SALEM — With all that has happened at the Salem power plant, one story has gone untold.
Mick Beaudette died Feb. 10.
The affable, intelligent, straight-shooting Beaudette was the station director — the guy in charge at the power plant. He began his career in Salem decades ago and was back here at age 72 overseeing the final days of Salem Harbor Station.
He not only ran the plant, but made sure everything was safe and secure on the weekend of Feb. 8-9, when environmental groups staged a Saturday protest march and rally at the plant gate. On Sunday, he was on the phone with Footprint officials, as he was every day, briefing them on the latest developments and providing sought-after advice from his many years of experience.
He died the next day.
His death was a sudden, unexpected and great loss for his family and friends — but also for the Salem plant.
“He had a history with this plant, and also with the people, that you can’t replace,” said Scott Silverstein, the president of Footprint Power, the plant owners.
Among many duties, Beaudette was the guy who made sure employees were getting job training and assistance before the approaching May 31 closing.
A bus took workers from Salem to Swansea for his funeral. Others came from power plants and energy companies around the region.
“When you looked around the room,” Silverstein said, “you saw how many lives he touched.”
The sign on the weight room wall at Salem High says “Salem Pride.”
The room is anything but.
The free weights are rusted. There are gaping holes in the benches of some of the weight machines. Some cardiovascular equipment is so old it is unusable.
The good news is that students in an advanced health class taught by Lisa Mansfield and Melissa St. Pierre want to change all that. They are raising funds to equip a new wellness/workout center in that same large space next to the fieldhouse that could be used by athletes and nonathletes, as well as staff.