01907 Winter 2023

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Sew good,<br />

sew good<br />

Karlene Ball is part<br />

of the fabric of<br />

Swampscott.<br />

WINTER <strong>2023</strong><br />

VOL. 9 NO. 4

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A publication of Essex Media Group<br />

Publisher<br />

Edward M. Grant<br />

Chief Executive Officer<br />

Michael H. Shanahan<br />

Directors<br />

Edward L. Cahill<br />

John M. Gilberg<br />

Edward M. Grant<br />

Gordon R. Hall<br />

Monica Connell Healey<br />

J. Patrick Norton<br />

Michael H. Shanahan<br />

Controller<br />

Susan Conti<br />

Creative Director<br />

Spenser R. Hasak<br />

Art Director<br />

Samuel R. Deeb<br />

News Editor<br />

Rachel Barber<br />

Copy Editors<br />

Stuart Foster<br />

Nini Mtchedlishvili<br />

Writers<br />

Joey Barrett<br />

James Bartlett<br />

Anthony Cammalleri<br />

Vishakha Deshpande<br />

Charlie McKenna<br />

Benjamin Pierce<br />

Ryan Vermette<br />

Photographer<br />

Emma Fringuelli<br />

Spenser R. Hasak<br />

Paula Muller<br />

Advertising Sales<br />

Ernie Carpenter<br />

Ralph Mitchell<br />

Patricia Whalen<br />

Magazine Design<br />

Matteo Valente<br />

INSIDE<br />

7 Cheerio the duck<br />

17 2,000-pound pumpkin<br />

20 Two-sport gunslinger<br />

23 Halloween on Stetson Ave.<br />

25 Coco Clopton<br />

27 How Nahant got its trees<br />

29 Proud "Sea Hag"<br />

33 Sew Envious<br />


85 Exchange St.,<br />

Lynn, MA 01901<br />

781-593-7700<br />

Subscriptions:<br />

781-214-8237<br />

<strong>01907</strong>themagazine.com<br />

Sew what<br />

The way things work at <strong>01907</strong> – and in all 11 Essex Media Group publications – is the news<br />

editor, Rachel Barber, assigns stories to reporters and they go do their thing. Their stories are<br />

handed over to editors and then on to designers. A few weeks later, their work arrives in your<br />

mailbox.<br />

Oh, if only it were that simple.<br />

Sometimes it’s a mess from the get-go. This edition’s cover story is a good example.<br />

Ryan Vermette is one of our more gifted staff members. He can write, he can edit, he can<br />

manage. And he has opinions about everything.<br />

He certainly had an opinion about one of the stories he was assigned: the one about Karlene<br />

Ball and Sew Envious.<br />

He hated it. Wanted nothing to do with it. Sewing isn’t exactly his thing.<br />

Then he interviewed Karlene – and found out she, too, once hated sewing.<br />

A bond was formed.<br />

Turns out, as a kid, Karlene would be dragged to the fabric store with her mother, and would<br />

jump at the first opportunity to get out of there. Through the years, though, she ended up<br />

developing a passion for it and now runs a business from her Swampscott home, where she churns<br />

out all kinds of merchandise from koozies to quilted key fobs.<br />

She has also been involved with the town’s Made by <strong>01907</strong> Artisan Craft Fair, held every year<br />

in November, helping local crafters promote their work and getting residents to shop locally.<br />

Read Ryan’s story. You’ll be Sew Envious.<br />

Speaking of small artisan businesses . . .<br />

Lifelong Nahant resident Heather Goodwin started Sea Hag Studios, a wood-sculpting<br />

business during the pandemic that has now flourished. Our guy Charlie McKenna details the<br />

success story of Goodwin’s business, which has everything from wooden trees to her most recent<br />

spooky skeleton work for this past Halloween.<br />

Those skeletons weren’t the only spooky happenings in town however. If you’ve taken a stroll<br />

down Stetson Avenue within the past month, it’s likely you have seen nearly every house decked<br />

out for the haunted holiday spirit. For the first time ever, the road was even closed off completely<br />

for Halloween trick-or-treaters to walk door-to-door in the neighborhood safely. Our guy Ben<br />

Pierce caught up with homeowners to talk about the monster mash of decorations lining the street.<br />

The spirit of Halloween seems to grow on Stetson Avenue each year, and so do retired<br />

pharmacist Thomas Keenan’s pumpkins. This year, Keenan grew the largest pumpkin in the state,<br />

earning him a runner-up finish at the Topsfield Fair Giant Pumpkin contest.<br />

The pumpkin weighed in at a total of 2,074 pounds. That’s pretty gourd if you ask me. Anthony<br />

Cammalleri spoke with Swampscott’s pumpking (get it?) about the process of growing the massive<br />

orange objects.<br />

The giant pumpkin and its owner aren’t the only dynamic duo in the area. Cammalleri also<br />

details the story of Steven Thibeault and Cheerio the duckling, who was rescued by Thibeault at<br />

Bass Point. The duck has developed into quite the personality, becoming a police officer for a day,<br />

and even being inducted as a Nahant Historical Society lifetime member. We here at EMG even<br />

named him Person of the Year in 2020.<br />

If that doesn’t quack you up, I don’t know what will.<br />

Staying in Nahant, James Bartlett gives us a history lesson through the eyes of Nahant Public<br />

Library Director Sharon Hawkes, who details how the town got its trees and greenery back after<br />

they were cut down in the 17th century for cattle grazing.<br />

And lastly, on the athletic side of things, Sports Editor Joey Barrett and reporter Vishakha<br />

Desphande feature two local multi-sport athletes making waves in town. Barrett caught up with<br />

Swampscott High’s Jack Spear, who is the starting quarterback on the varsity football team, and a<br />

closer for the baseball team. Not bad for a sophomore.<br />

Meanwhile, 17-year-old Coco Clopton is taking on a trifecta of sports that include field<br />

hockey, lacrosse, and swimming. That is quite the combination, and Vishakha takes us inside<br />

Clopton’s world to see how she manages to excel as a three-sport athlete.<br />

So there you have it. Ducklings, giant pumpkins, and multi-sports athletes. Sew Envious.<br />

COVER Sew Envious owner Karlene Ball trims fabric for her book covers.<br />

STAFF PHOTO BY Spenser R. Hasak

<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | 3

4 | <strong>01907</strong><br />

WHAT'S UP<br />

Drumming Circle<br />

What: Join other community<br />

members in participating in a<br />

Drumming Circle that was initially<br />

formed over 14 years ago and has<br />

recently returned stronger than ever.<br />

The drum circle plays African-based<br />

and freeform rhythms. Drums are<br />

available to borrow, and the circle is<br />

open to all 10 years of age and older.<br />

Where: The Drum Circle meets at<br />

the Sanctuary within the Unitarian<br />

Universalist Church of Greater Lynn<br />

located at 101 Forest Ave. in Swampscott.<br />

When: The circle meets on the third<br />

Sunday of each month. Its next meeting<br />

is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Sunday,<br />

Nov. 19, <strong>2023</strong>.<br />



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Holiday Fair<br />

What: The Annual Nahant Women's<br />

Club Holiday Fair offers attendees a<br />

chance to get into the holiday spirit<br />

and start their shopping early. The<br />

event will feature local vendors,<br />

artists, community groups, an auction,<br />

and a raffle.<br />

Where: The fair will be held at Nahant<br />

Town Hall, located at 334 Nahant Road.<br />

When: The fair will begin at 9 a.m. and<br />

end at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25, <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

Tree Lighting<br />

What: The Annual Nahant Town Tree<br />

Lighting event will allow attendees<br />

to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and<br />

ring in the holidays, and possibly meet<br />

Santa Claus.<br />

Where: The tree lighting will take place<br />

at Nahant Town Hall, located at 334<br />

Nahant Road.<br />

When: The event will take place from 6<br />

to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2, <strong>2023</strong>.

<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | 5<br />

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One Essex Street, Marblehead MA 01945 | 300 Salem Street, Swampscott MA <strong>01907</strong>

6 | <strong>01907</strong><br />

Cheerio the duck was Essex Media Group's "Person" of the Year for the Town of Nahant in 2020.<br />


<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | 7<br />



After Bass Points Apartment Grounds Manager Steven Thibeault lost his 21-year-standing<br />

job, Nahant residents raised more than $3,610 to help Thibeault continue living in town with his<br />

famous feathered friend Cheerio.<br />

In 2017, Thibeault found an American black duckling struggling to escape the pool at Bass Point.<br />

After rescuing the duckling, Thibeault brought it home intending to re-unite it with its mother, but after<br />

a night of handling Cheerio, the duck imprinted on him. He said he found the duck’s mother shortly after,<br />

but Cheerio was uninterested in reuniting.<br />

“I tried for three days (to connect Cheerio with his mother). I found her every single day and I tried to<br />

throw him to her every single day and he was like ‘No, no, no, you're my dude. I'm not going anywhere,’ ”<br />

Thibeault said.<br />

CHEERIO, continued on page 8<br />

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Cheerio the duck, held by<br />

caregiver Steven Thibeault.<br />

CHEERIO, continued from page 7<br />

In a matter of days, the man-duck<br />

duo became inseparable. Thibeault took<br />

Cheerio to work each day, letting the<br />

duck swim in the pool, or on the shores<br />

surrounding the peninsula at Bass Point.<br />

When it was time to leave, Thibeault<br />

would simply whistle, and Cheerio would<br />

fly into his car.<br />

It didn’t take long for Cheerio to waddle<br />

his way into the spotlight. In 2018, the<br />

duck spent a day as a Nahant Police officer<br />

under the care of officer Timothy Furlong,<br />

now the department’s chief. In 2020,<br />

Cheerio became the first-ever non-human<br />

to be in-duck-ted as a Nahant Historical<br />

Society lifetime member. Later that year,<br />

Essex Media Group named Cheerio as its<br />

Nahant Person of the Year.<br />

One day, Thibeault brought Cheerio<br />

to his parents’ house in Malden, and the<br />

duck flew away through an open door.<br />

Thibeault said he spent hours searching<br />

for the Cheerio, but returned to Nahant<br />

heartbroken after having lost his waterfowl<br />

companion.<br />

“I went to Malden a couple times and<br />

went to a bunch of reservoirs. I searched<br />

high and low but I couldn't find him. The<br />

next day I go to work, I'm depressed and<br />

crying,” Thibeault said.<br />

Later that day, Thibeault received a<br />

phone call from a Bass Point tenant<br />

informing him that he saw Cheerio at<br />

Long Beach. When Thibeault arrived and<br />

saw a duck socializing with people on a<br />

crowded beach, he knew instantly that it<br />

was his duck.<br />

“The ranger there asked ‘Is he your<br />

duck?’ and I was like, ‘yeah.’ He said ‘We<br />

just called some biologists because we<br />

wanted to figure out why this duck is so<br />

friendly,’ ” Tibeault said. “Imagine having<br />

a baby that can fly after four months. Your<br />

baby can just take off out of its crib and<br />

go ‘I'm out of here’ and fly. That’s what it’s<br />

like being a duck dad.”<br />

CHEERIO, continued on page 10<br />

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<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | 9

10 | <strong>01907</strong><br />

CHEERIO, continued from page 8<br />

This year, Thibeault was fired from his job at<br />

Bass Point after new owners came in. He said<br />

the rug was pulled out from under him, and<br />

while he said he was concerned for himself and<br />

his wife, his main priority was to keep Cheerio<br />

in Nahant — the only home the duck has ever<br />

known.<br />

“People get fired every day, but not everyone<br />

has a duck… If I just had to worry about myself,<br />

and of course, my wife, that's easy enough.<br />

But I worry about him. What's the next job<br />

going to be? Am I gonna be like, ‘Hey, do you<br />

mind if I bring my famous duck with me a<br />

couple of days a week?’ ” Thibeault said. “For the<br />

last six and a half years, that’s been his place.”<br />

When Thibeault started a GoFundMe account<br />

hoping to raise enough money to pay his<br />

bills and stay in Nahant for Cheerio, the community<br />

came through for him and the duck. 87<br />

donors collectively contributed $3,610 to help<br />

Thibeault get back on his feet.<br />

“This will be a big change for myself and<br />

Cheerio and my first priority is to make sure I<br />

can stay in Nahant for Cheerio while we figure<br />

out what this new chapter of our life will bring.<br />

We need to stay in our apartment, the only<br />

home he knows except for my old work place.<br />

This is very important to me so he has access to<br />

the beautiful beaches and the ocean he loves so<br />

much,” Thibeault wrote in his GoFundMe.<br />

Thibeault said he was grateful for all the support<br />

that’s come his way. Between the GoFund-<br />

Me, and some of his savings from 21 years at<br />

Bass Point, he said he can continue to stay in<br />

Nahant while he searches for work.<br />

In the meantime, Cheerio still enjoys<br />

regular trips to the beach, rides on the front<br />

console of Thibeault’s car, and making new<br />

friends around town.<br />

“Everybody loves him. Especially in Nahant,<br />

there's not many people that don't know about<br />

Cheerio,” Thibeault said. “At a red light, when<br />

you have a duck sitting in between the passenger<br />

seat and the driver's seat and someone<br />

looks over at you, they see a duck just sitting<br />

there. The look on their faces is so priceless<br />

… Every time I leave the house with him, he<br />

starts a conversation. I just love him and I<br />

wouldn’t change a thing.”<br />

“<br />

Everybody loves<br />

him. Especially<br />

in Nahant, there's<br />

not many people<br />

that don't know<br />

about Cheerio.<br />

— Caregiver Steven Thibeault

<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | 11<br />

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12 | <strong>01907</strong><br />



Kirk Therrien of Lynn with a 2014 Corvette.<br />

Scott Marberblattwith of Swampscott a 2022 Huracan EVO model Lamborghini V10.<br />

Ray Capobianco of Wakefield in his 1961 Corvette FI.<br />

Mike Denahy of Swampscott shows pictures of a 1941 Ford<br />

before it was restored by Rick and Jackie Sutes of Hudson, NH. A 1951 Kaiser Henry J owned by Lesley and Tony Gentile of Beverly.

<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | 13<br />

A Mustang owner shows off what's under the hood.<br />

Bruce Male of Swampscott displays his 1964 Bentley model 153<br />

A 1951 Frazer Manhattan 4Door<br />

Hardtop, one of only 152 were<br />

produced, owned by Rich Doucette.<br />

CRUISING, continued on page 14

14 | <strong>01907</strong><br />

CRUISING, continued from page 13<br />

Owners relax and socialize on the lawn during the car show.<br />

Michael Trott of Lynn takes a look at the interior of a 1974<br />

Stingray owned by Joe Moccia of Nahant.<br />

The interior of Ray Capobianco's 1961 Corvette.<br />

The interior of a 2014 Corvette owned by Kirk Therrien of Lynn.

<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | 15

16 | <strong>01907</strong><br />

Tom Keenan, of Swampscott, is dwarfed by the giant pumpkin he's grown<br />

in his backyard, which he estimated to weigh more the 1,800 lbs.<br />


<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | 17<br />

FAIR TO SAY:<br />





Retired pharmacist Thomas Keenan of Swampscott grew the largest pumpkin<br />

in Massachusetts this year, earning him and his more than one-ton gourd<br />

second place at the <strong>2023</strong> Topsfield Fair’s Giant Pumpkin contest.<br />

Only a week before the Fair, Keenan walked through his backyard,<br />

pointing to a roughly 1,900-pound shining orange pumpkin at the<br />

center of a 20-square-foot plant spanning half of the yard. The massive<br />

pumpkin, weighing 2,074 pounds, is Keenan’s largest after 11 consecutive<br />

years of trying to beat the national pumpkin-growing record, set<br />

at 2,560 pounds.<br />

Although the fair’s first-place prize went to Steven Sperry of<br />

Johnston, Rhode Island, Keenan said growing a one-ton pumpkin is<br />

no small feat.<br />

“My personal record was 1,943 pounds, and this year was 2,074<br />

pounds. So yeah, I broke the 2,000-pound barrier, which is sort of<br />

a big deal. If you can grow a one-ton pumpkin, that’s something<br />

good. That's a milestone,” Keenan said.<br />

In preparation for the Topsfield Fair, Keenan spent five months<br />

nurturing the gourd from a seed — first in his basement, then in a<br />

makeshift greenhouse he built in his backyard.<br />

Keenan began growing pumpkins in 2012 from a seed he<br />

PUMPKIN, continued on page 18

18 | <strong>01907</strong><br />

PUMPKIN, continued from page 17<br />

purchased at the Topsfield Fair, which<br />

he used to grow his first 952-pound<br />

gourd. Since then, he has become a<br />

card-carrying member of the New<br />

England Giant Pumpkin Growers<br />

Association and returned to the fair<br />

each year with a fall fixture fruit of his<br />

own to enter into the giant pumpkin<br />

weigh-in contest.<br />

“This used to be all grass,” Keenan<br />

said, pointing to the pumpkin plant.<br />

“We had a little garden over in this<br />

area, and one year, my son said, ‘Dad,<br />

let’s plant a pumpkin.’ So we planted a<br />

pumpkin using a seed that I got from<br />

one of these guys at the Topsfield Fair<br />

and took over the whole year. All the<br />

other stuff that I planted — tomatoes<br />

and all the standard stuff — it all had<br />

to be pulled out to make room for this<br />

giant pumpkin.”<br />

The fair’s record for heaviest<br />

pumpkin was set by Jamie Graham of<br />

Tyngsborough, whose 2022 pumpkin<br />

topped the scale at 2,480 pounds —<br />

only 80 pounds lighter than the national<br />

record of 2,560 pounds. Keenan<br />

said he will not take a break from his<br />

pumpkin growing until he hits the<br />

state record.<br />

“Just like a runner has a time that<br />

he would call his personal best, crazy<br />

pumpkin growers have the same<br />

personal best. The record in Massachusetts<br />

now is about 2,500 pounds<br />

— that’s the goal,” Keenan said.<br />

In 2017, Keenan donated his<br />

1,284-pound pumpkin to the Police<br />

Department. He said after this year’s<br />

fair, he plans to either donate his<br />

pumpkin to the town or give or sell it<br />

to an interested business.<br />

When asked if he has a secret trick<br />

for successfully growing massive<br />

gourds each year, Keenan responded<br />

that it’s key to balance the plant’s<br />

water and nutrient intakes.<br />

“The thing that a lot of pumpkin<br />

growers do is overwater and over-fertilize,”<br />

Keenan said. “Less is more.<br />

Too much water will destroy a plant.<br />

Leave it alone.”<br />

Tom Keenan takes a moment to admire the giant pumpkin that he's grown in his backyard.<br />

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<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | 19<br />

Tom Keenan rests his hand on the giant pumpkin he's grown.<br />

Keenan makes his way out of the<br />

sea of vines that lead to his giant pumpkin.<br />

Tom Keenan unveils the giant vine system that leads to the<br />

giant pumpkin he is growing for the Topsfield Fair in his backyard.

20 | <strong>01907</strong><br />

A<br />



Quarterback Jack Spear<br />

tosses the ball to the offical<br />

after a big play.<br />





Whether it be the office, the dance floor, or<br />

anywhere, some people just like being behind the<br />

scenes.<br />

But not 15-year-old Jack Spear, Swampscott’s<br />

starting quarterback and closer on the baseball team.<br />

“I’ve been playing sports for so long that I’m used<br />

to such high-pressure situations,” he said. “I just go

<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | 21<br />

out there and play.”<br />

The sophomore righthander<br />

is being modest. He<br />

doesn’t just play. He excels.<br />

“He’s working really, really<br />

hard, and he’s a student of<br />

the game,” said Swampscott<br />

football coach and Hall<br />

of Famer Peter Bush. “He<br />

understands coverages, he<br />

understands leverage, and<br />

he’s a smart kid.”<br />

Among other opponents,<br />

Spear has sliced both Saugus<br />

(14-for-22, 214 yards, 3 TDs)<br />

and Northeast Metro (144<br />

yards, 2 TDs) this fall.<br />

“Those were both very fun<br />

games,” he said.<br />

As for his other job – the<br />

one played on the diamond<br />

– Spear can still break down<br />

his 9-4 win against Danvers<br />

(6 2/3 innings, 7 Ks) from<br />

earlier this spring.<br />

“He pitched for the varsity<br />

baseball team last year,” Bush<br />

said. “He was given the ball<br />

at 14-15 years old on the<br />

mound.”<br />

Rising above the moment<br />

didn’t come overnight for<br />

Jack Spear hands the ball over to Sam Nadworny.<br />

Spear, who admitted that<br />

jogging onto Blocksidge<br />

Field “was scary at first.”<br />

“I would say, last year,<br />

it got to me a lot as a<br />

freshman,” he said. “But,<br />

I think I’ve changed and<br />

handled it pretty well.”<br />

Now, he embraces the<br />

scenery.<br />

“I have a lot of pride, just<br />

putting on the jersey and<br />

heading out there. You’re<br />

really the head of the team,”<br />

Spear said. “The student<br />

section is very good and a<br />

great tradition for home<br />

games. Football has been in<br />

Swampscott for so long. It<br />

feels good to have everyone<br />

behind my back.”<br />

His goals are to win<br />

state championships in<br />

both sports, and – speaking<br />

like a proud member of<br />

the Big Blue – to take<br />

down Marblehead in a<br />

Thanksgiving game.<br />

“Last year, when I<br />

scored a touchdown<br />

against Marblehead in the<br />

Thanksgiving game, that was<br />

one of my favorite moments,”<br />

Spear said.<br />

As for how he’ll<br />

accomplish those goals, Spear<br />

believes each sport helps the<br />

other.<br />

“It’s a two-way street.<br />

When you throw a football,<br />

you throw it like a changeup,”<br />

he said.<br />

When asked who his<br />

favorite receivers are, he<br />

settled with, “Really, anyone.<br />

Anyone who can catch the<br />

ball.” Oh, and superstitions<br />

aren’t his thing.<br />

“No,” Spear said. “None<br />

at all.”<br />

Superstitions or not, it<br />

looks like Swampscott High<br />

has found its gunslinger.<br />

“He’s a sophomore and has<br />

been thrown into the fire,”<br />

Bush said. “He’s been great.”<br />

Quarterback Jack Spear patiently waits at Blocksidge Field while the defensive unit wraps up.

22 | <strong>01907</strong><br />

A giant zombie growls at passersby on Stetson Avenue.<br />

A witch stands watch over the<br />

spooky display at 84 Stetson Ave.<br />

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<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | 23<br />

A demon child possesses the yard of 88 Stetson Ave.<br />


Step into<br />

halloween<br />

on stetson ave<br />

By Benjamin Pierce<br />


Every October, homeowners around the country transform their lawns into spooky scenes of ghosts and ghouls. In<br />

Swampscott, residents need to look no further than Stetson Avenue for the “mecca” of haunted houses. This Halloween,<br />

the street will be closed off for the first time ever so the young trick-or-treaters can safely have fright-filled fun.<br />

Bill Roche of 84 Stetson Ave. credits his wife, Nancy, for starting the neighborhood trend.<br />

“She thinks Halloween should be a national holiday,” Roche said.<br />

Roche has been decorating his lawn for more than a decade. The paranormal presence has never been higher in <strong>2023</strong>, as<br />

Roche says the decorations have never been more elaborate.<br />

“Personally, I don’t think we can fit anymore, but this is how it is,” Roche said.<br />

When there was no longer enough space on the lawn for more creepy characters, Roche had to innovate. A 25-pound<br />

STETSON, continued on page 24

24 | <strong>01907</strong><br />

A demon appears in the<br />

darkness at 88 Stetson Ave.<br />

STETSON, continued<br />

from page 25<br />

skeleton sits above the portico,<br />

looking down on potential visitors.<br />

Roche explained that he expects<br />

the number of visitors to be very<br />

high on Oct. 31.<br />

“If it’s a weekday, we probably<br />

get 300 kids,” Roche explained.<br />

“If it’s a weekend, we probably get<br />

upwards of 500 kids. This is Grand<br />

Central for Halloween.”<br />

Nate and Tracy Novello followed<br />

their next-door neighbors with<br />

their creepy collection of creatures.<br />

Their decor is highlighted by a<br />

life-size animatronic bat creature<br />

whose glowing red eyes peer into<br />

trespassers.<br />

“It’s not a competition. We just<br />

all want to decorate and put up<br />

lights,” Roche said. “We help each<br />

other out too… It's a group effort,<br />

and it’s really fun.”<br />

The McCall family of 177<br />

Stetson Ave. keeps the theme going<br />

on the far end of the street. Jesse<br />

McCall explained that he, his wife<br />

Aileen, and their four-year-old<br />

daughter Piper have been part<br />

of “Halloweeny” neighborhoods<br />

before in Somerville and<br />

Watertown. He has grown to love<br />

partaking in the festivities over the<br />

years.<br />

“It’s just really fun, people who<br />

drive by slow down, and the car<br />

windows roll down, and there are<br />

kids in the backseat cheering you<br />

on,” Jesse McCall said. “Everybody<br />

loves it, and it’s fun to do too.”<br />

The McCall’s spooky showcase<br />

features homemade “ghosts.” They<br />

are designed to look like two<br />

ballroom-dancing couples in oldfashioned<br />

clothing. They are made<br />

fully out of chicken wire.<br />

“You just kind of stitch it all<br />

together and shape it,” Jesse<br />

McCall said. “It took about an hour<br />

for each person.”<br />

Like most decorations, the<br />

homemade ghosts are the most eyecatching<br />

when they’re illuminated<br />

at night. A giant skeleton is not<br />

exclusive to the Roche household,<br />

as Piper McCall has named her<br />

twelve-foot friend “Sally.”<br />

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<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | 25<br />



ON AND OFF<br />


By Vishakha Deshpande<br />


In the world of high school athletics, there are<br />

standout athletes, and then there's Swampscott<br />

High School’s 17-year-old Coco Clopton. A true<br />

triple-threat athlete, Clopton has excelled in field<br />

hockey, lacrosse, and swimming since her early years.<br />

Clopton’s love affair with lacrosse began in the<br />

first grade, and since then, she's never looked back.<br />

CLOPTON, continued on page 26<br />

On and off the field, Coco Clopton puts in her all.<br />


26 | <strong>01907</strong><br />

CLOPTON, continued from page 25<br />

She's equally comfortable in midfield,<br />

attack, or defense. Her prowess on the<br />

draw, a critical aspect of lacrosse, is<br />

a skill she has honed over the years.<br />

Clopton attributes much of her lacrosse<br />

knowledge and skills to her older sister,<br />

who has been a guiding force in her<br />

life.<br />

Her strong background in swimming<br />

and lacrosse laid the foundation for her<br />

athletic journey. Her family's influence,<br />

particularly her dad's love for lacrosse,<br />

made her path clear from a young<br />

age. She swam from the age of six,<br />

nurturing her technique and stamina.<br />

“I think a big part of playing lacrosse<br />

was my family,” Clopton said. “I was<br />

born in Maryland, where lacrosse is<br />

huge. My dad grew up playing it too.”<br />

Clopton isn't just an ace athlete. In<br />

the classroom, she is just as impressive<br />

- a hardworking student balancing<br />

academic responsibilities and sports<br />

commitments. She said that the secret<br />

to her success lies in her disciplined<br />

routine, which mirrors her sports<br />

regimen. After school, she dedicates<br />

herself to rigorous practice sessions and<br />

games, often followed by early morning<br />

training. This routine, she believes,<br />

not only keeps her physically fit but<br />

sharpens her focus academically.<br />

“For me, the balance comes kind of<br />

naturally,” Clopton said. “Sports has<br />

helped me a lot with my academic<br />

organization and having a set routine.<br />

I make it a priority to create time for<br />

my personal life as well. Being active<br />

and having that time in my day helps<br />

me focus.”<br />

What truly makes Clopton<br />

a remarkable student-athlete is<br />

her strong sense of community<br />

involvement. Being deeply engaged<br />

in the school community has always<br />

been a priority for her. Her teachers<br />

are also her coaches, and she finds her<br />

teammates in every nook and cranny of<br />

the school. This passion for community<br />

has driven her to be part of the student<br />

council for four years, and she currently<br />

serves as the president of the Anti-<br />

Defamation League club. Her fellow<br />

officers are some of her best friends<br />

who, like her, are multi-sport female<br />

athletes.<br />

Clopton’s leadership qualities shine<br />

brightly as she captains her teams in<br />

all three sports during her senior year.<br />

Her positive attitude and ability to stay<br />

resilient even after a team loss set her<br />

apart. She believes that her mistakes<br />

only fuel her determination to improve.<br />

“Leadership means not getting<br />

frustrated and always trying your level<br />

best,” Clopton said. “When I make<br />

mistakes, usually my way of dealing<br />

with it is just doubling down and<br />

trying five times harder (so) that it<br />

should never happen again.”<br />

Support plays a vital role in<br />

Clopton’s journey, and her parents have<br />

been her pillars of strength, guiding<br />

her through the college lacrosse<br />

recruitment process. She secured a spot<br />

on the UMass Lowell lacrosse team<br />

earlier this year.<br />

Outside of sports, Clopton enjoys<br />

spending time with her friends, many<br />

of whom are fellow athletes, whether<br />

it’s watching movies, going to the<br />

beach, or hitting the golf course.<br />

Coco Clopton takes part in a practice relay<br />

race, carefully bouncing a ball off her stick.<br />

During the final practice<br />

of the season, Coco Clopton<br />

runs the ball down the field.<br />

Coco Clopton is all smiles as she runs down<br />

the field during field hockey practice.

<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | 27<br />

By James Bartlett<br />


Before Nahant became a<br />

quaint beach town with treelined<br />

streets and greenery, it<br />

was desolate and treeless, akin<br />

to Easter Island.<br />

“The reason they needed<br />

trees was because, in colonial<br />

times, they cut them all<br />

down,” Nahant Public Library<br />

Director Sharon Hawkes said.<br />

The town was originally<br />

settled as part of Lynn before<br />

it was incorporated separately<br />

in 1858.<br />

According to Hawkes, who<br />

has done extensive research on<br />

the history of Nahant, before<br />

the town featured beautiful<br />

homes and beachgoers, it was<br />

TREES, continued on page 28<br />

The portrait of William Wood from circa 1850.<br />




28 | <strong>01907</strong><br />

Lynn was using Nahant as the town<br />

commons to put their flocks. It made<br />

it very easy to keep them safe from<br />

wolves. Now we worry about coyotes.<br />

In those days, it was wolves.<br />

— Nahant Public Library Director Sharon Hawkes<br />

TREES, continued from page 27<br />

used for something very different:<br />

cattle grazing.<br />

“You could only get onto the island<br />

of Nahant at low-tide by sandbar,”<br />

Hawkes said.<br />

Because of Nahant’s remote location<br />

and limited access, the land was<br />

perfect for protecting livestock.<br />

“Lynn was using Nahant as the town<br />

commons to put their flocks. It made<br />

it very easy to keep them safe from<br />

wolves,” Hawkes said. “Now we worry<br />

about coyotes. In those days, it was<br />

wolves.”<br />

To make the island suitable for<br />

grazing, the island's trees were all<br />

chopped down in the 1650s, and the<br />

livestock mainly inhabited the land in<br />

the century that followed.<br />

By 1800, the island came to be<br />

inhabited by three families: the Hoods,<br />

the Breeds, and the Johnsons.<br />

These families began to welcome<br />

people to the island for rest and<br />

leisure, usually having visitors stay at<br />

their homes or Nahant's first hotel,<br />

Bass Point.<br />

Among the visitors to Nahant was<br />

Boston merchant William Wood,<br />

who enjoyed the island except for one<br />

factor.<br />

“People are starting to come and<br />

say, ‘It’s really beautiful … except the<br />

sun is beating down and the wind is<br />

whipping,’” Hawkes said.<br />

Wood, who Hawkes described as an<br />

out-of-the-box thinker, hatched a plan<br />

to bring trees back to the island.<br />

According to Hawkes, in 1819,<br />

Wood collected books that would<br />

be made available for town use and<br />

held in a stone schoolhouse near the<br />

library’s current location on Pleasant<br />

Street.<br />

“He hit up all his friends, and just<br />

about anybody else he could think of,<br />

to donate books,” Hawkes said.<br />

"The first complete map" of Nahant featured individual tree plantings.

<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | 29<br />



sea hag<br />

— AND PROUD OF IT!<br />

By Charlie McKenna<br />


The lifelong resident of Nahant has spent most of her<br />

career in art, working first as a silversmith before launching<br />

“Sea Hag Studios” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sea<br />

Hag Studios is an embrace of Goodwin’s upbringing in<br />

town, where her dad worked as a fisherman, and the art<br />

Goodwin now creates prominently features reclaimed wood,<br />

lobster traps, ropes, and anything else she finds herself<br />

drawn to.<br />

“I've made this connection with people when it comes to<br />

the sea and the materials I use,” Goodwin explained while<br />

standing in her studio, surrounded by massive piles of ropes.<br />

Sea Hag Studios started when Goodwin lost her studio<br />

SEA HAG, continued on page 30<br />

Heather Goodwin shows off a sea spirit<br />

that she created out of reclaimed wood.<br />

Heather Goodwin is a Nahant-based artist who specializes in<br />

creating pieces out of reclaimed materials.<br />


30 | <strong>01907</strong><br />

Nahant artist Heather Goodwin<br />

creates a wooden seagull.<br />

SEA HAG, continued from page 29<br />

space during the pandemic and<br />

found herself searching for a way to<br />

continue creating art. The first pieces<br />

she made were small trees crafted out<br />

of driftwood. With the silversmithing<br />

business shuttered, Goodwin started<br />

to sell the trees — and from there, she<br />

never looked back.<br />

Now, Goodwin crafts all sorts of<br />

things from the studio adjacent to her<br />

home. Wooden sculptures of a “silly<br />

seagull,” a cardinal, and, just in time<br />

for Halloween, skeletons line a wall of<br />

her studio with others in various states<br />

of completion, littered about several<br />

workstations.<br />

“It's very simple things that are<br />

sentimental to a lot of people. I don't<br />

think there's anything better than a big<br />

red heart,” Goodwin said. “Just silly,<br />

happy, fun, sentimental things.”<br />

“I do try to connect with people<br />

because these are the things that I love<br />

too,” she added. “I’ve just been lucky<br />

that way. I kind of just keep it simple. I<br />

don't get too fancy with my work.”<br />

When Goodwin started selling her<br />

art, which she does primarily through<br />

Etsy and other social media sites, she<br />

found that just like her, many other<br />

residents of the North Shore had an<br />

attachment to the sea. In fact, much<br />

of the materials Goodwin uses in<br />

her art are things she finds by simply<br />

walking around the beach — whether<br />

it be buoys, driftwood, lobster traps, or<br />

anything else she is drawn to.<br />

The process is fairly straightforward,<br />

Goodwin says. When she finds<br />

something she wants to use, Goodwin<br />

tends to work pretty quickly once<br />

struck with an idea. When this reporter<br />

dropped by her studio she was crafting<br />

a palette into a sculpture of the town<br />

wharf and joked she had begun working<br />

on it at an hour that her neighbors may<br />

not have been a fan of.<br />

For Goodwin, making “weirder<br />

things” is just as fulfilling as making<br />

something she knows will sell. While<br />

she says the driftwood trees are her<br />

most popular item, she has a particular<br />

fondness for the skeletons as a lover<br />

of Halloween, with her birthday right<br />

before the spooky holiday.<br />

“I tend to start thinking about<br />

Halloween probably way too early, like<br />

summertime,” Goodwin says. “The<br />

skeletons kind of came out of nowhere,<br />

and they became popular.”<br />

Goodwin explains that she tries<br />

to keep her art accessible, and using<br />

recycled materials allows her to<br />

keep the pieces she creates relatively<br />

affordable. (For example, nothing in<br />

Goodwin’s Etsy store is listed for more<br />

than $100).<br />

“Anybody can have something special<br />

that can last a lifetime,” she says.<br />


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<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | 31<br />

Examples of Heather Goodwin's handmade artwork.<br />

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32 | <strong>01907</strong><br />

Sew Envious owner Karlene Ball creates coffee koozies on her sewing machine.<br />


<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | 33<br />

S EWAs envious<br />

a<br />

A Christmas tree<br />

made from discarded<br />

fabric created by<br />

Sew Envious owner<br />

Karlene Ball.<br />



kid, Karlene Ball was constantly<br />

being dragged to the fabric store by her mom. On the<br />

weekend’s, they would hop over to Joan’s in Saugus to<br />

pick up materials for sewing, with Ball often sighing<br />

and rolling her eyes, trying to get out of the store as<br />

fast as possible.<br />

There are many “grown up” things that young<br />

kids find uninteresting, or “lame,” and sewing was<br />

definitely one of those for Ball. Despite that, being<br />

around it all the time, she learned how to sew pillows,<br />

clothes, and gifts for friends and family.<br />

And as she got older, she stuck with it. She<br />

continued to improve. She made more crafts. And<br />

then got to a point where she was fully enjoying it,<br />

which led to the creation of her own sewing business<br />

12 years ago that she runs from the comfort of her<br />

own home.<br />

Ball is now following in the footsteps of her<br />

mother, who passed away a few years ago. She often<br />

SEW, continued on page 34

34 | <strong>01907</strong><br />

SEW, continued from page 33<br />

thinks about her and everything<br />

she taught Ball when putting<br />

together her crafts.<br />

“If she could see that I’m doing<br />

these fairs and I’m teaching a<br />

class, she would be just so proud,”<br />

Ball said.<br />

She also joked that she is<br />

“pretty much turning into her.”<br />

Ball labeled her operation<br />

Sew Envious, where she makes<br />

everything from makeup bags, to<br />

quilted key fobs, and even Baby<br />

Gifts. Sewing for her started out<br />

as a simple hobby, crafting gifts<br />

to give away to friends and family.<br />

Interest started to rapidly grow in<br />

her work and she began attending<br />

craft fairs in schools and churches<br />

in town.<br />

“I kind of started really getting<br />

into it and learning how to make<br />

bigger and better things,” Ball<br />

said.<br />

Though she works out of her<br />

home, her work is now featured<br />

in two shops: Coastal Creations<br />

in Swampscott, and The Perfectly<br />

Imperfect Gift Shop located in<br />

Topsfield. This year, Ball will be<br />

a coordinator for Swampscott’s<br />

fifth annual Hand Made by<br />

<strong>01907</strong> Artisan Craft Fair, which<br />

will feature 19 different vendors<br />

at the ReachArts building on<br />

Nov. 11.<br />

Ball has participated as a<br />

vendor in the craft fair since its<br />

first year and has helped organize<br />

the event for the last four.<br />

As an artisan herself, Ball<br />

has enjoyed the opportunity<br />

of getting together with other<br />

vendors to help push the shop<br />

local movement.<br />

“The events really show that<br />

there’s a lot of artisans and<br />

creative people in the town of<br />

Swampscott,” she said. “I think<br />

it’s really cool to be able to say all<br />

of the vendors in this event are<br />

your neighbors.”

A coffee cup koozie created by Sew Envious owner Karlene Ball.<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | 35<br />

A hand-sewn bag created by Karlene Ball, owner of Sew Envious.<br />

A custom-embroidered <strong>01907</strong> bag by Sew Envious.

36 | <strong>01907</strong><br />

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<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | 37<br />

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38 | <strong>01907</strong><br />

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