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Enjoying the Summer

Of all the seasons, summer is the best,
Vacation time, when one should play and rest.
Enjoying is the fullest of all natures charms
Amid the lakes, the hills, and farms.”
        “Summer” by Ernest Jack Sharpe

Hubby and I finally got over to Sully’s at Castle Island the other day. It was not a good day so we figured there would be some parking available. Last year, it was so hot that we only went a few times and then the summer was over. We decided to splurge by ordering onion rings with our hot dogs and one small French fries. Of course, we started with the onion rings and then moved to the fries. We couldn’t finish the onion rings; there were too many.  We decided that we would take the rest of them home and warm them in the toaster oven. They were pretty good but not so nice as the freshly cooked ones at Sully’s.

Back to our 3rd of July party: I must mention that Hubby and I both noticed that the car in front of our car when we parked at Margie and Janet’s cottage had a Star Trek logo decal on its back window. I figured it was my cousin Bobby’s car but I learned that it belonged to his son Kevin. Many of our family are Trekkers. I can remember many years ago when Hubby and I drove to Watertown to get a “STAR TREK LIVES” bumper sticker when “Star Trek” was threatened with cancellation after being on TV for only one season. We protesters won and Star Trek was renewed for a second season.

Everyone helped to clean up the tables after we ate. Janet brought out Brigham’s Ice Cream and we all had some to top off our great barbecue. Janet had saved plastic containers from store salads and had filled them with ziti, meatballs, baked beans, salad, and even black olives, which she gave to daughter Sue. Everyone had a brown bag filled with food to take home. Inside the bag there was a plastic bag with chicken, and another with hamburgers. There were hot dogs and rolls. I’m not saying that we received lots of food but I only had to reheat all this food for Hubby, Sue, and me to eat for the entire weekend. 
After everything was picked up, we took our folding chairs and went down to the beach, which is right across from Great Hill in Weymouth where that town’s fireworks are shot off, beginning at 9:30 p.m. every Third of July. The fireworks seemed particularly good this year. Perhaps it was because of the lovely breeze; or perhaps it was because of the terrific company.  I sat with cousins Michele and Larry. We had lots to chat about while the fireworks were reflecting beautifully on the water. 

I must mention how there were many more police than usual in Quincy this year. Last year, the officers had a great deal of trouble with teenagers. Except for another downpour,
it seemed very quiet to us this year as we drove home.

Did you see that the Boston Herald increased the charge for its daily paper by 50 percent, from $1 to $1.50, on Mon., July 7? Hubby and I couldn’t believe it. 25¢ is the usual increase for newspapers. We haven’t bought a daily Herald since. I really think that the paper has made a big mistake.

During the day last Wednesday, Hubby, daughter Sue, and I were watching the Weather Channel intently. The weather was terrible. The rain was coming straight down, and it was going sideways; the only way it didn’t rain was coming up from the ground. At 7 p.m. that evening, the singing group Tavares was to appear at the Dorothy Curran Concert Series on City Hall Plaza, the first event of a four-concert series to appear this summer. I received a call about 4 p.m. from pal Eileen Collins who told me that the concert was still scheduled. I thought to myself that the schedulers are crazy. It was raining quite heavily at that time. We waited about a half hour and called City Hall and were told that the concert was still on. About 10 minutes of 5, we drove down to St. Brendan’s church where we were to get on the bus to take us in town. Two more of our usual group of music lovers were there. One had Eileen Collins’s cell phone number and called her. Our bus was already picking up people.

Then it started to rain again. Thank goodness it was only a light shower. We moved up to the door of the church and stayed dry. Once again, I thought that we would get word that the concert was canceled. “It’s still on,” said Eileen. Then the school bus came into view. We boarded quickly in case another storm should hit us. Down we went to the Keystone Senior Apartments. There was quite a group waiting in the lobby. As they came on the bus, we warned them about the seats that had rain on them. They came toward the back to sit near us.

The traffic into town was tough going. There were puddles and flooding everywhere so we went a different route from our usual trip and finally arrived at the plaza. Members of the City’s Elderly Commission greeted each of us with open arms and a bottle of ice-cold water. We walked to our usual seats that had just been dried off by a group of younger helpers. The seats beside us, on the right side facing the stage, were practically under water, with a huge puddle where people would be putting their feet. I sat on the end of our row so I could warn people about the deep puddle. Our friend Eileen O’Connor, administrative assistant/staff photographer for the city’s Elderly Commission, came up from the stage area to make sure we were all okay. There was only one other group of seniors on the plaza with us at first. Thank goodness more and more people heard the music and came in to listen.

About 7:15 p.m., Chris Cook, interim commissioner of the Parks and Recreation Department, welcomed us to the concert. He introduced Emily Shea, the commissioner of Elder Affairs. We all took out our raffle tickets that we had been given when we arrived. The first prize was a sunset cruise for four. The second prize was a thrilling jet ride aboard the boat Codzilla. How our group clapped and cheered when our friend Evie Dunne won the sunset cruise. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer person.

Then it was time for Tavares to come on stage. We had seen them before. They were particularly wonderful this time.  The group, originally from Rhode Island, sang for at least one and three-quarter hours, without a break. Daughter Sue remembers seeing them at Brockton High School with her cousin Terri at least 25 years ago. She even called Terri in Colorado to tell her that we were at their concert. The group played some well-known songs: “It Only Takes a Minute (To Fall in Love),” “She’s Gone,” “Don’t Take Away the Music,”  “Never Had a Love Like This Before,” and “Turn Your Love Around.” Many in the audience were singing along with that one. So did I. Then they sang “Penny for Your Thoughts.” The lyrics went up the monetary scale: “A Nickel for a Kiss,” and finally, “A Dime If You Tell Me That You Love Me.” Some members of the audience even brought the appropriate coins to the stage during that song. They followed that song with “Killing Me Softly, which many people joined in singing. (What a pretty song!)
The group then did their tribute to Michael Jackson, followed by “Good Night, My Love,” accompanied by another sing-a-along. There was just one more: “More Than a Woman.” I closed my eyes and could see John Travolta dancing to that beautiful song with Karen Lynn Gorney from the movie “Saturday Night Fever.” Their final song for the evening was “Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel.” We applauded loudly as the concert came to an end. Tavares was just wonderful. We are so glad that we persevered on that rainy day and went into City Hall. We were not disappointed. Everyone on our bus loved the music.

Because of the rain, we went home a different way from our usual route. We went through streets that we hadn’t been on in years. There was so much new construction. The thing that floored us most was the fact that, as we drove along Dorchester Avenue, we were shocked to see that Hi Fi Pizza had closed. None of us had seen that it was closing. It had been there for so many years. We couldn’t believe it. We arrived home just about 9:30 p.m. It was a great night.

I heard the weatherman on Ch. 7 and Ch. 12, Chris Lambert, mention that he and his wife became parents about four months ago. I didn’t catch the baby’s name but it’s a girl. …

I was saddened by the death of James Garner last Saturday. I didn’t see “Maverick” in the 50s because I was too busy with college and part-time work. I did, however, love “The Rockford Files,” which I still watch on ME TV. My favorite movies of Jim’s were “The Great Escape,” “Victor/Victoria,” and “Murphy’s Romance.” Hubby and I will always watch his movies when they are on TV. I have called him Jim for years. He always seemed so regular. He would be our friend if we had the chance to meet him. I am so glad that we have Jim’s movies on tapes and DVDs. My sympathy is sent to his family.

This Chinese saying is very appropriate for this time of year: