Home / View from Pope's Hill /

The Month of Roses

“Mine is the Month of Roses; Yes, and mine
The Month of Marriages! All pleasant sights
And scents, the fragrance of the blossoming vine,
The foliage of the valleys and the heights.
Mine are the longest days, the loveliest nights;
The mower’s scythe makes music to my ears;
I am the mother of all dear delights;
I am the fairest daughter of the year.”
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Longfellow wrote these beautiful words about the month of June. I love the fact that our roses are blooming. Daughter Sue opened one of the living room windows the other evening and the roses were brushing against the screen. Hubby makes sure that his tomato plants are watered. He planted the grape tomatoes first because they are so easy to grow. The plants in the whiskey barrels have not yet begun to grow; this must be because of the shock of their being transplanted. Our outdoor cat, Louie, has taken up residence in one of big flower baskets. The dirt in the basket retains both the heat in colder weather and is cool to his body when the weather is warm. He looks so cute: this huge cat snoozing in the large flower basket, surrounded by smaller baskets of real flowers.

Hubby did some more planting. He likes to put some of our tomato plants in containers. (They seem to ripen a little earlier than those in the patch of ground, behind our grapevine.) Last week, he planted some small plants in two odd-looking containers. He took two plastic litter containers, thanks to daughter Sue’s feline princesses, and broke off the blue covers. He then put about three inches of packing “peanuts” on the bottom of each container and put enough potting soil to almost fill each one, then he put in the plants. Sue, kiddingly, said that the plants might be able to meow when they are fully grown since they are being grown in the litter containers.

On Thurs., May 19, Hubby, pal Eileen, and I drove to Florian Hall for the annual Dorchester Day Parade of Seniors Luncheon. The organizers of the event were Joe and Carol Chaisson; Joe also served as the Master of Ceremonies. Joe and Carol were already busy working. So was Ed Geary Jr. Paul Nutting was also helping a great deal. (I had just seen Paul the week before at UMass-Boston.) Connie Sullivan also was busy with all the preparations. Once again, my friend Loretta Philbrick had invited me to work with her at one of the registration tables. (We work so well together.) Our friend from the Historical Society, Irene Roman, was also helping at the registration desks. Also helping were Mary McCarthy, Patti McCormick, Gail Powers. Barbra Trybe, Pat Miller, and Joe Costa. Millie Rooney, wife of Jim Rooney from the Convention Center, was assisting us a great deal. Joe and Carol were so pleased that everything went perfectly with all these efficient volunteers.

I was pleased to see Michael Pratt setting up his musical equipment on the stage as the seniors were filing into the hall. I always enjoy his performances. He and his pianist Sang Hyun Park played throughout the luncheon and even led everyone in a terrific sing-a-long, thanks to the song sheets they had distributed. There were so many seniors that we were only able to see some of our friends: Dot Philbrick, Mae Allix, Ginny Biagiotti, Walter and Doris Pienton, Dolly Farquharson, Ruth Brown, Theresa Chatman Thelma Burns, Gilda Groves, Evie Dunn, and Kay Walsh. Kay Riva, former owner of the laundromat on Gallivan Blvd., was also at the luncheon. Also attending were John O’Toole, Craig Galvin, Doug Bennett, Frank Baker, and Marty Hogan, all candidates for the District 3 City Council seat.

This year’s Chief Marshal of the Dorchester Day Parade, John Connor, led the more than 250 guests in saluting the Flag. Michael Pratt led us in singing The National Anthem. The Invocation was said by my friend John Scannell, who was accompanied by his lovely wife Julie to the luncheon. John later sang It’s a Wonderful World. Soon the luncheon came out. There was a chicken salad sandwich, along with chips, water, and a delicious brownie, which was donated by the Dutch Maid Bakery.

All during the afternoon, politicians came to the microphone and offered gift cards and certificates as prizes. City Councillor Felix Arroyo told us that he would be 32 on May 25 and then pulled the numbers for his gift certificates. Councillors Steve Murphy and John Connolly also greeted everyone from the microphone and went around to the tables to greet the guests. So did District Attorney Dan Connolly. Sheriff Andrea Cabral also spoke to us seniors and then pulled the winning numbers for her gift cards. Rep. Marty Walsh and Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry also greeted the seniors and then gave their gift cards. (I was happy that my friend Irene Duff won one of the prizes that afternoon.)

Master of Ceremonies Joe Chaisson introduced us to the City of Boston’s new Commissioner of Elder Affairs, Emily Shea. The crowd was delighted to meet her as she went around to the tables. The Elderly Commission’s ace photographer Eileen O’Connor was all over Florian Hall taking photos. Joe also introduced Vivian Bui, who won the 2011 Young Miss Dorchester Contest, and Marie McCarthy, who won the 2011 Little Miss Dorchester Contest. He thanked the Mt. Washington Bank for its generous contribution to the luncheon and asked the bank’s President Ed Merritt to say a few words. He also thanked the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority for its generous donation and invited the MCCA’s Executive Director Jim Rooney to come to the microphone. Edens & Avant, from the South Bay Center, also made a generous donation to the luncheon.

Joe Chaisson praised his most diligent worker, his wife Carol, for the pretty centerpieces on the table. I know that Connie Sullivan made some of the prizes given out that day. Pal Loretta brought some flower baskets for prizes, thanks to the kindness of the Cedar Grove Cemetery. (Master gardener Rusty made some beautiful arrangements from the flowers, growing in the cemetery’s greenhouse.) Joe also thanked the Florian Associates for donating their hall for the event. We thank Joe and Carol and all the volunteers for putting on such a nice event for so many senior citizens. What a pleasant luncheon it was!

I must thank Helen Suprin for sending me a photo of my namesake Barbara and me at the Fashion Show at the Keystone Apts. on May 20. It was a fun photo because someone put a beautiful hat on my head and took the photo with Barbara also wearing her hat from the show.It came out great. I already put the photo in a frame. I must also thank Eileen O’Connor for giving me a CD of the photos from the Fashion Show.

There is a great photo of City Councillor Maureen Feeney and her aide Connie Sullivan. I printed two of that photo so that Maureen and Connie may each have a photo.

I must also update everyone on Lucy Gentile’s condition after falling on a bus. I thought she had just broken one bone. She did much more damage than that. She broke five ribs and her scapula (shoulder blade). The fall also resulted in the top and bottom of one lung collapsing. I understand she is better now. I send her my best.
Hubby found the Boston Cruise Schedule online. He particularly noted that the Queen Mary 2 will be in Boston on July 4 and also on Sept. 29. A few years ago, we discovered that the Queen Elizabeth II went out to sea after the Esplanade fireworks were finished, just about 11 p.m.. Steve and Marie Graham and Hubby and I stood on Castle Island and just watched, in awe, as the huge ship sailed past the island. I am sure that the QM2 will leave at about the same time.

Last Saturday, after Mass, as Hubby, daughter Sue, and I were driving home on Morrissey Blvd., we said how beautiful the weather was, even though it was a little cool. Hubby said, “Just the time for state troopers to be looking for speeders.” As we rounded the curve near Malibu Beach, we saw three troopers watching for speeders. A word to the wise: now that the terrible winter is over, the police will be “out and about.”

On Wed., June 1, Hubby, daughter Sue, and I drove to St. Gregory’s Church to attend the 4 p.m. Vigil Mass for the Feast of the Ascension Mass. (I had a doctor’s appointment and also a dental appointment the following day so we had to go to the Vigil Mass.) We had heard on WBZ, before we left, that there was a possibility of tornadoes in the area. The sky looked O.K. as we parked on Dorchester Ave. We went inside the church and said a little prayer that it would be safe for us to drive home after Mass.

I must praise the man who served as the lector at the Mass. He also sang and led us in the hymns and responses at the Mass. His voice was so beautiful that I forgot about the tornadoes. At the end of Mass, one parishioner thought the lector/singer was so good that he applauded. We all agreed with the parishioner. He was indeed wonderful. When we came out of church, there were a few raindrops in the air but the sky did not look threatening. We made it home safely.
I loved these words of wisdom from Sandra Carey: “ Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.”