To the editor:
I ran around Beverly today delivering letters to various businesses who have agreed to let the BHS music kids collect donations in front of their establishments on Nov. 3 and 4. I started at Stop & Shop on Route 62, hit Stephy’s Kitchen and then Walgreens, where I learned that Bill was in the band back in the day. After a stop at Super Sub, I headed on to Casa de Moda, Atomic Cafe, Cityside Diner and Maria’s Pizza, where Jan and Joel and Debbie and Jenny accepted my permission letters from Mayor Bill Scanlon and Lyn Pilanen-Kudlik and said things like, “We love the BHS kids,” and “Send the kids by, they’ll make a lot of money!” My next stop was What’s Brewin’, where I picked up a bagel with egg and cheese and agreed with Neil when he said, “Anything for the kids.” I took a left on Washington and rounded the corner on Lothrop, stopping for a minute at the sign that says “Please enjoy this public way” to eat my bagel sandwich and watch the sunlight sparkle on the sea.
After that I made my way to Sonny’s Mobil in Centerville, took a left on Grover and another left on Dodge, that took me to North Beverly. I drove by Ray Novack’s street and beeped my horn just to say thank you for gifts beyond words to my kids, kids before mine and kids not even born yet who will be shaped by the musical legacy of teachers like Ray and Lyn.
As I glanced down Putnam, I had a brief vision of kids in Halloween costumes parading down the street, Tom Kokos dressed as Batman in the lead, and memories of our years at North Beverly Elementary turned over in my mind, a kaleidoscope of colors.
When I stopped in at Nick’s Roast Beef and the Depot Diner, Nick and George, respectively, smiled, took my letter and said, “Can’t wait to see the kids!” I forgot to go to Dawson’s, but they also welcomed us with open arms, as did Stop & Shop on 1A, North Beverly Food Mart, Shaw’s and Modell’s. When I arrived back at the Cummings Center, I thought to myself, “What a great city!” My days of traveling the streets of Beverly on missions for the high school are numbered. My oldest daughter is in college and my youngest a senior at BHS. I don’t know what I’ll be doing next year on the first weekend of November, but I know I’ll keep an eye out for the kids with the orange cans.