... this story is a sketch -- and ink sketch, 40 years ago
This isn't really a news story. It's just a happening that sort of reflects on
us Melrosians, one to another, all together, each one different.
One day Brad Hutchinson, owner, founder, entrepreneur, of Brad Hutchinson Real
Estate, which (I believe) is still functioning happily today. Four decades ago
-- one day Brad saw some of the doodles I had done while at a meeting of the
then-young, Junior Chamber of Commerce.
Jaycees, it was. The organization was brand new, and featured many of the
city's outstanding young men. I say 'young' because the national organization
limited membership to the young age of 35 years. I was about 33 then, still
working as a writer for The Melrose Free Press.
Anyway, the organization got off the ground and operated quite successfully
for several decades -- until a couple of females were recruited as members.
National didn't like that at all, and told the then-president of the Melrose
chapter, Mike Festa, to 'dis-member' (my choice of words) those females, under
the threat of our chapter being dis-membered ourselves.
Mike didn't like that, nor did the rest of the all-male membership, so the
club was disbanded. Too bad, for it had been a successful organization,
producing several interesting programs that benefited the entire town.
But the move made a significant political statement.
Anyway, to get back to Brad Hutchinson -- who had been a Jaycee -- Brad noted
my propensity for drawings, and asked if I'd do a logo for his business. I did
just that, the first of which was the ink sketch above. Brad chuckled, but
said that wasn't what he was looking for. So I did a few more off-hand
sketches, mostly less than serious, to which Brad nodded, negatively. And the
request was dropped, as I recall.
The loss of the Jaycee chapter in Melrose was disheartening, for the Jaycees
did well for our small city, producing shows, functions, municipal-level
programs -- all aimed at making Melrose a better place.
By this time I was well beyond "retirement" age (35 years) for membership -- I
had graduated from the Melrose Free Press to working for CycleSport
Publishing, out of Wenham. Now that was an exciting profession, for I could
race my new motorcycles and then write a story for publication. It was a good
life, in spite of a couple of broken bones, several concussions, and a long
list of wounded-and-broken dirtbikes.
All this time I kept on drawing, however -- a skill that has lasted a life-
In the meantime (now retired at age 86) Brad's company is still healthy and (I
may say) wealthy, maybe even wise. Unfortunately, however, we are without a
Jaycee chapter, for as far as we know, the rules haven't changed.
April 7, 2017