I met Leonard McGrane in Salem Common on a hot July evening.
As Salem residents jogged, walked their dogs and enjoyed post-supper strolls, I had the privilege to journey into Leonard’s Salem. After more than eight decades in the city, Leonard had much to share. A living history book, he spoke of the city’s rich maritime roots, military drills in Salem Common and the “way things were.”
Though his history lessons fascinated me, most intriguing were Leonard’s personal stories and the theme that emerged as dusk approached. Though he has endured life’s peaks and valleys and transitions from one decade to the next, something in Leonard remains unchanged – an unwavering love for his city.
Leonard McGrane loves Salem. He loves Salem for what it was, what it is today and what it will be in the future.
Thousands of others love Salem, and each has a vested interest in the city. Whether you are a newcomer to the city or someone who has called it home for your entire life, I welcome each of you to Salem Patch and invite you to share your Salem with us.
Salem Patch is your source for up-to-the minute community news. If you need a recap from the latest City Council meeting, we’ll catch you up on what you need to know. If you’re looking to tune in on the latest from Chief Tucker and Chief Cody at the Salem Police and Fire departments, we’ll be there. If your camera batteries drain just before your daughter’s solo in the school musical or your son scores his first touchdown at Bertram Field, we’ll have you covered with photo galleries and footage.
Salem Patch is your virtual space to share. I encourage you to use it. Perhaps you’ll learn something you never knew about your city even though it was in your backyard the whole time.
So, be sure to say “hello” on the street, send an e-mail, call and interact on salem.patch.com, Twitter and Facebook. Let me know what news matters to you.
After a simple salutation, “Good Evening,” and invitation to sit down for a chat on a park bench, Leonard McGrane showed me what it means to be from Salem and how special that is. I look forward to learning what Salem means to you.
See you soon and thanks for sharing your stories.
Originally appeared on Salem Patch, Sept. 13, 2010.