"TV Travelers" invade Lynn shoe factory

... video team spots really neat place in oldtown

from Don Norris

Well, the headline is somewhat misleading, but what we
meant to say was, "Video team motors to Lynn, visits shoe

According to the team leader - SilverStringer Louise Fennell
- it was a good day for knocking off one more place in the
now fully-packed list of shows the Melrose video team has
accomplished. In short, it was a good time.

The team -- an offshoot of the Melrose SilverStringers --
has done almost 25 popular spots around greater Boston.
Their work, once the tape gets edited and the show is
produced, has been used by MMTV, which actually
condones the project and supplies the necessary hardware
-- stuff like a camera and tripod, instructions, help in the
laborious job of editing each show.

The group decides where and what to shoot next.

This time they went to Lynn, to what was once a shoe
factory, but now is a rather spiffy museum. It is located
right in the downtown traffic, in what used to be an
industrial area. The city, however, managed to sell the
federal government to help resurrect the old brick building
-- and make it into a delightful small museum. At the right
is the Travelers' star, Rita Mucera, who spent a lifetime
with several television enterprises.

Our leader was the director of the museum, Joseph
Scanlon, who was more than glad to spend some three
hours with our group. It was surprise to find out that the
museum is a Federal property -- not run by the town, not
by the state, but as a function of the Federal government.

While the Lynn Museum hardly compares with such as the
Museum of Art or the Science Museum in Boston, it is a delightful
take-in, small, compact, informative, interesting, easy to
get to -- AND, it has its own parking area. In the heart of
Lynn, that's saying something!

That is SilverStringer Debbi Collar operating the key
video-cam, which is provided by MMTV -- along with the
new radio-operated microphone. Both that camera and the
new mike were purchased for this group of seniors, who
had some trouble handling heavy standard gear. Also on
the team that day was Rita, who "MC's most of the group's
programs -- Don Norris, who shoots either the videocam or
the still camera, and Flo Shea, who is secretary and takes
care of most everything else.

Louise Fennell is the boss, the founder, the self-taught
video expert. While our on-site shoot lasted only three
hours, editing by Louise and Norma Staples generally takes

Rita is always at home in front of the camera, as was
Director Scanlon. His museum is on two of the three floors in
the old, brick factory -- which has been re-designed and
rebuilt, maintaining its brick fašade while adding steel I-
beams to what was originally timbers. The result is a small,
square building, with an open center up to the third floor.
In short, it is an amazing, an interesting building that fits
its purpose nicely.

Here one can get a grasp of what the designers did -- in
leaving the center of the second floor out, so that the main
part of the museum is a very wide second-floor balcony.
The third (top) floor houses the staff and all the old stuff
that may or may not, some day, be brought down for
display. There is an elevator or one may climb the stairs.

The museum is rich in paintings and early photographs, the
gem of which is located on the second level: a beautiful
family portrait by the American Impressionist Frank Benson.
For variety, there is a General Electric jet engine, which was
top secret when it was being built in Lynn, some sixty years
ago. The photo at the left shows the troop of ladies who
provided key labor -- cheaper than hiring males -- in the
manufacture of shoes in the 19th century.

That's the Benson painting. It seems to be out of place in a
shoe factory, but there it is, along with the works of several
other American artists.

This photo displays the variety of artifacts, of history, of
what happened in this building for the past two centuries.
For a shoe factory, there is much more to be seen than the
name implies. It is a must for young and old, a lesson for
students, a delight for we seniors.

... and by the way, there is something for everybody to see
in the "shoe factory" -- it's name is official "The Lynn
Museum and Historical Society".

April 3, 2015

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