Our roses are finally out. Some of the hybrid tea roses look so beautiful that they might have come from a professional florist. The floribunda roses are smaller but there are many more of them on their bushes. We still have two rose bushes on our porch, ready to put in the ground. I did get outside the other evening and planted some gorgeous geraniums in our whiskey barrels. The larger barrel has three hot pink geraniums; the smaller barrel, three lighter pink geraniums.
Board of Trade luncheons are always a great deal of fun. When there is a big crowd, it is even more fun. When Mayor Menino is the guest speaker, we usually have the biggest crowd of the year. This month’s Board of Trade luncheon, on May 19, was no exception. Hubby thought that there might be, perhaps, 100 people in attendance at the Venezia Restaurant to hear Hizzoner. It was foggy and very cool for a May day. As we approached the restaurant, two white-gloved employees opened the doors for us. I went to the registration table to help the Board of Trade’s Executive Secretary Lisa Courtney. Hubby went off to begin taking photos of the event. I had a chance to speak with Bob Scannell, who was walking with forearm crutches following hip surgery. It was very nice to see Mary Salas at the luncheon.
I was delighted to see Steve Tankle and his lovely wife Carla at the Board of Trade luncheon. I asked how their daughter Alannah was. (She came to a Pope’s Hill meeting when she was about six weeks old.) Carla asked if Steve had told me about the latest addition to their family. Ava McCoy Tankle made her debut on March 14. The very proud grandparents are Humphrey and Carmel Murphy and my friends Ben and Barbara Tankle. My congratulations are sent to everyone.
Last Saturday, we were invited to Randolph, to the home of cousins Chuck and Mary, for a farewell party for Mary’s brother Bill. Bill was to leave on Monday for a very brief stop in Nashville and then to continue on to Florida. (There are no hotel rooms in Nashville because of the recent terrible floods that have wreaked havoc on the city.) Son Paul and daughters Sue and Jeanne came in soon after we did. It was a beautiful day, a little bit cool, but bright and sunny. Cousins Margie, Janet, and Bobby also joined us. Bobby’s son Kevin, his wife Dara, and their boys Ryan and Adam also came. (The boys loved the huge yard in which to play.) Cousin Mary and her husband John came from Roslindale. Cousin Joe also came and told us that he was retiring from Boston City Hall. (He told me how much he liked his co-worker, our friend and former neighbor Karen (Ashe) Doherty.) We were amazed that our cousin Tina, who had just buried her husband Henry three days before, was able to find the time to come. Bill and Mary’s brother Philip also joined us, with his wife Louise and daughter Maureen. Maureen enjoyed “catching some rays” on that beautiful day.
We all complimented Chuck on his beautiful yard. He had some different plants and flowers in the big yard. He told us that his friend next door helped him care for the yard. (It was too much for one person.) All the while we were chatting, my Cousin Mary was busy in the kitchen. (She is a trained chef and loves cooking in her spare time.) She had made appetizers for us. She even made clam chowder. With a slight chill in the air, the chowder hit the spot. For the meal, she had both pulled pork and pulled beef. She said she made the potato salad “the Irish way,” with apples. None of us had every heard of that. It tasted great. I cannot mention all the desserts that Mary made from scratch. I did partake of the strawberry shortcake, on a homemade biscuit, with homemade whipped cream. I think there were cookies and other desserts. I was afraid to examine all of them because I would be tempted even more that I was with the strawberry shortcake. Mary also dipped the bigger strawberries into chocolate. I did succumb to one of those. It must have taken several days for Mary to prepare all the food for our family.
We had a chance to take photos of all the first cousins that were present at Billy’s farewell party. There we were, in order of age: Mary, Tina, me, Margie, Janet, Bobby, and Joey. Hubby took five different photos of our group. Son Paul took a bunch, also. Daughter Sue had Walgreen’s print all five photos. “Give the one who looks the best in each photo that photo,” said Sue. Son Paul put all his photos on Face Book so we could all see them. We remember, some years ago, when Cousin “Sis”/Penny, who owned the family home, asked her kids to give a cookout for all the first cousins in the very same back yard. Sis and our cousin Clare were alive at that time. Thank goodness we took a group photo then. Such memories! Before we left Randolph, we wished Billy well in Florida. The afternoon passed much too quickly.
What a nice time we had on Mother’s Day. Since daughter Jeanne was at her Mom-in-law’s home in Savin Hill and had to get home to Rockport for church by 10 a.m., we figured it was easier for us to meet for breakfast. Hubby, daughter Sue, and I were up early. Daughter Jeanne was having car problems so Sue went to get her and take her to Gerard’s. As we were eating our delicious breakfasts, cousin Julianna came over to greet us. She has been working at Gerard’s for a few weeks. She is, however, one of Gerard’s longest “employees.” Gerard has a photo of Julianna, at about age 3, holding lottery tickets with him in his office. Juli looked so cute with her little hat on in the photo. Before Jeanne had to leave, she gave me an LED book light. What a great gift. I am sure that I will make great use of it.
I had to call the wonderful secretary of St. Brendan’s, Nancy Leoncini, to see if the GOTBOOKS container was still outside St. Brendan’s school. I finally had some time to do some extra cleaning (a drum roll, please,) and had books to put in the container. The container is still outside the school. Each time the container is filled, the school is given a donation. It is wonderful to know that the school is benefiting from the books.
If you like fishing, you will probably enjoy the 18th annual Houghton’s Pond Fish Festival, to be held on Sat., July 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bring your own equipment. (There will be free raffles of fishing equipment.) No fishing license is required for the event and free bait will be provided. Mark your calendar now. My cousin Jimmie and my brother Jackie used to love to fish at this event.
At our Pope’s Hill E Board meeting, we were very surprised when our Recording Secretary Chris Whittemore came in wearing a red graduation robe. She explained that she was a member of the Class of 1970 at Boston University. Because of the turmoil caused by the Kent State tragedy, the graduation ceremony was cancelled. B.U. invited the members of the Class of 1970 to return this year and participate in the graduation ceremony. Chris said that their class was treated beautifully by the university. Congratulations, Chris.
I laughed when I received an e-mail from Dave and Robyn Mabel, who own the Icecreamsmith , 2295 Dorchester Ave., in Lower Mills. They have created a new flavor called “Dorchester Dirt” in honor of Dorchester Day. Dot Dirt has a chocolate base, “in memory of the Baker Chocolate Factory, a cookie crunch to symbolize the sands of Dot beaches as well as the grit of the residents, mini-marshmallows to represent our puddingstone hills and ledges, and a cinnamon flavor note to recall the early traders on Dot shores and to add some spice to the mix, like the spice added by the diversity of its citizens.” We will have to get over to the Icecreamsmith to check out this new “Dot Dirt” flavor.
Last Wednesday, while I was getting ready for bed, Hubby was still downstairs flipping channels, as he loves to do. On Ch. 44, WGBX-TV, he saw a new program with the 5 Browns, five young Mormon siblings, all Julliard-trained, who play the piano magnificently. Lucky for me, he put in a tape so I could see them perform. The three girls in the family, Melody, Deondra, and Desirae, played Clair de Lune, all on the same piano. This was truly amazing to watch. They played separately; they played together; never did their hands get mixed up or touch each other. The two brothers, Ryan and Gregory, joined their sisters for the second composition that they played, each at a separate Steinway piano. (This was a classical piece by the name of Danse Macabre.) I read a little about them and learned that they all began their piano training at age three. They are truly amazing. If I see that this program will be on in the June Ch. 2 magazine, I will put it in this column.
With the long Memorial Day weekend ahead of us, I hope that you will be able to visit the graves of your loved ones. Hubby and I always feel better after visiting the Cedar Grove Cemetery at this time of year. It is so beautiful with all the bushes coming alive after the long winter. While you are remembering your loved ones, please say a prayer for those who have given their lives to protect our freedom.