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Simon of Cyrene Breakfast

“October seems to be
The nicest month we know-
Too late to cut the lawn,
Too soon to shovel snow.”
“Reasonable Season”
by Jean B. Boyce

Hubby loves this week’s poem, which I found in an issue of Good Housekeeping magazine. According to an old weather forecaster, this is the time of year to apply fertilizer and lime to grassy areas. It is good to do this before our leaves begin to fall. If you have a grapevine, it is time to apply super phosphate to the vine. I don’t know if we have any in the cellar so Hubby will pay a visit to our garden center.

On Sun., Sept. 29, Hubby and I drove to the Venezia Restaurant to attend the annual breakfast of the Simon of Cyrene Society. (The society provides emotional and spiritual support as well as healthy recreation for the disabled community, including the physically disabled and those with developmental disabilities.) As we walked into the attractive lobby, we met state Rep. Marty Walsh. We told him how much we enjoyed being at his victory celebration on Election Night.
We were a little early for the breakfast so we had our choice of tables on that beautiful morning. We sat up back since the reserved tables were near the large glass windows and the podium. As soon as we sat down, I saw Sister Paula Tinlin, from Carney Hospital, and went over to greet her. On the way back to my seat, I saw the city of Boston’s star photographer, Eileen O’Connor, so I chatted with her. I then saw Boston’s commissioner of transportation, Tom Tinlin, Sister Paula’s nephew, and greeted him. Sister Peggy Youngclaus, the head of the society, came into the room so I went over to greet her. Then Debby Ford came to our table and asked if she and others could sit with us. We welcomed them. Her son “J.T.” could not be at the breakfast that morning because he was in the hospital. His Dad John was with him. Jerry Burm was there with his Dad Joe and his sister Sue. Also sitting with us were Kim Dougherty and her Mom Pam. Larry and Maureen Feeney were sitting at a neighboring table so I went over to chat with them. We were fortunate to have our friend Mary, from church, as one of our terrific wait staff for the breakfast.

Former state Sen. Bill Bulger was the emcee for the morning and he brought former Sen. Jack Hart to the microphone, who told us that he had been in politics for 16 years. Bill was in rare form that morning and had us laughing many times with his quips throughout the breakfast. I’ll mention some of them later.

I had enough bacon, scrambled eggs, home fries, even a little blueberry muffin, some fruit, and orange juice to know that the food that morning was excellent. Just as I finished eating, I saw my friend Jim Brett, our former representative who is the president and CEO of the New England Council. Jim was speaking with Agnes Minihan, my longtime friend. (She even remembers the day when our oldest child, Paul, was born.) I had two copies of a great photo of Jim’s brothers, Harry and Bill, taken by Hubby, and was hoping to give the photos to them at the breakfast. I asked Jim if he would give the photos to his brothers. (How often do we see a photo of these two ace photographers since they are always the ones taking the photos?) Jim said he would see them later that day and would give them the photos. Everyone at the breakfast was delighted that Mayor Tom Menino and his lovely wife Angela were, once again, able to attend. Sister Peggy asked the mayor to come to the podium to receive a plaque of appreciation, thanking him for all his support over the years. Sen. Bulger kidded the mayor about enjoying retirement. The mayor told us that that day, Sept. 29, was the 100th day in the countdown to his retirement. He said that he would keep busy and that he would continue to come to the Simon of Cyrene Breakfast each year.

The prizes on chances were wonderful. I took my tickets up to the prize table and put them in two chance bags, one for a movie basket, the second for a fall basket. I loved the starfish bracelet that was another prize but restrained myself. Neither Hubby nor I won anything but our tablemate, Debby Ford, won a photo of the Eiffel Tower, which pleased everyone at our table. (Her sister-in-law is a French teacher; enough said!)

I am not saying that it was pull or even divine intervention that allowed many of the Youngclaus and Tinlin families to win prizes. Bill Bulger had a funny quip every time a member of Sister Peggy’s or Sister Paula’s family won. Bulger asked Sister Paula if there was a U-Haul-It outside to help take home all the prizes. One of the prizes was a photo of Fenway Park. Bulger said that if a person were to visit the seven churches on Holy Thursday, Fenway Park was so sacrosanct that it could be counted as one of the seven. Another prize was a photo of the Farragut statue. Bill said that if they took down Farragut’s statue to put up one for him, they would have to put him on a horse on his statue because he wasn’t as tall as Farragut. Bill sang almost every song along with the musicians. A very nice young man, Jake Rooney, won the 50/50 Raffle and gave all the money back to the Society. Everyone clapped for him because he was so generous. At the end of the breakfast, I had a chance to speak with Jack Hart. He told me that Mike Reynolds had provided the great music for the breakfast.
(Mike’s Dad was the wonderful Irish musician, the late Larry Reynolds.)

Just before we left Venezia, I found my longtime friend Agnes Minihan, sitting with her friend Pat MacNaught. I learned that Joseph Harrington Sr. was ordained one of 12 permanent deacons by Cardinal Sean O’Malley on Sept. 21 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Joe is the son of the late Bernard “Harry” and Nancy Harrington, formerly of Pope’s Hill. Joe and his wife Kathy have been married 25 years and are the proud parents of Justine, age 24, and Joe Jr., age 17. Joe’s wife Kathy joined the other deacons’ wives in bringing up the gifts at the ordination Mass. At that Mass, Father Chris Hickey “vested” Joe. Joe celebrated his Mass of Thanksgiving at his own church, St. Mary’s in Hanover, on the following day. Joe has been assigned to St. Paul’s Parish in Hingham, with Father Hickey. Joe will also assist Father Reed at Boston’s Catholic TV station. Nancy and Harry would be so proud of their son, who is the eldest of their nine children. We, in the Pope’s Hill area, wish him the very best.

I was sorry to read of the death of Mary “Mossy” (Tobin) Harty on Sept. 29. Mossy was the wife of 58 years of Joe Harty (BPD, retired), a senior advisor in the Pope’s Hill Neighborhood Association. Although I never met Mossy in person, she seemed like such a nice lady over the phone when I called her to relay a Pope’s Hill message to Joe. I know that she really enjoyed Cape Cod. I send the sympathy of our family and of the Pope’s Hill Association to Joe and to their sons, Patrick and Joseph. Mossy and Joe were also the parents of the late William.

I was sorry that I did no have time to read the obits last Friday. I would have see that Claire (Corcoran) Carten had passed away on Oct. 2, at the age of 84. Claire was well known to many families in our area; she taught at the Murphy School for many years along with her good friend Ann Hanwell. I had seen Claire at Boston teachers’ functions. I think the last time was when the Murphy School had a dedication of the library several years ago. Claire was the wife of the late Tom Carten. I am sure that I join her many students in the area in sending our sympathy to her children, Thomas Jr., Mary Driscoll, Christopher, Theresa Grogan, Claire Lawton, and Madeline Cahill. I also send my sympathy to her siblings: Bernardette Richards, Francis Richer, and Joseph Corcoran. I am sure that the early success of the Murphy School was due in large part to excellent teachers like Clare and her pal Ann Hanwell.

The other evening, while Hubby, daughter Sue, and I were driving down Morrissey Boulevard, we said that since it was now October, we would soon be seeing the red and green lights on our Rainbow Gas Tank. Not sooner did we say that when the gas tank came into view. It had colored lights on it. At first we thought they were orange lights for Halloween. That would have been a first for the gas company to do. On rethinking, Sue said that the lights must be pink since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Check out the lights as you drive along Morrissey Blvd.

This old saying made me think: “A lie has speed but the truth has endurance.”