, Gloucester, MA

July 6, 2013

Talk of the Times:

By All Hands
Gloucester Daily Times

---- — Another St. Peter’s Fiesta has now come and gone – but one vestige of the event will continue this weekend as well.

“Greasy Pole – The Musical,” which once again sparked calls of “Viva” and “Bravo” when it opened its third annual run last week, will be performed four more times today and tomorrow at the Post 3 American Legion Hall on Washington Street, overlooking the main Fiesta grounds.

The original musical, a collaborative creation among Henry Allen, Robert Newton and others, focuses on one fictional family’s participation in one of Fiesta’s signature events, the Greasy Pole Walk — and on four generations of Scolafazza men who, because of Mama’s curse in 1931, never walked the pole.

The show will be performed today and Sunday at both 2 and 8 p.m., and caps another two-weekend run for the piece, which features Timothy “Cowboy” Edwards as Filippo Scolafazza.

This year’s show includes two new songs and an entirely new scene, while local musician/songwriter Inge Berge serves as musical director and leads the band.

Tickets are priced at $20, and at $15 for seniors, students, veterans — and Greasy Pole champions. Advance tickets are available at

No dampened enthusiasm

Gloucester’s Wednesday night Horribles Parade, combined with a glorious fireworks show over Gloucester Harbor and another lively free concert before and after the parade on Stacy Boulevard produced a gala downtown night for city residents and visitors alike.

So you might think that nothing could have possibly put any kind of damper on the festivities, right?

Well ... almost.

Brent “Ringo” Tarr, who helps coordinate the fireworks display and the staging for the concert, put on by Peter and Vickie Van Ness’s productions, said that volunteers were taking down the concert staging after the 11 p.m. finale, when they got a surprise at around 1 a.m.

While Tarr and his colleagues thought they had considered everything when it came to permits and other logistics, they had forgotten one little detail. No one told the city to shut off the timers for the Boulevard overnight sprinkler system — and, sure enough, off they went, soaking just about all who were still on the scene.

“It wasn’t bad, it really just cooled us off,” Tarr said with a laugh. “But it sure did catch us. We just never thought of it.”

Sounds as if the check list for next year’s event just got one item longer.

Expanding forest

The city of Gloucester is getting a land gift that will be expanding its northern forest.

The Natti Woodland, to be dedicated with an event July 11, has been received for conservation by the Essex County Greenbelt Association and the New England Forestry Foundation and includes 20 woodland acres attached to the existing Norton Memorial Forest at the edge of Dogtown near the end of Quarry Street.

The newly woodland site will provide enhanced access with designated parking for the memorial forest, and will help preserve this natural landscape for public enjoyment, biodiversity, and for future generations, according to an announcement from Essex County Greenbelt.

Anyone seeking more information about the site or regarding the July 11 dedication may contact Essex County Greenbelt at 978-968-7241, or via

Honored veteran

The flag at the Veterans’ Center will fly this week in honor of World War I veteran Horace Edward Hodgkins.

Born May 15, 1898, he entered the U.S. Navy on Nov. 30, 1917, and was discharged Sept. 11, 1919. The coxswain served with USS Leviathan, USS Lake Garza, and USS Huron.

He died April 18, 1984.

The flag was requested to fly in his honor by his son, David E. Hodgkins, of Gloucester.

Anyone wishing to fly a flag in honor of a deceased veteran can call the Office of Veterans’ Services at 978-281-9740.