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Bounding into Spring

“Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love.”
By Chief Sitting Bull

I would not have expected this lovely thought to have been said by Chief Sitting Bull. I only know that Sitting Bull and Chief Crazy Horse were the leaders of the Indians that killed Custer and his soldiers at the Battle of Little Big Horn. Chief Sitting Bull must have said the quote at this time of year when Spring is returning.

Daughter Sue has probably 100 snowdrops filling one corner of her yard. We have 35 yellow and purple crocuses blooming beside our home, thanks to the warm temperatures (near 60) on Sunday. There are probably 50 daffodils sprouting along the same patch of ground. The leaves are at least five inches high. Our outdoor cat Louie spends more time sunning himself on the porch glider than hiding under the porch, trying to protect himself from the cold winds.

What a terrific Pope’s Hill meeting we had on Wed., Feb. 24, at the Leahy/Holloran Community Center. The first speaker was Officer Dennis Rorie, a Community Service Officer from District C-11. Dennis told us that his Community Service Sergeant, John Daly, had retired. (John had already sent Dennis photos of his snow-bound home in New Hampshire.) He told us that the new Community Service Sergeant was Sgt. Jim Doyle, who would be joining us that evening. Dennis announced that the March Police Meeting would be held on Thurs., Mar. 11, at the Savin Hill Apts, 130 Auckland St. The guest speakers would be “the real C.S.I.,” members of the Crime Lab of the Boston Police Dept.

Sgt. Jim Doyle then entered the cafeteria. He said that he was in District B2 for 10 years. He also told us that he had grown up in Dorchester. Dennis then gave us some of the incidents that happened in our area. The Drug Unit made a street purchase on Victory Rd. There was a “B & E” on Houghton St., with access gained through an open window. Dennis also told us that a woman left her purse in her car while she went into CVS on Morrissey Blvd for “just a couple of few minutes.” When she came out, the purse was gone. On Feb. 3, police officers, patrolling the neighborhood, spotted two men crouching beside a car at Bowman and Chickatawbut Sts. The men had taken tires off a motor vehicle. When the suspects were frisked, police found the lug nuts on the men. (“We really don’t need fingerprints when we have that kind of evidence,” said Dennis.) Police also checked on a man acting suspiciously on Newhall St. When they checked the man, they found that there were several warrants out for him. A laptop was missing on Minot St. Sovereign Bank was held up on Feb. 8.

Before Pres. Phil Carver invited Gloria Vieira to come to the microphone, he asked us to give a big round of applause to Ricky King, son of E Board Member Jim King, who had just returned from Iraq. Gloria then came to the microphone to tell us about the events of Dorchester Day. Gloria, a Savin Hill resident, announced that the Dorchester Day Parade would be held on Sun., June 6. She told us that the Mayor of Dorchester had only one contestant so far. She urged anyone interested in joining the contest to come to the Comfort Inn on Mon., Mar. 15, at 7 p.m. Proceeds from the fundraisers for the Mayor of Dorchester events help to fund Dorchester Day activities. Gloria also urged people to attend the Kick-Off Buffet, Gerard’s famous Meatloaf Dinner, at the First Parish Church on Thurs. evening, March 25, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person; $30 for a family. I can tell you how much Hubby and I enjoy the Meatloaf Dinner. In addition to great food, we sit with wonderful friends at the event. We are also entertained by the terrific Michael Pratt. We can even buy Girl Scout cookies from the church’s Girl Scout troop. (Hubby has been known to walk out of the church with a few boxes (Thin Mints and S’mores) under his arm.
Gloria told us that the subjects of the Essay Contest were either Edward Everett or Lucy Stone. The contest is open to Dorchester children in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. The annual Little Miss Dorchester Contest, for girls eight to 10-year-olds, and the Seniors’ Luncheon will be held again this May. The Chili Cook-Off is also returning. The $10,000 Dorchester Day Drawing will be held on Thurs., Apr. 22, 6:30 p.m., at Florian Hall. Tickets are $100 each; call 1-857-756-3675.

Eleni Kontogli, the Director of Marketing for the Neponset Health Center, then came to the microphone. She made sure that all the people attending the meeting had a chance to receive a free H1N1 Flu shot. (Our Neponset friend, Pat Gaudet R.N., was the nurse administering the injections.) She announced that anyone could walk into to the Neponset Health Center at any time during business hours and receive an H1N1 Flu Shot. She also told us that the Health Center’s corporate offices, including Elder Services, would be moving to the former Frank Woods Nursing Home. She also mentioned that Geiger-Gibson is expanding its dental services. Eleni gave me a card announcing that there would be a lecture and free luncheon, entitled: “Diabetes and Proper Nutrition in the Latino, Haitian, and Vietnamese Populations,” on Sat., May 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the Cushing Auditorium at Carney Hospital; RSVP to 617-282-5091, ext. 107.

Kelley Ready spoke of how important the 2010 census is in the representation in the U.S. Congress and the distribution of federal funds. She told us that if we would like to be a Census Taker, there was a practice test on line. She thought that census workers were paid $22.75 an hour. Mary Kelly from the Adams Village Business Association announced a Wine-Tasting event at the Mount Washington Bank, 489 Gallivan Blvd, on Mar. 2. The hors d’oeuvres would be supplied by Gerard; the wines, by Supreme Liquors. Admission, $20; tickets could be obtained at the Butcher Shop in Adams Village.

Before Pres. Phil invited Tom Lynch from the Bostonian Nursing Care and Rehab Facility to speak, he introduced a young man in the audience, a Boy Scout working on a Merit Badge. Tom Lynch then came to the microphone. He gave us his thoughts on the Health Care Reform Bill. “It would have killed nursing homes.” He said that the City of Boston is known for its great hospital and health care. He noted that there is great health care in our neighborhood, provided by such facilities as Carney Hospital, the Neponset Health Center, and Standish Village. He praised local doctors like Dr. Deborah O’Keefe and Dr. Mark Ostrem. He told us that 77 elders live either on the first or third floor of the Bostonian, which is located at 337 Neponset Ave. He told us that hospitals could no longer afford to have “Step-Down” units so people were sent for short-term nursing care to nursing and rehab facilities.

There will be a Flower Show in Boston during the month of March. The Boston Flower and Garden Show will be held at the Seaport Hotel from Wed., Mar. 24, through Sun., Mar. 28. The show will be open Wed. through Fri, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. On Sat., the show will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and on Sun., Mar. 28, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $20; for seniors, with a valid I.D., tickets are $17.

I was sorry to hear of the death of weatherman Don Kent on Mar. 3 in a hospital in Franklin New Hampshire. He was OFD. Don had predicted the weather even as a child in grade school. He asked his teacher if he could write the day’s weather on the chalk board. During World War II, he served in the Coast Guard as a meteorologist. He began broadcasting on WBZ radio and then a few years later, he started on WBZ-TV, Channel 4. He worked there for 30 years. (Who could forget Jack Chase and Don Kent on the Noon News?)

Don even worked with disabled children at Crotched Mountain School in Greenfield, NH. My friend Elaine, who lives in North Weymouth, took me up Regatta Road, just down the street from her home, to see Don’s house, which overlooked Quincy Bay. In 1994, Don was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame, which included Jess Cain, Fred. B. Cole, and Bob and Ray (Bob Elliot and Ray Goulding). I loved hearing Ch. 4’s meteorologist Barry Burbank praise Don on WBZ the day he passed away. Barry said that he just wanted to imitate the great Don Kent and to be as good a weatherman as he was. I love seeing the little Don Kent Park on Wollaston Beach, where Don’s family business was formerly located. When the Kent Rug Company, run by his brother Roger, burned to the ground, the City of Quincy made the little park on that site. Even in the early 2000’s, we would hear Don giving the weather on a Cape Cod radio station. God bless Don. He served the people of the Boston area well for more than 30 years.

Southie’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held this Sunday, Mar. 14. I hope you have a wonderful Sunday and especially a great time on Wed., Mar. 17. Here’s a St. Patrick Day Wish:

“May your life be filled with laughter,
Your home be filled with love
And may the good Lord shower you
With many blessings from above.”
“BENNACHTAI NA FEILE PADRAIG” (“St. Patrick’s Day Greetings”)