Olson Ferrini Mural

Day 70: March 10, 2012

“charles olson and vincent ferrini fire their poetry pistols in a duel at niles beach”

Erik Lomen’s mural depicts musician Willie Alexander’s dream of Gloucester poets Charles Olson and Vincent Ferrini “shooting poems and words like bullets at one another on a beach.”

The mural also includes an outline of Gloucester Harbor between the poets, and a diagram of a letterpress machine that Vincent Ferrini donated to Montserrat College of Art.

The mural is located on 301 Cabot Street, Beverly, Massachusetts, by the delivery entrance on Charnock Street, facing the parking lot of the Beverly Animal Hospital.

See Olson Ferrini Mural on the artist’s website

October Snow

Day 303 : October 30, 2011

An early snowstorm struck the Northeast yesterday — it hit here in late in the day and lasted into the evening. I was fortunate to lose electricity only briefly, and to have no damage. Just a few inches of snow on the ground when I got up this morning — other parts of the Massachusetts got a lot more snow and even here many people are still without power.

Rowe Quarry

Rowe Quarry

Rowe Quarry was on the Malden-Revere line, about ten miles north of Boston, just off Route 1 and visible from the highway. For many years, it caught my attention every time I drove by. I grew especially fond of it during the four years that I worked in Revere and drove this route to work every day. I loved the weathered wood, the wonderful angles, and the rocky cliffs surrounding it. I developed had a vague sort of ambition to draw, paint or photograph the site, an odd ambition for me since I can’t draw nor paint, and, in those days, I never took anything but family snapshots.

Rowe QuarryWhen I got my first digital camera ten years ago, I drove past this site occasionally and thought I ought to stop sometime and take a picture, but either I didn’t have the camera with me or I was in a hurry or both. One Saturday morning, I finally made a special trip down and took two pictures. I was pretty pleased with myself, and thought I’d take many more. I imagined myself taking pictures of the quarry in different seasons, in different weather, from different angles. It would be my special thing. Rowe Quarry and me! We’d would be like Rouen Cathedral and Monet!

Just a silly, secret daydream. I was unaware at the time that this rock crusher was soon to be torn down, and that the site would be redeveloped as Overlook Ridge. Nor was I aware of the environmental contamination issues present at the site, although now I wonder how I missed all the local news coverage. I was shocked shortly thereafter, when I drove by and it was just all gone.

I still drive up Route 1 frequently, and I still look over to the right at the Revere-Malden line, half expecting to see this old familiar site. I’m still disappointed every time. I miss it. I’m glad, though, that I took two photographs before it was gone. I’m pleased that they get a slow but steady stream of viewers. Nearly all coming from Google searches, so I know that there are some other people out there who miss it, too.

Pickering House in the Snow

Day 2: January 2, 2010
Day 2: January 2, 2010
Today was a great day for taking pictures — there was enough snow to be interesting, but not enough to make driving difficult. I always think snow is a good excuse for taking new pictures of places I’ve photographed before. I lived in this neighborhood when I was in my early twenties, and I used to spend a lot of time alone in the Broad Street Cemetery across the street, studying the old gravestones. I used to stop and look at the Pickering House every time I passed by, and try to imagine living there, wearing a long, rustling dress, carrying a candle through the halls and being named Charity or Hepzibah.

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