Deary at Library  
Thursday, February 20, 2003
So I've Heard Column

Gerald P. Deary, the retired public schools administrator, one time Webster selectman, and now acting director of the Chester C. Corbin Public Library, knows his way around the Lake Street facility.
Mr. Deary is a former chairman of the Board of Library Trustees and a past-president of the Friends of the Library. "I'm interested in the library and happy to help," he says, dismissing the magnanimity of his salary waived stint. "To tell you the truth, I'm enjoying myself."
While he places Webster's educational needs first, encouraging construction of a new elementary school, library deficiencies aren't far behind, Mr. Deary suggests. An addition or a new facility should be on the wings to a future project.
The editorial judged best in a mid-sized New England daily newspaper during 2002 was written by Dudley mative Ken Johnson, editorial page editor of the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune.
Mr. Johnson started his post college career as an administrator at Old Sturbridge Village, but he developed an interest in newspaper work through a part-time stint as Dudley correspondent for the Telegram & Gazette. He was recognized for an editorial demanding an end to patronage at Logan International Airport in the aftermath of Sept. 11. Judges said they were impressed with his "hard hitting approach (and) clear forceful writing."
Mr. Johnson, who was in the first graduating class at Shepherd Hill Regional High School, is the son of Frances M. and Donald A. "Gus" Johnson of Tanyard Road, Dudley. The first place award, announced Feb. 8 at NEPAs Better Newspaper Contest in Boston is Mr. Johnson's third in four years.
This makes Ken Johnson the Pedro Martinez of New England daily editorial writers.
Ask Webster town surveyor Stanley A. Duszlak a question and you're going to get an answer, even if it takes several weeks.
I inquired about town road names when there was talk of changing the name of Whitcomb Street to Basilica Avemue. Mr. Duszlak had a ready response. Church Lane, the one-way from Negus to Lake Streets, was renamed Veterans Way more than a year ago.
A couple of old streets have never been accepted, and there's even a public way in the middle of a parking lot, but redesignations have beem few amd far between over the years. Before Veterans Way, and forgetting the changes made to eliminate duplicates and improve emergency response time, the last switch was in 1938, Mr. Duslak reported last week. "Cottage Street became Hartley Street."
Postcard collector Ramona Leah Kelly had a question the other day: "What do you know about the Indian Lake Nut Co? It was in Webster."
Ms. Kelly, an assistant in the Webster Town Accountant's office, says her father, John E. Benkowski, owner of Maxime's Antiques, recently picked up some posters advertising the nut business. There's no address on the cards but the telephone number was 1749-J.
Maybe some reader can enlighten us.
The talk was about state finance problems on a recent afternoon and Dudley's Theodore J. Grzych remembered the Great Depression. Gardens were a source of sustenance for cash poor families, he said. "Everybody in Jericho (his Dudley neighborhood) had one."
The Grzych family kept a garden behind Stevens Linen Mill. "It was company land but they let their workers use it. My father worked in the mill when there was work." He was a kid going to St. Joseph's School in Webster and cultivated the garden with some of his eight siblings. "We dug the whole place up with a pitch fork because it was the only thing we had." Later, a relative bought a team of horses and went about plowing fields.
Garden bounty, fresh or canned, home baked bread, and a little bit of meat provided a healthy diet, says Mr. Grzych. "We were never hungry, always healthy. The food wasn't fancy but we didn't care."
-Courtesy Of
Telegram & Gazette

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