Situated in the epicenter of The Great Marsh, Ipswich is ground zero for the annual invasion of Town’s Official Pest, Tabanus nigrovittatus, better known as the Greenhead Fly. In my opinion, which I am happy to share with you, the Latin name for this scourge lends it far more dignity than it deserves.
I am a retired police chief living in Massachusetts who enjoys police fiction writing, humor, social commentary and waking up each morning. My stuff has appeared in Mystery Readers Journal, "Busted - Stories From the Beat 2017" and Best New England Crime Stories 2015 - Rouge Wave" both published from Level Best Books. "Felons, Flames and Ambulance Rides" (Oak Tree Press) and "True Blue" (St. Martins Press) I try to see the lighter side of things, unless of course I'm writing about life and death. Raised to be unfailingly polite, I never disrespect others unless provoked, and then only if I'm dead sure I'm at least half right. Obviously, I spend a lot of time eating crow. I've found it a tasty dish.
The tittle refers to the bygone memory that many of us have of entering the work world as young kids, fourteen and fifteen years old. Then as now, children under the age of fourteen were prohibited under child labor laws from working any job except as news carriers, […]
“We’re Here For a Good Time, Not For a Long Time.” Remembering the Celebrated Life of Ipswich Police Officer Ed Walsh.
Retired Ipswich Police Officer Edward Walsh, who died recently, worked for the Town nearly fifty years, beginning in 1969 as a rookie patrolman.
Nearly one year ago, retired Ipswich Police Officer Charlie Schwartz died in his adopted state of Florida at the age of seventy-four. His passing represented a great loss not only to his family and community, but also to the Ipswich Police fraternity who worked with him for so […]
It’s popular to recall – albeit with questionable accuracy, the Christmases of our childhood. Poets, songwriters and silly memoirists love to wax nostalgic of a time and place where the winters were colder, the snows deeper, and the pace of life more manageable. Yet, for those of us […]
Oh, nostalgia, that sentimental longing for things past, whether it be moments, people or places. Like many of you marching into the golden years, your arthritic affiant occasionally finds himself knee-deep in this spongy, emotional swampland. For me, experiences gained as a humble public servant steering a bulky […]
As the title suggests, keeping my bearings, following directions and distinguishing right from left pose increasing challenges as I enter the dark side of mid-life (Or is it the lighter side of old age?) I know that many of you find yourselves in the same bucket of sorrow, […]
by Gavin Keenan: Town Meeting time can often raise the blood pressure. When paired with the daily MOABs of POTUS 45, a defibrillator may be indicated. But here I want to speak of local affairs; to wit, small town politics and the history of governing in Ipswich as […]
By Gavin Keenan Retired Ipswich Police Officer and local legend Charles Benjamin Schwartz passed away on January 19, 2017. Charlie had struggled with cancer this last year and as he would say, “Gave it as good as I got.” Although I am relieved for him that his suffering […]
We are fortunate to be living through interesting times. Life seems to have an intense urgency to it now, an edgy feeling of uncertainty and doubt. Having undergone a year of blistering, enervating and sometimes tragically comical presidential political campaigning, we emerged in November with an unexpected result. […]
My wife and I were reminiscing of Independence Days long past, when our children were little, some of our parents still alive and our families mostly living nearby. Backyard cook-outs scheduled around shifts at Beverly Hospital or the I.P.D., Betty Dorman’s Recreation Department Fourth of July Children’s Parade […]
The spring of 2006 brought a paucity of rain that resulted in very dry conditions throughout Eastern New England. I remember noting the dryness of the landscape while patrolling through April into early May. Places normally exhibiting pools of standing water; the low ground west of Route One, […]
This past Thursday, over 16.9 million of us tuned into the fair and balanced Fox News Channel to watch the final four Republican candidates debate the serious issues which face America today. We were joined by a lively and animated in-theater audience who enhanced the viewing experience with […]
by Gavin Keenan… Well, the results of the South Carolina Democratic Primary are in…yawn…… and it appears that Hillary’s firewall held fast against The Bern of Democratic Socialism. Those good folks in the Palmetto State just don’t give two hoots about a free college education I guess, and […]
Don’t you just love the American political process? Especially in the times through which we now pass, so fraught with fear and uncertainty. If you were to take it all too seriously, you would certainly be justified in believing that we live in the time of the great […]
Hello, sports fans. What could be a better way to stave off today’s blustery winds, frigid temperatures and icy walkways than by watching a red-blooded, All American Football Classic? Why, doing so as you enjoy a steaming bowl of genuine Guinness Beef Stew. This hearty and nutritious meal […]
No matter where you turn today, talk of the Powerball lottery seems to dominate the news. The telly and internet are replete with stories of long lines at lottery machines, quick-pick craziness, and the ever-increasing payout. And with a projected jackpot of over $800 million and rising, why […]
Up for a walk tonight? How about joining me on a late-night beat shift in the early 1980’s? When you’re from a place and stay put, you pay attention to things. It’s the stuff of life that let’s you know where you belong.
By Gavin Keenan. (Illustrations added by Gordon Harris, courtesy of online publications) If you are anything like me, you have been greatly disturbed by the presence of political ads on the television from various presidential contenders of both major parties, which sadly are the only parties that we […]
Burning Desire, By Gavin Keenan Driving without headlights and the volume of the police radio turned low, Deputy Peter Benoit drifted along the moonlit road. Never one to seek the company of others, he preferred the isolation of working midnights patrolling the lonely landscape of failed farms and shuttered […]
This post is by former Ipswich police chief Gavin Keenan. Recently I had the pleasure of meeting some retired Ipswich Police Department friends at a late summer cookout. It was a magical evening of story-telling, catching up on family happenings and just being comfortable with people that I had […]
We moved to Ipswich when Ike was President and Elvis crossed over from Gospel to Rock and Roll. My father worked for Grossman’s and got a transfer from the Braintree store to the new one in Ipswich on Washington Street. For a while, he commuted from where we […]
To borrow a hockey metaphor, if June and July designate the first and second periods of summer, then surely August tells us that we are now deep within the final period of this glorious season. The changes abound in subtle but perceptible ways.
A story by Gavin Keenan Dizzy from an overdose of what passes for news these days; terrorism, endless war, social upheaval, political blandness, “The Donald’s” mouth, Kim Kardashian’s butt (Old news I know, but cheeky nonetheless) vanishing species, etc., etc., one could reasonably conclude that our world is headed […]