Monday, June 27, 2011

Interview with comedian Lenny Clarke

Lenny Clarke talks TV


Lenny Clarke talks North Andover and stand-up

Lenny Clarke talks life, politics, and...softball?

Local comedian Lenny Clarke stopped by "Chuckles Comedy Club" at China Blossom Saturday night. Clarke gave Patch an exclusive interview before the show.

The 57 year-old Clarke is finishing a ten year run as "Uncle Teddy" on TV's Rescue Me, and he's set to premiere as Chelsea Handler's raunchy father in her new sitcom, Are You There Vodka, it's me Chelsea.

The cambridge native has had a 35-year career. He's been in several sitcoms including his own Lenny, then the John Laroquette Show, and most recently Rescue Me. Clarke has also had several movie roles including There's Something about Mary, Me, Myself, and Irene, and Fever Pitch.

Clarke has also been involved in Massachusetts politics, having run for mayor of Cambridge and, most recently, having stumped for Scott Brown during his improbable run for Senate.

In this installment, Clarke talks about the news that "Whitey" Bulger was captured, his interest in politics and the endurance that keeps him going.

This summer, Clarke will be on a nation-wide tour with Rescue Me stars Denis Leary and others including a stop at Mohegan Sun Casino July 8 at 8pm.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Behind the Kitchen: A look at Tewksbury's Tew-Mac Tavern

At the Tewksbury Country Club's Tew-Mac Tavern, you'll find no bags, no preservatives, and certainly no microwaves.

"Everything is made with hands," says Tew-Mac's General Manager Bob Leo, "We make our own salad dressing, our own chowder. We mash potatoes every morning. We roast Turkeys every day. To us, it's important that we make our own food."

The Tavern's menu ranges from sandwiches to full-course dinners. Leo says the Tavern's mission is to give diners the chance to enjoy home-cooked comfort food, but with a Tew-Mac twist.

"We might serve you a basket of onion rings," Leo says, "but it has a nice spicy Chipotle sauce."

Leo credits the quality of the food to the chef's behind the kitchen. He says he looks for "restaurant rats," people who want to be in the kitchen and have been there for a long time. As for service, Leo says the staff is always willing to bend for the customer.

"If there's something you like but you don't see it, we'll make it for you. If you want to substitute this for that, not a problem," says Leo.

The Tew-Mac tavern is membership free, so all are welcome. The Tavern is open year-round, and in the summer, they open up an outdoor patio overlooking the golf course.

For the last two years, the Tewksbury Country Club's been awarded the best place to get married by The Knot magazine. The tavern has also recieved a number of local awards.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fishing derby honors fallen athlete

In 2004, Tim Roberts was the captain of the Scarlet Knights' track team. The 21 year-old high school senior spent his afternoons fishing or hanging out with his friends around town. Things changed for Roberts in the summer of 2004 when he was diagnosed with esophogeal cancer. Tim lost his battle with cancer a year later in August of 2005.

However, Roberts' legacy lives on.

The "Reeling in a Dream" fishing derby is one of several events held each year in Roberts' name. The money goes to the Dana Farber Cancer Center to aid young adults with cancer (aged 18-30) like Roberts recieve "wishes" since most charities only aid those under 18. The idea was dreamed up by Tim when he was sick, and he and his friends started the fund with a charity wiffleball tournament.

"The whole idea behind this fundraising effort was him," said Tim's former coach Steve Nugent, "It all started with Tim."

After Roberts passed in August, the effort was picked up by his family and friends. For the last six years, the Tim Roberts Fund has raised thousands to help grant wishes including trips, computers, and ipads.

"He saw other patients his age so this's what he wanted to do," said Roberts mother Pat, "and the community comes out each year to support us. It's great."

The next event for the Tim Roberts Fund will be the annual wiffleball "Tourney for Tim" on August 6, 2011.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Tewksbury, MA: 2011 graduates bid farewell, look towards future

The Tewksbury Memorial High School Class of 2011 gathered together for one last time at UMass Lowell's Costello Athletic Center. Dressed in bright blue and red gowns, the graduates stood up one by one to recieve their diplomas from school principal Patricia Lally.

"Everyone of them as turned out to be a wonderful individual," said Lally, "so I don't think there's going to be a problem in the future."

It was the first time for Lally to hand out the diplomas directly, previously it had been the job of the school committee. Lally said in her address to the Class of 2011 that they were apart of her "family."

Students had mixed emotions, it was a great celebration, but for others it also meant good bye. For others still, the entirety of the event and the end of high school has yet to sink in.

"It almost hasn't sunk in yet that we're done with high school completely," said Valedictorian Victoria Aronson who encouraged her classmates to live lives "without regret."

Parents cried and cheered for their childrens' successes, happy that they've crossed another milestone in their lives.

"A very proud moment for him," said Stephanie Rogers who watched her youngest son Matthew pick up his diploma, "they're all grown up now."