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Remembering Ted, a town booster

Ted Peluso

Ted Peluso was the guy with the Brooklyn accent who spoke his mind at Town Meeting – about housing, communication, tourism, about any issue that he saw as a benefit to Arlington.

In 2007, he moved to The Legacy apartments, behind what was then Shanghai Village and the Computer Cafe. Both businesses are gone now, and so is Ted. Cancer took him Feb. 10 at age 91, and he was my friend.

Ted has his own legacy – service to Arlington – which began shortly after he moved here, having retired from a large New York City accounting firm as well as economic-development efforts in White Plains, N.Y.

He tried out his less-cautious, "New York-style" thinking at public sessions – and on me.

Meeting at Kickstand in 2014

I recall meeting in early summer 2014 with Ted and Roly Chaput, another town volunteer-hero, at a weathered picnic table outside Kickstand Cafe – three musketeers who batted around ideas to help the town.

Propelling our discussion was hope, tempered by firsthand knowledge about the difficulty of making changes in Arlington. Roly saw that as a member of the Redevelopment Board.

"Tourism," Peluso said. "We need to focus on tourism."

"And the arts," suggested Chaput, who was then a Arlington Cultural Council member.

I was keen to promote both via YourArlington, the news site I founded the year before Peluso came to town.

Visitor center

Ted nodded toward the then-new town visitor center, which we could see across Mass. Ave. and Mystic at Uncle Sam Plaza. It had opened that summer and would have its grand opening at Town Day that September.

Roly died two years later, and Ted volunteered enough for both of them, including long weekend days staffing the visitor center. I joined him on some of those days, continuing the conversation about how to best boost Arlington.

Our ideas flowed on during the pandemic, in mid-2020, when I decided to turn YourArlington into a nonprofit – as Ted strongly argued against it. His accounting background told him I should still sells ads. My poor sales record provided a different bottom line. Moving to the site to a nonprofit carried the day.

Ted accepted my decision, but he still pursued me with innumerable ideas to make money. Last summer, when we met outside Caffè Nero, I filled two yellow legal pads with them.

"You do what you wanna do," he concluded, and I appreciated every suggestion.

ATED

Six days before Ted died, I learned he was at BrightView, and I was glad to hear his advice one last time.

At his funeral at St. Agnes, the priest commented lovingly about Williamsburg, the section of Brooklyn where Ted had grown up. Irish, Italian and Jewish families mixed, the kind of diversity he long favored.

He brought those views for years to the Arlington Committee on Tourism and Economic Development, known as ATED.

But, for me, he was "the" Ted. He cannot be summarized as an acronym. 


Feb. 12, 2024: Ted Peluso, retired CPA with passion for town, dies

This remembrance was published Friday, March. 1, 2024.

Officer Hogan aims to raise $6,000 to fight cancer
 

Comments

Joe Curro on Tuesday, 19 March 2024 00:22
A great guy, who cared greatly for Arlington

I first heard of Ted through the Arlington Education Foundation. Someone said there was a guy who had just moved to town to be close to his grandchildren and wanted to help with fundraising.

Ted was nothing, if not passionate. His speeches at Town Meeting were an event not to be missed.

He also had a "quirky" sense of humor. Once, during a snowstorm, he sent me an urgent text, saying that one of the Olympic teams were coming through town and that we had to clear a path to the Visitor Center. It seemed a little odd, but Ted seemed so earnest.

He got a big laugh when he learned that I had raced down with my shovel and fulfilled his wishes. It took a long time for me to wipe the word "SUCKER" off my forehead, but I still laugh about it every time I remember it.

And yes, Bob, the man was full of advice and ideas, and I am better for knowing him.

I first heard of Ted through the Arlington Education Foundation. Someone said there was a guy who had just moved to town to be close to his grandchildren and wanted to help with fundraising. Ted was nothing, if not passionate. His speeches at Town Meeting were an event not to be missed. He also had a "quirky" sense of humor. Once, during a snowstorm, he sent me an urgent text, saying that one of the Olympic teams were coming through town and that we had to clear a path to the Visitor Center. It seemed a little odd, but Ted seemed so earnest. He got a big laugh when he learned that I had raced down with my shovel and fulfilled his wishes. It took a long time for me to wipe the word "SUCKER" off my forehead, but I still laugh about it every time I remember it. :D And yes, Bob, the man was full of advice and ideas, and I am better for knowing him.
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