Home / View from Pope's Hill /

Giving Thanks

“For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.”

I loved today’s blessing written by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Last weekend, Hubby was able to fasten the electric turkey to our rose trellis. He had left up the candy corn lights from Halloween. “We eat that candy at Thanksgiving,” said he. We have a plush turkey that gobbles when we pinch his foot. (I think he is an oldie but goodie from Hallmark.) A couple of the radio stations are already playing Christmas music. WODS (103.3 FM) and WROR (105.7 FM) have switched to Christmas tunes. I listened to 105.7 last Saturday evening and the music was beautiful. I had to stop singing along with the music. It was too distracting.

I always love reading about the tree that Nova Scotia sends to Boston each Christmas to thank our city for helping after a 1917 explosion in Halifax Harbor. A ship filled with munitions exploded, wiping out much of the harbor area and killing 2,000 people Boston was the first to respond to the tragedy with medical supplies. This year’s tree is a 50-year-old white spruce. The 50-footer came from the property of Gary and Roseanne Misner, who will fly from Nova Scotia to Boston to see the lighting on Boston Common next Thursday.

Ordinarily I do not watch “Oprah” because it is on at a time when I am usually getting dinner. Daughter Sue called last Tuesday morning and told me that Barbra Streisand would be on that day’s Oprah’s show, along with a visit from Robert Redford. I rationalized that I could watch that and we’d have a late dinner. I began to watch the show but about 4:40 p.m., I felt guilty and threw a tape into the VCR to record the rest of the program. I loved the interview with Barbra and thought that the segment with Robert, or “Bob,” as Barbra calls him, was terrific. Earlier in the day, while daughter Sue was listening to WROR, 105.7 FM, she heard that station’s news gal Sue Cope tell a wonderful story. While Sue Cope was skiing in the Sundance Ski area years ago, she wiped out. A male skier stopped to make sure she was O.K. She said, “Yes, but I’ve lost one of my skis.” The male skier then skied a little farther down the mountain to retrieve the ski for Sue. He “side-stepped” his way back to her and waited until she got back on her feet. He took off his ski mask before he left and it was Robert Redford! Heavens! I wouldn’t have been able to walk, never mind ski after meeting “Bob.” What a great story!”

Oprah, a few weeks ago, had on the cast members from the movie The Sound of Music. The show was terrific. Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer were on, as were all the children from the movie, now all grown-ups. That is one of our favorite movies so we were delighted to watch the entire program. I think we are going to have quite a few late dinners if Oprah continues to have the wonderful programs on from 4 to 5 p.m.

I was sorry to read of the death of John “Jack” Brett on Sept. 10. I send my sympathy, belatedly, to his brothers and sisters: Harry, Peg McCobb, Mary McCarthy, Bill, and Jim. Jack was also the cousin of Bishop John Boles and Mary O’Connor. Donations in Jack’s memory may be made to the Mary A. Brett Food Pantry at Blessed Mother Teresa Parish, 800 Columbia Rd., Dorchester, MA 02125.

I was also sorry to read of the death of Jane Mullaney on Nov. 20. Jane was the mother of Jane Boyer, an employee of the City of Boston’s Elderly Commission. Jane often brought her mother to the Senior Suppers at Carney Hospital. I send my sympathy to Jane, and to Jane Mullaney’s other children, Mary, Ann, Robert, and Elizabeth Mullaney.

I was saddened to read that Frank Mallicoat is leaving Ch. 25 in January to return to California, where he once lived. I had spoken to Frank several times over the years when he was at WLVI, Ch. 56, with studios on Morrissey Blvd. and thought he was a very nice person. (He was at Ch. 56 for 15 years.) He already has a job waiting for him at KPIX-TV in San Francisco. I wish him well. I was also sorry to hear that Ed Walsh is leaving WBZ Radio at the end of November. After filling Gary LaPierre’s shoes admirably for four years, Ed decided that he wants to spend more time with his family, especially his grandkids. I know just how he feels. Family is first. By the way, Gary LaPierre was at WBZ for 44 years.

The Geminid Meteor Showers will be at their best the night of Mon., Dec. 13. If you can stay up, the showers may be even more spectacular after midnight. Did you know that the Frog Pond Skating Rink opened last Sunday for the season? It will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays through Thursdays, and from 10 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fri. and Sat., throughout the winter. The rink will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

We have pored over the ads from the stores. The price of turkeys is amazingly low at this time of year. The various kinds of soda, both regular and diet, have already been purchased. Closer to Thanksgiving, daughter Sue will head toward the Cumberland Farms Store in Southie to buy that store’s tasty eggnog. (I think that it is made by Garelick because Cumberland’s tastes the same as Garelick’s.) The cans of cranberry sauce have been bought, with one can of the whole berry kind for Hubby. Stop & Shop has offered Mrs. Smith’s pies @ $1.99 for the past two weeks. Hubby has scoured different stores to see if he could find his favorite, Mrs. Smith’s frozen Mince Pie. He finally found the mince pie at the Stop & Shop on the Southern Artery in Quincy. Needless to say, he bought four of them, one for Thanksgiving and the other three to bake sometime before Chirsmas.

The next Pope’s Hill meeting on Wed., Dec. 1, sounds like a terrific one. Pres. Phil Carver, in the monthly PHNA Newsletter, told us that representatives from the Neponset Health Center will be on hand to provide an overview of the services that the center offers. There will also be a health insurance enrollment and an expert available for questions on getting state health insurance, Mass. Health & Commonwealth Care. A lab technician will do blood-sugar and cholesterol testing and will administer flu shots. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the Leahy/Holloran Community Center, 1 Worrell St. It sounds like a very informative evening.

The Adams St. Library has had two very interesting authors in the past several weeks. Hubby, pal Eileen, and I heard Raffi Yessayan, who is the former chief of the Gang Unit in the Suffolk County DA’s Office. He spent 11 years in the DA’s Office, prosecuting violent offenders. During his time in the DA’s office, he read mystery books and thought that he could do better. In 1998, he had written 100 pages of his first novel, which was finally called 8 in the Box. His wife is also a writer and provided encouragement and help as he wrote a total of 350 pages by 2003. “I was fortunate to have my wife as a private tutor.” Raffi mentioned that he is a graduate of Boston Latin School and UMass/Boston. When asked what TV programs he enjoys, he said he likes “Cold Case Files” and “Law and Order.” He also made us laugh when he said, ”Everyone’s lying.” Raffi read selections from his second book, 2 in the Hat. Raffi thought that it would be better for us to read his first book before reading the second. Hubby, at the end of the evening, bought Raffi’s first book, 8 in the Box, a novel about a serial killer. Raffi, his wife, and their daughter live in Boston. He is now a criminal defense attorney in Quincy. I will tell you about the second person who spoke at the Adams St. Library in next week’s column.

Did you know that the first Thanksgiving feast, in 1621, lasted for three days, (I think it took me three days to cook my first Thanksgiving Dinner.) George Washington proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving. It was Abraham Lincoln, however, who designated the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving. Here is a lovely, short Thanksgiving prayer that I saw in an old Confidential Chat column in The Boston Globe:

“Lord, bless our meal,
And as you satisfy the needs of each of us,
Make us mindful of the needs of others.”