To the editor:
What is it about Gloucester that makes her so extraordinary?
As you arrive around the Dogbar breakwater, and head toward Ten Pound Island, the view of the city is like no other.
But there exists a multitude of characters in the history of Gloucester that define her more than the beauty that surrounds her. Names like Fitz Henry Lane, Howard Blackburn, Clarence Birdseye, Joe Garland, Joe Popcorn, Andy Dominic, and Rick Kaloust, just to name a few.
They were individuals that made a difference, characters that breathed life into this community. Books have been written about a few; stories continue to be shared about others; and our community is better for the time they spent here.
Some of these individuals have left indelible impressions. Their names are visible on buildings, their paintings are prominently displayed, their civic duties made a difference, their slush is still famous, or they just made us laugh — a lot.
I have a heavy heart. Gloucester has lost a pillar of its community.
You probably wouldn’t recognize his name — all 30,000 of you — but you would recognize that familiar face.
You would know him if you wanted to have your daughter’s wedding in your back yard. You would know him if your basement flooded. You would know him if you wanted to clean your second-story gutters.
You would know him if you were involved in plumbing, carpentry, electrical, drywall, landscape, automotive, painting, entertaining or were a do-it-yourselfer. He was the proprietor of one of the finest businesses that Gloucester could not do without.
Today the phrase “hard worker” has become too generic. I would like to say he was the hardest worker I know, but that would not do him justice. Focused, intense, stalwart, disciplined, commitment and enthusiastic are the words that he has earned to describe his nature. His work ethic and attention to detail was beyond compare. On most occasions, he would head back to work after having dinner and saying goodnight to his wife and beautiful young daughter. His wife and three daughters more than anything came first.
Until the very end, he was stoic. He would share the progress of his condition if you knew about it, yet he would never dwell on it. He looked healthy as an ox, and worked just shy of the day he passed. And his business at Gloucester Rental continues on.
You departed at the top of your game Steve. You were a mentor, a man to emulate, and an incredible friend to all.
It is the character of people like Stephen Malboeuf that has made Gloucester extraordinary.
BARRY HALLETT, Jr.