Man About Canton: Dolly Gibson

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Did you know …

Canton’s Ginny “Dolly” Gibson, 69 years young, was recently featured in The Suburbanite section of the Boston Globe. Dolly, a lifelong Canton resident, is a blind piano player who has been playing the piano and singing for many years. She volunteers at Rosie’s Place, a women’s shelter in Boston, and Canton seniors know her from her years of entertaining them every Monday at the Senior Center and on many other occasions. She is also a fixture at Christmastime playing at the Bank of Canton. Dolly also plays and sings at the Norwood Senior Center, the Hebrew Center in Roslindale, and at her house of worship, the First Congregational Church in Stoughton. The article goes on to say that Dolly was educated at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown; and as a child, she took accordion lessons and then classical piano. Dolly played at the former 138 Motel cocktail lounge in Easton for over 20 years. It is interesting to know that although her name is Ginny, most know her as Dolly. In the story, Dolly goes on to say, “When I was born, I was two pounds, two ounces” and “I looked like a doll, they said, so they gave me the nickname Dolly and it stuck.” For you old-time Cantonites, Dolly was born on Bolivar Street in Canton to Virginia Fama Gibson. Her uncle is Sammy Fama and her aunt is Lucy Fama Ronayne, both well-known Cantonites.

MAC congratulates Mary Jane Mangan on being named the recipient of the Blue Hills Civic Association’s 32nd annual Dr. Richard J. Elkort Citizen of the Year Award. Mary Jane has a very impressive record of volunteerism and civic work in the town of Canton. Among her many lists of accomplishments, she served on the Canton Board of Health (1993-97), the Solid Waste Advisory Board, as well as launching the town’s first curbside recycling program and co-authoring the tobacco bylaws for Canton. Mary Jane was also a former president of the Dean S. Luce CAPT (Canton Association of Parents and Teachers). She was also active in the Canton Girls Scouts for more than 20 years, and she is the volunteer coordinator and former treasurer for the Friends of the Canton Public Library. Mary Jane Mangan is a well-deserving recipient of this award based on her commitment to making Canton a better place to live.

The annual town meeting got it right when a clear super-majority (more than two thirds) of the more than 600 voters approved the Plymouth Rubber redevelopment project. Almost every member of all 16 town boards were in favor of this project. One of the few critics was Planning Board Vice Chairman Chris Connolly, who opposed the project, citing environmental and traffic concerns, as well as the density of the housing, especially in downtown Canton. He did, however, say that it was the “best proposal so far.” In MAC’s opinion, it is the best deal for the town of Canton. We are cleaning up an eyesore on Revere Street, and in the end, making an impact that will be better for the town of Canton.

The Canton High School tenth grade Problem Solving team recently won the State Bowl at the Mass Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay. Team members included Christine Lee, Dasol Lee, Sean Hanscom, Meryl Prendergast, and Forest Schmid. The Canton team will represent Massachusetts at the International Conference in Iowa.

On May 17, a Randolph man and two Boston men were held on $100,000 bail after police said they were involved in a vehicle shooting starting on upper Washington Street near 138 and carrying on through Canton. No injuries were reported, but police said the victim’s car was struck by at least five bullets around St. Gerard’s Church.

Talking about guns, 601 Canton residents have a Class A license to carry a gun. That is a 46 percent increase since 2008 when there were 413 license holders. In Stoughton, there are 1,065 gun permits. Sharon has only 419, while neighboring Randolph increased their gun permits 96 percent from 665 in 2008 to 1,120 in 2015. On the south shore, Plymouth, with 4,253 gun license holders, tops the list, followed by Quincy with 2,984 and Brockton with 2,639. In 33 communities south of Boston, a total of more than 39,300 people now possess Class A licenses to carry a firearm, a 55 percent increase since 2008, according to data from the state’s Firearms Records Bureau.

Verizon Comminations recently acquired America Online (AOL) for $4.4 billion. In 2000, media company Time Warner was purchased by AOL for an astonishing $165 billion, by far the biggest merger in American history. Nine years later, a much-diminished AOL was spun off as a separate company, valued then at a mere $3.4 billion.

If New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s suspension of four games holds up, he will forego about $1.9 million in salary. Add that to the team’s $1 million fine, and the Patriots and Tom are out almost $3 million. In MAC’s opinion, it’s an “NFL Rip-off.”

There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

At the Boston Red Sox’s first ball park at the Huntington Avenue grounds, now the home of Northeastern University, centerfield was a whopping 635 feet from home plate.

The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.

This is all for now folks. See you next week.

Joe DeFelice can be reached at manaboutcanton@aol.com.

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