised to save time, but always in blue pencil, in order to be noticed. The corrections were made by the typositor (typesetter) and then the type was ready for the pressman. I won't get into the various methods of printing.

In publishing the Melrose Mirror, we do all editing online before publishing, so no blue pencil is involved.

Russ Priestley, one of the editors


Can anyone there cane? June, 2006:

Do you have anybody interested in caning three spindle back chairs.

George Goldman
Wayland, MA 01778
E-mail: gg4baker@aol.com


We have one editor who canes, but she refused your offer. There is a caning class here at the Milano Senior Center; I shall post your note on their bulletin board.

Don Norris, one of the editors.


July 7, 2006

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