Varian colleagues enjoy Sunday morning cricket practice at Burnham’s Field

Colleagues of Varian gather for an informal cricket practice (Photo by L. Plummer)

On the morning of August 4, a group of young men gathered at the baseball diamond in the southwest corner of Burnham’s Field for a Sunday morning cricket practice.

The men, who were in their twenties and thirties, are immigrants from India who all live in Gloucester and work as engineers at Varian Applied Materials on Dory Road.

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game similar to baseball and is wildly popular in India, having been introduced there by the British in the 1700s. Cricket normally has fifteen players per team, but the group of nine made it work, alternating who would pitch and who would bat.

The practice made for an interesting cultural experience for those who came to Burnham’s Field to walk their dogs, water their gardens or jog around the park’s paved perimeter. Some of them had never witnessed a live cricket game before.

The colleagues Chandru, Ganesh, Mallesh, Raghu, Rama, Sagar, Samy, Sri and Surya proudly smiled for a photo. Not pictured are Joshi and Puja, who were cheering their coworkers on from the bleachers.

The team doesn’t have an official name, but they tossed out some ideas like the Warriors, the Photogenics and Team Samy. For now, we will just call them the Varian Engineers Cricket Team.

This was the first time that the colleagues gathered to celebrate their mutual love for the game of cricket. We hope it won’t be the last.


Green Street neighbors fight to preserve their park

Over fifty Gloucester residents gathered at Green Street Park on Sunday, April 7, to voice their concerns about the proposal that could transform the park’s acreage into the new site of the combined Veterans and East Gloucester elementary schools.

Those in attendance represented not only Green Street, but Dodge, Trask and other neighboring streets. Some of them came with their children, who made use of the park’s swings, monkey bars and spongy turf.

The gathering was organized by Caitlin Pszenny, Gloucester resident and Green Street Park abutter. Pszenny is also the creator of the Facebook group Keep Green Street Park a Green Space, which currently has over 130 members.

Residents were united in their opposition to the City doing away with “the last green space in the area.”

“This is our last space,” said one resident. “This is all we got.”

Clayton Kern lives on Green Street with his wife and is the father of a new baby. He mentioned that not only was the park itself under threat, but also the surrounding woodlands.

“I grew up building forts, having trees to climb on,” said Kern. “For kids in Gloucester, this is their only woods, literally.”

“This is the last remaining forest in downtown Gloucester. How could a city that cares about its children think of destroying it?” he told this reporter. “When will we say enough is enough?”

Another resident said that children are bullied for being “indoor kids”, and that removing the park would leave them even fewer places to enjoy the outdoors.

Residents also wouldn’t hear of a school being built on the site, citing traffic concerns and general congestion in an already densely populated area. Of all of the locations the City is currently considering for the combined school, the Green Street and Schoolhouse Road site has the highest concentration of residents.

Pszenny is organizing residents to resist any action on the part of the City that would remove access to Green Street Park. Currently, she is mobilizing a group of park abutters and other neighbors to convene at the next School Committee meeting on Wednesday, April 10, to make their voices heard. All concerned residents are invited to attend.

“We need to show our faces,” said Pszenny. “They need to know who we are and that we don’t want this.”

Actor Spotted in Downtown Gloucester over Veterans Day Weekend

"16 Blocks" New York Premiere - Inside ArrivalsHollywood actor David Morse was spotted in downtown Gloucester on the afternoon of Sunday, November 11.

Morse is a highly recognizable figure of both the big and small screens. He has appeared in more than 50 feature films, including Contact, Hurt Locker, Proof of Life, The Good Son, The Green Mile, The Negotiator, Twelve Monkeys and World War Z. Morse is also known for his roles in numerous television series such as St. Elsewhere, Hack and House, for which he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2007. He is currently starring in the critically-acclaimed Ben Stiller-directed TV miniseries Escape at Dannemora (2018), alongside Benicio Del Toro, Patricia Arquette and Paul Dano. It premieres on Showtime on November 18.

Morse is originally from Beverly and was in the process of joining his loved ones for a family reunion in the Harbor Loop area of downtown Gloucester over the long weekend. He graciously posed for a photo with this reporter, talking about how he “grew up around here.”

Photo Credit: Laura Plummer; Actor David Morse posing with Reporter Laura Plummer in the parking lot of Latitude 43/Minglewood Tavern in Gloucester.