Friday Coffees

For all Explorers and Guests

Spring 2017 Semester 

“Friday Coffee” presentations begin at 10:00 am


March 17, 2017
Using Animation to Explain Climate Change
Steven Levy, Explorers member, Engineer, Animator              Our guest has created scores of short entertaining online video animations to help explain scientific and math information clearly. He will demonstrate how the videos were produced and provide reference material.
Steven Levy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, and a Master of Business Administration. He lives in Marblehead.

March 24, 2017
Flight of Remembrance-A World War II Memoir of Love and Survival
Marina Dutzmann Kirsch, Author and Graphic Designer
Our guest will narrate the remarkable journey of her father and grandfather, tracing their escape from Latvia before the first Soviet takeover, compulsory military service under the Nazi regime, POW camp and postwar hardships, and finally, their role in the U.S. Space Program after immigration.
Marina Kirsch‘s book Flight of Remembrance, was a finalist in the narrative non-fiction category of the 2012 USA Best Book Awards. Mrs. Kirsch was born in the post war Old World in Zurich, Switzerland and now lives in New Hampshire.

March 31, 2017
The Boys in the Boat…the Rest of the Story
James Pocock, great-nephew of George Pocock
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown is about the 1936 Olympic crew from the
University of Washington that won the gold medal in Berlin against overwhelming odds.
A central figure in the book is the boat builder George Pocock, arguably the most
influential man in crew racing in the last hundred years. Our guest will speak about his
great uncle as well as his grandfather who together built a total of 21 Olympic gold
medal winning boats.
Jim Pocock will talk about the development of the sport of rowing in America and tell
many interesting stories not included in the book. He is a Minister and Administrator at
Gordon College and lives in Gloucester.

April 7, 2017
Digging Deep- Fascinating Facts about Boston’s Historic Burial Grounds
Kelly Thomas, Curator, the Boston Historic Burying Grounds Initiative
Our guest is cemetery preservationist for 16 burying grounds in Boston, including the Granary, Kings Chapel and Copp’s Hill. A portion of her presentation will include describing the iconography of historic gravestones. The Historic Burying Grounds Initiative is a public- private co-op program of the Parks and Recreation Department.
Kelly Thomas mission is to document, restore and interpret Boston’s historic cemeteries
which date from between 1640 and 1841 and are located in 13 Boston neighborhoods,
comprising over 12,000 headstones.

April 21, 2017
The History of the U.S. Lightship Service, 1820-1985
Robert Mennino Jr., President of the U.S. Lightship Museum
Our guest will share the fascinating story of Nantucket Lightship/LV-112, a National
Historic Landmark and National Treasure, which functioned as a “floating lighthouse,” in
the coastal shoals off Nantucket Island. Built in 1935 and nicknamed the “Statue of
Liberty of the Sea,” the Nantucket was the first landmark seen by transatlantic ships
entering American waters from Europe.
Robert Mennino of Beverly is dedicated to restoring the Nantucket Lightship to her
original condition. Today the ship is berthed in her homeport of East Boston and open
to the public as a maritime museum.

April 28, 2017                                                                                                                             The Story Behind Leslies Retreat”                                                                                 Jonathan L. Bell, historian of the American Revolution                                                   “Leslie’s Retreat” was a dramatic moment in February 1775 when the people of Salem blocked hundreds of British troops from finding cannon being prepared for the Massachusetts rebel army. It was also part of a longer, secret story as the rebels prepared for war against the British government and how the royal governor deployed spies and troops to stymie them. During those secret actions early in 1775 the American Revolution could easily have begun here instead of in April, a few months later, at Lexington and Concord.

J. L. Bell is the author of The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War.” He maintains a website called “ “, which  offers daily updates of history, analysis, and unabashed gossip about the American Revolution in New England. He is a fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society and the American Antiquarian Society and resides in Newton.