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June 21, 2013

The Music Man is being honored next week

SALEM — There are a lot of reasons to be at Salem Willows on Tuesday night.

Hobbs’ popcorn, of course.

It’s also the kickoff of the free summer concerts by the North Shore Concert Band, a 25-piece group of professional musicians.

And, best of all, they’re dedicating the bandstand to Bob Hayes.

If you don’t know Mr. Hayes, you should.

He is a 92-year-old trombone player who has been part of the free concerts at Salem Willows since 1939. For you historians, that would be FDR’s second term.

OK, he missed a few years because of World War II, but even then he was a musician 2nd class performing aboard the USS Essex as it patrolled the South Pacific. He was at Iwo Jima and even survived a few kamikaze attacks.

Hayes, who recently moved into assisted living, was also the organizer of the summer concerts.

So, head down to the Willows Tuesday night to pay tribute to a man who has played more military and patriotic music than John Philip Sousa and George M. Cohan — combined.

Beer patrol

Yes, that was the police you saw last week down at the Ward Two Social Club.

They shut down a beer pong game, which apparently is a no-no and violates state liquor laws banning games that involve drinking or award drinks as prizes. Beer pong, for you bookworms, is a game in which contestants toss a pingpong ball across a table and try to land it in a cup of beer.

And, no, it is not an Olympic sport.

Although this doesn’t sound too serious, it does trigger memories of a decade ago when the club had a brush with illegal gambling. A full report is expected at Monday night’s meeting of the Licensing Board.

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