St. Christopher's Sunset River Cruise and Teacher's College Reunion

“I’ll do what I must for the roses
And tidy the lichen wall
That cradles the violets and primrose
And tenderly yield them to fall.”
“The Eternal Gardener” by Eunice Vigils

Hubby spent quite a bit of time last week out in the yard. He put away the lounge chairs. He also put some of the empty flowerpots into a big plastic bin in the yard. There are still a few roses on the bushes but they will soon be gone. Even the geraniums are suffering from the cold temps. I was up in the attic and found some warmer outerwear jackets, brought them down stairs, washed them, and hung them outside on the umbrella clothesline to dry.

Hubby has been eagerly seeking Christmas music, both on the radio and on TV. He has finally heard Christmas music on Ch. 533 on Boston’s Comcast Cable. I heard some of the music the other morning as I was dressing for work. I was fortunate to hear a carol by Perry Como. Speaking of TV, I have seen some of my favorite movie stars from my childhood. On “Wagon Train” the other morning, I heard the very pretty and distinctive voice of Ann Blyth. She always played in wonderful movies where she was always the “good” girl. Her only deviation from that type of part was when she played Veda, the nasty daughter of Joan Crawford, in the movie “Mildred Pierce.” The other movie star whom I loved as a kid was Jon Hall, especially when he was in a movie with another of my favorites, Maria Montez. I heard Jon’s voice while I was reading a newspaper and looked up. I said to Hubby, “I think that is Jon Hall”, although he did not look as I had remembered him. At the end of the episode of “Perry Mason,” it was indeed Jon Hall. I always thought that Maria was married to him, but she wasn’t. She was married to another of my all-time favorites, Jean Pierre Aumont. All these stars bring back such happy memories of my youth at the Saturday afternoon matinees at our local movie theater.

I must catch up on some of the lovely events that Hubby and I have attended in the past weeks. On Wed., Oct. 2, we were down at the Boston waterfront to attend a fund-raising Sunset Dinner Cruise for St. Christopher Parish aboard The Spirit of Boston. Daughter Sue drove us to the waterfront because it is difficult to find parking in that congested area. We found our table companions, our pals Sharon Shepherd-Pace and Theresa Chatman. It could not have been a more perfect evening, warm and sunny. I took a sweater but didn’t need it. As we came onto the deck of the ship, there was a photographer who took photos of all those attending. (Most of the pictures came out beautifully and were lovely remembrances of the evening.) Father George Carrigg was right inside the door and greeted each of us. We took our seats near a nice big window and chatted with our friends Sharon and Theresa. We watched all the familiar sites as we left our berth on our way into the main part of the harbor. We loved seeing Castle Island but there were very few people walking around the island because it was already dark.

We must have looked very hungry because we were the first table to be invited to go to the buffet. The food was wonderful, complete with a meat-carving station, much to Hubby’s delight. The mashed potatoes were terrific. The salad ingredients were varied and scrumptious. For dessert, we had a wonderful cake.

After we had eaten, Theresa and Hubby went to the upper deck to take photos and to enjoy the beautiful evening. Sharon and I, both with reconstructed knees, decided we would sit and talk even though the ocean water was calm. Others went all around our deck where the items for the silent auction were out on display tables. Gloria Carrigg, Father George’s niece-in-law (his nephew Tom’s wife), a professional photographer, went around taking many beautiful photos of those attending.

Then it was time for the formal part of the evening. St. Christopher’s Fund Raising Committee had chosen to honor Orlando Perella, who in 2012 was appointed chairman and CEO of the Harbor Point Task Force. As I listened to all the accolades being heaped upon Orlando, I knew he was most deserving of the award. Near the end of the evening, the silent auction prizes were announced. There were gift cards for restaurants, one-night stays at some of Boston’s finest hotels, a Red Sox Basket, a Women’s Basket, and even baskets “To Make a Little Prince Happy” and “To Make a Little Princess Happy.”

It was the end of a perfect evening sailing in and around Boston Harbor. As we walked up the ramp, we saw our photo taken earlier in the evening. It was ours for the taking. As we approached the sidewalk, we saw Sue in our car waiting for us. We had promised our pal, Sister Elizabeth, that we would drop her at her home. As we drove to Southie, we told Sue how nice the evening was. In a few minutes, we were at Sister’s home and then it was off to Dorchester.

On Sun., Nov. 3, Hubby and I went out to Charles River Country Club in Newton to attend the annual reunion luncheon of graduates of Boston Normal School Teachers College of the City of Boston, State Teachers College at Boston (our college), and State College at Boston. There was a light rain that morning but we still walked to the main building from the club’s parking lot. We no sooner arrived than we spotted cousin Janet and her classmate, Jean McDonagh (spelled the correct Irish way). We stood chatting with them for a while, then we signed in and then bought chances for the various themed baskets that were offered on chances that day. Hubby and I both put all our tickets on the Lottery Ticket Basket. Cousin Janet had won that one last year.

Our friends and fellow classmates Elaine De Costa and Julie Long Bender came in soon, Julie having traveled all the way from the Cape. We sat in the lounge and enjoyed our coffee while chatting. I saw my friend Joe O’Brien and greeted him. I also saw Jack Cunningham at a distance but did not get a chance to speak to him.

We then adjourned to the dining room, which is so pretty. Its many windows provide a lovely view of the well-manicured golf course. There we were joined by three more of our classmates, who had gotten lost trying to find the club. When we first went there a few years back, we were very confused about where to enter and ended up going in the club’s EXIT driveway. Soon, we were delighted to see UMass/Boston Chancellor Keith Motley come into the room. We always enjoy seeing him. Madeline McLean Smith, Class of ’51, welcomed us all to the luncheon. She introduced the chancellor, who told us how much he enjoyed the first Sunday morning in November, which is always the date for this alumni luncheon. He presented the two $5,000 scholarships to Jessica Loftus, Class of ’14, and to Sarah Lynch, also the Class of ’14. Jane Monahan Milano, Class of ’55, gave the financial report. She urged each of us to make a donation to the Boston Teachers College Scholarship Fund. Members of the Class of 1963 presented the Chancellor with a substantial check in honor of their 50th anniversary of graduation.

Then it was time to give a special presentation to my friend Joe O’Brien for all the work, in various capacities, that he has done for the university over the years. Joe’s daughter was at the luncheon and was delighted to see her Dad receive the award. After the presentations, the raffle prices were awarded. We were thrilled that Cousin Janet once again won the Lottery Ticket Basket. They asked how much she had received the previous year in the Basket. I think she said $57. Before we left the country club, I went over to speak with Jessica Loftus, one of the two scholarship recipients. Hubby had read her background and noted that she was a volunteer at the Leahy/Holloran preschool program. I told Jessica that we lived practically next to the Murphy/Leahy-Holloran School. As we left the club, there was a young man in a golf cart outside the front door. He told us to get in and he drove us right to our car. What a pleasant afternoon!

This is such a sad week for Americans. I remember where I was on Nov. 22 50 years ago. I had both son Paul, age two and one-half, and daughter Sue, age one and one-half, in their double stroller in Bradlees on Morrissey Boulevard. As I moved the carriage through the aisles, I ended up in the TV section. I heard a famous newsman named Frank tell us that President John Kennedy had been shot. (I can’t remember Frank’s last name.) I stopped shopping immediately and began walking home, pushing the kids’ carriage. The tears were streaming down my face as I crossed in front of Lambert’s. After I brought the kids inside the house, I called Hubby at school so he would know what happened. I will never forget that weekend.

I hope that you were listening to WBZ radio on Saturday evening. There is a new program on from 10 p.m. to midnight, “The Morgan Show,” with Morgan White Jr. His first guest was Joe Mathieu, WBZ’s morning co-anchor with Deb Lawler. Joe mentioned that he arose each weekday at 2 a.m. From 2 to 3 a.m., he checked all the news so he would be prepared for what he would have to report on when he arrived at WBZ. By the way, Morgan worked overtime, to 3 a.m., his first evening. Jordan Rich did not do his own program, which begins at midnight, because his daughter had been married earlier that day.

We laughed at this bumper sticker: “Honk if you love peace and quiet.”

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