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View From Pope’s Hill

The greenery in our yard was growing too well with the rainy, cool weather in early spring. Hubby had started to use the electric hedge trimmers early last spring when he hit a large branch in among the extremely tall forsythia bushes. (This year, the bushes are almost to the second floor of our home.) The trimmer jumped and hit his hand. Up to Carney’s emergency Room he went where the ER doctor advised him to lay off using the electric trimmer. So, this year, we had a lawn service cut down two upright yews near the front gate that were so tall that they were almost up to a tree in the next yard.

Now the yard looks barren without them. Hubby wants to plant grass in the area where they were removed. That is okay but I’d still like to see a couple of new rose bushes. The men also trimmed the remaining two spreading yews and they look so much better. Daughter Sue had a huge bush near her gate and she asked the men to give it a good trimming. It looks almost bare now but by next spring, I predict it will leaf-out beautifully. The men are going to tackle our forsythia bushes this week. At least the yard will look much neater, almost manicured, when they finish.
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I was so pleased that former Patriot Tedy Bruschi and sportscaster Gil Santos were inducted into the Patriots’ Hall of Fame in Foxborough on July 29. I always thought that Tedy was a class act. I could tell that his fellow players thought he was terrific, also. Even though Tedy has been retired since 2008, we have seen him in commercials since then with his wife Heidi and their two sons, TJ and Rex. I love the entire family. They look so wholesome. Tedy played in 211 Patriots’ games from 1996 to 2008. Gil Santos broadcast 745 Patriots’ games from 1966 to 1979 and 1991 to 2012. In recent years, Hubby and I would turn off the TV sound and listen to Gil’s play-by-play Patriots’ broadcast on the radio. We loved Gil with his partner Gino Cappelletti on 98.5 FM. A fellow named Bob Socci will replace Gil this fall, but it won’t be the same. By the way, both Gil and Tedy looked wonderful in their crimson-red Hall of Fame jackets.
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If you’re not busy this weekend, you can take a quick flight to Boise, Idaho, and join in the festivities when Maureen O’Hara celebrates her 93rd birthday. Maureen chose Boise because that is where her grandson Conor FitzSimmons lives. Maureen, it has been rumored, was the victim of elder abuse. She will use her birthday as a fundraiser for the Justice Alliance for Vulnerable Adults (JAVA). The Egyptian theatre in Boise will show “The Parent Trap,” “The Black Swan,” “The Quiet Man” (my favorite film), “How Green Was My Valley,” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Maureen herself will introduce “The Quiet Man,” which will be shown at 1:15 p.m. Following the movies, you may join Maureen at her birthday dinner. To see all the movies, along with attending the dinner, will lost $150 per persopn. If you want preferred seating, with a chance to meet-and-greet Maureen, the cost is $300 per person, including an autographed copy of her autobiography,”Tis Herself.” Entertainment at the dinner will include Irish music, dancing, and bagpipes. Guess who her favorite co-star was. John Wayne, who else!
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I am sorry that I did not know of the death of Theresa Spain on June 28 in South Boston. Theresa was the wife of our friend Bill Spain for 53 years. We saw her name in the most recent Castle Island Association Newsletter’s obituary list. Bill has been president of the association for years. Hubby and I send our deepest sympathy to him and to their son William.

I also saw in the Castle Island Association’s Newsletter that this year’s Children’s Magical Halloween Castle will be held the weekend of Sat., Oct. 26, and Sun., Oct. 27, from noon to 4 p.m. This will be the 31st year for the annual, free-of-charge attraction. Call Pat at 617-572-8331 if you would like to volunteer. Many are needed for this event, which attracts 5,000 people.
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I am saddened by the news that Cote de Pablo, a Chilean actress who plays Ziva David, will be leaving “NCIS” this year. “Ziva” has been on the program for eight years as a former Mossad agent. When her contract negotiations broke down, she left the show. The producers then issued a warning to the rest of the cast that if any of them, other than Mark Harmon, asks for more money, he or she will be off the show. Only Mark is vital to the show’s existence. I never thought that anyone would replace “Kate” when she was murdered at the end of “NCIS’s” Season 2, but Ziva soon made her way into our hearts.
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As I mentioned last week, Hubby and I attended St. Christopher’s annual BBQ and Celebration in honor of Father George’s Birthday on Sun., Aug. 4. (his birthday is actually the following day.) We were early so we were able to sit under our favorite tree in the church’s side yard, where the sun doesn’t reach. We could hear the bilingual noon Mass proceeding inside the church. (The choir was terrific.) People kept coming into the yard, carrying trays of food.

Then Mass ended. In came a huge crowd of people, each of whom was given a beaded bracelet and a ticket for the lottery prizes. Sister Elizabeth took charge of drawing the raffle prizes. All the tables were filled quickly and people were looking for empty chairs to take to their tables. We looked over to the food tables and discovered that the line was already long. The food servers did a grand job of keeping the line moving smoothly. We waited until close to the end of the line. The hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and hot dogs were done beautifully. I took some of the pasta salad because it looked tempting. I discovered a little later in the afternoon that my friend Dorothy Harris had made it. I told her it was delicious. We also had potato salad and chips. There was a huge sheet cake (both chocolate and white) for Father George’s birthday, with a safari theme drawn in icing on the top.

The kids had a wonderful time at the barbecue. There were tugs of war and pony rides for them and horse rides for the adults, arts and crafts, face-painting for the kids, water balloons, and danceable music. (Pals Sharon, Joann, and I had a great time singing along with the music.) The funniest part of the afternoon was the piñata-bashing. The kids lined up ready to hit the little monkey piñata. The little kids went first. They didn’t even make a dent in the monkey. Then it was the bigger kids’ turns, and they caused very little damage. (I thought the monkey might be made of cement.) Finally the head came off but there was very little candy in the head. Then the legs came off and one arm disappeared. Still, there was very little candy. Finally, it was the bigger kids’ turns. The candy exploded all over the ground. We all laughed.

In the church bulletin on the Sunday following the barbecue/birthday celebration, Father George listed a great many people to thank for the success of the event: Kathy Ellis for coordinating the celebration, the committee members, Joseph Broomes, Sister Elizabeth Calcagni, Lindsay Chaves, Roseland and Serema Cole, Zobeida Diaz, Kristina Lobo, Valentine Ora, Louise Tardif, Shawn Prout, and all those who came early to set up and those who stayed late to help clean up. Father noted that “It was awesome, possibly the best one yet!” At the end of the bulletin, he said that he was looking forward to some “R & R.” He certainly deserves it.
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Early this week, I had a chance to speak with my pal Barry Mullen. He told me the sad news that his sister, Kathleen Donovan, had passed away on Aug. 4, at age 55. Kathleen was the wife of Thomas and the mother of Kimberly Geloran, Kelly, and Noelene Scolaro. In addition to Barry and husband Kevin Barry, she was the sister of Michael Mullen and Maureen Townsend and husband Michael. There will be a funeral Mass for Kathleen this Saturday at 11 a.m. in St. Mark’s Church. Hubby and I send our sympathy to all the family.
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I loved this saying that I saw in a recent St. Gregory’s bulletin that was attributed to Blessed Mother Teresa: “Little things are indeed little, but to be faithful in little things is a great thing.”