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Boston Teachers’ College Scholarship Luncheon

Hubby has already bought four bottles of Welch’s Sparkling Grape juice (three white and one red) so we are all set for at least Thanksgiving. Susan needs whole milk so that she can make chocolate pudding pie. We have a Mrs. Smith’s Mince Pie (Hubby’s favorite) in the freezer, which we will bake over the next couple of days. We have sour cream and Knorr’s Leek Soup Mix to make dip. We will pick up a turkey meal at Stop & Shop.

On Sunday, Nov. 1, Hubby and I drove to the Charles River Country Club to attend the Boston Teachers’ College Scholarship Luncheon. Because we had difficulty the previous year in finding our way into the country club, Hubby made a trial run to the place earlier in the week so, this year, we ended up driving in the entrance, not the exit, as we had done last year. The club provides a golf cart to take guests to the main building so we waited maybe two minutes for the cart to appear. Our friend and classmate Elaine De Costa was already in the building. We joined her at a small table to the side of one of the smaller rooms. Throughout the entry and in this smaller room, there were displays of photos taken by UMass’s ace photographer Harry Brett at previous luncheons. There was a sign that said we could take any of the photos that we were in. Hubby went looking and found some that he, Elaine, and I were in and brought them back to us. Two of my cousin Janet’s former co-workers, Jean Egan and Jan Ryan, came over to chat with us. We were all sorry that Janet was unable to make it to this year’s luncheon. Our friend and neighbor Jack Cunningham came over to speak with us. He faithfully attends the luncheon every year. A school friend, Joanne Rogers, also joined us for a few minutes. We had a chance to chat with Joe De Medeiros from the Alumni Office.

We then went into the dining room, which was beautifully set for the luncheon. UMass Chancellor Keith Motley and Dean Carol Colbeck, from the Graduate College of Education, presented the Teachers’ College Alumni Scholarships to Nicole LoPorto, a native of Korea, and Jose Calixto, born in El Salvador. Nicole is pursuing a degree in English while maintaining a 3.97 average. Jose, who had worked as a computer technician for four years, saved up to go back to school and is hoping to become a history teacher.

Chancellor Motley charmed his audience while praising UMass/Boston. He accepted a special gift to the Scholarship Fund from Gerard Burke, Patricia Cronin, and Cornelia Koutoujian, all from the Class of 1959 of State Teachers’ College at Boston. Following the luncheon, we were treated to a musical presentation by several UMass/Boston students. They were all wonderful. Then it was time to award the raffle prizes, which were contributed by the alumni. Hubby always takes chances when the proceeds are given to a worthwhile cause and he is usually quite lucky. This year, he won a lovely 12” X 12” acrylic painting of roses against a dark green background, on canvass, painted by a UMass student, Sona Hovagimian. Sister Elizabeth Ann Shea, Boston Teachers’ College, Class of 1951, led the closing prayer.

On the way home, Hubby and I made a detour into the parking lot of the New England Mobile Book Fair, Hubby’s favorite bookstore. Hubby jumped in and checked out some of the local books. He was looking for Anthony Sammarco’s new book about the Baker Chocolate Mills but the Book Fair hadn’t received their copies as yet.

As we drove home, we noticed that it was just about 3:40 p.m. If traffic was not too heavy, we should be able to make the Irish Remembrance Mass at St. Brendan’s Church at 4 p.m. It was just five minutes of four when we walked up the stairs of St. Brendan’s and were greeted by our friend Jan Ryan. People were invited to place the names of their deceased relatives and friends, both in Ireland and here in America, to be remembered at the Mass. Seamus Hegarty, the Bishop of Derry, was in Boston and had agreed to concelebrate the Mass, with Fr. John Connolly, pastor of St. Brendan’s, and Fr. John McCarthy, chaplain of the Irish Pastoral Centre.

During the Mass, the names of those deceased relatives were announced and a member of that person’s family went to the altar with a lit candle. By the time the last name was announced, there were a great many candles on the altar. Hubby whispered to me,”I hope the smoke alarm doesn’t go off from the heat.” At the end of Mass, we were all invited to go downstairs to Fr. Lane Hall to have “coffee and.” We sat with friend Della Melchionda. Our friend and former neighbor Sarah Ashe came over to chat with us. I also had a chance to greet Marty Allen, whom I hadn’t seen in several years. Hubby and I were so happy that we attended the Irish Remembrance Mass. As Hubby said, on the way home, “Our grandparents would be proud of us.”

I had a chance to speak with Pope’s Hill’s treasurer Judy Burke at the October Pope’s Hill meeting. She and her husband Tom were the proud parents of the bride when their daughter Mary Beth married Shaun Neville on Sept. 19, at St. Gregory’s Church. Shaun is the son of J. Christopher and Carol Neville of Wilmington. The grandparents are John and Eileen Neville of Wilmington. Mary Beth’s best friend Megan Whittemore was her Maid of Honor. (Mary Beth served as Megan’s Maid of Honor in June) Randy Peach was Shaun’s Best Man.

In addition to St. Brendan’s School, St. Ambrose Family Shelter is collecting new and used books, CDs, DVDs, videos, and audio books through the Got Books Organization. The Got Books container is located at 25 Leonard St., off Adams and Dickens Sts. The shelter will receive compensation every time the container is filled. The shelter is a transitional housing program for families, aimed at providing shelter, support, and hope for homeless families in need. Since opening in 1989, the shelter has been home to more than 1,000 people. Both causes are worthwhile. Why not clean out some of the books that are no longer being read in your home, especially with the holidays coming. It is so nice to see a few holes in an otherwise packed bookcase.

There will be several tree-lighting ceremonies in Boston, in addition to the ones in the local neighborhoods. On Wed., Dec. 2, at 5 p.m., Mayor Menino will be on hand for the Copley Square tree-lighting ceremony. The Boston Common tree-lighting ceremony will take place the following evening, Thurs., Dec. 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. Ch. 5, with Mary Richardson and Anthony Everett, will cover the proceedings from 7 to 8 p.m. hour. The tree on Boston Common is the 46-foot white spruce, donated by the people of Nova Scotia.

I did go outside at about 4:15 a.m. last Tuesday morning to see if I could see the Leonid Meteor Showers. I looked toward the east but did not see any. Then I got too cold and came back in the house. There will be another opportunity to see additional meteor showers in December when the Geminid Meteor Showers light up the sky. The peak of the Geminids should be on Sunday evening, Dec. 13. The 13th is a few nights before the full moon so there will be very little background light to interfere with your viewing.

If you enjoy Rick Steves and his travel program, Rick Steve’s Europe on Channels 2 and 44, you will be interested to know that Rick will be in Boston on Thurs., Dec. 3. He will speak in the Rabb Lecture Hall at the Main Library. 700 Boylston St., in Copley Square at 6 p.m.

Hubby and I were so pleased that we were able to attend the Fall Harvest Breakfast for City Councillor John Connolly at the Blarney Stone Restaurant in Fields Corner on Sunday, Oct. 25. Our friend Joe Chaisson was already there. So were Norma Conley, Eileen Collins, Della Melchionda, and Mary Scarborough. Phil Carver, the president of the Pope’s Hill Neighborhood Association, was there also. It was a crisp, cool, sunny day, just perfect to meet friends at John’s Fall Breakfast.

Hubby has brought out several Christmas CDs. My brother made one for us several years ago. So did daughter Sue. We do have Arthur Fiedler’s Boston Pops Christmas Album. We also have one of Manheim Steamrollers’ Christmas Albums in the car. Hubby is thrilled with his Christmas music.

Did you happen to see the cat program on the Animal Planet Network last Saturday evening? One of the segments showed WBZ’s overnight radio host Steve LeVeille’s gorgeous Siberian cat named “Max.” (Ken and Mary Bruynell saw the program and they were just as impressed with Max as Hubby and I were.) Siberians are big cats with a gorgeous coat. Max looked like he had a lion’s mane because he had so much fur around his head. The show taped Max with Steve and his wife Diane at their home and even in the WBZ studio. One of the nice things about Siberians is that they do not cause allergies. (Steve has allergies but is doing very well with Max.) I can see why Steve speaks so highly of Max. He is a beautiful cat. By the way, Max was born in Russia.

I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!