, Salem, MA

November 1, 2013

A church fair with a big heart


---- — SALEM — Tomorrow’s Friendship Fair at the Tabernacle Church is one of this city’s oldest and nicest traditions.

The money raised by the fair goes not to the church, but to local charities and good causes. The fair truly defines the spirit of selfless generosity: giving to others.

Many of the features that have marked this fair for more than 75 years will be in evidence Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Tabernacle Church, which is located at the corner of Washington and Federal streets.

There will be baked goods and handmade crafts, children’s toy and jewelry, a white elephant table and a silent auction. Since dolls are a fair tradition, they are raffling an American Girl doll.

There is a great lunch — another Tabernacle tradition — of lobster rolls.

With the craziness of Halloween behind us, how about spending a quiet Saturday at a church fair and experience the best of Salem?

Idol chatter

There was a lot of excitement about “American Idol” star Angie Miller coming here Halloween night to perform.

It’s kind of funny that Angie, a Beverly girl, came here last year and sang on a big stage on the Essex Street pedestrian mall — and nobody noticed. Of course, that was before she was famous.

Angie sang last year as part of the annual show on the fountain stage put on by Pastor Phil Wyman of The Gathering. Angie’s parents are co-pastors of the Remix Church, which meets weekly at the Bentley School.

Hablas espanol?

They don’t declare winners and losers at political forums, but three School Committee candidates put on impressive performances at the roundtable run by the Latino Leadership Coalition.

Rachel Hunt, Lisa Lavoie and Janet Crane all addressed the audience in Spanish.

Medal of Honor

We want to thank a reader (Joseph Collins) for correcting a mistake we made.

In a story on John P. Riley, we wrote that he was the city’s only Medal of Honor winner.

Collins kindly pointed out that two other men born in Salem, Thomas Atkinson and Thomas Lyons, earned the country’s highest military honor. Both were in the U.S. Navy and won the Medal of Honor for valor during the Civil War.

And while we’re at it, one last fact about Riley, who won his medal during the Spanish-American War. Late in his life, he was the bridge tender on the Congress Street bridge.

Rumor of the week

Temple Shalom is for sale.

That’s not really a rumor because the property is being advertised. The rumor is that Salem State could be interested.

Idea of the week

The second-annual Sigh of Relief Breakfast is taking place this morning at Caffe Graziani. It’s a celebration of Salem’s “return to normalcy.”

Well, semi-normalcy. There is still an election around the corner.

Tom Dalton can be reached at