Well, Clamskteers, it’s Sunday. The day when your beloved Clam puts aside the snark and revels in all that is truly earnestly awesome. Usually these pieces come easy, but not today for a short list of reasons:

  •  I can’t enjoy Fiesta today I have to go into Boston on a big project my company is working on. It happens every once in a while, and today’s one of those days. So I’m cranky.
  •  I couldn’t go to the wind turbine thing yesterday because of pressing family logistics.
  •  When I finally did get to Fiesta to fly the drone we were pestered by a small group of annoyed elderly people who claimed that the two and a half pound plastic quacopter was “not safe” and could potentially “carry a bomb” in a way somehow more sinister than other remote controlled technology or the several thousand pound boats being dubiously piloted all over the harbor. Meanwhile their grandsons and nephews were pinwheeling their skulls and torsos into a greased utility pole then spiraling down into the unforgiving sea. One guy had to be backboarded and zipped away. Pole 1, Drone 0.
  • Then, at the train station, this guy:

[at the request of a family remember I removed the picture of the dude grogged out on the bench. Not because I believe we shouldn’t show it, but because it’s painful for them. So I’m just putting a picture of a kitty in here. Nice kitty.]

See? Much nicer

See? Much nicer

Oh man.  It’s Sunday. The day I’m supposed to throw my snark-guns into the dust.  So I’m gonna talk about committees.

Shit! Come back! Don’t just click away. Hear me out. Committees, dude. They make everything work. Seriously.

Do you know why there are flowers in public spaces? Fireworks? Parades? How City Hall got rebuilt? How all the school sports and plays and music and teams and extra curricular activities work? Because people sit on committees. Your lesser news outlets will always give you a “Differencemaker” story highlighting an individual whom they can wrap a three minute segment around, and sure there are plenty of those in Gloucester (looking at you, Maggie Rosa), but most of the stuff that really gets done is in fact the result of a bunch of people who met on Wednesday nights, ate coffeecake and hashed out details after taking the roll and reading the minutes of the last meeting.

You wanna know what is the result of a committee? Fiesta. Yes, everyone knows the story of Savatore Favazza who had the statue of St. Peter enshrined in the heart of the Italian district in 1927.  But you know who turned it into a three day event with all the celebrations, remembrances and activities? A committee of fisherman’s wives from down the Fort in 1931. A person has an idea and energy and passion. A committee makes shit happen.

All in favor of giving "Drunkie Smurf" the power of levitation say 'Aye'

All in favor of giving “Drunkie Smurf” the power of levitation say ‘Aye’

So I’m going to suggest that next year, before Fiesta on June 22 we give a nod to the patron saint of public service, Saint Thomas More. He’s also the patron saint of large families, stepparents and difficult marriages, so he’d be right at home here. He was (for his time) a humanist, statesman and a guy who dreamed of an island Utopia in the New Word (albeit with slavery and punishing premarital sex with lifetime enforced celibacy so that’s somewhat less ‘utopian’ than one would kind of hope for).

This guy. Looks like a lot of laughs, huh?

This guy. Looks like a lot of laughs, huh?

Also he was beheaded by Henry VIII so that would be cool thing to riff on. I’m picturing beach volleyball with a ball made up to look like his head or something. I don’t know.

I’ll get it in front of the committee and they’ll figure it out.

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  1. Here, here…and the Fishtown Horribles Parade Committee is making it happen this July 3…seriously, the FHPC is about four guys and their wives (who are the real brains behind) making the parade happen. It’s pretty crazy. Viva!

  2. Gad, I have poster in my conference room, “None of us are as dumb as all of us” and now you make me feel bad ridiculing meetings and committees.

    I promise to sign up for a committee really soon.

    ps. Awesome pic of the dude who was catching some well deserved Zs between the three jobs he is pulling down right now. He truly is his T-Shirt, “Making Role models since 1972”. Really glad he started napping before he lit that cigarette though or he would be a poster child for another slogan, “DO NOT SMOKE IN BED!”

  3. I read clamskteers as ‘clam-skeeters’ and pictured some terrible local mosquito-bivalve crossbreed. And if anywhere was going to have them…

  4. Jus’ sayin’, as the saying goes: The Gloucester UU Church last May honored, along with others who give lavishly of their time, Joe Novello, for his leadership of the St. Peter’s Fiesta Committee. The citation and oratory made it quite clear that the Committee is the ongoing force that makes Fiesta a memorable tradition in town. Joe for two decades has been the glue that holds it together and thus, because the Committee made him its President, gets to take the bow for all of them. He did so with enormous modesty and full tribute to his colleagues.

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