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Now that’s entertainment

Retirement allows more time for music for Hingham resident

Created date

January 12th, 2017
Paul Carey plays sing-along songs for his neighbors during Friday afternoon happy hours at Linden Ponds. Fellow resident Peter Keith joins him on the clarinet.

Paul Carey plays sing-along songs for his neighbors during Friday afternoon happy hours at Linden Ponds. Fellow resident Peter Keith joins him on the clarinet.

Paul Carey first remembers playing the piano as a kindergartner. Decades later, he’s renewed his interest in the piano and has been entertaining neighbors at his home in Hingham, Mass.

Paul never took lessons, but he can read music and play a range of songs. After retiring from his career in the advertising and communications industries and moving to Linden Ponds, he found he had more free time, allowing him to focus on music once again.

You can find Paul playing tunes from the Great American Songbook once a week in the lounge or pub at Linden Ponds, the Erickson Living community where he lives.

“I have become a barroom piano player,” he jokes. 

Neighbors gather on Friday afternoons for a predinner social hour. They can enjoy a cocktail at the bar or simply enjoy the music. Paul and a neighbor take turns entertaining the crowd. 

Performing for an audience has been a fun new opportunity for Paul, who says he played most of his life simply for his own amusement. 

“It’s become quite popular, and I’m having a ball,” he says. 

Musical careers

Paul, who was born and raised in Boston, attended Harvard University, where he studied government. After graduation, he worked in advertising for Boston’s Channel 4 and then for an ad agency. After that, he became the New England director of advertising and public relations for Volkswagen. 

Eventually, Paul started his own business that helped companies put on sales meetings. 

“Most of it was working with product managers in a particular company as they made presentations to salespeople about new products,” he says. “We did everything from bourbon to brain surgery.” 

Later in life, Paul pursued video production. He ran a video unit for Massachusetts Port Authority and worked in consumer information for the Massachusetts attorney general’s office. 

For the last six years of his working life, he produced local government shows for a television station in Belmont. 

Almost three years ago, Paul decided to sell his house in Belmont to move to Linden Ponds. His kids had moved out and his wife had passed away, and Paul no longer wanted to live alone.

“The house was empty, and I began to rattle around. I decided this was the best way to go about things,” he says.

At Linden Ponds, Paul selected a spacious two-bedroom apartment home. He uses his spare bedroom as a den. 

“It’s a corner suite so it gets plenty of light,” he says of his new home.

In addition to playing music for his neighbors, Paul belongs to two resident-run theater groups, the Readers’ Theater and the Linden Ponds Players. 

With his extensive background in communications and video production, he has pitched in to help out with audiovisual equipment in Linden Ponds’ on-site television studio and performing arts center. 

He has also had the opportunity to connect with other Harvard alumni who live at Linden Ponds. He recently attended a Harvard reunion with neighbor Joe Cronin.

Luck of the Irish

Paul has three sons, two of whom live in Massachusetts, and five grandchildren. He is the director of Clover Club of Boston, a men’s club that was started in 1883 in response to discrimination against Irish immigrants. 

Paul says the Clover Club provided a place for Irish men to socialize when they were excluded from other gatherings. Today, the club has 250 official members and many more who attend events. Many of the members are Irish, and those who aren’t “wish they were,” Paul says with a laugh. 

A group of about 30 Clover Club members also formed a glee club, which Paul directs. They lead the entire audience in sing-alongs at Clover Club meetings. 

The club also hosts speakers three times a year.

“We’ve had all kinds of people, both in and out of the political realm, folks from Harvard, sports people, and ambassadors,” Paul says. “We’ve had fascinating people, many, but not all, tied to an Irish theme.”