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April 7, 2017     Post-Gazette
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April 7, 2017

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POST-GAZE'n'E, APRIL 7, 2017 PAGE 13 Babb?]nonno by John Christoforo A Nostalgic Remembrance Like most people my age, I read a newspaper column a couple of times a week that is affectionately called the "Irish Sports Page." Actually, it is the obituary column found in Bos- ton's newspapers. I guess we Italians and Irish were always big on wakes and funerals. It is part of our overall heritages. But, especially when you are beyond a certain age, you look for names of people who are " your contemporaries. About a week and a half ago, I read that Chuck Berry passed away at the age of 90. He was one of the pioneers of rock and roll, beginning his career when that form of music was called rhythm and blues in the early '50s. My teen years were in the mid-fifties and I was part of that first rock-and-roll genera- tion. I danced to the music of Fats Domino, Bill Haley and the Comets, Little Richard, Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters, the Clovers, and many others. None of them was as influential as a tall, thin guitar player who told a story with every song, Chuck Berry. I found out many years later that he was one of the main inspirations for two of the most famous groups in pop mu- sic over the decades, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. He was also the inspiration behind the styles of many aspiring guitar players over a 60 year period. When I became a student at Boston English High School, I was in the company of many boys with Italian last names from East Boston, the North End, and the West End. There were Italian boys from other neighborhoods around the city- -Brighton, Hyde Park, Roxbury, and Jamaica Plain -- but they weren't like "my crowd" from what we called, "The real Ital- ian neighborhoods." We knew how to dress, what our hair should look like, how to speak with the latest expressions mixed in, and we knew hov~ to dance better than most. Our only competition came from African-American boys our age. The term used then to make a comparison was, "The Colored competition." We shopped at a store on Boylston Street called Sumner's (For men who know style]. They featured the latest in high-style "clothing, one-button roll collar suits with pegged pants, and roll collar shirts that we called "Mr. B. shirts." The "B" was short for singer Billy Ekstine who designed the shirts. We added to the suits one-inch wide ties, suede shoes, our ini- tials on our shirt collars and, in the winter, double breasted overcoats. All the Italian barbers learned to cut our hair according to the latest trend, D.A. haircuts. The D.A. stood for "duck's ass," because the back of our pompadour style was combed toward the center, which gave the appearance of its name. Those of us with curly hair had a problem. Not long after the barbers cut the hair into a D.A., it would curl up again. As a result, the barbers began selling us pomade, thick pomade, a lot thicker than Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. They told us that this was the stuff the colored boys used to keep their hair straight and we bought the most popular brand, Royal Crown. A small container was ten cents. Dad and Babbononno weren't too happy with my teenage taste in music. I had been brought up on classical music, opera and jazz. The new sound Was really a kissing cousin to jazz, but not what Italian boys should listen to. Of course all of my friends went through the same thing with their parents, so we all de- fied those parents and dressed in accordance with the style I described and listened to the music originally called rhythm and blues. There was only one station on Boston radio that played this type of music. Its call letters were WBMS. After a major shakeup in the late 'SOs, the name would change to WILD, and remain with those letters until they went off the air in the not too distant past. They had a broadcast da~r that began at sunup and ended at sundown. The number one disc jockey was called Symph9ny Sid. Do any of you remember him? Because of the Way he spoke {with the latest slang and hip talk), we all thought he was black. He actually was a nice Jewish boy from New York who dominated the R and B music until DJs like Bill Marlowe came on the scene and took the music to new heights. There was a shakeup in 1958, and Symphony Sid was fired and .things began .to change. DJs with names like Arnie "WooWoo" Ginsberg came on the scene and R and B became rock and roll. By that point in time, I was in college and abandoned the zoot suite, the suede shoes, and the D.A. haircut. The Ivy League styles took over and jazz and folk music were the musical choices as far as the college. students in and around Boston were concerned. Dad never prohibited me from experimenting with my styles of dress or my hairdo. I knew that he had to convince Babbononno that it was only a phase I was -- FOR YOU WHO APPRECIATE THE FINEST-- THE going through, and he was right. Dad was always right. Without saying it, he probably. had done similar things back when he was a teenager in the mid-~20s. I remember going to my first dance that featured R and B stars. It was right after Easter, and we dressed in our new clothes. The musical groups and the singers were integrated as well as the audience. That was a no-no back then, but we did~things our way. We've come a long way since then, I think. When I read the obituary on Chuck Berry, and a brief biography that accompanied it, I began to reminisce about those days. Since the 80s, lye seen many of the groups that became famous in the three decades that proceeded. The singers were older, heavier, and grayer than back in the day, but some of the vocals were still pretty good. The revivals are called Doo Wop revivals and as they do their thing, we old folks reminisce and think about those "record hops" we danced at oh so long ago. We had a priest at the Sacred Heart in East Boston who headed up the CYO. On Thursday nights, we had a dance at the school that was to the left of the church. On slow numbers, if we danced too close to our partners, the priest (I believe his name was Fr. Mackin) would come up to us, push us apart and say, "Leave room for the Holy Ghost." With the passing of Chuck Berry, the end of the first gen- eration of teen music is ending, also. I wonder if we will ever see another musical dawn like that again. GOD BLESS AMERICA LEGAL NOTICE Commonwealth of Massachusetts The Trial Court Middlesex Probate and Family Court 208 Cambridge Street Cambridge, MA 02141 (617) 768-5800 Docket No, MI16D4308DR DIVORCE SUMMONS BY PUBLICATION AND MAIUNG LANCE PERRY VS. CATHERINE D. PERRY To the Defendant: The Plaintiff has filed a Complaint for Divorce 'equesting that the Court grant a divorce for Irretrievable Breakdown of the Man'iage lB. The Complaint is on file at the Court. An Automatic Restraining Order has been entered in this matter preventing you from tak- leg any action which would negatively impact the current financial status of either party. SEE Supplemental Probate Court Rule 411. You are hereby summoned and required to serve upon David J. Albert, F..sq., Attorney at Law, 323 Boston Post Road, Sudbury, MA 01776 your answer, if any, on or before Apdl 20, 2017. if you fail to de so, the court will proceed to the hearing and adjudication of this action. You am also required to file a copy of your answer, if any, in the office of the Register of this Court. HON. EDWARD F. DONNELLY, JR., Rrat Justice of this Court. Date: March 9, 2017 Tara E. DeCristotaro, Register of Probate Run date: 4/7/17 MUSIC FOR ALL OCCASIONS- 781-648-5678 For more in~rmafioncall 617-227-8929 Grow an Abundant Tomato Harvest in a Pot by Melinda Myers Harvest and enjoy the garden- fresh flavor of tomatoes right outside your kitchen. Grow them in containers set on your patio, balcony, deck or stairs. You l enjoy the convenience of harvesting fresh tomatoes just a few feet away from where you prepare your meals. And your guests will enjoy harvesting fresh tomatoes to add to their salad or sandwich. Tomatoes need warm air and soil to thrive. Containers give you the ability to jump start the season. Plant tomatoes in containers earlier than in the garden and leave them out- doors when it's warm (but bring them inside whenever there's a danger of frost]. Protect your plants with the help of season- extending products like cloches, red tomato teepees, or garden fabrics. These will help warm the soil and air around the plants, reducing the number of days to your first harvest. Select flavorful and disease- resistant varieties for your container gardens. Consider 'determinate' tomatoes that are more compact and generally less than four feet tall. But don't eliminate your favorite indeter- minate tomato. Just provide a strong, tall support for these plants that continue to grow six feet and taller throughout the season. Grow your tomatoes in a sunny spot that receives at least eight hours of direct sunlight. You'll grow the biggest harvest and reduce the risk of disease. Fill your container with a quality well-draine4 potting mix. Add a slow release organic fertilizer to your po:ting mix if needed. This type of fertil- izer feeds the plants fir several months. Give the plarts an ad- ditional feeding mideason or as directed on the'ertilizer package. Check soil moistce daily; water thoroughly md often enough to keep the sd slightly moist. Maintaining onsistent soft moisture means lealthier plants and fewer prob~ms with blossom end rot. Thidisorder is not a deadly diseaL but it causes the bottom othe first set of fruit to turn bld. Reduce your worklofl by us- ing self-watering pottlike the Gardener's Revolutio Clas- sic Tomato Planter (grdeners. com). These pots hav( a 5-gal- lon reservoir for holchg water that moves up intothe soil Growing tomatoes in container gardens enables gardeners to jump start the growing season. /Photo by Gardener's Supply Company} to the plant roots as needed. This means youtl be filling the reservoir less often than you would normally water other planters. Stake or tower your plants to save space and increase air circulation around and light penetration into the plant. Youll further reduce the risk of disease and increase productiv- ity by growing vertically. So start gathering your favor- ite tomato recipes now, as soon youll be harvesting armloads of tomatoes to use in salsas, salads, sauces and, of course,, BLTs. Melinda Myers has written more than 20 gardening books, including Small Space Garden- ing. She hosts The Great Cours- es "How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening For Everyone" DVD set and the nationally syndicat- ed Melinda's Garden Moment TV & radio segments. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms maga- zine and was commissioned by Gardener's Supply Company for her expertise to write this article. Myers' web site is: www. melindamyers, com. LETTERS POLICY The Post-Gazete invites its readers to submit Ldters to the Editor Letters should be ped, double-spaced and must include the writer's name, address, and telephone number. Anonymous letters are not acceged for publication. Due to space comiderations, we request that letters not exceed two double-spaced, type-written pages. This newspaper P.serves the right to edit letters for style, grammar and taste md to limit the number of letters published from any one persot or organization. Deadline for subrrission is 12:00 noon on the Monday prior to the Friday on which the writer wishes to have the material published. Submission by the deadline does not guarantee publication. Send letter to: Pamela Donnaruma, Editor, The Post-Gazette, P.O. Box 130135, Boston, MA 02113 P