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April 23, 2010     Post-Gazette
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April 23, 2010
 

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POST-GAZETTE, APRIL 23, 2010 Page 13 ](rTt(  by John Christoforo 00abb00onno A Nostalgic Remembrance I've been asked to repeat a story I wrote several years ago about Babbononno and Dad's cars. Ok, here goes ... Babbononno was born in 1875, long before the auto- mobile came into existence as a practical vehicle. As a result, years later, he didn't understand what the ma- chine was and hated them. In return, every car my grandfather entered hated him. He would bang his head getting into vehicles. He would literally fall into the back seat if that's where he was told to sit. Once inside, he would look for something to hold onto for dear life. A generation later, my mother felt the same way about fly- ing, and if space travel be- comes part of our way of life, I will probably feel the same way. If we precede an inven- tion and don't really under- stand it, we fear it. I guess that's the way it is. One Saturday morning when I was ten years old, Babbononno said to me, "Jenny, you take-a me to la casa di Zi'Antonio per eomprare un galone di vino?" (John will you take me to Uncle Tony's house to buy a gallon of wine?) I told him to ask my father, say- ing, "Babbononno sono piu giovane alla guida una macchina, chieda mi papa." (Grandpappy, I'm to young to drive a car, ask my father.) So, he asked Dad. Dad had nothing to do that morning and told Babbononno to get ready. Nanna helped him carry a few empty gallon jugs out to Dad's ten year old Plymouth. Babbononno opened the right door of the two door sedan, pushed the right front seat forward and told me to get in back. He then placed the gallon jugs on the floor of the front and tried to get in. Upon entering, he hit his head on the top of the door opening and knocked his fedora onto the sidewalk. Swearing un- der his breath, he picked it up, brushed it off, placed it on his head and tried to get in again. Once seated, he slammed the door so hard, you could feel the motion in the back seal Dad yelled for him to take it easy but he wasn't paying attention. After Dad got in behind the steering wheel, Babbononno grabbed the door handle and held on for dear life. Dad told him to grab the arm rest if he had to hold on to some- thing. This he did with such pressure, his right hand turned red. We left the parking spot in front of 70 Eutaw Street and drove down the hill to Meridian Street, turned left and headed for Maverick Square. What Dad didn't no- tice was that Babbononno grabbed the door handle once again and held that for dear life. To get to Orleans Street where Zi'Antonio lived, Dad had to take a left once in Maverick Square. As he started to make the left turn, Babbononno lifted the door handle and the right door opened. As we made the left turn, Babbononno slid to his right and started to fall out the open door. Dad reached out with his right hand and pulled Babbononno back into the car. As he did this, my grandfather grabbed the right side of the steer- ing wheel to pull himself to safety. Dad couldn't grab the steering wheel away from my Babbononno and the car, instead of making a left turn, made a U-turn onto Chelsea Street. Chelsea Street par- allels Meridian and both empty into Maverick Square. As a result of my grandfa- ther holding the steering wheel, the car climbed the sidewalk in front of Rapino's Funeral Home and almost hit a couple of people stand- ing on the sidewalk. Dad fmally got Babbononno to let go of the steering wheel, and jumped the car off the sidewalk. As he did this, the right door slammed shut. By this time my grand- father was swearing in Ital- ian and fractured English. I got an education in the use of profanity in two languages that morning. Once the car was totally back in control, Dad made a U turn. Once back in Maverick Square made the left and headed for 111 Orleans Street. Finding a parking space in front of the house, Dad stopped the car and told Babbononno it was safe to get out. He was still a bit shaken but man- aged to exit the Plymouth and pick up most of his empty gallon jugs. After I exited the back seat, I helped him. We climbed the steps to the sec- ond floor and as soon as Babbononno saw Zi'Antonio, he told him the story of how Dad's car almost killed him. Zi'Antonio sat him down at the kitchen table and poured him a glass of wine to calm him down. Dad related the story to cousin John, Zi'Antonio's blind son who was standing against the stove opposite -- FOR YOU WHO APPRECIATE THE FINEST-- THE MUSIC FOR ALL OCCASIONS 781-648-5678 the kitchen table. He under- stood. When it was time to sample another type of wine, Babbononno got up to wash his glass. The sink was to the left of the stove. Heading there, he bumped into Cous- in John, saying, "Giovanni, mi scusa." He washed his glass and headed back to the table bumping into Cousin John again. He repeated himself saying, "Scusa." Once seated, Zi'Antonio poured him a second glass of wine. After he drank that and was offered a third, he got up to wash the glass again, and of course, bumped into Cousin John again. Returning to the table, he did it once more. At this point, Cousin John yelled out to my grandfather, "Zi Michele, chi e ciggada, tu o me?" (Uncle Mike, who is blind, you or me?) Well, by the time Dad was ready to leave, Babbononno wasn't feeling any pain. Zi'Antonio filled the gallon jugs with red wine and Babbononn0 paid him the agreed amount. We headed down the steps to the car and Babbononno carefully placed the jugs on the right front floor and than at- tempted to climb in miss- ing the bottles with his feet, Again he knocked his hat to the ground. I was still outside the car and picked up my grandfather's hat and placed it on his head. Both Dad and I helped him get situated on the front seat and I entered the back seat from the driver's side. As we started to head home, Dad told Babbononno to fold his hands in his lap, which he did mumbling obsceni- ties all the was back to the Eagle Hill section of East Boston. Dad parked in the same spot he had left an hour or so earlier and told Babbo- nonno not to move. He then came around the car, opened the door and helped my grandfather out of the vehicle. We all carried the gallons of wine into the ally way to the left of the house, entered the door that led to the kitchen and placed all the bottles on the kitchen table. Nanna heard the door open and came down stairs. Once she saw her husband she yelled, "UbriacoI" (You drunk) and headed back up- stairs. By this time the wine had taken effect and the only thing Babbononno wanted was an early afternoon nap. GOD BLESS AMERICA ST. JUDE AND ST. ANTHONY NOVENA May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, glorified, loved and preserved throughout the world now and for- ever. Sacred Heart of Jesus pray for us. St. Jude, worker of miracles, pray for us. St. Jude, help of the hopeless, pray for us. St. Anthony, most loving protector and wonder worker, pray for us. Say this prayer 9 times a day and by the 8th day your prayer will be answered. It has never been known to fail. Publication must be promised. My prayers have been answered. Favor received. A.I.. Notable Events by Bennett Molinari and Richard Molinari Cardinal Sean O'Malley During the past week, two unrelated events took place in Boston, both of which we attended, that are well worth noting. The 2010 Boston Catholic Men's Conference was held at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Saturday, April 17% The theme of this year's conference was "Crossing the Goal Together". Men throughout the Archdio- cese gathered at the cathe- dral for a day of recollection and motivation, a time to pause and consider your life and the path you are on. The conference is a wonderful event that brings together men of good will who are engaged in the common purpose of seeking God and willing to support each in this fundamental pursuit. The event began at 9:00AM and ended with Holy Mass at 5:00PM in the afternoon celebrated by Cardinal Scan O'Malley. At one point, a verse from John 1:5 appeared on a monitor at the cathedral that seemed to sum up the spirit of the Conference, which was one of hope, "The light shines on in darkness, a darkness that did not over- come it." A good message in tumultuous times. The 2010 Women's Confer- ence had taken place earlier, on February 27th; both events featured a complete program of speakers, Sacrament of Reconciliation, Eucharistic Adoration and Mass with Cardinal Scan O'Malley. We attended the Tea Party rally that took place on Wednesday, April 14th; about 5,000-8,000 people gathered on the Boston Common to voice their support for the grass roots phenomenon. Boston was the next to the last stop in a three week jour- ney that began in Nevada and would end in Washington D.C. on tax day April 154. The media would have you believe that Tea Party people are all "Red Necks" when in reality they are just average people concerned about the country. People are very unhappy with Washington and are looking for change, the Tea Party rallies have become an effective tool for expressing their dissatis- faction. Governor Sarah Palin was the keynote speaker and managed to "fire up" the crowd. The Third Annual Eucha- ristic Congress for College (Continued on Page 15) * The Socially Set (Continued from Page 91 One more photo from the fabulous Boston Flower & Garden Show recently held at the Seaport World Trade Center picturing Show Director Carolyn Weston and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino at the Preview Party. Be sure to save the dates for next year's show: March 16-20, 2011 at the Seaport World Trade Center. (Photo by Tony Scarpetta) in part benefit the I st An- nual Children's Celtic Camp Scholarship Fund which will allow disadvantaged youth to attend this year's camp at the Centre in August. For more information, call 1-888-GO-IRISH or visit www.irishculture.org. Enjoy! (Be sure to visit Hilda Morrill's gardening Web site, www.bostongardens.com. In addition to events covered and reported by the columnist, "The Socially Set" is compiled from various other sources such as news and press re- leases, PRNewswire services, etc.) PRAYER TO ST. THERESA Oh glorious St. Theresa whom almighty God has raised up to aid and counsel mankind. I invite your miraculous intercession. So powerfulare you obtaining every need of body and soul, our Holy Moer Church proclaims you a "Prodigy of Miracles." Now fervently I beseech you to answer my petition (mention here) and carry out your promise of doing good upon earth of letting fall from heaven a shower of roses. Henceforth, dear little flower, I will fulfill your plea to be made known everywhere and I will never cease to lead others to Jesus through you. Amen. (Say preyer everyday for 9 days. By 4  day, ask for a sign. If prayers are to be answered between 4 = and 9 = day, you wilt see a rose in a Magazine, TV picture or receive Roses. You can also get strong scent of roses in home even If no roses are present. Must promise publication. Thank You.) T.M.S. PRAYER TO ST. JUDE May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, glorified, loved and pre- served throughout the world now and forever. Sacred Heart of Jesus pray for us. St. Jude, worker of miracles, pray for us. St. Jude, help of the hopeless, pray for us. Say this prayer 9 times a day and by the 8th day your prayers will be answered. It has never been known to fail. Publication must be promised. My prayers have been answered. ATP