When the Chelsea High Class of 1982 needed someone to step up and organize its 35th Class Reunion, Alan Andrade answered the call of his classmates.
Nanci Macomber knew in her heart that it was her popular classmate that could get it all done.
“I said, ‘Alan, you have such a huge following – you’re the one that can pull this off,’ recalled Macomber. “So with a little pushing and support from here, Alan soon had it all under control. He really pulled off a great event.”
Indeed, classmates told Alan at the reunion how grateful they were to him for his efforts.
“The reunion [held at the Merritt Club] was a lot bigger than we thought,” said Macomber. “The food from Michael Giannasca’s restaurant was fantastic and everybody had a great time.”
If you look at the Chelsea Cable TV video of that reunion, you can see Alan Andrade having a wonderful time and then stating in an interview that he was looking forward to seeing his classmates again at the 40th reunion.
But today there is tremendous sadness and disbelief as friends and classmates react to the news that Alan Andrade died on July 18 after a lengthy illness. He was 56.
“I’m a little still in shock over the news that we’ve lost our great friend, Alan,” said Macomber. “I knew Alan all through our high school years. He was very quiet, musically inclined, and always had a smile on his face. He supported our class and attended every reunion we had planned. Alan was loved by everyone and will remain in all of our hearts forever.”
Luis Molina-Rordigues said of his childhood friend, “Alan and I grew up together on Grove Street. I used to go to his house and he to mine. We used to play together all the time at Bossom Park on Grove Street for many years until we moved to Essex Street. We also used to hang out with Jimmy Dineen and his brothers because we thought it was pretty cool that we could understand each other when I spoke Spanish and he spoke Portuguese. His whole family was so nice. I remember his mom and dad, who were a very handsome, refined couple. All the kids were very respectful and well educated with manners. Alan was always happy and smiling while we were growing up. I can see and hear in my mind now his laughter.”
John (Bonk) Coelin Jr. remembered Alan as a skilled musician and understood why Alan and his band, Third Stone, had such a wide following in the Boston area.
“Back in 2019, Al called me because he needed a drummer and I told him I’d be more than happy to help out,” said Coelin. “That said, I started playing with Third Stone while working with my band, The Chills, at the same time. I did this for several months until it was getting to be too much for me. Al called me in May of 2021 and asked if I would be interested in doing some recording with him and I said, absolutely! While at rehearsal, he asked if I would be interested in doing gigs and once again I said absolutely! He booked a few shows and we all talked and thought it would be best to cancel gigs because of his health. Al being the man that he is said ‘no, you guys find a new bass player and I’ll act as manager.’ I know Al and I know it took a lot for him to step down because he loved to perform. We did our first show and Al came to the show, but I could see in his eyes that he was heartbroken. Al passed away a week later. It’s very sad.”
The community of Chelsea is mourning the loss of one of its finest residents. Alan Andrade affected so many lives with his warmth and generosity. His classmates knew him best and admired him greatly.
Chelsea High School Class of 1982 reunions won’t be the same, but the hope is that members of the class will reconvene and celebrate all the good times they had together in Chelsea.
That’s what Alan Andrade would have wanted.