To the editor:

This is addressing Joel Favazza’s recent letter in the Gloucester Daily Times (”No ‘third option’ for new school, Oct. 7), where he asked “Was Joseph S. Mattos a jerk?”

I was not fortunate enough to know my uncle Joseph S. Mattos. He died in combat long before I was born, but I did know his mother and father (my grandparents} and all of his sisters and his brother.

I did know of the family’s memory of him and the pride they took in him and his service. I knew how proud they (we) all were of the field dedicated to his honor in the neighborhood we lived in.

There were no jerks in the Mattos family!

As the oldest close relative of Joseph, and after much correspondence with other members of the family, I can state irrevocably that Joseph’s memorial should and must be preserved and the best location for that memorial is Mattos Field on Webster St. close to his ancestral home.

Not some obscure corner of a megaschool yard, not some distant tiny space in a neighborhood that would have been strange to him.

Joseph made the ultimate sacrifice for his country and he and his family deserve the honor of a significant memorial, as they have had in Mattos Field since it was dedicated in 1935.

There are many other sites in Gloucester that would be more suitable for a large school. Sites that would be large enough to provide enough outdoor play space, sites that would be large enough to handle the traffic flow that a school of the proposed size would generate, Sites that would not destroy the character of a neighborhood as this one would. Sites that would not force our children to study in a facility reminiscent of the old three-story schools built in the late 1800’s

We should learn form the mistakes of the past not compound them, merely because we are loath to admit we could have made better choices.

It’s not too late!

Reginald B. Santos

Gloucester

 

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