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 protected under child labor laws from working any job except as news carriers, some farm work or in entertainment. Well, … Continue reading What could be more funner than working in the summer.
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 many years. Charlie was one of life's … Continue reading The Battle of Middle Ground
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 Ford police cruiser along the streets of … Continue reading Last Roundup at the Lazy-K Ranch
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, and I feel your pain. But press … Continue reading Keeping My Bearings in Changing Times
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 clearly as I recall it. Those of … Continue reading The Karma of Modern Problems
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 has ended, I’m saddened by the passing … Continue reading The Man in Full: Honoring the Life and Times of Ipswich Police Officer Officer Charles B. Schwartz
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 lucky enough to grow up in New … Continue reading Oh, Wintry Christmas of My Youth!
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. Some are happy, some sad, many, like … Continue reading Interesting Time To Be Alive
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 - thankfully still going strong, decking out … Continue reading Ghosts of Independence Day
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, Town Farm Road, and the Greenbelt property … Continue reading Deluge! An Eyewitness Account of the Mother’s Day Storm of 2006
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 hearty cheers for their guy, selfies interspersed … Continue reading Debatable Discourse, or Mud Slinging Made Easy!
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 with Donald Trump gobbling up all fifty … Continue reading Primary Primer
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 circling - around the drain, that is. … Continue reading Primary Colors
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 is the focus of my column, and … Continue reading Playoff-Grade Guinness Beef Stew
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 not? We get this way every few … Continue reading No matter how you roll the dice, it’s still a lot of Clams!
The young cop watched the grey Jeep straddle the median as it rounded the curve at Eagle Hill. The Jeep was moving well below the speed limit; a good thing since the roadway was slick with an inch of light, fluffy snow. The tracks in the snow had been what had caught the cop’s attention. … Continue reading A Clam Town Christmas
A story by Gavin "Noir" Keenan: Up for a walk tonight? How about joining me on a late-night beat shift in the early 1980’s? The downtown was still thriving then; a square filled with businesses, bars and people on every corner at all hours of day and night. Beat cops were kept busy, especially on … Continue reading Let’s Go Walking……. After Midnight……
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 have to choose from. If this weren’t … Continue reading Party Poopers for a Parliament
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 mills below the Quebec border. But Peter … Continue reading Something Wicked Your Way Comes
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 worked so closely with for many years. … Continue reading A simple badge and gun does not a copper make
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 lived in Walpole to his new sales … Continue reading Little Neck Nostalgia, by Gavin Keenan
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; the shrinking minutes of daylight ruled by the position of the sun, … Continue reading Thoughts on an August Day, by Gavin Keenan
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 to hell in a handbasket. And it … Continue reading Pink Flamingos, “more musings from a musty mind”