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Forsythia bushes in full flower

"One thin shoot
Soars higher than the rest,
Its weightless leader trembling
In the morning breeze.
Dancing, weaving, leaping…
In response to the sun?
Or simply with excitement
That spring has come!"
"Spring"
by Louise Godissart McQuillen

Out in the back yard, our two forsythia bushes are in full flower, much to our delight. Many of our daffodils are blooming and look so pretty lining the front walk. Hubby has begun cutting back some of our rosebushes. They seem to have survived the winter's cold quite well.

Hubby and I are always delighted to receive an invitation to the annual Robert H. Quinn Community Service Awards Breakfast at UMass-Boston, which was held, this year, on Thurs., March 20. We were pleased, once again, to sit with our friends, Walter and Doris Pienton, from Savin Hill. Doris is a graduate of the university and formerly worked there. Our good friend, Loretta Philbrick, joined us along with Joe Chaisson, who told us that plans were coming along for the annual Parade of Seniors Luncheon, a very popular Dorchester Day activity. The university's photographer Harry Brett also sat with us in between taking photos. Gail Hobin, the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Community Relations, welcomed us. We were all pleased when the chancellor of the university, J. Keith Motley, came over to our table to speak with us. I also had a chance to say "Hi" to his wife Angela. Our friend Phil Carver, a former winner of the Quinn Award and the president of the Pope's Hill Association, also came over to chat. So did our friend Jim Brett and also Mary Truong from Caritas Carney Hospital. Rep. Marie St. Fleur, Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry, and City Councilor John Connolly were introduced at the breakfast. Council President Maureen Feeney came in and said that she unfortunately had to leave to attend a meeting. Joe Corcoran also was present at the breakfast. Our friends from St. Christopher Parish and the Notre Dame Montessori School, Fr. George Carrigg, Sr. Elizabeth Calcagni, Louise Tardif, and Dorothy Harris, are always pleased to attend the awards breakfast. Charlie Tevnan also joined us. I was also pleased to see Donna Stewartson, associate director of the Program for Women in Politics at the university.

Robert Severy, from the Dorchester Historical Society, came over to our table and gave me two photos of me, probably 15 years apart. The earlier one wasn't bad. The later one looked like I was vying for "The Picture of Dorian Gray." (I must have been very tired last year when Bob took that photo.) Jane Boyer, from the Dorchester Park Association, came over to chat. So did Jane Matheson from the Fields Corner CDC. We are always happy to see Tom and Barbara Cheney at the breakfast. Finally I was delighted to chat with both Robert Quinn, for whom the awards are name, and with his lovely wife Claudina, who accompanies him to the breakfast.

Chancellor Motley then presented Leah Bailey, Executive Director of Community Affairs for the Boston Globe, and of the Boston Globe Foundation, with the Chancellor's Award for Longstanding Community Commitment and Service, for her overseeing the distribution of nearly $2 million annually in foundation grants and corporate sponsorships. I was pleased that I knew the winner of this year's first of two Robert H. Quinn Awards, Bill Walczak. Bill has been the CEO of the Codman Square Health Center since 1980, which he helped found while he was still a student at UMass-Boston. He was also the founding president of the Codman Academy Charter School. The second of the Quinn Awards went to Frederica Williams, president and CEO of the Whittier Street Health Center. In the six years since her arrival, she has doubled the number of people being treated. We had already complimented Frederica on her lovely spring suit. As Hubby and I left the parking lot, Hubby and I said that the breakfast is one of our most favorite events of the year.

I was sorry to read of the unexpected death of Mary Ann Cushing-Collins on March 29. I knew Mary Ann because she waitressed at Gerard's Restaurant. She was asked by the owner of the restaurant, her brother Gerard Adomunes, to train the new waitresses. I am sure that I speak for all Gerard's customers in sending their sympathy to her husband Robert Collins, to her children Daniel Cushing, Erin Lambe, and Brian Cushing, to her sister Ellen Herrington, and to her brothers Robert and especially Gerard Adomunes. Mary Ann was also the wife of the late Francis X. Cushing.

April 14, 2008, was the 85th anniversary of Time Magazine. Hubby has been subscribing to the magazine since he was in college. Of course, he read, with interest, all about the magazine from 1923 to the present in the latest issue. The current issue is number 4,400. The first non-human cover was in 1928 and featured a baby basset hound because of the story inside on the Westminster Dog Show. Adolph Hitler was the Man of the Year in 1939. He was shown, in an illustration, sitting at a pipe organ, playing a "hymn of hate." The first and only editorial in the magazine was printed in a 1973 issue, calling for Pres. Nixon to resign. By the way, Nixon has appeared on the most covers of Time Magazine, 55 in all. I was surprised at the woman who appeared on the most Time covers. It was Hillary with 24 covers. (Undoubtedly there will be more this year.) The issue following the 9/11 attack on the U.S. sold more than 3.4 millions copies, the most ever. (It had no red border on the cover and no advertising.) Up to that issue, the Time Magazine, with Princess Diana on the cover, following her death in 1997, and the Time Magazine with J.F.K. Jr., following his death in 1999, sold more than a million copies of each issue. The cover that the public liked the best was the one dated April 14, 1997, with a smiling Ellen DeGeneres partially kneeling. The cost of the first issue of Time in 1923 was 15 cents; in 1946, the cost was increased to 20 cents.

Last Wednesday, I decided that I should get back to Carney Hospital but I would need a good reason. I decided that I would trip over a big water jug and fall. I did not put on the overhead light in the hall. I hurt my "new" knee and left wrist. I put ice on both places. The knee felt much better after a few hours but the wrist still hurt. Off we went to the Emergency Room where I discovered that I had broken my left wrist. I'll write more about my trip to the "E.R." It is difficult to type with a cast on my arm so this column will be somewhat short.

Here is an excellent thought by Aldous Huxley: "Experience is not what happens to man; it is what a man does with what happens to him."