Readers of this space – and I thank you both – may recall a couple of editions ago I wrote that most of my days begin in the Tedesco gym. What drives that is gluttony (my diet primarily consists of cheeseburgers, cookies, and peanut M&Ms); vanity (the only things that I might like better than cheeseburgers, cookies, and peanut M&Ms are suits from Barneys and Ralph Lauren – and I’m not fitting into them without doing time in the gym); and fear.The fear is that I will be shown up by a 91-year-old.
Dick Murray, 91, of Swampscott, also goes to the Tedesco gym most mornings. And I don’t think I could stand the shame of knowing that he went to the gym when I was too lazy to get out of bed.
In that column, I wrote that it might be fun to include in upcoming editions of 01907 some of Mr. Murray’s memories of the town in which he has spent his life. That prompted an email from Wendy Symmes Mayer, who suggested that if I liked listening to Mr. Murray’s stories, I should ask him to introduce me to his lifelong friend – and her father – Dick Symmes.
And so he did. Mr. Murray, Mr. Symmes, and I met for lunch at Tedesco. (Mr. Symmes, also 91, is its unofficial historian.) And while the Tedesco burger was good, the conversation was better. They provided me unique perspectives of a town in which I lived for 15 years but knew little about other than its storied high school football teams and whatever else Frank DeFelice might’ve told me over the years.
During lunch, they showed me some of the postcards they’ve collected over the years. One appears on the cover. Airplanes on the beach. Who knew?
Wendy Symmes Mayer marveled at the collective knowledge of these remarkable 91-year-olds. Turn to Sandi Goldfarb’s story on the pair and marvel for yourself.
As for the rest of this, the seventh edition of 01907, David Liscio writes about Swampscott Library’s 100 years (and my favorite librarian, Alyce Deveau); and Meaghan Casey helps us virtually sample the area’s best fried clams – which may not make my cheeseburger/cookies/peanut M&Ms all-glutton cut, but are in the discussion.
I hope this is enough to whet your 01907 appetite.