SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

January 18, 2013

In Peabody, samplers that don't contain nuts

By Alan Burke
Staff writer

---- — PEABODY — If you thought a sampler was sold by Whitman, you’re not thinking historically.

In days of yore, explains Lyn FitzGerald, assistant curator at the Peabody Historical Society, young girls sewed and embroidered small patches of fabric, producing “samplers” suitable for framing and hanging on the wall. The subject of the embroidery might be the alphabet, or a prayer, or a house.

If you think those days before equal rights were pure drudgery for females — well, not always, FitzGerald says. “Young girls had a lot of time on their hands.” That meant a lot of samplers. And if you have one, passed down over the years, you might be curious about it.

On Saturday, Jan. 26, from 10 a.m. to noon, Camille Myers Breeze of the Museum Textile Services in Andover will be on hand at the Smith Barn on Felton Street to take a look at your sampler, tell you how best to preserve it and how best to display it. Also available to talk about the history, style and proper care of your sampler will be FitzGerald and curator Heather Leavell.

All this expertise comes at a price — $20. If you’re interested, you can contact Leavell at 978-977-0514 or heather.leavell@peabodyhistorical.org by Wednesday, Jan. 23.

Le deluge

How bad did it get before Mayor Ted Bettencourt ordered Marchese Properties to cease and desist a project including a commercial building on Route 1 with a proposed home development behind it? Well, Joseph Maio of New Hampshire characterizes his parents, who live nearby, as victims of what he believes was the careless clearing of land.

Water didn’t merely dribble onto the pool covering belonging to retirees Irene and Louis Maio.

“They have a 15,000-gallon pool, and it was empty,” he explains. The runoff, however, “filled the pool” with mud and water.

Maio hopes to make the case at a hearing scheduled before the Planning Board on Feb. 7.

Commenting on a video of the flooding, City Councilor Anne Manning-Martin described it as horrifying.

Wish you were here

Longtime Planning Board Chairman Jack Creeden missed this year’s opening meeting due to illness. He was renamed chairman all the same.

“That’s what you get for staying away,” said board secretary Tessa Marc-Aurele.

I think that I

shall never see ...

If Councilor Barry Osborne sounds like he’s declared war on trees, it’s only because trees seem to be at war with sidewalks.

“I love trees,” he said at last Thursday’s meeting during a discussion of shade tree regulations. “But as a ward councilor, I think trees seem to be becoming a destroyer of public property.”

His colleagues agreed that tree roots are ripping up sidewalks and setting traps for unwary pedestrians.

“I have that all over my ward,” complained Councilor Barry Sinewitz.

Councilor Dave Gamache theorized that this is a problem unique to government. “You never see a tree planted on public property next to the sidewalk ... because they know what happens.”

I’ll have another

The state limits the number of liquor licenses that any city or town can have, but Peabody is considering ways to get more. The need arises as the downtown is being renovated and hopefully revitalized.

“Another piece of the puzzle,” Councilor Dave Gravel says. “How do you get people there? Restaurants.”

Gravel recently obtained a blueprint for obtaining an extra license from the city’s lawyers.

Restaurants increase their business when diners can have an alcoholic drink with meals. Salem has shown the way, obtaining an extra license through a home rule petition at the Legislature. Peabody could have a leg up in that process, as the chairman of the committee dealing with such petitions is Ted Speliotis, who represents West Peabody.

A license obtained through a home rule petition has the advantage of belonging to the city. No windfall is made available by selling it. The restaurant pays a fee, and when it closes, the license is returned.