01945 Fall 2020 V3

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Pursuit of the spooky Looking back on 9/11

Love on Lee Street

Molly on

a mission

FALL 2020

VOL. 3 NO. 3

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02 | 01945

A publication of Essex Media Group


Edward M. Grant

Chief Executive Officer

Michael H. Shanahan


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

Carolina Trujillo


Susan Conti


Thor Jourgensen

Contributing Editor

Steve Krause

Contributing Writers

Mike Alongi

Bill Brotherton

Elyse Carmosino

Gayla Cawley

Thor Jourgensen

Dan Kane

Steve Krause

Anne Marie Tobin


Olivia Falcigno

Spenser Hasak

Advertising Sales

Ernie Carpenter

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Eric Rondeau

Patricia Whalen

Advertising Design

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110 Munroe St.,

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781-593-7700 ext.1234


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04 What's Up

06 Love on Lee Street

10 Scoring a first

12 House Money

14 Staying on track

16 Fright write

18 Turning a page

One for the books

Sept. 11, 2001. We all know where we were and what we were doing. I was driving to a client meeting in New

Hampshire with Kathy O’Toole. As readers of 01945 might recall from our Fall 2018 cover story, Kathy —

Marblehead High Class of ‘72 — was a lieutenant colonel in the Massachusetts State Police, superintendent of

the MDC Police, Boston Police commissioner, and secretary of Public Safety in Massachusetts. She was most

recently chief of police in Seattle. She’s arguably the top woman cop in America.

It was one of the most fascinating hours of my life. As we drove north and listened to the radio as events played

out, Kathy sat in the passenger seat telling me what she’d be doing had she still been on the job. Within minutes,

a radio commentator would offer updates and detail moves being made by public officials — and it would be

exactly what Kathy had said moments earlier.

Virginia Buckingham of Marblehead certainly remembers where she was on 9/11, and what she was doing.

She was the CEO of the Massachusetts Port Authority, which has Logan International Airport under its

jurisdiction. She was in her car when she first heard of the terrorist attack; and at work when the second plane

hit the north tower.

What followed was one continuous nightmare that resulted in her losing her job, being subjected to lawsuits,

and leaving her with a reservoir of self-doubt and post-traumatic stress.

Buckingham has written a memoir, "On My Watch," which chronicles not just the 9/11 terrorist attack itself,

but her journey from the dark days in its immediate aftermath to a breakthrough — her realization that nobody

could have foreseen what would eventually happen. Steve Krause has the story.

This issue of 01945 features three other authors, including Jim Nemeth, who, with fellow historian Bob

Madison, has written a book about science fiction movies called "It Came From …" that recounts the

backgrounds of your favorite horror, fantasy and sci-fi films. The book, which has been in the works since 2011,

fulfills a lifelong dream of Nemeth's — to write and publish a book. Bill Brotherton has the story.

Maureen Cavanagh’s journey with her daughter Katie through the haze of opioid addiction has not been

a pleasant one, as outlined in her book ,"If you love me: a mother's journey through her daughter's opioid

addiction." Through some harrowing experiences, which include looking at Katie's track-scarred arms from

shooting heroin intravenously, the two-year ordeal was a nightmare. Now, both are on the other side of it. Anne

Marie Tobin has the story.

Mimi Lemay knew early on that there was something different about her middle child. Jacob, assigned female

at birth, insisted he was a boy. And when it became apparent that this wasn't just a phase, the Lemays set out to

do what they could. Mimi tells of that process in her book, "What We Will Become," which she published last

year. Elyse Carmosino has the story.

Also in this month's edition, Molly Blander is all of 12 years old, but the issues that govern her life would make

her appear much older and wiser. From "Black Lives Matter" to anti-Semitism to concerns about immigration,

Molly has become a true activist. Again, Steve Krause has the story.

Tom and Ashley McMahon have used Lee Street as the backdrop for their relationship since it began —

when they were walking their dogs and happened to bump into each other. From courtship to engagement and

marriage, Lee Street has been a special place for them. Gayla Cawley has the story.

We have a couple of sports stories in here, too. Joe McKane used to jog past Seaside Park every day and bemoan

the lack of baseball action on the diamond. Thus, the Seasiders, an entry into the North Shore Baseball League —

made up primarily of players who have aged out of American Legion ball — were born. Dan Kane has the story.

And through the uncertainty of high school sports due to the COVID-19 virus, one man has been chomping

at the bit — Elmer Magana, who is the new boys soccer coach at Marblehead High. Magana is also the first

Latino coach in the town’s varsity system. Mike Alongi has the story.

Enjoy 01945.


20 Tale of hope

22 Play ball

24 Loving Jacob

26 Fall unfolding

28 Helping hall

30 Kid with a cause



Molly Blander, 12,

balances being a kid with

social activism.





9-19 Lincoln House Ave., Swampscott


04 | 01945


Photography by Grace Perry Productions

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The play's the thing

What: Marblehead Little Theatre presents

"Through the Big Times and Back," an

online play reading series.

Where: Streaming on Facebook Live at


When: The series debuted on Sept. 30 and

new episodes are scheduled on Oct. 14, 29

and Nov. 11, 7 p.m.

Sustaining change

What: Sustainable Marblehead works to

reduce carbon emissions and improve

quality of life in part through its Harbor

Working Group devoted to protecting the

harbor and ocean.

Where: Visit sustainablemarblehead.org for

Zoom log in information.

When: Oct. 14, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Haunted hikes

What: The Marblehead Museum sponsors

a walk into the town's spooky history and

legends guided by historian Diana Dunlap.

Where: Old Burial Hill — Visit

marbleheadmuseum.org to register.

When: Oct. 16, 17, 23, 24, 6:30 p.m.

Thinking globally, acting locally

What: Rotary Club of Marblehead is part

of a 1.2 million-member network united to

create lasting change.

Where: Visit marbleheadrotary.com for

weekly meeting Zoom log in.

When: Tuesday, 6-7 p.m.

Get in the spirit

What: Marblehead Chamber of Commerce

sponsors an online spiritual intuitive

development circle to help participants

increase their intuitive awareness through

guided meditation and other exercises.

Where: Go to creativespiritma.com/circle

to register for Zoom access.

When: Oct. 27, 6-8 p.m.

Time to sing

What: Abbot public library sponsors Songs

with Spencer — an online sing-along for kids

featuring old favorites and fun new songs.

Where: Go to abbotlibrary.org to access

the library's YouTube channel.

When: Oct. 29, 10:30 a.m.

34 ATLANTIC AVENUE | MARBLEHEAD, MA 01945 | 781 990 5150


06 | 01945


2 3




For Ashley and Tom McMahon, wedded bliss got

its start on Marblehead's Lee Street.



FALL 2020 | 07


One newly-married

Marblehead couple's

entire relationship could

be described as a modernday

fairy tale, and, like

the best fairy tales, it

culminated with a lavish

wedding celebration.


Seemingly ripped from a romance

novel's pages, the story revolves around a

chance encounter on the same street that

became the centerpiece for the biggest

moments in a blossoming relationship.

It all started in May 2018 when Tom

and Ashley McMahon were out walking

their dogs on Lee Street, and happened to

bump into each other.

"We just kind of ran into each other

on the street and that was it," said Ashley

McMahon, who had recently moved into

1 Gregory St., which is on the corner of

Lee where Tom grew up and his mother

still lives.

"I only knew his mom very briefly at

that point," Ashley, 37, recalls. "I knew

more about the neighbors around me.

One of the neighbors was hoping we

would meet and she could put us together.

It kind of happened on its own anyway."

From there, the couple started dating.

Eighteen months later, Tom, 38, was ready

to propose and knew there was only one

place he wanted to make things official.

After recreating their first date, dinner

at Warwick Place, Tom told Ashley he

needed to get something at his mother's

house and drove down Lee Street. It so

happened Ashley needed to stop by her

Gregory Street home and, as she got out

WEDDING, page 8




Dennis E Nelson, CFP®

Financial Advisor

8 Atlantic Ave

Marblehead, MA 01945





08 | 01945

WEDDING, continued from page 7

of her car, she got the surprise of her life.

"He got down on one knee in the

middle of the street and it was awesome,"

said Ashley. "It was pretty natural when

this whole thing evolved for us to celebrate

on Lee Street because it has been such

an important street for us throughout our


When COVID-19 forced Ashley and

Tom, like so many other couples to scale

back their wedding plans, Lee Street

quickly figured in their reconfigured


Following their ceremony at

Goldthwait Reservation, which was

followed by a small private dinner at the

Marblehead Arts Association (Tom's

mother is a member), it was only fitting

that the couple shared their first dance on

Lee Street during a block party attended by

neighbors who could not attend the scaledback


Looking back, Ashley said their

wedding day could not have been planned

any better, but the storybook celebration

did not look too promising during the


Like so many other large-scale events

this year, the McMahon wedding, which

was held on July 11, was severely impacted

by the pandemic. Out of an initial guest

list of 200 people, only about 50 of their

immediate family members and closest

local friends could attend the ceremony.

"I think the biggest heartache for me

was having to make the call that I couldn't

have my family come," said Ashley. "My

family is from upstate New York and his

sister lives in California. My maid of honor

is from Florida and his best man is also

in Florida and they also couldn't come.

That was the hardest part for us — we

were celebrating the most important day

in our lives and we couldn't let our family

members travel."

Luckily, the ceremony went off without

a hitch, with the two dogs who brought

the couple together walking Tom down

the aisle. Strangely, the couple's dogs are

both male and happen to be the same age

— Ashley has a German Shepherd/Great

Dane mix named Watson and Tom owns

an Australian Shepherd called Chewy.

Both dogs are 4.

And the pandemic wasn't the only

cloud hanging over the wedding. The day's

forecast indicated there was a big storm

coming, in the form of a monsoon-type

rain event that threatened to cancel their

neighborhood block party that evening.

Ashley and Tom forged ahead, asking

neighbors to come to their outdoor block

party that evening. In preparation for the

celebration, the couple had given each

neighbor a gift bag that contained a bottle

of champagne, two glasses and a wedding


The neighborhood pulled together

for Tom and Ashley, with several people

stringing lights along the street and

assembling small tents in case the rain fell.

As Tom and Ashley made their way

down Lee Street as a married couple for

the first time, their neighbors were waiting

for them, ringing their bells as the pair

walked by. Two of their friends sang Cyndi

Lauper's "Time After Time" while the

McMahons shared their first dance.

"It definitely was incredible," said

Ashley. "We honestly couldn't have

planned it any better. To us, it was really

magical that we had all things Marblehead,

three different locations and they all had a

special significance to us."



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10 | 01945

Scoring a

first for






He served as junior varsity coach at

Marblehead for the past nine seasons,

and now Elmer Magana is the new

varsity boys soccer coach.

"I'm extremely excited to become the

next head coach of Marblehead soccer,"

said Magana, a native of El Salvador and

the first Latino coach of the Magicians

varsity program.

Magana has had great success with

the Junior Varsity boys soccer program;

posting winning seasons the last six

years, going undefeated last year and only

conceding 10 goals in each of the last four

seasons. Magana also works as a World

Language teacher at Marblehead High,

and his passion in the classroom and on

the athletic field is rarely matched.

"It's a great honor to continue the

winning tradition here and also to

continue to grow our program year by

year," said Marblehead Athletic Director

Greg Ceglarski.

"Elmer comes to the program as a

very familiar face, as he has been doing

an outstanding job with the JV boys

soccer team for the last nine years. He

has proven to us he has the experience

and ability to continue building a

successful team."

Magana will take over the program

that former head coach Scott Laramie

has led for the last nine seasons.

Marblehead varsity boys soccer coach

Elmer Magana is the first Latino head

coach of the boys soccer program.


FALL 2020 | 11

I'm happy that the guys will have a familiar

face to look to, especially in a strange

season like the one we'll be having.”


"We want to thank Scott for his time

and energy given to the program, as he

was a valuable asset to the Marblehead

coaching staff," Ceglarski said.

As the Magicians get set to hopefully

embark on another season, Ceglarski

is secure in knowing that his new boys

soccer coach is already entrenched in the

Marblehead way.

"We are thrilled to have Elmer at

the forefront of the Marblehead boys

soccer program," said Ceglarski. "He

brings passion, energy, and a wealth of

knowledge to the school and we have no

doubt it will be a smooth transition."

Magana said he has forged strong

bonds with Magicians players.

"I'm happy that the guys will have

a familiar face to look to, especially in

a strange season like the one we'll be

having," said Magana. "Almost all of

these guys were my players in junior

varsity over the years, so being able to

continue this journey along with them

will be very exciting."

As for what's next, Magana is hoping

that his team can get out on the field and

compete against the rest of the Northeastern

Conference as soon as possible.

"We're hoping that things continue

in a positive direction and we'll be able

to get out on the field," said Magana.

"We'll certainly follow all of the

guidelines that the MIAA has put in

place and we'll do our best to compete

against all of the great competition we

have in our league."

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12 | 01945



FALL 2020 | 13

A peek inside

27R Brown Street

SALE PRICE: $2,695,000

SALE DATE: August 10, 2020

LIST PRICE: $2,695,000


1 day to agreement


Jack Attridge, William Raveis Real

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Dick McKinley,

Sagan Harborside Sotheby’s


VALUE: $3,379,200



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(81,004 square feet)

LIVING AREA: 5,760 square feet





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Source: MLS Property Information Network.

14 | 01945

Marblehead resident Don Stubbs owns North East Trains in Peabody.


The train keeps

a rollin'


The COVID-19 pandemic has hit

Don Stubbs' business hard, closing it for

six months, but not bringing the model

locomotives and rail cars inside North

East Trains to a halt.

Stubbs, a town resident who taught

at the Bell School in the 1980s, survived

the tough spring and summer thanks

to his regular customers and the online

orders he fills for miniature railroading

enthusiasts around the world.

"We've been hurting but we're

surviving," he said.

He has started to open his Main

Street, Peabody store to customers on an

appointment basis.

A Marblehead resident since 1980,

Stubbs' passion for miniature railroads

extends to his love for Marblehead

history and sailing — he holds a

merchant marine master's license.

Stubbs decided to turn a hobby into a

business in 1988 when he opened North

East Trains about four blocks from the

model and miniature train store's current


Located in a former hardware store

with high, tin-stamp ceilings and classical

music playing at a soft volume, North

East is a model-train lover's dream come

true. Display cases and shelves showcase

miniature locomotives, passenger and

freight cars with names like "K-line

diesel" and "Jordan spreader plow."

A walk around the store is a visit to a

world where rail enthusiasts from around

the region stop in to shop or sell their

train collections. Stubbs says North East

also attracts worldwide interest with

rail enthusiasts from Switzerland and

Polynesia placing online orders through

North East.

"We have repeat customers from

around the world. They trust us," Stubbs


The store also sells radio-controlled

cars, slot cars and models.

Stubbs came to the North Shore

FALL 2020 | 15

by way of Michigan after a childhood

in Ontario. His brothers gave him his

first Lionel train set and his interest

in painting led to him to acquire the

teaching degrees that brought him to

Marblehead in 1980.

He taught at the Bell School where

he strived to use art as a medium for

understanding academic subjects.

"I loved the enthusiasm of children at

a young age and I worked with a lot of

wonderful colleagues," he said.

A rewarding career couldn't keep

Stubbs from deciding he wanted to

be his own boss and open a business.

Turning to his boyhood love for

Don Stubbs shows off a Lionel Boston & Maine

MW2 Diesel model engine which came into the

shop to be restored.

model trains seemed like a natural

entrepreneurial choice.

"It's a wonderful hobby and I've done

it ever since I was a kid," he said.

North East had two previous

locations before it ended up at its

current site where Stubbs gets a helping

hand tending to customers from store

volunteer and Lynn resident John Calder.

A true-blue train enthusiast,

Calder's idea of a vacation is to visit

a train station converted to an inn

in Pennsylvania where guests are

guaranteed to see 100 trains roll by daily.

He shares Stubbs' enthusiasm for


”introducing trains to children and

It's a wonderful hobby

and I've done it

ever since I was

a kid.”


buying collections that need a loving home

beyond someone's basement or attic.

Model trains are sold in a variety

of sizes or "gauges," ranging from

"Z" to "G." Hundreds of train cars of

various sizes fill North East, including

Stubbs' favorite: a replica of a 1920s

era "Climax" logging train engine with

a tender emblazoned with the name

"Hillcrest Lumber Co."

History is attached to every

locomotive and train car North East sells

and slices of Americana are recreated

every time a collector assembles a train

and the accompanying track, buildings

and other scenery, as well as specialty

items like the miniature "Amtrak train

info" arrival/departure sign with its

detailed lettering: "4:00 Crescent No. 9

New Orleans New York On Time."

Stubbs on more than one occasion

has been stumped by fellow railroading

enthusiasts who ask him specific

questions requiring research.

"We work with people to figure out

problems. There's so much to learn — it

beats sitting around and watching TV,"

Stubbs said.


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16 | 01945


In pursuit

of the spooky

Film historian Jim Nemeth is the

co-author of "It Came From…"



im Nemeth has been hooked

on science fiction and fantasy

books and movies since he was a

kid growing up in Chicago, so it's

somewhat appropriate we're wearing

facemasks and maintaining a safe

distance while chatting on the deck of his

Marblehead home.

This could be a futuristic scene from a

Ray Bradbury novel or 1950s spookfest by

Don Siegel or Jack Arnold. Two earthlings

just trying to survive a deadly virus on a

dying planet.

Nemeth, who moved to town with

husband Ken Bowden in 2005, is probably

smiling behind his mask. He's just fulfilled

a lifelong dream, to write and publish a

book about the stories and novels behind

classic horror, fantasy and sci-fi films.

"It Came From…," co-written with

fellow film historian Bob Madison, will

thrill fans of the genre. It has been in

the works since 2011. "I hit a brick wall,

terrible writer's block," said Nemeth. "But

with support and encouragement from

Bob, my longtime friend and co-writer, he

got me out of the block and I wrote like


Nemeth spent many a day, laptop in

hand, sitting on the sand at Devereux

Beach, writing "It Came From…"

"When I was young, I discovered classic

vampires and Frankensteins. Saturday

nights, Chicago TV aired "Creature

Features." which ran horror movies. As I

got older, I just had to read every horror

book I could find." Nemeth soon wanted

to know how these movies were made.

He spent hundreds of hours researching

the original stories and screenplays, and

deduced that loving the book didn't

always mean he loved the movie, and vice

versa. He talked with directors, actors and

behind-the-scenes personnel from his

favorite movies, plus authors of the original

story and the writers who adapted those

stories for film.

The book, available from Amazon

and other online retailers, is published by

Midnight Marquee Press of Baltimore. It

contains 21 essays providing comparisons

between original source material and the

feature film for well-known classics, cult

favorites with a focus on less-covered

works. It is not without controversy:

Nemeth isn't a fan of "Psycho," the

FALL 2020 | 17

acclaimed Alfred Hitchcock motion

picture that scared the bejesus out of

millions of filmgoers.

"This is the 60th anniversary of (the

movie) "Psycho," so people are paying

special attention. Not everyone agrees with

my assessment of the film, evident from

some of the comments I've received from

those who have read the book."

He's also not wild about "The Shining,"

calling Stanley Kubrick's big-screen

translation of Stephen King's beloved

novel a disappointment that emphasized

style and scares over King's deftly

developed characters and their motivations.

Other renowned films or screenplays

get the stink-eye from Nemeth and

Madison, but "It Came From…" mostly

celebrates and professes its love for sci-fi,

fantasy and horror. Favorites include

"Invasion of the Body Snatchers," "The

Wizard of Oz," "Willy Wonka and the

Chocolate Factory," "This Island Earth,"

"Planet of the Apes," 2012's little-seen

"John Carter" and various Supermans,

Draculas, and Frankensteins.

In 1993, Nemeth entered a national

magazine's short-story writing contest

with his tale about a vampire who was

outsmarted by a total eclipse of the sun. At

the Famous Monsters World Convention

in Virginia, Bradbury and Robert Bloch

("Psycho" author) judged his work the

best. "Just to know that two of my favorite

writers read my story and liked it was

thrilling. That was enough for me."

Nemeth and Bowden share their house

with two cats: a boy, Bob ("We just like

the name."), and a girl, Carly (named for

singer-songwriter Carly Simon). Nemeth

isn't sure if Bob and Carly give "Cat

People" and "The Black Cat" paws-up or

makes them scaredy cats.

Nemeth, a technical writer in the

corporate software field, hopes there will

be a sequel to "It Came From…"

"One of my goals was to have this book

placed in the window of Marblehead's

Spirit of '76 Bookstore. I just missed out.

It closed in December … I miss that place

every day."

Just to know that two of my favorite writers

read my story and liked it was thrilling.

That was enough for me.”


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18 | 01945





Virginia Buckingham

reckons with the day that

changed America and her life


Virginia Buckingham has taken many

walks across the causeway at Devereux

Beach, looked across the horizon and seen

the Boston skyline off in the distance,

"I'd visualized planes going into

buildings," she said. "I'd see planes, and

listen. I'd have nightmares about planes

crashing into buildings, and I'd be trying to

get to the scene and help out … and never

be able to get there. It was a form of PTSD

(post-traumatic stress disorder)."

The 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11

terrorist attacks is next year and since that

bright blue Tuesday morning, Buckingham

has worked to put that day in perspective,

and — with any luck — move on.

It hasn't been easy. Since the attack,

Buckingham has done a lot of soul

searching. The Marblehead resident was

CEO of the Massachusetts Port Authority

on Sept. 11, 2001, when two of the four

airplanes involved in the attack that killed

nearly 3,000 people took off from Logan

International Airport, which is under

Massport's jurisdiction.

Buckingham suffered a lot of criticism,

or, as she called it, "scapegoating" because

of the attacks, and ultimately resigned from

the job.

Now she's written a book, "On My

Watch," which details the aftermath of the

attacks and the process she said she went

through "not so much to move on, but to

move forward" from it.

"It was a difficult time," she said. "I'm

trying to do some good with it. I'm a writer

in my heart, and if it's not my vocation it's

my avocation. I really needed to make sense

out of what happened. I decided to publish

it in hopes of offering things to others that

might help them in their own struggles. If I

can do something good with something bad,

that's a gift."

Buckingham said she heard six words

that changed her life, "and changed the


Those words were, "Two planes are off

the radar."

She was driving to work when she heard

the first reports about an airplane flying

into one of the Twin Towers. She heard the

second report live.

"I did not know until later that morning

that the planes were from Logan," she said.

"There was a lot of confusion about what

had happened."

In the immediate aftermath, she didn't

even think about her status as head of

Massport. It never dawned on her that her

job might be in jeopardy.

"It was, 'How can we keep the airport

safe? How can we evacuate terminals?

How can we make sure the airport is

secure so that investigations could be done


"We opened a family services place

quickly for those whose loved ones were on

planes. We were focused on the families."

Soon enough, though, came the

reckoning — in this case, from acting Gov.

Jane Swift.

"I read the first newspaper story saying

that I may be targeted on Sept. 13," she

said, "It did not take long. I didn't focus on

it because I didn't want anyone who was

investigating and dealing with it distracted."

FALL 2020 | 19

However, keeping that distraction away

proved to be impossible.

"It was a very intense six weeks," she

said. "I've come to learn a lot about blaming

and political leaders. The public had a lot

of questions, and a lot of fears, and I've

come to understand that blaming is a way

to assert control over a situation. I was a

convenient target to make people feel safer."

She also noted that the people in

corresponding positions at Dulles in

Washington and Newark, N.J., were not


"The man at the gate in Portland

(Maine) — if you remember, two of the

terrorists got on planes in Maine and flew

to Boston — was also distraught," she said.

"I finally got to meet him, and he looked at

me and said, 'We both come from hurt.'"

Buckingham said she internalized all

the criticism and it resulted in "seeds of

doubt. Could I have done something better?

It came to a head when I was sued for

wrongful death by the family of one of the

victims. That was devastating."

The personal lawsuit was dropped

quickly, but the one against Logan took

years to resolve itself, and that weighed

heavily on her, too.

"It took me a long time to realize that

Writing the book has been a healing

thing for me. I'm hoping it will be a

healing thing for others. I think

it'll be applicable to others.”

wasn't true," she said. "And it took me a

long time to reconcile what happened. But

it was finally decided that Logan's security

wasn't any better or worse than anyone


She also got affirmation from several

sources, including one of the most unlikely.

"Anne MacFarlane of Revere had

a daughter (United Airlines employee

Marianne MacFarlane) on one of the

flights," Buckingham said. "I met with her

and asked her if she felt I, or Logan, were

responsible. She said no, she didn't. Her

compassion, and embrace, were lifesavers.

"She gave me so much peace,"

Buckingham said. "I hope I gave her some."

She also got reassurances from Andrew

Card, who was President George W. Bush's

chief of staff, "who kindly told me the


administration didn't see Logan as being

any different than any other airport."

And, finally, the commission that

investigated 9/11 "used a perfect phrase to

describe it: 'It was a failure of imagination.'

Nobody could have foreseen this."

Buckingham talks in her book about

being her own hero.

"Writing the book has been a healing

thing for me," she said. "I'm hoping it will

be a healing thing for others. I think it'll be

applicable to others. People feel their own

sense of guilt and blame, especially during

this pandemic. So many decisions have to

be made.

"But hold onto your voice," she said. "I

think resilience is recognizing you're broken,

and that you can't change what happened.

But you're made stronger by it."

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20 | 01945






Maureen Cavanagh

knows the pain parents

of addicts endure

Maureen Cavanagh is the author of "If You Love Me."



Every day is a gift.

Those are words from the last line of

Maureen Cavanagh's 2017 book ,"If you

love me: a mother's journey through her

daughter's opioid addiction."

The truth is, for most of that two-year

journey, every day of Cavanagh's life was

a nightmare believing her daughter was

probably dead and wondering why she was

powerless to save her "Ladybug."

Her daughter's addiction thrust

Cavanagh, living in Marblehead at the time,

into a shadowy and seedy drug world of

drugs, addiction and denial.

From confronting her daughter about

stolen jewelry, to seeing needle track marks on

Katie's shriveled-up arms for the first time, to

looking into her lifeless eyes, to not knowing

where her daughter was — and whether she

was dead or alive — Cavanagh never stopped

loving Katie and never lost hope that she

would somehow find a way to survive.

And she did.

Cavanagh had just started a new career as

a family recovery coach after spending several

years in special education in the Marblehead

school system, founding Magnolia, New

Beginnings, a non-profit peer support group

for persons struggling with substance abuse

disorder (SUD) in 2012.

"I was doing nothing but paperwork and

wanted to do what I love, my way. Initially,

for a fresh start I knew it would be a lot of

drugs and alcohol, but we had some domestic

violence situations as well, but once Katie

started having her problems, we focused only

on addiction-related matters," Cavanagh said.

The problems began when Cavanagh

noticed her spoons (used to heat heroin for

intravenous injection) were disappearing.

"It's the little signs that nobody sees

because this isn't a part of your world,

this is your beautiful, perfect child, it's not

something you would ever think about

your children," Cavanagh said. "The natural

reaction is you think the spoons were thrown

away in a yogurt cup. I had no idea. It's not

in the realm of possibilities for me and why

would it be?"

Katie came to her mother and told her

she had been experimenting with drugs and

drinking too much.

"I was horrified, but she came to

me with everything," Cavanagh said. "I

underestimated the power of addiction and

thought because she came to me, she would

always come to me."

Katie went into rehab, but it didn't take.

"She did great, I was pretty sure she

was one and done," said Cavanagh. "But it


FALL 2020 | 21

From that point on, Cavanagh's life was

upended. She and ex-husband, Mike, did

unthinkable things, like breaking down doors

to rescue Katie from drug dens, searching for

her after she bolted from rehabs and even

kidnapping her to force her into treatment.

Katie made more than 40 trips to detox

and treatment centers and survived 13

overdoses, many of them near-fatal requiring

Narcan (a prescribed drug used to treat

opioid overdoses) and CPR to bring her back

to life. She was arrested multiple times.

And Katie wasn't the only one struggling

through the ordeal. Cavanagh fell into

depression and there were many nights when

she went to sleep thinking she would never

see or talk to her daughter again.

"I was so tired of being tired," she wrote

in the book.

Through it all, Cavanagh continued

helping parents of other children battling

substance abuse disorder (SUD) through


One day, out of the blue, her daughter

asked her to help the person Cavanagh

believed got Katie hooked on heroin and

taught her how to use a needle for the first

time. Cavanagh was stunned; but help she did.

"I could not hold anything against

Katie that she did when she was addicted,"

Cavanagh said. "Every person deserves

treatment. I needed to put my money where

my mouth is."

Cavanagh's story has been shared on

CNN's Anderson Cooper show as well as

in the New York Times. The audio version

of her book earned runner-up honors in

Audible's 2018 Best of the Year: Bios and

Memoirs category behind Tara Westover's

entry, "Educated." One of the three other

second-place award winners? None other

than former First Lady Michelle Obama's,

whose book, "Becoming," also finished


"You wouldn't be thinking that runnerup

is a big deal, but every time I see my book

next to hers, it makes me smile," said

Cavanagh. "It's fun to think that losing is

something I'm proud of. How can you be

a loser when the other loser is the wife of a

former president?"

Cavanagh says that "recovery is a long

journey, it's not a destination." Happily, her

daughter's long journey is now three years


"There were very few people other than

me who thought she had any hope. And now

she works and supports herself and just went

back to school." Cavanagh said.

Magnolia, New Beginnings now has

more than 25,000 members in closedsupport

Facebook groups.

"We have people in every state, in the UK,

people all over the place, and we are going all

the time," she said. And it's all free. I've seen

it happen to my own child right in front of

me, so I really understand what people go

through with SUD. You just never think it

will happen to you."

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22 | 01945

Swings and


by the sea





Sometimes the love of the game can be

so strong that even the sight of an empty

baseball diamond makes you cringe.

That's what happened to Joe McKane

before he created the Marblehead


"I kept jogging by Seaside Park in

the summer and kept seeing it empty,"

McKane said. "It was a shame, it's one of

the best parks on the North Shore and

this city has such a great baseball history."

It didn't take long before McKane

decided to fill that empty field across

from the Marblehead Police Department

with a team. Players donned jerseys with

"Seasiders" printed in blue and red on

their chest.

The team competes in the North

Shore Baseball League (NSBL), a men's

league that includes several teams with

representation as far north as Kingston,


He's the Seasiders skipper, but

McKane doesn't take too much credit for

what happens on the diamond.

"I get called coach, but I don't

know about that," McKane said. "I

do everything like raising money and

picking up the bats but I have captains

coach the team for the most part."

This year putting that team on the

field was harder than ever. The pandemic

forced the NSBL to delay their season

to late summer. Teams eventually hit the

field and although the year was shortened

and riddled with guidelines, McKane and

the Seasiders were happy to play.

"It was great," McKane said. "The

guys running our league did a great job

to get it pulled off. Each town had to get

approval from the city to practice and

have games. Kent Wheeler coaches the

local Legion baseball team and we piggy

backed off what they were doing.

"We had one player test positive early

in the season but, other than that, we

pulled it off," McKane said.

The season went as well as it could,

masks and all. The Seasiders finished 6-8,

good for eighth place in the league, and

just one win shy of the playoffs.

The future looks bright at Seaside

Park and McKane hopes it features

plenty of Marblehead's finest ballplayers.

"We’re a young team," McKane said.

"One of the things I’m trying to do is get

more players from Marblehead. We used

to be exclusively Marblehead, but we had

trouble fielding nine guys so we have

players from everywhere.

"This season we had seven new players

that had been or are at Marblehead

High. Ben Brennan is one of our captains

and he's been big for us recruiting young

local players. Next year we’ll get even

more," McKane added.

And McKane has plenty of local

connections. The team plans on using

Wheeler's Legion team as a sort of

makeshift farm system. McKane is also

helping coach a fall ball team made up of

Marblehead High School players.

Making those connections, and above

all else, playing ball, is what will keep

McKane and the Seasiders coming back

to the field every summer.

"I love the game and I love the

guys," McKane said. "It’s all about the

interaction with them and it's meant to

be enjoyed. This league isn’t a priority or

anything, guys have jobs and families.

But it felt good to be back out there

playing baseball this year with everyone

into it."

FALL 2020 | 23



I love the game and

I love the guys.”


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24 | 01945


A lesson in



Mimi Lemay knew early on that there

was something different about her middle


From the age of 2 1/2, Jacob, who was

assigned female at birth and given the

name “Em” (a pseudonym), was adamant

he was a boy, taking any chance given

to express his unrelenting affinity for all

things “un-girly.”

When it finally became clear Jacob’s

insistence wasn’t a phase or pretend play,

but very much part of his reality, his

parents tentatively began to explore a

number of different options.

“That experience leading up to the

transition felt very rocky to us. We didn’t

know much at the time about transgender

children. We didn’t really understand what

he was saying to us when he said, ‘I’m

a boy,’ because his sex assigned at birth

had been female,” Lemay, a Marblehead

resident for two years, said. “It took us

years of trying to figure this out, watching

him become increasingly unhappy over the

issue of his gender and reaching out for

any resources we could find.”

As the couple watched their child

become more and more withdrawn, Lemay

and her husband, Joe, struggled to find

something — anything — that could help


“We realized he needed to be allowed

to socially transition, which means a

change in pronouns, possibly a name

change, just the outer aspects,” she said

of her then-4-year-old. “Seeing such

It’s so clear to everyone in

(Jacob’s) life that he’s so

brave, and I wanted to

share that positive



an immense, positive benefit from the

transition for Jacob, and seeing him kind

of come to life again, it really felt like a

miracle to us that we had our happy child

back. That was something I considered

sharing because there were so few

resources out there for parents of young


Although she wanted to help other

families going through similar struggles,

Lemay closely guarded her own experience,

not wanting to expose Jacob or her two

other children, Eli, now 12, and Lucia, now

8, to anything outside their safe circle of

friends and family.

In 2015, with Jacob’s blessing, Lemay

penned an open letter to her son titled,

“A Letter to Jacob on his Fifth Birthday,”

which she published on Medium.com with

the hope that other parents of transgender

children would find solace in knowing

they’re not alone.

In it, Lemay recounted her son’s

difficult journey from a distant, withdrawn

preschooler who seemed torn between two

parallel identities, to a joyful and loving

little boy who glowed at the opportunity to

finally become ‘Jacob’ - a name he happily

chose for himself.

Lemay’s gripping and emotional

retelling of her son’s earliest years went

viral, and it wasn’t long before the letter

was picked up by other media outlets,

including NPR’s Robin Young, who

invited Lemay onto her show to discuss

the family’s experience and subsequent

decision to share their son’s story with the


From there, Lemay said she was

contacted by several organizations working

on a state-wide equality law that asked her

to join them in the fight to bring rights to

people like Jacob, which then ultimately

led to publishers approaching her about

the possibility of writing a book.

There was one glaring problem,


“I realized that if I were just to tell the

story I told in the letter, I would be leaving

out half the story,” she said.

In 2019, she made good on her promise

to tell "the other half of the story" with her

book, "What We Will Become." It was

published two years after Lemay and her

family moved to Marblehead from Melrose.

“Even before we were married, we

would take day trips to Marblehead during

the summer,” Lemay said. “(The idea of

moving) was kind of tucked away, but it

didn’t seem feasible. Joe worked in Boston,

so we settled in a location closer to the

city and had our kids. Then my husband’s

company was at a stage where he could

do some remote work, and we started to

set our eyes on that beautiful little town

that we had fallen in love with years ago.

Suddenly, it felt feasible.”

The book not only discusses Jacob’s

journey to discover his gender identity,

but also explores Lemay’s own complex

relationship with faith and culture and the

childhood that helped shape her.

“When ( Jacob) began to decline in his

mood because of his gender dysphoria,

looking into his eyes, I understood the

kind of pain he was in, even though my

experiences growing up were different,” she

said. “It wasn’t gender identity, but it was

the gender role imposed on me by the ultra

Orthodox Jewish world that I lived in.

“Growing up, I was told there was

one role for me to play as a woman in my

The Lemay family, from

left, Jacob, 10, Mimi, Lucia,

8, Joe, Luna, and Eli, 12.


society, my community, and that God had

designed me to play the role of an auxiliary

to my husband one day.

“I was to be —the word is ‘modest’

— but the implication was to not be

outspoken, to not have a public-facing

career in any way. To make myself as small

as possible.”

As a young girl, Lemay said she was

intellectually curious, eager to study the

Torah in the same way the men in her

community did. She added that in the

ultra-orthodox Jewish community, most

of the power lay with those who were able

to read and interpret religious texts, and,

as a girl, she was limited in what she could

pursue, always dodging the message that

she was less than her male counterparts.

“I was locked out of that as a woman,

and that created a lot of grief and

unhappiness in me growing up until

I finally had the courage to leave that

community behind,” she said.

That’s why years later, when her

son began to display many of the same

behaviors she experienced as a child,

Lemay said his pain was obvious to her.

“My son presented with this deep

anguish … He was two or three years old,

but I know that I had to solve the mystery

of what was going on,” she said. “I think

because of my past and because of the

trouble I went through, I was more easily

able to see a path through for him that at

the time felt very unconventional.”

Now an active and bright 10-yearold,

Jacob has already accomplished a

considerable amount when it comes to

igniting widespread change, frequently

accompanying his mother to speak about

transgender rights in front of human rights

advocates and politicians, including United

States Senator and former presidential

candidate Elizabeth Warren.

He loves animals and music and riding

his skateboard. He wants to maybe become

an actor one day. He definitely wants to

continue being an advocate.

“I love putting a smile on people’s faces.

It makes me feel so happy,” he said. “I’m

just really glad that we can help people

understand what it means to be trans and

just help out, you know?”

She calls Marblehead "a really safe

community. I found so many people have

reached out to me to support what we’re


In the last few months, the town

has put together a social/emotional

learning subcommittee on LGBTQ

youth in its schools and is now taking

recommendations on how to improve the

town’s inclusivity. Lemay said she’s thrilled

to see so much visible support.

“I think the Marblehead school

system is dedicated to being models

in this regard,” she said. “I couldn’t be

happier. I think we have some wonderful

community members who have chipped in

and are really concerned about this subject

considering the vulnerabilities of these


FALL 2020 | 25

26 | 01945

Marblehead resident Vil Ramos surfs after

sunset on Devereux Beach.

Sunset over Marblehead Harbor on

a quiet evening.




Storefronts are ready for fall on

Washington Street.


From Old Town to the harbor, Marblehead's

beauty was on display for photographer Olivia

Falcigno's camera as summer shifts into fall.

The Marblehead Light Tower stands

guard over the harbor.

A two-wheeled sojourn on

Washington Street.

Left, Swampscott residents Michael

and KC Cucchi celebrate their 15th

anniversary with their daughter,

Francesca, 10, at 5 Corners Kitchen.

FALL 2020 | 27


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28 | 01945

A fine Fellow

Marblehead resident Peter Preble is the recording

secretary and past grand master of Odd Fellows

Kearsarge Lodge No. 217 in Swampscott.



Peter Preble knows what it's like to

steer an organization dedicated

to helping others through good

times and bad.

The Marblehead resident and

secretary of Odd Fellows Hall Kearsarge

Lodge No. 217 said the big grey building

on Swampscott's Elmwood Road is

seeing a revival even as businesses

and organizations begin to re-emerge

following the shutdowns caused by the

COVID-19 pandemic.

After having meetings and events

suspended since mid-March due to the

pandemic, the Odd Fellows are holding

meetings again and slowly trying to get

back to normal.

"It's been an interesting year, that's for

sure," said Preble, adding, "Unfortunately

after shutting down meetings and

everything back in March, we haven't

been able to do as much as we've wanted

to in the community. We've still been

able to contribute as much as we can, but

it's certainly been a bit of a tough road."

The Independent Order of Odd

Fellows as it is known today began in

Baltimore, MD, where five members

of the Order from England founded

Washington Lodge No. 1 on April 26,

1819, by self-institution.

In modern times, the Odd Fellows

have been in the forefront of nearly all

organizations in helping to make this

world a better place in which to live. Odd

Fellowship is a family fraternity with

activities and programs for every member

of the family.

The first lodge in Massachusetts —

Massachusetts Lodge No. 1 — was selfinstituted

on March 26, 1820 in Boston.

A charter was granted May 18, 1823 by

the Grand Lodge of the United States.

Prior to this recognition, it had acted

with the powers of a Grand Lodge and

authorized the institution of the Siloam

Lodge. The Massachusetts Lodge has

been dissolved and reinstated several

times throughout the years. In fact, the

Grand Lodge ceased to exist in 1832

only to be revived in 1838. The Lodges

of Massachusetts have a long history

of revival and consolidation. There

have been 244 different numbers given

out over the years and many numbers

have been given out more than once.

Today there are 42 active chapters in

Massachusetts, with Kearsarge Lodge

No. 217 residing in Swampscott since its

FALL 2020 | 29

founding in 1892.

The Order of Odd Fellows' mission

statement is a simple one — "The

command of the IOOF is to 'visit the

sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead

and educate the orphan.'"

Specifically, Odd Fellows today are

dedicated to the following purposes:

— To improve and elevate the

character of mankind by promoting the

principles of friendship, love, truth, faith,

hope, charity and universal justice.

— To help make the world a better

place to live by aiding each other, the

community, the less fortunate, the youth,

the elderly, the environment and the

community in every way possible.

— To promote good will and

harmony amongst peoples and nations

through the principle of universal

fraternity, holding the belief that all

men and women regardless of race,

nationality, religion, social status, gender,

rank and station are brothers and sisters.

To that end, Kearsarge Lodge No.

217 has remained busy even during the

pandemic. Despite having to cancel

meetings for the majority of the summer,

the Lodge has still been donating to a

number of organizations, including My

Brother's Table, the Salvation Army, the

Greater Boston Food Bank and many more.

"We've really been trying to help in

any way we can, because we know so

many people are having a tough time

these days," Preble said. "It's our mission

to help people who need it, and that's

what we're going to continue to do."

Now that pandemic restrictions are

easing a bit, Kearsarge Lodge No. 217 is

back to conducting normal business —

albeit with a scaled-back operation.

"We're still conducting business and

still paying the bills and all that, but

things have been scaled back a little bit

to keep everyone safe and distanced,"

said Preble. "We started meetings up

again about a month ago and we've been

keeping the attendance down a bit for

safety as well."

Looking ahead, Kearsarge Lodge No.

217 is still waiting to move offices after

the pandemic forced them to delay their

move. It's still a game of wait-and-see,

but Preble feels that things are moving

in the right direction.

"We're just trying to help people in

any way that we can," said Preble. "We're

going to be changing offices eventually

and we're still working to survive, but

we're as dedicated as ever to helping

those in need."

Our wicked “HEADER’S HALLOWEEN” collection pays homage to

Adam Sandler’s Hubie Halloween movie which was filmed

here in town. These festive ornaments are all made by hand

and are available to order on our website.


Serving the North Shore since 1972

30 | 01945

Molly on a


At the age of 12, Molly Blander is an

"activist for social and racial justice"

who spent part of her summer

supporting the Black Lives Matter




Sometimes, you wonder whether

precocious children find the time to balance

their off their ambitious activities with, you

know, the simple joys of just being a kid.

Molly Blander, 12, assures one and all

that she is quite capable of kicking back and

having fun. The problem is that this summer,

whenever she did that, disaster struck.

First, it was riding her bicycle. More than

30 years earlier, her mother, Leigh, had an

accident with her bike; and this summer it was

Blander's turn. While riding hers, she hit a

pothole, got knocked off, and broke her nose.

"She wasn't wearing a helmet, but I was,"

said Blander, matter-of-factly.

Then there was the dog in September.

"I was taking her out of the groomer's on

Humphrey Street," she says, "and she was

really happy to be leaving the groomer's. She's

a big dog, and when she was out the door, she

pulled on my arm. I had to go get X-rays."

These escapades, however, belie Blander's

serious-minded endeavors. She doesn't just

ride bikes like her mother. She takes after

Leigh Danielle Hurwitz Blander in other

ways too. Leigh is a socially-conscious writer

and so is Molly. Where Leigh wrote, and

writes, prose, Molly is more into poems.

Their similarities lie in what they write

about — hot-topic issues. And the two are

also similar in another way. Neither has any

compunction about poking and prodding

people to get them to understand.

“For me, I like to call myself an activist for

social and racial justice,” Molly Blander said.

“I’ve always been very passionate about those


Earlier this year, she was a finalist in

an international Pulitzer Center poetry

contest — the youngest of the 18 remaining

contestants out of 1,000 who applied.

The contest was called “Fighting Words,”

and it asked young people to think about how

journalism and poetry can help make sense

out of today’s events. Students wrote poems or

essays based on stories not often reported that

were picked from the Pulitzer site.

Blander chose the ordeal of asylum-seekers

and, right off the bat, the poem’s title —

“Home Sweet Home — An Oxymoron” —

reflected its tone.

It is angry, yet compassionate — consider

the following excerpt:

"Request for asylum drifts out the

window/Like the smoke from a snuffed out

candle/Along with a desperate dream for

and stability/Rocked/Collapsing/Like


For me, I like to call myself an

activist for social and racial

justice. I’ve always been

very passionate about

those things.”


FALL 2020 | 31

a child walking for the first time/Walking/

Grudgingly walking back to the land they

hoped to escape."

As summer morphed into fall, Blander

began preparing for classes at Marblehead

Middle School, where she is a seventh-grader;

and she took part in the weekly Black Lives

Matter demonstrations at King's Beach in

Swampscott, close to Gov. Charlie Baker's

house. Almost immediately after those

demonstrations began, a counter-protest

sprung up across the street, featuring "Blue

Lives Matter" supporters.

" I try to attend every week when I can,"

she said. "Sometimes school gets in the way.

I don't interact with (the Trump supporters

who make up a lot of the Blue Lives Matter

population). We're not there to debate with

them. We just want to make our point,

respectfully and peacefully."

And the point, she said, is simply that

"Black lives matter. Of course police lives

matter. But right now, the lives that need help,

and the ones who need to be in the spotlight,

are black lives. Of course, all lives matter. But

all lives cannot matter until Black lives do. It's

so sad that so many people in the country have

to turn it into a one-or-the-other scenario."

If this seems like heady stuff for a 12-yearold,

it really isn’t, Blander said.

All you have to do is consider her


“My parents are very active,” she said.

“What my parents have done for me is create

an environment where I can educate myself.

Another of the causes she’s devoted herself

to is anti-Semitism.

“A lot of the issues I fight for involve

anti-Semitism,” she said. “I hope to be able

to educate people — especially those my

age — to kind of understand what’s going on

through various social-media platforms. I try

to convince my friends to watch the news.”

OK. When does she have time to be a kid?

“It’s hard,” she said. “As a kid, you want

to do kid things. Hang out with your friends.

Things like that.

"I do talk about it with my friends. It's

important to talk about these things. But at

the same time, it's important not to make

everything political. To be a kid sometime."

Toward that end, her favorite all-time

television show is "Friends," with "Will and

Grace" a close second.

"That's a great show," she said. "A

groundbreaking show."

And, like most kids, she likes music,

too. Her favorite group is "Wallows," a Los

Angeles-based "indie" band.

But make no mistake. Her consuming

mission is to make people her age aware that

the future is riding on them.

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