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EDITOR’S LETTER<br />

Bill Brotherton<br />

bbrotherton@essexmediagroup.com<br />

Publisher<br />

Edward M. Grant<br />

Chief Executive Officer<br />

Michael H. Shanahan<br />

Chief Financial Officer<br />

William J. Kraft<br />

Chief Operating Officer<br />

James N. Wilson<br />

Editor<br />

Bill Brotherton<br />

Directors<br />

Edward L. Cahill<br />

John M. Gilberg<br />

Edward M. Grant<br />

Gordon R. Hall<br />

Monica Connell Healey<br />

J. Patrick Norton<br />

Michael H. Shanahan<br />

Contributing Writers<br />

Meaghan Casey<br />

Gayla Cawley<br />

Bella diGrazia<br />

Thomas Grillo<br />

Steve Krause<br />

Stacey Marcus<br />

Adam Swift<br />

Bridget Turcotte<br />

Photographers<br />

Spenser Hasak<br />

Owen O’Rourke<br />

Advertising Sales<br />

Ernie Carpenter, Director<br />

Peter Battinelli<br />

Michele Iannaco<br />

Ralph Mitchell<br />

Patricia Whalen<br />

Advertising Design<br />

Trevor Andreozzi<br />

Gerald Hersh<br />

Production and Design<br />

Mark Sutherland<br />

INSIDE THIS EDITION<br />

Peabody’s North East Trains keeps chugging along ....................... 10<br />

Saugus chef enters culinary hall of fame ....................................... 12<br />

Memory Project touches heart of Lynnfield high-schooler ........... 16<br />

Peabody musician making inroads in Nashville ............................ 18<br />

Lynnfield brothers in perfect harmony .......................................... 20<br />

5 things you didn’t know about Lynn’s new mayor ....................... 22<br />

Lynn’s Beyond Walls gears up for second festival ........................... 24<br />

Duo finds way to make money from newspapers ......................... 26<br />

St. Mary’s hockey coach a true champion ...................................... 28<br />

Girls Inc. preps for 30th anniversary luncheon ............................... 29<br />

Auto icon Ira Rosenberg cruises into retirement ............................ 30<br />

Trains, brains and automobiles<br />

Trains, brains and automobiles. That’s part of what you’ll find in this <strong>Spring</strong> issue<br />

of <strong>One</strong> magazine.<br />

Your first destination might be our story on North East Trains, a Peabody Square<br />

institution for more than 30 years, and how owner/founder Don Stubbs has been able<br />

to keep this nostalgic hobby alive for model electric train enthusiasts around the world.<br />

Shortly after I was born, seven years after Louis Jordan took the jumpin’ “Choo<br />

Choo Ch’Boogie” to the top of the charts, my dad bought a small Lionel train<br />

set. He probably bought it for his own entertainment, since an infant, even one as<br />

intelligent as me, would have difficulty setting it up.<br />

At the time, we lived in a small house on Abington Avenue in Peabody’s Gardner Park<br />

section that my dad was able to buy thanks to a low-interest G.I. Bill loan available to<br />

World War II veterans. I have fond memories of my mom and dad and two baby sisters<br />

watching the trains go round and round and round on the dining room table, where<br />

minutes earlier we probably had enjoyed a delish meal of Jell-O salad and tater tots.<br />

A visit to Stubbs’ Main Street shop sent me to my basement in search of the train<br />

set. I found it in a cardboard Dubonnet box, right next to a box labeled “Xmas<br />

junk.” The set, Lionel’s basic O gauge No. 1500 “027” 3-car Freight, included a black<br />

locomotive and gondola car, a candy-orange “Baby Ruth” boxcar, a red caboose and<br />

lots of metal track. The accompanying 1954 Lionel catalog said it cost $19.95. I was<br />

more intrigued by the 78 rpm sound effects record that produced sounds of railroad<br />

whistles, bells and diesel horns. “Woo-o. Woo-o-O-o. Dang! Dang!” The 35-watt<br />

transformer and all the electric components were there as well. I was tempted to plug<br />

it in, but feared it might have caused the Northeast Blackout of <strong>2018</strong>.<br />

From there, we visit with area residents who had the brains to follow their dreams<br />

and achieved great success. Marvel at the stories of Saugonian Denise Graffeo, the first<br />

woman inducted into the American Academy of Chefs Culinary Hall of Fame, brothers<br />

Joseph and Anthony Freda of Lynnfield, who are putting their distinctive musical<br />

talents to good use as they prepare for an ambitious concert at Lynn Auditorium, and<br />

Kathy Cormier and Michelle Kane, whose Lynn-based company Couture Planet<br />

manufactures sustainable handbags and accessories from recycled newspapers.<br />

Just around the next corner is a conversation with automobile titan Ira Rosenberg,<br />

whose car career started on the Lynnway and led to his recent retirement as CEO of<br />

Prime Motor Group, which operates 30 dealerships in New England.<br />

Other destinations that might interest you include an update on Lynn’s Beyond<br />

Walls project, and looks at Peabody native Ross Livermore who’s making a name for<br />

himself in Nashville music circles, the “overnight success” of St. Mary’s High hockey<br />

coach Mark Lee, another side of Lynn’s new Mayor Tom McGee Jr. and a Lynnfield<br />

High student who’s making a difference in the lives of Syrian refugee children.<br />

We’re gone the extra mile and are quite pleased with this <strong>Spring</strong> issue of ONE<br />

magazine and are proud to toot-toot-toot our own horn. We hope it transports<br />

you to a happy place as well.<br />

Bill Brotherton is editor of ONE magazine and Essex Media Group’s North<br />

Shore Golf and 01907. A Suffolk University graduate from Beverly, Bill is<br />

retired from the Boston Herald, where he edited the Features section and<br />

wrote about music. Please share story ideas and tell him what you think at<br />

bbrotherton@essexmediagroup.com.<br />

Cover: <strong>One</strong> of many locomotives available at North East Trains in downtown Peabody.<br />

Cover photo by Spenser Hasak<br />

2 | ONE MAGAZINE | SPRING <strong>2018</strong>


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PHOTOS: SPENSER HASAK<br />

North East Trains owner Don Stubbs can’t resist revving up the bluetooth-controlled model train on the counter of his Peabody shop.<br />

When Don<br />

Stubbs was<br />

a kid, his<br />

parents and<br />

older brothers gifted him with<br />

a Lionel electric train set for<br />

Christmas. Every birthday<br />

and holiday from that point<br />

on, they bought him items to<br />

expand his model railroad.<br />

“We’d set it up on the floor,”<br />

said Stubbs, who was born<br />

in Canada and grew up in<br />

Michigan. “My father, my<br />

brothers and I spent hours<br />

adding components and<br />

building that thing. We had so<br />

much fun.”<br />

That started Stubbs’ lifelong<br />

love for all things railroadrelated.<br />

For more than 30 years,<br />

the Marblehead resident has<br />

owned and operated North<br />

East Trains in Peabody Square.<br />

The current site at 18 Main<br />

Street is the third downtown<br />

location for his model/hobby<br />

shop.<br />

Now that he’s all grown up,<br />

does he still play with trains?<br />

“I never grew up, I just got<br />

bigger,” said the 72-year-old<br />

with a smile. But, in the store,<br />

surrounded by trains and<br />

fellow railroad aficionados, he<br />

admitted it’s impossible not to<br />

pick up the Bluetooth remote<br />

control and rev up the train<br />

that’s set up on the store’s long<br />

counter.<br />

“When I started playing high<br />

school sports, the trains were<br />

put aside. I was more interested<br />

in real cars and other things,”<br />

continued Stubbs. “But I still<br />

have that train set. I lent it out<br />

to my brothers’ kids, and let’s<br />

just say they didn’t take great<br />

care of it.”<br />

Stubbs also bought and set<br />

up a train set for his firstborn,<br />

Brendan. He still has<br />

that, as well, and figures both<br />

sets will one day go to his<br />

grandchildren.<br />

Stubbs met an East Coast<br />

girl while both were attending<br />

the University of Michigan.<br />

They married and moved to<br />

Marblehead, where Stubbs<br />

10 | ONE MAGAZINE | SPRING <strong>2018</strong>


taught art at the Bell School.<br />

He opened North East Trains<br />

in 1982 — “It was more like<br />

a hobby at the time” — and<br />

business was so good, he gave<br />

up his tenured teaching position<br />

to run the store full-time.<br />

The business still turns a profit,<br />

but nothing like the golden<br />

age when hobby stores thrived.<br />

With busy parents working<br />

more than ever, this generation<br />

of kids raised with computers,<br />

video games, cell phones and the<br />

like don’t seem to find the fun in<br />

quaint train sets.<br />

“It’s pretty quiet here in the<br />

summer,” said Stubbs, “but<br />

we’re still a brick and mortar<br />

store, and we have a lot of new<br />

and loyal customers come in.<br />

We do a lot more online now,<br />

about half of our business is<br />

online. Shoppers get in touch<br />

with us from all over the world<br />

and every day we’re sending<br />

stuff out.”<br />

In addition to trains, new and<br />

used, and the accompanying<br />

miniature stations, buildings<br />

and people, the store’s shelves<br />

are stocked with a large supply<br />

of models, paints and remotecontrol<br />

cars, tanks, boats and<br />

planes. Stubbs and his staff also<br />

buy and refurbish collections<br />

that might have been stuffed<br />

in a box in a basement for<br />

ages. Stubbs prides himself on<br />

customer service. A journey<br />

through North East is like a<br />

magical, nostalgic trip back in<br />

time.<br />

Stubbs walks toward the<br />

main counter, grabs the remote<br />

and sets a locomotive in<br />

motion. Suddenly, the voice of<br />

a conductor announces “OK<br />

Bentley, let’s roll” as the train<br />

whistle sounds and steam rises<br />

from the engine.<br />

Some model train lovers<br />

spend thousands of dollars<br />

on the setup, but “For less<br />

than $100 you can buy a new<br />

Lionel set,” said Stubbs, “and<br />

it comes with a track that stays<br />

together, unlike the tracks we<br />

grew up with.” There are Harry<br />

Potter, Wonder Woman, Polar<br />

Express and Disney-themed<br />

boxcars. There are flatcars,<br />

cabooses, trolleys and domed<br />

tank cars. There are all kinds<br />

of accessories and extras. The<br />

popular O scale lines now<br />

include specific railroads, such<br />

as the Boston and Maine.<br />

Stubbs said many customers<br />

visit, seeking a basic track<br />

to put under the tree at<br />

Christmastime. Barely a day<br />

goes by when a grandparent<br />

doesn’t come in, looking to<br />

pass their love of trains on to<br />

another generation.<br />

All aboard, and you can bet<br />

these trains are infinitely more<br />

reliable than the MBTA’s<br />

commuter rail.<br />

The Lionel company’s motto<br />

is “Creating memories that last<br />

a lifetime” and options appear<br />

unlimited. Its ads proclaim<br />

“Remember how much fun it<br />

was? It still is!”<br />

Stubbs agrees. “I tried<br />

growing up once. It didn’t<br />

work,” he said, with a laugh.<br />

“And there’s so much to learn<br />

from working with trains. You<br />

plan the space for the train. You<br />

learn carpentry by building a<br />

table for the track. You design<br />

and lay out the tracks. You set<br />

up the station and the city. You<br />

learn about electrical elements<br />

setting up the scenery. You use<br />

your mind. There’s a lot to it.”<br />

Stubbs and others are in<br />

the process of building a train<br />

setup at the Boston Children’s<br />

Hospital location near<br />

Peabody’s Centennial Park.<br />

Stubbs praises his train-loving<br />

friend, retired master craftsman<br />

George Sellios, whose space<br />

across the street showcases a<br />

splendid setup featuring his<br />

Fine Scale Miniatures. It is<br />

open by appointment only.<br />

Rockstar Rod Stewart, who has<br />

a 1,500-square-foot modeltrain<br />

layout that takes up the<br />

entire third floor of his Beverly<br />

Hills, Calif., home, spent a<br />

couple of hours in Sellios’<br />

shop a few years ago and left<br />

awestruck. “George’s detail is<br />

unsurpassed,” said Stubbs.<br />

“Just the other day, a woman<br />

came in and said ‘My brother<br />

got the train. I got a doll.<br />

I wanted the train.’ A lot<br />

of people, especially baby<br />

boomers, still want the train,”<br />

said Stubbs, who has no plans<br />

to retire.<br />

The walls and shelves are lined with model trains, both new and used,<br />

plus the accompanying tracks and miniature buildings.<br />

Don Stubbs has operated North East Trains for more than 30 years.<br />

11 | ONE MAGAZINE | SPRING <strong>2018</strong>


12 | ONE MAGAZINE | SPRING <strong>2018</strong>


Top chef<br />

Denise Graffeo enters<br />

Culinary Hall of Fame<br />

BY BRIDGET TURCOTTE<br />

Denise Graffeo, the<br />

first woman inducted<br />

into the American<br />

Academy of Chefs<br />

Culinary Hall of Fame, is<br />

enshrined there because she never<br />

gave up the fight against those<br />

who tried to keep her out of it.<br />

Graffeo and her Hall of Famer<br />

husband, Tony, a retired executive<br />

chef who was inducted in 2011,<br />

have a sprawling display of<br />

awards lining the staircase to the<br />

basement of their Saugus home.<br />

Hers wraps around to a basement<br />

wall, where her hefty Culinary<br />

Hall of Fame medal hangs proudly.<br />

(Tony’s culinary career began<br />

in 1954 at the Prince Spaghetti<br />

House and he worked at Polcari’s<br />

Restaurant and other fine dining<br />

establishments in Boston.)<br />

But before she was the best,<br />

Denise Graffeo got her first taste<br />

of the business doing odd jobs as a<br />

teenager. Her degree from Salem<br />

High School trained her to be a<br />

secretary, but after a brief stint at<br />

an insurance firm on Beacon Hill,<br />

she knew she was destined to do<br />

something else.<br />

“I came out of an economic<br />

group where you worked after<br />

high school, you didn’t go to<br />

college,” she said. “That job paid<br />

$54 a week, but it also paid for you<br />

to go to school.”<br />

So she went to school. First to<br />

Chamberlayne Junior College,<br />

then to Essex Agricultural School’s<br />

gourmet culinary program.<br />

She became sous chef at<br />

Kernwood Country Club in<br />

Salem, where she got her first<br />

taste of the American Culinary<br />

Federation. On her second try, she<br />

was admitted into the federation<br />

in 1982. The seasonal position<br />

offered off-months, which she<br />

took advantage of to pursue an<br />

education.<br />

“I just kept going to school,” she<br />

said.<br />

In her first year, she worked at<br />

The Tap Restaurant in Haverhill<br />

during the colder months. She<br />

wrote a new menu, hired new<br />

staff for the dining room, bar and<br />

kitchen, and planned new decor,<br />

to spruce up the joint’s run-down<br />

character.<br />

“I lived on the third floor of the<br />

building, and I didn’t see much sun<br />

while I was there,” said Graffeo.<br />

The next season, she returned<br />

to Kernwood and worked<br />

with mentors she described as<br />

flamboyant and creative. She<br />

began to think outside the bread<br />

box. <strong>One</strong> New Year’s Eve, she<br />

lined the long driveway leading to<br />

the clubhouse with tiki torches,<br />

and helped carry a table-sized<br />

tray covered in ice cream out to a<br />

waiting crowd — then lit it on fire.<br />

“I learned the sky’s the limit,”<br />

said Graffeo. “Don’t do something<br />

small when you can do it bigger<br />

and better.”<br />

That sentiment stayed<br />

throughout her career.<br />

She learned something new<br />

every day at her next job, at the<br />

Ritz-Carlton in Boston, where she<br />

learned from cooks from all over<br />

the world. The job was fast-paced,<br />

highly competitive, and took up<br />

all of her time. When she worked<br />

the second shift, followed by the<br />

first shift the next day, she stayed<br />

13 | ONE MAGAZINE | SPRING <strong>2018</strong>


Chef Denise Graffeo<br />

chops vegetables for her<br />

beef tenderloin kabobs.<br />

PHOTOS: SPENSER HASAK<br />

overnight in the grande dame of Boston<br />

hotels.<br />

“I’ve stayed in every room,” she said.<br />

It was never easy, but she credits the job<br />

for giving her the thick skin she needed to<br />

succeed in the business. Graffeo was the<br />

sole woman chef, surrounded by 50 men<br />

at the Ritz-Carlton, and they never let her<br />

forget it.<br />

“I cried every day for two-and-a-half<br />

years,” she said. “But never in front of<br />

them.”<br />

She said her kitchen colleagues made her<br />

feel like an outsider, even sabotaging her<br />

creations by flipping them over before they<br />

could be served.<br />

“Two good things came out of it,” she<br />

said. “It made me tough and it led to my job<br />

at the Eastern Yacht Club. I went from the<br />

abused to the boss.”<br />

Graffeo welcomed a new beginning as<br />

executive chef at the Marblehead yacht<br />

club, where she gave up trying to fit in with<br />

the men and just be herself. For her first day<br />

of work there, she wore her favorite gold<br />

hoop earrings. During the next 26 years,<br />

she helped the club transition from white<br />

tablecloths to a more casual place, which<br />

was more her style.<br />

The unexpected became more<br />

commonplace. Once, pirates were hired<br />

to invade the club. Another time, a hot air<br />

balloon delighted the members.<br />

She brought a bit of Secret Garden magic<br />

to the club by carefully arranging tables<br />

to give the illusion of rolling fields. On an<br />

Aladdin-themed day, a block of ice was<br />

carved to look like a genie’s lamp that let<br />

out smoke when children rubbed it.<br />

14 | ONE MAGAZINE | SPRING <strong>2018</strong>


Chef Graffeo, the first woman inducted into the American Academy of Chefs Culinary Hall of Fame, prepares beef tenderloin kabobs in the<br />

kitchen of her Saugus home.<br />

Her craziest feat? Feeding 900 people when<br />

the U.S.S. Constitution arrived in Marblehead<br />

in 1997. She served cornish game hen, wild<br />

rice and a glazed vegetable to each guest.<br />

The seasonal position allowed her to<br />

study for her Master’s degree in education,<br />

and to travel extensively to such places as<br />

Hong Kong, Italy, Aruba, England, France,<br />

Ireland, Panama, and Costa Rica. Her<br />

American Culinary Federation membership<br />

enhanced her experiences as she journeyed<br />

around the United States.<br />

She even got to visit iconic chef/television<br />

personality Julia Child in her Cambridge<br />

home.<br />

Graffeo is a longtime member of the Les<br />

Dames d’Escoffier Boston chapter and<br />

is involved with its apprentice program.<br />

She spends much time mentoring college<br />

students who are considering a career in<br />

the culinary industry, and she served as a<br />

chef instructor at North Shore Community<br />

College and remains active on the advisory<br />

board.<br />

Graffeo said she was heartbroken to retire<br />

a decade ago, but she had other battles to<br />

overcome: two knee surgeries and a brush<br />

with cancer in 2014.<br />

But her love for cooking never wavered.<br />

Every night, she and Tony fix their favorite<br />

meals — a meatball sub with a roll made<br />

from scratch one day, stuffed chicken with<br />

all the sides the next. Tony’s specialty is<br />

handmade pizza, and her favorite thing to<br />

make is a souffle.<br />

Best of all, they can be made with<br />

whatever’s in the fridge, whether it be<br />

spinach or chocolate. Just one more thing<br />

she learned at the Ritz.<br />

15 | ONE MAGAZINE | SPRING <strong>2018</strong>


PHOTOS: SPENSER HASAK<br />

A group of students at Lynnfield High School re-created portraits of orphaned Syrian refugees for the Memory Project, a non-profit that invites<br />

art teachers and their students to create portraits for youths around the world.<br />

BY ADAM SWIFT<br />

Lynnfield High School junior Zoe Chen<br />

has her heart, and her art, in the right place.<br />

Zoe is an award-winning artist, her<br />

work recognized not only by the school,<br />

but by those in the corridors of power in<br />

Washington, D.C. Last year, Zoe was the<br />

grand prize winner in Congressman Seth<br />

Moulton’s annual art competition. Chen’s<br />

graphite drawing of her grandfather, titled<br />

“Roots,” was displayed in the U.S. Capitol<br />

building along with other art from across the<br />

country.<br />

Zoe was the first LHS student to take top<br />

honors in the congressional art competition<br />

since 2000.<br />

“I think that I’ve always been into art,”<br />

she said shortly after winning the award. “I<br />

can’t really remember a time where I wasn’t<br />

interested in art. I used to take animation<br />

and sketching classes at the MFA when<br />

I was younger, but now, if I have time in<br />

between school and other activities, I just<br />

work on small projects.”<br />

Though Zoe said she only had time to<br />

work on small projects, this winter, she found<br />

the time to work on a project alongside<br />

about a dozen other LHS students that has<br />

had anything but a small impact.<br />

When Zoe heard about the Memory<br />

Project from her art teacher, Laura Johnson,<br />

it struck close to home. The Memory Project<br />

is a non-profit that invites art teachers and<br />

their students to create portraits for youths<br />

around the world. In the case of Zoe and her<br />

friends at the high school, they have spent<br />

the past several months creating portraits of<br />

Syrian children living in a refugee camp in<br />

Jordan.<br />

“The intent of the portraits is to help<br />

children feel valued and important, to know<br />

that many people care about their well being,<br />

and to act as meaningful pieces of personal<br />

history in the future,” said Zoe. “For the art<br />

students, this is meant as an opportunity<br />

to creatively practice kindness and global<br />

awareness.”<br />

The portraits are in a variety of media<br />

and styles, but all bring a great depth and<br />

emotion to their subjects. The non-profit<br />

sent snapshots of the children to the school,<br />

and then the students were free to use their<br />

imagination and talent.<br />

Several of the students said the project<br />

helps them and others see the impact of<br />

refugee crises across the globe.<br />

“When you can take a look at the<br />

individual people affected rather than a large<br />

group, it can have more of an impact on<br />

16 | ONE MAGAZINE | SPRING <strong>2018</strong>


A group of Lynnfield High School students check out the portraits of Syrian refugees they drew for the Memory Project.<br />

people,” said Julia Henriques.<br />

Johnson is the one who planted the seed<br />

for the Memory Project in Lynnfield, but<br />

she’s only had to sit back and watch as Zoe<br />

and her friends have taken the initial idea to<br />

fruition.<br />

“It’s nice to have students in a little town like<br />

Lynnfield thinking globally,” the teacher said.<br />

The Memory Project receives photos of<br />

children and teens from charities operating<br />

residential homes, schools, and care centers<br />

in a number of countries every year. The<br />

non-profit then provides the participating art<br />

teachers with full-page color prints as well<br />

as digital copies of those photos, along with<br />

plastic sleeves to protect the finished portraits.<br />

There is a $15 price tag for each portrait<br />

to cover the cost of materials and postage to<br />

send the completed portraits to the refugees.<br />

But Zoe and her classmates were able to<br />

raise the money from local businesses and<br />

donations to send the portraits to Jordan in<br />

February.<br />

Much like her portrait of her grandfather<br />

that earned congressional honors last year,<br />

Zoe’s portrait of a young Syrian girl brings<br />

out the subject’s emotion and humanity.<br />

“I find inspiration from a lot of different<br />

things,” Zoe said. “I love going to museums<br />

in places like Boston and New York, and<br />

sometimes I find pieces through websites or<br />

social media I really like. Otherwise, I like to<br />

just pick up things from everyday life, things<br />

like book covers or magazines and use them<br />

as references.”<br />

While Zoe said she couldn’t speak for<br />

everyone, she said she will be taking part in<br />

Memory Project again next year.<br />

As for after college? Zoe said she still has<br />

some decisions to make.<br />

“I’m somewhat torn,” she said. “I really love<br />

science and would like to go into something<br />

STEM related, but I’ve been looking at<br />

schools who also offer strong art programs as<br />

well, with design or drawing concentration<br />

opportunities. Some schools offer double<br />

major programs or the option to major in<br />

science and minor in arts. I think one of<br />

those would be ideal, somehow combining<br />

science and art.”<br />

Zoe Chen, a Lynnfield High School junior, shows off her portrait of a Syrian refugee.<br />

For information on the Memory Project,<br />

or to make a donation, visit the website at<br />

memoryproject.org.<br />

17 | ONE MAGAZINE | SPRING <strong>2018</strong>


18 | ONE MAGAZINE | SPRING <strong>2018</strong>


As one of Nashville’s fastest-rising<br />

music stars, Ross Livermore is<br />

making his voice heard.<br />

The Peabody native’s recentlyreleased<br />

EP, “This Is Not Forever,” has drawn<br />

praise from critics and music fans for its<br />

rootsy grit and driving rhythms and earned<br />

comparisons to the Tedeschi Trucks Band<br />

and even soul legend Al Green.<br />

Livermore, 33, convinced some of his<br />

North Shore buddies, including fellow<br />

Peabody native Paul Dumas, to come down<br />

to Tennessee and collaborate with a few<br />

of his Nashville friends on the project. He<br />

wrote the songs, put the musicians in one<br />

room and, with no rehearsals, recorded it<br />

live to tape at Welcome to 1979, one of the<br />

city’s most prominent studios. ( Jason Isbell,<br />

Lady Antebellum and Steve Earle are among<br />

those who have recorded there.)<br />

The son of entrepreneurs grew up in<br />

South Peabody. His dad, Stephen, worked<br />

as an architect out of the basement in their<br />

home, while his mother, Susan Rambis,<br />

styled hair in their kitchen. Eventually, both<br />

parents turned their household passions into<br />

successful businesses.<br />

“Looking back, it was really good to<br />

watch them start their businesses out of the<br />

house and now see them as thriving” said<br />

Livermore from Nashville. “Their work ethic<br />

laid a great foundation for me as an artist.”<br />

Everything changed for young Ross when<br />

his father received an acoustic guitar as a<br />

Christmas gift from an old friend. He admits<br />

that until that first guitar came into his life,<br />

he didn’t enjoy music as much as he loved<br />

playing sports.<br />

“I went to my dad’s house and started<br />

playing and fell in love, so every weekend I<br />

began playing and teaching myself acoustic,”<br />

he said. “I learned from strumming patterns.”<br />

By that April, with his birthday<br />

approaching, all Livermore wanted was a<br />

Jackson Red electric guitar. Soon after, he<br />

started playing music with Dumas, a former<br />

Tee-ball teammate. With Dumas on drums<br />

and Livermore on vocals and guitar, the<br />

music flowed out of them.<br />

“The first song we played in his parents’<br />

basement was ‘Smoke on the Water’ by Deep<br />

Purple,” Livermore said. “That was a defining<br />

moment. It was like the sea opened up and I<br />

knew what I was going to do for the rest of<br />

my life.”<br />

‘I miss my family, my friends,<br />

the ocean and the food. You<br />

can’t get roast beef three-ways<br />

here in Nashville.’<br />

Ross Livermore<br />

Livermore’s parents divorced when he<br />

was in first-grade at Brown Elementary<br />

School. By the time he was in eighth-grade<br />

at Higgins Middle School, his love for music<br />

took flight..<br />

During high school, rock music provided<br />

the influence, with Metallica playing a<br />

prominent role. After being inspired by<br />

the screams and the aggressive guitar riffs,<br />

Livermore and Dumas started a band, Brake<br />

for Moose.<br />

An admired substitute teacher at Peabody<br />

Veterans Memorial High became his mentor<br />

in lyricism. Once Livermore established<br />

songwriting skills, he discovered R&B and<br />

such soulful artists as Otis Redding, Stevie<br />

Wonder and The Temptations. At Salem<br />

State University, his devotion to music<br />

traveled even further.<br />

“I had been living on<br />

the North Shore my<br />

whole life and felt I<br />

needed a change,” he<br />

said.<br />

So, Livermore packed<br />

his bags, waved goodbye<br />

to his parents, brother<br />

Ryan, and sisters<br />

Sydney and Lane, and<br />

hopped on a plane to<br />

study abroad in Italy.<br />

This would be where<br />

he’d jump-start his<br />

professional career.<br />

Livermore’s first paid<br />

gigs were just off the<br />

“toe” of Italy’s “boot” in<br />

Sicily. After getting a<br />

taste of a real musician<br />

lifestyle, he continued<br />

to book performances<br />

up and down the<br />

Mediterranean coastline.<br />

Years later, Livermore’s<br />

hunger to partake in<br />

new experiences gained<br />

an even bigger appetite.<br />

In September 2015, he<br />

and a high school friend<br />

rented a U-haul, got a<br />

trailer, packed everything<br />

into his Honda Element<br />

and drove south. The one<br />

destination on his mind?<br />

Nashville.<br />

“<strong>One</strong> of the main<br />

reasons I ended up in<br />

Nashville is because I<br />

would be surrounded by<br />

the best songwriters in<br />

the world, and I wanted<br />

to study the craft,” he<br />

said. “That and the<br />

affordable rent.”<br />

Livermore said it took at least a year until<br />

he adjusted to his new home. Now, having<br />

lived in Nashville for more than two years,<br />

he considers himself a better writer and a<br />

better musician. But the decision to take a<br />

risk wasn’t without its challenges.<br />

“I miss my family, my friends, the ocean<br />

and the food,” he said. “You can’t get roast<br />

beef three-ways here in Nashville, and local<br />

sub shops don’t exist.”<br />

No matter where Livermore lives, he said<br />

the North Shore will always be a huge part<br />

of who he is.<br />

“Although I love the North Shore, it’s great<br />

to be inspired by new places. Go somewhere,<br />

meet new people, live new experiences and<br />

the music will thrive.”<br />

COURTESY PHOTO BY RICHARD ISRAEL<br />

Ross Livermore performs at a venue in Nashville, Tennessee.<br />

19 | ONE MAGAZINE | SPRING <strong>2018</strong>


Two years ago, Joseph<br />

Freda had a dream. A<br />

vivid, life-changing<br />

dream.<br />

The Lynnfield musician’s eyes<br />

still sparkle as he shares the<br />

story.<br />

“Two years ago, my father<br />

came to me in a dream. He said,<br />

‘Giuseppe, what is stopping you<br />

from doing what you want to<br />

do?’ It was so real. The dream<br />

was so strong. It was as if my<br />

father was in the room.”<br />

Freda, who started writing<br />

songs as a 9-year-old in<br />

his native Italy, had always<br />

wanted to present an evening<br />

of original music composed<br />

and performed by him and his<br />

younger brother Anthony, a<br />

vocal tenor.<br />

Freda told his wife, Lizanne,<br />

about the dream. “She said ‘Do<br />

it! What are you waiting for?’<br />

“I called Anthony and said,<br />

‘Tony, I need to do this.’” He<br />

agreed, and pledged his support<br />

and help. After all, the brothers<br />

had been composing, producing<br />

and recording music together<br />

for years. Lizanne was on board.<br />

His older brother, Italo, who was<br />

responsible for Joseph’s move to<br />

America as a teenager, and his<br />

wife, Gina, as always, offered to<br />

help any way they could.<br />

Then, the “Twilight Zone”<br />

moment happened.<br />

“<strong>One</strong> morning, about 6 a.m.,<br />

I stopped at a gas station on<br />

Route 1,” recalled Joseph. “I had<br />

never stopped there before. I<br />

started pumping gas and a light<br />

from the ground hit me in the<br />

face. It was really bright.” He<br />

bent down and saw the station’s<br />

lights were bouncing off of<br />

something on the ground. He<br />

picked it up.<br />

It was a plastic square<br />

PHOTOS: SPENSER HASAK<br />

Anthony Freda belts out a song while Patty Vellucci and Ryann Murray<br />

harmonize.<br />

emblazoned with the word<br />

“Dream.” The message<br />

figuratively hit him in the face.<br />

“It was a sign. It meant we had<br />

to do it. Any doubts I had were<br />

gone at that moment.”<br />

Joseph got up from the sofa in<br />

the living room of his Lynnfield<br />

home and grabbed something<br />

from the fireplace mantel. It’s<br />

the “Dream” square, which he<br />

had framed.<br />

The results of two years of<br />

hard work and the dream<br />

becomes reality on April 7, when<br />

Freda World Music performs<br />

at Lynn Auditorium. Joseph<br />

and Anthony will be joined<br />

by soprano/pop artist Ryann<br />

Murray and “rock star” Patty<br />

Vellucci. They will be backed by<br />

a 25-piece orchestra, conducted<br />

by Boston Symphony/Boston<br />

Pops percussionist Neil Grover.<br />

In addition to the Freda<br />

brothers’ original music, the<br />

night will include familiar tunes<br />

by Verdi, Puccini and other<br />

opera giants, crossover songs<br />

blending Joseph’s love of classical<br />

and jazz, plus some pop.<br />

“It is dynamic entertainment,”<br />

said Anthony.<br />

But, with some 30 people on<br />

stage, how can this show be<br />

profitable? Even if all 2,100 seats<br />

in the Lynn Auditorium are<br />

filled?<br />

“Make money? No, that won’t<br />

happen. We will do it anyway. If<br />

we lose our house, so what,” said<br />

a joking Joseph. “We are crazy,”<br />

pipes up Anthony, drawing a<br />

laugh from Murray and Vellucci.<br />

“The management at the Lynn<br />

Auditorium have been very, very<br />

helpful. I’m so glad we decided<br />

to do this show locally,” said<br />

Joseph, adding that Berklee<br />

Performance Center, Jordan Hall<br />

and the Cutler Majestic, all in<br />

Boston, were willing to book the<br />

show.<br />

Even holding a guitar as a<br />

7 year old in his native Italy,<br />

Joseph knew music would play<br />

a major role in his life. “I started<br />

writing music at age 9,” said<br />

Joseph, who moved to America<br />

at age 16, staying with his<br />

older brother Italo in Revere’s<br />

Beachmont section.<br />

After two years of private<br />

guitar lessons, he attended<br />

the Boston Conservatory,<br />

concentrating on classical guitar.<br />

Contemporary artists such as<br />

George Benson, Dizzy Gillespie,<br />

John McLaughlin, and others<br />

inspired him to look for more<br />

versatility in his playing, so he<br />

enrolled at Berklee College of<br />

Music with a concentration in<br />

jazz writing.<br />

Anthony arrived in America<br />

three years after Joseph, and the<br />

two brothers, with much help<br />

from Italo, pursued their musical<br />

dreams. “We have always<br />

composed music together,” said<br />

Anthony, who studied classical<br />

music and opera at a very early<br />

age. While playing bass and<br />

The “Dream” square.<br />

20 | ONE MAGAZINE | SPRING <strong>2018</strong>


Freda World Music will present an evening of entertainment April 7 at Lynn Auditorium. The featured vocalists and musicians are, from left,<br />

Ryann Murray, Anthony Freda, Joseph Freda and Patty Vellucci.<br />

singing with different pop bands,<br />

he developed a love for all kinds<br />

of music.<br />

Anthony graduated from<br />

Berklee College of Music with<br />

a Bachelor of Music degree,<br />

with a focus on arranging<br />

and composition. At age<br />

21, he entered the Boston<br />

Conservatory where he earned a<br />

Master’s degree in Composition<br />

and Conducting. All the while,<br />

he continued voice lessons and<br />

developing a lyric tenor voice<br />

suited for opera and pop music.<br />

Through the years, the brothers<br />

also performed with local bands<br />

in clubs and at weddings and<br />

private functions.<br />

Joseph says Anthony makes<br />

his songs come alive. This spirit<br />

of collaboration between the<br />

brothers began in childhood,<br />

from the moment Joseph<br />

received that first guitar. Joe<br />

would play and Tony would sing.<br />

It’s still that way.<br />

The Fredas grew up in<br />

Avellino, Italy, a little village in<br />

the mountains about 35 miles<br />

east of Naples. “It is small, with<br />

a population of about 400,” said<br />

Joseph. “Four-hundred? Maybe<br />

if you count the chickens and<br />

the cows,” added Anthony, with<br />

a smirk.<br />

“Our mother loved to listen to<br />

classical records. My grandfather<br />

loved opera,” recalled Joseph.<br />

“That’s the music I, we, grew<br />

up with. Classical music is in<br />

my blood. And I love jazz; it<br />

offers so much more freedom to<br />

explore the music … a little jazz<br />

falls into the classical part I love.<br />

That’s my style.”<br />

Vellucci, who grew up in<br />

Winthrop and lives in Saugus<br />

and works for FedEx, and Joseph<br />

Freda were in the local top 40/<br />

rock band Obstructed View<br />

some 25 years ago. Murray, a<br />

North Shore resident who works<br />

as an esthetician at a local spa,<br />

is a graduate of The American<br />

Musical and Dramatic Academy<br />

in New York City. The two<br />

women perform together in area<br />

nightspots and restaurants as<br />

Girls Night Out.<br />

Patty Vellucci and Joseph Freda rehearse a song in Freda’s Lynnfield home.<br />

The Lynn show will not be a<br />

one-time-only performance. The<br />

recording of a CD is planned at<br />

Oak Grove Studio in Malden,<br />

and Joseph said the dream will<br />

live on.<br />

Freda World Music, “The Dream”,<br />

April 7, 8 p.m., at Lynn Auditorium,<br />

3 City Hall Square, Lynn. For<br />

tickets, go to lynnauditorium.com.<br />

Music samples can be heard at<br />

fredaworldmusic.net.<br />

21 | ONE MAGAZINE | SPRING <strong>2018</strong>


22 | ONE MAGAZINE | SPRING <strong>2018</strong>


Thomas M. McGee was sworn in as the city of Lynn’s<br />

58th mayor on Jan. 2. He was previously state senator.<br />

1.<br />

He loves<br />

to ski.<br />

“Skiing is one of the things that<br />

I really like to do if I can get to<br />

it. It’s always been a challenge,<br />

but it’s one of the things I really<br />

enjoy doing when I can make it<br />

happen. Sometimes it’s only one<br />

or two times a year, but I’ve had<br />

the chance to ski in some really<br />

great places and travel.”<br />

The first time he skied, it was<br />

at Gannon Golf Course in Lynn.<br />

There used to be a rope tow there<br />

when the course was named<br />

Happy Valley.<br />

McGee has been helicopter<br />

skiing at Powder Mountain<br />

in Utah. A small helicopter<br />

transported him up to a peak<br />

and he skied back to the ski area.<br />

“It was just tremendous.”<br />

2.<br />

He’s a big<br />

fan of music,<br />

specifically classic<br />

rock ’n’ roll.<br />

McGee, 62, grew up with the<br />

Beatles, the Rolling Stones and<br />

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.<br />

He’s attended many concerts<br />

through the years, including<br />

1985’s Live Aid in Philadelphia,<br />

which was organized to raise<br />

funds for Ethiopian famine<br />

relief.<br />

Of today’s performers, he likes<br />

U2, the Dave Matthews Band<br />

and The Killers. Some may be<br />

surprised that the mayor also<br />

enjoys Katy Perry’s music; he<br />

took his daughter to the pop<br />

star’s concert.<br />

PHOTOS: SPENSER HASAK<br />

3.<br />

He’s<br />

half-Irish<br />

and<br />

half-Italian.<br />

“Irish, I think most people<br />

would know,” he said,<br />

adding that his mother’s<br />

parents were born in<br />

Sicily. His mother was the<br />

youngest of nine.<br />

His Italian heritage is<br />

reflected in his taste in food.<br />

The mayor cooks when he<br />

can and said some of his<br />

favorite recipes were handed<br />

down by his grandmother.<br />

He said his mother was a<br />

tremendous cook, but his<br />

grandmother was even<br />

better, no offense to his<br />

mother, he said with a smile.<br />

4.<br />

He loves to travel.<br />

He’s been to more<br />

than 40 states.<br />

When he was 19, McGee traveled<br />

cross-country with his brother and<br />

a couple of friends. They visited the<br />

Grand Canyon and Yellowstone Park<br />

and numerous states out west.<br />

When he lived in Colorado, McGee<br />

supported himself by washing dishes<br />

and doing odd jobs. He lived in Basalt,<br />

about 20 miles from Aspen. At the time,<br />

he said it was fairly cheap to live there.<br />

As state senator, McGee had a chance<br />

to travel internationally, visiting Japan,<br />

Israel, Ireland and Mexico.<br />

“But I think getting a chance to<br />

travel to other places (made me)<br />

realize how special a place the United<br />

States is. It’s a beautiful country with<br />

so many things to see.”<br />

5.<br />

McGee loves sports, especially Boston teams.<br />

McGee is a big Celtics fan, but also roots for the Red Sox, Patriots<br />

and Bruins.<br />

In the 1970s, he attended lots of Celtics games. The team won<br />

championships, but the games seldom sold out until Larry Bird<br />

joined the squad.<br />

“In the ’60s, they won all those championships, but they were never<br />

like this big deal, but they were a tremendous team to watch. So,<br />

when we were kids, we would go and see some of those games.” He<br />

got to see Celtics legends, such as Jo Jo White, John Havlicek, Bill<br />

Russell, Bird and others.<br />

McGee was at Fenway Park for the final two games of the 1967 season,<br />

when the Red Sox won the pennant. He went to the second game of the<br />

World Series, which the Sox won when that season’s Cy Young Award<br />

winner Jim Lonborg held the St.Louis Cardinals to one hit.<br />

He was also in attendance when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in<br />

1970. His favorite players were Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito and Eddie<br />

Johnston.<br />

He said the Patriots never used to win. Fans could just go to the stadium<br />

and buy a ticket. Now, there are 50,000 people on the waiting list.<br />

In addition to watching the transformation of the Patriots, he’s<br />

seen the Sox go from heartbreakers, enduring 86 years without a<br />

championship, to winning three World Series titles since 2004.<br />

“I tell my kids all the time, they’re in the Golden Age of Boston<br />

sports. We all are. It’s amazing.”<br />

23 | ONE MAGAZINE | SPRING <strong>2018</strong>


“Taking Flight,” a mural by Temp, brings life to a building at 173 Oxford St. in Lynn.<br />

PHOTOS: SPENSER HASAK<br />

How do you top an event that brought<br />

art, culture, curiosity, pride and<br />

thousands of visitors to downtown<br />

Lynn?<br />

Do it all over again.<br />

Beyond Walls, which kicked off last year<br />

as a grassroots effort to create a sense of<br />

place and safety through a multi-faceted<br />

installation of public art and lighting, is<br />

gearing up for another mural festival this<br />

summer. Last year’s 10-day festival, which<br />

culminated with a block party on July 22,<br />

celebrated the installment of 15 largescale<br />

murals, commissioned and painted<br />

on Central Square buildings by nearly two<br />

dozen international and local artists.<br />

<strong>One</strong> of those artists was Lynn native<br />

Eric Temple, who goes by Temp. Temp got<br />

his start in the graffiti scene in the 1980s<br />

and early ’90s. In 1987, he created his<br />

first mural inside the J.B. Blood Building<br />

(recently bought by KIPP Academy Lynn).<br />

24 | ONE MAGAZINE | SPRING <strong>2018</strong>


It featured a computer screen and was titled<br />

“Opportunities for the future.” How fitting.<br />

Temp has since created hundreds of murals<br />

across the country, and he returned to Lynn<br />

for the 2017 mural festival to transform a<br />

wall at 173 Oxford St.<br />

“When I heard about this project, I<br />

couldn’t sleep,” said Temp. “I was like a kid<br />

before Christmas. Festivals like this are<br />

happening all over the world, but to have<br />

them so close to home is fun.”<br />

Beyond Walls founder Al Wilson said the<br />

feedback from last year’s unveiling of the<br />

murals was exactly what he had hoped for.<br />

“It’s been fantastic,” he said. “We’ve seen<br />

how powerful the art is and it was great to<br />

work with such amazing talent. There was so<br />

much excitement from the community, from<br />

city officials and from funders.”<br />

Support for the festival was vital in<br />

terms of bringing the idea to fruition. The<br />

International Union of Painters and Allied<br />

Trades District Council 35 financially<br />

sponsored the 2017 festival, provided<br />

materials and primed many of the walls prior<br />

to the artists’ arrival.<br />

This year’s mural festival is scheduled<br />

for Aug. 6-19. Wilson said a new group<br />

of internationally acclaimed artists will be<br />

selected to participate.<br />

“It’s important their cultural identities<br />

match up to those of the city,” said Wilson,<br />

who hinted that in addition to murals, other<br />

unique street art projects will be popping up<br />

as well.<br />

“It should be really fun,” he continued.<br />

“Hopefully we’ll be cementing Lynn as the<br />

culturally rich environment that it is.”<br />

The 2017 artists will also be invited back to<br />

exhibit their work at the Lynn Museum, and<br />

that show will run through mid-September.<br />

In the meantime, Beyond Walls, which<br />

is currently in the process of incorporating<br />

as a nonprofit and has set up headquarters<br />

in Lynn, has a few other projects to wrap<br />

up. More pieces of vintage neon art have<br />

been placed downtown, and all of the<br />

underpass lighting in Central Square and<br />

Washington and Market streets is being<br />

permanently installed. Last August, Beyond<br />

Walls received a $200,000 grant from the<br />

Barr Foundation to support the continued<br />

installation of the lighting projects, which<br />

will help to illuminate the MBTA tracks<br />

and sidewalks and make the downtown<br />

more pedestrian-friendly.<br />

By summer, a large-scale sculpture<br />

featuring a jet engine produced by GE<br />

in 1942, and refurbished by high school<br />

students from Lynn Vocational Technical<br />

Institute, will be placed downtown to pay<br />

homage to the city’s industrial roots.<br />

Outside of Lynn, Beyond Walls has<br />

helped to oversee the installation of a<br />

three-wall mural in Cambridge, and<br />

provided technical assistance and artists<br />

to the Murals Live project in Peabody.<br />

Coordinated by the Peabody Cultural<br />

Collaborative, Peabody Main Streets and<br />

Peabody Access Telecommunication, and<br />

working with Beyond Walls, Murals Live<br />

has taken a similar approach in inviting<br />

graffiti artists — including Brian Denahy,<br />

Caleb Neelon, Cedric “Vise” Douglas and<br />

Chris Coulon — to visually transform<br />

buildings throughout the city.<br />

Caleb Neelon works on his mural at 33<br />

Munroe St. in Lynn.<br />

David “Don Rimx” Sepulveda painted this mural at 515 Washington<br />

St. in Lynn.<br />

Nicole Salgar and Chuck Berrett’s “People of the First Light” mural.<br />

25 | ONE MAGAZINE | SPRING <strong>2018</strong>


When you hear “the<br />

fabric of our lives,”<br />

you no doubt think<br />

cotton. Yet, isn’t there a material<br />

that better tells the story of our<br />

lives?<br />

If you guessed newspaper, you’d<br />

be in the same thinking camp<br />

as fashion innovators Kathy<br />

Cormier and Michelle Kane.<br />

Cormier and Kane have<br />

built a successful business on<br />

a simple concept: Turning one<br />

person’s trash into another’s<br />

treasure. Their eco-friendly,<br />

Lynn-based company, Couture<br />

Planet, manufactures sustainable<br />

handbags and accessories from<br />

recycled newspapers.<br />

Each bag, which might feature<br />

the face of a supermodel or<br />

athlete, picturesque palm trees<br />

or a beautifully crafted cocktail,<br />

tells its own story. Events, trends<br />

and headlines are frozen in time<br />

as Cormier and Kane cut and<br />

transform pages into wearable<br />

art. They draw their inspiration<br />

from advertisements as well<br />

as the style, travel, dining, arts<br />

and sports sections of The New<br />

York Times, The Boston Globe<br />

and The Wall Street Journal.<br />

Even a crossword puzzle might<br />

make it into the mix. They also<br />

work with magazines that are<br />

oversized, such as W and Wine<br />

Spectator.<br />

“People are drawn to brands like<br />

Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Prada,<br />

so we use a lot of those ads,” said<br />

Cormier. “The travel and lifestyle<br />

pages are in high demand too. It’s<br />

all very aspirational.”<br />

A sample of the handbags available at Couture Planet.<br />

PHOTO: SPENSER HASAK<br />

26 | ONE MAGAZINE | SPRING <strong>2018</strong>


PHOTOS: SPENSER HASAK<br />

Kathy Cormier trims excess laminate from around newspapers that will<br />

soon be turned into handbags, above, and shows off some of the clutches<br />

for sale in the Lynn shop.<br />

PHOTO: OWEN O’ROURKE<br />

Couture Planet co-owners Michelle Kane, front, and Kathy Cormier.<br />

“I still enjoy the excitement of combing<br />

through the Sunday papers and seeing what<br />

images might work for us,” said Kane. “Then<br />

comes the search, and luckily we have a<br />

good relationship with the recycling centers.<br />

If there’s a good ad or front page, we want<br />

hundreds of them.”<br />

Also popular, of course, are the products<br />

featuring New England sports icons such as<br />

Tom Brady.<br />

“Fans love them,” said Cormier. “We make<br />

bags representing every New England sports<br />

team, and we usually have a list of pre-orders<br />

before a big game like the Super Bowl.”<br />

The idea for the venture began in 2009<br />

when Connie Carman, manager and buyer<br />

for the gift store at the Fairmont Copley<br />

Plaza Hotel in Boston, noticed how many<br />

newspapers were discarded each day by<br />

hotel guests. She knew there had to be a<br />

better means of recycling and repurposing<br />

them. Tapping into her knowledge from the<br />

Fashion Institute of Technology, she came up<br />

with a design and sold her first set of one-ofa-kind<br />

handbags at the hotel.<br />

“Newspapers are iconic, historic and<br />

beautiful,” said Carman, who still serves as<br />

Couture Planet’s founding partner, but works<br />

full-time at the Fairmont Copley. “The idea<br />

was to create a unique, American-made<br />

product that means something to its owner.”<br />

Cormier and Kane joined the business<br />

early on and were added as partners when<br />

the company was reworked in 2013. Shortly<br />

after, the group brought the manufacturing<br />

in-house. They operate out of the Lydia<br />

Pinkham building on Western Avenue —<br />

drawing inspiration from Pinkham, the<br />

city’s first female entrepreneur, as well as the<br />

numerous other small businesses and artists<br />

housed there.<br />

“There’s such a great vibe being surrounded<br />

by photographers, sculptors, glass blowers<br />

and other types of artists,” said Cormier.<br />

The purses, which range in price from $38<br />

to $90, come in five styles. The wristlets and<br />

clutches are on the more affordable end and<br />

the two larger bags — the Coco and Stella<br />

— feature snap closure, inside pockets and<br />

clear Lucite or tortoise handles. Each one<br />

is treated with a cool-press laminate, which<br />

makes it waterproof.<br />

With 2,500 sales last year, the company<br />

produces an average of 200 bags each month.<br />

The products are sold in approximately 60<br />

boutiques and hotel gift shops across the<br />

country. Cormier and Kane also travel for<br />

shows, pop-up events, holiday fairs and more.<br />

Customers can place online orders as well, or<br />

even special orders for weddings, birthdays<br />

and other occasions. Locally, shoppers can<br />

find Couture Planet products at Zimman’s in<br />

Lynn, J. Mode in Salem and Sweetwater &<br />

Co. in Marblehead and Beverly Farms.<br />

Cormier, who lives in Swampscott, and<br />

Kane, who lives in Marblehead, both strive<br />

to be as involved as possible in the Lynn<br />

community, putting on fashion shows,<br />

working with youth and hosting open studio<br />

events. Kane also serves on the board of<br />

directors at the Lynn Museum.<br />

“We really love Lynn, its resources and the<br />

revitalization amongst the arts community,”<br />

said Cormier.<br />

27 | ONE MAGAZINE | SPRING <strong>2018</strong>


By Steve Krause<br />

Two years ago, the St. Mary’s boys hockey<br />

team lost to Franklin in double overtime of the<br />

Division 1 state championship hockey game.<br />

It wasn’t the first time coach Mark Lee had<br />

come so close. But in his 30th year of high<br />

school coaching, he also understood that chances<br />

such as the one his team had that evening at the<br />

TD Garden in Boston do not come often.<br />

“You try to stay positive,” said Lee, a<br />

Lynn Police school resource officer at Breed<br />

Middle School as well as the coach of the<br />

team for which he played in high school.<br />

“But to make it to the Division 1 state final<br />

game, and to lose in double overtime — it<br />

took a long time to get over.”<br />

Fortunately, it only took a year.<br />

Last March, in the very same game and<br />

in the very same venue, the Spartans beat<br />

Framingham and won the state title.<br />

On top of that, Lee was later inducted into<br />

the State High School Hockey Coaches Hall of<br />

Fame. And this year the Spartans qualified for<br />

the state tournament again, with weeks to spare.<br />

If there’s one thing Lee has learned in<br />

three decades of coaching, it’s that you’re<br />

only as good as your players — and that he<br />

has been blessed with some special ones.<br />

“The worst thing about (2016) was how it<br />

affected the kids,” he said. “It was devastating<br />

to everyone involved.<br />

“But they were special,” he said. “They were<br />

mature beyond their years, and they handled<br />

it well.”<br />

The championship team reflected that<br />

resiliency. <strong>One</strong> of Lee’s four captains, Dante<br />

Maribito, developed a cardiac issue halfway<br />

through the season, and was out of action for<br />

almost a month.<br />

“It was a very frightening thing,” Lee said.<br />

“We weren’t sure whether he was going to<br />

come back. They had to use a defibrillator on<br />

him at (Connery Rink). He’d been our MVP<br />

since his sophomore year. You lose a kid like<br />

that — and to a serious medical condition —<br />

and it can disrupt a team. But the leadership<br />

moved forward. We stayed focused and<br />

weathered the storm.”<br />

Lee credits his three other captains (Mark<br />

and Mike Zampanti and Andrew Kreamer)<br />

PHOTO: SPENSER HASAK<br />

Breed Middle School Resource Officer Mark Lee stops traffic to let students cross as they leave<br />

school. Lee also coaches the St. Mary’s boys hockey team.<br />

for keeping the team focused, as well as<br />

goalie Andrew LoRusso.<br />

Ultimately, Maribito was able to return<br />

(he scored a goal in the state championship<br />

win), but the Spartans’ run of bad luck with<br />

medical issues continued. They went into an<br />

end-of-the-season tournament riddled with<br />

the flu and lost both games.<br />

“I’ve never seen a team with so much<br />

sickness as this one,” said Lee.<br />

Despite all that, the Spartans regrouped<br />

and gathered steam. The MIAA tournaments<br />

are single-elimination, with the exception of<br />

Division 1A (not the category in which the<br />

Spartans were placed). <strong>One</strong> loss and you’re done.<br />

That could have easily happened right<br />

away, with the Spartans needing overtime to<br />

beat Reading. Then, it was wins over Triton,<br />

Catholic Central League rival Arlington<br />

Catholic, and finally Andover - a 2-0 shutout<br />

in the North Sectional final.<br />

“A year earlier, just getting to the Garden<br />

was a big deal,” said Lee. “Last year, it was<br />

like walking into another rink for the kids.<br />

They were determined to get the win instead<br />

of taking in all the atmosphere.”<br />

That these teenage boys were able to<br />

overcome such a tough loss and stay positive<br />

without pointing fingers is a direct reflection<br />

of Lee’s priorities when it comes to coaching.<br />

“Athletics is the other half of education,”<br />

said Lee. “There are so many lessons you<br />

learn away from the classroom that help<br />

build who you are as a person.”<br />

When Lee began coaching in 1986, St.<br />

Mary’s was a Division 3 program that hadn’t<br />

won much. He nurtured the program, taking<br />

the Spartans to the top echelons of the<br />

division, and then moving it up a rung to<br />

Division 2. He did the same thing there, until<br />

the time came to graduate to Division 1 about<br />

15 years ago. The Spartans even made the<br />

Division 1A tournament (Super 8) one year.<br />

He’s proud of where he’s taken the<br />

program. But he’s just as proud of other —<br />

equally important — aspects of his tenure.<br />

“I’ve been doing this for so long I’m coaching<br />

kids now whose fathers I coached. I’m proudest<br />

to see these kids go onto college, and to be<br />

productive people in society. <strong>One</strong> of my bosses<br />

at the station was once one of my captains. Now,<br />

he’s a captain of the police department. These are<br />

the things that I look at, and it makes me proud.<br />

I want to see guys go out and do well in life.”<br />

He teaches those lessons to his players.<br />

Team first. Defense first (“If you play good<br />

defense,” he said, “it creates good offense”).<br />

He enjoys the part of coaching where he sees<br />

a group of kids from different backgrounds<br />

bond into a collective unit with the same<br />

goals, and who are willing to subserviate<br />

themselves for the greater good.<br />

And that’s why winning the state<br />

championship last year was as special as it was.<br />

“These kids were determined to get back to<br />

that game,” he said. “It’s almost like a fairy<br />

tale, because it almost never happens. But it<br />

did for us.<br />

“They deserved it,” Lee said. “I wouldn’t<br />

have wanted to experience this with any<br />

other group. To see them all so happy … it<br />

overwhelms you. It was a special feeling, and<br />

one that I’ll never forget.”<br />

Coaching in his 32nd year, Lee has had<br />

to navigate the changes in the culture not<br />

only of sports in general but youth sports in<br />

particular.<br />

“Everything has changed,” he said. “The<br />

style of coaching has changed. The style of<br />

parenting has changed. Society has changed.<br />

Everything is different than it was when I first<br />

started (in 1986; he was 24).”<br />

His years of experience have told him that<br />

there are times to stand your ground and<br />

times to be flexible.<br />

“No matter what,” he said, “you have to get<br />

CONTINUED ON PAGE 31<br />

28 | ONE MAGAZINE | SPRING <strong>2018</strong>


Since 1942, Girls Inc. of Lynn has<br />

responded to the changing needs of<br />

girls and their families by providing<br />

essential resources and stimulating<br />

programs to disadvantaged, low-income young<br />

ladies, serving more than 1000 every year.<br />

At the Hilton Doubletree in Danvers<br />

on April 5, hundreds of community<br />

leaders, elected officials, businessmen,<br />

businesswomen, girls and supporters of<br />

girls will unite to celebrate Girls Inc.’s 30th<br />

annual celebration luncheon. The event<br />

will be co-chaired by Jen Hardy Thornton<br />

of Marblehead and Chris Meninno of<br />

Swampscott.<br />

Deb Ansourlian, executive director of Girls<br />

Inc. of Lynn, said “We are thrilled to celebrate<br />

the accomplishments of the <strong>2018</strong> graduating<br />

class and our girl heroes. I am honored to be<br />

part of an organization that celebrates girls<br />

and women as leaders in the community.”<br />

Girls Inc. of Lynn alumna Lani Sanethong,<br />

founder and CEO of Lanergy Solutions, a<br />

New Hampshire-based website designer,<br />

said “Girls Inc. played a major role in the<br />

development of my leadership skills. By<br />

providing a strong support structure and<br />

unique opportunities, I gained confidence<br />

and self-esteem at a critical stage of my life.<br />

Sometimes what young girls need most is<br />

for someone to have faith in them, provide<br />

the right resources, and push them to greater<br />

heights. I have seen<br />

firsthand that the<br />

programs at Girls Inc. do<br />

that and so much more.”<br />

Bridget Brewer,<br />

who now serves as<br />

supervisor of the Teen<br />

Pregnancy Prevention<br />

Program, agrees. “Girls<br />

Inc. is my second<br />

home,” she said. Brewer<br />

first visited Girls Inc. as a seventh-grader,<br />

taking part in the summer Eureka program<br />

that engages girls in STEM (Science,<br />

Technology, Engineering and Math) classes.<br />

As a high school freshman, she got a paid<br />

internship at Time Warner Cable. As a<br />

peer leader, Brewer embraced the FRESH<br />

tobacco prevention program that educates<br />

girls about the dangers of smoking. While<br />

attending North Shore Community College,<br />

she continued to work at Girls Inc. and she<br />

‘I am honored to be part<br />

of an organization that<br />

celebrates girls and women<br />

as leaders in the community.’<br />

kept in touch with the organization’s staff<br />

while interning at Disney and at her first<br />

couple of jobs. She joined Girls Inc. full-time<br />

in 2006. “I love my relationship with Girls<br />

Inc. As a Girls Inc. girl, I am thrilled to help<br />

the next generation,” she said.<br />

Daisy Angel also<br />

treasures her bond<br />

with Girls Inc. The<br />

philosophy major<br />

at University of<br />

Massachusetts Lowell<br />

was introduced to Girls<br />

Inc. in the sixth grade.<br />

She eventually became<br />

a Beach Peer Leader<br />

in high school, helping<br />

an Americorps member oversee a marine<br />

biological environmental program. “I am<br />

so grateful that I joined Girls Inc. The<br />

experience really got me out of my comfort<br />

zone and I really discovered myself. We<br />

learned that we are powerful and can do<br />

anything we want to,” said Angel, whose<br />

younger sister, Genesis, later joined the<br />

program.<br />

A highlight of the April 5 luncheon will<br />

be a keynote speech by alumna Jomaira<br />

Salas Pujols. Pujols is a third-year Ph.D.<br />

student in the Department of Sociology<br />

at Rutgers University. Her research<br />

focuses on higher education, race and the<br />

academic achievement of girls of color.<br />

Last spring, she became a National Science<br />

Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship<br />

Program Fellow.<br />

Ansourlian, the executive director,<br />

said Eastern Bank will be honored at<br />

the milestone celebration luncheon.<br />

“Throughout the years, Eastern Bank has<br />

provided valuable support through the<br />

board governance, and program support.<br />

We congratulate the bank on its 200th<br />

anniversary, as well as applaud the Eastern<br />

Bank Charitable Foundation on its plans to<br />

donate more than $1.5 million in grants to<br />

community-based organizations working to<br />

eliminate barriers and advance women in its<br />

communities.”<br />

United Way of Mass Bay and Merrimack<br />

Valley joins Eastern Bank as a sponsor.<br />

Those interested in attending the luncheon are<br />

encouraged to contact Donna Crotty at dcrotty@<br />

girlsinclynn.org or at 781-592-9744, ext 243.<br />

Deb Ansourlian<br />

29 | ONE MAGAZINE | SPRING <strong>2018</strong>


By Thomas Grillo<br />

There’s hardly been a time when Ira Rosenberg wasn’t in the car business.<br />

Sure, as a kid he worked as a soda jerk at a drug store in Malden, where he<br />

grew up. But from age 20 to his recent retirement as CEO of the<br />

Prime Motor Group, which operates 30 dealerships in New England, the<br />

81-year-old executive has had automobiles in his blood. He and his wife Judith own a<br />

waterfront home on Front Street in Marblehead and have three children, David, Brian<br />

and Lori. We talked with Rosenberg from his retirement home in Boca Raton, Florida,<br />

where the temperature was a comfortable 80 degrees.<br />

Q You began your love affair<br />

with the car industry in 1959<br />

as a tire changer at Porter<br />

Chevrolet in Cambridge, worked<br />

in their service department, sold<br />

Corvettes and then became sales<br />

manager. Is that the best way to<br />

break into the business?<br />

A You don’t have to<br />

start out changing tires<br />

anymore. Most dealerships have<br />

management training programs.<br />

If you love people, it’s a great<br />

opportunity, especially for women.<br />

Today, a young college grad, just<br />

out of school, can sell cars and<br />

make a hell of a living. Many<br />

grads go into retail like Macy’s and<br />

Staples to become manager. But<br />

in the car business they can make<br />

more money working fewer hours.<br />

Q What was your first car?<br />

A It was a 1961<br />

Chevrolet Impala coupe. It had<br />

turquoise painted on the bottom<br />

with a white roof. It cost $1,900.<br />

Q What are you driving today?<br />

A I love the car business but I’m<br />

not a car guy. I drive an Audi Q5.<br />

Q Your wife Judith wasn’t<br />

wild about you being in the car<br />

business, and as a result, you<br />

switched careers for a while, right?<br />

A Yes, I quit the car business<br />

in the mid-’60s and took a<br />

variety of jobs selling all kinds<br />

of things, advertising, welding<br />

materials, whatever.<br />

Q How did that go?<br />

A I starved. My wife<br />

was pregnant with my first son,<br />

David. We had no money and<br />

no insurance. While she was still<br />

in the hospital, she spotted an ad<br />

for Sea Crest Cadillac-Pontiac<br />

in Lynn looking for salespeople.<br />

She told me I always loved the<br />

car business, perhaps I should go<br />

back into it.<br />

Q That seemed to work out well.<br />

A I waited on the<br />

sofa in the Sea Crest showroom<br />

for three days for an interview.<br />

They gave me a 30-day tryout,<br />

but I was fired for not selling cars.<br />

I noticed that all the customers<br />

I had talked to in the showroom<br />

were buying cars from other<br />

salesman. They were stealing my<br />

customers, but I wasn’t smart<br />

enough to know what was going<br />

on. But I’m a fast learner. I asked<br />

for a second chance and told the<br />

sales staff that if they stole one<br />

customer from me, I will steal<br />

three from them. It worked. I<br />

became a lion on the showroom<br />

floor and within a year I was best<br />

salesman, selling 18 cars a month.<br />

Q From the Lynnway you<br />

founded North Shore Auto<br />

Brokers in Salem.<br />

A I wasn’t sure I could make<br />

a go of it. The management of<br />

Sea Crest Cadillac-Pontiac spent<br />

three hours insisting I stay. But I<br />

eventually launched it and stayed<br />

for seven years.<br />

Q Tell me about how you<br />

acquired your first dealership.<br />

A Someone told me they<br />

heard a Toyota dealership was<br />

going out of business in Danvers.<br />

I got a suit, borrowed a Cadillac<br />

from a friend, put a cigar in my<br />

mouth and went over. The bank<br />

was there ready to foreclose. I<br />

threw the owner an anchor and<br />

within a half-hour I owned it. I<br />

offered to take on the $130,000<br />

debt and settled it for about<br />

$70,000. Today, buying a good<br />

Toyota dealership can cost as much<br />

as $10 million on the East Coast<br />

and up to $25 million on the West<br />

Coast, so it was a good investment.<br />

Q Why do people dread the<br />

process of buying a car?<br />

A They have been accustomed<br />

to being lied to and harassed.<br />

There were dealerships that used<br />

to take the keys to your trade-in<br />

and tossed them to keep you<br />

in the dealership. When I first<br />

started in the business there were<br />

lots of thieves and liars. I was<br />

young when I started and I saw<br />

what was being done and how<br />

it should be done. I contributed<br />

to helping to sell automobiles<br />

without all the pressure.<br />

Q What are your plans in<br />

retirement?<br />

A I feel much younger than 81,<br />

and there’s only so much golf you<br />

can play. I’ve taken up painting<br />

and I’m becoming an artist, but<br />

most of all, I love having people<br />

around me.<br />

30 | ONE MAGAZINE | SPRING <strong>2018</strong>


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 28<br />

your point across. And you have<br />

to have discipline. That never<br />

changes.”<br />

What might have changed<br />

over the years, he says, is the<br />

method and severity of the<br />

discipline.<br />

“With social media, for example,<br />

everyone’s under a microscope<br />

now,” he said, “and I think there<br />

are a lot of people who could<br />

potentially be good coaches who<br />

won’t get involved because there’s<br />

so much negativity.”<br />

Lee feels it’s incumbent on<br />

coaches to set the tone, both with<br />

players and parents, early on.<br />

“We try to start out real early,<br />

and let everyone know that<br />

the high school experience is<br />

to be enjoyed,” he said. “But at<br />

the same time, it’s all about life<br />

lessons. We try to make things<br />

realistic for the parents. No one<br />

here is going to be playing in the<br />

NHL, and if they are, they won’t<br />

be here long because (some other<br />

organization) will grab you.<br />

PHOTO: SPENSER HASAK<br />

Lynn Police school resource officer Mark Lee relaxes in his office.<br />

“Also,” he said, “it’s over before<br />

you know it. If you can stick<br />

to that philosophy, you’ll enjoy<br />

it. As for us, we’re in a highly<br />

competitive league and we<br />

schedule all the best teams. We<br />

have the best high school hockey<br />

right here at St. Mary’s.”<br />

He feels his position in the<br />

police department (he was never<br />

much interested in advancing<br />

beyond patrolman, as he enjoys<br />

his coaching avocation too<br />

much) gives him credibility with<br />

his players.<br />

“I think they understand that<br />

I have some street smarts,” he<br />

said, “and that I know a little bit<br />

about the world they’ve living in.<br />

And that I might be able to steer<br />

them away from some of the<br />

things they may end up getting<br />

involved with. It has helped me<br />

relate to them.”<br />

Nothing, though, could have<br />

prepared him for what is truly<br />

his worst moment as a coach<br />

— the death of Patrick Reddy<br />

on 2007. Reddy had been a<br />

captain the previous season. He<br />

is friends with the entire Reddy<br />

family, serves on the force with<br />

two of them, and played hockey<br />

with them.<br />

Reddy died in an auto accident<br />

while returning to school in Maine.<br />

“It was devastating,” he said. “It<br />

joined us together as a community,<br />

and we honored him. But it was<br />

a tough, tough time for us. He<br />

was true Blue and Gold, through<br />

and through. It was so sad, what<br />

happened.”<br />

Reddy’s hockey jersey hangs<br />

above the ice at Connery Rink<br />

in Lynn, where the Spartans play<br />

their home games.<br />

As he prepares for another<br />

state tournament, Lee<br />

understands how fortunate he’s<br />

been, however.<br />

“I’m lucky not only to have<br />

been a police officer, but to have<br />

coached in Lynn as well,” he<br />

said. “I’m glad to have had this<br />

opportunity.”<br />

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