Gloucester

Deadly work

Man at the Wheel ,  Fisherman's Memorial Cenotaph, in Gloucester.

Man at the Wheel, Fisherman's Memorial Cenotaph, in Gloucester.

“There are houses in Gloucester where groves have been worn into the floorboards by women pacing past an upstairs window, looking out to sea….If fishermen lived hard, it was no doubt because they died hard as well.’’

— Sebastian Junger, in The Perfect Storm (1997)

“Gloucester Harbor”” (circa 1877), by Richard Morris Hunt

“Gloucester Harbor”” (circa 1877), by Richard Morris Hunt




'Come home to Gloucester town'

The “Dogtown’’ part of the Gloucester Moors, about 2008.

The “Dogtown’’ part of the Gloucester Moors, about 2008.

“Gloucester Harbor’ (1873) (oil on canvas), by Winslow Homer.

“Gloucester Harbor’ (1873) (oil on canvas), by Winslow Homer.

“Man at the Wheel,’’ Fisherman's Memorial Cenotaph, in Gloucester.

“Man at the Wheel,’’ Fisherman's Memorial Cenotaph, in Gloucester.

“A mile behind is Gloucester town
    Where the fishing fleets put in,
    A mile ahead the land dips down
    And the woods and farms begin.
    Here, where the moors stretch free
    In the high blue afternoon,
    Are the marching sun and talking sea,
    And the racing winds that wheel and flee
    On the flying heels of June.

    Jill-o'er-the-ground is purple blue,
    Blue is the quaker-maid,
    The wild geranium holds its dew
    Long in the boulder's shade.
    Wax-red hangs the cup
    From the huckleberry boughs,
    In barberry bells the grey moths sup,
    Or where the choke-cherry lifts high up
    Sweet bowls for their carouse.

    Over the shelf of the sandy cove
    Beach-peas blossom late.
    By copse and cliff the swallows rove
    Each calling to his mate.
    Seaward the sea-gulls go,
    And the land-birds all are here;
    That green-gold flash was a vireo,
    And yonder flame where the marsh-flags grow
    Was a scarlet tanager.

    This earth is not the steadfast place
    We landsmen build upon;
    From deep to deep she varies pace,
    And while she comes is gone.
    Beneath my feet I feel
    Her smooth bulk heave and dip;
    With velvet plunge and soft upreel
    She swings and steadies to her keel
    Like a gallant, gallant ship.

    These summer clouds she sets for sail,
    The sun is her masthead light,
    She tows the moon like a pinnace frail
    Where her phosphor wake churns bright.
    Now hid, now looming clear,
    On the face of the dangerous blue
    The star fleets tack and wheel and veer,
    But on, but on does the old earth steer
    As if her port she knew.

    God, dear God! Does she know her port,
    Though she goes so far about?
    Or blind astray, does she make her sport
    To brazen and chance it out?
    I watched when her captains passed:
    She were better captainless.
    Men in the cabin, before the mast,
    But some were reckless and some aghast,
    And some sat gorged at mess.

    By her battened hatch I leaned and caught
    Sounds from the noisome hold,--
    Cursing and sighing of souls distraught
    And cries too sad to be told.
    Then I strove to go down and see;
    But they said, "Thou art not of us!"
    I turned to those on the deck with me
    And cried, "Give help!" But they said, "Let be:
    Our ship sails faster thus."

    Jill-o'er-the-ground is purple blue,
    Blue is the quaker-maid,
    The alder-clump where the brook comes through
    Breeds cresses in its shade.
    To be out of the moiling street
    With its swelter and its sin!
    Who has given to me this sweet,
    And given my brother dust to eat?
    And when will his wage come in?

    Scattering wide or blown in ranks,
    Yellow and white and brown,
    Boats and boats from the fishing banks
    Come home to Gloucester town.
    There is cash to purse and spend,
    There are wives to be embraced,
    Hearts to borrow and hearts to lend,
    And hearts to take and keep to the end,--
    O little sails, make haste!

    But thou, vast outbound ship of souls,
    What harbor town for thee?
    What shapes, when thy arriving tolls,
    Shall crowd the banks to see?
    Shall all the happy shipmates then
    Stand singing brotherly?
    Or shall a haggard ruthless few
    Warp her over and bring her to,
    While the many broken souls of men
    Fester down in the slaver's pen,
    And nothing to say or do?’’

— “Gloucester Moors,’’ by William Vaughn Moody (1869-1910)

'Thousand shifting nuances'

View of Gloucester Harbor, circa 1915.

View of Gloucester Harbor, circa 1915.

"Not infrequently this almost landlocked bowl of the heavenliest light you ever experienced, in its thousand shifting nuances from day to night and night to day,  scowl to smile, season to season, has been compared to the Bay of Naples alone. And many the traveler has rounded the world, only to return, gaze about him, breathe a deep sigh, and announce as if he had the tablets in hand at last that there was nowhere, anywhere, for that interplay of land and sea and sky and inhabitants to surpass the old, old fishing port of Gloucester, on the North Shore of Massachusetts Bay.''

 

-- From The North Shore, by Joseph E. Garland

Gloucester urged to promote underused fish to boost its economy

From ecoRI news

 

GLOUCESTER, Mass.

Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator Curt Spalding visited the city June 15 to applaud the commencement of a workshop to help the North Shore community promote the use of underused fish species as a way to support the local economy, address food insecurity and help revitalize downtown.

The workshop is being conducted as part of the White House Rural Council’s effort to promote “Local Foods, Local Places” — a federal initiative that helps communities increase economic opportunities for local food producers and related businesses and improves access to healthy local food.

Gloucester is one of 27 communities in 22 states that has been selected to participate in the program, and is the only New England municipality selected. More than 300 applicants were received.

“By working together to bring healthy local food to market, we can ensure we are making the right decisions for our environment, for public health and for our economy,” Spalding said.

The workshop started with a public meeting at the Gloucester House Restaurant on June 15, and continued June 16 with a planning session at City Hall. Gloucester will next receive a “Next Steps” report that describes options for actions the city and its partners can take to support a healthier and stronger Gloucester through local food and community planning strategies.

Quilting up a storm in Gloucester

From an exhibition of quilts by members of the Rose Baker Senior Center in Gloucester, Mass., at the Cape Ann Museum there.

Above, left to right: "Portuguese Hill." Quilt, mixed media. Linen backing made possible through grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Gift of the Art Program at Gloucester's Rose Baker Senior Center, 2015. [Acc. #2015.033.09]; "West Gloucester." Quilt, mixed media. Linen backing made possible through grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Gift of the Art Program at Gloucester's Rose Baker Senior Center, 2015. [Acc. #2015.033.08]; "Magnolia." Quilt, mixed media. Linen backing made possible through grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Gift of the Art Program at Gloucester's Rose Baker Senior Center, 2015. [Acc. #2015.033.03]

Outside in

corn From the show "Bringing the Outside In,'' by JULY WHITE and KYLE NILAN, at the White-Ellery House, in Gloucester, Mass., July 5, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Through a collection of audio and visual art, White and Nilan investigate “the outside” and their relationship to it as visitors, inhabitants and collectors.