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Manchester’s Bob Fulford was one of the original organizers and coaches of Manchester’s co-ed recreational youth (grades 3, 4, 5, and 6) basketball program.  As recognition of this long tenure of service, Bob was honored and formally recognized for all these years of service when the official name of the program’s end-of-season Championship Tournament became the “Bob Fulford Winter Basketball Tournament.” 

Approximately 60 family and friends attended an interfaith ceremony for veterans from Manchester, Beverly, Ipswich, Lynn and several other communities in this year’s “Four Chaplains Sunday” marking the 77th anniversary of the day the SS Dorchester carrying 902 men sank after being hit by a German U-boat, in which four WWII Army chaplains removed their own lifejackets so others could be saved, choosing to go down with the 672 men who perished that day.

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The first sailor’s valentine I ever saw was on Nantucket.  It was impossibly delicate and sweetly beautiful.  The little plaque below it explained that these wondrous tokens of affection were brought back by sailors during the nineteenth century after months, if not years, at sea.  I imagined lovesick men beach combing in the early morning hours for just the right shells, evenings spent by candlelight carefully sewing these tiny perfections to cotton backing and then carefully constructing the octagonal wooden box in which it was encased and then somehow finding the perfect heart shaped clasp to seal and protect their love on its journey home to someone special.

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Artist Amy Furman will be featured in an exhibit this month at Gladstone in Manchester.  Furman attended Massachusetts College of Art and graduated in 1975 with a B.F.A. in painting. During the summers of her sophomore and junior years, she studied with James Gahagan, a former student of Hans Hoffman, in Vermont. This experience led her to the decision to become a painter.

Last week, five members of the Cape Ann Symphony embarked on a three-day, whirlwind tour of schools on the North Shore – from Rockport to Salem – to introduce young students to classical music and instruments in a fun way that was right in their backyards.

Last week local author Karin Gertsch visited Manchester Memorial Elementary School to do a program based on her recent children’s book “Flora Has An Adventure”, a charming story of Flora, an Ameraucana chicken, who goes on an adventure with Marge, the farmer's wife, while the rest of the flo…

 On Thursday, January 16 a crowd packed in for the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting at the brand-new home for 1623 Studios, which up and moved its headquarters from Blackburn Industrial Park to new state-of-the-art studios right in the downtown action on Pleasant Street. 

It’s a long way from Beverly Farms to Africa, but when experienced travel friends invited me to join them on a trip to Kenya, my instant response was, “Heck yes! Count me in!” It turns out that adventuring across Kenya was far more exciting than I could have possibly imagined. The whole trip made me feel like a teenage girl triumphantly returning from the greatest first date in recorded history. #OMG!

Former Manchester-by-the-Sea resident and busy actor Steve McCoy has checked in and he is off on a national tour again.  This time McCoy will star as "Grampa Joe," touring the country in Ronald Dahls' new musical production of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” the musical adaptation of Dahl’s classic book, which launched January 1 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida.

I saw my first snowy owl in the dunes of Crane Beach just last December. There is something about this bird that commands the respect and fascination of birders and non-birders alike. 

This December marks the third consecutive year that the club has returned to its tradition of decorating local museums for the holidays, including our own Trask House and the Crane Estate in Ipswich. It was a natural progression to combine the clubs’ floral arranging know-how with the Manchester Historical Museum’s desire to create a period-appropriate, immersive holiday experience for townspeople. 

Artists who live on the property have a unique perspective on the museum and are given special access to the collection and inner workings of the institution. Bringing different minds from many cultures and using the museum — what many have called Isabella’s total work of art — as a building block for new thinking and creative engagement is a unique part of the Gardner legacy.

On Sunday a record number of children and their families showed up at the Manchester Fire Station to see Santa Claus off before his ride around Manchester, Beverly Farms and Magnolia.  Many had last-minute requests for the “Big Man” before his return to the North Pole.  Below, from left to r…

Manchester Essex Regional High School music teacher Joe Janack conducted the high school jazz band at the school’s Winter Holiday Concert last week, which featured presentations by fellow music teacher Donna O’Neill’s high school chorus, a cappella group SoundWaves as well as the larger high…

Over at the Scout House on School Street, Troop 3 is finishing up sales of Christmas trees for those who — for some reason — have waited until the last minute. Steve Laspesa sent us this shot of his kiddos, Morgan and Trevor, helping out last week.

The Manchester Garden Club adheres to a “more is more” mentality when it comes to celebrating the holiday season as was evident at this week’s Annual Holiday Workshop held at Chapman’s Greenhouse in Beverly Farms.  Like many gardening groups, the MGC has made their December meeting an opportunity to gather in fellowship while creating one-of-a-kind decorations.