I have a story in today's GDT and online at gloucestertimes.com (click here) on Joltin' Joe Lucido, Gloucester's barber to the stars and the 2014 Gloucester recipient of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce's Small Business Person of the Year award.
This was one of those stories that was a pleasure to write, partly because Lucido is such a gentleman and so highly regarded by his patrons and all those in town who know of him and his love for all things Gloucester (especially GHS sports).
It was also fun because I hadn't set foot in an actual barbershop in, well, I'm not sure how long. First, there is my hair. Imagine a lunar landscape bookended by two furry cliffs. That's me. When I get my hair cut, I ask for the Larry Fine.
Worse, like most men of my generation, I've been hoodwinked into thinking I should be going to a stylist, that somehow I'm getting a better haircut there _ because I'm paying almost three times more _ than by an actual barber.
Well, I say no more to that. After interviewing Joe on Saturday, I sat down in the chair and let him do his magic for the four minutes it takes to cut what's left of my hair. I'm not kidding when I say it's the best haircut I've ever gotten.
Check out the story. He's a very cool guy and richly deserving of the award.
This, that and the other . . .
It was a bountiful weekend of baseball with the captivating and cutoff-hitting K-Mac. We ventured into Fenway on Friday night to watch the Sox and Rays noogie each other into delirium and then caught most of the Gloucester-Belmont quarterfinal at Nate Ross Field on Saturday, in which our fighting Fishmongers came back for a walk-off win that sends them to the Division 2 North semifinals Thursday night against North Andover at Endicott College.
Friday night was a bit of an adventure, mostly of our own doing. First we were going to take the train in. Then we were going to drive into Sullivan Station and grab the T. We got to Sullivan Station without too much bother, but either the lot was full (my story) or we (well, I) missed the correct entrance into the lot (K-Mac's take).
Either way, Sullivan Station didn't work out and we were left with a choice: fight our way back onto Interstate 93 and head into town that way or meander through Somerville and Cambridge and back door our way into the Back Bay.
Hey, we're not above a spot of meandering.
The truth of the matter was that it probably didn't matter, since it was about 4:15 p.m. and Friday rush-hour traffic had pretty much tied everything into a nice, tight pretzel. As best as I can reconstruct it, we went out of Sullivan Square on Washington Street, under the McGrath Highway, through East Somerville and into Cambridge on Kirkland Street, into, around and out of Harvard Square onto Mass Ave and on over the Charles and into Back Bay.
I think the Donner Party had an easier time of it. We saw every Somerville and Cambridge square but Tiananmen.
We took out the second mortgage that's required to pay for parking and were (sort of ) comfortably nestled into our (very) damp seats while the Red Sox went through their nightly annoying ritual of introducing every single resident of New England during the incessant pre-game ceremonies (can't we just play the freaking game?).
Then the game started and David Price decided to hold David Ortiz accountable for the sins of all men, drilling the His Papiness with a 94-mph fastball in their first encounter since Ortiz whacked two homers off the lefty in last year's ALDS.
Price apparently holds a grudge like Khomeini. (Next time the Rays are in town, Price should be forced to let me drive him to the ballpark as punishment for his egregious behavior). That got everybody's blood up and we were off and running with the usual Red Sox-Rays hate fest. Still, all in all, a good game.
But not nearly as good as Saturday's well-played affair between the Fightin' Fishmongers and Belmont in front of a dandy-sized crowd ringing Nate Ross Field.
GHS starter Peter Clark spun a beauty on the hill before tying the game with his leadoff homer in the bottom of the sixth off Belmont starter Robbie Montanaro, who was even better until he surrendered the homer. The Belmont righty with the modified Juan Marichal leg kick pitched a heck of a game, effectively spotting his fastball and using his breaking ball to keep the Fishmongers at bay.
Two very important elements in the victory that perhaps got lost after Tyler Favaloro delivered the pinch-hit game-winner in the bottom of the seventh: Clark's shutdown seventh, retiring the Marauders in order to retain the momentum crated by his homer and Eric Chalmers' nifty sacrifice to move Lukas McRobb into scoring position in the seventh.
A bunt single and a walk loaded the bases with one out and Favaloro finished it out with a clutch single that sent GHS onto the semi-finals, where they will face North Andover.
Really, a nicely played, enjoyable game. Check out the game story by our man on the scene, Nick Curcuru (click here).
Last Song Out the Door: Poco's "A Good Feelin' to Know" off their 1972 album of the same name
Contact Sean Horgan at 978-675-2714, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT and check out his blog, Glosta Daily, on gloucestertimes.com