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THE NORTH SHORE’S PREMIER “HOLIDAY” LIQUOR STORE
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A publication of Essex Media Group
Edward M. Grant
Chief Executive Officer
Michael H. Shanahan
LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER
Heart and sole
of a well-heeled town
FRESH • TIMELESS • LUXE
02 | 01945
Edward L. Cahill
John M. Gilberg
Edward M. Grant
Gordon R. Hall
Monica Connell Healey
J. Patrick Norton
Michael H. Shanahan
Chief Financial Officer
William J. Kraft
Chief Operating Officer
James N. Wilson
Community Relations Director
Paul K. Halloran Jr.
ESSEX MEDIA GROUP
110 Munroe St.,
Lynn, MA 01901
781-593-7700 ext. 1253
Read online at:
I'm a bit of a shoe freak. Actually, that's a lie or, at the very least, a gross understatement. I'm a full-bore-
Imelda-Marcos-has-nothing-on-me shoe freak. I won't tell you how many pair I own because, other than
your not caring, it would just give my good friend the divorce attorney another reason to call my wife and
get the process started.
Let's just leave it at this: A carpenter friend turned a spare bedroom in my house into a closet and the
shelves he built for shoes fill an entire wall and I couldn't squeeze another pair onto them even with a (get
With so many pair, I don't wear many all that often, and some are maybe 20 years old. For that, I thank
Semyon Fox, the owner of Quality Shoe Repair on Atlantic Avenue and the cover boy on this, the third
edition of 01945 The Magazine.
I've been a customer of his for most if not all of the 27 years he's been in business in Marblehead. Even
when I lived in the Back Bay, I'd bring my shoes to him for a shine or new heels or whatever those little
things are that he puts under the toes to prevent scuffing. I wonder if, subconsciously, I moved back to
Marblehead a few years ago to be closer to his shop.
According to Thor Jourgensen's story, Mr. Fox's wife is a retired aesthetician; one daughter is a
microbiologist and the other an electrical engineer; his granddaughter is a mechanical engineer. And he is
a character. A cobbler, certainly, but first and foremost a character.
Through his thick Ukrainian accent comes a wry sense of humor. He'll ask when you need your shoes
and you tell him, say, Thursday, and he'll say, no — pick them up Wednesday.
It's cash on the barrelhead — in advance. And I swear he has been using the same ticket stubs since he set up
shop. He writes the customer's phone number — in pencil — on his portion of the stub, and the day they'll be
ready on the customer's. He'll ask to watch you put the stub in your wallet so it won't get lost, because when you
come to retrieve your shoes he'll erase the information and reuse the stubs over and over and over.
I once was running late and couldn't get to his place before closing time, so I asked the aforementioned
Jansi Chandler Grant to pick them up for me on her way home. He gave her the shoes — but only after
he made me promise to slip the stub into his mailbox that night. (I did. I like my shoes, remember.)
Mr. Fox is 78, so I don't know how much longer he'll be doing what he does. But I will tell you that
Marblehead wouldn't be the same without him.
My closet certainly wouldn't be.
Not that you need other reasons to read this edition of 01945, but there are several. Steve Krause goes
between the pipes with Cory Schneider; Bella diGrazia chronicles the amazing recovery of Ben Farrar; a
new program at the YMCA is benefiting cancer patients young and old; and a chat with Mrs. Claus.
We think we've cobbled together a pretty good edition. Hope you agree.
04 Did you know?
15 Sole man
05 What's up
18 Jersey fits Schneider
06 Sew good
20 Ben breaks barriers
09 Mrs. Claus and effect 22 Local flavor
24 Cornering cancer
12 House money
28 Picture this
14 Rough seas for Mariner 30 Marblehead lobstermen
Semyon Fox repairs
the sole of a shoe in
his workspace at his
Photo Credits: Cory Silken
Interior Design • Retail Showroom
East Coast Design Inc.
34 Atlantic Avenue
Marblehead, MA 01945
04 | 01945
Marblehead was the first
community in Massachusetts
to give free textbooks to its
students, which was in 1873.
Before that, students had to pay for their
own books and supplies.
Marblehead was the first town
in Massachusetts to respond to
President Abraham Lincoln's call
for troops in 1861 for the start of
the Civil War. Capt. Knott Martin commanded
the first regiment that ended up reporting for
duty at Faneuil Hall in Boston, proceeded on and
marched to Washington D.C.
Here Comes Santa Claus!
WHAT: The Annual Christmas Walk
One of the finest holiday happenings in
the North Shore, Marblehead's Christmas
weekend highlights the town's historic
charm and festive spirit with a truly
WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 29 to Sunday, Dec. 2
5 to 8 p.m., Retailers throughout Town
HOLIDAY DÉCOR BY
MARBLEHEAD GARDEN CLUBS
5 to 7 p.m., King Hooper Mansion, 8 Hooper
By Gayla Cawley
Donald Doliber, town historian, says
by legend his family founded the
town. A Doliber was one of the first
settlers in Marblehead.
There's debate about where the
birthplace of the American Navy
is, with the main rivalry between
Marblehead and Beverly. Others
recognize Whitehall, N.Y. Doliber said
the claim is never officially going to
be decided, but "we in Marblehead
know the real birthplace."
Doliber, a former history teacher
and Marblehead native, shared five
other things people may not know
about the town.
The town had the first Brownie
troop in the United States,
founded by Marie Dennett in
1916. Troops can then advance
to become full-fledged Girl Scouts.
Marblehead is the home of
the Joe Frogger cookie, a
Molasses-spice cookie made
with rum that dates back to
Colonial times. The cookie was made to be
about the size of a dinner plate. Housewives
would make them and then pack the cookies
in sailors' bags, who would take them on
board as they went to the Grand Banks. The
cookies would get rid of the salty taste in
their mouths. Legend says the cookies were
originally made on Gingerbread Hill in town.
In 1973, Marblehead served as
a frequent day trip for a seal
from Rockport, Maine. Andre
the seal would keep coming
back to Marblehead Harbor until he died in
1979. Residents would always look forward to
having Andre show up.
GINGERBREAD FESTIVAL JUDGING
AND OPENING RECEPTION
5 to 6:30 p.m., Jeremiah Lee Mansion,
161 Washington Street
TREE LIGHTING AND CAROLING
6 p.m., Festivities Begin
7 p.m., Lighting
St. Michael’s Church, 26 Pleasant Street
FREEZE DANCE PARTY
4 to 6:30 p.m., 123 Pleasant Street
4 to 6 p.m., Jeremiah Lee Mansion,
161 Washington Street
TREE LIGHTING CELEBRATION
6 p.m., Entertainment & Festivities Begin
7 p.m., Lighting
National Grand Bank Parking Lot
(across from 91 Pleasant Street)
LOBSTER TRAP TREE LIGHTING
WITH GLOVER’S REGIMENT
7:15 p.m., Lighting
Mud Puddle Toys, 1 Pleasant Street
LIVE ENTERTAINMENT ON STAGE
Performances by “A Dancer’s Dream”
9 a.m., State Street Landing
SANTA’S LANDING BY LOBSTER BOAT
State Street Landing
MARBLEHEAD FESTIVAL OF ARTS
HOLIDAY ARTISANS MARKETPLACE
10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Abbot Hall
MAGIC 106.7 -
11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 28 Atlantic Ave (Phillips & Lee)
CHRISTMAS WALK PARADE
11:45 a.m., State Street Landing, Washington
Street, Atlantic Avenue, and Pleasant Street
10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Jeremiah Lee Mansion,
161 Washington Street
10 a.m. to 5 p.m., along Atlantic Avenue
THE OLD TOWN HOUSE
Noon to 4 p.m., 1 Market Square
CANDLELIGHT STROLL IN THE
4:30 p.m., Old Town House
OLD NORTH FESTIVAL CHORUS
8 p.m., Old North Church,
35 Washington Street
Noon to 2 p.m., Jeremiah Lee Mansion,
161 Washington Street
MARBLEHEAD FESTIVAL OF ARTS
HOLIDAY ARTISANS MARKETPLACE
10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Abbot Hall,
188 Washington Street
Noon to 4 p.m., along Atlantic Avenue
AT THE OLD TOWN HOUSE
Noon to 4 p.m., 1 Market Square
OLD NORTH FESTIVAL CHORUS
7:30 p.m., Old North Church,
35 Washington Street
WHAT: A theatrical reading of the
Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol.
Performed by a small ensemble of actors,
the Christmas story will come to life
throughout the town's historic mansion
with the use of period costumes, clever
props, and caroling. One lucky audience
member will be chosen to portray the role
of "Tiny Tim!" $30 for adults and $20 for
children 10 and under.
WHEN: Friday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m., and
Saturday, Dec. 8, at 12 p.m. and 4 p.m.
WHERE: Jeremiah Lee Mansion,
161 Washington St.
06 | 01945 WINTER 2018-19 | 07
BY THOR JOURGENSEN
Charlie Katsoulakos describes his
well-used Singer sewing machines as "old
but good." The same praise could apply
to the 92-year-old tailor whose sign with
its distinctive needle and spool hangs
above Pleasant Street.
Working off of a neatly-arranged
sewing bench, Katsoulakos accepts
walk-in requests to stitch ripped or torn
clothes while customers wait and waves
off customer offers to pay for the repairs.
He points with pride at wedding photos
showing bridesmaids wearing his tailored
dresses with precision-cut hems standing
next to poorly-tailored dresses.
Quick with a smile and in business
for 55 years, Katsoulakos' definition
of advertising is word-of-mouth
compliments passed on from customers
to friends and acquaintances.
"Whatever I do, it's done right. Very
PHOTOS: SPENSER HASAK
rarely does someone come back with a
complaint," he said.
Katsoulakos has worked with scissors,
thread and needles since the age of 14
when he learned the tailor's art from
his father. He was a teenager when the
German Army conquered Greece and
brutally occupied the country. When the
war ended, father and son worked together
making, mending and altering clothes.
"We had a store in Athens but the
economy was so bad we couldn't both
make a living," he said.
He left Greece in 1955 and landed a
job in a New York City clothing factory
two days after arriving in the country.
The language barrier proved difficult and
Katsoulakos took a Greek friend up on
his offer to move to Malden.
"I rented a room and found a job. All
of the stores were busy," he said.
He also met his wife, the late Helen
Zantos. They were married within
six months and dove into hard work
and raising their son, Michael, and
daughter, Cathy. Katsoulakos worked
days in a tailor shop and spent evenings
doing alterations for clothing stores. A
Swampscott store owner admired his
work and urged him to open his own
shop in Marblehead.
"He said there were more people with
more money," he recalled.
08 | 01945
WINTER 2018-19 | 09
He took that advice and made the
town his livelihood as well as his home.
He lives off West Shore Drive and spent
hours in the waters off Marblehead
fishing aboard his boat, "Katina."
"Marblehead people are very nice and
very polite," he said.
The basics of good tailoring haven't
altered (pun intended) since he first
picked up a needle. Fancy evening wear
with frames sewn into gowns and tailored
jackets to give them structure have largely
disappeared. With age he has stopped
doing major alterations on men's suits
because of the time involved, but he'll
tackle all and any other fashions.
Katsoulakos opens his shop by 8:30
a.m and stays open through late afternoon
except on Saturdays when he closes at 2
p.m. He is closed Mondays and fends off
his son, Michael's, jokes about retirement.
"He says, 'Why do you want to
quit? You make money to pay your bills
and the rest you can spend on scratch
tickets,'" he joked.
His grandchildren and greatgrandchildren
aren't interested in
tailoring but Katsoulakos is willing to
train a sewing-minded apprentice.
"If they want to put hours in, they can
make a living," he said.
Tailor Charlie Katsoulakos does a test-fit on a suit for Marblehead attorney Thomas Toranto.
(New Location to be Announced)
SAVINGS UP TO
In The Store
Mrs. Claus and effect
In an exclusive interview with 01945
The Magazine, Mrs. Claus reminisced
about the three decades she has been
visiting the children of Marblehead on a
"Santa asked me if I would like
to go visit a charming little town in
Massachusetts where there are lovely
children," she said. "Santa asked me if I
wanted to go with him and I did. But I
had to ride in a fishing boat, which I had
never been on before."
She stepped aboard her first lobster
boat at the age of 39.
Thirty-three years, and 33 boat rides
later, she can't imagine the Christmas
season any other way. The event is a
highlight of the town's long-standing
Christmas Walk tradition, which has been
around for almost 50 years. The day after
the Christmas tree lighting, upwards of
1,000 children fill the parking lot behind
The Landing Restaurant in anticipation of
Mrs. Claus and her hubby.
Laura Best, a close friend of Mrs.
Claus (wink, wink) said if Mrs. Claus
changes her outfit, her hair, her jewelry
during a visit, the children take notice.
One year, Mrs. Claus wore different
perfume and the children of Marblehead
called her a fake, she said.
Mrs. Claus' hair turned white
when she was in her 30s, and she soon
Mrs. Claus has been Santa's loyal companion when visiting Marblehead over the last 33 years.
recognized her calling was to become the
first lady of the North Pole. For more
than three decades she has been the
friendly face many children need when
they're too nervous to sit on Santa's lap.
"He's loud, he has a giant beard, and he
horrifies kids," she said. "The parents stand
in this long line to see Santa and they get
up there and they scream and run. We
say 'we've got another runner.' But if I'm
sitting next to him and I bring them over,
they can sit in my lap and talk to him and
within seconds they are on his lap."
Five or six Santas have come and
gone, as have a few boat captains, but
Mrs. Claus has remained the same.
"I'm at the point where I'm known
throughout Marblehead as Mrs. Claus,"
she said. "I've been on many Christmas
cards. The kids look at you and the
wonder and the amazement in their eyes
— it's priceless and very rewarding to
have done it all these years."
She has no plans to retire, but hopes
that one day, her daughter can try on the
magical outfit, that is worn just once a
year, and become the next Mrs. Claus of
Celebrating 36 years
Monday-Friday • 10-6 Saturday • 10-5 Sunday 12-4
427 Paradise Rd (Vinnin Square) • (781) 599-8829 • firstname.lastname@example.org
10 | 01945 WINTER 2018-19 | 11
GIVE THE GIFT OF
BY BELLA diGRAZIA | PHOTOS BY SPENSER HASAK
It's that time of year when all of our money has gone to holiday gifts for the people
we love most. Now, you need a look for the holiday party, without breaking the
bank. She Boutique has the trends and the deals.
GET THE LOOK
J Available at She Boutique, 86 Washington St.
Black high-waisted skinny jeans, $88
Grey and black "All Business" check-print jacket, $68
Silver emblem choker, $18
Silver droplet, statement necklace, $18
Red bell-sleeve blouse, $38
Olive houndstooth circle mini skirt, $42
Black cable knit turtleneck, $58
12 | 01945 WINTER 2018-19 | 13
SALE PRICE: $2,250,000
SALE DATE: 10/31/2018
LIST PRICE: $2,475,000
DAYS ON MARKET: 147
LATEST ASSESSED VALUE: $1,776,000
95 Beacon St.
PREVIOUS SALE PRICE: $750,000 (land
PREVIOUS SALE DATE: 11/2015
LIVING AREA: 4,767 Sq. Ft.
1 Driftwood Road
SALE PRICE: $1,930,000
SALE DATE: 11/14/2018
LIST PRICE: $1,950,000
DAYS ON MARKET: 85
LATEST ASSESSED VALUE: $1,238,900
PREVIOUS SALE PRICE: $675,000
PREVIOUS SALE DATE: 6/1998
LIVING AREA: 4,264 Sq. Ft.
Source: MLS Property Information Network.
11 Crown Way
SALE PRICE: $1,860,000
SALE DATE: 9/7/2018
LIST PRICE: $4,300,000
DAYS ON MARKET: 1,944
PREVIOUS SALE PRICE:
PREVIOUS SALE DATE:
LIVING AREA: 6,265 Sq. Ft.
PHOTOS: JIM WILSON
Marblehead, MA 01945
E M G
ESSEX MEDIA GROUP
Target your message
to an affluent audience
BY GAYLA CAWLEY
When Swampscott was a resort ● The hero behind Blocksidge Field
Rendering of the Mariner assisted-living facility.
Fall features food and fun and fashion
Kathy O'Toole is
Contact us at:
Developers call it the Mariner, and
the project is weathering rough seas on
its way to becoming Marblehead's first
Developers Michael Lafayette,
Heather Cairns and Phil Helmes, of
Pleasant Street LLC, won approval
from the town last year for the Mariner
and they have plans on track for an
87-apartment development on Pleasant
Street. But two neighbors have filed
separate appeals in Essex Superior
Court challenging the legality of the
town's Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA)
approval of the project last year.
Lafayette declined comment while
litigation is pending.
The 108-bed facility would include
a memory-care component and the
4.5-acre site will feature parks, walking
paths, seating areas, patios and gardens.
The residences would include private
dining, a restaurant, pub, cafe, beauty
salon, health and wellness room, library
and movie theater, according to the
developer's website. The site will include
70 parking spaces.
During the town permitting process,
Mariner attorney Paul Feldman said
there is a real need for assisted living in
Marblehead, citing census figures that
showed seniors 65 and older are the
town's largest age group.
Getting town approval for the
project was no cakewalk for the
developers. The ZBA denied the
developers’ application to build the
assisted-living facility in 2016, leading
Lafayette, Cairns and Helms to
appeal the board's decision with the
Massachusetts Land Court, challenging
the legality of the vote.
The Land Court judge remanded the
matter back to the ZBA last year, with
the board opting to approve the project,
reversing its previous decision.
The Mariner has been a contentious
issue among neighbors, as evidenced by
the appeals filed in Essex Superior Court,
with some arguing that the facility would
not fit in with a neighborhood of singlefamily
BY THOR JOURGENSEN
16 | 01945 WINTER 2018-19 | 17
Smack dab in the middle of
town just down Atlantic
Avenue from Shubie's,
Semyon Fox, owner of
Quality Shoe Repair, fixes
shoes and purses and doles
out dry humor in a funnylooking
little green shop.
The space in front of his counter
is the only place to stand in the shop
without bumping into shelves and wall
hooks lined with shoes and purses.
"A lady didn't pick up her shoes for
six months. I told her she should come
in and get them and she said, 'I can't,
they're out of style by now,'" he said.
He has owned a shop in town for 27
years and Marblehead residents have
been good to him. Fox, in turn, has been
good to them.
"I have people who I have charged
$25 and I've let them pay me $5 a week,"
A native of Kiev, Ukraine (he changed
his last name spelling from "Fuks"), Fox
said he started working at the age of 6
chopping wood. At 78, he is old enough
to remember German prisoner of war
labor gangs rebuilding Kiev after World
War II. A weightlifter and wrestler in his
youth, he served in the Soviet army and
eschewed his father's trade as a roofer to
He earned a college degree and in
1979, Fox and his wife, Genya, decided
to get their young daughters, Margaret
and Victoria, out of the Soviet Union.
They embarked on an odyssey that
resembled a John le Carre plot line
stretching across three years.
The family endured Cold War
interrogation after interrogation, biding
their time in Austria, then Italy, as they
answered questions and submitted to
Semyon Fox is the owner of Quality Shoe Repair in Marblehead.
PHOTOS: SPENSER HASAK
background checks. They finally settled
in Albany, N.Y., where Fox sized up his
prospects and searched for shoe repairers.
"I had zero English and zero money.
But I said I can make shoes just as well,
maybe better, than you."
He found work and Genya, who
trained in the Soviet Union as a
midwife, worked stitching handbags.
A move to Lynn put Fox in the first
wave of Russians coming to the United
States late in the 20th century to trade
communism for capitalism.
Although he learned basic English
from watching American television, his
business skills needed honing.
"My first shop sign was made
out of cardboard and the words were
misspelled," he recalled.
The first shop he opened turned out
to be in a bad location for his business.
His second store on Franklin Street
prospered for 10 years until Lynn's
French-American population faded away.
Positive word-of-mouth advertising
kept him in business and he jumped
at the chance to set up shop in the
Atlantic Avenue building when the
opportunity arose. He said he has
survived while other shoe repair shops
have closed because no job is too small
He'll stitch a broken purse strap
and suggest additional work when
customers such as Rick Humphrey
walk into the shop. He charged the
Marblehead resident $30 to repair a
pair of loafers.
"What he does is an art and he is a
professional," Humphrey said.
Fox is a master of understatement when
he says, "I haven't made too bad of a living."
His wife became an aesthetician and
is now retired. His daughters live locally;
one is a microbiologist and the other an
electrical engineer. His granddaughter,
Marie Hiett, became a mechanical engineer
after graduating with honors. Successes
aside, Fox has no retirement plans.
"Retire? What will I do? Watch TV
and fall asleep. I like working," he said.
WINTER 2018-19 | 19
New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider (35) stops a shot by Detroit Red Wings center Luke Glendening (41). PHOTOS: AP/PAUL SANCYA
Jersey fits Schneider
BY STEVE KRAUSE
appearances in the NCAA finals.
Unfortunately for him, the Eagles lost
both games — to Wisconsin in 2006 and
Michigan State the following season.
"It was still a good experience," he
said. "There was a lot I learned about
facing that kind of pressure, and big-game
experience. The exposure was good, too.
"You only get so many opportunities
to shine. You have to embrace as many of
them as you can."
Schneider maintained his academic
standing in college — so much so that
he was named to two Hockey East
All-Academic teams. He also earned
the Paul Patrick Daley Student-Athlete
Scholarship in 2006.
In 2004, just as he was getting out
of high school, Schneider was the No. 1
draft choice for the Canucks, and joined
the organization in 2008.
By 2010, he was with the parent club
on a full-time basis, backing up Robert
Even though he grew up in Bruins
country, Schneider admired New York
Rangers goalie Mike Richter because of
his success as an American goalie (he
wears Richter's No. 35 now).
Schneider saw action twice in the
2011 Stanley Cup final, including once at
TD Garden when
the Bruins went out
to a big lead right
away in Game 6.
"That was a
tough series allaround,"
"I kind of felt it
from both sides. I
grew up here, but
I certainly wanted
our team to win.
were a great team,"
he said, "and they
he was happy to
up here was the
passion the sport
"It's great to
see," he said.
He is also be grateful to the
Marblehead Youth Hockey program for
helping in his development.
"Guys like Phil Somersby (whose son,
Doyle, played for Boston University and
is now part of the Columbus Blue Jackets
Organization), they were great to me.
How will you reclaim
"It's kind of
weird to see Doyle's
now playing in
the pros," said
remember the day
he was born."
He credits Joe
turning him into
a goalie, and has
a soft spot in his
heart for the late
Howie Doliber, a
"He was the salt
of the earth," said
Schneider's goal is
to get his timing
down and earn his
way back onto the ice.
"It's different now," said Schneider, who
lives in Short Hills, N.J., with his wife, Jill,
and two children. "There's no No. 1 and
No. 2. With the games the way they are,
everybody's going to play, and you have to
earn your way onto the ice. Coaches are
going to ride that hot hand."
There's nothing quite as unsettling in
professional sports as an injury.
Ask Marblehead native Cory
Schneider has worked diligently to
climb up the professional hockey ladder.
After playing at Boston College, he did a
minor league stint and then a backup gig
for the Vancouver Canucks that included
appearances in two Stanley Cup final
games against the Boston Bruins.
Five years ago, he got the break he
had been looking for when he moved
from the Canucks to the New Jersey
Devils, where he blossomed. Two years
ago, playing 60 games, he had a goalsagainst
average of 2.82; and last year, in
only 40 games, it was 2.92.
The reason for playing 20 fewer games
last year was not due to poor play; he
got injured. Specifically, he had a torn
labrum, something he calls "a wear-andtear
This meant surgery, rehab, and a late
start to this season. He's just getting back
into the swing of things.
"I was just cleared to play a week or
so ago," said Schneider, who was still
rounding into shape in mid-November,
having started three games and lost them
Schneider was a rink and a pond rat
growing up in Marblehead. But, oddly
enough, he didn't exactly dream of
playing in the National Hockey League.
"Things happened fast," he said. "One
day, I'm skating on Redd's Pond, and
now, here I am. I never really had time to
think about it, or plan it, or dream about
"I always loved the game. And I had a
lot of fun playing it."
Schneider spent his freshman
season at Marblehead High, where
he said he enjoyed the experience of
playing Magician hockey. After that,
he transferred to Phillips Academy in
"I got a good education there, and
I played better hockey," he said. "And
things broke right for me there, too."
His diligence paid off. As a senior,
he received Phillips-Andover's Yale
Bowl and the Boston Bruins' John
Carlton Memorial Trophy — both
for achievement in scholarship and
Schneider enrolled at Boston College
in the Carroll School of Management —
a major he has since parlayed into being
part-owner of the "Stop It!" goaltending
school where he first learned to play in
the nets as a child.
At BC, Schneider backboned the
Eagles to a Beanpot championship
in 2007, and led the school to two
82 River Street
164 Chestnut Street
12 Old Road
100% RECLAIMED WOOD FROM NORTHERN MAINE
PEEl & STICK | VARIETY OF COLORS & LENGTHS
20 | 01945
Ben breaks barriers
Most people view going to
college as a rite of passage.
For Ben Farrar and his
family, it's a small miracle.
"I'm doing things I would never think
I'd be doing a few years ago," said Ben,
22, now a student at the University of
New Hampshire. "Going back to school.
Being on my own. Living independently.
I live my life like any other college kid
Ben was rendered quadriplegic during
a school exchange program in France
near the end of his senior year of high
school in 2015. The students arrived on a
Saturday, met with their respective host
families for sightseeing the following day,
and arranged to meet at the beach that
Ben, who was wearing a t-shirt and
jeans, walked into the ocean to cool
off. He got to a certain point and dove
forward, head first. As his head hit the
water, a wave crashed over the back of
his neck and the force drove his head to
the bottom of the ocean, said his mother,
"It was a freak accident," she said.
"That split second that he chose to
dive in and that wave — his head hit
the sand and he immediately became
Ben later told his mother that he was
underwater when he realized he couldn't
move his body. His next thought was that
if he was under water and couldn't move,
he would die.
Not knowing what happened, his
friends initially thought he was goofing
off and sat on his back. When he rolled
over, they knew something was wrong
and the three girls carried him out of the
water. One, a lifeguard, used her leg as a
stint to keep his neck straight.
First responders could have taken
him to two different hospitals. Lucky,
they determined he needed to go to the
hospital that specializes in this type
of trauma, said Yunita. Immediately
after arriving, Ben had an operation to
stabilize a bone that had been crushed
BY BRIDGET TURCOTTE
and was protruding into his spinal cord.
"If they had taken him to the local
hospital in France, they would not have
been able to do the operation," she
said. "He would have died from the
Yunita was at brunch with her
husband and four children in Montreal
when she got the call. She imagined he
had a few broken bones or a sprained
ankle, she said. She never expected to
step off the plane and find him lying in a
bed connected to wires and tubes.
In most cases, they would have
induced a coma, said Yunita, but Ben
was able to keep himself calm and keep
his blood pressure down. It wasn't until
he suffered from an infection from
inhaling the sea water that they induced
After 6½ weeks in France, he was
airlifted back to Boston, stopping in
London, Iceland, and Newfoundland.
The trip took 20 hours and in that time,
nobody moved or talked to Ben, said
his mom. He developed a sore on his
coccyx, which developed to a stage four
The flesh of the wound essentially
died because of lack of blood flow, said
In September 2015, Ben had surgery
to clean out the wound and cover it with
He was treated at Massachusetts
General Hospital for 10 days before
he was transferred to Spaulding
Rehabilitation Hospital. Five-and-a-half
months and countless physical therapy
sessions later, Ben finally went home.
"It was amazing to have him home,"
said Yunita. "We didn't know day-to-day
if he was going to be OK until they let
him go and leave the hospital."
From there, Ben had health scares
here and there, but he was determined
not to let his new reality hold him back.
Rather than going to college with his
friends in the 2015-16 school year, he
waited on his eligibility results for a stem
cell replacement study at the University
of Miami. When he wasn't chosen for
it, he decided to shift his focus on his
education, he said.
He took online classes at North Shore
Community College during the Fall
2016 semester and made the Dean's List.
From there, he decided he would attend
the University of New Hampshire to
"I'm not 100 percent sure what I want
to do, but one thing I think I would be
good at is advocacy or helping people
who have spinal injuries by setting up
foundations and stuff like that," said Ben.
Ben has joined a fraternity and met
many new friends. Over the past two
summers, he spent time at Empower
Spinal Cord Injury Camp, where he
kayaked with friends. He hopes to learn
to sail in the future.
"The first time was nerve-wracking —
my accident happened in water," he said.
"I didn't know if I would be comfortable
getting back into it. Once I did it, I was
like, 'I could do that again.' I had a ton
Ben said he has learned that he can
do everything he did before his accident,
he just has to put in the time and effort
to learn how to do it differently.
He spends nine hours a week at
Project Walk in Stratham, N.H., an
activity-based recovery program that
helps increase mobility in clients who
have spinal cord injuries and other forms
"Once he's done with school, there
might be a cure out there for him," said
Yunita. "And if there is, we want to send
him out there in a wheelchair and have
him come back home walking. That's our
vision. So we need to keep him strong."
The three-hour sessions are not
covered by insurance and cost $110 per
hour, said Yunita. The physical therapy
that is covered by insurance is only
45 minutes long and is not sufficient
to maintain Ben's strength, she said.
The community has stepped up with
fundraisers to help pay for the sessions at
"It's awesome to know how many
people are still pulling for me out there,"
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WINTER 2018-19 | 23
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BY BELLA DIGRAZIA
PHOTOS BY SPENSER HASAK
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24 | 01945
WINTER 2018-19 | 25
C O R N E R I N G
BY BILL BROTHERTON
Lindsay Northrop was a young wife
and mother of two boys, ages 5 and 7,
when she was diagnosed with breast
cancer in 2014.
"I was taking care of two young
children, and trying to take care of myself
through the cancer. My husband took on
a lot. It was hard, for me, my husband, and
my sons," said Northrop, a Swampscott
native and Marblehead resident.
Two years later, the cancer returned.
Support outside of the home was
difficult to obtain, she said, especially
for a young woman. The average age
of women receiving a breast cancer
diagnosis is 62.
Catherine Foley, a Beverly native
living in Lynn, faced similar difficulties.
70 Atlantic Ave,
Marblehead, MA 01945
Richard M. Miller,
Marblehead Pediatrics provides comprehensive
health care for infants, children, adolescents
and young adults from birth to age 22.
We welcome new patients and accept
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She, too, was diagnosed with breast cancer
in her 30s. "It's a scary thing. I was filled
with fear and anxiety and uncertainty."
Northrop and Foley, who today are
both in complete remission, met at a
support group recommended by their
surgeons. They were considerably younger
than everyone else in attendance. "It
was the first time I ever went to a group
meeting," said Foley. "Before that, it was
like the Underground Railroad. Someone
would say, 'Oh, call this person.' I'd call,
and that person would be helpful, and
create the Corner
Stone program, which
is a new initiative
that supports cancer
survivors and their
give me another number to call. I'd call
that person. That's how things went."
After the meeting, Northrop tapped
Foley on the shoulder as they were
walking out. The two shared their stories
and recognized the urgent need for a
young women's support group. Statistics
show that one in eight women in the
United States will be diagnosed with
breast cancer during their lifetime.
Northrop and Foley have started the
Young Women's Breast Cancer Support
Group, hosted by the Lynch/van Otterloo
RN, MSN, CPNP
Monday: 8 a.m. - 9a.m. Walk-in 9 a.m. - 5:45 p.m. Tuesday-Friday: 9 a.m. - 5:45 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sunday: On call for urgent care
YMCA in Marblehead. It coincides
perfectly with the local Y's innovative,
first-in-the-nation Corner Stone program,
a collaborative program providing essential
daily-living support to individuals with
cancer and their immediate families.
Gerald MacKillop Jr., executive
director of the Marblehead-based Y, is
a former Lahey Health executive and
has been involved with Corner Stone
since the beginning. He and Martha
Potvin, coordinator of the Y's health and
wellness programs, "were 100-percent
onboard" with helping the young
women's group, said Northrop.
Foley said young women face a
complex set of challenges during
treatment for breast cancer: They are in
the prime of their life, juggling families,
careers and relationships. Northrop said
the group provides peer-to-peer support
and mentorship. It meets at the Y the first
Monday of every month at both noon and
6:30 p.m.; and there is a private Facebook
page where members can offer support
and share resources as needed.
"I thought of all the women behind
me, and wondered 'Are they going to go
through the same things I did?' I had so
many questions when I was diagnosed. I
was processing so much. We don't want
other women to feel like we did," said Foley.
"Most cancer organizations are focused
around fundraisers," she continued. "They
serve a very important service, but at
the time of my diagnosis the last thing I
wanted was to walk or run a 5K. I needed
support and help with my emotions. I had
cancer. That was my new normal. It was
lonely and isolating, no matter how many
people you have around you. That starts to
disappear when you talk with others who
have been through it."
MacKillop said Corner Stone
participants will have no-cost access to
YMCA-sponsored health and wellness
resources, programs and support to help
them in their cancer fight. The initiative
includes access to all seven YMCA of
the North Shore locations.
"Every family is touched by cancer,"
said MacKillop. "Corner Stone will
provide a safety net (…) If a person has
to cancel a doctor's appointment because
there is no one to take care of their
children, we will take care of the kids
here. If a person has been in treatment
all day, the last thing they want to do is
go out at night for a screening, especially
if it means a trip into Boston. We can do
the screening here, and the patient can be
taken care of while other family members
"I thought of all the women
behind me, and wondered
'Are they going to go through
the same things I did?' I had
so many questions when
I was diagnosed. I was
processing so much. We
don't want other women to
feel like we did."
— Catherine Foley
Catherine Foley of Lynn, left, and Lindsay
Northrop of Marblehead host a weekly support
group at the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA as part of
the Corner Stone program.
PHOTO: SPENSER HASAK
can take advantage of our offerings."
MacKillop said Corner Stone provides:
○ A complimentary Y membership
to cancer survivors diagnosed within the
past five years and their families for one
year (with extended options for those
still receiving treatment).
○ Access to all member benefits and
specialized programs to help those with
cancer and recovering from cancer.
○ A complimentary week of summer
camp for all children in the family
enrolled in the program.
○ A schedule of special drop-in
babysitting for parents who are currently
○ A non-clinical environment where
patients and family can feel comfortable
MacKillop said Dana Farber,
Lahey Health, Steward Health, Care
Dimensions hospice and Spaulding
Rehab are onboard. Mass General Cancer
Center and the Reid Sacco Adolescent
and Young Adult Program for Cancer and
Hereditary Blood Diseases have expressed
interest in participating.
“A cancer diagnosis is devastating,
and the goal of Corner Stone is to build
a community support structure and
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26 | 01945 WINTER 2018-19 | 27
provide essential daily support for cancer
patients, survivors and their families,”
said Chris Lovasco, CEO of the YMCA
of the North Shore. “For more than
100 years, the Y has been a community
resource that has experience offering a
wide variety of crucial health, wellness
and education programming. We’re
excited to launch this new program that
will benefit so many adults, children and
families in our local communities.”
Alan Kraning, a Marblehead resident,
is excited by the possibilities Corner
Stone offers. The retired software
engineer had been an enthusiastic
participant in Livestrong, the Y's 12-
week small group program designed for
adult cancer survivors. Kraning, a former
smoker, had a cancerous growth in the
back of his mouth removed in 2003.
Nine years later, cancer was found under
his tongue, necessitating surgery that
included the removal of several teeth.
"That's when I got serious, and started
coming to the Y, first at the old place
in downtown Marblehead, and working
with a personal trainer. Livestrong hit me
at the right time in my life. It integrates
head, heart and body."
Kraning said there's a stigma attached
to cancer. "Some people think they can
catch it, so they stay away from you. The
isolation is tough, on the patient and on
the family. When I was first diagnosed,
I thought I had been given a death
sentence. I was scared out of my mind.
Livestrong shows you you're not alone.
You're working out with your peers and
you support each other."
Kraning still exercises almost daily.
The fact that Corner Stone is a year-long
program is fantastic, he said. "Corner
Stone takes a person's recovery well into
the future. A person can take their time to
adjust to exercise and schedules." Corner
Stone will give him the opportunity to
"give back and go forward, to share my
story with other people who are going
through what I went through."
For more information on the Lynch/van
Otterloo YMCA's Corner Stone program,
go to www.northshoreymca.org or call
781-631-9622. For more information on
the Young Women's Breast Cancer Support
Group (the next meeting is Dec. 3), contact
will provide a
Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA Executive Director
PHOTO: SPENSER HASAK
BY BELLA diGRAZIA
Rick Cuzner thought he was going
to spend his whole life as a mechanical
engineer. Until wildlife photography
came into his life.
"It's kind of a hobby that grew and
ended up spiraling," he said.
The Marblehead native has been
an engineer at Applied Materials in
Gloucester for the last 14 years. His
photographic passion took off five years
ago, and it has only gorown since then.
Growing up, Cuzner had an interest
in wildlife and animals. He was always
the one in his friend group with a camera
in his hand during their many nature
trips, and he was always the kid with the
Five years ago, when snowy owls
became prevalent on the North Shore,
Cuzner was hellbent on seeing one. And
when he finally did, there was a camera
in his hand and he snagged the perfect
shot. His passion, and skills, only grew
The self-taught wildlife photographer
PHOTO: RICK CUZNER
wakes up every morning at 5 a.m. and
goes out on the water, on his boat
EndorFin, before he heads to work, eager
to get in a few good shots. Every time
he goes out, he takes at least 500 photos.
He said there must be at least 100,000
photos in his collection.
"Nothing motivates me more than
getting up and running out in the
morning and marching up a beach
in the pitch black so I can be there
for sunrise, taking a photo," he said.
"I think it makes my day job better
because I start off my day doing
For Cuzner, the photography has
been a stress release. Now, it is a family
affair, with his wife Julie and daughters
Katelyn, 13, and Susanna, 9, always
"My oldest is special needs, she has a
genetic disorder, and we like to get her
outside to run around and exercise and
this motivates her," he said. "I'll give
her a camera and a pair of binoculars
and we'll head to the bird sanctuary.
My youngest daughter is really just into
taking pictures, so I give her this little
point and shoot then she'll run around
and start taking shots of rocks and
flowers in our backyard."
Cuzner's hobby turned into a town
phenomenon after he started posting his
work on social media. He said given the
shy, introverted guy that he is, Facebook
and Instagram really helped prompt him
to share his work with the world.
While he may be rich with social
media followers, Cuzner said he isn’t in it
for the money. He will participate in art
shows once in awhile, but his photos are
not for bringing in profit.
He loves integrating his hobbies,
especially his engineering background
and photographic passion, and is always
making something new to help figure out
ways to get the next best photo. Most
recently, he built a motorized rail system
to put his camera on so he can get a
moving pan of the star trails.
His growing passion is not done yet.
Next on his list? He hopes to put
together a book with a collection of his
photos. Cuzner built a career for himself
and his family, but he made sure to never
give up on his passions. Now, he enjoys
the best of both worlds.
“It’s interesting to see the wildlife
around us that nobody sees,” said
Cuzner. “People walk by and don’t take
the time to really see what’s going on in
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30 | 01945 WINTER 2018-19 | 31
A day in the life
of Marblehead lobstermen
PHOTOS BY SPENSER HASAK
Captain Dave Smith, left, and Ben Osborne unload their lobster catch
after spending the morning at sea.
There are no offices out
there, it’s just you in
nature in the open air
- Ben Osborne, Marblehead lobsterman
Above and below, Patriot Seafoods worker John DelloRusso, of
Marblehead, pulls crates of lobster out of the water at the town landing
Marblehead residents Ben Osborne, left, and Capt. Dave Smith unload their catch of lobsters at the State Street Landing.
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