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Where to Buy Mystic Seafarer's Trail

Mystic Seafarer's Trail is available in the following Connecticut and Rhode Island shops and: Online as e-book or paperback: ( Amazon ...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mystic Pizza: Excerpt from Mystic Seafarer's Trail

The most common question I'm asked is if Mystic Pizza, the inspiration for the movie, "Mystic Pizza," was still serving.

I'm so used to that question that when a woman pulled over in her van and yelled to me, "Excuse me," I assumed she wanted directions to Mystic Pizza. Instead, she asked, "Do you realize the back of your skirt is tucked into your underwear?"

Anyway, yes, you can still dine at Mystic Pizza. Excerpt from my travel memoir, Mystic Seafarer's Trail:

Although it’s been more than 20 years since the release of the 1988 romantic comedy, Mystic Pizza, starring Julia Roberts and debuting Matt Damon (whose only line, "Mom, do you want my green stuff?" was said while eating lobster), visitors still flock to the restaurant that inspired it.

The Zelepos family, owners of Mystic Pizza, state, “Incredibly, our little pizza shop caught the eye of screenwriter Amy Jones, who was summering in the area. Ms. Jones chose Mystic Pizza as the focus and setting for her story of the lives and loves of three young waitresses.” The movie depicts life in a small fishing village and was filmed in Mystic and the surrounding communities.

The locals will never forget the day that Hollywood came to town—just ask Mystic shopkeepers and waiters what it was like to accommodate the 80-member film crew. Most have a story to tell—how the bridge operator needed to raise the drawbridge on cue; how local fishermen advised actors on stringing bait; or how they have a friend whose family moved into a hotel while a scene was shot in their home. Local racing sailor Katie Bradford said, “I’m friends with Skip, the guy who was actually steering the boat in the Mystic River scene. He had to do it lying on his back so an actor would appear as though he was steering.” Katie also tells how another friend became a local celebrity—simply because the back of his head made it into the movie!

For those who have never seen the film, they can have their chance by peering into the restaurant where it plays continuously on three screens. “It’s on mute—otherwise, we’d go nuts!” confided one waitress.

The restaurant sells souvenirs (as well as pizza) and proudly displays movie photos, posters and newspaper clippings featuring the restaurant. The waitresses even have a little fun by dressing up a mannequin as Daisy, the Julia Roberts character in the film. They change her hair accessories to match the colors of the season.

More than 20 years after the movie’s release, film production companies still can’t get enough of Mystic Pizza. Restaurant co-owner John Zelepos recently received a call from California asking if his restaurant and family would star in a reality TV show.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Share your older photos of Mystic?

I am working on an image-driven book about Mystic for a publisher with co-authors Kent and Meredith Fuller. Do you have any photos of a Mystic building/scenery/event you would like to be considered (and get photo credit of course)?

We're looking for photos showing the progress and changes in Mystic from the 1960s to the present (seven decades). Anything locally/historically relevant will be considered and images from the 1960-1980s are particularly desirable as they are harder to find.

Please see more information on the This is Mystic blog post if you have something you'd like to submit. (If the publisher doesn't to choose your image, we would be honored to feature your properly captioned image on the This is Mystic website should you be willing.)

More about co-authors Kent and Meredith Fuller: They are Mystic locals, web developers, and a husband and wife blogging team. They run an informational website, www.thisismystic.com, which promotes Mystic's attractions and community events to locals and tourists.
More about me, Lisa Saunders: I'm a freelance news release writer,  local TV talk show host, and publisher of the Mystic Seafarer's Trail newsletter, which features tourist-friendly people and events.  I'm the author of seven books, including the Mystic Seafarer's Trail: Secrets behind the 7 Wonders, Titanic's Shoes, Captain Sisson's Gold, and Amelia Earhart's Wedding , and live with my husband and hound in Mystic.

Thank you so much for your consideration!
Lisa Saunders
PO Box 389, Mystic, CT 06355

Friday, April 17, 2015

Deep Sea TV with Mystic's Melissa Ryan

Mystic's Melissa Ryan works with the Deep Submergence team at NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, and the team is conducting deep dives off of Puerto Rico during the month of April.
Tune in every day for the live video feeds from the dives - coming from the seafloor to your desktop in about three seconds!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ernie the Ledge Light Ghost: excerpt from book, Mystic Seafarer's Trail

Excerpt from my travel memoir: Mystic Seafarer's Trail: Secrets behind the 7 Wonders, Titanic's Shoes, Captain Sisson's Gold, and Amelia Earhart's Wedding:

All alone out in Fishers Island Sound, on a tiny man-made island at the mouth of the Thames River, is Ledge Light.  It has helped mariners navigate for over a century. Completed in 1909, the square, red brick lighthouse features a mix of Colonial Revival and French Second Empire styles—and the legend of Ernie the Ledge Light ghost.

Lighthouse keepers were very lonely at Ledge Light—and trapped, with no easy way back to shore in an emergency.  When the 1938 hurricane sent waves crashing into the second floor, the keepers had to run up to the lantern room to find safety. When the lighthouse was automated in the 1980s, the lighthouse keepers left—all except Ernie.

According to the website, Lighthousefriends.com, “Before the station was automated, the Coast Guard crew on duty reported frequently hearing strange noises: mysterious knocks on their bedroom doors in the middle of the night, doors opening and closing, the television being turned on and off repeatedly, and even having the covers pulled off the ends of their beds…The final day of manned operation shows a log entry reading, ‘Rock of slow torture. Ernie's domain. Hell on earth – may New London Ledge’s light shine on forever because I’m through. I will watch it from afar while drinking a brew.’”

Jim and I finally had a chance to meet Ernie when we booked passage to Ledge Light through Project Oceanology. Leaving from Avery Point with several others, expectations were high. Once docked, we climbed up to the platform and began a tour of the largely restored lighthouse.

Winding up the staircase, we reached the top for a breathtaking view and the spot where Ernie’s story begins.  The New London Ledge Lighthouse Foundation website states: “According to the legend, Ernie was a keeper, probably in the 1920s or 30s. His younger wife, who lived ashore, ran off with the Captain of the Block Island Ferry. Consumed with grief and loneliness, Ernie allegedly climbed to the roof of the lighthouse and jumped. His body was never found…Legend has it that Ernie haunts the lighthouse to this day…There are cold spots inside. Strange noises, whispers. Boats are mysteriously untied…”

To learn more, see my book: Mystic Seafarer's Trail: Secrets behind the 7 Wonders, Titanic's Shoes, Captain Sisson's Gold, and Amelia Earhart's Wedding.

It's available online as an e-book and softcover and in these shops: click here for locations.