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"The Fall of the year"

“Golden and red trees
Nod to the soft breeze,
As it whispers, Winter is near,’
And the brown nuts fall
At the wind’s loud call,
For this is the Fall of the year.”

Our impatiens have shriveled with the cold weekend’s temps. Hubby brought our hanging basket of gorgeous geraniums into the house. He just bought a pot of mums that were yellow, tinged with brown, the perfect autumn colors, and also kept them inside over the weekend. Our yellow and orange zinnias are still beautiful. We had hoped not to turn our furnace on until it got closer to Nov. 1, but we gave in this past weekend when Hubby and I tried to decide who had the colder hands.
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At the Pope’s Hill meeting in September, I had chance to chat with my friends Judy Burke and Chris Whittemore. Judy filled me in on the latest addition to her family. Her daughter Mary Beth and son-in-law Shaun Neville presented her and her husband Ralph with a handsome grandson, Liam Adams Neville. (I saw a great photo of him.) The other proud grandparents are Chris and Carol Neville of Wilmington. Liam (one of my favorite Irish names) arrived on July 20 and weighed in at six lbs. and four oz.

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This past Sunday, I attended the 60th anniversary of my graduation from Girls’ Latin School. (There will be more about my reunion later.) For years I knew that my friend from Savin Hill, Nora McDonnell, was very involved in the GLS Alumnae Association. At the reunion, Karen Curran, who helped to organize the reunion/meeting, presented Nora with a gift because she is a new grandmother. I went over to Nora after the formal part of the program was finished and she told me that Reagan Alexandra Leahy was born on June 24, 2011. The parents are Nora’s daughter Kerry and her husband Paul Leahy. Both parents work in Boston: Kerry at MCCA and Paul at the Atlantic Beer Garden where he is the manager. I saw Reagan’s photo; the 15-month-old is so cute!

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Thanks to a friend named Barney, I learned that Dorothy Beswick is ill. Our entire family wishes her a return to improved health. Our love and prayers are sent to her children: Beverly Stevens, Dorothy Silva, Frederick, William, Winifred, John, and our friend Theresa.

I was so sorry to hear, from pal Eileen Burke, that our longtime friend and neighbor, Jeanie Hunt, had lost her sister, Helen Daley, of Easton, on Oct. 5. Our family sends its sympathy to Helen’s husband Paul and to her daughters Jessica Petrillo and Paula. We also send our sympathy to her sisters, Mary Pat Kaszanek, Carol Dodge, and our friend Jean Hunt.

Pal Eileen also mentioned that the oldest of the O’Neil sisters, Jane Deery, had passed away on Sept. 26. When I was a kid in Jamaica Plain, the O’Neil family lived on the next street to me, near the Blessed Sacrament Church in Hyde Square. The only one of the 10 girls that I knew, just a little, was Ginny. I read everything that was written about the family because it was such pleasant, local reading. The photos of the O’Neil children in the newspapers the day after Easter always showed the girls dressed all the same, in clothes that their Mom Julia had made. I send my sympathy to Jane’s husband John, and to their children John, Patrick, Mary Mattioli, Julie Berberan, Susan Kelleher, Christopher, Hugh, Neil, and Joseph “Joel.” She was also the mother of the late Linda. I also send my sympathy to her O’Neil sisters: Diane Nessar, Maureen Cloonan, Evelyn Riley, Mary June Hanrahan, Ginny, Julie, Danielle McGreal, and Frances Cummings. Jane had 30 grandchildren and four great grandchildren. We who lived in Jamaica Plain were very proud of that wonderful family.

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Thanks to an article in the Oct. 10th issue of the Boston Herald, about Fr. Larry Wetterholm, Hubby and I learned of the death of this wonderful priest. Fr. Larry was stationed at St. Christopher’s Parish in Columbia Point when our family began attending Mass there. (Our youngest chiId, Jeanne, was just a little older than a toddler when we began worshipping at the church.) I Googled Fr. Wetterholm’s name and discovered that he was living at Regina Cleri when he passed away on Oct. 4 at age 88. Prior to his entering St. John’s Seminary, Fr. Larry played professional baseball in the Philadelphia Phillies organization. He was past president of the Alumni Association of St. Anselm’s College, his alma mater. He was buried in his hometown of Brockton. I send the sympathy of our family to his nieces and nephews.

I was also sorry to read of the death of Etsuko “Etchan” Campbell on Oct. 6. I have known Etchan since our kids were at St. Ann’s School. I saw her several times when she was a resident of the Keystone Senior Apts. She was always so friendly. She was the wife of the late John Campbell. Our family sends its sympathy to their children: Joseph, Philip, Paul, and Eileen MacLeod. I loved the great photo of Etchan with all her family that was placed by the sign-in desk at the wake. It showed Eileen with all her children and their spouses, the grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Daughter Eileen told me that Etchan asked that she be buried in her Red Sox jacket. She was, and we all smiled. She even had a Red Sox throw.

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Then came word of the death of Marjorie (Murphy) Hennigan on Oct. 12. Marjorie was the wife of former Senator James Hennigan Jr. She was also the mother of my friend Maura Hennigan, clerk magistrate of the Suffolk County Superior Court’s Criminal Division. I send my sympathy to Marjorie’s husband Jim, and to their children: Maura, Deirdre Donovan, James III, Helen, Kate, John, and Marjorie Alutto.
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I saw in one of last week’s Boston Globes that Turhan Bey had passed away on Sept. 30 at the age of 90. I loved Turhan when I was a kid because most of his movies reminded me of “Arabian Nights” stories, which I loved to read. He usually was cast with Jon Hall, Sabu, and Maria Montez, all my favorites. When I was little, I sat on the glider on my front porch and pretended that I was sailing down the Nile River. If I see any of the movies with these stars being shown on the Turner Classic Movie channel (Ch. 213 on Boston’s Comcast Cable), I either sit down to watch it or I tape it for when I have time. Speaking of cable TV, I checked Ch. 533, the Sounds of the Season Channel. It is now playing crazy Halloween songs. I don’t know if the channel plays Thanksgiving songs. (I bet there are not too many.) I do love that they usually begin their Christmas songs on Nov. 1. I look forward to them.
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I saw in St. Brendan’s Bulletin that Fr. John Connolly, pastor of St. Brendan’s, had one of his knees replaced last Tuesday. I join all his parishioners in wishing Fr. John a very speedy recovery. Fr. John McCarthy, Fr. Richard Putnam S.D.B., and other priests will be filling in for Fr. Connolly until he is able to return to work. Father, I know how you feel—been there, done that!

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Time to brag about the family: The selectmen of Rockport have recently honored my granddaughter Erin for saving another life while she was life guarding at Old Garden Beach in Rockport. The beach is very popular with divers of all skill levels because of its ease of entry. Erin saw a diver in distress, gasping for air (I believe the diver had problems with her equipment). Erin rescued the diver from the water and radioed police because the diver continued to have difficulty in breathing. The person was taken to the hospital. In addition to this year’s rescue, Erin saved three people from a rip tide at the end of last summer at Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester. Bravo, Erin! Grandpa, Auntie Sue, and I are so proud of you!

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Catching up: On a very rainy Saturday evening, July 28, Hubby, daughter Sue, and I boarded a bus at Florian Hall for one of Marty Allen’s special offerings. Marty herself greeted us. We were heading to the Stoneham Theater to see the Temptations’ Review. I love the music of the Temptations. We no sooner got on the Expressway than we encountered a bad accident, undoubtedly caused by the weather. It took us several minutes to get through. Then, close to our exit near Stoneham, there was another serious accident, also probably caused by the wet weather. We finally made it to the theater. Thank goodness Marty told us the she always leaves early for her activities.

We all sat down with our programs. The lead singer for the evening was George Curtis “G.C.” Cameron. We read that “G.C.” was first the original lead singer for the Spinners. He joined the group after serving in the Vietnam War as a Marine. He then joined the Temptations in 2003. He was the lead singer on “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You,)” which was nominated for a Grammy Award. He performed such hits as “My Girl,” “The Way You Do,” “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love?,” and one of the favorite songs, “Then Came You.” Two more of the Temptations’ more well known numbers are “I’ll Be Around” and “Working My Way Back to You.” He is credited with having six different voices. Most of us sang along with the “G.C.” and his group through the more popular numbers. It was a great night for singing, in spite of the weather. The rain had tapered off so we had no trouble returning home to Florian Hall.
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Here is the perfect thought for this time of year: “It’s time to offer thanks for autumn’s bounty- - and to start praying for an easy winter.” Anon.