Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Weekend Warrior

11Oct19

As we head into the long Indigenous Peoples Day weekend, let us take a moment from our apple picking, leaf-peeping and farmers market excursions to reflect upon the true meaning of the holiday: to show how much more virtuous and woke we are than those who still call it Columbus Day.


Zoning out

04Oct19

So, now they want Zoning Board of Appeals meetings to be televised. The suggestion was made recently at a televised Town Council meeting. Misery loves company, I suppose. There’s nothing TV viewers would rather watch than deliberations over dimensional variances and nonconforming uses — unless you count the Watching Paint Dry Channel. To help promote […]


READING — When brilliant, Radcliffe College-educated Henrietta Leavitt (played by Grace Sumner) receives a letter at her Wisconsin home inviting her to come and work for Edward Charles Pickering, director of the prestigious Harvard College Observatory, she is thrilled by the prospect of doing important astronomical research.


I was vaguely aware that John J. Round had been a town official way back at the beginning of the 20th century. But, like most people, I had no inkling about his more significant contributions to the town. I had no idea, for example, that he had purchased entire tracts of land in the areas […]


Native tongue

20Jun19

As has oft been stated, Wakefield is a welcoming town, for both visitors and new residents — especially new residents, whom we have a habit of electing to public office before they’ve even finished unpacking. A couple times a year, Wakefield offers an orientation program for refugees from other communities. It’s called Wakefield 101, where […]


When did we become such weather wimps? Two recent local events that were once routinely held outdoors unless forced inside by a deluge, now automatically happen under the artificial lights of LED bulbs rather than the brilliant sunshine that Mother Nature provides for free. I’m talking, of course, about the town’s Memorial Day exercises and […]


Natural history

24May19

I made my feelings known on the topic of bike lanes a few weeks ago. I’m not a fan, but they’re coming, as just one part of a $15 million downtown infrastructure project. Rightly or wrongly, I associate bike lanes with some other obnoxious trends, like the demonization of automobiles and fossil fuels. The internal […]