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"Song of Spring"

“Sometimes sunshine, sometimes showers Bathe and nurture budding flowers As April sings a song of spring And dances on a bluebird’s wing.” “A Song of Spring” by Nora Bozeman

The weather has certainly been changeable. Last weekend we had temps near 70. This morning, when I arose, I heard that the temp was 35 degrees. The magnolias are magnificent. Father George, at St. Christopher’s Church, can see his Star Magnolia tree almost in full bloom. That type of magnolia tree is the first to bloom every year. The tree was given to Father George by the children of the graduating class from the Notre Dame Montessori School a few years ago. The school is located in the lower floor of the church.

Over the weekend, Hubby and I purchased some pansies. Some are yellow, some purple, and some coral–colored. I am going to put all three types in a big pot and place the pot near the front gate to welcome people.

Thanks to info from our friend Jane, Hubby and I learned that there was to be a program at the Fields Corner Library on Sat., Mar. 30, at 11 a.m. about one of our favorite literary characters, “Sherlock Holmes.” We were able to park on Dot Ave. but we had to be sure that we left before the two-hour limit. We learned, from the invitation, that the speaker would be very knowledgeable about the Holmes character.

When we went into the library, we were ushered to a meeting room near the back of the library. Almost as soon as we sat down, Children’s Librarian Cindy Dye came to the microphone. Cindy, we discovered, was the expert on Holmes. She has been a fan of the legendary detective since she was 10. She told us that the first Holmes film was a silent one, produced in 1903. She gave us his full name: William Sherlock Scott Holmes. Holmes stories have been performed on the stage, as musicals, in films, on the radio, on TV, and even as video games. Cindy said that two of the best movies were “The Hound of the Baskervilles” and “Murder by Degree.”

I checked out some of the actors who have played Holmes: John Barrymore, Jeremy Brett, Robert Downey Jr., Clive Brook, Michael Caine, John Cleese, Peter Cushing, Stewart Granger, John Gielgud, Charlton Heston, Frank Langella, Peter Lawford, Christopher Lee, Roger Moore, Leonard “Mr. Spock” Nimoy, Christopher “Capt. Von Trapp” Plummer, George C. Scott, and, of course, the person I think is the greatest Holmes, Basil Rathbone. Cindy gave each of us a paper with a photo collage showing many of the actors who have played Holmes. (I could only recognize about five of the thirty photos on the page.) Dr. Watson’s full name was John Hamish (Scottish for “James”) Watson. Of all the people on the page that Cindy gave us of the actors who have played Watson, I only knew three: Vincent Price, James Mason, and, of course, the best, Nigel Bruce. (Bruce had to use a cane because he was injured in World War I) By the way, there were more than 200 radio programs about Sherlock Holmes. President Franklin Roosevelt was a big fan of Sherlock.

Cindy then opened the program to questions. Holmes was dependent on cocaine. Perhaps it was because he was a manic-depressive. It was Dr. Watson who weaned him off the drug. It was said that Watson had five wives. He only had two, according to Cindy.

At the end of the program, the audience was invited to have either tea or coffee. There were all types of pastries, including Irish bread and cupcakes with a plastic bunny face on each. They were so cute that we brought one home for daughter Sue. We also had a chance to chat with our pal, Jane Matheson. I think it was Jane who brought the refreshments. I told her that Hubby and I had learned a lot from the Holmes discussion. We also realized that we had known very little about Holmes before this discussion, just what we learned in the Basil Rathbone movies, which we loved.

I was sorry to read of the death of Gary Thomas Feeney, who was killed in a construction accident in New York, on April 13, at age 24. Gary was born in County Sligo, Ireland. He was the husband of Kelly Melvin-Feeney of Ballina, County Mayo, and Dorchester. He was the son of Fergus and Norma Feeney of Templeboy, Sligo. He also leaves his siblings: Orla, Andrea, Stephen, and Owen. I understand that there was a gathering of his friends at St. Brendan’s on Tuesday evening. His body was returned to Ireland and reposed at his family’s home in Lugdoon, Sligo. The Mass was held in Templeboy at the Church of the Immaculate Conception.

Hubby, pal Eileen Burke, and I had planned to go to the service for Martin Richard last Tuesday evening. We mistakenly thought that it would be in St. Ann’s Church. We would go early so that we could be sure to get a seat. We then learned that the service was to be held in Garvey Park. I was afraid to walk on the grass in the dark, not wanting to fall, so we cancelled going. Our thoughts and our prayers were with all the people attending the service. I understand that there was a remembrance service at St. Ann’s this past Sunday. We would have been there if we had known.

I must say that staying inside our home last Friday did some good. I read all the old newspapers that we had hanging around our home. Recycling and trash collection was delayed a day because of the Patriot’s Day holiday on Monday, so everything went out either in the trash or the recycling bin on Saturday. Hubby checked and found some out-of-date canned goods in the cellar. He opened up the cans, put the contents in the trash, and recycled the cans.

After a week of such horror and sadness, I thought this thought might bring a little smile to your face: “My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.”