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Our roses are magnificent

Our roses are magnificent, if Hubby and I dare say so. He took photos of the big rosebush in our front yard. The big, beautiful roses against the white house siding looked even more spectacular than usual. Hubby feeds our rose bushes once a month with a handful of rose food around each of our bushes. We still have a yellow rose bush sitting in a bucket of water on our porch. We must plant that one in the next few days. Hubby will also plant our tomatoes within the next week, now that the danger of frost has passed.

On Thursday, May 14, Hubby and I were fortunate to be invited to the 10th annual breakfast of the Mt. Washington Bank. As we drove into the parking lot of the John F. Kennedy Library, I thought I recognized one of the library’s guards. As we walked closer to him, I recognized a longtime friend, Jim Leahy. He politely escorted Hubby and me across the roadway and said he hoped we enjoyed ourselves at the breakfast. As we entered the library, we encountered the smiling faces of Dianne McBride and Amy Cardinale, two of Mt. Washington Bank’s finest. Our friends, Eileen Collins, Della Melchionda, and Norma Conley, were already seated. Our pals Barry Mullen and Loretta Philbrick joined us as did Tom and Donna Finnegan and Mary Kelly. Justin Holmes and Phil Carver came over to greet our table. We saw Jack Forbush checking in at various tables.

Then it was time for the speakers. The bank’s President and CEO Ed Merritt came to the microphone and mentioned that there were just 75 guests at the first breakfast 10 years ago. I figure there were more than several hundred at this year’s event. He told us that his bank was a $525 million business with 120 employees. He mentioned that he wants the bank to be known as Boston’s Community Bank, and judging from what he said about the bank and its banking procedures, I believe it is. The bank’s fifth office opened in Codman Square and the sixth office was formed when the Mt. Washington Bank merged with the Roxbury Highland Cooperative Bank in Jamaica Plain. (I must mention that the first $5 I ever saved as a kid was deposited in the Roxbury Highland Cooperative Bank.) Ed promised that a customer would never be just a number at the bank.

Ed Merritt also told us of the Mt. Washington Charitable Foundation, which gives 10% of the bank’s earnings to charity. $1.6 million was distributed to worthy recipients in South Boston, Dorchester, and Jamaica Plain. On May 28, 2009, the Mt. Washington Bank was inducted into the Boston Business Hall of Fame.

The guest speaker for the breakfast was WBZ radio host Dan Rea. Dan mentioned that he graduated from Boston Latin School and Boston State College (1969). He received his law degree from the B.U. School of Law. Dan mentioned that he was there at the dedication of Kennedy Library in 1979. (I was also there and will never forget how wonderful that day was.) He also told us that he was a good friend of the Library’s former curator, Dave Powers. Dan had spent five days less than 31 years on WBZ-TV before he took over the 8 p.m. to midnight shift on WBZ Radio two years ago.

Dan made us all laugh as he mentioned an occurrence at his former bank, which was located in Cambridge. He and other customers of the bank were waiting in a long line for a cashier. (The bank had just been taken over by the “green” bank—“I said that I would not name names.”) He overheard two employees talking about the long line. One said to the other, “They had better get used to waiting.” By the time Dan got to the cashier, he was so irritated by that remark that he closed out his account and took his money elsewhere. Dan spoke to the gathering just as interestingly as he does on his radio program so he was very enjoyable. It was a terrific breakfast and we thank Mt. Washington Bank for inviting us to be a part of it.

Thanks to an e-mail from Pope’s Hill President Phil Carver, I can see that the Pope’s Hill/McKone St. Lawn Party on Sat., June 27, from noon to 6 p.m., will be a big success. Phil mentioned that there will be free food and drinks for all, thanks to Stop & Shop and the Police Athletic League. Music will be provided by the Neponset Car Wash with thanks to our friend Derek Mourad. State Representative Marty Walsh is providing the pony rides. Council Maureen Feeney is giving us the ice cream truck for the afternoon. Sen. Jack Hart is providing the face painting. The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department will offer its “Ident-A-Youth” Program. The Boston Fire Department will send one of its fire trucks. Carroll Advertising is sending the world famous “Simon Says.” There will even be a surprise guest for all Bruins’ fans. It should be a wonderful afternoon.

Just as we were leaving our home on Saturday evening, May 30, we were, as usual, listening to the Irish Hit Parade on WROL. Who should call into the program but Fr. John Connolly, the newly-appointed pastor of St. Brendan’s Parish. Father John told the radio host, John Fitzgerald, how much he is looking forward to coming to St. Brendan’s, a great parish. He will officially take over the parish on June 1. Fr. John also mentioned that he had recently returned from a visit to Rome. He was even fortunate to attend a Wednesday audience with the Pope.

Morgan White Jr., who often fills in for the regular talk show hosts on WBZ, has written a new book called “Talking Trivia.” He will be signing the book on Sat., June 13, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the No Name Restaurant on Boston’s waterfront.

I was sorry to read of the death of Sister Theresa Corcoran, SC, a Sister of Charity of Halifax for 56 years. Sister Theresa died on May 27. I send my sympathy to her sisters, my friend Claire Carten, Bernadette Richards, and Frances Richer, and to her brothers Leo and Joseph. I was also sorry to read of the death of Walter Howard on May 24. I first met Walter when we were sitting next to each other at an Irish stage show. He spoke to me first and we chatted all during intermission. I discovered that he was my friend Melissa Graham’s father as we spoke. I send my sympathy to Melissa and her husband Steve, and to Walter’s other children, G. Gregory, Mary Elizabeth, and Patricia Malone. Walter was also the father of the late Paul Francis. He was a very pleasant man.

Please forgive the fact that these past two columns have been shorter than usual. Hubby and I were away for nine days on a trip to Branson, Missouri, with a group from the Keystone Apartments/St. Brendan’s Seniors. I am still trying to get back into my usual routine.

May I wish Dorchester a very Happy Birthday. I hope that you all enjoy Dorchester Day this Sunday. Please fly your American flag on that day.