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Happy Memorial Day

“- - there are some who keep up a tradition of pride in service to the United States of America and remember all those who have fallen… Let none of us ever forget what Memorial Day really means.”
By Kathlena Peebles

Hubby, daughter Sue, pal Eileen Burke, and I attended the Mass held on April 19, at St. Brendan Church in support of the memory of Father James Lane. Fr. John Connolly, St. Brendan’s pastor, was the main celebrant of the Mass, with the Irish Pastoral Centre chaplain, Fr. John McCarthy, and Father Joe White from South Boston assisting. Father Connolly mentioned that Father Lane had been the Police Chaplain for 45 years.

We were so happy to see so many of our friends at the Mass and at the reception afterward. We saw Jim and Pattie Brett as we walked up the outside stairs. Maureen Ready was there. Bob Boushell sat in our pew. Harry Brett sat in front of us. Lauren (Smyth) Jamie was there and told us she loves being a police officer.

Sen. Jack Hart joined in as did our friend Mary Madden. St. Brendan’s secretary Nancy Leoncini was also there. So was John O’Toole, I was delighted to have a chance to speak briefly with former Mayor Ray Flynn and his lovely “bride” Cathy.

Larry and Maureen Feeney were in attendance at the Mass and the reception downstairs. So was Charlie Tevnan. Cedar Grove Civic Association’s President Sean Weir joined us. Also on hand were Mary Shea, Ginny Biagiotti, Eileen Collins, and Mary Scarborough. Roger and Barbara Croke attended as did Kay White. I was also so pleased to see and chat with Frank and Maura Doyle.

Everyone was thrilled with the talk given by Father Lane’s long-time friend Harry Uhlman. We all thought that the music at the Mass was positively wonderful. St. Brendan’s Director of Music Taras Leschishin sang beautifully. So did Margaret Dalton, from Erin’s Melody, and pal Maureen Keady. It was a lovely tribute to Father Lane, whom we all remember fondly.

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I heard some very nice news, thanks to Eileen Collins. She told me that the residents of the Keystone Apartments were very concerned about the lack of lighting at the entrance/driveway of the road into Keystone. The buses stop running to the building just before 7 p.m. each day. In the evenings, local kids walk along that area to get to one of their favorite hangouts, Pope John Paul II Park. Eileen spoke with Councillor Frank Baker and told him about the situation. She received a call from the Councillor’s aide, Jill Baker, who took down all the facts and got in touch with DPW Commissioner Joanne Massaro. The commissioner had DPW employees Tim McCarthy and Glen Cooper see what could be done. The residents are now enjoying a well-lighted area at the entrance to the driveway at Keystone. They all would like to thank Frank Baker, his aide Jill, Joanne Massaro, and Tim McCarthy and Glen Cooper for their new light.

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I was fortunate to be able to speak with Theresa Beswick the other day. Many people know Theresa because she has been a waitress at
Gerard’s Restaurant for nine years. Recently, she has not been at work because her mother, Dottie, is ill and she has been taking care of her. Needless to say, she misses Gerard’s and her many friends. She had my phone number and thought of me and all our family (even niece Terri) on Mother’s Day. She just wants people to know that she misses them very much. We miss you, too, Theresa.

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Speaking of Gerard’s, guess where our family was on Mother’s Day afternoon? Of course, we were at Gerard’s. We knew that breakfast would be mobbed so we decided to meet about 3:30 p.m. Son Paul was early so he came to our home first. (His wife Alex, of course, was with her lovely Mom Sara and couldn’t join us.) Gerard himself seated us. When we said that there would be four more, he sat us so that we could easily move another table over. Within five minutes, daughter Jeanne, son-in-law David, and the World’s Greatest Grandchildren, Brendan and Erin, came in. They had already been to see David’s Mom Ann. There was lull in the chatter as everyone chose his or her favorite meal. Paul and I had turkey. Hubby and Jeanne had filet mignon. I wasn’t close enough to the others to see what they ordered. With the rolls, salads, and the meals themselves, we were all well fed.

After we ate, Erin showed us a photo, from her phone, of her in her prom dress. It was a beautiful shade of blue. We questioned Brendan about his tux. He was going to wear a silver vest because his date was going to wear a silver and gray gown. When we got back home, we took photos in front of daughter Sue’s home. Paul volunteered to stand in the gutter with his Dad because they are so much taller than the rest of us, who stood on the sidewalk. The photos came out great. Of course, the beautiful day had a lot to do with it. It was a lovely Mother’s Day and a lovely way to spend it.

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Our whole family is very proud of daughter Jeanne and her friend Tania, who participated in the 39-mile Avon Breast Cancer Walk this past weekend. Jeanne called in on Saturday evening and told us that she and Tania were in Canton and had completed about 20 miles of the walk. On Sunday, they completed the rest of the trek. When Hubby and I drove by Pope John Paul II Park about 10:30 on Sunday morning, we saw hundreds of people congregating there, figuring that they must be the Avon Walk’s participants. We figured correctly. The walkers were fed at the park. Then Jeanne called again. “Tania and I should be walking past Phillips just about 1 p.m.” About 12:55 p.m., Hubby, Sue, and I got in the car and drove down to Phillips. Just as we arrived, Jeanne and Tania were there. We talked to them for a few minutes and took photos of them in front of the Phillips sign. Off they went on the final leg of their long journey. I am amazed that any of the participants could do that many miles. I say “Bravo” to Jeanne, Tania, and all the other participants in that walk. They raised an amazing amount of money for breast cancer research. We are so proud! By the way, Jeanne had a sign on her back on which were listed the names of all the family members and friends who have had breast cancer.

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Last Friday evening was a very special one for our grandkids. It was the evening of their proms. There are such small classes in their town that the Junior and Senior Proms are held together, this time at the Danversport Yacht Club. Daughter Sue and niece Terri drove to Rockport as soon as Sue was able to leave her school. They were early enough so that traffic was light. They arrived in plenty of time to take photos of the kids and their dates before they left home. Brendan drove his date to the prom. Erin and her date Dan drove in a 22-passenger pink limo. The photos are amazing. By the way, Brendan was one of five voted into the “King’s Court.” The five were considered the five best-dressed young men at the prom.

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I just read that Boston’s County Mayo Association will hold its Mass in memory of deceased members and friends on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, May 27, at 11 a.m., at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton. It is always a lovely time so, if you have Mayo roots, join the members. Father Peter Nolan, of the Holy Ghost Fathers (Most Precious Blood Parish in Hyde Park), will say the Mass. It is also time to renew membership in the County Mayo Association. It is $10 for individual membership and $15 for a family membership. Send name, address, phone number, and the check to the County Mayo Association, c/o Evelyn Fennessy, 23 Acacia Rd., West Roxbury, MA 02132.

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I love reading about the most popular names for babies. The Social Security Administration has been keeping track of babies’ names since 1880. The most popular names in that year were John and Mary. The most popular name for boys in 2011 was Jacob, with Mason, William, Jayden, and Noah rounding out the top five. (Michael came in sixth, the name’s lowest place since 1948.) Sophia was the top girls’ name, followed by Isabella, Emma, Olivia, and Ava.

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I have often admitted that I love disco music. I was, therefore, saddened by the recent death of Boston’s own Donna Summer. Every time I hear her wonderful songs on the radio, I twist and turn, moving to the music, even with my “new” knees. My favorite of her songs is “Last Dance,” followed by “She Works Hard for the Money.” On Friday evening, Hubby and I drove by the Jeremiah Burke High School, which she attended and I thought of her. Donna sadly died of cancer at age 63. She had a wonderful voice.

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I was sorry to hear that my friend Maureen Feeney, the former City Councillor who is now Boston’s City Clerk, had gall bladder surgery at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital last week. Our whole family sends its best to her for a speedy recovery.

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Enjoy the Memorial Day weekend. Attend Mass at Cedar Grove Cemetery or visit another cemetery; participate in a veterans’ ceremony. The weather at the end of this week, is supposed to be warm and sunny. Here is a great thought for May 28: “America is still Number One, thanks to our veterans.