The first Family and Friends Night will be on Main Street in downtown Gloucester tonight, Dec. 20, from 6 to 9 p.m. Stores will be open late, with many offering discounts, refreshments or a special offering of their choice.
Three groups of carolers will stroll Main Street: the Cape Ann Bible Church with a mix of children and adults, from 6 to 7 p.m.; Carol’s Carolers Group, from 7 to 8 p.m.; and The Neighborhood Carolers from 8 to 9 p.m. “Anyone who would like to join in song please feel free, the carolers would love it,” said Chris Orlando, an organizer. “Santa will visit many of the stores and restaurants so be on your best behavior.”
Shoppers and others can join Santa in front of Kids Unlimited at 9 p.m. when he will draw the winning ticket to the $1,500 Shopping Spree. There are nine restaurants on Main and Rogers streets that are offering a free dessert or appetizer, or something else of their choice. Diners can ask the restaurant of their choice what they are offering for Family and Friends Night.
Cape Ann Farmers Market will host its first “Fare for the Holidays” event, featuring an indoor farmers market for holiday shopping, today, Dec. 20, from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church, at the corner of Middle and Church streets. The market features local produce, meat and poultry, crafts, baked goods, cheese, pickles, preserves, herbal products, candles, smoked fish, Trupiano sausage, honey, soup, hand-blown glass, guacamole, pasta, salsa, dog treats and more. Gifts for giving, food for the feast, and even recycled chairs for the extra guest will be on sale from local vendors. The church will be offering cups of mac and cheese, chop suey, hot cider and coffee, as well as holding raffles to help support this historic downtown icon.
Life before the modern world
Gloucester’s Sarah Dunlap, a city archivist, recently finished editing a book written by her late father, “Life on the Abbagadasset: Memories of Boyhood on a Bowdoinham [Maine] Farm.” Sarah’s father was Dr. Albert A. Dunlap (1902-1978), a plant pathologist and farmer born in Bowdoinham, Maine. During the last ten years or so of his life, he wrote down many stories and memories of his childhood on his parents’ farm in Maine, details about the lives of his family and neighbors, how things worked and got done.
“He remembered and in crystal clear language wrote down conversations, humorous incidents, disasters, disagreements and tragedies. From the tiniest bit of local color to the largest of life’s tragedies, he recorded them in a straightforward manner, with his own insights, surprise punch lines and remarkably precise facts,” said his daughter. Sarah spent the summer of 2012 “gently” editing and, with the layout help of Jeffrey Crawford, getting this work printed. It was ready for the town of Bowdoinham’s 250th anniversary celebrations in September.
Dunlap said the stories and situations in the book are of wide interest. “The details of daily life and nature are a valuable, personal and honest picture of life before what we now know as the modern world,” she said. The book is available at The Bookstore of Gloucester.
Holiday hours for art show
Central Street Gallery in Manchester is having refreshments at the gallery all day tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 21, from noon to 9 p.m. The current exhibit features small paintings of many local scenes, which are priced for holiday buyers. New small paintings are coming in to replace ones that have sold. The show runs through Jan. 30. Extended hours are Saturday and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. and Monday, Christmas Eve, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
New book about women
Bonnie Hurd Smith, a former resident, historian, and scholar of the historical Gloucester resident Judith Sargent Murray (1751-1820), has written a new book on women’s history and women’s issues, which includes Murray. In a new twist on women’s history, Smith’s book uses women’s history to examine challenges faced by women and girls today. The book is titled “We Believe in You! — 12 Stories of Courage, Action, and Faith for Women and Girls.”
The book’s first section tells the stories of 12 high-achieving women from Massachusetts history, including Murray, who were the “first” to do something locally, nationally, and in some cases internationally. In the second section, Smith imagines having a conversation with each woman about the advice she would offer today. Section three provides coaching for women and girls today, on subjects such as self esteem, overcoming obstacles, having the right support system, and money. Along with Murray, the featured women are Abigail Adams, Louisa May Alcott, Anne Bradstreet, Lydia Maria Child, Margaret Fuller, Edmonia Lewis, Elizabeth Peabody, Sarah Parker Remond, Maria Stewart, Lucy Stone and Phillis Wheatley. Smith set up a special page on her website, historysmiths.com/We_Believe, where readers can email her with comments and download a free gift. The book is available at her website and soon in local book stores.
Artists, the next generation show
Flatrocks Gallery at 77 Langsford St. in Gloucester is holding a show it describes as full of “whimsy, energy and inventiveness” with its exhibit, “The Next Wave.” The show features Brett Dunton, Jenna Powell, Ben MacAdam, Elizabeth Woodward, Nate Longcope, Daniel Semeraro, Brooks Gibson, Nina Samoiloff, Sean Hurley, Whitney Gibson, Nika Feldman, Jamison Knowlton, Jess Semeraro and Ari Martin. The show runs through Dec. 30 with hours Thursday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. or by appointment at 978-879-4683.
Around Cape Ann is a column devoted to events happening on Cape Ann and artists from Cape Ann performing elsewhere. If you would like to submit an item, contact reporter Gail McCarthy at 978-283-7000 x3445, or gmccarthy@gloucestertimes.