The Heartbeat of Haverhill

Good News from A Great City Haverhill, MA

It’s Never to Late to Reinvent Yourself in Haverhill

The Heartbeat of Haverhill is so impressed by all the young professionals turning up in lists like Top 30 under 30. Go forth and take on the world! We celebrate your success. But I am equally impressed by the slew of people I find in Haverhill who have reinvented themselves or just found themselves at 50 or later. Yet for some reason, they don’t receive quite the same fanfare given our younger population.

Today when we were banished from our parking spaces at 6:30 am for needed lot repairs, we got in our car and just started driving. We went to Kimball Farm, Millvale Reservoir, Riverside Park, Rocks Village, Cafe G Raff and the AAA office before returning home. Along the way we met such awesome people who are putting their 50 years of experience into new things every day. Their lives are more interesting with each decade, proving age is not a reason to quit, it’s a reason to start.

If you know any Haverhill person who has brought forth the next stage of their life with vigor, like these folks, please put their names in the comment section below. THOH wants to compile my own list of the Top 50 Over 50! And by the way, check out these photos. What do you see? I think it’s called happiness!

_DSC5071 Haverhill Riverside Park Walkers 50 years old

This loosely formed walking club has members aged 54-89 in this photo. They recruit new members on the trails of Riverside Park. The vivacious lady in pink is 89 years old. THOH wants what she’s got!

It’s an informal group at best, and there is no club name or dues, just a group of people enjoying the outdoors and keeping their hearts pumping. Former AT&T workers began walking the trails at Riverside Park for health and friendship years ago, and they’ve picked up a lot of new friends along the way. They start out at about 9am every day, and people join in when and where they can. If they see you out there pounding the pavement, be forewarned you might be sucked into their positive energy vortex. I know THOH will be joining them soon. How to meet them? Just show up!


_DSC4836 Haverhill Rocks Village 50+ Steve Allen and John Paquette

Steve Allen (r) and his brother-in-law and great friend John Paquette (l) were part of a team repairing the drainage on a Rocks Village Road.

Steve XXX Allen of Allen Excavation just barely slipped into the 5th decade, but he’s taking challenges and trying new directions as an actor and model (on the side) after stints in reality television showcased his big personality and his intense excavating skills. He’s been on Discovery’s Channels “Best in the Business”, and “American Hard Hats” on the History Channel. He’s even got a talent agency in Boston (Dynasty Model and Talent) promoting him. He’s modeled work clothes when he’s not keeping Haverhill streets in order or digging stuff up. He’s got quite a history and a nickname to match. Steve is XXX. He’s X’ed drugs out of his life, he’s X’ed alcohol out of his life, and he’s an eXpert eXcavator, so THOH thinks that earns him an extra X. Steve XXXX Allen! Attached is his introduction video from American Hard Hats. (THOH has no claim to producing or owning this video.) Steve XXXX works hard to put Haverhill on the map. How to reach him? Call his agent 617.536.7900 for modeling/acting gigs or Allen Excavation for the big jobs 978.420.9627.



_DSC5068 Haverhill 50+ Pat Champagne All the Girls Landscaping

Check out that pancake! Pat Champagne of “Call the Girls”


The Heartbeat of Haverhill met Pat Champagne on the community counter seats at Cafe GRaffs  where she was served a giant pancake with a dollop of butter in the middle that looked for all the world like a flower. THOH had to ask about that and in the process learned that Pat’s been a ground breaker since the early days and hitting the big 50 or 60 didn’t change her ways. She started an electronics company in Haverhill decades ago as part of an innovation hub program that reduced rents for new businesses. And she’s still here 30 years later. Her daughters have taken over much of the day to day responsibilities for that business so Pat tried hanging out in the garden to keep busy. But puttering just isn’t her MO. Her love of the outdoors, strong work ethic and artistic eye morphed into an expanding business five years ago when Pat was 59. Her new business is “Call the Girls Landscaping”.  Pat has a reputation as a defender of the underdogs (seniors and women) and that philosophy means she puts in long hard hours for residential and commercial clients. She even does small repairs. In the course of our brief discussion, Pat provided a great tip: for the money, Market Basket has really good mums. How to reach her: Check out the breakfast counter at Cafe G Raff, (181 Groveland St) or call Pat at 978.609.1502.


DSC_0490 Wallys Award Winning Haverhill Farm

Wally’s Farm one of the two participants who have been part of Haverhill Farmers Market since the beginning.

Stephanie Lesiczka, (of Wally’s Farm Stand fame) earned the title of first runner up to Mrs. Essex County 2018 at the Topsfield Fair. We may see her most regularly in her Wally’s t-shirt at Haverhill Farmers’ Market but Stephanie demonstrated her glamorous side at this competition. Plus she came in first with her bakery entry and took a special award for community involvement and love of the fair. Way to go, Stephanie! Stephanie is now in the THOH list for 50 over 50 for people who continue to expand horizons by trying new things, reinventing themselves or chasing a new dream. Wallys Vegetables 799 Amesbury Road, (978) 374-9039

IMG_0965 Bethany Communities Art Show HCC program Mary V Johnson 90 new art medium for her

Mary V Johnson is a super vibrant 90 year old who lets her artwork take her all over the world in history and in present time. She is one of several exceptional participants in The Art through the Eyes of Ages project at Bethany Communities. What makes Mary Johnson unique is that she is not one to rest on her laurels, Mary V Johnson took up a new art form this year – working with India Ink to create dark contrasting forms. She can be reached through Bethany Communities. See the work of other senior artists at this link: The Heartbeat of Haverhill Facebook Album “Art through the Eyes of Ages Bethany Communities”.



(c)Alison Colby-Campbell

4 comments on “It’s Never to Late to Reinvent Yourself in Haverhill

  1. Alice Magrane
    October 20, 2017

    I moved to Haverhill when I retired from my job as Director of Guidance in Winchester Public Schools in 2008. Living here has proven an inspiration for me to finally enjoy writing and I just published my second book–a novel: The Stone Wall Crossing, now available on Amazon. It’s set here in Haverhill and mentions many Haverhill landmarks. I’m approaching my 73rd birthday and I feel younger than I did when I was working! I always wrote in my profession as a guidance director: policies, procedures, course descriptions, college recommendations…but as much as my colleagues complimented my writing, I felt it to be really tedious. My move to Haverhill inspiried me. My neighborhood has a real sense of community and my neighbors have really encouraged me in my writing career (and bought my books!) My inspiration for The Stone Wall Crossing were the centuries-old stone walls I see every day on my walks with my little dog. I always picture the farmers who carried those boulders to their property lines and well…my mind wandered from there to the story that forms the heart of my book!

    • Brain4Rent/THoH
      October 20, 2017

      Wow thank you so much for sharing your story! Can’t wait to read your book

      • Alice Magrane
        November 17, 2017

        Just wondering if you’d had a chance to read The Stone Wall Crossing? I’ve sold some books and some ebooks on Amazon and I now have a FB page for the book, but it is really, really difficult for a self-published author to get publicity. I believe in the book and the feedback I have received has been extremely positive. If you have any suggestions as to how I might get a mention locally, please let me know. I only wish I had the money for a big ad campaign!

      • Brain4Rent/THoH
        November 17, 2017

        I have not read it. Many family emergencies back to back. My advice is to send the ebook to anyone you want to get publicity from but know that if they review it in their media, they may or may not like it.

        On Nov 17, 2017 12:18 AM, “The Heartbeat of Haverhill” wrote:


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Alison Colby-Campbell



Full-brain user demonstrating a healthy(?) obsession with marketing, promotion, writing, photography, house rabbits, the natural world, tennis, big and small problem solving, reading, hiking, HGTV and the flotsam & jetsam of everyday life. My three blogs Brain4Rent, The Heartbeat of Haverhill, Alison Colby-Campbell Photography are Wordpress based.

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