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The Last Eve of Summer

“Much as I regret the passing of summer, I cannot help rejoicing in the first of Autumn days, days so cheerful and so very much alive.”
“The Last Eve of Summer” by A.A Milne

I really enjoyed the cool mornings of this week and the few cool days last week. There were so many days with blue skies, just like Sept. 11 10 years ago. That was a gorgeous September day until the horrific attacks against the U.S. began early in the day. I think of the almost 3,000 victims and their families and pray for them.

I am also thinking of the beginnings of the senior citizens’ clubs and the civic associations in September. I already have some work done for sending the Pope’s Hill newsletter from President Phil Carver. This is the time of year when you can join your local civic association. Be sure to do that. You learn what is going on in your neighborhood at these meetings. It is very wise to attend them.

On Friday, Aug. 26, Hubby and I were invited to attend the Bazaar at the Keystone Apts. We were a little early so we stayed outside, enjoying the lovely day for a few minutes. At 10 a.m., the doors to the Sawtelle Room opened and many people poured in. The room was filled with items for sale. I found a chair and sat, watching as the people swarmed around the tables. I almost gave in, wanting to visit the jewelry table but I resisted. Hubby started around the room taking photos. He also did a little bit of shopping. He bought the DVD of West Side Story and the DVD of Frank Patterson’s Ireland In Song. He also brought me a CD of Natalie Cole, who sang with her Dad, Nat King Cole. There was a second CD, Songs of Frank Patterson, with his wife Eily O’Grady as pianist. He also bought a large Irish bread with caraway seeds, which we are still enjoying this week. (Daughter Sue has even taken some bread home for breakfast.)

Marie Morreale, the property manager of Keystone, welcomed us to the Bazaar. Her staff manned the tables. Barbara Pizziferri did a great job at the raffle table, which was always busy. I understand there was one big TV and also one smaller TV on chances. The hit of the raffle seemed to be a wreath of scratch tickets, made by Connie Sullivan from Councilor Maureen Feeney’s office. Nicole Belanger staffed the jewelry table. Connie Sulllivan and Gena Kollcinaku were on the baked goods table. I didn’t dare go near them because there was such a crowd there. Connie even made some wonderful treats (like her peach cobbler) to sell at the table. The White Elephant Table was manned by Nancy Wass and Joel Guerrero, ably assisted by my pal Dorothy Harris. The liquor table was staffed by Selina Giarla. Outside the building, Admir Kollcinaku and Javy Estrada did a wonderful job at the grills. Hubby and I both had cheeseburgers, which were terrific. Hubby even had a hot dog. Our friend Dorothy ate one of Connie’s peach cobblers, giving it five stars. I must compliment Marie and her staff on the wonderful and very successful Bazaar.

On Wednesday, Aug. 24, Hubby, pal Eileen, and I drove to Florian Hall for the Dorchester’s District Three Candidates’ Forum. We were amazed at the number of people holding signs for the various candidates, outside the building. As we came into the main room, Eileen Collins and Norma Conley invited us to sit with them. Barbara McDonough, from Keystone, said, “Hi, Barbara McDonough!” Just before we sat down, our longtime friend Peachy Galvin welcomed us and gave me a big hug. It was then that I saw her husband Eamon, whom I also had not seen in such a long time. We chatted for a few minutes. They were there for their son Craig, who is a candidate for Maureen Feeney’s Council seat.

While Eileen and I were seated, Hubby brought us coffee and Irish bread. Also in the room were Pope’s Hill’s Mike Juliano, Steve Tankle, and Jim King. Mike Skillin, president of the Lower Mills Civic Association, came over to chat with us. We began speaking about St. Gregory’s annual parish cookout, which was to be held on Sept. 1. Rosemary and Bob Norton greeted us as they walked to their table. Pope’s Hill’s President Phil Carver was also at the forum. (Logan Carver led the “Pledge of Allegiance.”)
Jim Brett served as moderator for the evening. Jim mentioned that he had served for 15 years as state representative. It was just 32 years ago when he announced his candidacy. Jim introduced present City Councillor Ayanna Pressley. Larry Feeney was so proud at the standing ovation given his wife, Maureen Feeney, when she was introduced. Our friend Joe Chaisson was also at the forum. We saw our pal Harry Brett taking photos of the event. Fr. Sean Connor, from St. Ann’s, was introduced. Also present at the event was Pam Carver, an aide to Rep. Marty Walsh.

Seven candidates for Councilor Feeney’s seat (Frank Baker, Doug Bennett, Stephanie Everett, Craig Galvin, Marty Hogan, John O’Toole, and Marydith Tuitt) were each given three minutes to tell the audience why each was running. Everyone did extremely well. Then each candidates was asked a question at random, that each answered. With a reminder that 36 days from that day is Preliminary Election, the evening ended. It was a very informative evening. I am so glad that we went.

Our family sends big get well wishes to Freddie Beswick. I was speaking with his sister Theresa when Hubby and I were at Gerard’s the other morning (Labor Day) for breakfast and she told us about Freddie.

Last Friday evening, Hubby, daughter Sue, and I were in the living room, watching “NCIS,” when the phone rang. “Hi Grandma.” It was “the World’s Greatest Granddaughter,” Erin. “Where are you?” was my first question. Erin told me that she was in the car going out for a celebratory dinner. “Grandma, I saved three people today!” I almost dropped the phone. I told Erin how proud I was of her. Daughter Sue took the phone. Hubby and I began clapping our hands while Erin spoke with her Auntie Sue. She told Sue that she was life-guarding at the Bass Rocks Beach Club in Gloucester about 4 p.m. that afternoon. Her pool was empty because it was chilly. She began looking toward Good Harbor Beach. It was then that she heard a woman calling for help. Erin took her board and life preserver and ran into the water toward the voice. She swam out and found that a woman was caught in the rip tide, hanging onto a rock. She brought the woman back to shore. No sooner did Erin get the woman to shore, thanshe was told that two young children were also caught in the rip tide. Back again she went into the water and found the children, ages 10 and 12. She put the boy on her board and had the girl hang on to the life preserver. She brought both of them to shore. The police, the fire, and the EMTs all came to minister to the three victims. The lifeguard on the other side of the beach came running also. The victims were all doing well after their rescues. Officials finally closed the section of the beach where Erin was because of the dangerous rip tides. “Auntie Sue” e-mailed all the family and some friends about Erin’s rescues.

The next day, the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, we were still talking about Erin’s rescues. The phone was busy with people calling. Then we received a call from Cousin Margie. Erin was going to be on the Six-O’-Clock News on Ch. 4, WBZ-TV. At one minute of six, Hubby turned on Ch. 4. The tennis match was still going on. Was there going to be time to see Erin on the abbreviated newscast? When the news finally came on, the first item was about the possible hurricanes in the tropics. The next segment was about the rip tides being generated by the past and future hurricanes. Then the announcer said, “Three people were rescued off Gloucester late yesterday afternoon.” On came Erin. She then explained about the rescues. The reporter who interviewed Erin mentioned that Erin was just 16 years old and that this was her first rescue. (Erin was also on the 11-O’-Clock News that evening.) As Erin said, “It’s my job!” Sunday morning, while I was getting breakfast ready, I heard Erin on WBZ Radio. Bravo, Erin! What a great summer this has been for the World Greatest Grandchildren. Brendan became an Eagle Scout in June and Erin saved three swimmers in September. Hubby and I are such proud grandparents and daughter Jeanne and son-in-law David such proud parents!

With the beginning of Boston Public Schools this week, I wish everyone – students, teachers, and administrators – a very happy and successful school year. Here is an apropos saying by Malcolm Forbes: “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.”