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The Tall Ships

I finally was able to get outside to finish putting plants into our two whiskey barrels. As I turned over the soil in the larger of the barrels, a parade of the little bugs that ate me alive about a month ago started pouring over the side of the barrel. Hubby ran inside the house and grabbed a can of Raid. He sprayed both barrels so I had no more problems. The larger barrel has pink geraniums in the center, with various shades of pink impatiens around the edge of the barrel. The smaller barrel already had red geraniums so I put white impatiens around the edge of that barrel.

I left out a few people that I was delighted to see at the Kick-Off event for Councilor Maureen Feeney’s re-election campaign at the Venezia. Proud Mom Mary Joyce Morris came over to show me the photo of her husband Jim presenting their son Michael with his Juris Doctorate degree from Suffolk University. (Proud Dad Jim is a trustee of Suffolk University.) She was so proud. I also greeted my long-time friend Frank Doyle, whom I don’t see often enough. Margie Bielecki and her daughter Terry Owens came and chatted with us for a few minutes. I see Marge often but seldom get a chance to see Terry. It was great catching up with both of them.

Back to the Tall Ships’ luncheon: I was so happy that we started our tour with the Irish ship, the Eithne. We next saw the Nathaniel Bowditch, a topsail schooner, and the ketch Angelique. All of us recognized the bright red Boston Fire Boat. We were in awe of the Russian ship, the Kruzenshtern that, at 376 feet, was the longest of the tall ships in Boston. Her sleek, black hull was magnificent. We saw the Libertad from Argentina and the Sagres from Portugal. We also saw some familiar Boston boats out in the harbor. The Provincetown, the Spirit of Boston, and the Salem Ferry were sailing around so that their guests could see the tall ships. The Environmental Police were also out patrolling the harbor. We laughed at a small private boat called the Knotty Buoy. The sleek Codzilla can spin around as if a monster were trying to get her.

As we cruised along the harbor, we were very impressed with the beauty of the Moakley Court House that is so pretty from the waterside, with its wall of glass facing the harbor. The Custom House Tower looms high over the waterfront. We saw Anthony’s Pier Four Restaurant and the World Trade Center. We sadly, however, never did get out as far as Castle Island where we could have waved to friends and family. As we came near the end of our sail, we ended up in a queue to get back to our dock. There were so many ships and boats coming and going that we had to wait our turn. As soon as we came back into Long Wharf, there were several cabs waiting at the cab stand. Our group took three of the cabs back to our cars in Southie, a trip that took less than 10 minutes. I must send a thank-you note to the Commissioner Greenberg, thanking her for the wonderful Tall Ships’ cruise and luncheon for us seniors, provided by the City of Boston.

I was so happy to receive early information regarding the first annual Irish Heritage Festival in Adams Corner. The festival will be held on the Sunday of the long Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 11, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. There will be scores of vendors displaying Irish hand-made crafts. There will also be dance troupes, music, food, refreshments, and sports. The festival sounds wonderful. I have already put the date on our calendar.

Thanks to a kind invitation from Phil Carver and UMass/Boston, Hubby, Eileen Burke, and I were invited to the eighth annual “Groovin’ to Motown” fundraiser for the Four Corner Main Street organization. The evening was held on Friday, July 17, at the Vietnamese-American Community Center on Charles St. It was just beginning to rain as we walked from the parking lot into the building but the rain did not dampen the fun inside. The three of us were quite early and there was also a large group of volunteers setting up the hall for the evening. Another early bird was Mayor Tom Menino, who came in and greeted all those in the hall. He came over to our table and spoke with us for a few minutes. Our friend from Carney Hospital, Mary Truong and her sister Valvan came into the hall and joined us at our table.

As we were waiting for more people to show up, we had a chance to listen to the band’s practice. We discovered that the band, Soul Sound Review, came from Connecticut each year to play at the “Groovin’ to Motown” celebration. We also had a chance to look at all the items in the Silent Auction. Erick Jean and Kim Alleyne shared the welcoming duties. Charlotte Golar Richie, from the Deval Patrick Campaign, was the first person to speak. The head of Boston’s Dept. of Neighborhood Development Evelyn Friedman was also introduced as she went around the hall greeting people. Shelly Goehring, the Executive Director of Four Corners, thanked City Fresh for supplying the food for the buffet. She regretted that City Fresh would soon be moving from Bowdoin St. to a larger facility in Roxbury. The magnificent desserts were supplied by Carney Hospital. One was a frosted cake. The second type of dessert was a cake with strawberry filling. The third one was a decadent chocolate bottom layer with a big dollop of whipped cream on top. Hubby went over and brought one of each type back to the table. We divided each piece into thirds so that Hubby, Eileen, and I tasted all three desserts. I must confess that I wandered over to the dessert table and brought back a second piece of the chocolate dessert, which I did share with Hubby. Eileen was strong and resisted taking a second taste. She was sooooo good!

Now I must mention one of the highlights of the evening. Rep. Marie St Fleur was invited to sing. I have heard Marie sing quite a few times but I don’t believe that I have ever heard her in better voice than she was this evening. She wowed the audience with her rendition of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” Then she was asked to stay and sing with the band singers. It was as if she had rehearsed with them because she sang right along with them and quickly caught on to their dance moves. After the audience finally let Marie off the stage, she came over to our table and joined in dancing with Mary Truong and her sister Valvan on the dance floor. Hubby jumped up and took a terrific photo of the three gals grooving to the music. They were a joy to watch.

A gal named Regina was walking around the hall selling “snap bracelets” for $10 each. The bracelet let the person participate in a game of chance. Since I am very unlucky, I gave the bracelet to Hubby to participate. All those with bracelets were called to the dance floor. M.C. Erick told the participants that he would flip a coin. If the participants thought that the coin would end up “heads,” they should put their hands on their head. If they thought the coin would end up “tails,” they should put their hands on their derriere. The game was lots of fun and went very quickly. The winner, the last one standing, received $50 cash. I must remember that game. It can be used for kids and adults.

Because it was after 10 p.m. when a break came in the music, Hubby, Eileen, and I decided we had better leave. It had been a long day. I can only imagine that the people still at the “Groovin’” fundraiser continued dancing to the wonderful music. On the way out of the Vietnamese Center, the gals at the registration desk urged us to take a gift bag. One of the items in the bag was a lovely calculator. It was a very pleasant evening.

Thanks to Julie, the very kind secretary at St. Gregory’s, I learned that, because the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, falls on a Saturday this year, it will not be considered a holy day of obligation.

Here is a wonderful Chinese proverb: “Those who move mountains begin by carrying away small stones.”