THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, JANUARY 8, 2021 Page 9 THE SOUNDS OF SAUGUS By Mark E. Vogler H ere are a few tidbits that you might want to know about this week in Saugus. About this week’s issue Several years ago, we decided to split up our package of Year-In-Review stories and “The Cover Photos” of the year, and decided to run them over two weeks. We felt that would provide more room to showcase what we considered were the best page one photos of the year – one for each month. These are primarily feature photos which take more time and effort to prepare. And they are intended to offer a flavor or feel for the year in a compact and attractive way that can be viewed in seconds. So, as the old English adage goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” And this past year it is particularly appropriate, as a number of the photos show people wearing protective face coverings in the midst of a year dominated by COVID-19. The killer virus is blamed for 51 deaths in Saugus alone – more than 12,600 across Massachusetts and more than 361,000 throughout the nation. A lot of the traditional Saugus town celebrations – like Founders Day and the annual Christmas tree lighting and festivities event – got cancelled last year because of health concerns which link the spread of the virus to large crowd gatherings. During 2020, parades became a popular and safe alternative to crowd gathering celebrations. There were a number of surprise drive-by parades or processions that paid tribute to very young and very old people. Many of them were birthday parties. The popular “Unsung Heroes Awards Night” couldn’t be held at Prince Pizzeria last year, so event organizers and local officials staged a drive-by to honor the kids from the various grades. Some of our “cover photos” are from these parades. For instance, for the month of April we have Nicholas DiVola sitting in a car with a huge smile as he celebrates turning 17 – by watching a long and loud horn-blowing surprise birthday parade which also drove past his house to show support for his family and dad, Robert DiVola, Jr., who was in the hospital being treated for COVID-19. Perhaps the best example of the parade was the one in June that honored the 160 graduating members of the Saugus High Class of 2020.The parade was organized as a special tribute to the seniors, who saw many of their class activities cancelled and had their graduation ceremonies postponed for two months because of COVID-19. A few of the photos reflect the faces of goodwill during these troubled times. That was evident in our October cover shot of Eleanor Bourque, a member of the Saugus Knitting Club, which met in the parking lot of the Saugus Senior Center on Tuesday afternoons to create items that will go to troops, the homeless and others during the challenging days of COVID-19. There’s no question that our “2020: Year In Pictures” was based on subjective choices I made during the time I spent reviewing each edition of The Saugus Advocate published last year. But I did confer with my longtime newspaper buddy, David Spink, who was a crackerjack photo journalist during his days in the newspaper business. I worked with David back in the late 1980s and early 1990s on the staff of North Shore Sunday when that paper was considered “a must read” for its 110,000 readers in 11 cities and towns on the North Shore – including Saugus, a community I covered for five and a half years. David had also covered the town of Saugus for “Sunday” and offered me plenty of advice on how to cover the blood sport known as Saugus Politics and the town that was nicknamed “The graveyard of Town Managers.” David had developed some expertise in that area by penning the famous North Shore Sunday article that focused on “R-rated politics” in Saugus. Some residents still recall that compelling piece some three and a half decades later. When I returned to cover Saugus again in March of 2016 as editor of The Saugus Advocate, I asked David to read the paper each week and offer a critique. I also sought his advice on how to take and process better photos. sporting a patriotic face covering with miniature American flags in the background as the town observed a scaled-down Memorial Day Service. Feel free to critique our selections and we will be glad to publish reader feedback in next week’s edition. We have a winner! We have a winner in last week’s “Guess Who Got Sketched” contest. Congratulations to Kathy Murphy – who contacted us first and offered us her very creative take on the New Year – for naming “3 great things” she expects in 2021. Thanks to other readers who responded by email or phone message. Try again this week. Here’s last week’s answer, offered by the person who goes by the name of The Sketch Artist: “Our Winner for this week’s sketch is Kathy Murphy! A winner indeed with her happy Outlook of Vision for 2021! “Kathy won by being first to respond! I too share her fondness of the strawberry festival & those wonderful shortcakes (Margie helped make) “Here it is Ms. Kathy Murphy’s own winning words. “Happy New Year. I’m calling with my three wishes and hopes for New New Year ... I’m hoping and wishing for an effective and ample supply of an antiviral for all of us. I am hoping and wishing that we will be able to once again leave our homes, albeit without the mask, but to go out …. and you know … enjoy the strawberry festival, perhaps in the changed way with tables outside to get our strawberry shortcake. If it has to be in the line so be it and I’m hoping that everyone will be kind GUESS WHO GOT SKETCHED? In this week’s edition, we continue our weekly feature where a local artist sketches people, places and things in Saugus. Got an idea who’s being sketched this week? If you do, please email me at mvoge@comcast.net or leave a phone message at 978-683-7773. The first reader to respond between now and Tuesday morning and correctly identify the loving couple being sketched is the winner of a $10 gift certificate, compliments of Dunkin’ at the 1204 Broadway Saugus location at Route 1 North. But you have to enter to win! Look for the winner and identification in next week’s “The Sounds of Saugus.” Please leave your mailing address in case you are a winner. (Courtesy illustration to The Saugus Advocate by a Saugonian who goes by the name of “The Sketch Artist”) For this week’s package of photos, I asked David to review my choices, and I deferred to him on a few of the photos. I also asked him to select what he thought was the best photo of the 2020 “cover shots.” My favorite was the cover photo for the month of February – the one showing Arlene Decareau giving her husband, Eugene, a hug after discovering a vase full of red roses on their living room table – a Valentine’s Day gift that also celebrates 67 years of marriage. “That is the most beautiful shot of the year. But it has no COVID hook, which has to be your cover story,” David told me in a text earlier this week. “The Army vet masked up patriotically in front of the flags is the easy pick to me. Sums up what Saugus and the nation faced in 2020,” David answered in response to my question of what he thought was “the best cover shot.” So, for “the cover shot of 2020,” I took David Spink’s advice and went with our photo of Saugus American Legion Post 210 Finance Officer David Nelson, a Vietnam War–era U.S. Army veteran. That photo captures Nelson in Riverside Cemetery and loving to one another. “Thankyou and Happy Joyful New Year! Yum suddenly I have a craving for a strawberry shortcake! Yours Truly, “The Sketch Artist” A couple of “Shout-Outs” for this week Two loyal Saugus Advocate readers bothered to send in their “shout-out” nominations by deadline. Jeannie Meredith: “I would like to give a "shout out" to Stephanie and Tony Mastrocola for stepping up to deliver several bags of food and gallons of fresh milk to families the week of Christmas for HS2. A special thank you to a family that always drops everything to lend a helping hand. Wishing you a happy Healthy New Year! Arthur Grabowski: “I want to nominate Mark Vogler...editor of The Saugus Advocate for a New Years shout out...Over the years, Mark has reported on many stories in Saugus in a very factual and informative fashion. Many times this has not been easy as several elected and appointed officials have been less than accommodating with requests for information. Mark has done many informative articles with individuals who have contributed greatly to the Town of Saugus....Here’s to another year of good and honest reporting and informative articles that help keep the citizens of Saugus informed.” Want to “Shout-Out” a fellow Saugonian? This is an opportunity for our paper’s readers to single out – in a brief mention – remarkable acts or achievements by Saugus residents – or an act of kindness or a nice gesture. Just send an email (mvoge@comcast.net) with the mention in the subject line of “An Extra Shout-Out.” No more than a paragraph; anything longer might lend itself to a story and/or photo. THE SOUNDS OF SAUGUS | SEE PAGE 13

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