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Keystone Fashion Show

Hubby and I have just noticed that the rose bushes in front of the house have begun to bloom. Judging from all the buds, this will be a banner year for blossoms. The vinca vine on the side of our home is growing beautifully. The vinca that usually twines around our patio light needs to be tied up again. It is running along the grass at the base of the light. Our beautiful hot pink azalea bush, at the end of our walkway, is a treat for the eyes. Hubby took several photos of it at the height of its beauty. Several years ago, a part of a tree from our neighbors’ yard, fell across our patio and almost killed the bush. It has come back in fine shape.

I forgot to mention that Hubby put out our American flag for the Memorial Day weekend. He also hung a red, white, and blue windsock on the porch ceiling. With the advent of warm weather this past weekend, he put away the storm windows and pulled down the screens. While we were “down the Cape” last week, he bought some more tomato plants and hopes to get them in the ground this week.

I must say how lovely the Dorchester Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial area on Morrissey Blvd. looked for the Memorial Day weekend. I paid a visit to the memorial on Sat. evening, just before sunset. I love the little evergreen trees and the red geraniums lining the pathway, and the yellow marigolds near the monument. While I was at the monument, a beautiful red-breasted robin was on the grass right next me. I was amazed at the number of American flags (20,000), placed on Boston Common. Each flag stood for the number of Massachusetts personnel killed in the wars since World War I. I wish I could have seen all the flags that were placed on 56,000 graves at the Bourne National Cemetery this past weekend. Up to this year, flags were not allowed on the graves at the Bourne Cemetery. It took Paul Monti four years to fight for the right to have flags put on the Bourne graves on Memorial Day. (Paul’s son, Army Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti, a Medal of Honor recipient, killed in Afghanistan in 2006, is buried at the Bourne Cemetery.) Hundreds of volunteers helped Paul put the flags on the graves on the Saturday before Memorial Day.

How delighted and proud I was to see, in the May 22nd edition of the Boston Sunday Globe, that the Neponset area of Dorchester was considered the “Best Place for Kids” in which to live. 12-year-old Paige McEachern summed it up perfectly: “(Neponset) is “so many people together and just having fun.” We do have a great neighborhood!
Thanks to a kind invitation from Eileen Collins, Hubby, pal Eileen, and I drove to Keystone where we boarded a bus for the Twin Rivers Casino, in Lincoln, RI. It took only about 50 minutes for us to get there. We had taken daughter Sue there for her birthday in 2008 so we knew a little bit of the set-up of the casino. The only thing that Hubby and I really remembered about the place was that there was a Dunkin’ Donuts’ stand on the second floor so we headed there first. I loved the tables at Dunkie’s with a photographic scene of sea shells on the table tops. We stayed on the second floor because that was the non-smoking area.

Eileen found her penny machines quickly. Hubby and I had to look for poker machines. Because I have no luck whatsoever, I like the poker machines because I can possibly win one hand—out of many, at that type of machine. Hubby didn’t have much luck either on that day. There is no buffet at Twin Rivers as there are in both Connecticut casinos so we decided to eat at Johnny Rockets, the only restaurant that we knew. Pal Eileen was a good gal and ordered a salad; Hubby and I succumbed to delicious burgers and fries—and onion rings.

There was quite a group on the bus: organizer of the trip Eileen Collins, Mary and Linda Scarborough, Patsy MacDougal, Dot Coloumbre, Ken and Mary Bruynell, Norma Conley, Sis Harland, Kerry Sapienza, Mary Carney, Maureen Comerford, Mary and Frances Saia, Terry Russo and her friend Patsy, Bernie Toomey, Doris Sweetman, E. Blue Whitney, Elena Leonido, Peggy McDonough, Claire Perry, Mary Gryglik, Evie Dunn, Phyllis Hartford, Rose Gugliera, Gwen Adams, Alice Quigley, and “Ziggy’ Szymanski. Some of this group made the hour-trip back to Keystone with smiles on their faces. The rest of us were somewhat glum.

At the May Irish Cultural Centre’s luncheon in Canton, most people were speaking about the sudden closing of the
Irish Social Club in West Roxbury after 67 years. Fr. John McCarthy, in his sermon, told us that his father used to keep sheep. The first thing each day was to count the sheep. There was almost always one missing. The lost sheep was usually found stuck in the bushes of a neighbor’s farm. When the sheep was returned, there was joy. He told us that there is always joy in Heaven when a sinner repents. He urged all of us to start with a clean slate. Cora Flood, senior citizens’ coordinator for the Irish Pastoral Centre, mentioned that the Irish Cultural Centre’s Festival will be held on June 17, 18, and 19. We were also introduced to Alicia Connors, the new executive director of the Irish Pastoral Centre. She seems like a very pleasant woman.
Thanks to a kind invitation from Maria Morelli, the manager of the Keystone Senior Apartments, Hubby and I were invited to attend the Fashion Show and Tea on Fri., May 20. Just before the afternoon festivities, Hubby went out to get the newspapers. He discovered that someone, overnight, had shattered the driver’s side window of our car. He dropped me at Keystone and proceeded to Weymouth to get the window fixed.

At Keystone, pal Eileen Collins invited me to sit with her. We learned that the Fashion Show and Tea were sponsored by the Keystone Staff and our pal Connie Sullivan, City Councillor Maureen Feeney’s aide. The Sawtelle Room looked lovely, with beautiful golden-colored tablecloths on the round tables. (Connie told me that the wonderful round tablecloths were made by her cousin, Teresa Lomah. There was a floral teacup, complete with saucer, at each place setting. We could hear hubbub in the kitchen area as Connie along with Pat Miller and the Keystone staff helped the people to their seats.

Javy Estrada, a Keystone employee, was the master of ceremonies for the Fashion Show. (He made everyone laugh when he said, “Today I am single.”) He first introduced Marie Schallmo, in her nautical outfit, as “The Nautical Miss.” The next model, Della Melchionda, in her purple outfit, was called “Princess Annabelle.” Helen Suprin was called “Queen Supreme.” Sandi Belmont was called “Britney Spears,” in her handmade outfit. Carol Murphy, who was almost disguised in her chic outfit, was called “The Modern Senior Lady of Today.” (She accompanied her lovely outfit with a bright red lunch bag.) Phyllis Sherer was called “Lady Pippa” in her outfit. My namesake, Barbara McDonough, whom I finally met for the first time, was called “Lady Baba.” My friend Sarah Doherty was called “Miss Donegal.” (She looked like she had just attended an elegant Irish wedding.) Ruth Villard was called “The Lady of Grace” although we thought she looked as nice as everybody’s favorite TV personality, “Oprah.” Phyllis Smith was called “Madam La Pure,” in a gown by Carlos Santana. The final model was Eunice Smith, who was called “Sophisticated Miss.” We noted that there were 11 models. Someone suggested that, with an additional model, Keystone could have its own calendar for 2012.

Following the Fashion Show, we were served tea sandwiches, along with all types of tea. (I understand that the beautiful spoons were also supplied by Connie’s cousin, Teresa.) We were then treated to all kinds of desserts. One, made by Connie herself, was a peanut butter cup with a nut pressed into the top. (How I wanted to eat one of those but I was a good gal that day.) We all were honored that Boston’s First Lady, Angela Menino, joined us for part of the Fashion Show and Tea. The Elderly Commission’s ace photographer, Eileen O’Connor, spent the afternoon with us and took photos of all the models and many of those in the audience. Just before I left, I was delighted to see my pal Winnie at the festivities. I thank Maria for the kind invitation and I must compliment all those who made this Fashion Show and Tea such a big success. It was lots of fun. By the way, at the tea, many were telling me they were sorry that Keystone resident Lucy Gentile had fallen on a bus and had broken a bone.

As I mentioned earlier, Hubby and I were “down the Cape” last week. We, unfortunately, were unable to attend the wake and funeral of our friend Joseph Gaffney. We often saw Joe at Gerard’s Restaurant. The last time we saw him there, his sister Mary Cobb was also there with her friend Corina Carleton. Joe often came over to me to mention something that I had written in my column. He read it faithfully. I am saddened by his death on May 20. I send my sympathy to his children: James, Kathleen Clancy, John Peter, Theresa Stafford, and Joseph. I also send my sympathy to his sister, my friend Mary Cobb. Joe was the husband of the late Katherine “Kay” (Hilson). Joe was a 42-year employee of the Suffolk Registry of Deeds. He was also a wonderful artist. I understand that he also worked part-time at Durgin-Park.
Sunday is Dorchester Day, with the parade starting at 1 p.m. Enjoy the weekend. HAPPY 381st BIRTHDAY, DORCHESTER!