Kings' pins • Guy, Chicken and The Pig
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6 20 years on
8 Study in hope
12 House Money
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27 Woods plan
29 Food trucker
34 Act of faith
39 Eye on the ball
41 Orrall history
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Pig out on 01940
I like pigs.
I don’t remember when or why the fascination began, but it has stuck. I was told once that despite
their reputations they are among the — if not the — cleanest animals. Having never stepped foot on a
farm, I don’t know if that’s true, but I choose to believe it. (An aside: As for my anti-farm thing, I wouldn’t
even get off the bus that took my eighth-grade class at St. Joseph’s grammar school in Lynn to tour Essex
Aggie. Sr. Josephine Marie was not pleased.)
Anyway . . . Pigs. My obsession has resulted in an odd collection of stuffed pigs, ceramic pigs, iron pigs,
a little metal pig on my keychain — all given to me as gifts — and a cement pig that was in my driveway
until it got hit by a snowplow. Its name is Malion (think about it) and a friend’s father — a true craftsman
named Lou Spagnoli, God rest his soul — put it back together again.
My pig tale is prompted by one of the stories in this edition of 01940 featuring Lynnfield's Guy Ciolfi,
the genius behind “Chicken and The Pig,” a food truck that serves specialty hot dogs at The Lot, across
from Richardson's Ice Cream in Middleton.
"The response," he says, “has been incredible." But with the name "Chicken and The Pig," how couldn’t
it be? Anne Marie Tobin has the story.
Meanwhile, what started out as a fun time hitting golf balls with her dad has turned into a profession
for Lynnfield native Abbie Weaver. Since April, Weaver has been working as a women’s events intern for
Mass Golf under the United States Golf Association’s (USGA) P.J. Boatwright Internship. Mike Alongi
has the story.
And then there's bowling. Kings Dining & Entertainment has spread its wings not only to MarketStreet
and across Massachusetts, but around the country. Kings offers a unique bowling experience that mixes the
entertainment aspect with a luxury food-and-drink atmosphere. Ally Dunnigan has the story.
If you know your '80s music, you know that Lynnfield High graduate Robert Ellis Orrall had a Top
40 hit, "I Couldn't Say No," with Carlene Carter. He has written many pop songs and was instrumental
in helping Taylor Swift land a recording contract. And, at age 65, Orrall is back, with “467 Surf and Gun
Club,” his first solo album since the early ’90s — and his first recording with his old ’80s bandmates since
those glory days. Billy Brotherton has the story.
Ally Dunnigan is back with the story of a self-proclaimed mad scientist — Jay Duchin, video producer and
the founder of a nonprofit. Most recently, Duchin's spare time has consisted of him building a kinetic sculpture
at his Lynnfield home, which he will go on to present at the Lowell Kinetic Sculpture Race on Sept. 18.
Lynnfield native Michael Gwynn has been in the movie business for nearly 20 years. As the
owner of Hollywood Salvage — a company that provides movie and television production companies
with"everything under the sun" — he's basically a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to making sure
companies have what they need. Anne Marie Tobin has the story.
For Katrina Gustafson, a veteran performer at the Topsfield Fair (the Lynnfield resident has performed
at the area's premier fall event since 2013), music is all in the family. Her father is a musician too. And
through him, she learned to appreciate music. Sam Minton has the cover story.
Lynnfield High sophomore Alexis Lambros writes an essay for this issue about her hopes, fears and
ambitions as she heads into another school year.
We are coming up to the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York City, Washington
D.C., and Pennsylvania. Lynnfield's Garnet "Ace" Bailey was on one of the planes that crashed into the
World Trade Center towers. Bailey had made Lynnfield his home since his days with the Boston Bruins,
with whom he won two Stanley Cups. At the time of his death, Bailey was 53, a scout with the Los
Angeles Kings, and en route to the West Coast for the team's organizational meetings. Mike Alongi has
And, finally, the Rev. Rob Bacon was preparing for Holy Week 2020 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church
when he got some bad news: They needed to shut down, and the week's worth of in-person services he
had planned wouldn't be happening.
"All of a sudden, we had to pull the plug and go all electronic," the Rev. Bacon said. "I didn't have
a clue about virtual anything." He adapted. And today, Zoom is a big part of what the church does to
enhance its liturgy. Trea Lavery has the story.
Th-th-th-that's all, folks.
Singer Katrina Gustafson on the lawn of the Lynnfield Meeting House. PHOTO BY Jakob Menendez
02 | 01940
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04 | 01940
A running start
What: Middle school track is open to
grades 5-8 with all abilities welcome.
Where: Practice will be held at the
Middle School track, 505 Main St.,
with several out-of-town meets
scheduled. Visit lynnfieldma.myrec.
com for registration information.
When: Track season runs Sept. 13-
Oct. 28 with practices on Mondays
and Thursday, 3:45-5 p.m.
Morning with Moulton
What: U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton
provides the Wakefield-Lynnfield
Chamber of Commerce with a
Where: Four Points Sheraton, 1
Audubon Road, Wakefield.
When: Tuesday, Sept. 14, 7:30-
Calling the Calvary
What: Calvary Christian Church
Where: 47 Grove St.
When: Thursday, Sept. 16, 6-7:30 p.m.
Read to a dog
What: Therapy dog Mitzi will visit
the library hoping to hear some great
stories. Children may sign up for a
10-minute session — space is limited.
Where: Library children's room,
18 Summer St. Contact email: lfd@
When: Wednesday, Sept. 22, 3:30-
Sweat it out
What: MarketStreet Sweat offers
"Master O Karate" and "Pure Barre"
Where: The Green, 600 Market
St. Visit marketstreetlynnfield.com/
event for registration information.
When: Classes are scheduled
several times a day through Oct. 3.
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JUNE: Top Producer
JULY: Top Listing Associate
Ellen Rubbico Crawford | Premier Realtor
firstname.lastname@example.org call/text: 617-599-8090
• LYNNFIELD TOWN PRIDE AWARD (30 YEARS OF VOLUNTEERING IN THE COMMUNITY)
• LYNN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE — BUSINESS EXCELLENCE AWARD
• PTO MEMBER 1990 – 2009
• LAA, LET, POST PROM, MOVING ON, TOWN WIDE YARD SALE
• MEMBER OF LYNNFIELD CATHOLIC COLLABORATIVE
• GRASS ROOTS COMMITTEE FOR THE 2000 AND 2021 SCHOOL BUILDING PROJECTS
• GRASS ROOTS COMMITTEE TO SUPPORT MARKET STREET
• FRIENDS OF THE SENIOR CENTER
• FRIENDS OF THE LYNNFIELD PUBLIC LIBRARY
• LYNNFIELD VILLAGE HOME & GARDEN CLUB
• TOWNSCAPE BOARD MEMBER
• STAUNCH SUPPORTER OF ALL COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES
AWARDS AND PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION:
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• PLATINUM CLUB AWARD — DOUBLE CENTURION AWARD — 100% CLUB — EXECUTIVE CLUB
• WR CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE — TOP SELLING TEAM MEMBER
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932 Lynnfield Street, Lynnfield, MA 01940 www.raveis.com
06 | 01940
Remembering Lynnfield's "Ace" after 20 years
On Sept. 11, 2001, beloved
former Boston Bruin and allaround
good guy Garnet "Ace"
Bailey boarded United Airlines Flight 175
at Logan Airport, bound for Los Angeles.
As a resident of Lynnfield and the director
of professional scouting for the NHL's Los
Angeles Kings, Bailey was on his way to
the team's preseason organizational meetings
alongside amateur scout Mark Bavis.
But they never made it.
When United 175 was hijacked and
crashed into New York City's World Trade
Center, the hockey world lost one of its
most engaging, gregarious personalities.
Bailey, who was 53, was set to begin his
33rd season in the NHL as a player scout.
Bailey had enjoyed a tremendous amount
of success in both capacities, with seven
Stanley Cup rings as proof. Having spent
seven years as the Kings’ director of pro
scouting, Bailey spent the previous 13 years
as a scout with the Edmonton Oilers.
Bailey’s ability to evaluate NHL talent
helped the Oilers to five Stanley Cups in
the 1980s. During Edmonton’s many great
playoff runs, Bailey played the key role of
advance scout, supplying detailed information
on upcoming opponents.
A veteran of 11 NHL seasons as a player,
Bailey broke in with the Boston Bruins
during the 1968-69 season and spent five
years with the club. While with the Bruins,
he was a member of Stanley Cup championship
teams in 1969-70 and 1971-72.
Bailey also spent parts of two seasons each
with the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis
Blues, and three-plus years with the Washington
Bailey, who was originally from Lloydminster,
Saskatchewan, Canada, jumped
to the World Hockey Association for the
1978-79 season and joined the Edmonton
Oilers, where he was a linemate of teenage
phenom Wayne Gretzky.
In the 20 years since his passing, a
number of remembrances and tributes have
taken place. Bailey's family established the
Ace Bailey Children's Foundation, which
is dedicated to supporting programs that
9/11: 20 years later
BY MIKE ALONGI
Garnet "Ace" Bailey broke in with the Boston Bruins in the 1968-1969 season.
COURTESY PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS
ease the strain of hospitalization on infants,
children and their families at the Tufts
Children's Hospital. In March 2006, "Ace's
Place," the hospital's new play center,
opened its doors. The Foundation also supported
a renovation project in the Neonatal
Intensive Care Unit at the hospital.
When the Los Angeles Kings won its
first Stanley Cup in franchise history back
in 2012, the entire team flew to New York
and placed the Cup at Bailey and Bavis'
memorials at Ground Zero (the two are memorialized
at the South Pool on Panel S-3).
And every year since Bailey's death, Bill
Callahan, a friend of Bailey's from Lynnfield,
would have a church Mass said in his
remembrance at Ave Maria Parish.
Beyond his skill and pedigree in the
hockey world, Bailey was known to his
family and friends as someone with a
reputation for enormous generosity, a fierce
protectiveness of all those he loved and an
ability to light up a room and the lives of
all those who knew him.
On Sale & Coming to the...
08 | 01940
Forward thinking to move forward
lot of parents remain anxious
about their children returning
to school this fall. There is this
subtle feeling of the unknown upon most
individuals, with many asking: “Will this
year return back to normal?”
This is just one of the many questions
kids and parents might have regarding the
COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
implemented new guidelines, recommending
that kids in grades K-12 wear masks in
schools. An abundance of kids and adults
are not too fond of the idea.
Personally, I don’t feel the immense
amount of anxiety that some people may
be feeling, but I am more worried about the
overall year. Will classrooms have regular
activities again? Field trips? Who knows. I
just hope it’s not like last year.
Last year was very difficult for most kids
and adults. There were often problems with
BY ALEXIS LAMBROS
Alexis Lambros is starting her sophomore year at
Lynnfield High School.
PHOTOS: SPENSER HASAK
technology or lack of supplies that I had
ready at home. I would randomly get kicked
out of Zoom meetings or have a hard time
hearing the teacher.
Over time, however, I gradually became
more accustomed to this odd, new way of
learning and I learned how to deal with it.
It was a newly-established way of learning,
which I disliked to the extreme. Many personal
lessons were learned while being remote,
such as not taking in-person learning
for granted. I also heard that a lot of adults
say we deserve this current summer break,
which I totally agree with. We’ve worked
tremendously hard this last, ruthless year.
I hope this school year will be semi-normal.
Not “completely” normal, since schools
will most likely have kids wear masks
because of the updated guidelines. However,
I hope everything turns out smoothly, and
that most activities in and out of school
FORWARD, page 10
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771 SALEM ST, LYNNFIELD, MA 01940
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10 | 01940
Worry, excitement and anticipation shaped student Alexis Lambros' outlook on the new school year.
FORWARD, continued from page 8
For most people, learning in-person is
much easier than learning remotely. This is
what I’m looking forward to the most. There
are fewer distractions during in-person
learning and you’ll be able to listen more
attentively. During science class I like to do
hands-on activities, which make me learn a
certain topic more quickly and efficiently.
Moreover, I hope that we go on different
field trips to visit certain sites — primarily
historical — and learn more about them.
I’m not referring to those childish, “young”
field trips, but something more intriguing
However, I am slightly skeptical about
how this year will turn out. I’m trying to
look at this whole scenario with a positive
outlook, where everyone supports each other
and life keeps gradually moving forward.
I don’t know how some kids might react
— will they rebel or obey? Teachers should
be respected, whether things change for the
better or for the worse.
I don’t want to time travel back to last
year and deal with all of the chaos and
mayhem that was constantly occurring. I
want life to moderately return back to its
ordinary ways. With all of that being said,
I’m hoping for the best to transpire.
Amidst this ongoing pandemic, I really
do like school. Maybe it’s just my determination
and passion for things. I thank my
strong work ethic for pushing me through
all of last year. I was on the high honor roll
three times in total for my freshman year,
and I consistently earned straight As. I
also got on the honor roll every single year
during middle school.
I think that a lot of kids don’t realize
that school is a privilege, not a right. Not
everyone in the world is born with the same
privileges, such as being able to access an
education. Kids should stop taking this
privilege for granted.
“You will be tremendously successful, I
just know it,” my teacher in middle school
told me one afternoon. “You have this
driven passion that I’ve never seen anybody
have. I think you could go to a really good
college.” And I believed her. Her kind words
made me strive for nothing but success.
I was expected to do poorly and struggle
throughout school, simply because I had a
learning disability involving my speech.
Look where I am now. I hope to attend
an Ivy League school of some sort, like
Brown University. I’ve never forgotten those
meaningful and worthwhile words. I even
wrote them down in my notebook so that I
would never forget them. They changed me
as a person.
Alexis Lambros is a Lynnfield resident
starting her sophomore year at the high school.
She is fascinated with the study of heredity
and genetics and likes to write as a hobby.
FALL 2021 | 11
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12 | 01940
PHOTOS COURTESY OF COMPASS
FALL 2021 | 13
A peek inside
346 Essex Street
SALE PRICE: $1,400,000
SALE DATE: June 30, 2021
LIST PRICE: $1,499,900
TIME ON MARKET: 44 days
Nikki Martin Group, COMPASS
Nikki Martin Group, COMPASS
PREVIOUS SALE PRICE:
YEAR BUILT: 2013
LOT SIZE: 120,169 (2.76 acres)
LIVING AREA: 5,034 sq. ft.
Eight-year-old designer home perfect
for entertaining. Soaring 2-story foyer
and 9- and 13-foot ceilings with inlaid
wood floors compliment the open floor
plan. Large eat-in kitchen with granite
island a separate dining room, yearround
sun room, elevated deck creates
a covered ground floor patio as a walk
out from the finished basement. Large
private landscaped fenced yard includes
a fire pit. Attached 3-car garage.
Source: MLS Property Information Network.
14 | 01940
Keeping movie magic alive
BY ANNE MARIE TOBIN
Lynnfield native Mike Gwynn says everything old
in Hollywood can be new again.
PHOTOS: SPENSER HASAK
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Lynnfield, MA 01940
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FALL 2021 | 15
Lynnfield native Michael Gwynn
has been in the movie business for
nearly 20 years. As the co-owner
of Hollywood Salvage in Westborough, with
partners A.J. Boles and Ralph Caruso — a
company that provides movie and television
production companies with"everything under
the sun" — he's basically a jack-of-all-trades
when it comes to making sure companies have
what they need.
Gwynn works with union contractors to
nail down the logistics of getting props, people
and production personnel to sets and locations
on time and meeting production deadlines.
In short, Gwynn makes movies happen.
"We coordinate with on-set bosses to move
things around and supply everything — props,
equipment, basically everything they need
to film," said Gwynn. "It's always incredible
to see all the stuff constantly being moved in
and out. Whatever they need, we rent, sell or
The industry's go-to-guy in New England,
Gwynn has worked with Warner Bros, Sony,
Netflix, Hulu and Showtime on shows and
movies like "Salem's Lot," "Dexter," "Ted 2,"
"American Hustle," "Julia" and "Castle Rock."
Hollywood Salvage's mission is simple:
to save, repurpose and recycle cherished Hollywood
memorabilia to be used again and live
on, thereby preserving the production's legacy.
The retail component had its beginnings
during the pandemic.
"We had just wrapped up 'Castle Rock'
and had massive sets just sitting in our warehouses,"
said Gwynn. "We didn't know how
COVID would affect our business. A.J, Ralph
and I were bothered by the thought that all
this stuff would go to waste … We wanted to
keep it alive instead of being destroyed. We
wanted to preserve the history of the business.
It was a roll of the dice, for sure."
At first, piece by piece, they tried to save
the dumpster-destined work as best as they
could on their own, filling up their own backyards
and spare rooms. It wasn't long before
they realized not only did they need more
space, they needed to pin down a consensus on
where they wanted to take the business. That
was the beginning of the Hollywood Salvage
retail store, a treasure trove of movie and television
show props and nostalgic memorabilia.
The store has its own gourmet coffee shop —
the Perk and Parcel Cafe — and even offers
scenic painting classes.
"We knew that allowing people to see the
art and even take pieces home would not only
showcase the talented workers who created the
products, but present opportunities to increase
sustainability in the industry," said Gwynn.
A mask for sale at Hollywood Salvage in Westborough.
"Our hope for Hollywood Salvage is to give
these creative pieces, as well as the other props
and costumes, a chance to continue on and
begin their story again."
Gwynn said inventory management was a
16 | 01940
key factor in the decision to go retail.
"We needed to have a way to rotate our
inventory," he said. "Right now, we are in the
process of bar-coding everything. It's a huge
undertaking, but will streamline operations in
a big way."
Hollywood Salvage stores the bulk of its
inventory in a Leominster warehouse, which
stores everything from a collection of coffins to
antique cars — like a 1937 Rolls Royce — and
is sure to be a one-stop shopping destination
The company offers several unique services
including junk removal — with a twist. Working
with nonprofit partner Hollywood Picks,
the company will sort through your junk on
the hunt for hidden gems — think trash-totreasure
— which can be upcycled and used
on upcoming movie productions. Hollywood
Salvage will tag the items, then send alerts to
former owners letting them know their pieces
may be featured on the big screen.
Hollywood Salvage also offers the public a
unique home-rental service.
"Location scouts will come out to your
home and take pictures," Gwynn said. "The
houses are added to a database, so this is a
unique chance for people to get into movies on
A repurposed sign at Hollywood Salvage in
Hollywood Salvage in Westborough sells clothes that were worn or purchased to be worn in films.
a personal level."
Gwynn said it's also a great chance to take
part in the film industry on a financial level,
as home rentals can be extremely lucrative for
Hollywood Salvage is also committed to
giving back. After a massive flood wiped out
much of the drama department at Lowell
High School, it was Gwynn's company that
stepped in to rebuild the prop closet. The company
works with Ernie Boch Jr. on his "Music
Drives Us" initiative, with Boch supplying the
transportation pieces and Hollywood Salvage
handling the band, music and entertainment
pieces. The company is also in talks with the
Boston Arts Academy on the academy's major
"It's important for kids to have creative
opportunities, so we've never hesitated as we
knew we could help," Gwynn said. "We also
are working with other schools that have been
cutting programs. We think it's important."
The company has also worked regularly
with small independents and theater groups
that have been devastated by the pandemic.
Gwynn said the store has been a real
eye-opener for the public.
"In some ways it's the first time some of
them have had the opportunity to look behind
the scenes of what they see on TV, and they
love being able to see this stuff," he said. "It's
the same with some of the nonprofits we work
with. It's a good feeling for us in that respect."
A 1989 graduate of Lynnfield High,
Gwynn played football and served as captain
of the team his senior year. As a freshman in
1986, the middle linebacker was called up to
the varsity squad for the Pioneers' first-ever
Super Bowl appearance.
Gwynn says his love of the movie business
began as a kid. As an adult, he sees the value
the industry brings to local economies.
"There are thousands and thousands of
jobs created behind the camera," he said.
"You don't have to be an actor to make movie
magic. The set dressers, the scenic workers, the
drivers — the industry has every job there is."
Gwynn said an important priority for
Hollywood Salvage is "getting along with the
neighbors" on location shoots.
"When we roll into a neighborhood, it's
exciting for everyone," he said. "We don't want
to disrupt people's lives and want to leave only
a minimal print when we leave. It's important
to get everyone on board. When we do it right,
there is so much upbeat energy.
"We want people to be film-friendly, as it's
good for local businesses. It's shopping locally
as we use locals, which during the pandemic
has helped save some of these small businesses.
There is definitely a multi-level benefit in what
To learn more about Hollywood Salvage's
services, visit its website: https://www.hollywoodsalvage.com/about.
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18 | 01940
the mad scientist
BY ALLYSHA DUNNIGAN
Jay Duchin of Lynnfield welds the passenger seat to a kinetic sculpture, which will participate in the Lowell Kinetic Sculpture Race on Sept. 18.
PHOTOS: SPENSER HASAK
Jay Duchin is a video producer and
the founder of a nonprofit, but
classifies himself as a mad scientist
in his spare time.
Most recently, Duchin's spare time has
consisted of him spending time building a kinetic
sculpture at his Lynnfield home, which
he will go on to present at the Lowell Kinetic
Sculpture Race on Sept. 18.
Kinetic sculptures are art forms that contain
movement perceivable by the viewer, or
that rely on motion for their intended effect.
Duchin said he has always been inspired
to build things, whether it’s a piece of backyard
artwork or something he needs for a
video shoot. He said that the upcoming event
is the perfect excuse for him to explore his
love of both art and mechanical engineering.
According to the race's website, each entry
must be human-powered and must travel
across the cobblestones and paved streets of
downtown Lowell — as well as sand, mud
and the Merrimack River.
There are a variety of other rules and
creative ways to gain extra points in the race,
Jay Duchin says kinetic sculpture is part art, part
including carrying a passenger, who is not allowed
to contribute to the sculpture's forward
Although this is the first time Duchin
will be competing in the race, he said that he
has known about it for years.
"I’m jumping in and will do my best to
complete all the sections," Duchin said.
Duchin hopes to get others involved in
helping him either build the sculpture or be
a part of the team that pilots it on the day of
"We’re also hoping to get local residents
and businesses to contribute money to help
cover basic materials and out-of-pocket
expenses," Duchin added. "I’m proud to say
all of the materials that have been used so
far have been free, courtesy of Craigslist and
other donations. We also have some bikes
that won’t be used that we’ll be fixing up and
donating to needy organizations."
Duchin said he is excited for the race and
for the opportunity to show off his sculpture,
which can be seen in the driveway of his
Lynnfield home. He said it is hard to miss.
Kings is on a roll with fun for all
BY ALLYSHA DUNNIGAN
Kings Dining & Entertainment has spread
its wings not only across Massachusetts, but
around the country.
With 11 locations scattered through Massachusetts,
Florida, North Carolina, Virginia,
Tennessee, and Illinois, Kings offers a unique
bowling experience that mixes the entertainment
aspect with a luxury food-and-drink
When you enter Kings' MarketStreet location,
you'll walk by the Wall of Fame, which
features photos of a number of past celebrity
denizens of Kings' different establishments.
Some of these celebrities visit for fun,
while others host events and fundraisers at the
space, selling tickets and renting out the entire
venue to raise money for different causes and
To the right of the entrance is the lounge,
which boasts a full bar; an indoor/outdoor fireplace;
and booth, table and high-top seating.
Kings Chief Executive Officer Leo
Fonseca said a big part of the company culture
and core values is to give back, so a lot of the
celebrity photos are from fundraising events.
A mural referencing the movies "Kingpin" is
featured on one of the walls of a private bowling
room at Kings Dining & Entertainment.
PHOTOS: ALENA KUZUB
"It's really important to all of us at Kings to
be part of the give-back culture," Fonseca said.
While many come to Kings for bowling,
that is not a requirement to attend. Visitors
can go to the lounge for dinner, drinks, to
watch a game or to just hang out."
As you make your way further into the
establishment, you reach the heart of the
operation. The desk with the bowling shoes
and balls opens onto 16 state-of-the-art lanes
convenient for families, friends, competitions,
leagues or simply a fun day out.
There is also the King Pin Room, which
can be rented out for private parties, events or
for overflow on a busy weekend night.
The back section of Kings is where all the
games are beyond—bowling, the site boasts
a full arcade with a variety of old and new
Kings outfits its games with scanners and
sells arcade token cards to be scanned and used
throughout the arcade.
Kings also has dine-and-bowl packages,
which can be found online by visiting https://
When the pandemic hit, Kings closed
down for about four months, and the owners
FALL 2021 | 19
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spent that time adjusting their operations to
reflect the state's COVID-19 regulations.
The hours of operations have since been
adjusted; Kings now opens at 3 p.m. during
the week, and 11:30 a.m. on the weekends.
On the weekends, Fonseca said the establishment
tends to be more of a family spot
during the day and shifts into a nightlife scene
Since Kings stays open until midnight on
Thursdays and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday,
Fonseca said that when the lights go down
and the music turns up, the nightlife atmosphere
comes into high relief.
Upon reopening after the brief closure
because of COVID-19, Fonseca said the
company really focused on ensuring the safety
of its customers and employees.
Between sanitizing every surface, and
maintaining the cleaning of the shoes and
balls — a job for all bowling alleys in normal
times — Kings requires all employees to be
masked and has installed clear plastic barriers
in between tables. They also encourage visitors
who aren't vaccinated to wear a mask.
Even after the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) said people don't need
to worry about constantly sanitizing surfaces
anymore, Fonseca said his Kings continues to
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Hidetaka Sawada of Lynnfield lets one roll at Kings, where bowling gets taken to new heights.
In regards to capacity, the Lynnfield Kings
was following the state's capacity restrictions
but is now open at full capacity.
Kings' other locations also follow Massachusetts
COVID-19 protocols, since Fonseca
said they are the strictest and safest.
Now, with these restrictions lifted, Kings
has returned to hosting birthday parties, bachelor
and bachelorette parties, fundraisers, work
outings and more.
"If you have a big group of 40-plus people
here laughing and having a good time, that
adds a lot to the vibe of the place," Fonseca
said. "It's nice to have people back here."
Fonseca said Kings in Lynnfield sees several
hundred people a day, some spending just an
hour, others staying for the entire afternoon.
Fonseca said he often sees customers who
had dinner somewhere else at MarketStreet
come in for a drink without even stopping to
bowl; they also have a group of moms come in
with their kids and spend the day.
Kings' kitchen is not to be ignored either.
Oftentimes when people think of bowling
food, Fonseca said, they think of the snack bar
and hot dogs spinning around.
At Kings, they have a large menu including
pizza, tacos, burgers, wings and sandwiches —
all made with fresh, real ingredients.
"It's bar food, but elevated bar food," Fonseca
said. "I wanted to take the food, beverage
and service element of this very, very seriously."
In addition to the variety of options inside,
there is also an outdoor patio. Guests can eat
and drink outside, as well as watch a game on
TV or play a game of cornhole or giant Jenga.
"We want to be more interactive and fun
rather than just regular, sit-down dining,"
Fonseca said. "We do it all."
FALL 2021 | 21
LAG members make fall debut
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FALL 2021 | 23
Katrina Gustafson relaxes on the lawn of the
Lynnfield Meeting House.
PHOTOS: JAKOB MENENDEZ
BY SAM MINTON
Katrina Gustafson is a veteran
performer at the Topsfield Fair, with the
Lynnfield resident performing at the area's
premier fall event since 2013.
At the age of 14, she started doing
unpaid shows to "just to get a feel of
doing gigs." The following year, she started
getting paid for her performances at the
beloved Topsfield event — and she has
been playing ever since.
Gustafson's music career started at the
age of 13, when she began learning how to
play the guitar.
"I taught myself," she said. "I kind of
looked at YouTube and figured out how to
work the chords."
Gustafson's dad is also a musician. As
a drummer, he helped Gustafson start her
musical journey. She soon discovered that
she loved songwriting and being able to
tell a story with her music.
24 | 01940
Katrina Gustafson is a staple at the Topsfield Fair, which returns in October.
Like many artists, Gustafson found
inspiration through other artists.
"I went to a Taylor Swift concert in
2011 and I thought it was so cool that she
could tell a story on the stage, so I was like
'I want to do that,'" said Gustafson.
When it comes to playing at the
Topsfield Fair, she said that her favorite
part about performing is getting to connect
with people because of her music.
"I really like that I can connect with
people as they're walking by, kind of make
eye contact and they're like 'you know I
love that song,'" she said.
The musician also noted that she
enjoys the food at the fair when she isn't
Gustafson said that her songwriting
process varies depending on how she is
feeling at the moment.
"If I'm really happy with someone I
write a love song and I think of all these
phrases," she admitted. "My favorite thing
about songwriting is a play on words and
TALENT, page 26
Katrina Gustafson says her songs are inspired by the storytelling style of Taylor Swift.
FALL 2021 | 25
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TALENT, continued from page 24
stuff like that, so I try to use that."
Gustafson also talked about where
she can find inspiration for songs; it
sometimes comes from random moments
"My process is kind of different each
time," she said. "Sometimes my inspiration
comes from random people. If I'm just
talking with them and they just say a
phrase that I'm like 'wow that sounds really
cool,' I put it into a song hoping that it's
unique and no one else did it."
Gustafson added that she's really
excited to perform at the fair this year
after last year's event was canceled to
"Just in general, with everyone not
really being around each other for a long
time, I think it will be a great way to
connect again and see people in person,
and I just love the rush of performing too,
so that will be really fun," she said. "I'm
just really excited for it to return and I'm
ready for a reunion."
Gustafson released a new album in
January, titled "Unspoken," all about life
in her 20s and things that she wishes she
could have said but hasn't yet —until the
album was released.
Katrina Gustafson released her album, "Unspoken," in January.
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FALL 2021 | 27
and a way
BY ANNE MARIE TOBIN
Emilie Cademartori received the
good news as August came to an end:
The town is on pace to become a part
of what is being touted as a unique
project designed to protect and preserve
hundreds of acres of open space at
the intersection of four neighboring
The Metropolitan Area Planning
Council (MAPC) informed Cademartori,
Lynnfield's director of planning and
conservation, that the town had been
awarded funding to participate in the
agency’s technical assistance program
“Preservation of this undeveloped
acreage holds the potential for a large,
connected wooded-trail network as well
as access to the Ipswich River,” said
Cademartori. "The Lynnfield piece is
only about 20 acres, but the overall plan
calls for opening up approximately 500
acres in all."
Titled “A Vision for Willis Woods,”
the grant will support the development
of a regional effort to create a vision, and
ultimately a work plan, for open space at
the intersection of the communities of
Lynnfield, Middleton, North Reading
Cademartori said opening up access
to the Ipswich River will be the main
focus of the project.
"The plan calls for removing the
Boston Dam, which will restore the
current water supply the dam holds back
into more of a river," she said. "(It) is
very exciting, as it not only will result
in an ecological renovation of that part
of the river, but will also present added
recreational opportunities over and above
the woods and trails that presently exist."
Working with MAPC, Lynnfield will
act as the lead community. The vision plan
will focus on perpetual protection of this
large collection of contiguous open space.
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The aggregate area includes various
municipal water district lands and large,
privately-owned parcels, all adjacent to
the Ipswich River and two miles of the
abandoned Salem-Lowell Rail Line.
"The whole area has such potential
with a lot of stakeholders and landowners
involved, so this 'Vision' plan will bring
all of them to the table so we can take
this natural resource to the public,"
“Our town is truly grateful for this
opportunity to work collaboratively
with the towns of Middleton and
North Reading and the City of
Peabody to preserve this vast area of
undeveloped forest,” said Lynnfield
Town Administrator Robert Dolan.
“Our four communities, and clearly
the larger region, increasingly depend
on these open spaces to safeguard our
natural resources and strengthen our
climate resiliency. This grant award marks
a tremendous step in advancing those
The MAPC, Essex County Greenbelt,
the Lynnfield Center Water District,
Ipswich River Watershed Association
and other critical regional stakeholders
have long expressed interest in the
preservation of this area.
The project has come into focus
with the recent activity surrounding
the pending private sale of 20 acres of
forested land in Lynnfield, known as
Richardson Green, to developer Angus
Bruce, who has proposed a 16-home
development. The property is one of the
last unprotected parcels in Lynnfield, and
a possible “keystone” to this larger area.
"Richardson Green is so important to
this plan as with it we have access from
Main Street," Cademartori said, adding
she expects the proposed purchase by
the town to be on the warrant for the
October Town Meeting.
The town has a right of first refusal
on the land at a price tag of $2.7 million,
or it can assign that right to a nonprofit
organization, such as Essex County
Greenbelt. Should the town choose to
do neither, the land — located between
Sagamore Golf Course, Ipswich River
and the town’s water district wellfields —
will proceed to sale for the development
In January 2021, Selectman Phil
Lynnfield and neighboring communities have a vision for preserving hundreds of forest acres.
PHOTO: NEIL UNGERLEIDER
Crawford said that given current
circumstances, the town was not looking
to spend such a hefty sum of money on
the parcel despite having a $200,000
commitment from the Conservation
Commission. Allowing the land to
proceed to sale with Bruce, however, is
also not ideal.
“Nobody really wants the
development,” said Crawford, referring
to Bruce’s plans. “The town doesn’t need
16 more homes when there’s already a
Since then, the town has obtained a
$1.6 million grant, bringing the town’s
total funds available to purchase the
property to approximately $1.8 million,
FALL 2021 | 29
Owner of the Chicken and The Pig owner Guy Ciolfi pauses between customers flocking to his Middleton food truck.
PHOTOS: JAKOB MENENDEZ
Bringing home the bacon
—by food truck
One of the hottest new dining
spots on the North Shore
is "The Lot" in Middleton.
Located across from Richardson's Ice
Cream, The Lot is a food-truck lover's
dream situated on what used to be a vacant
corner lot on Route 114.
In the center of it all is Chicken and
The Pig, the brainchild of Lynnfield
resident Guy Ciolfi, which, since opening
BY ANNE MARIE TOBIN
in June, has become a crowd favorite
when it comes to gourmet chicken cutlet
sandwiches and specialty hot dogs.
"The response from the public has been
incredible, and our customers are always
posting things on social media that our
sandwiches are, by far, the best you will
ever have," he said. "We got off to a slow
start, but now we are out straight. It's been
far better than I ever expected, even with
the delays and bad weather."
The Lot features three other food
trucks offering a variety of items to satisfy
any palate. From the homemade pies at
Curbside Wood-Fired Pizza to gourmet
burgers at Good Fellows to lobster rolls at
Salty's, there's something for everyone.
Ciolfi's entry into the food-truck world
was somewhat accidental. For 20 years, he's
operated Servizio, a catering company in
30 | 01940
Burlington which provides corporate food
services, but "I've always toyed with the
idea of opening a food truck."
When COVID-19 hit, he jumped at
the opportunity and contacted The Lot's
owner, Jay Currier.
"He connected me with the Salty's
guys," Ciolfi said. "We all thought it was
a great idea and knew we could make it
work. We bought a truck and were ready to
go in April."
Unfortunately for Ciolfi, The Lot was
not ready to host them for a number of
reasons, the most impactful being rainy
weather that slowed down the construction
Originally open from Wednesday
through Sunday, the truck recently added
Tuesday to its roster, so it is now open six
days of the week.
The most popular item on the menu
is the Vermont sandwich, a cutlet topped
with Kayem bacon, buttermilk ranch
dressing, lettuce and tomato on a grilled,
buttered brioche roll. The All-American
is also a favorite. It has American cheese,
lettuce, tomato, Kayem bacon and mayo
and is also served on a grilled, buttered
While chicken sandwiches are preferred
Hector Sanabria, a line cook at the Chicken and The Pig food truck, holds a plate of ready-to-fry chicken cutlets.
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FALL 2021 | 31
Serving its All American chicken sandwich and other menu items, Chicken and The Pig is open six days a week.
by most customers, Ciolfi said hot dogs
"are catching on," adding his top-seller is
the House Dog, which features a quarterpound
Kayem all-beef dog smothered
in bacon, grilled onions and homemade,
brewery-style mustard in a grilled bun.
While the month of July was plagued
by rain, Ciolfi said that business has picked
up, regardless. Often on weekends, the
line of people waiting to order will snake
through the picnic-table area.
"Weather has been a killer," said Ciolfi.
"We were only open for three days during
the Fourth of July week, but now we are
Ciolfi said The Lot is the perfect place,
not only for a quick bite, but for family
outings and reunions.
"People love coming with their families
to celebrate special occasions," he said.
Ciolfi plans to stay open through
"Food trucks have definitely become
cold-weather destinations lately," he said.
The truck does a robust takeout
business and recently added DoorDash for
customers wanting delivery. On average,
Ciolfi sells more than 1,000 chicken
sandwiches and 350 hot dogs each week.
Unlike the other food trucks at The
Lot, the Chicken and The Pig truck — a
former UPS delivery van — is fully mobile.
32 | 01940
"It's completely driveable," Ciolfi said.
"It runs on a generator and has fresh water
and wastewater tanks along with a hotwater
heater, three refrigerators, one freezer,
a dishwasher and sink.
"They're made to move, but they can
only hold so much," said Ciolfi.
During the winter months, Ciolfi plans
to move the truck to Burlington to be used
to bolster his catering business.
In the meantime, Ciolfi's focus is on
keeping up with increasing demand.
"The response from customers has
been great. Many of them compare us to
(Beverly-based fried chicken restaurant)
Flip the Bird," said Ciolfi. "We didn't
open to compete with anyone but people
keep telling us that we have one of the best
chicken sandwiches you will ever eat, so to
be compared with them is pretty good."
"We're just trying to keep giving people
the best food we can for as long as we can
and we're hoping for some really good
sunny weather the rest of the summer into
the fall," Salty's employee Gary Moran
added. When asked why he was waiting
in line for a takeout order for his crew, his
answer was simple.
"They have the best chicken sandwiches
I've ever had. We love them."
Guy Ciolfi stumbled almost accidently into food truck ownership and serving up tasty creations.
The House Dog at the Chicken and The Pig food truck is a popular menu choice.
A chicken cutlet fresh from frying and ready to serve.
FALL 2021 | 33
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BY TRÉA LAVERY
The Rev. Rob Bacon was preparing for
Holy Week 2020 at St. Paul's Episcopal
Church when he got some bad news:
They needed to shut down, and the week's
worth of in-person services he had planned
wouldn't be happening.
"All of a sudden, we had to pull the
plug and go all electronic," Bacon said. "I
didn't have a clue about virtual anything."
With the help of parish administrator
Julia Nelson and music director Andrew
Shenton, as well as Bacon's daughter,
Maggie — who was forced to come home
from her study-abroad trip in Spain — he
was able to set up Zoom-based worship.
The first thing he did was give the
congregation a video tour of his Lexington
The Rev. Rob Bacon stands in the sanctuary of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Lynnfield.
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FALL 2021 | 35
Faith and improvisation helped St. Paul's Episcopal Church weather the storm.
"We're finding ways to keep our
community together electronically," Bacon
said in that first video, sitting at a table on
his porch and wearing a sweater gifted him
by a congregant. "We don't know how long
we're in for this. We're just going with the
flow. We're trying to be smart and safe and
In that maiden-voyage broadcast,
Bacon suggested several ideas that ended
up becoming the basis for the connection
among the church's members, including
weekly "Z-time" office hours held via
Zoom and communal prayers throughout
Every Sunday after his church service,
Bacon would lead a virtual coffee hour,
which he said was one of his favorite parts
of the week.
"You got everyone on the screen one
person at a time," he said. "It was much
more connective than in-person, because
everyone was listening to one person rather
than lots of little conversations."
Other members of St. Paul's stepped
up, too. A small group of women within
the church who knit prayer shawls for the
community kept going by Zoom. Near the
beginning of lockdown, they knit small
crosses, putting them in envelopes with
notes of encouragement. They would then
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36 | 01940
A stained glass depiction of Noah's Ark took on
added poignancy during the pandemic.
drive around the area to place them in
"That, more than anything else, kept
everyone together," Bacon said.
Meanwhile, the Bethlehem School, a
Montessori preschool which operates in
the same building as St. Paul's, stayed open
all through the pandemic, with not one
student or staff member getting sick.
For six months, Bacon led services from
his home before the church was able to
install a $12,000 audiovisual system in its
sanctuary; this allowed them to broadcast
directly from the building. With the help
of video, attendance actually increased
during the pandemic, with family of
current and past members who had moved
away tuning in.
Even so, Bacon said that preaching
virtually was not the same.
"Preaching to the camera with no
feedback, it was bizarre," he said. "When
ST. PAUL'S, page 38
Stained glass dove at St. Paul's Episcopal Church
The Rev. Rob Bacon holds a prayer shawl sample.
The Rev. Rob Bacon of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
in Lynnfield said there was a major spike in
hand-knit prayer shawls being made during the
An intricately-woven tapestry at St. Paul's
St. Paul's Episcopal's congregation banded
together during the pandemic.
"We're just going with the flow," said St. Paul's pastor Rob Bacon.
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"When we finally opened, I stood at the door and cried as people came in," said St. Paul's Episcopal Church pastor the Rev. Rob Bacon.
ST. PAUL'S, continued from page 36
you're preaching live and can see everyone's
face and body language, you know if you're
reaching everyone. When you preach to a
camera, you're just hoping."
On May 2, the church held a soft
reopening, allowing a maximum of 20
congregants to come back in and sit in the
pews. Over the next few weeks, more and
more members were allowed to return as
confidence built up about vaccines and
"When we finally opened, I stood at the
door and cried as people came in," Bacon
Not everything is back to normal. They
don't use a shared cup for Communion,
and effective Aug. 28, the diocese returned
to requiring masks inside churches. As
a result of the Delta variant's surge this
summer, they are keeping an eye on how
Bacon said that the whole pandemic
has been hard, and the church has lost
members to the virus. Every time, though,
the community has come together to offer
"Even though it's sad, it's been a
glue that held us together. Even in total
lockdown, people open their door and
there's all these groceries and meals on the
step," Bacon said. "The people take care of
each other. All you have to do is ask."
Swinging her way to success
FALL 2021 | 39
BY MIKE ALONGI
Lynnfield native Abbie Weaver’s
relationship with the game of golf has
evolved over the years, and what started as
a leisurely activity with her father and sister
a few times a summer as a kid has now
turned into a true career path.
Since April, Weaver has been working
as a women’s events intern for Mass Golf
under the United States Golf Association’s
(USGA) P.J. Boatwright Internship.
“It’s an incredible honor to be given
the opportunity to get this internship
and work with Mass Golf,” said Weaver,
who graduated from UMass-Amherst’s
Isenberg School of Management in 2020
with a degree in sport management and
marketing. “I’m excited to gain a more
comprehensive knowledge of the game
of golf and to grow my network within
the golf community. I also look forward
to working with female golfers in hopes
of growing representation and leadership
within our demographic in the sport.”
The internship's namesake, P.J.
Boatwright, was the USGA’s third
executive director and one of the sport's
key founders in terms of developing golf
in the United States. Boatwright was an
amateur player, a rules expert and served
as the executive director of the Carolinas
Golf Association prior to joining the
USGA in 1959. Boatwright was a recipient
of the USGA’s highest honor in the Bob
Jones Award, and was also enshrined in
the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame,
the Wofford College Hall of Fame and the
Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame, among other
The USGA is funding 135 internships
across its network of 59 Allied Golf
Associations in 2021 through the P.J.
Boatwright Internship program. Currently,
one-third of all state and regional golf
association staff members are alumni of the
Boatwright program. That number includes
21 AGA executive directors and 16 USGA
This year also marks the 30th
anniversary of the P.J. Boatwright intern
program. The USGA has invested more
than $30 million into the program since it
launched in 1991, and those efforts have
helped to propel the careers of more than
Lynnfield's Abbie Weaver is mentoring other female golfers.
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COURTESY PHOTOS : ABBIE WEAVER
40 | 01940
Weaver never really focused too much
on golf during her high school days, as
she was busy being a three-sport athlete
and team captain in soccer, basketball and
softball at Lynnfield High. But as the years
went on — and especially last year during
the pandemic — Weaver found that golf
was really the only place she could meet
with and see her friends and family in a
safe, fun atmosphere.
“I didn’t focus on golf as much because
I was so busy doing my other sports, but
I always loved and had a really strong
respect for the game,” said Weaver. “With
the pandemic last summer, it was really a
great way to see friends and family, and
eventually I was playing probably once a
That eventually led to her applying
for a job within Mass Golf ’s First Tee
program. After she didn’t get the position,
she figured that was the end of that. But
then First Tee Director of Operations
Kyle Harris called her back and said there
was an opening in the internship program
which would suit her much better.
And so now she finds herself working
women’s events and tournaments for Mass
Golf, including hosting women’s clinics
during National Women in Golf Day on
June 1. She works hand in hand with Mass
Golf Manager of Women’s Events and
Player Development Naomi Nesenoff.
“(Nesenoff ) has so much experience
and she has been such a great person to
work for,” said Weaver. “Being a woman in
the sports industry is always going to be
about growing our representation within
the game, so it’s nice to be able to make a
small impact on that.”
One of the big things that sticks out
to Weaver is that of the six Boatwright
interns this year, three of them are women
— the highest number for one year in the
And for Weaver, someone who is
relatively late coming into the world of
golf, there were never any feelings of
unwelcomeness or awkwardness when she
showed up to the Mass Golf offices.
“Golf is such a tight-knit community
and everyone knows everyone, more so
than any other sport I know of,” said
Weaver. “That’s really intimidating as
someone who’s fairly new to the game
in this capacity, but everyone has been
so welcoming and helpful. Most of the
people on the staff are former Boatwright
interns as well, so they all know where
we’re coming from and they’ve incredibly
As for what’s next, Weaver will be
spending the next month or so bouncing
around the office to different departments
and getting a taste of what other aspects of
the organization are like. In addition, she’ll
be doing a lot of preparation work for all of
the summer tournaments coming up.
“It’s going to be an exciting time for me
because I’ll be able to bounce around and
see how the big championships are run,
then I’ll also get to see how some of the
tournament setup things are done and see
what all the other departments are doing,"
she said. "My goal is to just keep gaining
experience and knowledge about how the
operations side of the game works.”
"Golf is such a tight-knit community and everyone knows everyone. My goal is to just keep gaining experience and knowledge about how the operations side of
the game works," said Abbie Weaver.
FALL 2021 | 41
A legend got his start in Lynnfield
BY BILL BROTHERTON
Robert Ellis Orrall has been making music since he was in the third grade.
In the early ‘80s, Robert Ellis Orrall
was a pop star whose band opened
for U2, The Kinks, The Go-Gos
and other Rock and Roll Hall of Famers.
He also had a top-40 hit, “I Couldn’t Say
No,” a duet with Carlene Carter. Orrall
produced and wrote No. 1 songs for many
country stars, ran a punk-rock record label,
and is primarily responsible for helping
a young singer-songwriter named Taylor
Swift land a recording contract.
Now, at age 65, when many musicians
are contemplating getting out of the
business and relaxing on the beach, Orrall,
a 1973 Lynnfield High graduate, has just
released “467 Surf and Gun Club,” his first
solo album since the early ’90s — and his
first recording with his old ’80s bandmates
since those glory days.
After 30 years in Nashville, Tenn.,
where he and his wife Christine (Leverone)
— a ’75 Lynnfield High grad — and
their two sons and a daughter have been
living, the Orralls are back on the North
COURTESY PHOTO: RICARDO FERNANDEZ
Shore, settling into a historic 1889 house in
Manchester-by-the-Sea. The high-school
sweethearts were married 41 years ago at
Hammond Castle down the road apiece
in the Magnolia area of Gloucester. They
winter in Florida.
Orrall's new album is pure pop bliss,
bringing to mind the Beach Boys, Beatles,
and Todd Rundgren. Years ago, Orrall developed
an appreciation for country music
and what’s now called Americana. He went
to see Ricky Skaggs in concert at the Wang
42 | 01940
The cover of Robert Ellis Orrall's new CD depicts his long and varied career.
Theater, Dwight Yoakum at the Channel.
He loved what Lyle Lovett and Steve Earle
“In ‘86, ‘87 I started writing songs for
others. I looked at Billboard (magazine)
and saw that the artist often didn’t write
the song that was on the charts,” said
Orrall. “For three years I made many trips
down to Nashville, armed with a pocketful
of hooks … and I’d go to the songwriter
hangouts.” While drinking beer and watching
football at the Longhorn Steakhouse,
he chatted with songwriter Curtis Wright.
One day Orrall sang the first two lines of
one of his many half-finished songs: “Ridin'
down the road in my pick-up truck/Ya'
better be ready 'cause I'm pickin' you up.”
Wright, on the spot, added “Barbecue
chicken in aluminum foil/Just enough
money for my gas and oil.”
That co-write, “Next to You, Next to
Me,” became Orrall’s first No. 1 hit. Country
band Shenandoah took it to the top of
the charts in 1990. “It hit No. 1 the week
we moved to Nashville,” Orrall said with a
smile. Rascal Flatts covered it; it’s become a
country standard. Orrall was the city boy to
Wright’s country boy. The pair released an
album that earned them a Country Music
Association Duo of the Year nomination.
More songwriting success followed.
Orrall has written hits for the likes of Reba
McEntire, Eddie Rabbit, Olivia Newton-John,
The Judds, Ronnie Milsap, and
In 2014, he set up a showcase for then-
14-year-old Swift at Nashville’s legendary
Bluebird Cafe. Scott Borchetta, an industry
bigwig, saw her that night and signed her
to his new Big Machine record label. Orrall
POSTER COLLAGE COURTESY OF ROBERT ELLIS ORRALL
co-produced Swift’s 10-times platinum debut
album and her follow-up EP “Beautiful
“I flew my parents (the late Roy and
Mable Orrall of Wing Road) down for the
show," he said. "I knew Taylor would get
a deal that night, and I wanted them to be
part of it.”
Orrall's own story begins in the rock
clubs of Boston. Back in the 1980s he
made three rock records for RCA that
were influenced by Elvis Costello and Nick
Lowe, and his band was first rate: guitarist
and fellow Lynnfield High grad Kook
Lawry, bassist Don Walden and drummer
David Stefanelli (and later keyboardist
Brian Maes of Lynn).
When Orrall decided to make “467
Surf and Gun Club” in Florida — just as
the pandemic began — he contacted Law-
FALL 2021 | 43
ry, Walden and Stefanelli, who recorded
their parts up here. Orrall worked his Pro
Tools studio magic; almost every song on
the record has at least 28 tracks of vocals.
The late Leon Russell adds vocals to
one song, “Welcome to Paradise.”
“Leon was a friend of mine," said Orrall."
"Leon, John Hiatt, Michael McDonald
… Our kids all hung out together.”
Orrall formed his first band while in
the third grade. “It was the JB 4 — Jeff and
Bob — but we never found a three or a
four," he admitted. "Then in sixth grade, I
got my first taste of performing live. Even
then I knew I'd definitely be a songwriter
and record my own songs.”
Older classmate Lawry lived on Main
Street. Orrall said he ran to his friend's
house, walked up to the front door, and
said, “I have a band. Do you wanna be in
it?” “Yeah," said Lawry. "But what about
my friend Don here? He plays bass.”
“Yeah. OK. He’s in, too.” Stefanelli
came aboard later.
Al Gore, the former vice president, lived
down the street, too. One day a neighbor
phoned Orrall and asked him to host a
dinner with them and another couple
the next night. That other couple was Al
and Tipper Gore. “For five hours we ate
and drank and had a ball,” said Orrall,
chuckling. “Tipper ended up downstairs
playing my son’s drum kit. (My other band)
Monkey Bowl recorded a song “Al Gore
Lives on My Street” about his having the
presidential election stolen from him. I
played it for them and they loved it. The
song is on Spotify and YouTube.”
Will the old band get together for a
tour, now that Orrall is back in New England?
“Donnie (Walden) and I have left
the door open for something next year,"
he teased. "I think it’d be fun to re-learn
favorite songs from those first three records
and a bunch of songs we never released
back then. But it’d be a lot of work…"
The new album was released on CD and
streaming services Aug. 27. A limited vinyl
run of 500 copies is on the way.
The title “467 Gun and Surf Club”
refers to the Nashville building that was
headquarters for Orrall’s punk rock Infinity
Cat label, which released 125 albums,
including LPs by JEFF the Brotherhood,
featuring Orrall’s sons, Jake and Jamin. The
now-demolished building at 467 Humphreys
St. had also served as a community
center. “It was a safe place for a bunch of
young adults, artists and fans to run wild,”
Robert Ellis Orrall (shown here in a 1981 Daily Evening Item) enjoyed pop music success in the early 1980s.
PHOTO: WALTER HOEY/DAILY EVENING ITEM
said Orrall. “And I was the old man …
getting swept up in the energy and music."
Orrall said that, when he began writing
his new album, he imagined himself as a
bartender "who soaked it all up from his
side of the bar — which he sees as a larger
metaphor for his decades-long career.
"I've probably written songs with more
than 500 people," he said. "I've loved the
experience of meeting my co-writers, getting
to know a little bit about them, and creating
something together. I've realized my life as
a songwriter really parallels what my life
could've been as a bartender, because both
jobs are all about meeting people and finding
what their story is all about.”
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