When the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women honored its 2012 class of "unsung heroines" at the State House this past Wednesday, Gloucester veterans office coordinator Lucia Amero was at the head of the list.
State Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante had recommended Amero for this recognition because of what Ferrante called "her tireless efforts on behalf of veterans, the Fishermen's Memorial and Salvation Army."
According to the commission, its "unsung heroines" are "women who don't make the news, but make the difference."
"They are the women who use their time, talent and enthusiasm to enrich the lives of others and make a difference in their neighborhoods, cities and towns," the commission statement read. "They are mentors, volunteers and innovators who do what needs to be done without expectations of recognition or gratitude. These women are the glue that keeps a community together and every community is better because of their contribution."
"Lucia's tireless efforts to acknowledge and honor our veterans is not a vocation but a passion," Ferrante added. "Her dedication is admirable and so appreciated in a community that watches so many of its young people dedicate themselves to serving their country. I am proud to have nominated Lucia for the service that she provides."
Offshore wreck now historic icon
The wreck of a schooner that sank off the coast of Gloucester 120 years ago while shipping granite blocks has joined Civil War battlefields and Mount Rushmore on a federal list of the nation's historic icons.
The wreck of the Lamartine is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 19th century schooner lies in Massachusetts Bay, within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.
The 79-foot schooner was carrying granite sewer heads from Stonington, Maine, to New York City when it ran into a storm off Cape Ann. Its cargo shifted, causing the two-masted vessel to capsize in 1893.
One crewmember drowned as the schooner settled beneath the waves, and the captain and mate were tossed into the ocean. Luckily, a fishing schooner returning to Gloucester, saw the Lamartine sink, and rescued them, according to a NOAA press release.
NOAA says historians consider the Lamartine as a representative vessel of New England's granite trade from that era.
For dog lovers out there
Barbara Walsh — the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who is giving a talk today at Cape Ann Museum at 3 p.m. regarding her sea drama/memoir "August Gale" about a 1935 hurricane that wiped out dozens of schoonermen — actually first wrote a children's book.
The book was illustrated by Jamie Wyeth, son of artist Andrew Wyeth and grandson of illustrator and artist N.C. Wyeth. Jamie Wyeth, in fact, signed on as illustrator specifically because the book made him cry. He told Walsh he became teary while painting the scenes of a little girl and her playful pet, which end with a cloud-shaped dog in the sky. The book, titled "Sammy in the Sky," is about the death of a family hound dog, published by Candlewick Press.
The idea for the book came in the wake of the death of Walsh's hound dog. Her daughters, ages 2 and 5 at the time, went through the grieving process. Walsh had looked for a book to help her children better understand but she had trouble finding one exploring themes of death, love and loss. So over the last seven years she worked to write her own, reading different versions for countless students and testing the prose with children and educators until she had the right mix. It struck a deeply emotional chord, and for that reason publishers turned it down.
But the former North Shore reporter wouldn't take no for an answer. She believes that grief needs to be talked about.
After the publication of 2005's "Marley and Me," a bestselling book by journalist John Grogan about his yellow Labrador retriever, books about relationships with pets came to be in vogue, and securing Candlewick became a reality.
Casting call in Annisquam
The Annisquam Village Players are holding auditions for this summer's production of the universally popular "The Wizard of Oz."
Auditions will take place at the Annisquam Village Hall on Sunday, May 27m at 6 p.m. for all children ages 5 to 12, and at 7 p.m. for all lead roles and adults (13 years and older).
All necessary call-back auditions will take place May 28 at 6 p.m. For directions and updates, visit the new website at: http://annisquamvillageplayers.com/.
These productions feature residents from all over Cape Ann and from all ages. The Annisquam Village Players are one of the oldest continually operating community theaters in the country, operating since at least 1917.