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The 2010 Parade of Seniors’ Luncheon

“In June, tis good to lie beneath a tree
While the blithe season comforts every sense,
Steeps all the brain in rest, and heals the heart,
Brimming it o’er with sweetness unawares.”
By James Russell Lowell

Hubby loves to sit in the yard and read. He was able to put the lawn chairs out so that we could enjoy them over the long Memorial Day weekend. The clematis plant, that winds its way around our patio light, has the most beautiful large purple flowers on it. In the latest issue of Better Homes & Gardens Magazine, there is an article on the proper way to plant flowers in pots. The article said that we should use potting soil, never garden soil. We should use new potting soil instead of reusing soil for a second year. When you plant, mix a time-release fertilizer into the soil. If you have a large pot, you can put a smaller pot upside down inside the larger pot, over the drain holes. Then you won’t have to use so much soil. I also use packing peanuts and place them in the bottom of the pot to take up space. Be sure they are the right kind of packing peanut. Put a little water on the peanut. If the peanut dissolves, you cannot use it in a flower pot. Anything that makes the pot lighter to move around is a plus for a gardener.

What a great day we had for the 2010 Parade of Seniors’ Luncheon, a part of Dorchester Day events. This year, because of major construction at the Kennedy Library, the luncheon was moved to Florian Hall on Mary 20. Our pal Eileen Burke joined us. When we arrived at Florian, Joe and Carol Chaisson were busy at work. Assisting them were Gloria-Ann Viera and Ed Geary Jr. People began arriving an hour and a half before the doors were to open—at 11:30 a.m. I helped pal Loretta Philbrick at one registration table; Irene Roman and Patti McCormick manned the other registration table. Once the doors were open, things moved along very smoothly. Joe Zinck, the Chief Marshal of the 2010 Dorchester Day Parade, led the crowd in the Salute to the Flag. Michael Pratt led the singing of The National Anthem with a great deal of enthusiasm. John Scannell gave a beautiful Invocation.

We had a great table at the senior luncheon. In addition to pal Eileen, we sat with Loretta, her Mom Dot, Ginny Biagiotti, Cathy Connolly, Mary Melaney, and Pat O’Donnell. The luncheon was given out by a large group of volunteers. It was a bagged lunch, catered by Florian itself: a chicken salad sandwich on a roll, a bottle of water, a small dish of cole slaw, a bag of chips, along with a good-sized brownie, donated by Dutch Maid Bakery. All the while we were eating, the music was supplied by Curragh’s Fancy. The Master of Ceremonies Joe Chaisson introduced Michael Pratt again. Michael, who was accompanied by pianist Stephanie Tham, sang a medley of songs and then led the sing-a-long. (Thank goodness the words to all the songs had been given to us.)

The winner of the Young Miss Dorchester Contest, Sophie Pacitti Phillips, and the winner of the Little Miss Dorchester Contest, Michelle Levinger, each came to the microphone to greet the crowd. Michelle then sang for us, accompanied by her Dad on the hammered dulcimer, a very pretty-sounding instrument. John Scannell was prevailed upon to come to the microphone to sing one of his favorite songs, It’s a Wonderful World.

I always enjoy attending the Parade of Seniors’ Luncheon. I have a chance to see people that I don’t see often enough. Claire Perry and Maureen Reedy were there. So was Barbara Greene, along with Michael Pratt. Ed Merritt and Jack Forbush were there, representing Mount Washington Bank, one of the supporters of the event. (The new Mass. Convention Center Authority and the New England Carpenters’ Union were the other two generous supporters.) Reps. Marty Walsh and Linda Dorcena Forry and City Councillors John Connolly and Ayanna Presley went around to greet those in attendance. Councillor Maureen Feeney and her senior aide Connie Sullivan were also present, greeting people. The Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County, Maura Doyle, spoke to us for a few minutes. Pals Eileen Collins, Mary Scarborough, Carol Murphy, and Della Melchionda were there from Keystone. Our friends Margaret Buckley, Gilda Groves, Theresa Chatman, Dick and Dolores Miller, and Walter and Doris Pienton also enjoyed the luncheon. By the way, the gorgeous centerpieces were donated by Gioioso and Sons and the Pat Walsh Corporation.

Joe and Carol Chaisson, the chair persons of the event, have so many to thank for the success of the senior luncheon: Mary McCarthy, Gloria-Ann Vieira, Connie Sullivan, Patti McCormick, Loretta Philbrick, Ed Geary Jr., Barbara Trybe, Pat Miller, Millie Rooney, Irene Roman, and Lauren Anderson; Hubby was happy to take photos during the afternoon and I was pleased to help pal Loretta at the registration table. It was a great event and we were proud to be a part of it. By the way, Hubby won a beautiful basket of flowers, donated by the Cedar Grove Cemetery. I asked Loretta to compliment Rusty, at the cemetery, for the beautiful job he did on arranging the flowers in the basket. Loretta told me that the cemetery sells plants and flowers at this time of year. Head to the green house at the cemetery. The flowers are really beautiful.

Although I have never attended a performance of Cirque du Soleil, I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the different Cirque shows on the Bravo Channel. I read, in the Patriot Ledger, that the Cirque’s traveling show will be returning to Boston on July 22. The show, “Ovo,” will be at the Fan Pier and at Pier Four in South Boston. (Two years ago, the show was at the Bayside Expo Center.)

If you enjoyed the fantasy movie, Nanny McPhee, with Emma Thompson. I am sure that you will be pleased to know that Nanny McPhee, with Emma, will return to theaters this summer, on Aug. 20. I know that we will go to see the new movie. The first movie was delightful.

If you loved and admired Msgr. Tom McDonnell and all the wonderful work he accomplished in his lifetime, you probably will want to attend the First Anniversary Mass in his memory at St. Monica/St. Augustine Church (at St. Monica’s), 331 Old Colony Ave., South Boston, on Sun., June 13, at 3 p.m. He was an exceptional man and priest.

I was sorry to read of the death of Bernie Lopez, at age 88, on May 21 in Naples, Florida. Bernie served the Dorchester community well with his wonderful florist business on Adams St. There will be a Memorial Mass on Wed., June 9, at 10 a.m., at St. Elizabeth’s Church in Milton. I am sure the church will be filled with his many friends. I join many others in sending sympathy to his wife Theresa and to his children: Rosemarie Broadford, Bernie, and Don.

On a hot day, I like nothing better than to grab Popsicle from the freezer. I didn’t realize that Popsicles were 105 years old. In 1905, eleven-year-old boy Frank Epperson left a cup filled with powdered soda, water, and a stirrer on his porch overnight. The low temperature overnight caused the concoction to freeze. Thus was born the Popsicle. In 1986, the company retired its two-stick variety (first sold during the Depression for a nickel) on the advice of mothers, who deemed it too messy. (I use to break the double Popsicle and give one side to each kid.) Today, two billion Popsicles are sold. There are new Jolly Rancher-flavored Popsicles but the classic cherry is still the most popular flavor.
Hubby is still eating Girl Scouts Cookies since he bought quite a few boxes during the Girl Scout Cookie Sale. I read that Thin Mints account for 25 percent of the sale, with Samoas (also called Carmel deLites) coming in a close second with 19 percent. Peanut Butter Patties /Tagalongs account for 13 percent.

On May 2, Hubby, pal Eileen, daughter Sue, and I were pleased to be at the Mayor’s annual Breakfast, held at the I.B.E.W. Hall on May 2. IT is always a very pleasant morning and the food is wonderful. I had a chance to see Gloria-AnnVieira, Peter Sasso, Alan Duffy Bob Madden Ed Roche, and Joe O’Brien. The Keystone Building was very well represented by Jackie Henderson, Carol Murphy, Eileen Collins, Mary and Diana Scarborough, Ken and Mary Bruynell, Norma Curley, Marily Ferrara, John and Caroline Innello, Marie Schallmo, and Peggy Ann Canty.

At the breakfast, we had a chance to chat with Angela Menino, the First Lady of Boston. We also spoke with Reps. Marty Walsh and Linda Dorcena Forry, who visited many of the table. I kidded Lauren Smyth, the Mayor’s Dorchester liaison, whom I spotted, on TV, manning one of the City Hall phones during the Water Ban Crisis. The breakfast was such a lovely way to spend a nice May morning.
Since this is still Memorial Day Week, here is a prayer that was printed in St. Brendan’s Bulletin in 2008: “Memorial Day Prayer for the Military: ‘Almighty God and Father, hold our servicemen and women in your loving hands, Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.’”