, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 16, 2013

Irish eyes were smiling at annual political roast


A poster, with enlarged and doctored photograph, circulated that depicted James Shanley, former chairman of the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority, shepherding some (real) cows through Market Landing Park.

Also, a hand-lettered sign was carried through the laughing audience that declared, “Weed on the Waterfront,” but it wasn’t clear to exactly what this slogan referred.

Indeed, blown-up photos mounted on posters drew some of the most appreciative laughter.

An enlarged image of Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins was superimposed upon a papal photo of Pope Francis, and the idea of “Pope Frank” generated much glee.

Another poster showed Holaday in a regal outfit as if Queen of England; a photo of Ives’ face was superimposed on the cover of the recent “swimsuit” issue of Sports Illustrated making Ives look like a curvy model rather than a thoughtful legislator.

The abashed Ives joked that she couldn’t start speaking until the color of her cheeks returned to the normal shade after some serious blushing.

When state Sen. Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, spoke, he brushed off the provocative nature of the glossy cover: “We see more skin on the top of Mike Costello’s head than we do on that model.”

Holaday aimed several jests at Dick Sullivan -- who has announced he will run against her in the fall election as well as councilors Cronin and Brian Derrivan, but she concluded her remarks by dedicating a traditional ethnic poem to her late mother, Helene “Irish” Demski.

Kezer sent zingers in the direction of Amesbury councilors James Kelcourse and Christian Scorzoni.

Between the gag lines, speakers recognized the 41 years of Link House, headed by Executive Director Nick Costello, Mike’s father. Others presenting included Neil Harrington, town manager of Salisbury, who provided a droll, amusing “anecdote” about the forgetfulness of Nick Costello.

It was reported that U.S. Rep. John Tierney, D-Salem, generally a regular at the roast, was in Washington and could not attend.

While others laughed through the noon hour, it just could be that the congressman was relieved.




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