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Mother's Day

“Spring is a happiness so beautiful, so unique, so unexpected that I don’t know what to do with my heart.” By Emily Dickinson

I do love spring. It is such a thrill to look down a street to see all the spring-flowering trees and bushes. After dinner the other evening, while it was still light, I went outside, and gathered up the geraniums and impatiens that we had bought and tackled the whiskey barrels. Into the center of the smaller barrel went four lavender geraniums. I then put at least 24 little lavender-colored impatiens all around the edge of the barrel. In the center of the larger barrel I put three salmon-colored geraniums. Around the edge of this barrel, I also put 24 impatiens but these were salmon-colored impatiens. The only thing I still have to do is put more potting soil into each barrel. Hubby will then give each barrel a good dose of Neptune’s Harvest Fertilizer. We have great luck with that brand. I even did some weeding that evening so I felt very productive.

A quick return to our Mother’s Day celebration: as I mentioned, I survived the trip and tour of Halibut Point with grandson Brendan. He and his Boy Scout troop and some DCR workers cleared out a great deal of overgrowth at the point on a rainy, cold Saturday, two weeks before. (They were frozen and soaked to the skin.) It was amazing how much work they accomplished in the most horrible of weather conditions. Bravo to all!

After we came home from the tour, we decided that we would take family photos before Brendan had to leave for his Scout meeting. Jeanne and David have about seven front steps to the front door. We have learned that if we have three people on each step, we can fit all nine of us in a small space of three steps. (We were sorry that daughter-in-law Alex was not in these photos.) Jeanne ran next door to her neighbor’s house and asked if she would take photos of us so that (almost) all our family could all get into the photos. The photos came out terrific. Each of us had a terrific smile when the photo was taken. Early next morning, Paul had sent the best photo of our octet to each of us. As my friend JoAnn said when I sent the photo to her, “What a happy group!” Daughter Sue doctored all the photos that we have taken in the past few weeks and ended up sending 220 photos to Walgreen’s. (She ordered 10 copies of the terrific photo from Mother’s Day.)

Because it was not the best of weather on Mother’s Day, we did not stay outside too long. Luckily, Sue had brought the DVD of The King’s Speech from home. Only she had seen the movie which got rave reviews from the critics. If the rest of us wanted to see the movie, she would be happy to watch it again. It was wonderful. Of course, I liked it because I love Colin Firth, who received the Best Actor Oscar for his performance. Even granddaughter Erin enjoyed the movie. I highly recommend it.

Hubby and I were delighted to be invited to UMass Boston’s Block Party at the Bayside Expo Center Property on a cold, cloudy day. The invitation said “rain or shine” so we ventured up Morrissey Blvd. to the event. The party started a little late so Hubby and I sat on the back fence. Althea Garrison looked over and waved to us. We watched as the juggler and the magician warmed up their acts. The balloon man was making all kinds of designs for the people. The young kids flocked to the face-painting area. (Hubby said that the face-painters were excellent.) We saw all kinds of activity going on under a large tent. Our pal Sister Elizabeth, from the Notre Dame Montessori School at St. Christopher’s came over and sat with us. Along came our friend Gail Hobin from the University, who stayed with us for a while. Pals Paul Nutting and Maureen McQuillen also came and sat near us. We saw some people who were on a scavenger hunt at the Block Party. They even won prizes for completing the event.

Then, we were able to see a pet zoo in one corner of the yard. There was a gorgeous rabbit, looking just like the Easter Bunny. There was also a small skunk, who had been de-scented. I still couldn’t pat him although he was adorable. There were also two huge green turtles walking around their pen. In a good-sized box, a yellow anaconda snake lay sleeping. He is a non-venomous member of the boa family from South America. I heard the attendant say that he is between six and one-half to seven feet long. I didn’t touch him either. I might have awakened him.

Then we were called to the big tent where we had a barbecue. There were all kinds of foods: potato salad, macaroni salad, burgers, chicken, and lots of tasty desserts. All the while, we listened to the terrific music of the band that was playing for our enjoyment. We sat with Sister Elizabeth and several of her school children and their parents. There were bottles of soda and water, even a cooler of lemonade. Paul Nutting told me that he was asked if the lemonade was hot. He just laughed. All the people were freezing from the winds coming off the cold ocean water and were hoping for some warm liquid refreshments. Other than the cold, I thought the Block Party was a great success. Who would even think that an outdoor party on May 14 would see temps in the low 60s, with cold winds!

What a nice surprise I received in the mail at work the other day. I was so pleased to receive Mel Simons’ latest book; it is called Voices from the Philco (radio). As I pulled the book from its packaging, its cover with a cartoon of Fanny Brice as Baby Snooks holding onto a radio microphone made me laugh. Mel had recorded some of the interviews that he had with some of radio’s great stars throughout the years. The first was Art Linkletter, whose radio and TV programs I always enjoyed. (I never knew he was an orphan.) The next was Hildegarde; then Arnold Stang. There was a good-sized interview with Bob Elliott, of “Bob & Ray” fame. How I loved listening to the Bob & Ray Show on WHDH radio. Bob mentioned that he and Ray began kibitzing on WHDH and that is how their careers began. Bob even mentioned that Bob Clayton’s “Boston Ballroom” followed their program on WHDH. There are a couple of great photos of Bob and Ray in the book. Mel even put a photo of himself with Bob Elliott in the book. (What a remembrance!) Other interviews in the book are with Phil Harris, Gale Gordon, Don McNeil (of the Breakfast Club), and even Ted Mack. Hubby and I grew up listening to all these radio personalities so we are delighted to read all about them in the book.

Along with Mel’s book Voices from the Philco, there was a second book, this one by Gerald D Wilson. It is called The Dr. Kildare Scrapbook. On the cover are four men: Lionel Barrymore (Dr. Gillespie) with Lew Ayres, who first played Dr. Kildare on the radio and in the movies; and then Raymond Massey (Dr. Gillespie) with Richard Chamberlain, who played Dr. Kildare on TV. Each episode of the TV show is summarized in this book. I must sit down and read the book. I especially remember the TV programs.
On May 8, Hubby and I heard, on WBZ, that May 8 was the 125th anniversary of the introduction of Coca Cola. On that day in 1886, a pharmacist named Dr. John Pemberton carried a jug of Coca-Cola syrup to Jacobs’ Pharmacy in downtown Atlanta. The syrup was mixed with carbonated water and sold for five cents per glass.

Last Saturday, I learned on the Irish Hit Parade of WROL of the death of Irish singer Sean Dunphy on May 17 at the age of 73. All during the program the hosts played Sean’s music. He had quadruple bypass surgery in 2007 and passed away in his sleep after performing at a charity event just 24 hours before his death. I didn’t realize that he and his wife Lilly are the parents of son Brian, who is member of the great Irish group the High Kings.

I was sorry to learn of the death of Rita Rosemarie (Gulla) Collins on May 10, at age 92. Rita was the mother of Dr. Michael Collins, former president of Carney Hospital. I send my sympathy to Dr. Michael, and to his brothers, Daniel and J. Christopher, on the death of their mother.

Hubby and I send our thanks to Fr. George Carrigg, who was very kind to offer this past Saturday’s 4 o’clock Mass for the souls of my mother Alice and Hubby’s father John, both of whom died many years ago.

A thought from Ann Landers: A sure way to get there on time is to leave early.”