When I was a little girl I used to imagine my birthday was the reason we celebrated Flag Day. After all, that was what kids did – embellish and exaggerate the importance of their own special day for cake and gifts. I have grown in my patriotism as an adult and suddenly other than getting older, birthdays have little significance in my life.
This June 14th Flag Day felt unlike anything I have witnessed in all my birth years. Celebrating the unfurling of the historic flag, recognizing the faces of townspeople who joined in the holding of the hem, and especially looking down and seeing my father at the very bottom of the ladder brought me joy that I have not felt or recognized in a long time.
At 10:30 a.m. I parked at the Town Hall and I skipped across the street as a police officer stopped traffic for pedestrians. I saw hands motioning from the crowd as if to say ‘walk a little faster’. Realizing I was the photographer they were waiting for, it suddenly became clear to me that the giant ladder truck was in fact where I was headed for the official flag shoot. I believe my knees were audibly knocking together.
The huge lawn at Pope’s Tavern Senior Center was packed with several hundred residents and their energy could be felt around me.
Halifax Fire Chief Jason Viveiros and Captain Jeff Couzzo met me at the lip of the driveway and said they were ready for me.
I asked to use the ladies room as a priority (not to delay my ascent) logically, there were no bathrooms at 78 feet up in the air.
Firefighter Rich Ferguson strapped me into a waist harness that would fasten me inside the bucket in the Tower 1 Fire Engine. He kindly reminded me that if I fell out the ground would catch me.
My nerves suddenly reminded me that I was actually not a fan of heights, but I quickly composed myself, said a prayer (caught on camera by Captain Cuozzo) and climbed the truck, stepped in the bucket and they hooked me in. As we rose up higher over the crowd the bucket shook, and I instantly felt like the little sister shouting at her older brother at the top of a Ferris wheel ride. “Stop rocking the bucket” went through my head as I zoomed in, altered manual settings and dismounted lenses. I kept focused on the crowd below and felt my natural state of joy holding my camera. I realized I was smiling ear to ear without fear of dropping to my death. OK. Truthfully, the thought did quickly pass through my brain.
Watching the flag unfurling from the elevated point of view was mesmerizing as the colors of each star reflected the sun. My eyes were drawn to the brightest of whites, the stars set against the background of blue with the rays dancing on the fabric. Everything appeared so vivid. The stripes of red and blue rippled as the wind blew underneath the patriotic drapery. I could hear the muffled sounds from below as children began to duck under the flag’s enormity changing sides and reappearing.
As I captured the event I muttered a lot. I process out loud at times and this aided in guiding Firefighter Ferguson which direction he needed to steer us to and fro over the crowd. My thoughts included: how fantastically amazing the occasion was, I wondered how heavy the flag felt, and quickly blocked the thought that my camera equipment could topple to the ground.
I imagine with the excitement and visual stimulation what I see behind the lens can be compared to how some people feel eating a homemade piece of molten chocolate cake. Utter satisfaction mixed with natural curiosity of capturing the whole story unfolding in camera before my eyes.
As a writer and photographer I see and feel things with my entire body when I shoot a scene. I also watch for expressions, patterns, shadows, and colors that pop but oftentimes it is simply my lens capturing a form of translation- the smiles and emotions I see before me.
After my feet landed on Halifax town soil and I realized what I had accomplished, a continuous stream of pure exhilaration poured through my veins for hours. I shared photos, and even took a “selfie” from the top of the town. Celebrating my birthday this year was done at the most fantastic view as I looked down over the First Congregational Church, Town Hall and was nearly eye to eye with the blue water tower.
Through my lens this week I witnessed a historical moment where hands held, supported and honored our nation’s flag celebrating Flag Day and the true meaning of the freedoms we are allotted as Americans.
One male occupant was transported to the hospital following a house fire at 30 Oak Place in Halifax on Wednesday.
The home was fully involved with flames when first responders arrived and was still smoldering, reduced to a charred shell, as homeowner Tia O’Meara arrived.
She was visibly distraught as Fire Chief Jason Viveiros and Police Chief Theodore Broderick spoke to her in the neighbor’s yard.
The home, on the edge of Crystal Lake, is approximately 2000 feet off Plymouth Street.
Hose lines were stretched and connected to reach the fire hydrants and get water on the flames.
As of press time on Thursday, the cause of the fire remains under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s office.
John Shea, owner of John and Sons Barber Shop at the Cumberland Farms Plaza in Halifax, can’t believe how the years have gone by as he has been cutting hair for half a century!
Celebrating his milestone as a barber in the same location for nearly all of his career and next door for the 18 years before that, Shea is thrilled to celebrate five decades and has no intention of slowing down.
As he turns his chair, trimming and chatting with clients, he shares memories with his many repeat customers. He hears about work, town life and sports as the scissors snip and trimmers buzz.
In addition to realizing how many trinkets have accumulated inside the shop, Shea has also absorbed the innumerable emotional milestones he sees in his line of work making him love his job and career wholeheartedly.
John has given clients their very first haircuts, cut their hair for their wedding, and in some cases, even trimmed their hair for their funeral. In June, some of his kids who got their first haircuts in John’s chair will come in for a trim before they graduate from high school.
He has given many first haircuts in a 1920s antique child’s chair, a replica of a carousel horse, that sits in the front window.
He found it at an auction in Pittsfield in the 1990s and had to bring it back to his shop where it has been a favorite for many of his youngest customers.
Listening is an important aspect of Shea’s work as he lathers necks and shaves with a straight razor. He shares light banter with his customers and the atmosphere becomes even livelier he says when his son Darren is cutting in the chair next to him.
Shea is also known for decorative haircuts and designs when sports teams win, and kids want the winning logo etched into their hairline, said Shea.
His nephew Corey Socha is also a full time barber at the shop as Shea passes along his decades of experience to help train the next generations.
A buzz cut, fade, or crew cut, Shea has seen countless trends come and go, recalling his early start in the 1960s and 1970s the trend was growing long hair.
It was a tough beginning for his brand-new business when no one needed a haircut! Welcomed were the mullets and shags and Mohawks in the early 1980s when the grooming business boomed.
The décor inside his shop has evolved as rows of collectible Harley Davidson limited edition cans and knick-knacks of all sorts came in with customers. Suddenly the shelves were full of state-of-the-art conversation pieces, he said.
Although he has many clients who have followed him through the years one family came to mind who he has seen grow through four generations, named – would you believe it – the Barber family of Duxbury, he said.
Married to wife Judy for 53 years, he looks forward to spending time with her. He foresees his body will let him know when it is time to hang up his shears.
Shea said having a career as a barber has been rewarding and fulfilling. When asked where he sees himself in the next decade, Shea chuckled.
“I will keep going until I can’t go anymore. I may slow down physically, but I love it,” he said.
A fatal head-on crash in Plympton took the life of a Sheffield Park woman following a horrific collision near 56 County Road just after 6 p.m. Thursday night, May 10.
The accident involving a pickup truck claimed the life of Diane Giordani, 52, of Sheffield Park who was driving a Nissan sport utility vehicle.
The operator of the pickup truck, Justin Kilburn, 29, who was reportedly ejected from his truck, was transported to Rhode Island Hospital trauma center via medical helicopter for treatment of his injuries. Kilburn was listed in “good” condition, according to Rhode Island Hospital on Wednesday.
Plympton Police Chief Patrick Dillon told the Express that the State Police will be seeking charges against Kilburn, who is known to police, once their accident reconstruction report is complete. He did note that alcohol was found at the scene.
Dillon was angry that this tragedy was one that in his opinion was “certainly preventable.” Giordani’s dog, her German shepherd ‘Blitz’, also was killed in the crash.
“Society pays the price every day for people’s stupidity,” Dillon continued.
Neighbors gathered outside their homes before noon on Friday along the busy stretch of road and spoke with the Express.
A resident who did not want to give her name but lives directly across from the crash was visibly upset as she told how she and others tried to save the woman.
Several neighbors ran from their homes with fire extinguishers and tried to put flames out which were visible on the front hood of the pickup truck, according to first re-
Former Hanson Police Chief Edward F. Savage III and his wife Christine of Plympton will be arraigned in Hingham District Court on Monday, April 2, on shoplifting charges stemming from an incident in April 2017 when they were allegedly seen concealing more than $400 worth of clothing in a shopping cart and leaving a store without paying.
In a televised investigative report by WCVB-TV, Investigative Reporter Mike Beaudet on “5 Investigates” last week, showed a video of the Savages shoplifting inside Kohl’s Department Store at 100 Derby St., Hingham, as well as audio from the show cause hearing at Hingham District Court. Beaudet reported that his investigation yielded a court order to obtain the shoplifting video and audio from the closed-door show cause hearing.
In the video, the Savages were visible shopping throughout the Kohl’s Department Store when Christine entered the dressing room with the cart full of clothing. Former Chief Savage took a seat outside the dressing room.
After Christine came out of the dressing room, the clothing was not visible in the cart but was apparently in a plastic Kohl’s bag. The couple can be seen after a short pause with Christine pushing the cart as Edward appeared to be looking briefly toward the register.
The pair was then stopped outside the store by Kohl’s security officers with merchandise which had not been paid for.
Sgt. Steven Dearth of Hingham Police, who said he could not confirm the names of the Savages, issued a redacted police report after the incident had already aired online and appeared in the Boston Globe.
Then Hingham Clerk Magistrate Joseph Ligotti who retired in January said in the audio broadcast that he did not believe the Savages’ story of forgetting their wallet and going to retrieve it from the car. He questioned why the couple had not been arrested on scene by the Hingham police with the overwhelming evidence on the Kohl’s security tape.
Ligotti agreed to drop the charges in February if the ex-chief and his wife issued a letter of apology to Kohl’s and to the Hingham police.
The case was continued for final disposition on Feb. 28, 2018. When Beaudet reviewed the case, he reported that Clerk Magistrate Andrew P. Quigley, who saw the conditions in place by Ligotti, stated those conditions had not been met.
When contacted by Express Newspapers, Attorney Daniel Webster, lawyer for the Savages, declined comment at this time.
Former Chief Savage resigned from the Hanson police in 2012 after approximately 10 years in service. He was under review for allegedly inflating his criminal statistics to augment his stature as chief.
Plympton Police Chief Patrick Dillon described the ordeal of Superstorm Riley as “something out of a horror movie!” In the height of the storm, trees were swaying, cracking, and breaking, falling and bringing down everything in their path.
The spectacle of trees on homes and massive limbs spread across front yards could be seen throughout Halifax and Plympton as South Shore towns bore the brunt of Mother Nature’s force over 48 hours, from Friday noon, as winds began to gather and swell, through Sunday noon when they finally began to ease.
The storm sadly proved fatal, taking the life of Plympton resident Ryan MacDonald, 36, who was killed Friday night around 5:30 p.m. after being hit by a fallen tree in his Dodge Ram pickup truck. Crews had trouble reaching him due to blocked roads and trees across Cedar Street, said Plympton Fire Chief Warren Borsari.
First responders continued to field calls on Tuesday in Plympton reaching more than 100 storm-related calls by mid-day.
A tangled web of electrical wires remained on the ground at Prospect Road and Winnetuxet in Plympton late Monday as line crews were being dispatched to the area to repair and replace visibly damaged equipment. During the height of the Nor’easter Plympton lost power in 99 percent of homes, according to Chief Borsari.
A neighbor on Crescent Street reported a whooshing sound and odor pointing firefighters towards a propane tank that had been sheared off by a fallen tree. They safely shut down the tank without injury. The majority of their calls dealt with trees on homes, wires down and water issues.
Halifax firefighters battled a structure fire Monday night while still handling calls resulting from power outages.
A homeowner on Oak Place had left his residence due to the power outage. Luckily a neighbor spotted flames at the house and alerted 911. Significant damage was done to the home.
Firefighters were challenged by the distance to a hydrant, and needed approximately 1800 feet of hose to reach the fire, Halifax Fire Chief Jason Viveiros told the Express.
Flames were visible at the back of the house when firefighters arrived. Early estimated structure damage was $150,000 leaving the home uninhabitable.
Calls in Halifax totaled 114 throughout the storm and two days following. They had a total of 26 homes struck and damaged by trees.
“Firefighters were in dangerous conditions while they were evacuating others… trees were falling all around. But they continued on to the next call,” Viveiros said, commending the town’s first responders.
The Chevrolet Tahoe that belongs to the Halifax Fire Chief was heavily damaged by a tree falling on his vehicle during an evacuation on Fuller Street.
Halifax Mobile Estates was hard hit with 17 homes affected by fierce winds and falling tree limbs. A portion of the park was evacuated as a precaution due to trees that were leaning and considered an immediate threat to the safety of residents.
A warming center was opened at the Halifax Elementary School. Fourteen residents were housed overnight at the school and assisted by the C.E.R.T response team. Viveiros thanked volunteers and Walmart of Halifax for providing supplies at the warming center.
Department support and mutual aid for a house fire was provided by Hanson and Pembroke on Monday, March 5. First Responders also put out a small structure fire and an appliance fire during the storm.
Plympton opened a warming center Saturday morning at the Town House, according to Lt. John Sjostedt of the Plympton Fire Department. It remained open 24 hours a day through Monday at about 4 p.m. and is ready to re-open should conditions demand.
Eversource restoration estimates and maps were updated on Tuesday, March 6, by town listing Plympton as being fully restored by Tuesday at 5 p.m. Much of the time during Winter Storm Riley, Plympton was in the top five communities without power, a dubious distinction.
Plymouth County listed only 403 residences without power of the 30,999 served by late Tuesday afternoon.
The first cultural awareness event, Noche Latina, was recently hosted by Silver Lake Regional Middle School, Kingston. Students and their families were immersed in Latin American traditions, food, customs, and dance.
Teacher Rose Whitehall, a native of Puerto Rico, demonstrated cooking she grew up with. Latin dancers Vivi Pierce and Devon Morse taught traditional Latin dances and brought the audience to their feet to give it a try. Traditional foods were also presented by Los Jefes chefs and owners Nikki Irving and Eduardo Miralrio of Plympton who own a mobile kitchen. The husband and wife team prepared and served tacos and traditional foods at the event.
Silver Lake Regional High School became a wacky wild Stratford on Avon where the words of the Bard were bandied about with a new twist provided by English students, all seniors, Tess Beckwith of Plympton, Ali Farina of Halifax, and Tom McSorley and Abby Kramer, both of Kingston.
From a love of Shakespeare, the four writers, under the direction of Silver Lake staff Shakespeare and English teachers Heather Bates and Ashley Ferrara, presented their homage to the Bard Thursday, Feb. 15, with performances throughout the day to English students and a finale public performance at 5 p.m. to the public. The play honored Shakespeare’s 454th birthday, which is thought to be April 23, 1564.
Brainstorming for the project began in the summer of 2017. Students were chosen from project applicants by staff teachers Bates and Ferrara. After months of collaboration, writing, and re-writing, A Quinn-Kle in Time was born.
The seniors were given the opportunity to present their show with a cast -which grew to 60 in the past two years – and figuratively leave their marks – written with a magical quill pen – as their legacy in the Silver Lake Drama Department.
Their meetings were held to exchange Shakespearian tragedy in their coolest teen hangout – Panera! As if the entire world was a stage they openly laughed, twisted, penned, edited and formed their 2018 Shakespeare Festival script with as much amusement, underlying humor, and irony as Shakespeare himself or at least in their case more like his intern Quinn.
The fictitious intern Quinn, played by Quinn Bonnyman of Halifax, literally whirls through time in the portal, which is a white sign (insert imagination). The typical ending of a Shakespeare wedding was recognized with not one but three weddings.
With continued coaching, editing and tweaking, the script developed through the fall.
“Each year we come up with new things to do. We were doing an independent study where students were writing the spring show just to celebrate his birthday. It morphed each year into different sonnet reads, stage fighting then in 2006 a couple students wrote an independent study. From there we decided this would be really fun… in the last couple years there has been so much interest, “ said Bates.
The student writers/directors embraced all aspects of the show casting, costuming, and set designing with only eight rehearsals.
The four plays, based on Much Ado about Nothing, The Tempest, Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet, added such calamity as Banquo’s ghost riding a toy horse scooter and a same sex couple ending in unity between Mercutio and Romeo. They also included in their twisted-up plots a few inside jokes that drew uproarious laughter among the auditorium of students and families.
The Shakespeare Festival has become a tradition which a group of seniors take on each year, said Ali Farina one of the writers. Changing it up to keep it fresh is an annual challenge they meet with gusto.
All four writers have begun their countdown to graduation, with college next fall and a multitude of career aspirations. Their collective advice to incoming freshman, whether it is drama club or sport, is ‘make sure to join in something you love’.
A head-on motor vehicle accident on Route 58 in Halifax Tuesday night left Richard March, 78, of South Meadow Rd, Carver, driver of a 2005 Honda CRV, trapped in his vehicle with serious injuries sustained at approximately 8:46 p.m. He was transported by med-flight to a hospital in Boston where he died several hours later.
Alec Dowie, 51, of Washington St., Whitman, the operator of the 2018 Dodge Challenger, was transported to South Shore Hospital where he is listed in stable condition.
A landing zone was cleared at Walmart for March, who had been trapped in the Honda CRV. He was airlifted to Boston Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries, according to State Police Media Spokesperson David Procopio.
Halifax Police Chief Theodore Broderick was on scene with investigators for several hours Tuesday night as the State Police Reconstruction and Analysis Team began their investigation in cooperation with Halifax Police. Firefighters and EMS were seen debriefing in a circle with Fire Chief Jason Viveiros, the wreckage just a few feet away.
Remnants of the two mangled vehicles and debris were scattered down Route 58, Monponsett Street, at Palmer Mill Road. Parts of vehicles and orange spray paint marked lines in the road and were still visible as police returned to the scene Wednesday morning, according to Chief Broderick.
A preliminary investigation by State police suggests at approximately 8:46 p.m. a 2018 Dodge Challenger heading north on Monponsett Street and a 2005 Honda CRV heading south on Monponsett collided head-on, said Procopio.
Their initial investigations indicate that the driver of the Dodge Challenger did not negotiate the curve at the intersection of Palmer Mill Road and lost control of his vehicle between the southbound and northbound lanes. The investigation is still active and ongoing, said Procopio.
Sgt. Theodore Benner of Halifax Police and the S Procopio told The Express that investigations can take several weeks to determine the cause of the crash.
First responders from Halifax, Plympton, Hanson and the State Police assisted at the scene, and at the landing zone at Walmart following the crash.