John Ronan Gloucester’s Poet Laureate Video Part IV

Final Installment Of The John Ronan Interview

Don’t forget John will be reading from his new book Marrowbone Lane Thursday April 2 at Sawyer Free Library at 7PM.  It’s free and John will be signing his books.

Past Events Photo Slide Show

christeningClick on the seine boat christening photo above for a slideshow of past events in Gloucester. Which ones did you attend? Are there any events that you couldn’t identify? This is just a small sample of what happens in our city. We can all look forward to a busy spring and SUMMER!

Harbor Cove- Fisherman’s Wharf and Captain’s Courageous- Site of New Latitude 43

Much thanks to Frank Ciolino who brought down a bunch of old photos of Gloucester from roughly 1980.

Maybe someone could identify the building that is to the left of Captain’s Courageous in the photo.  I’m guessing it was the old Gloucester Grocery but I’m not sure.  There is an alleyway that provides public access there now.  In the post above this one, the Lat 43 sign is located on the left corner of the Captain Courageous building in this photo.

The Fisherman’s Wharf Building has been replaced after a fire a few years back with a corrugated steel building.

Gloucester At Dawn- Lat 43 and Fisherman’s Wharf 4:50AM 3/30/09

In this photo you see Lat 43 and Fisherman’s Wharf ‘s relatively new corrugated steel building in the background.   A fire in 1998 burned the former building to a total loss.

The Boston Herald, August 18th, 1998

An 80-year-old wharf in Gloucester Harbor was destroyed by a six-alarm fire, leaving more than a dozen fishing families wondering how they’ll survive.

“This is heartbreaking. The more we think about it, the more devastating it is,” said Jack Scola, one of the owners. “We’re glad no one was hurt, but the building is a total loss and now we have to start over.”

That was some fire.  I watched it from the other side at The Gloucester House and it was a nasty one.

Dragger Pamet

Dragger Pamet, originally uploaded by captjoe06.

Looking at the picture you can see the wire cable that goes through the block and is attached to the door.  When the wire is let out the doors go into the ocean on the port and starboard sides of the boat and help to separate the net which is dragged behind the boat.  Hence the term “dragging”  or “trawling”.

West End Sweets Signage

Last week I brought you the info that there was this Ice Cream/Candy Store/Espresso Shop going in the West End where Mike’s Pastry used to be located.  Here is the signage with the offerings.  I’m still trying to track down the people who will be running the joint for in interview.  If anyone has any leads send me a comment.
West End Sweets, originally uploaded by captjoe06.

John Ronan to hold poetry reading April 2

For those of you who didn’t see Joey and John Ronan’s interview segments posted last week, here is information on John’s upcoming book reading. And if you get a chance, see the interviews. Very interesting!

From the Beacon:

Gloucester’s poet laureate, John J. Ronan, will read from his new poetry book, “Marrowbone Lane,” on Thursday April 2 at 7 p.m. Books will be available for purchase and signing. This program is free of charge and open to the public.

John J. Ronan is a poet, playwright and journalist. He is also president of American Storyboard, Inc., a nonprofit charitable corporation that makes documentary videos.

His new book of poetry, “Marrowbone Lane,” appeared in January, published by The Backwaters Press. Poetry has appeared in scores of national magazines and reviews, including New England Review, Three Penny Review, Southern Poetry Review, The Hollins Critic and Notre Dame Review. Other books include “The Catching Self,” “The Curable Corpse,” “John J. Ronan: Greatest Hits 1975-2000.” Work was also included in an anthology of prize-winning poetry, “Sad Little Breathings,” edited by Heather McHugh.

In 1999, Ronan was named a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in Literature. He is also a former Ucross Fellow and Bread Loaf Scholar. In June of 2008 he was named poet laureate of Gloucester.

As a playwright, Ronan premiered “The Yeats Game” at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre in March 2008. The comedy drew full houses and rave reviews. As a journalist, Ronan has appeared in the Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, Dallas Morning News, Chicago Tribune, Saturday Review, and many other newspapers and magazines. He is a former columnist for the Essex County Papers and a former feature writer for The Boston Phoenix.

In 2002 American Storyboard premiered a documentary on the National Historic Landmark schooner Adventure, “Gloucester’s Adventure: An American Story.” The production won Telly and Aurora Gold awards for documentary excellence and was featured on PBS outlets. A new effort, “Women in American Horse Racing,” premiered in the spring of 2007; it was a finalist in the national media competition held annually by the Women’s Sports Foundation and has been featured on PBS outlets in Kentucky.

John Ronan is also the producer and host of “The Writer’s Block with John Ronan,” a television program featuring writers and other artists. The series, a first prize NECTA winner in 2005, will begin its 20th season in the fall of 2009 on Cape Ann Television.

The Sawyer Free library is located at 2 Dale Ave. For more information, call 978-281-9763 or visit

Here are the first three of four video interviews with John Ronan-

Gloucester’s Poet Laureate John Ronan Part I

Gloucester’s Poet Laureate John Ronan Part II

Gloucester’s Poet Laureate John Ronan Part III

Who Killed The Bird -Joe (Stoga) Scola

When listening to the VHF radio on the frequency that the the Gloucester Draggers use, randomly for years and years you would hear people anonymously saying “Who Killed The Bird?”  Finally, Stoga explains the meaning behind those mysterious voices asking that same question over and over after all these years-“Who Killed The Bird?”

Damon Cummings Dad

I knew that Damon Cummings grew up a navy brat.  What I didn’t know was that his dad was killed in action while on board the San Fransisco in 1942 and was awarded the Purple Heart and Navy Cross.

He even had a destroyer named after him,

The Damon M. Cummings

Photo comes from Jerry Church and this page where you can read more about the ship and Damon’s Dad.

That’s a pretty wild looking ship.

Here is more info about the history of the ship