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Mayor's Brunch and Inauguration

The stars look very cold about the sky.”
By John Keats

The evening sky last week was just beautiful. Hubby and I particularly admired the “Wolf Moon.” The stars shone spectacularly against the dark sky after the full moon began to wane. We were almost tempted to take out our old telescope but it was too much work.

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I was sorry that I omitted the name of the son of the late Pat Mannion in last week’s column. He and his wife Monica have a terrific son named Connor. My sympathy is sent, again, to the entire Mannion family, especially Connor.

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On Jan. 5, Hubby, pal Eileen Burke, and I were delighted to be invited to Mayor-elect Marty Walsh’s Brunch for Seniors at Northeastern University. We had to pick up our bus at the Keystone Apartments. We were amazed at the full-sized bus that arrived there. Eileen Collins told us that there were so many coming from Keystone that we were entitled to a full-sized bus. The drive over to Northeastern was very easy because it was early Sunday morning. We were surprised that we were the first bus to arrive. We were greeted by the employees of Boston’s Elderly Commission, including Mike McColgan, as well as by Commissioner Emily Shea. The volunteer workers, including Jim and Jean Hunt, told us to go over near the windows to sit. Gail Hobin, from UMass/Boston, was there to seat us.

We noticed from the imprinted napkins that Rebecca’s Café was the caterer for the event. There were mini-muffins, coffee cake bites, and fresh fruit with berries already on the table, which we enjoyed. There were even scones with jam and butter. The wait staff was very attentive. They kept us well supplied with regular and decaf coffee and orange and cranberry juices. More and more people came into the room, which we assumed was a gym. The Bo Winiker Band played some wonderful music as we enjoyed our muffins, juices, and coffee.
When the room was almost full, with more than 900 seniors, the wait staff brought out the main course for the brunch. The plate had a small oblong-shaped piece of a broccoli, tomato, and cheddar fritatta. We all commented on how nice and warm the fritatta was. Also on the plates were several sausage links, and a piece of Grand Marnier French Toast with maple syrup. All the food was wonderful. Rebecca’s Café certainly is a great caterer to serve so many with wonderfully hot food. When I was washing my hands in the ladies’ room, I spoke with one of the wait staff who was also washing her hands. I complimented her on the food and the terrific staff we had working our table. She told me that she was retired from teaching and enjoyed working for Rebecca’s group.

We had such a pleasant morning at Northeastern that we almost didn’t want to go home. We enjoyed meeting Margaret Lynch and Mary Walsh for the first time. When he came to the microphone, Marty Walsh spoke of a woman named Josephine who just celebrated her 101st birthday. She invited him to her 102nd birthday next year. He said, “I’ll be there!” Marty also said that he appreciated the seniors from all over the city. He thanked quite a few people, including my high school classmate Sarah Ann Shaw, for their help in his campaign. He said he hoped that the seniors enjoyed the brunch. As we were leaving the gym to board our bus, Eileen Collins and I had the good fortune to meet our mutual friend Thelma Burns. It was a terrific morning.

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When Hubby and I arrived back home, we first put out our best clothes because we were fortunate to be invited to the Inaugural ceremonies for Marty Walsh on Monday morning, Jan. 6. Hubby took out all his maps that showed Boston College and the Conte Forum where the inauguration would take place. We never had any of our kids at BC so we don’t know that area of the city at all. We understood that the Forum was the last building in Boston at the edge of the Newton line.

It was not the best of days weatherwise as we drove to Chestnut Hill. It was a gray and rainy. As we neared BC, the number of police officers increased markedly. We asked directions from several of the officers and got right into the garage. As we exited from our car, we heard a voice say, “Hi, Barbara.” Jim and Jean Hunt were parked in the row right behind us. We chatted for a few minutes. Then we took off for the walk to the Forum. A reporter almost interviewed me but when she discovered that I worked for another newspaper, she said, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

When we got to the arena, I thought the set-up was very much like the Boston Garden. We went up the stairs and had our tickets scanned. The Forum is huge but we finally found our section. As we came out on the floor, whom should I see but my former fellow co-worker Jim O’Sullivan, who was covering the inaugural for The Boston Globe. We chatted with him for a few minutes, catching up on the news. Then we went to our seats. We were delighted that we didn’t have to climb up in the stands. We were on the floor, in Sec. 5, Row 11.

We had no sooner sat down than our friend Jim Cawley came over to speak to us. Hubby and I sat, looking in awe, as more and more people filled in the seats. (I think there were 8,000 people there.) Who came to sit in front of us but our friend and former neighbor, Gregory Ashe, along with our mutual friend Michael McCarron. They spoke with us for quite a while. Them who else joined the four of us but another good friend, Mary Joyce Morris. She was one of the volunteers and gave us bottles of water. After a bnit, Mary went back to her assigned area and Gregory and Michael moved to their assigned seats. Then a nice young woman came and sat in the seat next to mine. “I know you,” she said to me. “I am Eileen Pembroke, Mike and Dot’s daughter.” I was delighted that she was “a local” with whom I could chat. I asked about her parents. We hit it off very well. Just before the inaugural began, Tom Leahy, another friend, asked if there were any people sitting in two vacant seats next to Eileen. Tom and his Mom Judith then joined us when the people assigned to those seats never showed. I was delighted to meet Judy.

Then the inaugural began. Several children from the Renaissance Charter School sang before the dignitaries were announced. They ranged from Gov. Patrick to the city councilors. Suffolk County clerk-magistrate Michael Donovan told us that he had been in office for 37 years. He was quite funny in his speech. I loved it when Marty took the oath of office, which was administered by Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick Ireland, and set his hand on a Bible held by his mother Mary. In his address, Marty mentioned that he would listen to people from all over the city. He mentioned several neighborhood hills, including Savin Hill and Pope’s Hill. I almost yelled out loud when he said Pope’s Hill. I was thrilled to hear Ronan Tynan sing “God Bless America.” He certainly didn’t need a microphone with his powerful voice. I also loved seeing cellist Yo-Yo Ma at the inaugural. He seems so nice and “ordinary.” (That’s a compliment!) His first selection brought tears to many of us in the audience. It was “Danny Boy.” I saw City Councilor Frank Baker brush tears away from his eyes. My friend Ann, watching the ceremony at home, had to use a few tissues during “Danny Boy.” Yo-Yo’s other selections were unknown to me. He plays the cello so beautifully that he does make the instrument “sing.” He received a big ovation. The ceremony ended fairly quickly, much to our dismay. It was a lovely morning and we were so happy that we had a chance to attend.

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As we made our way out of the hall, we were happy to see Jill LaMonica and Lisa Zinck from the Leahy/Hollororan Community Center. We were also delighted to see our friend Joe O’Brien in the crowd. Hubby took a few photos of Joe and me. I was also happy to see my high school classmate Sarah Ann Shaw in the crowd. We had a chance to chat for a couple of minutes. We found our way back to the parking garage with no problem. Getting back to streets that we knew was another problem. The police directed us the wrong way from what we had hoped. We saw some streets in Newton, Brighton, Brookline Village, and Jamaica Plain that we never knew existed.

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I was sorry to hear of the death of Joseph M. Joyce on Jan. 13, at age 82. Joe was the brother of Delia “Della” Melchionda of the Keystone Apartments. Joe was the husband of the late Patricia (Nasiatka). He was the stepfather of Frank Symonds Jr. In addition to Della, he was the brother of Catherine Morgan, Robert, and the late Timothy, Mary Lyons, Thomas, John, Patrick, Coleman, and Margaret. Joe served in the Air Force during the Korean War. I send my sympathy to the entire family.

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Be advised that the cost for a first class/Forever stamp will increase three cents to 49 cents per stamp this Sunday, Jan. 26.

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Here is a statement from a book called “The Wit and Wisdom of Women”: “It is good for a child to lose as well as win. They must learn that in life they are going to be up today and down tomorrow.”