Today we ‘Celebrated the Life’ of our dear friend Jenny Reardon. She was our confidant, sister, mother, wife, ‘Keeper of Secrets’ and ‘Creator of Comfort and Joy’ for the thousands who passed through the doors of her public living room … affectionately referred to as ‘The Pig’. Formerly referred to as ‘In A Pig’s Eye’, the corner restaurant and watering hole in Salem, of which she and her husband Jonathan owned for decades.
Harmony Grove Cemetery’s tiny chapel was packed with Jenny’s friends and family this morning, so much so that hundreds of people packed the pews and aisles, shoulder-to-shoulder, to honor her. More people stood outside in the cold as snow began to come down, the start of what would eventually turn into a New England blizzard. The service was full of stories, song — and a little worship — and Jenny’s son Eric bravely accompanied Helen Watson-Felt and Sarah Seminski for some of Jenny’s favorite songs. The morning was capped off with renditions of “Amazing Grace” and “When the Saints go Marching in,” with festival co-founder and saxophonist Henley Douglas Jr. leading everyone out of the chapel.
Jenny leaves a hole we can’t imagine could ever be filled, yet simultaneously leaves an indelible mark on all things music in Salem. Heck the entire North Shore… but more precisely… well beyond. In addition to her many charitable contributions and volunteer work throughout the years, Jenny and her husband were founding members of the Salem Jazz and Soul Festival, now approaching its 11th season.
And it is this mark on the local music scene left by our dear friend that we announce that the Salem Jazz and Soul Festival’s board of directors has voted to dedicate the 2017 season to the memory of Jennifer Reardon. Additionally, we have permanently renamed our title sponsor to the “Jennifer Reardon Title Sponsorship” and will have a New Orleans-style second line in her honor at the Willows this summer.
We love you Jenny… and we thank you!
Click here to read more about Jenny’s incredible journey. And don’t forget to save the date for this year’s main festival August 19th and 20th. Let’s continue celebrating Jenny’s life and all the great things still happening in her name.