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March 28, 2014

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Page 8 POST-GAZETTE, MARCH 28, 2014 Frank Zarba Guest of Annual 50 e' Piu Italia Frank and Jeanne Zarba just returned from Naples, Italy where they were guests of the 50 e' Piu Italia in Canto 2014 event. They were treated to a week of tours and a gala event where Frank was asked to sing "My Way." At the competition on Sunday March 2 "d Frank was presented with a special award from Maurizio Merolla, artistic director. It was won- derful reuniting with friends made last year and meeting and making new friends this year. Frank was the winner of the 2013 competition sing- ing "O' Sole Mio." http:// www. 50epiu. itHome Notizie / tabid / 63 / ID / 95 7/ language/it-IT/I-FINALISTI- delledizione-2013, aspx 50 e' Piu Italia in Canto would like to invite other people living in America over 50 years old of Italian ances- try to compete in the 2015 competition in Naples. Rep- resentatives of 50 e' Piu will be holding auditions in October here in Boston. Details will be coming soon. Community Forum on Recovery and Youth Engagement .with CHRIS HERREN Recently the world of addiction and alcoholism has been front and center throughout not only the city of Boston but the entire commonwealth of Massachu- setts. Heroin overdoses have stolen the headlines in local papers and news stations. Next Saturday at the Nazzaro Center former High School All-Ameri- can and Boston Celtic Chris Herren will share his story of recovery from drug addiction. Herren realized his dreams by playing for the Celtics in the NBA, only to lose it all to ad- diction before rising again with a new dream. Now he works with youth both on the court and off the c6urt as a mentor who is open in sharing the battles of his addiction. The event is being sponsored by Mayor Walsh and will take place at the Nazzaro Community Center, 30 North Bennet Street, Saturday, March 29 m at 4:30 pm. North End Youth Wins 00000000BCHigh Scholarship William J. Kemeza, President of Boston College High School, is pleased to announce that Christian Cattaneo of the North End, has been named a recipient of a Boston College High School Academic Merit Scholarship. Each year, Boston College High School awards over $1.7 million in scholarship and financial aid to qualified stu- dents. This year the school awarded 45 scholarships to the 8th grade class Arrupe Division for entrance into Fresh- man year. The boys and their parents were invited to a breakfast at the school on Friday, March 7, 2014 to cel- ebrate their achievement. The scholarships were awarded to students from a diverse and highly competitive applicant pool. The students were selected based on their outstanding work on the entrance examination, recommendations from teachers and their distinguished academic performance at their schools. "We have carefully selected the most qualified young men from a highly competitive applicant pool to become part of BC High's 150-year tradition of academic excellence, char- acter development and service to others," said President Kemeza. "At BC High, they will be challenged in a nurtur- ing and supportive environment and will graduate as lead- ers marked by competence, conscience and compassion; leaders who will engage our Church and our world." ST. MICHAEL 500 Canterbury Street The Respectfid "g, hy,, Boston, MA 02131 617.524.1036 Serving the Italian Community for Over 100 Years! oo K by Claude Marsilia 1 MURDER AT GREEN SPRINGS "The True Story of The Hall Case, Firestorm of Prejudices By J. K. Brandau Soft Cover * 497 Pages * Author J.K.Brandau is a fellow chemist and friend to my grandson, Billy Clifford. It is through this friendship that I received this book to critique. I wonder, how does a chemist conceive to write a murder mystery of such depth. We shall see. In addi- tion, the story occurs in the piedmont region of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson Country, where I abide. It was May 14, 1914, one hundred years ago that the citizens of Green Springs were sleeping comfoTtably in their beds when a commo- tion outside their home awakened them. A fire at Buck Dunkum's country store had stirred the neighborhood. Suddenly a shot was fired in the dark at the home of the Halls who also owned a country store, nearby. Victor Hall, husband to Lizzie_Hall was murdered which no one witnessed. It was surmised that Victor knew who the mur- derer was but couldn't speak. It was agoniz- ing reading the tumult that followed in their attempts to reach a doctor. Victor succumbed. Brandau writes matter-of-fact at the com- mon sight of colored maids and cooks. The reader I believe will pause and reflect upon these common sights that were present not so long ago. Because Victor had served at Green Springs Depot as stationmaster and express agent for nine years it was decided to have detective Luther L. Scherer be assigned to the Hall murder case. The pound- ing theme throughout the book was "who killed Victor Hall." A sign of the times was Tevealed when a couple of detectives assigned to this case paid $2.00 for a room.' Mrs. Hall was a very busy woman who also ran a boarding home. She charged $1.00 per day for room and board. Brandau writes about the preju- dices, and the envy that abounded among the town's people and the country storeowners. Unfounded fears began to enter the minds of the community. Mrs. Hall's business was affected and began to decline. Rumors and innuendoes were capturing the folks think- ing. Is Mrs. Hall guilty?. Did she kill her hus- band? Did Victor commit suicide? He was quite ill. The people were skittish and afraid which led them to buy their goods from Dunkum's store rather than Hall's store. Fortunately, Mrs. Hall hired the noted attorney, Lindsay Gordon, to represent her. He was a formidable force in the courtroom. As I read this pointed true story I find myself spirited every time a familiar area was noted such as, Louisa, Albemarle, and Fluvanna Counties, including Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home. Through rumors and hear- say Mrs. Hall continued to be considered the murderess and arsonist. Notwithstanding the absurdity of the isolated fires that occurred following the murder of Victor, Sheriff Wash arrests Mrs. Hall and charges her with the murder of her husband Victor, despite the fact that Mrs. Hall was highly regarded in the community and was happily married to Victor. In the midst of all this confusing legal falderal Brandau takes the time to teach the reader about the beginnings of Green Springs. How the large tobacco plantations soil was worn out from excessive planting. However, planting wheat brought back the land's value. Although many homes and plan- Sharon, the author's wife took this photo of J. K. Brandau on the surrender field at Yorktown, VA. where his Hessian ances- tors surrendered. The Hall trial drew large crowds of local people as well as out of towners. The hotels were full. Restaurants were busy, People slept on benches. All this was done to preserve their seat in the courthouse the next day. Published by Morgan James Publishing, LLC tations down south were disrupted by the Civil War Brandau claims "the Green Springs plantations remained untargeted and relatively un- touched by the conflict." Mrs. Hall was freed on baiL Gordon, Mrs. Hall's attorney was feeling positive when he said, "The burden of proof rested with the prosecution. There was no proof." Author Brandau spends a great deal of time researching this book. His timely and defini- tive detail allows the reader to learn about the .people, the area and the politics of the region. Brandau explains there are two Green Springs, "The prestigious plantation owners and the citizenry of the depot envi- rons were, most assuredly, at extreme ends of the economic social spectra." Brandau's presentation of the trial is exceptional and will hold your interest throughout. The reader will feel like they are part of the procedures. Once the reader gets involved, they will FEnd it difficult to back away. Painstakingly, Brandau recounts in decisive detail every phase of the trial. Brandau reports all the pointed questions by the attorneys. If you like reading about jury trials and the intense interrogation involved, you will enjoy this book. Reading the closing arguments from both the prosecutors as well as the defense attor- neys-is exciting and I find savoring their words a remarkable experience. Brandau paints a vivid scene of the attorneys deliver- ing their closing arguments in a powerful and succinct manner. The Hall trial drew large crowds of local people as well /s out of towners. The hotels were full. Restaurants were busy. People slept on benches. All this was done to preserve their seat in the courthouse the next day. Approximately one hour after the jury was sent to deliberate, unbelievably, they were ready to voice their opinion. Clerk Philip Porter read the following verdict, "We the jury find the prisoner not guilty of murder in the first degree, but guilty of murder in the sec- ond degree and fix her punishments at ten years in the penitentiary." Lindsay Gordon requested bail and was granted it by Judge Shackleford in the amount of $i0,000. Mrs. Hall was set free. After numerous appeals that failed Mrs. Hall surrenders herself to Sheriff Wash to begin her ten-year sentence. Lindsay Gordon Mrs. Hall's indefatigable attorney never seemed to tire in his efforts to free Mrs. Hall. Finally, on November 6 th, 1919, Mrs. Hall was granted a conditional pardon after serving half her sentence. "After prison, Lizzie enjoyed 27 years with her daughters and their families." Author Brandau adds authenticity to his story by quoting line after line of actual conversations and circumstances. Every point, every accusation is thoroughly searched. J.K. Brandau may be a chemist but he also is a thriving historian. He also acknowledges having Hessian ancestors. Like others I am not convinced that Mrs. Hall was guilty. Perhaps it was "barnburning" that Brandau notes as a "com- mon expression of frustrated, "poor whites." Do not miss this fascinating and deeply accountable book.