Irish Festival Part 2

I have never seen so many leaves fall at one time as fell last weekend. The streets and sidewalks are covered; so are our lawns and backyards. The rain on Saturday night was so heavy that the leaves just flew off the trees. We must get some paper leaf bags and try to pick up some of them. I can remember back to when daughter Sue, at age 4, was taking dancing lessons at Pegge Parker’s Studio on Neponset, Ave. We slid all the way down Pope’s Hill Street on the wet leaves as we walked home.

After a week at the Irish Village and one evening at Boston’s County Mayo Association’s yearly dance, I was, once again, among the Irish when Hubby and I went to the Irish Heritage Festival at Adams Village on Sunday Oct. 11. I praise both Sean Weir and John O’Toole for the wonderful preparations that were made by them and their helpers for the day. We had heard that we could park at Florian Hall and be taken, by bus, to Adams Corner. When we arrived at Florian, we saw that the parking area had been roped off. We went across the street to the McKeon Post’s parking area and were ushered in by wonderful helpers. We walked out to the bus stop and waited for just a few minutes. Along came the bus, with a very pleasant woman bus driver. Within a few minutes we were dropped off at the old Purity-Supreme Market, now Rite Aid, on Gallivan Blvd.

When we walked into the parking area behind Rite Aid, Hubby and I were stunned by the number of people already in that area. Who welcomed us to the festival but Bill Brett, photographer extraordinaire, who was snapping photos. He was just as amazed at the number of people in attendance as we were. As we walked along, we met two nuns, who used to come to church with us. They are Sister Esther Garcia and Sister Laurie MacDonald, who belong to the Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement. They told us that they are now living in the Adams Corner area. Hopefully we will see them more often now that they are living so close to us. We walked a little farther and saw our friend Mike Bradley. Mike told us that he and his wife took a cruise to Bermuda and had a wonderful time.

It was almost 1 p.m. so we decided that we would go into Gerard’s to see if we could get lunch. Gerard’s, however, was still serving breakfast. We asked if there were any lunch items that we could get. Our waitress, Beth, said we could have either a grilled cheese sandwich or a BLT. Hubby and I looked at each other and said, “One of each.” I had a grilled cheese and tomato on dark bread; Hubby, the BLT on white toast. Both were positively wonderful. We were going to take our food outside to Gerard’s patio, which was set up right outside the restaurant, but it was a little cool and windy so we stayed inside.
After we were fortified with food, we went outside once again. City Councillor Steve Murphy greeted us. We saw our pals Rita Gillespie and her daughter Janie Cavaleri off at a distance. Phil Carver was walking all around the festival, helping wherever he could. Our friend Anne Fancelli was enjoying looking at all the Irish goods for sale. We had a chance to chat with her for a few minutes. We spoke with our pals from church, Bob and Sheila Fullam, who had many of their family members at the festival. We chatted with Alice Holloran and Esther Mannion, who were enjoying the gorgeous day. Our Keystone pals, Eileen Collins and Della Melchionda were in one of the outdoor patio areas so we spoke with them for a while.

I decided I would sit down in front of one of the stages and listen to the Irish music. Hubby went off checking out all the concession stands. He found a lovely “Ireland” sticker for our next car. We always put an “Ireland” sticker on the bumper of each new car. We think it protects the car from harm—not really—but it is a very pretty decoration. Ken and Mary Bruynell came over to chat. I told them how delighted I was to have been at their 60th anniversary party several weeks earlier. I also had a chance to wave to Tim and Michele Foley. Austin and Mary O’Malley were also near my seat. I told them how much I enjoyed watching them dance at the County Mayo Association’s dance the previous evening at Concannon’s in Norwood. Mary explained that she positively loves to dance. “You and Austin do it so well, Mary.”
I also had a chance to chat with Barbara Bailey and her daughter Mary. In the distance I saw my longtime friend Steve Graham and his son Trip. Jack Cunningham passed by and I told him that we would soon see him at the Boston Teachers’ College Alumni luncheon in November. While I was still sitting in front of the stage, my pals Paul and Denise Doherty came over to show me the “love of their lives,” their grandson Patrick. I said a few words to the baby and he broke out in a big grin. Hubby made the way back from his journey around the festival and took two great photos of the Dohertys with Patrick.

Just before we went home. I saw Jack Doherty and his sister Jody Doherty Bulman, from College Hype. They had two stands at the festival so they were very busy that afternoon. Jack was there with his boys Nolan and Evan. I didn’t see Jody’s baby, Addyson, until the baby’s grandparents, Bill and Elaine Doherty, came by with her. I had seen photos of Addyson but this was the first time I saw her in person. She is awfully cute. So are Jack’s boys. What handsome grandchildren Elaine and Bill have! Just before we left the festival, I bought Hubby a scally cap, which he proceeded to wear at home all evening. The same pleasant bus driver picked us up and returned us to our car at the end of our afternoon at the Irish Festival.
The other day, I turned on the “Sounds of the Season” Channel on our Comcast Service. (It is Channel 533 on our Boston service.) I wondered what they could play for Halloween. Twice, when I turned on the channel, I heard Jack Palance singing a scary song. (It wasn’t that scary.) Then I heard a man named Andrew Gold as he sang “Gimme a Smile, the Pumpkin Song.” As I watched the channel, it explained that Andrew was the son of Marni Nixon, the woman who sang for Audrey Hepburn in the movie, My Fair Lady. Andrew’s chief claim to fame is that he is the one who sings Thank You for Being a Friend, the theme song for the TV program, “Golden Girls.” One of the other Halloween selections was the theme song from the movie Poltertgeist. If I remember correctly from last year, Christmas music should have begun on that channel on Nov. 1. Daughter Sue and I both checked that channel the morning after Halloween and it was, indeed, playing Christmas music.

I must share this Halloween joke that my friend JoAnn sent to me: “How do you know when you are too old to go ‘Trick or Treating?’” “You have to have someone else chew your candy for you!”

I was sorry to read of the death of William “Bill” Donnelly on Oct. 9, at age 85, in St. Mark’s Bulletin. Bill and his wife Ann lived on Dorchester Ave. for many years and were active in St. Mark’s and St. Ambrose Parishes. He was also active in the Knights of Columbus in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Hubby knew Bill and Ann because they used to shop in Purity-Supreme Market in Fields Corner, when Hubby worked there part-time. We would sometimes see them at the Carney Senior Suppers. I think, maybe five years ago, they moved back to Manchester, NH, where Bill was raised and where some of their children presently live. We send our sympathy to his wife Ann, and to their daughters Margaret, Bernadette, Kathleen, Madeleine, and Ruth Ann.

I was also sorry to read of the death of our friend and neighbor Michael Mastrogiacomo Sr. on Oct. 21. Mike was married to his wife Josephine “Pina” for more than 62 years. When my office was on Neponset Ave., I would see Mike working in his garage as I walked home. Sometimes I would see Mike and Pina at our local store or at the bank. Our whole Pope’s Hill neighborhood sends sympathy to Pina and to their children, Christine, Michael Jr., Robert, Paul, Philip, and Stephen. Mike was even a dear friend of my cousin Fran, who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

I was also sorry to read of the death of Lorraine Lawlor on Oct. 26. Lorraine was the mother of Therese Fitzgerald, a member of the Pope’s Hill Neighborhood Association’s Executive Board. I send my sympathy to Therese, to her father, Lorraine’s husband Thomas, and to their other children, Thomas Jr., Diane Giardina, and Patrick.

With Veteran’s Day next Wednesday, I will repeat a wonderful saying: “If you love your freedom, thank a veteran!”