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Field of Dreams Gets Spring Cleaning
by Bob Gibbs
Supporters of the Field of Dreams in Salem held their annual Spring Cleanup on April 12. Members of the Field of Dreams Board and volunteers grabbed their rakes, tarps, shovels, and leaf blowers to bring a fresh look of spring to the park located in the center of Salem. More than 60 volunteers from Salem AF/JROTC, Walgreens, Salem Cub Scouts Troop 160, T-Bones Restaurant, the Salem Rotary, and the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce joined other volunteers in cleaning up the park in preparation for the summer fun. Pat Good, Field of Dreams vice president, stated that the park’s schedule this year includes its summer concert series and new for this year there will be a Pizza Fest. The Pizza Fest on May 17 will bring many of the best Salem pizza restaurants together at the park to compete.The concert series will take place on Thursday nights throughout the summer beginning July 10.As a part of the scheduled park improvements, VP Good spoke of the addition of a new ﬁtness trail. The new ﬁtness stations will be located where a previous ﬁtness trail had been located. The new exercise equipment will be installed with labor donated by local contractors.During the cleanup, Rebecca Lemay, managing operator and owner of T-Bones, presented Field of Dreams President Ross Trecartin and VP Pat Good with a check for $10,940. The money was raised at the Salem T-Bones through employee and customer donations. President Trecartin thanked T-Bones for the donation, stating the money will go to fund a fountain in the park.
Historical Society Hosts Clara Barton
Addressing the Salem Historical Society, Jessa Piaia portrays the amazing Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, who dedicated her life to serving others.
by Bob Gibbs
The Salem Historical Society hosted “Clara Barton,” the founder and ﬁrst president of the American Red Cross. As a part of the society’s monthly meeting, Ms. Barton – portrayed by Jessa Piaia-- gave a talk of her life on the battleﬁelds that led up to her forming the American Red Cross.Clara Barton began teaching school at a time when most teachers in the United States were men. After teaching for 13 years, she took a job in the U.S. patent ofﬁce in Washington, DC. In 1861, the ﬁrst units of federal troops began to organize in Washington in preparation for the Civil War. Barton saw that many of the troops, having been recently recruited, were under equipped and underfed. She began by taking supplies to the young soldiers of the Sixth Massachusetts Infantry, as many of these soldiers were from her hometown area of North Oxford, Mass. Several of these soldiers were her former students. She saw that many of these men had no bedding and only the clothes on their backs. She started an appeal through her Unitarian Church group to gather supplies from civilians, church and civic organizations and businesses. She eventually required three rented warehouses to store all of the supplies that she was able to obtain.During her work on the battleﬁelds of the American Civil War, she saw great suffering on all sides. She described coming across the many wounded and dead soldiers on the battleﬁelds, and the terrible suffering she observed in the makeshift hospitals of the war. Many of the hospitals were undersupplied with even the most basic needs to help the wounded. Toward the end of the war, she came to realize that the government had no records of the soldiers who had died in battle. She began a campaign to organize the names and other information of the soldiers that had gone to battle and had not returned. She and her group began to compile a list of the soldier’s names, their regiments, and the area that they had fought and died. At Andersonville, Ga., one of the most notorious prisoner of war camps, she and the group discovered that there had been 13,000 soldiers buried there, not the 8,000 that the government had records for. Her group gave these soldiers a proper burial at what is now one of the earliest U.S. national cemeteries. Following the war, Barton saw a continued need for services. As she stated, “The work of the Civil War is not complete until we have cared for the widows and orphans.”Being raised in the Unitarian Church and by her Mason father, she had this deep need to serve. This need to serve led her to organize the American Red Cross. In 1882, following much pressure from Barton, President Chester A. Arthur, signed the Geneva Convention Treaty, which formally recognized the International Red Cross as a neutral organization. In 1900 the U.S. Congress gave the American Red Cross is ﬁrst ofﬁcial charter.In letters and journals, Ms. Barton stated, that in times of need, “the Red Cross is there time and time again to offer a hand up” and “we will serve until there is no need.” Jessa Piaia’s character portrayals celebrate women of the past whose diverse lives span three centuries. In her poignant and inspiring dramatic vignettes, Jessa reveals the accomplishments, struggles, and contributions of these women to American history. Jessa depicts each woman’s life set against the historic events and issues of the day. Some of those portrayed - Amelia Earhart, Clara Barton, and Susan B. Anthony - achieved a place of prominence in history. Others, like Rachel Revere, Susanna Rowson, and Mary Dyer, may be less familiar to present-day audiences, but their lives deserve the attention Jessa gives them. Famous or not, all of these women can serve as role models for Americans today.The next program at the Salem Historical Society will be “Hollywood - Wild West to Movie Mecca” on May 8.The Salem Historical Society is based at the Old Town Hall Museum, 310 Main Street. For more information you can visit the society’s website: www.historicalsocietiesnh.org/salem.
S t a f f p h o t o b y B o b G i b b s S t a f f p h o t o s b y B o b G i b b s
Major James Blazak and aylor Specht of the Salem AF/JROC drag leaves out of the park.Nanci Carney plants bulbs at the front wall of Fields of Dreams.Rebecca Lemay, managing operator and owner of -Bones, center, Field of Dreams President Ross recartin, left, and VP Pat Good with a donation check from -Bones. Staﬀ of the restaurant is behind. Aja Metcalf and Mike Columbake do their part to get the Field of Dreams ready.Odin Bradley, 3, and brother Gabe, 5, of Salem would probably rather play in the leaves but decide to help instead.Salem Recreation Director Chris Dillon gets in to rake out the streams running through the Field of Dreams.