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April 18, 2014     Post-Gazette
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April 18, 2014
 

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POST-GAZETTE, APRIL 18, 2014 ................. Page 13 J anna abb onno by John Christoforo A Nostalgic Remembrance Today being Good Friday, reminds me of our youth- ful involvement with the teachings of the Church at holiday time. At Christmas, we brought used clothing and old toys to the church for kids that had less than we did. We went to Confession that Sat- urday before Christmas and headed for Mass the next day. Easter weekend was a little different. We kids visited sev- eral churches to say prayers and on Good Friday, were silent for 3 hours. For me, this was very difficult. For a couple of the other kids, this was impossible, but we did it. On Holy Saturday, we went to confession, said our penance, and went home for a good meal, as we had to abstain from eating until after Com- munion at Easter Mass. I remember one of the kids from the neighborhood who hated going to Confession. He was the type of kid who couldn't say a complete sen- tence without an expletive thrown in somewhere. This kid dropped F bombs in just about every sentence he said and would have shocked a motorcycle gang if he engaged them in conversa- tion. Many years later, when I headed back to East Boston to see some of my old friends who might still be on the street corner, I asked for my old friend, Richie. The re- sponse from one of the guys shocked me, "Oh, you mean Father Richard. He's been assigned to a parish church in Brooklyn." A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned a powder blue suit that was made for me at Easter time by an East Bos- ton neighbor named Danny Gallo. Before I go on, I must add that I just saw an obitu- ary on line. His widow, Rose, passed away. My condolences go out to the Gallo family, I remember them well. Any- way, I dressed in that suit on Easter Sunday and headed to the Sacred Heart Church to attend the 11:30 Mass. After Mass, I waited outside to wish many friends Buona Pasqua and then headed to the Senile Theater to open up. The Sun- day ritual usually was that Mr. Ray, the manager, would open up and I would go in at about the same time, turn on the heat or air conditioning (depending on the season), and burn the trash that had been bagged the night before. We had an incinerator in the boiler room, and back then, you could burn trash with no problem. Mr. Ray, seeing me in my Easter finery, made me change into my usher's uni- form just in case. He said he would rather see me soil a uniform rather than my new suit. Once I had finished my chores, he asked what time my ushers were scheduled to begin working. Just as I was about to tell him, the two I had scheduled walked in. He then told me to go home, enjoy Eas- ter dinner with my family and then return to work after I had eaten. I thanked him and headed to Nanna and Babbo- nonno's apartment and saw that the family was already there waiting for me. I en- joyed the dinner but left when the men headed for the living room. I knew that after a few minutes, they would all be fast asleep. On the way back to the Seville, I thought about the baked ham that graced the center of the dinner table. Like the turkey in the cen- ter of an Italian Thanks- giving table, it was never touched. Both could have been made out of plastic and no one would have known. With Ital- ian food served one course after another, they were just adornment, and nothing more. For at least 25 years or more, I have combined my family with that of my cousin, Ralph Pepe. Nanna and Ralph's grandfather were brother and sister. This makes Ralph a second or maybe a third cousin, but we, along with his late brother, Anthony, and late sister, Lulu, all grew up together. Ralph and I are now the old timers at family dinners but Loretta and I won't be there this year. We will be repre- sented by my sons John and Michael. Loretta and I will be in Florida. I'm still recuper- ating from brain surgery and I feel a lot better in the warm sunshine of southern Florida than I do here. This Sunday, being Easter, we will join with some friends and head for Mass and then our favorite Italian restaurant for a tradi- tional Easter dinner. What's more important is that when we return from Florida, it will be time for our son, John and his fiancee, Beth, to tie the knot. They will exchange vows on May 3~. Son, Michael, will head home from New York to stand up for his brother, but more about the wedding as the day ap- proaches. My wife, Loretta, loves to be in the middle of things to help out, but my comment to her was, "You're the mother-in-law, buy your- self a new beige dress to wear at the wedding, and keep your mouth shut. John and Beth met when they were both in the wed- ding party of John's former college roommate. Beth was a friend of the bride. Since that day, they have been a couple and now it's time to say, "I do." For several years, John was working in finance in Zurich, Switzerland. Beth traveled to see him on sev- eral occasions, and when John decided to return to the U.S., they headed to San Francisco where part of Beth's family lives. John discovered that he is a Bostonian and wanted to return to his roots. And, here they are to stay. I kind of like the feeling that they will be living close by and I can see them often. Michael on the other hand, is doing well in New York as an actor/ producer. You can Google him, "Michael Christoforo," and see what he is up to. * Socially Scene (Continued from Page 9) It's been six or seven months since my operations and I feel that I'm well enough to go back to work'. I have com- mitted myself to two colleges to teach courses this late spring, something I looking forward to. If I feel up to it, I may even consider getting back into some phase of entertainment. The head of Boston Casting and my son, Michael, have spoken to me about returning to acting, something I haven't really done for 40 years, since my Hollywood days. We'll see. Mentioning 40 years ... I have been best friends with Dean Saluti for that same length of time. We chummed around when we were single. He shamed me into going back to school to earn a doctorate. I did, and met my future wife at B.U. When Dean met Margie Cahn, my wife, Loretta, and she became the best of friends. Today, they are like extended family. Well, for the past few months Dean's health has not been where it should be. He has had several physical prob- lems that have plagued him. He's on the mend but has taken stock in reforming his never ending work schedule. My comment to him was, "Hey, kid, we're not getting any younger. Maybe it's time to start backing off on a few things and just try relaxing." I think he agrees with me and will completely recover from his ailments. I told him that I have a spare bedroom in the Florida house, and if he and Margie accept my Salons, and his business partner, Gail Federici. For a minimum donation, cus- tomers will receive a cat- walk quality blow out at a great price and all pro- ceeds will benefit Boston Children's Hospital. For more details and a list of participating salons, visit www. hair~aising, org. April A~tivity ... School vacation s on the way and here are ~ few fun things to keep the riddles occupied. Aussie Aviary opens for the season during April school vacation week. Stroll among hundreds of brightly colored )udgies in this engaging, interactive space. Purchase a seedstick and the birds may land right on it! DuringApril school vaca- tion week, Aussie Aviary will be open lq:30 am - 4:00 pm, weather )ermitting. After April schol vacation week, Aussie Avhry will be open on the weekends, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm, weather permit- ting. Regalar hours begin Memorial Day weekend when Aussie Aviary is open 1I:00 am- 4:00 p.m. week- days, and 11:00 am - 5:00 pm weekends. April 19th from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, the Easter Bunny will be hopping by for a quick photo oppt Guests can get their photo taken with the token bunny, and partake in holiday games, crafts, and other fun surprises. On April 25th and 26th at Stone Zoo popular Nick Jr. character Pocoyo will be vis- iting on site for a meet-and- greet with guests! He will be there every half hour be- tween 10:30 am and 3:00 pm on both days. Other activi- ties will include storytimes, arts and crafts and more, and guests can take photos with PocoyoI offer! Learn how you can contribute to a healthy planet and preserve the Earth. The festivities, which will be held 10:00 am - 3:00 pm, will in- clude opportunities to meet the zookeepers, plus animal enrichment activities, scav- enger hunts, entertain- ment, eco-friendly exhibitors and much more! The Franklin Park Zoo is always a great time for all ages. The zoo is located at One Franklin Park Road in Boston. Call 617-541-LION or www.franklinparkzoo.org for more information. Day of Gardening ... A Skills Workshop for the School Garden from Massa- chusetts Agriculture in the Classroom will be held on Saturday, April 26a. Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom is teaming up with Tranquil Lake Nurs- ery in Rehoboth to offer a full day of FREE how-to Garden- ing Skills workshops and demonstrations for educators, school gardeners and the general public. Spend a day brushing up on your garden- ing skills to get yourself ready for the gardening season ahead, whether growing plants in containers outside the classroom, in a school garden or in your own back- yard. Twelve useful work- shops and demonstrations will be conducted every half hour from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Workshops will cover dig- ging in-ground garden beds; mulching and creating a no- dig bed using mulch, caring for tools, planting and trans- planting seeds, seed saving, composting, soils, skills for planting a tree, pruning and more. Ten Professional De- velopment Points are also available to teachers with a classroom activity. Plan to spend the whole invitation, I will put a sign Also on April 27th, don't day in a Massachusetts over the entrance to it that miss the Party for the Agriculture classroom and reads, "Saluti-Cahn Suite." Planet! Franklin Park Zoo learn how to improve your We'll see if they accept, has teamed up with Girl garden this spring. Bring a Well, let's see, the warm Scouts of Eastern Massachu-picnic lunch. For more weather is heading our setts to present a fun and details, call 508-336-4426 or way and the one thing I will engaging Earth Day celebra-visit www.aginclassroorrrorg want to do is take my antique tion to raise awareness forand click on Conference and cars out of winter storage and the planet and all it has to Workshops. ride around in them ... and maybe head for some car shows. In the mean time, it is Easter weekend and I would like to wish all of my readers a very Happy Easter from the Christoforo family. Buona Pasqua, and may GOD BLESS AMERICA uona asqua JOSEPH FUNERAL HOME INC. 814 American Legion Highway Roslindale, MA 617-325-7300 J-Iappy aster kM cN.L 500 Canterbury Street Boston, MA 02131 617,524.1036 www.stmichaelcemetery.com r the Italian community for over 100 years/