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Ready for the Saint's Day

“May you always have …
A sunbeam to warm you,
Good luck to charm you,
And a sheltering angel
So nothing can harm you,
Laughter to cheer you,
Faithful friends near you,
And whenever you pray,
Heaven to hear you.”
An Irish Wish

Hubby and I are all ready for March 17. Hubby took his two green shirts from the closet in Paul’s old room. I went up in the attic and brought down two green blouses, a Kelly green sweater, and a green jacket. Hubby put green window-cling shamrocks on the front door, all around our big shiny-metallic shamrock. Daughter Sue took out her shamrock socks. She had already taken out her green velour hoodie-cardigan that I gave her a few years ago. I had also bought daughter Jeanne the same Kelly green cardigan. This year, son Paul asked if we could find him a t-shirt with an Irish flag on the front that was not too gaudy. He found the perfect shirt himself on line. Speaking of Irish, I am delighted that Ch. 533, the Sounds of the Season Channel on Boston’s Comcast Cable, is now playing Irish music. (Hubby already taped that channel for eight hours on Sunday night.) I think the music will continue after March 17 until the end of the month. I figure that there are not many Easter Songs for that channel; just “Easter Parade” and “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” come to mind. Easter is on April 8 this year. By the way, daughter Sue ordered us the CD of Mitch Miller’s Irish Sing-a-Longs so we’ll have some great music in the kitchen on the 17th.
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Thanks to an ad in this paper, Hubby spotted that there would be a St. Patrick’s Day Senior Luncheon at Florian Hall on March 2. Sen. Jack Hart, Reps. Linda Forry, Carlos Henriquez, and Marty Walsh, and City Councilor Frank Baker sponsored the event. (We were sorry that Rep. Carlos was ill and unable to attend that day.) When pal Eileen Burke and I entered the hall, our friend Eileen Collins beckoned us to sit at her table. The waitresses at Florian were wonderful, as usual, bringing us coffee and tea on that cold day. The music by Curragh’s Fancy (Bob Fowkes and Brendan Gavaghan) put us in a festive Irish mood. I loved seeing Peg Canty and Sarah Doherty out on the dance floor. They were terrific.

We could see the bagged lunches piled up at the bar’s counter. The waitresses and the aides of the politicians (Karen Crowley, Carol Houtaling, Amanda Curley, Katie Hurley, Allyson Quinn, and Krista Zalatores) gave out the bags quickly. Inside we found a generous sandwich on a small sub roll. There was also a little container of very tasty potato salad. Also in the bag was a raisin cookie. A bottle of cold water was already placed at every chair. I saw three huge cakes, which the waitresses cut and then passed out the slices to the seniors. The gals thought that the scrumptious cakes were made by one of the local food stores.

There were lots of friends at this St. Patrick’s luncheon. Rita Gillespie, Gemma Mariano, and Mary Reilly came in together. I didn’t see my buddy Ginny Aveni until I heard that she won one of the many prizes, a large Irish flag. Quite a few seniors came from Keystone: along with Eileen Collins, we saw Cathy Coyne, Peg McDonough (no relation), Dot Coulombre, Marie Schallmo, Terry Ryan, Marilyn Ferrara, Mary O’Toole, and pal Evie Dunne. I loved seeing Caroline Innello at the luncheon. Phyllis Hartford was there, as were Mary Sullivan, Theresa Hunt, Mary Burke, and Mary Maneikis, My longtime friend Claire Perry was at the luncheon. So were Peg Canty, Carol Coakley, Sarah Doherty, and pal Carol Murphy. Thelma Burns came over to see Eileen Collins and also greeted me. Dolly Farquharson joined the group. I just happened to spot Marian Haddad, whom I have known for such a long time. She brought her pal Sister Joyce over to see me. I kidded Sister about her Irish heritage. She is always fun to see. I thank Sen. Jack, Rep. Linda, Rep. Carlos, Rep. Marty, and Councillor Frank for the Senior St, Patrick’s Luncheon. It was lots of fun. It was great seeing so many friends on such a pleasant occasion.
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I had only one problem with the senior luncheon. Hubby was unable to attend because he had an appointment with Dr. Werth to have a squamous removed from the back of his head. For 39 years, Hubby was out in the sun with the school buses for at least two hours a day. He never realized he should cover his bald head. Only in the wintry weather did he wear a hat. The incision bled the first night and stained his pillow case and pillow. For the rest of the week, I knew how to replace his bandages (covering a dab of Vaseline) each evening after I washed the incision with peroxide before he went to bed. The eight stitches came out a week later and the incision looks great.
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On Friday evening, March 9, Hubby, pal Eileen, and I had the thrill of a lifetime. We had tickets for the Celtic Women concert. We parked in Southie and grabbed a cab to take us to the front door of the Wang Center. The outer area was mobbed. Crowds were going by us, heading to three more theaters. It was so exciting. We arrived at the Wang when the ticket collectors had just opened the doors. We filed inside where we had to wait in the magnificent lobby for the inner doors to open. We loved looking around at the beautiful walls and ceiling. The only term I could think of to describe the lobby’s décor was “opulent.” Finally the inner doors opened and we found our seats easily. The row’s letter was painted on the aisle side of the first seat in big letters so we found Row U quite easily. As the people came in to sit down, most had definitely Irish faces.

Then it came to 8 p.m. and the crowd hushed. Out came the four main cast members, the youngest, Chloe Agnew, Lisa Lambe with the long red curls, and the blonde fiddler Mairead Nesbitt. Eileen and I looked at the fourth gal and said in a whisper to each other, “Did Lisa Kelly dye her hair blonde?” We knew in two minutes it wasn’t Lisa. We later found out that Lisa is pregnant and did not come on the US tour. I really was disappointed because I love Lisa’s voice. She sings in my voice range so I can sing-a-long with her at home. (She, Chloe, and Mairead are the only three left of the original five cast members.) Lisa’s replacement was Susan McFadden, who had a lovely voice and sang as if she had been performing in the show for 10 years.

I was never really delighted with the fiddler Mairead on the TV show, but after seeing her in person, I think that she is an amazing performer. She is a wonderful athlete and a magnificent musician, playing beautifully while she is moving all over the stage. Everyone loves Chloe, who sings so sweetly. Her “Ave Maria” was just perfect. Lisa Lambe, with the gorgeous red hair, has a magnificent voice, too, and the new performer Susan was terrific. They sang “The Water Is Wide” and “Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” The gals even did “A Tribute to Broadway.” They ended with one of my favorite songs, “The Parting Glass.” Paul Sullivan, on WROL radio, plays the best version of that song each Saturday when he signs off his program after being on the air from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (It is also sung at the end of one of my favorite Irish movies, “Waking Ned Devine.” At the end of the show, Chloe told the audience that the cast loves to perform in Boston. She said, “This is the first time that we have ever received a standing ovation in the middle of a show.” By the way, my pal Eileen was ready to take the show’s two drummers home with her. I must admit I agreed with her. They were amazing, and such a big part of the musical accompaniment. So was the bagpiper. (How I love bagpipe music.) All the musicians at the show were terrific!

On the way out of the theater, we had an extra thrill. The bagpiper was standing at the top of the gorgeous staircase at the Wang, playing for us. People stopped to listen to him instead of leaving for home. That was so unexpected. When we finally got outside the theater, Hubby hailed a cab, which took us back to our car in Southie. What a wonderful evening. I can hardly wait to see the Celtic Woman Show on TV to relive this wonderful night.
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Daughter Sue sent me an article on Oreo Cookies. The delicious cookie was 100 years old on March 6. No one is really sure why the cookie is called Oreo. The latest ones look very much like the ones from 1912, with just a slight difference in the design on the chocolate discs. Thank goodness I didn’t run across the fudge-covered Oreos in 1977. I do remember the Halloween Oreos, with orange cream in the middle, in 1991, and the Christmas Oreos in 1995, with red or green cream. I think that the best way to eat an Oreo is to open the cookie up and eat the cream first.
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I hope that you all enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day’s festivities. “La Fheile Padraig brea dhibh go leir.” Have a great St. Pat’s, everyone!