Man About Canton: Goodbye Beachcomber

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Did you know …

MAC was sad to hear of the closing of the Beachcomber, a popular Quincy bar that has been a mainstay for music on the south shore since 1959. In the 1960s, 70s and 80s, it was the place to go for many young Cantonites to listen to music from the area’s best and well-known bands and dance the night away.

According to the Boston Globe, the Beachcomber was on the market for $1.6 million and was sold to a local businessman who plans to turn it into a high-end restaurant. One of the owners, Sean McGettrick, said that the building will be torn down, and the new business will be erected in the parking lot on stilts “to get out of the flood zone” since it is near the Wollaston Beach area. In its heyday, stars like jazz giant Louis Armstrong, country queen Loretta Lynn, and pop star Linda Ronstadt all performed at the Beachcomber.

As one observer with a long history booking Boston-area clubs told the Globe, “It’s like anything else: mom and pop stores are going under.” And on September 4, 2015, the Beachcomber will close its doors. Too bad, MAC is sure that many Cantonites have lots of memories of the Beachcomber.

MAC was also sad to read of the passing of Marjory “Margie” Franklin Binder, the publisher of the popular Suburban Shopper. Margie, only 65 and a CHS graduate, took over the business from her mother and founder of the publication, Irene Franklin. The Suburban Shopper, headquartered in Canton, is delivered every Wednesday to every home in Milton, Sharon, and Canton and has a combined circulation of 29,000. Margie will be missed by her many friends.

A section of the Boston Globe called “From the Archives,” a photographic gem that chronicles Boston’s past, recently published a picture taken on July 20, 1973, at Pequitside Farm in Canton showing children receiving instruction in guitar playing as part of the Canton Creative Arts summer program. The photo appeared in the Saturday Life section of the Boston Globe on August 1, 2015. The article gave a brief history of the 33-acre farm on Pleasant Street. It was acquired by the town in June 1971 and is managed by the Canton Conservation Commission, and it is 206 years old this year. The land was purchased by the Rev. William Ritchie in 1809. He built part of the main house on the property as his parsonage.

The House of Representatives recently passed legislation authorizing six more liquor licenses for the town of Stoughton. At the last town meeting, Canton voters petitioned the state legislators to allow the Board of Selectmen to issue up to five additional liquor licenses for the sale of alcohol to be consumed on the premises. The town is also asking the state to approve two additional licenses for the sale of alcohol not to be drunk on the premises. An amendment, sponsored by Senator Brian A. Joyce, may be added to the bill that would make each of the seven newly issued licenses non-transferable. In the past, owners of the licenses, who paid $100 for each license, have sold them for over $100,000.

The Brightview Senior Living development at 125 Turnpike Street (the old AA Will sand pit) is moving right along. It is scheduled to open in the early summer of 2016 with a total of 160 apartment homes for seniors that will include 95 independent apartments, 40 assisted living apartments, and a 25-apartment neighborhood known as Wellspring Village, a specialized program and environment for individuals with dementia and other memory impairments.

The award-winning Bonefish Grill restaurant recently celebrated its grand opening at the University Station shopping center in Westwood.

Canton’s newest K9 police dog, called Dunkin, will be used for public information purposes and will be trained for narcotics detection. The new K9 is a young black lab that was purchased thanks in part to a large donation by Dunkin’ Brands. The department’s other K9, Bosco, will continue to be used for searches and police calls.

Former Massachusetts governor and now Canton resident William Weld turned 70 on July 31. Also celebrating a birthday on the same day, former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick turned 59.

A state senate committee will investigate the almost 10 percent increases in Massachusetts homeowners’ insurance rates after a severe winter that produced record snowfall, freezing weather, and claims for damages. The Division of Insurance approved an 8.9 percent rate hike for MAPFRE USA, 9.1 percent for Safety Insurance, and 7.8 percent for Bunker Hill Insurance — increases that will add $100 or more to homeowners’ bills. Usual rate hikes average around 2 to 3 percent. The average Massachusetts premium is $1,150.

We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time out to enjoy where we are.

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

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

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