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"Spring Song"

“Every limpid brook is singing
Of the lure of April days;
Every piney glen is ringing
With the maddest roundelays.
Come and let us seek together
Springtime lore of daffodils,
Given to the golden weather
Greetings on the sun-warm hills.”
“Spring Song”
by Lucy Maud Montgomery

I didn’t know that Lucy Maude Montgomery was a poet in addition to being a wonderful author until I saw this poem (at right). I loved her first two books, Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea. I also loved the PBS Green Gables mini series. When Hubby and I were on the Castle Island Association’s trip to the Atlantic Provinces, we were so pleased to be able to visit Green Gables. (We had such a great group of people, like Nancy Larkin, on that trip.) The house and grounds were positively beautiful. I had wanted to like Nova Scotia better because one of my grandmothers was brought up in Nova Scotia but Hubby and I both agreed that Prince Edward Island was even more beautiful. When Hubby wins the lottery, we will definitely buy a summer home in P.E.I.

On Thurs., Mar. 24, Hubby and I drove to the First Parish Church, atop Meetinghouse Hill, for the Kick-Off Buffet to raise funds for Dorchester Day activities. Barbra Trybe and Christine Hogan were manning the registration table and welcomed us at the door on the cold and blustery evening. We sat at the front of the hall so that we would have great seats in case Michael Pratt would be performing that evening. (He was, much to our delight.) In came our friends Eileen Burke and her sister Lorraine Grier. Also joining us were Ginny Biagiotti and Mary Shea. Their buddy Loretta Philbrick came in a little later. My friend Pat O’Neil was also at the buffet.

I went over to the corner of the room to chat with Barbara Greene, who was sitting at her usual place. I always enjoy speaking with her. I also had a chance to chat with John Scannell, who, later in the evening, was asked to lead the audience in The Star Spangled Banner. Richard McKinnon and his sister, Cathy Coleman, were sitting at an adjoining table. Joe and Carol Chaisson came over and told us all about the Dorchester Day’s Parade of Seniors’ luncheon, to be held at Florian Hall on Thurs., May 19. Ed Geary was very busy making sure that all was going well that evening. Candidates Doug Bennett and Marty Hogan went around the hall shaking hands with all those present. Jack Forbush, our friend from the Mt. Washington Bank, was sitting at the next table.

Phil and Pam Carver brought their three children: Logan, age 10, Chloe, age 7, and Quinn, age 6. Peter Woloschuck came over to greet Hubby and me. Sheldean Valjean then read her prize-winning essay on Maria Cummins, who was one of two possible topics for the Dorchester Day Essay Contest. Maria was an author who wrote four books during the 1850s. Sheldean is 14 years old and a student at Boston Latin Academy.

Then it was time for the reason that most people attend the Kick-Off Buffet, Gerard’s meat loaf dinner—my favorite. Gerard and his crew were setting up the food table for a while before the festivities began. Gerard’s workers have done the meat loaf dinner so often that they have it down pat. When Gerard himself put the meat loaf on my dish, he said, “Barbara’s favorite!” Also with the dinner were carrots, mashed potato, gravy, rolls, and tossed salad. We all ate heartily. The perfect ending to the dinner was vanilla ice cream with strawberries. We congratulate Gretchen Carney for all her work in organizing this event, which raises funds for Dorchester Day activities.

Toward the end of the evening, Michael Pratt appeared on stage. He wowed the audience with his selection of songs. “Twist Again” had people singing and the kids out on the floor dancing to the music. I saw Charlie Tevnan dancing with his daughters, Mary Ellen, Caroline, and Kathleen. I thought I was at Fenway Park as Michael led everyone in “Sweet Caroline.” Mike was so good that members of the audience wanted even more songs from this dynamic performer. He was terrific. As we were leaving the church, we saw Ruth Brown and her son. John O’Toole also greeted us. Maureen McKinnon came in a little late and met up with her husband Richard and her sister-in-law Cathy. What a terrific fundraiser for Dorchester Day activities! Congrats are sent to Gerard on his great meat loaf!

Earlier on Mar. 24, Hubby, pal Eileen, and I drove to Canton for the monthly Irish Pastoral Centre’s luncheon. Our friends Ann, Lucy, and Ronnie came in to join us. Ronnie wowed us with a huge “sapphire” and “diamond” ring on her ring finger, almost like Diana’s ring that William gave Kate. Ronnie wouldn’t tell us who gave her the ring. “He is somebody important. I can’t tell you his name.” We are now watching to see if she is going to London at the end of April.

The celebrant of the Mass, Fr. John McCarthy, a native of Limerick, told us how important the ordinary wooden bucket was to everyone on farms in Ireland. He told how his brother and he always seemed to have buckets in their hands. He asked us to be tolerant and forgiving. He noted that the next luncheon would be on Holy Thursday.

Cora Flood, the Senior Coordinator for the Irish Pastoral Centre, told us that Kilcommons Caterers were the ones who supplied the corned beef dinner for the luncheon. They even had Irish bacon with the corned beef. I like mustard with my corned beef and they did supply mustard that day. There were all kinds of dessert, along with coffee and tea. As soon as the dishes were cleared, Dan Hallissey took the stage and played Irish music for us all afternoon. By the way, one of the people at the luncheon gave us a flyer on the second annual Irish-American Pilgrimage to the La Salette Shrine in Attleboro, MA. Well-known musicians will be playing that day: Margaret McCarron, Andy Healy, Mattie Henry, Michael Maloney, Frank Smith, and Noel Henry’s Band. The date of the pilgrimage will be Sun., May 15, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The shrine is located at 947 Park St., Attleboro.

On Fri, Mar. 25, Hubby and I had to pick up some religious items at Egan’s. Sr. Elizabeth had ordered some large-print pamphlets on the Stations of the Cross so we picked them up for her. (The lighting in the church is not so good in the evening so we can see the large-print pamphlet very easily.) I was so happy to be able to speak with Mary Beth Tumilty while I was there. I told her to be sure to tell her parents that I was asking for them.

Since we were so close to College-Hype, I decided that I would drop in, hoping to see Jack Doherty. I had heard Dan Rea, on his Nightside program on WBZ radio, speak about Jack and his new Nightside t-shirts and hoodies, which College Hype is producing for him. Jack was at a meeting but came down to tell me all about the Nightside items. He said he had met Dan at the Mount Washington Breakfast a few years back. They began reminiscing about Larry Glick’s Glick University t-shirt and maybe Dan would like a t-shirt for Nightside. Well, the idea took off and Jack showed Dan some of his ideas. Jack showed me some of the finished products, which are for sale at College Hype, 540 Gallivan Blvd.; enter from the parking lot near Gerard’s and Greenhills. You may also order them online; see the College Hype website. (I just googled it.) The t-shirt has the WBZ 1030 News Radio logo on the top front of the shirt. (It is just $15.) Then there is a huge NIGHTSIDE name, printed in capital letters. The first “I” in NIGHTSIDE” is made into a good-sized radio antenna—very effective. Under NIGHTSIDE is “with DAN REA.” Under that are Dan’s watchwords: “THE VOICE OF REASON,” printed in smaller letters. Since we listen to Dan so often, I couldn’t resist. If you see Hubby and me at Castle Island this summer, you may see Hubby and me proudly wearing our “NIGHTSIDE” t-shirts from College-Hype.

Our friend Steve Graham Sr. called to tell me of his and wife Marie’s newest great grandchild – the latest of their 12 great grandchildren. Ciara Maeve Hartnett arrived on Mar. 29 and weighed in at 7 lbs., 14 ounces. The proud parents are Maureen (Graham) and Jonathan Hartnett of Duxbury. (Maureen is one of Steve and Marie’s 14 grandchildren.) The delighted grandparents are Melissa and Steve Graham Jr., Susan Ahearn, and Jack and Sally Hartnett. “Trip” Graham is the proud uncle of the baby. Ciara has two older siblings, Shane and Fiona. Our family sends our best to all.

Here is a truism, attributed to R. J. Wagner: “Middle Age is that time of life when you find it shocking that nothing shocks you anymore.” (I am not sure if the R.J. Wagner is that terrific actor, Robert “Hart to Hart” Wagner.)