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The Annual Mayor's Breakfast

“ Here’s to the day when it is May
And care is light as a feather,
When your little shoes and my big boots
Go tramping over the heather.”
“A Toast” by Bliss Carmen (1861-1929)

Our yard has no heather but I would love to grow some since I am a wee bit Scottish. We did have lots of weeds. However, Phil and his crew came over the other evening and mowed our lawn. It looks so much neater now. Our two small azaleas, growing along the back fence, survived the winter and are flowering. The large azalea, near the grapevine, is magnificent. It is in full flower, with lots of hot-pink blossoms. Hubby has taken several photos of it because it is so pretty. Those photos are on our camera right after the ones of our three forsythia bushes, also in full bloom.

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What a nice time Hubby and I had at the annual Mayor’s breakfast, held at the IBEW Hall on Sun., May 6. We arrived at just 10 a.m. and could tell by the number of cars in the parking lot that there was a huge crowd in the hall. We greeted Richard O’Meara from Cedar Grove Gardens at the doorway. The line for the buffet table was halfway around the room when we walked into the hall. We found the table where pal Eileen Burke and daughter Sue were sitting. Also sitting with us were friends Ken and Mary Bruynell. Ken told us that he has already planted some of his garden. Pal Alan Duffy joined us for most of the breakfast. At the next table were our friends Eileen Collins, Caroline Innello, Marilyn Ferrara, Mary Scarborough, Diana Scarborough, Martha Gowett, Cathy Coyne (our fabulous knitter), and Frank Kodzis Jr. We were delighted to see our pals Ginny Aveni and Claire Perry near our table.

The hall was filled with politicians. City Council President Steve Murphy was there with Councillors Frank Baker and Felix Arroyo Jr. Our Rep., Marty Walsh, greeted us warmly. Jim Hunt III, Boston’s chief of Environmental Services, attended with his wife Robin and his two gorgeous kids, Ella and Matthew. The kids even posed for Hubby’s camera. (Ella looked so cute with the bow in her hair.) I also found Tom Tinlin, the commissioner of Boston’s Transportation Dept., in the large crowd. We kidded him about his terrific aunt, Sister Paula Tinlin, who is stationed at Carney Hospital. We also had a chance to chat with prospective grandfather Bob Dunford, who was happily awaiting the blessed event.

The food at the Mayor’s breakfast was wonderful, as usual. Just having scrambled eggs, bacon, and home fries was Heaven. (Eileen never eats that type of food so she really enjoyed her breakfast.)
While Hubby and I were standing in the buffet line, we began speaking with the lady standing in front of us, Sister Maryadele Robinson from the Laboure Center in South Boston. Our conversation changed quickly to Ireland. Sister Maryadele told us how thrilled she was to have visited there fairly recently. She said she could have stayed forever. We agreed. She would love to go back and explore more of the country. So would we. We told her that Eileen Burke has a daughter who lives in Ireland. She told us that she would love to speak with Eileen and promised to come over to our table before the end of the breakfast.

Then it was time for Mike Monahan, the business manager for Local 103, IBEW, to speak. He gave a rousing talk for his union. By the way, we enjoy hearing him on the Union Local’s commercials on radio station WBZ. It was Mike’s honor to introduce Mayor Menino, with whom he and his union work so well. We felt sorry for the mayor, who is still on crutches. He was encouraged and supported by his wife Angela, who was with him on stage along with one of their granddaughters. The mayor mentioned many of the improvements in the city as he spoke to the standing-room-only crowd. He was able to visit a few tables while First Lady Angela went to quite a few tables on her own to welcome people to the breakfast.

At the end of the breakfast, we decided to wait until much of the crowd had left the hall. Sister Maryadele found us, as she had promised, and had a wonderful chat with pal Eileen about Ireland. Sister asked about Eileen “Jr.” and wanted to know where she is living in Ireland. Both Sister Maryadele and Eileen “Sr.” agreed that they would go back to Ireland in a minute if they had the opportunity.
As we stood up to leave, who should greet us but Dr. Carol Johnson, the superintendent of the Boston Public Schools. We had spoken with Dr. Johnson last year and she recognized us. She was happy to see Sue, a Boston Public Schools’ teacher. Sue told her that her Dad had been in the Boston schools for 39 years, first as a teacher and then as an assistant principal. I mentioned that Hubby’s boss for his last years in the school system was the late Eleanor Perry. Dr. Johnson had met Eleanor and knew what a wonderful lady she was. (We will never forget Hubby’s terrific retirement party, with Eleanor, at her funniest, as emcee.)

Just before we went out to the parking lot, we had a chance to chat with former state Sen. Bill Bulger and his wife Mary. Mary told us that they had a lot of family celebrations at this time of year, including First Communions. I told Mary that we had two proms in the next week with the World’s Greatest Grandchildren, Brendan and Erin. Erin had even shown us a photo of her beautiful blue prom dress when we saw her on Easter. We thank the mayor for putting on this breakfast each year. We catch up with so many old friends. It is such a lovely event.

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On April 17, Hubby and I accepted an invitation from Mary Truong to attend a special luncheon at the Dorchester House. When we arrived just about 11 a.m., the hall was more than half full. We were welcomed by Rosemary Gallagher, who asked us to sit at a table with Marie Stevens. It couldn’t have been a better table. Marie looked at Hubby and said, “I know you from somewhere.” Usually people know Hubby from his 34 years working part-time at Purity Supreme Market in Fields Corner. “No, it’s not from there. Did you work in the Boston schools?” Hubby said, “Yes.” Marie knew that Hubby had been assistant principal at the Holland School when her five boys had attended the school. She took out her cell phone and called one of her sons. “I am sitting with your principal,” said she. Her son almost dropped his phone. Kathleen Joyce and Eileen Carr also joined us at our table. They knew Hubby from his years at the market.

Who came in then but Tram Tran, from Police District C-11, who sat with her Asian friends. I was so happy to see Tram because I hadn’t seen her in such a long time. C-11Capt. Richard Sexton joined us at the luncheon. He gave tips to us seniors so that we would not become victims of crime. As examples: men supposedly doing work in the neighborhood like roofing and driveway-paving take money from unsuspecting homeowners and then do not do the work. He gave the number to call Boston Police from a cell phone: 617-343-4911. Joana Almeida Tavares, activity director for the Cape Verdean Adult Day Care Center on Hancock Street, brought 42 people to the luncheon! Also invited was Howard King, Reverse Mortgage Specialist, from Eastern Bank, which kindly funded some of the cost of the luncheon.
The first speaker at the luncheon was Joel Abrams, president and CEO of the Dorchester House Multi-Service Center, who talked about the services provided by the Dorchester House. Emily Shea, from the Boston Elderly Affairs Commission, mentioned some of the services provided by the city. She said that women are more likely than men to suffer from depression. They lose interest in cooking, traveling, and the like. They may eat too much or too little, or sleep too much or too little. She told us that many people suffered from depression after 9/11. Our hostess announced at the end of the luncheon that there would be a discussion on obesity and asthma on Wed., June 20, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Dorchester House.

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The luncheon seemed to go very quickly. As Hubby and I left the Dorchester House, we began walking several blocks up Dorchester Avenue to get our car. He thought it was odd that the remote didn’t unlock the doors of our new car. He opened the doors with his key and found out that the motor wouldn’t start. Only the lights on the sun shades worked faintly. He called AAA. The AAA man came almost immediately and told Hubby that he had put the headlights on by mistake and they were left on while we were at the luncheon. He jumped our battery and we were able to get home, (That is the first time we have used AAA in probably 30 years.) Hubby later took the car out for a drive on the Expressway for about a half hour to charge the battery. What a nightmare! By the way, the AAA man said that the battery of a car, even a new car, will die after about one-half hour with the lights left on, so be careful.

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Here is a saying from Pamela Sargent: “Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.”