Local Business Spotlight: More than a century of sweet sounds at Union Music

You cannot deny it. There is something special about walking into a store and being greeted by absolute professionals in their business. So it is with Union Music. And it starts at the top, with the president and owner of this 116-year-old family enterprise.

Caring is the operative word in this world – caring about the instrument and your connection to it, the audience (even if it is one), and of helping others find their rhythm, which may be accompanied by a rash of blues, for those who make a living in music.

Carl Kamp, owner and president of this three-generation family business, recounted the history of Union Music, beginning with his grandfather.

Carl Kamp, owner and legacy at Union Music, a business in the city for more than 100 years.

Art Simas / For Worcester Sun

Carl Kamp, owner and legacy at Union Music, a business in the city for more than 100 years.

“Originally my grandfather, Samuel Cashner, who emigrated from Russia, started a pawnshop and music business on lower Front Street in 1900 (where the Peoples Bank is today, before the construction of the taller buildings).

“My father, Leon Kamp, started working for him and married my grandfather’s daughter … and a few years later, I came along in 1946.

Local Business Spotlight: Jerry’s Famous Soft-Serve

For kids everywhere there’s nothing quite like hearing that inimitable sound of an ice cream truck getting ever-closer to your neighborhood.

For Worcester kids, though, one man has been steering those jingles up and down the seven hills, causing boys and girls to sprint inside for money and back out for a lucky place in the line for the past 54 years.

Jerry Bianculli, THE ice cream man in Worcester

Patrick Sargent / For Worcester Sun

Jerry Bianculli, THE ice cream man in Worcester

Since 1962, Jerry Bianculli, a Grafton Hill lifer, has been serving frozen treats and novelties out of his ice cream truck, Jerry’s Famous Soft-Serve, in and around Worcester at baseball and softball games, outdoor concerts, fairs and myriad other events.

Bianculli declined to reveal his age, but he said he attended Grafton Hill Junior High and graduated from Commerce High School, which shuttered in 1966.

So what’s the secret?

Hidden Gem — Survivor Series: Central Mass Scuba

If you grew up in the Shrewsbury Street area or frequent the popular culinary corridor to the heart of the city, you may have heard the rumor about a pool below the first floor of a three-decker that Central Mass Scuba occupies.

Unfortunately for fans of quirky local lore, in no way is that rumor true.

“The only pool in this place is when it rains and it floods the basement,” said co-owner George Gilligan in his customarily joking manner.

Central Mass Scuba, 304 Shrewsbury St.

Patrick Sargent / For Worcester Sun

Central Mass Scuba, 304 Shrewsbury St.

There is hope, though — even in the middle of January — for those looking to still hit the pool.

Central Mass Scuba [CMS], 304 Shrewsbury St., utilizes the pool at the YWCA Central Mass. in downtown and offers diving classes for beginners to experts in warm and cold water every Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday, six weeks at a time.