EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

August 29, 2013

Free Tilly

Iconic whale will be repaired, brought back to Salisbury


Although Chip Davis still insists his dad, Whitey, and local mason Howie MacDonald built the whale, MacDonald himself disagrees, as do many who credit the whale to St. Cyr’s handiwork.

“I dug the hole where we dropped the telephone pole that became the whale’s tail,” said former contractor Robert Dow, who believes the whale’s first incarnation was as Blinkie, due to its eyes. “Charlie St. Cyr built that whale for Jim Natowich. I think it was around 1957. I was about 19. I worked for Jim for about five years.”

St. Cyr’s wife, Ann, and eldest son, Chuck, agree.

Chuck St. Cyr remembers his dad talking about the whale every time the family drove by it. “My dad was very proud of that whale,” he said.

His mother, Ann, couldn’t help but chuckle over the dispute.

“Only in Salisbury can you start such a controversy over a whale that’s broken down,” she said, laughing.

Those for whom the sight of this beached whale brings back memories are pleased that a piece of the town’s history remains.

“If anybody can fix it, Steve (Contarino) can,” Coady said. “They want to build a steel frame around it first. I bet in a couple of days he’s going to call me to see if I know a welder who’ll help.”

“It’s a part of Salisbury history,” Contarino said. “When we’re done, parents can tell their kids about it, and it will live forever.”

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