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Enjoying the fall foliage

“We hail merry Autumn days,
when leaves are turning red;
Because they‘re far more beautiful
Than anyone has said.”
By Charles Dickens

If you drive along the Expressway and down Route 3, you will see pockets of colored leaves, especially in the lowlands. Some of the green leaves from our trees have been shaken from their branches by the strong winds. Our yellow and orange marigolds are thriving in the cool and wet weather. We took advantage of one of the few warm days (last Friday), and hung up our electric “Jack-o-Lantern” on our rose trellis. Hubby had to do a little pruning because some of the rose branches were covering up the Jack-o-Lantern. Hubby also strung the electric “Indian corn” shaped lights along the railing of the porch. Our neighbor Maureen also took advantage of the warm Friday to put up her wonderful Halloween exhibit in front of her home. Our little neighborhood looks very festive.

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On Aug. 5, Hubby, pal Eileen Burke, and I drove to St. Brendan’s Church to await the school bus that would take us in town to City Hall Plaza for the last of three Wednesday Evening Concerts. The first concert was cancelled because of heavy rains and thunderstorms. The second was not a much better evening so we opted out of going. The third concert was on a warm, humid evening. As we got off the bus, Maura Hennigan, clerk of Suffolk County Criminal Court, greeted each one of us and host Angelo Picardi welcomed us to the final concert. The US Air Force Band of Liberty entertained us and Parks Dept. Commissioner Toni Pollak also spoke a few words.

Capt. Dave Alpar, the conductor of the 50-member band, announced that this would be one of their last concerts. The band will be disbanded in 2013 because of funding issues. He announced, with pride, that the band has enjoyed a 20-year partnership with the city of Boston. The band began with selections by Offenbach and Sousa. Chris Brubeck, son of Dave, was featured on the trombone in one selection. One of the band members, Michelle Harris, called Angelo to the microphone and presented him with the title of Honorary Commander in the Air Force. Three trumpeters did a magnificent job on Leroy Anderson’s “Buglers’ Holiday.”

After the break, the orchestra played “Anything Goes” and “Blow, Gabriel, Blow.” Ashley, one of the band members, sang my late Cousin Katherine’s favorite song, “ Someone To Watch Over Me.” Near the end of the concert, Michelle came to the microphone and announced that they would play the song associated with each branch of the armed forces. She asked that those who had served in that branch stand. Hubby stood up when the Army music (“The Caisson Song”) was played. They even played the Coast Guard song (“So here’s the Coast Guard Marching Song…”), which we don’t often hear. We all joined in when the band played “God Bless the USA.” For a finale, the orchestra couldn’t have chosen a more fitting song, “Stars and Stripes Forever.” We all stood and clapped to the rhythm. What a send-off! The Air Force Band of Liberty was terrific that evening. We are sorry that they are being disbanded.

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Back to the cruise honoring Fr. George Carrigg for his 41 years of service at St. Christopher’s Parish. How surprised we were to see that our new friend, Dianne Stearns, was going to be on the cruise. Dianne, who works at the BTU office just around the corner from the Reporter, was joined by her sister, Marianne McCann. I had met Dianne at a Community Meeting at UMass/Boston the previous week. We chatted for a few minutes. I understand that both gals had a great time dancing. I did see Louise Tardif “cutting a rug” out on the dance floor, also. It was so nice to see Fr. George’s nephew, Tom Carrigg, and his wife Gloria on the ship. Gloria was taking photos almost all evening. Another of Fr. George’s nephews, Bill Carrigg, was also on the cruise. I think I saw Fr. George’s sister Mary Carrigg that evening.

At the next table to ours, I saw my friend Anne Barrett and her husband Phillip Robertson. Anne worked with my daughter-in-law Alex years ago. Longtime St. Christopher supporters Ed and Jean McDonald also were on the cruise. Former City Councilor Maureen Feeney and her husband Larry were on the other side of the room but I did get a chance to chat with Maureen. Pal Dorothy Harris was having a hard time with the wind on the pier but the ship was riding very smoothly when we were sailing in the harbor.

I was delighted to see Sr. Carole Costello before we were even on the ship. We always have such fun speaking with her. She is a good friend of Sr. Elizabeth’s from the Notre Dame Montessori School. Sr. Carole was with her friend Sr. Adell Harvey. Both are in the Little Sisters of the Assumption Order. Among those who spoke were Orlando Perilla, from the Harbor Point Task Force, and Lindsay Chaves, from St. Christopher’s. One of the most exciting parts of the evening was when we were asked to look out the windows of the ship. There was the Boston Fire Boat spraying water high into the air as we passed by. It was also bright with colored lights, which looked beautiful on that dark evening.

Hubby, Sharon, Chuck, and I sat at our table figuring we could see a great deal. Other than the fire boat, the only place that we knew was the airport because we could see the lights of the planes taxiing along the runways. I was really amazed how stable the ship was throughout the cruise. I don’t think, however, that we went as far out as we could have gone because of the high winds. It still was a very pleasant sail and the food was scrumptious. As we were leaving the ship, pal Kathy Ellis gave us a small plastic container with a lens-wipe for our glasses, a gift from our church. I must tell Kathy that since I began using the little cloth, I am able to read much more clearly than I had been.

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On Sept. 26, when Hubby and I walked into the Leahy/Holloran Community Center, I headed straight for the cafeteria where our Sept. Pope’s Hill meeting was being held. Hubby always checks out the flyers that are near the front desk. He came into the cafeteria with a big smile on his face and said, “Guess what I have?” He handed me the flyer for the annual Thanksgiving dinner for seniors at the Leahy/Holloran Center. For several years, the center has had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner for the seniors. This year’s (free) dinner will be held on Tues., Nov. 13, from 6 to 8 p.m. RSVP to LaToya at 617-635-5150 by Nov. 2.

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Sr. Elizabeth, from the Notre Dame Montessori School, called to tell me how delighted the nuns from her order, the Sisters of Notre Dame, were at the reception they received from the public at their fundraising walk at Castle Island last Sunday. Between 60 and 70 people did the walk, according to Sr. Kristin Hokanson, my friend from Pope’s Hill’s High School Information Days. Not only did the Notre Dame Sisters walk, they were joined by students from Emmanuel, co-workers, and friends. $13,000 was raised for the Sisters’ missions in Africa (Kenya, Nigeria and the Congo) and in South America, in particular, Brazil. Sr. Elizabeth raised $685 herself, thanks to her co-workers, family, and the parishioners of St. Christopher’s.

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I must correct the list of volunteers from the Pancake Breakfast at St. Brendan’s in last week’s column. My friend and former neighbor Elaine (Collyer) Monahan was one of the servers at the breakfast. I checked with Elaine’s Mom Peg to get the correct spelling of her married name. I also understand that Susan Allen was one of the volunteers. I’ve only seen Susan once, about two months ago at Dot Philbrick’s 102nd birthday Open House. I saw her for about one minute and don’t really know what she looks like without my glasses. (Hubby and I only stayed with Dot for about three minutes because we had frozen food in our car and had to get home on that warm day.) I asked a friend at the Pancake Breakfast to give me a list of those who volunteered because I only knew the names of four of them. Unfortunately, Susan’s name was not on the list. I apologize for not seeing Susan at the breakfast nor listing her as a volunteer. The Pancake Breakfast was a lovely event, thanks to all the volunteers.

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I liked this thought that I saw in a magazine: “There won’t be time to dwell in the past if we keep busy today.”