01940 Fall 2021

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FALL

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VOL. 4, NO. 3


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24 WILDEWOOD DRIVE

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The property information herein is derived from various sources that may include, but not be limited to, county records and may include approximations. Although the

information is believed to be accurate, it is not warranted and you should not rely upon it without personal verifi cation. Affi liated real estate agents are independent

contractor sales associates, not employees. ©2021 Coldwell Banker. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker logos are trademarks of Coldwell

Banker Real Estate LLC. The Coldwell Banker® System is comprised of company owned offi ces which are owned by a subsidiary of Realogy Brokerage Group LLC

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A publication of Essex Media Group

Publisher

Edward M. Grant

Chief Executive Officer

Michael H. Shanahan

Directors

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

Controller

Susan Conti

Editor

Thor Jourgensen

Contributing Editors

Gayla Cawley

Sophie Yarin

Writers

Mike Alongi

Bill Brotherton

Allysha Dunnigan

Alexis Lambros

Tréa Lavery

Sam Minton

Anne Marie Tobin

Photographers

Spenser Hasak

Alena Kuzub

Jakob Menendez

Advertising Sales

Ernie Carpenter

Ralph Mitchell

Patricia Whalen

Design

Edwin Peralta Jr.

INSIDE

6 20 years on

8 Study in hope

12 House Money

14 Hollywood handyman

18 Mr. Kinetic

19 Bowling them over

21 Falling into art

23 Talent topper

27 Woods plan

29 Food trucker

34 Act of faith

39 Eye on the ball

41 Orrall history

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LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER

Pig out on 01940

TED GRANT

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

the story.

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.

COVER

Singer Katrina Gustafson on the lawn of the Lynnfield Meeting House. PHOTO BY Jakob Menendez

02 | 01940


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04 | 01940

WHAT'S UP

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

legislative update.

Where: Four Points Sheraton, 1

Audubon Road, Wakefield.

When: Tuesday, Sept. 14, 7:30-

9:30 a.m.

Calling the Calvary

What: Calvary Christian Church

members-only dinner.

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@

noblenet.org

When: Wednesday, Sept. 22, 3:30-

4:30 p.m.

Sweat it out

What: MarketStreet Sweat offers

"Master O Karate" and "Pure Barre"

workouts.

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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• GRASS ROOTS COMMITTEE TO SUPPORT MARKET STREET

• FRIENDS OF THE SENIOR CENTER

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AWARDS AND PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION:

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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

Capitals.

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.


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08 | 01940

Forward thinking to move forward

A

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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10 | 01940

Worry, excitement and anticipation shaped student Alexis Lambros' outlook on the new school year.

FORWARD, continued from page 8

resume regularly.

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

and educational.

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

HOUSE MONEY

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

(to closing)

LISTING BROKER:

Nikki Martin Group, COMPASS

SELLING BROKER:

Nikki Martin Group, COMPASS

LATEST ASSESSED

VALUE: $1,015,300

PREVIOUS SALE PRICE:

$1,055,000PROPERTY TAXES:

$13,473

YEAR BUILT: 2013

LOT SIZE: 120,169 (2.76 acres)

LIVING AREA: 5,034 sq. ft.

ROOMS: 10

BEDROOMS: 4

BATHROOMS: 5.5

SPECIAL FEATURES:

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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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

make."

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

for filmmakers.

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

Westborough.

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

homeowners.

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

renovation project.

"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

we do."

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services, visit its website: https://www.hollywoodsalvage.com/about.


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18 | 01940

Behold,

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

mechanical engineering.

including carrying a passenger, who is not allowed

to contribute to the sculpture's forward

momentum.

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

the race.

"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

atmosphere.

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

initiatives.

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

games.

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://

www.kings-de.com.

When the pandemic hit, Kings closed

down for about four months, and the owners

FALL 2021 | 19

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20 | 01940

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

later on.

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

do so.

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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

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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

CREATIVE WORKS COURTESY OF BETH AARONSON

Lynnfield Art Guild (LAG) painters and photographers didn't waste time

harvesting their creative vision for fall. Here are some of their creations:

“Nahant Sunset,” Mary Lynch

“Wolf,” Beverly Cook

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22 | 01940

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FALL 2021 | 23

Katrina Gustafson relaxes on the lawn of the

Lynnfield Meeting House.

PHOTOS: JAKOB MENENDEZ

Taking her

talent to

the Top

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

performing.

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

she experiences.

"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

COVID-19.

"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

Woods,

will,

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

communities.

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

(TAP).

“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

and Peabody.

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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28 | 01940

The aggregate area includes various

conservation-owned properties,

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,"

Cademartori said.

“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

goals.”

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

of housing.

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

school-capacity issue.”

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,

Crawford said.


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

schedule.

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

brioche roll.

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

out straight.

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

November.

"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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34 | 01940

Where faith

weathered

a storm

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

home.

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

responsible."

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

the week.

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

congregants' mailboxes.

"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

in Lynnfield.

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

pandemic.

An intricately-woven tapestry at St. Paul's

Episcopal Church.

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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38 | 01940

"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

safety measures.

"When we finally opened, I stood at the

door and cried as people came in," Bacon

said.

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

things progress.

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

help.

"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

honors.

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

staff members.

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

3,000 individuals.

Lynnfield's Abbie Weaver is mentoring other female golfers.

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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

week.”

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

program’s history.

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

helpful.”

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

were doing.

“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

Taylor Swift.

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

Eyes.”

“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?

He laughs.

“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

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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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