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Leahy-Holloran Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving sends sweet messages
That reach from heart to heart,
Uniting friends and loved ones
Although they’re far apart.”

I think back to the days when Hubby’s wonderful mother Margaret had us all over for Thanksgiving. She was so efficient because she did so many of the preparations a day or two in advance. She had the table set with the plates, silverware, and glasses. The serving dishes were on the kitchen table, with the silverware serving pieces near them. Hubby would have taken her out shopping so that he could help with the heavy items. Everybody helped serve the food and clean off the table. I liked to wash the dishes because I didn’t know where any of the fancy things were stored. The kids in all our families got along well and amused each other. Hubby even remembers that he and his teen-age buddies would go bowling later in the afternoon back in those days.

I must finish reporting on our five days’ vacation to the Irish Village. On a beautiful Thursday afternoon, Hubby and I decided that we would go to the impressive JFK Memorial Park near the docks in Hyannis, where the ships take tourists to the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. There were very few people there that gorgeous afternoon because the tourist season had ended. I sat in the car, listening to pleasant music on Station 99.1, “Easy Radio,” on the FM dial. Hubby bounded out of the car, his camera in hand. He took some photos of the large JFK Memorial Medallion that is attached to the impressive stone wall facing the ocean. (What an excellent life-like depiction of JFK on the medallion!) He took some scenic photos of the harbor, with all its boats, and then took some of the ocean as it glistened in the sunlight. It was so quiet and peaceful that we found it difficult to leave there.

After having dinner at the Irish Village on our last night, we were all very well-fed. (I chose the steak tips once again.) We listened to our entertainer, Norman Payne. We were getting to know the words of the songs he usually played and sang along with him. About 10 p.m., we reluctantly walked back to our room to partly pack our suitcases. Our bathing suits were dry so we put them in with our dirty clothes. (I wash them separately in case their colors run.) We met the next morning for breakfast about 8:30 and wished all of our group a safe trip home. We thanked Eileen Collins for organizing this pleasant vacation.

We packed the car, made sure we had all our extra sodas and bottles of water from the fridge, turned in our room keys, and headed for home. We would, however, make a detour on the way. We had heard about the new Market Basket Store near the Sagamore Bridge and decided to stop there. I wondered how Hubby ever found the store as we drove into the big parking lot. (What a circuitous route!) Shopping in a Market Basket Store is an adventure. Of course, this new site was big but there was a stack of directories next to the ads at the front door to help you find the product that you were seeking. While I hurried for one sale item, Hubby ran for another. The prices for the sale items were excellent. $45 later, and lighter, we were back in the car. We understand that there is a new Market Basket in Brockton that is drawing large crowds of people from the South Shore. I heard that the store will mail you a copy of next week’s ad if you give in your name and home address at the Courtesy Booth. I believe the flyer is mailed to you on Fridays. Try out the Market Basket, especially if you have a large family to feed. Even with the cost of gas to get to the Brockton store, you will probably save money with the excellent sale prices.

I was sorry to hear of the death of Rose (Cimmino) Hubbard on Nov. 7, at the amazing age of 98 years. Rose was the sister of my friend and neighbor of more than 40 years, the late Mary Parodi. She was also the sister of the late Gilda Caledonia. Rose was the wife of the late William “Bill” Hubbard, and the stepmother of William Jr., Pauline Quirk, Lorraine, Dorothy Gallant, and the late Carolyn Vacheresse. She was the devoted aunt of Robert, George, and Richard Caledonia and my dear friend JoAnn (Parodi) Leary. As JoAnn said when she told me of her Aunt Rose’s death, “She is, sadly, the last of my Mom’s sisters.” The sympathy of our whole family is sent to all Rose’s relatives.
I must also mention the death on Nov. 7 of a former long-time resident of Neponset, Clifford Sweeney, of Hanover. He was the husband of the late Alice (Quinlivan) and they were the parents of Christopher, Clare Kenney, Kathleen, Frances Hahn, Matthew, Louise Bishop, Joan Connor, Raymond, Philip, Martin, Vincent, Nora Martin, Daniel, John, James, and the late Rosemary Fallon, Michael, and Patrick. I am sure that many in our Neponset area send their sympathy to the Sweeney children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

I also noticed the death of Frederick Waggett on Nov. 8. He was the husband of Barbara (Connolly) and the father of Frederick, Michael, Kevin, and my friend Gerard “Gerry.” I send my sympathy to all Frederick’s family. This is such a sad time of year, with the deaths of so many neighbors and former neighbors.
I was delighted to see Sheila Lawn at the Appreciation Party for Joe Chaisson on Nov. 8 at the Venezia Restaurant. When I asked Sheila how her terrific boyfriend Mike was, she put out her left hand and I saw her beautiful engagement and wedding rings. Hubby and I had met Mike Cowin, a Mass. state trooper, two years ago at the mayor’s party for those couples married 50 years or more. He made such an impression on me that that I even remembered his name, which amazed Sheila. Sheila said that she and Mike were married by Father Ferguson at the Arch St. Shrine on Dec. 29, 2011. I just know that they will have many years of happiness. I send my best to both of them.

I must tell you about the wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner that was given for seniors at the Leahy-Holloran Community Center on Tues., Nov. 13. Never have I seen a dinner for more than 100 people go so smoothly with non-professional volunteers. When we first went in, we saw that the early bird guests were playing “Bingo.” Hubby, daughter Sue, and I came to the cafeteria in the middle of the games so we chose not to play. I must praise the younger volunteers for doing such a good job with the Bingo: Riley Fullam, Madison Fullam, Kalyn Leahy, Anthony LaMonica, Trinity Willet, Andrew Johnson, Robert Butts, Patrice Guerard, Buddy Penella, Brooke McEachern, Lin Galvin, Brendan Neal, and John and Zack Zammito.

The tables were all set with plastic silverware and at each place setting there was a plastic bag filled with peppermint candy. The kitchen personnel were ready to serve the scrumptious turkey dinner, provided by Pat’s of Lower Mills. We had stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, salad, cranberry sauce, and a roll and butter. We could have canned soda, water, or small bottles of cranberry juice. (Everything was tasty, in particular, the stuffing.) For desserts, there was an assortment of pastries and cookies.

We thank Rob Genduso Jr., Craig Galvin, Kelly Butts, Jill LaMonica, Lisa Zinck, Sheila Reardon, Corrine Ball, Nick Cesso, Sheila McCarthy, Amanda Neal, Mary Ellen McDonough, and Janice Schneiderman for serving such a big crowd so quickly. By the way, Suzanne McCarthy, Carolyn O’Toole, and Micki Valente were the nurses who went throughout the seniors checking blood pressures.

There were so many good friends among the seniors attending the dinner. Alice Holloran, Pat Dennehy, John and Jan Schneiderman, and Jane Dougan were the terrific people at the next table. Pals Eileen Burke and Carolyn O’Connor came in together. I saw Rita (McKinnon) Gillespie, Gemma Mariano, and Dolly Farquharson at a front table. I also saw Joan Callanan table-hopping to greet her friends. Keystone people were there in big numbers: Eileen Collins, Marilyn Ferrara, Mary Sullivan, Patsy MacDougal, Terry Ryan, Gwen Adams, Mary B-, Fran Allen, Peggy Ann Canty, Carol Murphy, Terry Hunt, Claire Perry, Mary Burke, Nell Joyce, Jackie Halpin, and Ruth Villard. I hope that I have spelled each name correctly. It was a wonderful evening. I heard one of the seniors say, “What a great night out!” It was, thanks to all the helpful volunteers.

Our friend Marty Allen sent us an invitation to attend a dinner at St. Brendan’s in Fr. Lane Hall on Veterans Day for those who had gone with Marty on her trips. Daughter Sue thought that would be fun so she joined us. We were delighted that our pals from St. Greg’s, Mary “Sis” Keeley, Barbara Sullivan, and Pat Devilly sat with us. Gerard came in with the food that would be served. Daughter Sue wrote down the menu: stuffed chicken breast, gravy, roasted potatoes, (his scrumptious) squash, Caesar salad, rolls and butter, and the hors d’oeuvres (cheese, crax, spinach dip with tortilla chips). For desserts we had our choice of cookies, brownies, muffins, and macaroons. There will be more about Marty’s party in next week’s column.

I’ve always read that Thanksgiving is, by far, the most favorite holiday of the year. I wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving with your family.