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Happy Spring

“The sun does arise
And make happy the skies
The merry bells ring
To welcome the Spring.”
“The Echoing Green” by William Blake

Hubby has noticed that there are now more than 13 hours of sunlight each day. He and daughter Sue were out at about 11 p.m. on Saturday night to see the planet Mars just below the moon. With the fluctuation of temperatures, from close to 80 one day to the 30s several days later, the buds on the trees are confused as to whether they should stay tightly closed or open up.

I read, on Facebook, about the most popular types of bulbs. Some 37 percent of the people polled chose tulips as the most popular; 30 percent voted for hyacinths; 25 percent took daffodils; and only 9 percent voted for crocuses. I do like tulips, especially because of their many vivid colors, but they are not my favorite spring flower. I cannot have hyacinths in my house because of their strong odor.
Crocuses are beautiful when they bloom in dark soil; they, along with snowdrops, are proof that there is life in the soil after a cold winter. My favorites of these four bulbs are the daffodils. They are so tall and stately as they hover over bare ground. Daughter Sue has often urged me to buy some of the more exotic types of daffodils, with pinks and oranges mixed with the bright yellow color. They don’t seem to last, however, like the 100 percent bright yellow color of the King Alfred type.

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Last Saturday afternoon, Hubby, daughter Sue, and I knew that time would be tight between the end of Mass and an evening show at the Common Market. The Palm Sunday Mass is quite long with the blessing of the palms and the expanded gospel. Pal Jean Every delivered the first two readings and the responsorial psalm. Daughter Sue, Sister Elizabeth, and our new pal Hank shared the delivery of the Passion of Christ, the gospel for Palm Sunday. After a quick bite at home, we headed to Quincy. Friend Eileen Collins had purchased tickets for eight of us to attend the Frank Sinatra-Michael Bublé Tribute Show. We walked up to the function room and found friend Peggy, who was saving two tables for our group. No sooner had we seated ourselves than Eileen and Norma joined us. Marilyn and Terry followed soon after.

Shortly after 7, Tony Cerbo, as Michael Bublé, opened the show by introducing Michael Dutra, our Frank Sinatra for the evening. We had been fortunate to see “Frank” several times at the summer concerts on City Hall Plaza. Frank started his set with “Come Fly with Me” and “I’ve Got a Crush on You.” If you closed your eyes, you would think that you were actually listening to Sinatra himself. Frank then turned the stage back over to Tony Cerbo /“Michael Bublé” who opened his set with “Fever”, which had everyone singing along. His second selection, “You Make Me Feel So Young,” was also well-known to many in the audience. “Frank” returned to the stage for two of his most popular hits: “Summer Wind” and the “New York, New York.” Michael’s next set included “All of Me” and “To Be Loved”.

It was during this set that Michael noticed that daughter Sue was writing in a notebook while he sang. “Are you from the Boston Globe?” “No,” said Sue. In unison, the people at our table all said, “From the Dorchester Reporter.” This was met with loud applause. (Sue was writing down the names of the songs for me because I had a sore shoulder.) Michael then came over to serenade Sue. He jumped on the chair across from her and placed one foot on the table on which she was writing. Everyone in the room started to laugh. For these and other songs, his attention was focused on Sue. Of course, she had to share him with two other women in the audience, but it was partly because he couldn’t reach Sue with the tables and chairs in the way.
“Frank” then returned for his third set of the night. He performed “Bewitched, Bothered , and Bewildered” and “The Way You Look Tonight.” Michael’s third set included “Softly,” accompanied by many in the audience, and “Crazy Love.” The fourth set by “Frank” included the ever-popular “That’s Life” and “Luck Be a Lady,” from Guys and Dolls. When Michael returned, he sang “Who’s Lovin’ You?” while gesturing to the three women he had focused his attention upon earlier in the evening. It was followed by “I Wanna Go Home.” We were then treated to a duet by Frank and Michael of “Nice ‘n Easy.” The last set by “Frank” began with “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road).” Daughter Sue remembered that this was the song that final guest Bette Midler sang to Johnny Carson when he retired from “The Tonight Show” in 1992. (There were no guests on Carson’s last show.) “Frank” finished up his set with the ever-popular “My Way,” written by Paul Anka. For the terrific way in which he performed this song, he received a standing ovation from the audience. Michael’s final song, which we weren’t able to identify, also earned him a standing ovation.

After the show, a woman sitting behind us came over to daughter Sue to ask if she thought Tony Cerbo looked like Mayor Marty Walsh. Sue grabbed the note that she had shown me earlier in the evening on which she had written that she thought he looked very much like the mayor. This same woman then asked if we thought Michael Dutra looked like Paul Anka. Sue’s note also mentioned that resemblance. On a side note, we learned later that evening that Paul Anka earned more money from writing the theme song for “The Tonight Show” than he did for all his other music. Morgan White Jr. and guest Mel Simons were discussing that on Morgan’s Saturday evening program on WBZ.

Mark McNeill, another member of the audience, introduced himself to Sue. Mark, a former Dorchester resident and sports coach, had snapped several photos of the evening’s show, including one with “Michael” serenading Sue while perched on the chair and table. Mark asked Sue for her e-mail address and promised to send her the photos later that night. Before midnight, Sue was enjoying that photo as well as four others that Mark had taken during the evening. She was thrilled! She promptly e-mailed him back, thanking him for the souvenirs of a terrific night.

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I was sorry to hear, from pal Eileen Burke, that Patricia (Finnegan) Collins had passed away on April 9. Pat was a member of the prominent Finnegan family, long-time residents of the Pope’s Hill neighborhood, which included former state Rep. and State Auditor John Finnegan and former Boston School Committee member, mayoral candidate, and WBZ talk host David Finnegan. Pat married Michael Collins in 1957. Michael became an astronaut in 1963 and was the third man on the historic Apollo 11 mission in July 1969 that landed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon while Collins circled in orbit waiting for the moonwalkers to finish their work so they could head home. Pat and Michael had three children: Kate Collins, Ann Starr, and the late Michael. We send our sympathy to Michael, their daughters and grandchildren, and to the rest of her Finnegan siblings: Joseph, Eleanora Golden, Julie Matzel, John, Tom, David, and Stephen.
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I was also sorry to read of the death of Marguerite (Mallett) Cameron on April 13. She was the wife of the late William. She was the mother of our long-time friend Catherine “Cathy” and also William and Thomas Cameron, and Mary Ann Cosetta.
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The pink electric bunny head shines from our rose trellis each evening for six hours. It is just about the same shade of pink as the little electric lights that adorn the porch railing. There is an Easter egg wooden cutout fastened to the metal post near the bottom of our front stairs. A big Easter egg hangs on the window of the front door, so pretty with stripes of pastel colors. We are indeed ready for Easter. By the way, Easter Sunrise Mass at Castle Island is at 5:56 a.m., according to the Castle Island Association’s newsletter. I wish everyone a happy and holy Easter and a happy Passover.