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April 20, 2012     Post-Gazette
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Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, APRIL 20, 2012 East Boston Social Centers Front, L to R: Joe Tozza, Sandra Caggiano, Valerie Brauer, Leticia Rave, Debra Cave, Patty Daly and John Kelly. Back, L to R: Tom Tassinari, Peter Scolaro, Christian Teja, Ronaldo Rauseo-Ricupero. Friends and supporters of the East Boston Social Cen- ter came out in full force and enjoyed a fun night of laughs and pizza at Prince House of Pizza/Giggles for a good cause. The room was packed and everyone enjoyed catch- ing up with friends and hav- ing a few laughs together. Board members, staff, friends and family attended the event, and many have made attending the Social Centers' Pizza and Comedy Night an annual tradition. Six comedians; Johnny Pizzi, tlOWll, MitCll Xin 0n, Artie danuario, Kelly, and Tony V. really got the crowd cheering. Prince Pizza's staff provided great service and wonderful pizza, as always. Many thanks to Steve Castraberti and Mike Clark! The raffle featured over 30 items donated by area busi- nesses, as well as a Grand Prize of four Red Sox tickets donated by Ronaldo Rauseo- Ricupero and a 2nd Prize of two Red Sox tickets donated by Sarah Connollyl Executive Director John Kelly was assisted by Board member Valerie Brauer and Devel- opment Director Marisa Di Pietro in handing out prizes. Board member Sandra Caggiano, along with Buddy Mangini, Rosalie Petralia and Marie Zinna did a great jOB, tvorlin very tl tro ell, ing raffle tickets. A live auc- tion for a pair of Celtics tick- ets donated by Joe Ruggiero of Ruggiero Family Funeral Home was conducted by co- median Tony V. and the highest bidder was Board Comedians Artie Januario and Johnny Pizzi The Agency for all your Insurance Coverages AUTO HOMEOWN ERS TENANTS COMMI:iKIAL Experience makes the difference SPECIALIST in RESTAURANT and BUSINESS POLICIES CALL TODAY FOR YOUR QUOTE 617-523-3456 - Fax 617-723-9212 1 Longfellow - Place Suite 2322 - Boston, MA 02114 Conveniently located with Free Parking om -dian Tony V+ President Debra Cave. The Social Centers would like to thank everyone who at- -tended for their generous support of the Social Cen- ters and its programming. We couldn't do it without all of you! The Social Centers would like to thank the following businesses and individuals who donated raffle items and tickets: Antonia's at the Beach, Bayside Resort in Cape Cod, Continental Dry Cleaning, East Boston Dia- mond and Gold, Everett Cooperative Bank, Improv Asylum, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Joe Ruggiero, Jordan's Imax The- atre, Kelly's Roast Beef, Marty's Furniture, Meridian 155 Cafd, National Amuse- ments, New England Aquarium, Peabody Essex Museum, Polished Salon in Swampscott, Ronaldo Rauseo-Ricupero, Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey Cir- cus, Sarah Con-holly, Six Flags New England, Spinelli's, and Tom Tassinari. All proceeds from this event benefit the programs of the Social Centers, which serve more than 1,000 chil- dren, families and senior citizens each year. The Social Centers programs in- clude Child Care for children ages two months to fourteen years, BYN program for at- risk youth, Summer Play- school day camp, and Senior programming. We look for- ward to seeing everyone at our next Fundraiser. by Sal Giarratani , %/ Memories of Yesterday Onward Well, we are now past Patriot's Day and Marathon Monday. Over in Rostindale, my family just celebrated two important birthdays, my niece Danikka (April 14) and my great nephew Jacob, who indeed is great (April 15). I recently ran into Ron McIntyre (the guy with that great hat on) over in the Roche Bros. parking lot. Ron mentioned he was a member of R.O.M.E.O., a group that meets monthly at Doyle's in Jamaica Plain. He told me the initials stand for "Retired Opinion Makers Eating Out." I told Ron when I finally put my papers in, I'll think about it. I have been out of Roslin- dale almost two years now but still go back often and West Roxbury too where my sister-in-law lives. My old Roxbury friend, Stevie O'Malley from MJ Pizza, is another reason to drive up Belgrade Street. I just re- upped for another year with the Irish Social Club be- cause I love this group as my Uncle Neal Harrington be- fore me did. I grew up in Boston back in the '50s and '60s and still remember the old days quite well. I grew up mostly in the South End lower Roxbury area between the II~lm~l~L~ ~ 011~ VtiOll ~ St. Philip's Church when places to live were really so affordable. The area was quite diverse and working class. I also have lived in Dorchester, Charlestown and now call East Boston home. I probably know more about the city's neighbor- hoods than anyone else. I've seen the old and new and can appreciate both yes- terday and today. I was down- town recently near Tufts Medical Center and memo- ries started kicking in. When I was a kid, I remem- ber getting off the Kneeland Street bus with my parents and little brother. We would walk into town up lower Washington trcct and had to pass by numerous night- clubs, strip joints and x-rated movie houses. My father would quickly navigate the family past it all. When we approached the State The- ater, we would cross the street to the Cinerama to avoid all those movie photos at the State. Back then, my father wag always happy when we closed in on R.H. White's and Jordan Marsh. My brother would laugh and say "Nothing good to see here." My father would give him the look while my mother laughed. Later on as my parents got older and my brother and I a little lazier, we would take the Kneeland Street bus from Northampton Street Station and return home on the same bus. Boston back then was a much different city. Today, Boston has grown into a special place for the old and new but it also has priced out many families are unable to afford the steep rents. When I lived on East Springfield Street, the rent was 825 a month for a two- room fiat. The oil man would drive by with his truck, the ice man would follow. The scissor sharpener guy would blow his horn slowly driving by the street and then the guy with the horse and wagon selling fruits and veggies would yell out about his apples, bananas, peppers and onions for sale. Jumpstart to today and much of my past is gone to history. I was given a great old photo of East Lenox Street taken over 50 years ago when I lived at number 76. No one lives on that street today nor knows its name anymore. Fenway Park is back for its 100 birthday year. Too bad, the prices I remember as a kid won't be returning for the centennial bash. I would love to pay 90 cents again for the bleachers or $1.25 for the right field grandstands. Things that don't change are politicians and campaign- ing. Jimmy Hennigan just celebrated his 85~ birth- day. Back when I was a kid once again, my State Rep. wa~ o 11 al-li I a 11 1~ *~ 1 1 0 alld Charlie and Jimmy were state reps together up on Beacon Hill. Both colorful old school pals. As a kid, time passed by slowly but not so today. I can't believe the Big Apple Circus has already returned to City Hall Plaza for its 2012 stay. It seems like it was just being taken down last year. Now, it is back. Speaking of political cam- paigns, they never change. Sometimes we get new faces and sometimes we get the next generation of the same names. Point to make, Suffolk County Court Clerk in the criminal divi- sion is Maura Hennigan who could bo confused with Jimmy Hennigan. Jimmy is Maura's father and she inherited her father's politi- cal bug. Recently, Maura has been traveling all over the city and county in search of votes in the re-election bid. She is here, there and everywhere like the Beatles used to sing about. When I wad a kid, folks could buy a cup of coffee almost everywhere from small little stores. Today, we have chain coffee where the cups almost taste better than the coffee it is filled with. Recently, I found a cool little coffee shop on Bromfield Street in Down- town Boston called "Coffee Brewing" I've tried their coffee, it is real brewed cof- fee. The place sells all kinds of coffee from the most simple to the very yuppie stuff. The price is right too!