What made you decide to write M is for Marblehead? I first got the idea for “M is for Marblehead” while reading “B is for Boston” with one of my nieces a few years ago. I had been thinking for some time about creating a children’s book to help kids learn about Marblehead, and an alphabet book seemed perfect. Growing up here, I was always curious about the town’s history, and I loved exploring the local programs and tours. I specifically remember two walking tours I did in school – one in the 4th grade with Mr. Sullivan from the Glover School and the other in the 8th grade with Bette Hunt. On those tours, I explored Marblehead’s famous buildings, saw the rooms inside Fort Sewall for the first time, and learned many of the stories hidden throughout Old Town. I really enjoyed those moments. So I wanted this book to be an addition to those learning experiences, an accessible way for children to learn about the places, people, and traditions that make Marblehead special. As a plus, I thought it was a fun way to learn the alphabet using places children might see every day! I hope children (and parents!) might learn something new or exciting and explore more of the town after reading the book.
What do you love most about Marblehead? This is a tough question. If I had to pick one thing, it would be how much history is in town. You can walk down almost every street, and there’s a new story to learn or place to explore. When my wife, daughter, and I go on walks, we often find a plaque with a person or event we weren’t aware of or notice something new on a historic building we’ve seen a hundred times. What’s also remarkable is that there are so many different centuries to explore. In just a half-mile walk in Old Town, you’ll see homes from the 1600s, a mansion or two built in the 1700s, and a town hall built in the 1800s. There’s just so much to learn. Since I published the book, I’ve discovered probably 20 facts or stories I wish I had included. Not to mention you have all that just steps from the ocean. Some people might disagree, but I don’t think there’s a prettier place to live. It’s so picturesque and quintessential New England in so many ways.
What hobbies/ interests do you have? I spend most of my time outside work with my family. My wife, Meredith, and I have a daughter, Catherine, who recently turned one, so we love doing new things with her. She’s already very curious and loves walking around town (she really likes Fort Sewall!). I come from a big family, and almost all of them are here in town as well. We are incredibly close, and Catherine loves being with her cousins and grandparents. So you’ll likely find us all together, either taking a ride around the harbor in the summer, getting ice cream at Scoops, or having a picnic somewhere outside!
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? I’m not sure it’s necessarily surprising, but I lived in Texas for seven years. While I really loved it there, it gave me a better appreciation of Marblehead and growing up here. There’s just something special about Marblehead that’s hard to truly explain if you haven’t been here. All of my friends down there still get annoyed by how much I talk about it (Texans are a bit prideful as well, haha). But being in Texas for so long and seeing so many new places, I realized how unique this town and community are. I’m fortunate my parents moved us here when we were young, and we were able to experience growing up in a place like this. And I’m lucky my wife, who is actually from Texas, agreed to move here so we can raise our own family in town now.
M is for Marblehead is available at Marblehead Mercantile, Mud Puddle Toys, Shubie’s Marketplace, Sweetwater Trading Company and Abbot Hall Gift Shop.