hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

January 24, 2013

The Lamp Post


The Haverhill Gazette

---- — :A hero’s welcome: Yes, that woman in uniform on TV during a recent Celtics game was indeed the person highlighted in newspaper accounts for saving a person from a suicide attempt in Haverhill. Sgt. Eileen Boyle was interviewed during the game, which the Celtics dedicated to American military personnel. Boyle and other military members attended the game, where they were honored. You might remember Boyle from a recent Eagle-Tribune story. When driving home from Army training, Boyle, who specializes in suicide counseling, was driving over the Comeau Bridge when she noticed a woman sitting on the rail. Boyle talked the woman away from jumping into the Merrimack River.

:A long time coming: The house at the corner of Lawrence and Fountain streets that heavily damaged by fire months ago has been sitting vacant, leaving observers wondering about its future. The answer came last week, when heavy equipment leveled the building. The question is what will happen to the land? It’s likely a home will eventually be built there, since the area is zoned residential.

:Remembering their roots: Former Haverhill High hockey players going back to the 1970s had a great time at the recent alumni game at Veterans Memorial Rink. Guys like Spike Sprague (former Hillies coach), Tom Gleason and Peter Mills took to the ice to create a little nostalgia about the early Hillie teams. After the game, many former Hillies went to Archie’s Little River Ale House to talk about old times. Bar owner Tom Archambault of the Class of 1977 loves having his high school buddies stop in to reminisce. During the last few years, the hockey program has been running alumni games to spark more interest in the program and bring old friends together.

:Keeping the flu in check: When the dreaded flu was hitting so many people last winter, the weekly bulletins at some Catholic churches in Haverhill told people they need not shake hands during the “sign of peace’’ part of the Mass. As the seasonal illness picked up steam in the last couple of weeks, priests were passing the word at Masses, and people were heeding the call. Many waved and smiled to their fellow parishioners instead of extending their hands.

:Giving credit where it’s due: Those potholes that formed around the water gate shutoffs dug up by city workers after this month’s water main breaks have been fixed. The Lamplighter noticed a few days after the breaks that potholes were forming and needed repairs before they got worse. City workers did their job and took care of the problems.

:The one that got away: Longtime Gazette reader Henri Seymour of Lawrence usually guesses the paper’s Thanks for the Memories mystery photo correctly. In a recent note to the Gazette, he told an interesting story about “the one that got away’’ decades ago when he was fishing with a friend in Haverhill. Seymour reminisced about fishing in a row boat as a boy at Chadwick’s Pond, when he and his friend got the surprise of their young lives. They had caught fish as big as 2 feet long in the pond, but the monster hooked by Seymour this day was overpowering. “I thought for sure this must have been the mother of all the water snakes in the world,’’ he wrote. It banged against the boat and broke away, leaving his friend to speculate it must have been a huge eel, which were reported in the pond from time to time in those days.

:A tough call: Hindsight is 20-20, as they say. It must have been a difficult decision for School Superintendent James Scully to make when he awoke last Wednesday at 4 a.m. to see no snow on the ground, despite predictions a storm would arrive by then. Scully made the choice not to call off school, and then was criticized by parents when snow fell during the commute and the slip-sliding of cars and buses on slick roads began. But Scully was making a decision based on what he saw and the best information available. The Lamplighter wonders how those parents would have felt if school was canceled and little or no snow fell.