Home / View from Pope's Hill /

A week of culture and concerts

“A front porch with a rocking chair
Cajoles me to unwind.
I might not get my cleaning done
But who is going to mind?
By Nancy Gotter Gales

Although we do not have a rocking chair on our porch, I often sit on our porch stairs after dinner on a warm night and enjoy the fresh air. Sometimes our outdoor cat Louie will come and sit beside me, head-butting me to pat him. If the temperature is not too high, I will do some weeding around the roses, a never-ending task. Our yard looks beautiful, thanks to our neighbor Phil and his crew. Hubby’s sunflowers are finally growing at a rapid rate. We have already dined on our little grape tomatoes. Our grapevine is chock full of lovely green leaves. I haven’t yet checked to see if there are little grapes growing, hidden by the leaves. Each year, I think about thinning the vines after the grapes are gone but I am so afraid that I will kill it. If I do get up the courage this year, I will attempt to make grapevine wreaths with the excess vines.

Back to Disco Night at City Hall Plaza: While we were sitting, waiting for the show to begin, employees from the Parks Dept. gave each person in the audience a ticket for the evening’s raffle. The first prize was a pair of tickets to Peter Pan, the J. M. Barrie’s play that will be performed on City Hall Plaza this fall. The second raffle prize was brunch for two aboard the Odyssey. (Wouldn’t that have been lovely on a warm day!) The third and final terrific prize was a Clambake Basket, furnished by the James Hook Company. Pals Tom and Barbara Cheney and three of their grandsons were at the concert early enough to get raffle tickets. By the way, we were delighted to see that Dianne Kerrissey, the retired Director of Programming for the Parks Dept., was attending the concert. She came up to the back of the plaza to see her pal Eileen Collins and ended up chatting with all of us. I later saw Dianne dancing to the disco music so her knees must be much improved after surgery, thank goodness.

Michael Powers, from Charlestown, sang a couple of songs with his beautiful voice just before the main part of the concert. When he finished, out came the band Stardust, with their featured singers, Keith Kostick and Cecelia Colucci. We had heard the band before so we gave them a terrific round of applause. If you like disco music, this was your night. By the time Shake Your Groove Thing and Boogie Oogie Oogie were over, almost all the people in the audience were moving to the music in their chairs. The dance floor, supplied by Interstate Rentals, was filled with people, grooving to the music. There were two very familiar songs next: Get Down Tonight and That’s the Way I Like It, both K C and the Sunshine Band’s hits and two of my favorite songs.

I restrained myself on the next song, YMCA, a Village People hit. At least half the audience was doing the hand gestures. (I refrained; I get all confused.) The following song was a beautiful one, How Deep Is Your Love, a Bee Gees’ hit. I can still remember John Travolta as he danced to this song in the movie Saturday Night Fever. I wasn’t thrilled with the story line of that movie but I loved the music and especially Travolta’s dancing. One person in the Disco Night’s audience danced so well on the floor that the band invited “Rich” to come up to the stage and dance while they sang Car Wash and Best Of My Love, an Eagles’ hit. The next to last song was another favorite, a big hit for the Bee Gees, Staying Alive. Back came my vision of John Travolta as he danced to that song in Saturday Night Fever. I must watch the musical parts of that movie once again. The final song was the James Brown hit, Living in America.

At the end of the concert, as we all walked toward our buses, I saw quite a few women singing and dancing on this most beautiful of summer evenings. The sky, early in the evening, was a wonderful blue color. The temps were in the high 70s, with little humidity. I could have stayed on City Hall Plaza for another two hours listening to Stardust’s terrific music. On the bus ride home, Hubby pointed out a few of the areas that he knew when he taught in Roxbury. I remembered St. Mary of the Angels Church, which I attended as a little child, as we drove by it. The church is in the basement because the top part of the church was never built. Then we were driving by Franklin Park. When I was a little kid, our family used to walk to the park on Sundays. We kids would run over the rocks while the adults in our family walked along the pathways. Our bus ride home from the Disco Night concert brought back many old, old memories.

On July 21, Hubby, pal Eileen Burke, and I were at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton for the July Irish Luncheon. (Daughter Sue joined us after she completed her physical therapy session.) In came our pals Ann, Lucy, and Ronnie. Fr. John McCarthy, the celebrant of the Mass, mentioned that, during this Mass, he would anoint those who were ill. We were so pleased with that. He then introduced Deacon Kevin Heery, visiting the U.S. from County Westmeath, Ireland. On that hot day, Deacon Kevin asked that we keep the outside doors closed “to keep in the cold.” “Doesn’t that sound strange,” said he. “Usually we have to keep the doors closed to keep out the cold.” Fr. John also told us that this was to be a very special day. We would be celebrating the fifth birthday of a girl named Brooke, who happened to be sitting at the table behind us. Eileen Collins, Mary Scarborough, and Norma Conley were sitting at a table across from us.

Fr. John also announced that the Irish Pastoral Centre, which has been located on Hancock St. in Quincy for years, was going to move to St. Brendan’s rectory about Aug. 15, the holy day. He also told us that the official opening would be celebrated on Thurs., Sept 8, from 3 to 7 p.m., in the church hall. Cardinal Sean O’Malley will be there to bless the new location at 3 p.m. on that day.

The rest of the afternoon we listened to John Hallissey and Jim Roche playing Irish songs for us. Quite a few brave souls were up on the dance floor, not minding the warm room. Then it was time to call the raffle winners. I was shocked that I was the first winner. (I very seldom win anything.) I went up and among the lovely gift bags there was one gold bag with a book in it so I took that one. I couldn’t believe all the things that were in the bag, There was a large bottle of Chardonay. The book was an inspirational journal with the title, “Dear God, Grant Me Grace.” There was a small “Cuddly Cousin” white bear, sitting inside a small green pail. There was a beautiful hand-knitted brown scarf. (Now I’ll have to get a beige or brown jacket to wear with it.) There was a tube of mandarin-orange body lotion and a pump bottle of pineapple hand lotion. (What great scents!) There was a small box with a black and clear crystal bracelet and earrings set inside. I also found a new plastic travel soap case, with a wrapped bar of Lux Soap inside. I haven’t seen Lux Soap in 20 years. That was the soap I used when I was a teenager because I listened to “The Lux Radio Theatre” on Monday evenings. I waked out of the Irish Cultural Centre, proudly carrying my gold bag, filled with goodies.

I was sorry to read of the death of an “in-law” member of my family. John Horgan Jr. passed away on July 27, at age 80. (Johnny was the nephew of Jim “Tip” Horgan, my Aunt Ethel’s husband.) I hadn’t seen Johnny in a long time but Hubby and I used to meet his late brother Al Horgan often over at Castle Island. (Johnny had moved to Cape Coral, FL, years ago.) When we were kids, I used to see Johnny and Al at family gatherings because we were fairly close in age and would “hang” together. Johnny was the husband of the late Dorothy Horgan. He was an Air Force veteran of the Korean War. I send my sympathy to his daughters: Cheryl, Kathleen, Janice, Jane, Elaine, Dorothy, and Ellen; and to grandchildren and great grandchildren.

I laughed at this saying by Dennis Fakes: “Any child can tell you that the sole purpose for a middle name is so that he can tell when he is in real trouble.”