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February 27, 2015

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POST-GAZETTE, FEBRUARY 27, 2015 Page 9 ]" - " by John Christoforo ' 00Babb00onno A Nostalgic Remembrance I've had people ask how come I decided to go to col- lege. I've thought about this question many times and came up with a few practi- cal answers. First of all, for- mal education wasn't part of the culture of the old timers, like Babbononno. His con- cept of a man was based on how hard the person worked to survive, how calloused his hands were, how talented he was at his craft and how com- mitted he was to his trade. To this extent, in the old neighborhood, many men were referred to by their first names and their profes- sions: Pete the Shoemaker, Joe the Barber, Mario the Baker, Young Tony the Bricklayer, Fat Tony the Cook, Pat the Bookie, Charlie Numbers ... you get my drift? Babbononno's nickname was Mike the Carpenter or Mike the Mu- sician, depending who was making the reference. Dad was Christie the Bass Player. This all went back to the way things were in the old country before that first gen- eration got here. The out- siders who controlled the government, the people from the north, the clergy (who sometimes were considered the enemy), these were the people who were educated. The peasantry emphasized the opposite of what they did, hence the stress on the crafts and trades. Expressed in this country a generation later, it meant that your sons learned a trade in school or got enough school- ing to learn how to read, write and count. They then might quit school and be- come an apprentice in some trade. Babbononno taught me how to use hand tools to work wood into pieces of furniture. He thought it might be a good idea if I became a wood- worker during the day and play music at night. Labor- ing in two professions is what he opted for and what his sons and son-in-law all did. My father had hoped I would follow the American dream and think about higher education. When WWII began, he got off the road with the big bands and played locally. He also began teaching machine shop at East Boston High School. The prerequisite for this was to have worked for seven years in the trade, not a col- lege degree as is necessary today for the same job. As a result of associating with other school teachers, all with one or more degrees, he learned what higher educa- tion was all about, the doors it could open and the legacy it could help pass on to the next generation. What mainly convinced me that my father was fight when he lectured me about finishing high school and going to college, was what I experienced in the street. To use slang, I "hung out" on a street comer from the time I was 13 years old. First, there were the neighbor- hood kids who took up resi- dence on the corner of Brooks and Eutaw Streets, a haft block from where I lived. When I was about 15, sev-. eral of us headed down the Brooks Street hill and began hanging out on the comer of Bennington and Brooks ... this was the big time. Socializing at East Boston locations were young men who were on the corner every night after dinner, dressed in the styles of the day, speaking with the slang of the day, admiring anyone who drove by in a new car, and of course watching all the girls walk by. Everyone smoked Luckies, Camels, Old Gold, Paul Mall, Chester- field and a couple of other brands of the day and a cloud of smoke floated over each of the four corners of the Brooks/Bennington intersection. Most of these guys, teens and men in their 20s, had quit school and gone to work. There was a lot of factory work around Boston back in the day. Some of the guys worked as longshoremen, others as day laborers in the construction trades and others worked at the fish pier. Some just did odd jobs because that's all they could get. A few were apprenticed in trades because someone they were related to was in the trade and the opportunity was there. For the most part, the salaries weren't great and advancements were few. I thought about what most of these friends and acquain- tances made and questioned if I wanted to be in the same professional and financial situation when I was a few years older. What convinced me that I was heading in the wrong direction was my observa- tion of some of the guys who straddled the fence between things legal and illegal. Pe- riodically, a police car would stop at the corner, a detec- tive would question one or -- FOR YOU WHO APPRECIATE THE FINEST -- THE MUSIC FOR ALL OCCASIONS 781-648-5678 two of the comer people and chances are, they would be taken away in handcuffs. I witnessed one or two of the guys arguing back and pay- ing the penalty for their resistance. One night, a friend asked me to walk with him to Station Seven, the local police station in East Boston. It seems that he had gotten himself into some kind of trouble and wanted to try to talk himself out of it. If I accompanied him, the police might let him go. An hour later, after my friend had been questioned by the police, one of the officers came out of the interroga- tion room and told me that they were not going to release my friend and asked what my involvement was with his dealings. I explained that I only walked with him to the police station at his request and nothing more. The officer then told me to go home and walked me to the door. On the way out, I ran into another officer, a man I knew due to the fact that his beat was Central Square and he had stopped in at the Seville Theater on several of the nights I was working. We said hello to each other and I heard him say to the officer that es- corted me out, "What's that kid doing here, he works at the Seville and is one of the good kids." One of the things I admired about many of my street corner associates was their toughness. Several who got in trouble went up in front of the local judges and were given options, join the service or go to jail. Most of those tough guys who opted for the service flunked out of boot camp. They didn't have what was necessary to make it. Those who didn't join the service served time in jail. With these observa- tions under my belt and rec- ognition of the fact that most of my friends were making very low wages due to the lack of a trade or education, I began to think that my father might be right. When I began my senior year in high school, representatives from dif- ferent colleges began arriv- ing at English High to tell us about the schools they represented. I spoke to Babbononno and my father illustrating the words of the college reps about the doors that could open for me if I decided on higher educa- tion. My father was happy that I was coming around to his way of thinking. Babbononno was skeptical, but agreed that I should fol- low a path that would lead to success. Of course Nanna and my mother agreed with their husbands and when the second half of my senior year roiled around, I was all set to head to Boston State College (today, part of U. Mass. Boston). I haven't looked back since. GOD BLESS AMERICA News Briefs (Continued from Page I) one of the major tenets of the Religion of Islam. Time for GOP to End Filibusters Like Reid Did This is a recent Charles Krauthammer idea. The GOP should end filibusters just as Harry Reid did. As Charles stated, "Good bye moderation and sweet rea- son ... It is time to go nuclear." Reid changed the filibuster rule by a simple majority of Democrats and no Republicans. Democrats touted that the 2012 election meant consequences since the Democrats won that Election Day. Now is the time to end the filibuster for good. End the idea of need- ing 60 votes or not needing 60 votes. If a simple major- ity was good enough for Reid, it should be good enough for Mitch McConnell. After- all, elections have conse- quences, right? Force votes on House passed measures and force the president to veto stuff so that it can go on record. Thanks to Reid, Obama never had to worry about vetos since stuff never got to his desk. Times have changed. The GOP won 2014 and now it should be time for the consequences of that vic- tory. Remember if it was good for the goose it is also good for the gander. Right? Huckabee Wasting His Time Former Arkansas Gover- nor and Fox News host Mike Huckabee is wasting his time thinking he is a viable Republican candidate for president, as is former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorium. For most of my adult life in poli- tics, I have viewed myself as a social conservative or Reagan Democrat, but I have never been a one issue kind of guy. I also think it is time for conservatives to stop saying stupid things about gays. Huckabee recently com- pared being gay with using alcohol or swearing a lot. Stupid talk which alienates rather than embraces vot- ers. I don't see the same thing. I don't like the way gay marriage came about, but it is here and here to stay. I am over it now, I have many gay friends and rela- tives too. I treat them all with dignity. We are all members of the same hu- man race. There are also many Republican gays out there and you Just can't throw them away in the political trash. Stupid is as stupid does. Huckabee needs to just go away with his seemingly benign hate- fulness. I don't know what else to call it. $tirpe (Continued from Page 2) an entirely different charac- ter. In addition to orderly pro- cessions and sacrifices, this was also a day in which these young men who had just come of age, assumed the "toga vifilis" or "the cloak of manhood". It probably could have been called a "Ro- man bar mitzvah". NEXT ISSUE: Hermes and Mercury LEGAL NOTICE Commonwealth of Massachusetts The Trial Court Middlesex Probate and Family Court 208 Cambridge Street Cambridge, MA 02141 Docket No. MI15P0629PM CITATION GIVING NOTICE OF PETITION FOR APPOINTMENT OF CONSERVATOR OR OTHER PROTECTIVE ORDER PURSUANT TO G.L c. 190B, 5-304 & 5-405 In the matter of MadaTavares of Cambridge, MA. RESPONDENT (Person to be Protected/ Minor). To the named Respondent and all other interested persons, a petition has been filed by Mary Jane Nottonson of Cambridge, MA in the above captioned matter alleging that Mada Tavares is in need of a Conservator or other protective order and requesting that Michael R. Couture, Esquire of Somerville, MA (or some other suitable person) be appointed as Conservator to serve With Corporate Surety on the bond. The petition asks the court to determine that the Respondent is disabled, that a protective order or appointment of a Conservator is nec- essary, and that the proposed conservator is appropriate. The petition is on file with this court. You have the right to object to this pro- coeding. If you wish to do so, you or your attor- ney must file a written appearance at this court on or before 10:00 AM on the return date of March 19, 2015. This day is NOT a hearing date, but a deadline date by which you have to file the written appearance if you object to the petition. If you fail to file the written appearance by the retum date, action may be taken in this matter without further notice to you. In addition to filing the written appearance, you or your attorney must file a written affidavit stating the specific facts and grounds of your objection within 30 days after the return date. IMPORTANT NOTICE The outcome of this proceeding may limit or completely take away the above-named person's right to make decisions about )ersonal affairs or financial affairs or both. The above-named person has the right to ask for a lawyer. Anyone may make this request on behalf of the above-named erson. If the above-named person cannot afford a lawyer, one may be appointed at State expense. WITNESS, HON. EDWARD F. DONNELLY, JR., First Justice of this Court. Date: February 19, 2015 Tara. E. DeCristofaro, Register of Probate Run date: 2/27/15 LEGAL NOTICE Commonwealth of Massachusetts The Trial Court Middlesex Probate and Family Court 208 Cambridge Street Cambridge, MA 02141 (617) 768-5800 Docket No. MI15P0643EA Estate of RALPH K. MATHESON Date of Death January 3, 2015 CITATION ON PETITION FOR FORMAL ADJUDICATION To all interested persons: A Petition has been filed by Gary Matheson of Medford, MA requesting that the Court enter a formal Decree and Order of testacy and for such other relief as requested in the Petition. And also requesting that Gary Matheson of Medford, MA be appointed as Personal Representative(s) of said estate to serve Without Surety on the bond. You have the dght to obtain a copy of the Petition from the Petitioner or at the court. You have adght to object to this proceeding. To do so, you or your attorney must file a written appearance and objection at this Court before 10:00 a.m. on March 20, 2015. This is NOT a headng data, but a deadline by which you must file a written appearance and objection If you object to this proceed- ing. If you fail to file a timely written appear- ance and objection followed by an Affidavit of Objections within thirty (30) days of the return date, action may be taken without further notice to you. The estate Is being administered under formal procedure by the Personal Represen- tative under the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code without supervision by the Court. Inventory and accounts are not required to be filed with the Court, but recipi- ents are entitled to notice regarding the administration from the Personal Represen- tative and can petition the Court in any matter relating to the estate, including distribution of assets and expenses of administration. WITNESS, HON. EDWARD F. DONNELLY, JR., First Justice of this Court. Date: February 20, 2015 Tara E. DeCristofaro, Register of Probate [ Run date: 2/27/15