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Councilor Feeney's Breakfast

“December likes to roar and hiss
And cloak the earth with snow
And then just settles back to watch
The snowmen as they grow.”
By Craig E, Sathoff

Our outdoor decorations look very appropriate with the snow that fell last weekend. Hubby took advantage of a relatively warm day a few days before the storm to put up the outdoor lights. Our main decoration is a large, pale yellow star that he tied to the rose trellis. He then draped a set of white LED lights along the roof of the porch and put a set of multi-colored LED lights along the railing. He affixed a snowman sign onto a metal rod near the foot of our front stairs. The snowman holds a sign, “WELCOME HOLIDAYS!”

I must mention the lovely time Hubby, daughter Sue, pal Eileen Burke, and I had at the breakfast for the Maureen Feeney Youth Fund at Florian Hall on Nov. 22. We first met our friend Jane Boyer from the City’s Elderly Commission, who brought her Mom Jane Mullaney.
Accompanying them were Jane’s sister Elizabeth Mullaney, her niece Melissa Mullaney, and her younger son Tom Boyer. I had a chance to speak with Ellen Wyse, whom I don’t see often enough. Margaret Lydon, from Gerard’s Store, came over to chat. I haven’t seen Ann and Dick Connell for a long time so I was delighted to be able to speak with them at the breakfast. We were happy to have Joe Chaisson sit with us. Sis and Chris Holmes, Justin’s parents, were sitting at a neighboring table. (Justin served as the Master of Ceremonies.) Connie Sullivan, one of Maureen’s assistants, was busy helping with the breakfast.
Boston’s First Lady Angela Menino came over to our table to greet us. Of course, we were all asking how the Mayor was doing after his recent surgery. The Mayor’s Dorchester liaison Lauren Smyth was chatting with all of us. Dolly Farquharson came over to greet us. Kathy Costello, Pope John Paul II’s kindergarten teacher at the Neponset Campus, also spoke with us. City Councillor Steve Murphy also went around to all the tables to greet people. Mary O’Brien was at the breakfast with her daughter Caroline.

Bill Forry and his wife Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry brought their two sons, John and Conor, to the breakfast. Richard McKinnon came over to chat. I was delighted to see Janice and John Schneiderman at the breakfast. Renie Smith was enjoying herself meeting all her friend. Mike Bradley, our friend from Cedar Grove, came over to shake our hands. Pat Miller was very busytaking photos for Maureen. Kathy Gould, our pal from Quincy, was at the breakfast. So was Regina Hughes. Everyone agreed that Maureen’s Youth Fund Breakfast is one of the nicest events that we attend each year.

Last Wednesday, Hubby, daughter Sue, pal Eileen Burke, and I went down to Gerard’s Restaurant for the Wednesday Evening Irish Music Session. Eileen had already been to Gerard’s on a Wednesday evening and Sue was there for the beginning of one. This was Hubby’s and my first time attending. We went early and had finished our lovely dinners when the music began. We sat and drank coffee and sang along while the musicians were playing. Finally, a little after 7 p.m., Sue said that she had to get home to prepare for school the next day. As we were leaving the restaurant, we had a chance to chat with Vic Campbell, who gave us a copy of the Massachusetts Bay Rail Road Enthusiasts’ Newsletter. I love looking at the photos in the newsletter, in particular the one of the train steaming through a mound of snow. Back to Gerard’s: if you enjoy Irish music, take yourself down to the restaurant on a Wednesday evening, beginning at 6 p.m.

I loved the photo on the first page of the Metro section of the Boston Globe on Friday, Dec. 18. It showed my longtime friend Lieutenant Detective George Juliano as he helped Jacob Sylvestre look through the book section of the Target store at South Bay. Jacob was looking for gifts for his family. George is part of the program called “Shop with a Cop,” which pairs a Boston Police officer with a child in the area, thanks to the Target Stores. I’ve known George, his mom Ann, his late father Richard, his sisters Ann and Mary, and his brothers Joe and Paul for so many years that George even calls me “Auntie.” I am proud to be considered part of their Pope’s Hill family.

I was sorry to read of the death of our neighbor Gerald “Judgie” Leary on Dec. 11. Judgie was the vice president of Local #2222 IBEW, the vice president of the MA AFL-CIO, and the vice president of the Greater Boston Labor Guild. I send the sympathy of our whole family to his wife Gayle; to his children Patrick, Kaitlyn, James, Gerald III, Devin, and Ryan.; to his brothers and sister, William “Biff,” Joseph, Patricia Gosnell, and Daniel; and especially to his mother Claire (McAuliffe). He was also the son of the late Gerald “Rip.”

I was also sorry to read of the death of Helen (McGrath) on Dec. 14, at age 91. Helen was the mother of our long-time neighbor, Mary Ellen (Beatty) Harnett. She was the husband of the late Thomas and the mother of Janet Mayo, Mary Ellen Harnett, Peggy Feroli, Elaine Canty, Patricia, Mark, John, and Christopher. She had 48 loving grandchildren and 60 great grandchildren. She was a very pleasant woman.

I was also sorry to read of the death of James “Harry” McCue on Dec. 14. Harry was the brother of our friend, the late John McCue. I knew John because he and I worked together part-time at the Elm Farm Store in Uphams Corner many years ago. Hubby knew John as a fellow teacher in the Boston Public Schools. We send our sympathy to Harry’s cousins Mary, Patricia, and James McQuillan, and to his sister-in-law, our friend Barbara McCue.

I hope that you have had a chance to see the new religious stamp issued by the Post Office for this year’s Christmas holidays. The painting depicted on the stamp is called the “Madonna and Sleeping Child,” painted by Giovanni Battista Salvi. The artist is called “Sassoferrato,” which is the name of the town in which he was born 400 years ago this year. The blonde Madonna is wearing red and is shown cradling the Baby Jesus in her dark blue cloak. Two cherubs look down on the Madonna and Child from the upper corners of the stamps. The United States Postal Service has printed 600 million of these stamps.
A few hints over Christmas: Christmas trees will be collected from Jan. 4 to Jan. 15 on regular trash-collection days. Be sure to take all the ornaments, decorations, and stands from the trees before putting them outside for collection. The recycling crew will then compost the Christmas trees. Also, when you are opening presents, place the used wrapping paper and boxes in a container and then empty the container into your big recycling bin. I know that our family ends up with lots of used wrapping paper and even delivery boxes at this time of year. (If the boxes are large, Hubby cuts them up with a box cutter.) It is great to know that all that type of thing will be recycled.

I am sorry to say that Sullivan’s over at Castle Island is now closed for the season. (Hubby threatens that he is going to wear a black arm band.) The weather was so warm in October and November that we had been over to Sully’s for lunch probably once a week. Sully’s usually reopens on March 1 for the year but since March 1 is a Monday, we think that the place will reopen the previous weekend, probably on Friday or Saturday, February 26 or 27. We can hardly wait. Added info: Hubby saw the sign on Sully’s doors that said that the place will reopen on Sat., Feb. 27. Hot dogs will be 80¢ for the first few days.
For years, Bob Raleigh, the former overnight host on WBZ radio, advised people of an old Scandinavian custom. If you put some money outside your door on New Year’s Eve and it is the first thing into your home after midnight, you will have money coming through your door all year long. Sometime before midnight, we will put out some money either in a container or under one of the plant pots outside our home. It will be the first thing through our door. It is a ritual on New Year’s Eve, while we are awaiting the countdown to midnight.

Speaking of WBZ, I discovered what happened to Generosa, who calls into overnight radio host Steve LeVeille’s program each Friday, just after the 5 a.m. news. Generosa, “The Princess of Peabody,” fell three weeks ago and broke her hip. She was able to call Steve, thanks to the kindness of the caregivers in her rehab facility. One of the staff members called WBZ and put Generosa on with Steve. It was great to hear her voice saying “”Friday, Friday,” once again.

I was so pleased when my nephew Steve called to say that he would be bringing VHS tapes for us to take to the GotBooks container outside St. Brendan’s School. We will be seeing Steve before Christmas at one of our family’s Christmas parties.

Our family wishes you all a very Merry Christmas: Joyeux Noel; Froliche Weihnachten; Buon Natale; Feliz Navidad; Prettige Kerstdagen; Mele Kalikimaka; Glaedelig Jul; Zalig Kerstfeest; and Nollaig Shona Duit!