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Fun on the Fourth

I have a feeling that the Creator has been a little too generous with the amount of rain that has fallen on our New England area since the growing season started. Hubby has planted at least 40 of his large sunflower seeds and only about six have grown. We figure the rest of them have rotted. Our friend Kenny told us that his corn has rotted and is lost for this year. Our roses and tomatoes, however, seem to love the extra rain. They are growing beautifully this year. There is only one problem. The weather has been so terrible that we do not get outside often enough to enjoy the roses. Hubby did get a chance to tie up all the tomato plants. They are quite tall and now have tiny tomatoes on the vines.
On the third of July this year, cousins Margie and Janet had planned to have their annual Night Before the Fourth cookout. It was very difficult this year because the gals could not do many of the preparations ahead of time because of the rainy and cold weather. Finally Friday, the third, came. We kept our eyes on the sky. The weathermen said there could possibly be showers.
A little after 5 p.m., with our folding chairs in the back of the car, Hubby, daughter Sue, with a big dish of potato salad in her lap, and I drove to Hough’s Neck to Margie and Janet’s cottage. Our cousin Mary, her husband John, cousin Tina and her sister, our cousin Fran, all the way from Albuquerque, were already there. So were cousin Bobby, and his boys Kevin and Donald and their families and his daughter Lisa and her family. Cousins Larry and his wife Michele were also there. Donald was already manning the grill and doing a beautiful job. The cold food was all laid out inside the screen house to protect everything from bugs. There was a good breeze blowing so we were protected from mosquitoes.
In came Margie and Janet’s friends Marguerite along with Jean, Michael, their daughter Maura and her little boy Jared, and their son Michael. Michael told us that our cousin Steve, a former Boston Mounted Police Officer, is now working at his police district. (All of us cousins felt terrible when the Mounted Unit was disbanded.) The little kids were having fun playing ball and pretending to fence with “spongy” swords. We older cousins were trying to figure our rank in order of age in our fathers’ family. Mary, my father’s twin brother’s daughter, is the oldest. (She looks younger than the rest of us.) Next come my Uncle Bill’s girls, Fran and Tina. I am Number 4 on the list. The next is cousin Margie. We didn’t go any farther than that because it was too depressing when we thought of our ages. We all feel well, however, so that is a big plus. Then it was time to take our folding chairs and go down to the local beach where we could see Weymouth’s fireworks.
Hubby and I sat with our friend Marguerite, a retired Boston school principal, at the top of the sandy area, near the street. We spoke about the schools in general. The younger members of the family went closer to the water’s edge. Cousin Janet passed out glow-sticks to all the family’s members so we could find each other in the dark. Then the fireworks started. I must tell our friend Elaine, a Weymouthite, that the Town of Weymouth should be proud of its display. It must have been about 30-minutes long and it was terrific.
On the Fourth of July, Hubby, daughter Sue, and I decided that we had better go to church that afternoon rather than wait until Sunday. We already knew that the Queen Mary 2 would be in Boston all that day. With our friend from church, Joan, in the car with us, we began driving toward Sully’s. We went past Admiral Farragut’s statue but could not see anything except two strange little black pieces sticking up in the air. Hubby turned the car around and we started down East First St. As we passed a fenced-in area, we looked through the fence and had the most beautiful broadside view of the ship, in all her glory. She even looked gorgeous tied up to the dock. We all got out of the car for a better view. We did try to see the ship from the Summer St. Bridge but the broadside view from East First St. was much better. Hubby had a disposable camera in the car so he snapped quite a few shots. We can hardly wait for the photos to be developed. What a magnificent ship!
I was so happy to get info on the Dorothy Curran Wednesday Evening Concerts on City Hall Plaza at 7 p.m. this summer, thanks to the kindness of Diane Kerrissey. On July 22, the evening will feature “Latin Beats” with Eguie Castrillo and his Orchestra with the Hachay Machete Dance Co. On July 29, the U.S. Air Force Band of Liberty will present Jane Monheit. August 5 is Disco Night, featuring Stardust. The final concert on Aug. 12 will again feature the U.S. Air Force Band of Liberty, this time with guest Ann Hampton Callaway. Listening to a concert on City Hall Plaza is a lovely way to spend a warm summer evening.
Niece Terri sent me an interesting e-mail that said that the bandstand at Capron Park in Attleboro, her hometown, is going to be renamed for the city’s most famous musician, Ray Conniff, one of my favorites. The ceremony will be held on Thurs., Aug. 27. Born in Attleboro, Ray organized his first band while he was a student at Attleboro High School. He won a Grammy for his version of “Somewhere My Love”(“Lara’s Theme”) from the movie “Doctor Zhivago.” I didn’t know that Ray was originally a local boy. He died, however, in California in 2002.
Back in May, Mary Bruynell came up to me and asked if I knew where gardening expert Paul Parent was on the radio. I had no idea. Hubby and I usually listen to Paul in the car while shopping on Sunday morning. The next Sunday morning, we even put the car radio on scan so we could hear each FM station but still no luck. I do have Paul’s phone number in Maine because we have ordered his wreaths for Christmas presents. I must call him. I was also concerned about what happened to Steve Leveille, the over-night host on WBZ. He was off the air for two and one-half weeks. His fill-in hosts were scrambling to fill his shoes the first week so I knew that his disappearance had not been planned ahead of time. Now that Steve is back, I found out what happened. Steve had a very bad cold the first week he was off. The second week was his scheduled vacation. That was the reason for his two-week absence. Steve started back with a great guest. The guest on Wednesday evening was our favorite, Mel Simons. I lasted for the first hour of Mel’s Quiz that evening but then fell asleep.
More about WBZ: Did you happen to hear the morning man on WBZ, Ed Walsh, mention that he and his wife had just celebrated their 40th anniversary? Congratulations to Ed and his wife! Also, last Thursday, Gil Santos was inducted into the WBZ Hall of Fame. Gil was the sports anchor at WBZ for 38 years. Gil’s wife Roberta joined him for the festivities, as did his longtime friend and former co-worker Gary LaPierre. I think that Gino Cappeletti, Gil’s partner in announcing the Patriots’s games on WBCN FM radio, might have been there also. Congratulations, Gil! You and Gary have certainly earned your places on the WBZ Hall of Fame.
My friend Barry called to tell me how appreciative the residents of the Ditson St. Senior Building are for their new furniture. Several people have been kind enough to donate lovely furniture to the seniors. They could use additional furniture if you have any that you would like to donate.
I was sorry to read of the death of Sister Marie Troy S.N.D., on July 8, at age 93. Sister Marie (Sister Marie St. Catherine) was OFD and graduated from St. Gregory’s High School. Locally, she taught at Cardinal Cushing High School in South Boston. I send my sympathy to her Sisters in Religion, in particular to her niece, my friend, Sister Peggy Youngclaus, SND, of South Boston.
Hubby periodically runs into Building 19 to see what is there. Last Saturday he came out with a package and handed it to me. “You’ll enjoy this,” he said. It was The Everything Celtic Wisdom Book by Jennifer Emick. I just had a few minutes to look through the book and saw that it explains things that I have heard but didn’t know very much about. The book cost a very reasonable $2.79. I will read up on some of my heritage.
Here’s something to put on your calendar: The Fisherman’s Feast, Boston’s oldest continuous Italian festival, will be held in the North End from Thurs., Aug. 13 to Sun., Aug. 16. That sounds like a wonderful time!
I loved this saying by Thomas Edison: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”