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Apples, Sunflowers and Tomatoes

“The cricket chirps like  a rare good fellow;
The swallows chatter about their flight:
The asters twinkle in clusters bright
While the corn grows ripe and the apples mellow.”
                       “August” by Celia Thaxter 

Hubby and I have an apple tree in our yard but most of the apples fall before they are ripe. Hubby has a few sunflowers that are growing tall.  Our roses on the side of the house are blooming profusely once again. Our tomatoes are still green along the side fence and on the side porch. We now have mini-tomatoes on the ground under the parlor window. Hubby never planted them there. We believe that birds ate some of our tomatoes and dropped the seeds in front of our home. We had quite a few grape  tomatoes from those bushes last year. There seem to be even more bushes growing there this year. We’ll be making tomato soup.

I still have the two issues of the Irish Emigrant newspaper that have stories about Patrick “Doc” Walsh. The first is the March 18, 2014, issue featuring a photo of Doc on the front page with two of his grandkids. He came to the US in 1959 from Galway. Hubby and I first met him in 1963 when we were changing from oil heat to gas. We wanted to change the radiators to baseboard heating. Doc helped our plumber by taking out the radiators. We marveled as he picked up our cast-iron radiators and removed them from our home. He handled each one as if it were just as heavy as a 12-pack case of Coke. Over the years, we have seen Doc at many fundraisers. We have seen him out in Canton at the Irish Cultural Centre and at the Irish Social Club in West Roxbury. I remember when his wife Breada died unexpectedly, in 1992, leaving him with three young children, John, Brian, and baby Laura. Hubby and I are always happy to see Doc at various functions. He is always helping with the cause.

Hubby and I always enjoy receiving the quarterly membership letter from the Castle Island Association. The latest edition gave the dates when “Old Ironsides” will pass Castle Island: Aug. 22, Aug. 29, and Oct. 17, all Fridays when the ship will honor the nation with a 21-gun salute and Brockton’s 101st Field Artillery will return the salute from the fort with a 17-gun salute. I guarantee that Hubby, with his camera, and I will probably be there for at least one or two of those days. Be sure you bring your binoculars. The letter also gives the dates of the Halloween Celebration at Fort Independence: Sat., Oct. 25, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sun., Oct. 26, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The kids will love this.

The last Flag Retirement Ceremony for this year at the island will be held on Tues., Nov. 11, at 10 a.m.  If you have an American flag that is in tatters, bring it to this ceremony, which will be held inside Fort Independence. At the last ceremony, held on June 14 (Flag Day), more than 100 American flags were burned. By the way, if you would like to join the Castle Island Association, now is the time. Print your name, address, phone number, plus a check for $10 for each person, to the Castle Island Association, Box 342, South Boston, 02127-0917. You’ll be delighted you joined.

I was sorry to read of the death of Alexander “Sonny” Elia on July 29. He was the longtime proprietor of Sonny’s Adams Village Restaurant. I was also sorry to read of the death of Joe Barron. I met Joe through the Dorchester Board of Trade quite a few years ago. He owned Joe Barron’s Auto Body in Dorchester. I send my sympathy to the Elia and Barron families.

This quote may apply to many who are reading this column: “Why did our money run out before our vacation was over?”