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January 15, 2010     Post-Gazette
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January 15, 2010

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Page'6 POST-GAZETTE, JANUARY 1S, 20'1)" i The neighbor knocked on my door at I:00 p.m. on a recent Sunday, shouting "Cardiac arrest, thirty-four A!" He owns a police scan- ner and regularly informs me and certain other neigh- bors within our cozy apart- ment complex about emer- gency medical calls or minor trouble coming from our neighborhood in Newton. I know the apartment well because I walk my Border terrier by it twice daily. So I quickly headed there to learn of the seemingly dire situation that 87-year-old Ed could possibly be in. As I cautiously approached his apartment a frantic neigh- bor looked shocked and awaited word from the EMTs, and Newton police of- ficers about Ed's condition. The neighbor peeked inside Ed's door to check on him because she had not seen him for a few days when he left to enjoy holiday dinner with his niece and her fam- ily. Ed always eagerly looked to mingling with friends or family for a meal. While watching the EMTs walk around Ed's kitchen, the neighbor whispered "I saw only his feet" as he lay fiat out on the floor in front of his sink. She added: "I think he's dead." An EMT, with life-saving equiPment slung around ihis shoulder, stepped outside, and leaned against the outer brick wall S i m p I e TIMES... by Girard A. Plante I next to the open door of Ed's apartment. "Has he passed away," I inquired. "Yes, he's deceased," the EMT stoically responded. Thoughts flooded my mind as the EMT's words struck me like a thunder clap. Ed Zaloga was a six-foot two-inch quiet man with a shock of white hair. He limped slightly from sur- viving a hard fall to the icy parking lot at Mount Ida College four winters ago. He survived more than a crash to the ground during eight- plus decades. You see, Ed was a member of America's Greatest Generation. His de- fining moments were living through a hard-scrabbled neighborhood in Cambridge during the Great Depres- sion. Ed also ducked ma- chine-gun fire from Japa- nese jet-fighters on the USS Missouri during World War II. He stayed in the U.S. Navy for a decade. Like many veterans of The War, Ed struggled to tell his stories of carnage without pausing to cry. He wanted and needed to share his thoughts and emotions about a world gone wild from Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime goose- stepping across Europe in 1933 until his self-pre- scribed thousand-year Reich ended in a barrage of days- long blasts into Berlin in 1945. But Ed's words came slowly, painfully. I enjoy sto- ries about WWII because my dad and uncles were he- roes in that conflict. Ed was, too. It's different around here with Ed gone. His black Dodge Ram pickup sat lonely in the parking lot until one cold recent day I noticed it gone for good. Just one more sign of finality and formality upon death's door. Ed hung a license plate that greeted neighbors and the mail carriers on the door to his apartment: "I'm a Vet- eran of World War Two." The plate is down and I wonder whether it got tossed in the trash bin with most of his possessions during the emp- tying of the place he called home for 20 years. Some people don't think of the spe- cial importance that license plate held the way Ed did. Still I walk my dog past Ed's apartment daily and wish to see him smiling, ready to chat about life or a Red Sox game. He listened to sports and news from a reliable transistor radio. Ed lived simply. Nothing compli- cated about him. He's gone to a home he'll never have to leave. And I'm comforted knowing he rests in peace in the place he hoped to go after his days on earth ended: Bourne National Vet- erans' Cemetery. A stark place to those of us who never witnessed war's ugli- ness. Finally, glory for Ed. Coping with Winter Doldrums by Bennett Molinari and Richard Molinari Winter in New England seems to grow longer as we grow older. The cold and snow that we welcomed as children becomes the incon- venience of our middle years and the forbidding obstacles of our latter years; opportu- nity for play turning into the prospect of breaking a bone. As children, we welcomed snowy days for they some- times meant that school was closed and we could spend the day playing in the white stuff. The snow became the creative material which en- abled us to express ourselves in as many ways as our imaginations allowed; we could slide on it, roll in it, form it into a snowman and l I best of all fashion it into missiles that we tossed at random. The snowy delight of childhood turns into the anxiety of adulthood for we can fall in it, break a bone in it or be smacked in the head with the snowball we tossed with abandonment just a few years before. The chilly days of Novem- ber give us the first hints of things to come. We are en- tering a time of gray skies and numbing cold when often we are stranded in our apartments, victims of "cabin fever," and the win- ter doldrums set in with a vengeance. Why do I live in this miserable climate? Why is this happening to me? POST-GAZETTE EAST BOSTON SATELLITE OFFICE is NOW OPEN MARIE MATARESE 35 Bennington Street, East Boston 617.227.8929 MON. and TUES. 10:00 A.M. - 3.00 P.M. THURS. 11:00 A.M.- 2:00 P.M. General Advertisements * Sales and Rentals Memorials Legals ADVERTISING WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE These are the universal re- frains of those of us caught up in the melancholy world of winter. Searching for a cure to the doldrums, we turned to Bjorn, a friend and native of Iceland, who had to deal with sunless winters and Arctic blasts for his entire life. His answer, "We go to coffee shops, there are dozens in Reykjavik". Bjorn explained how the coffee shops of Reykj avik are thematic appealing to every taste al- lowing for lively evenings of (Continued on Page 13) Rapine Memorial Home 9 Chelsea St., East Boston 617-567-1380 Kirby-Rapino Memorial Home 917 Bennington St. East Boston 617-569-0305 Dino C Manca Funeral Director A Family Service Affiliate of AFFS/Service Corp. Int'l 206 Winter St. Fall River, MA 02720 508-676-2454 Art THAT ZAZZ by Mary N. DiZazzo "Most Likely to Succeed Hairdresser" -- from the high school yearbook of Olive Lee Benson Ciao bella, Truly cut out to be a hair- dresser, Olive Lee Benson was raised along with her nine siblings in Cambridge, Massachusetts. During those hard times of the 1930s and '40s she made money as a kid fixing her neighbors' hair. She reached "coiffeur stardom" as she opened her ethnic specialty hair salons throughout Boston. She re- solved her battles with dis- crimination by breaking down the barrier. Once denied space on Boston's Boylston Street, she called her white attorney and he rented the space, in turn giving it to her and stated to the owner that he had violated the state law by refusing to rent to her. Using as her role model Madame C. J. Walker who developed a hair care and cosmetics business just around the turn of the twentieth century and be- came the first Black self- made woman millionaire. Ms. Benson's clientele in- cluded Diana Ross, The Temptations, Maria Cole (wife of Nat King Cole), Liz Walker, as well as the wife of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and many, many more. Specializing in the styling of excessively curly hair of all ethnicities, Ms. Benson won several trophies and received numerous awards for excelling in her profes- sion. Her accolades are truly remarkable as we remem- ber this journey of success. Buona giornata and God bless the United States of America! -- Mary N. DiZazzo-Trumbull Read prior weeks' "All That Zazz" columns at Mary is a third-generation cos- metologist and a Massa- chusetts distributor of Kosmea brand rose hip oil products. She may be con- tacted at (978) 470-8183 or -- FOR YOU WHO APPRECIATE THE FINEST -- THE MUSIC FOR ALL OCCASIONS 781-648-5678 K i Mech Fullylnsured Lic #017936 anical Heating & Air Conditioning Sales, Service & Installation Ken Shallow 617.593.6211 DIVORCE * CRIMINAL * LAW OFFICES OF FRANK J. CIANO 230 MSGR. O'BRIEN HIGHWAY i GENERAL PRACTICE OF LA W WILLS * ESTATE PLANNING * TRUSTS PERSONAL INJURY * WORKERS COMP. 617-354-9400 Si Parla Italiano CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS 02141 On Sale Now*. THE NORTH END Where It All Began The Way It Was by Fred Langone SALE PRICE $19.95 Plus Shipping & Handling On Site at The Post-Gazette 5 Prince Street, North End, Boston, MA