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Night to remember at the Garden

I hope to continue to keep the resolution that I made on New Year’s Eve. I have been making inroads on clearing up the newspapers around our home. I have even thrown out some of the clippings that I thought I would keep forever. A year of two after I cut them out, they don’t seem so important so out they have gone. I also want to clean or reorganize even a small place each day. I also must take better care of our house plants. I should repot all of them with fresh potting soil over the next few weeks. I will give them some Neptune’s Harvest Fertilizer so that they will get off to a good start for the new year.

Hubby, daughter Sue, niece Terri, and I did get in to the TD Garden to see the World’s Greatest Granddaughter Erin receive her honor from the Boston Celtics on Fri., evening, Jan. 6. We knew that parking would be at a premium anywhere near the Garden because of the game so we drove to Broadway in South Boston. We parked there although it was very had to find an empty parking spot that evening. We hailed a cab and were let off right outside the Garden. We found our seats very easily. Daughter Sue, when ordering the tickets for us, chose the two end seats in consecutive rows, with a great view of the court. The Celtics were playing the Indiana Pacers that evening.

As we were sitting in our seats, we could see the Celtic players warming up for the game. Almost to game time, there were not that many people in their seats. Then, everyone came in and filled in the seats, just as 7:30 p.m. approached. Our area was filled. We kept scanning the audience on the floor with our binoculars to see if we could find daughter Jeanne, son-in-law David, and grandson Brendan.

We knew that they had been brought into Boston by a limo, furnished by the Celtics. Sue finally spotted David and began waving her arms. David finally looked up and recognized Sue. They all waved back to us, all except Erin. Erin was off with a man from the Celtics for a photo-taking session. We saw her with two very tall basketball players. We recognized that one was the Celtics’ Captain Paul Pierce. Erin told us that the other player was the captain of the Indiana Pacers, Danny Granger.

Now I will copy the e-mail that daughter Sue sent to son Paul and daughter-in-law Alex:
“The recognition was actually held during one of the time-outs during the second quarter. Mom, Dad, Terri and I got tickets for the game but we were way up inside the Garden. The four of us looked all over the floor for our family. I spotted David and Brendan. Their seats were directly in front of us.

I walked down to the front of our section and waited for one of them to look up. David finally did so I started waving. He told Brendan where we were. When Jeanne returned to her seat, they showed her where we were. We kept looking for Erin. She was actually on the floor in front of the scorekeepers’ table. The team let her watch the warm-ups “up close.” Just before the game started, she walked back and sat with the family.

I had talked with one of our neighbors Joan who is an usher at the Garden. She told me to see her pal, another usher, about getting closer during the recognition ceremony. He said that two of us could come down during the second quarter and he would let us get closer to take photos. That would be O.K. but I wanted something better.

When the second quarter started, I told Dad to come with me. We actually were heading down to Joan’s pal when I spotted the entrance to a section that was just about mid-court. We walked in and told the usher who we were and asked if there was any way we could stand in his section to take photos. He told us to wait. Also standing in this entrance was a woman who actually works for the Celtics. She said that she’d bring us down to the edge of the floor to get good photos. She didn’t know who the “Hero Among Us” was for that evening so she asked what Erin had done to earn the recognition. She was impressed.

As soon as the time-out was called, she brought us to the edge of the floor while the announcer related Erin’s story. Everyone in the Garden got up and gave Erin a “Standing Ovation.” Erin was given a statuette and had her photo taken on the Celtics’ logo (Lucky, the Leprechaun) in the center of the parquet floor. It was awesome!

After it was over and Erin had been taken back to her seat, she spotted me and came over to give me a big hug. Our escort decided to take Dad and me out of the lower level by another exit, which had us walking right by the family. I told her who Jeanne, David, and Brendan were. We got to stop and chat with them for a minute, We were all hugging, raving, and totally enjoying the moment. Our escort then led Dad and me off the floor. It was just too cool and we thanked the woman profusely for bringing us in to share in the moment. We never did ask the woman’s name but Dad and I took a couple of photos of her.

After we got back to our seats, we just watched the rest of the game and were deeply disappointed at how bad the Celtics were playing. Yet it was a great evening. When I actually get out of bed and go downstairs, I will get my camera and upload the photos I took. I will send you what I have.”

So you have just read Sue’s account of this special evening. It was wonderful. When we got outside the Garden, we crossed the street and were easily able to grab a cab back to Broadway Station in South Boston. Thank goodness we have some great photos of the evening. We did hear, on WBZ radio the following morning, that some of the people at the game were asking for their ticket money back because the Celtics played so poorly that evening. We had taped the game while we were at the Garden.
We discovered that Erin’s ceremony was not shown because it was at the time to play some commercials. I am sure that Erin will receive a tape of the ceremony along with some photos from the Celtics in the next few weeks.

I was really surprised that a person with a camera scanned members of the audience quite often during the basketball game. People loved seeing themselves on the jumbo screens over the court. I think the most thrilling part of Erin’s ceremony was seeing her on the big overhead screens at the Garden. What a wonderful evening, one that we will never forget.

Eileen Collins has let us know that she is planning an overnight trip to the Turning Stone Resort Casino in the Mohawk Valley region of New York on Mar. 25/26, Sun. to Mon., with overnight accommodations at the Turning Stone Resort Casino. The trip includes a $10 meal credit plus either a $40 Freeplay or $30 in Bingo Dollars and $10 Bingo Matchplay on the first day. On Day 2, we will receive a free breakfast buffet coupon and $25 in Freeplay or $20 in Bingo dollars. Cost: $169 double occupancy, $165 for Triple occupancy, or $249 for single occupancy. There is also a $10 pp cancellation insurance fee. Call Eileen at 617-929-1176 for further info.

I was sorry to read of the death of Frances (McGowan) Cawley on Jan. 5. She was the wife of James “Jim” Cawley, who died on June 14, 2011. I know that Fran enjoyed Bingo and often went to local Bingo games with her friends and to the Connecticut casinoes . When her kids were younger, she was active in St. Ann’s Band. I send my sympathy to her children: Jim Jr., Patricia, Kathleen Connolly, Geraldine McGee, Michael, and Marianne Pick. At Fran’s wake, pals Eileen Burke, and Paul and Eileen Fahey were commenting on the beautiful photo of Fran that the children have to remember her. It was gorgeous! Fran will be missed by many.

As I look through a little book called “Live and Learn and Pass It On,” there are many sayings that I’d like to share. This is one of them, given to the author by a 59-year-old: ”I’ve learned that success is more often the result of hard work than of talent.”