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May 4, 2012

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POST-GAZETTE, MAY 4, 2012 Page 13 00abb00nonno by John Christoforo iiiiiiiii I I iiii Last week, I was talking about Uncle Nick and Aunt Dorothy Contini. Uncle Nick was my mother's middle brother and my Godfather. Aunt Dorothy was his sec- ond wife and the last of the Hanscom line. Theirs was a different type of a relation- ship than my folks genera- tion was accustomed to. Aunt Dorothy wasn't a stay at home mom. She was in the leather business working in an executive capacity. I'm not sure what it was, but she did rather well, if I remem- ber correctly. Uncle Nick was a musician, having followed in Babbononno's footsteps. He worked with many of the society bands in Boston fol- lowing his discharge from the Navy in WWlI. After his discharge, he took advantage of the GI Bill and went to the North Bennett Street School and studied watch repair. He learned the jewelry busi- ness en route and antici- pated a new career as a re- suit, but politics in the mu- sicians' union got the best of him, and he ran for office and was elected as their vice president. Working at the union office and playing nights with various bands, watch repair became a part- time challenge. Unfortunately, Uncle Nick and Aunt Dorothy never had any kids. Both went through several series of medical tests to find out the reasons but whatever they were, there were no ways around them and they remained childless. As a result, when- ever they had time off, they traveled, more often than not, taking cruises that brought them to all parts of the world. Seeing I was Uncle Nick's Godson, I was often invited to travel with them. Unfortunately, most of their travel was not during school vacation time and I couldn't go. The one time I could go, I mentioned a couple of weeks ago ... a trip to Cuba for Easter, a few months before the Castro revolution. Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Nick often hosted dinner parties at their Brookline apartment. Quite often, we were invited and I enjoyed meeting people from the business world that Aunt Dorothy was part of. Around Christmas time, they would host a gala open house that included family and mem- bers of the music profession, which back in the day, was a major factor in the enter- tainment picture of Boston. A Nostalgic Remembrance l ll.ll ill i H ,I HHm Aunt Dorothy was a few years older than Uncle Nick. When it was time for her to retire, Uncle Nick was still going strong in his role as vice president. Most of the out-of-town entertainment that played Boston came through his office and he was on the go, day and night. When {he '70s rolled in, Aunt Dorothy began to hate the weather locally. In spite of being a Bostonian through and through, she longed for a warmer climate to spend her senior years in, and headed for Florida. She bought a condo in Pompano Beach which prompted Uncle Nick to begin heading to Florida about a weekend a month. Just after she settled into the condo, Uncle Nick was re-elected and planned to retire after his term was up. He delayed his plans due to the fact that Loretta and I had decided to get mar- ried in July of 1977 and he wanted to stay around to help out with the arrangements. On July 2, of '77, Loretta and I tied the knot at St. Leonard Parish in the North End. Aunt Dorothy was under the weather and didn't make it back to Boston, but Uncle Nick was there to make sure every- thing went as planned. His best role was as the head bar- tender at the dinner party my folks threw for us the night before the wedding. He was good at pouring a stiff drink. As an Irish friend said ob- serving him, "Nicholas, you have a me steady hand when it comes to filling a glass." I guess he passed the test. Not long after we were married, I helped Uncle Nick sell off everything at the apartment. He had decided to call it quits. I think that he had made a promise to Aunt Dorothy that he would retire to their Florida home right after the wedding and he didn't back down. At first it was difficult for him being away from Boston. His whole life for the 30 years after WWII centered around Boston's entertain- ment scene and now he was a man of leisure. He imme- diately began making con- tacts with contractors and band leaders that worked between Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale. His reputa- tion preceded him and he soon began playing society functions at local yacht, golf and private clubs in the area. To keep his hand in classical music, he joined the Boca Pops and became ACCEPTING Advertisements -- FOR YOU WHO APPRECIATE THE FINEST -- THE MUSIC FOR ALL OCCASIONS 781-648-5678 the first clarinetist for the orchestra. Late that summer of '77, I decided to bring Loretta to Florida and introduce her to Aunt Dorothy. Uncle Nick in- sisted that we stay with them at the new condo they had purchased in Delray Beach. It seems that Pom- pano Beach was getting a bit too crowded to suit both Uncle Nick and Aunt Dor- othy, so they headed a few miles north. Well, we headed to Delray Beach and Aunt Dorothy and Loretta hit it off right away. They shopped together, lunched together and just hung out with one another, leaving me and Uncle Nick to hang around the pool and the beach to work on our tans. Music is slow in Florida during the summer as most of the winter residents are in the northern states. Be- ginning in the late fall, these "snow birds" return to the warm weather and the social functions happen just about every night. For Uncle Nick, this meant donning his tuxedo and heading to a yacht club, a country club or someone's home to play and entertain with the bands he had joined. During the next couple of years, Loretta and I ventured to Florida during the school vacations, but if they were during the height of the tourist season, Uncle Nick wouldn't be home at night. One day, we planned to travel during the following sum- mer. Work would be slow for Uncle Nick and Aunt Dor- othy discovered that several of the luxury resorts, rather than closing for the summer and losing a good part of their staff, would stay open and offer cut-rate packages to local Florida residents. She took advantage of this and that next summer, we traveled to the Keys, then Naples and back to Florida's Gold Coast. During the height of the tourist season, there was no way we could afford the prices they asked, but during the summer, we stayed for a fraction of the cost and enjoyed ourselves just as much. Son John was born on May 5 in 1981 and at three months of age, he was intro- duced to Uncle Nick and Aunt Dorothy. Michael came along in November of 1983 and my two kids became the grandchildren my uncle and aunt would never have. I realized at that point that Loretta and I were the chil- dren they never had and I was touched by the outcome. Well, both Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Nick are no longer with us, but the memories of traveling as a family will linger forever. Every time my kids are home, they reminisce about those days in Florida with their great uncle and aunt ... what won- derful memories. GOD, BLESS AM.E,.C, , ICE Arrest 13 (Continued victed of the following crimes: firearm offense; possession and distribution of cocaine; and possession and distribu- tion of marijuana. A national of the Domini- can Republic who was con- victed of the following crimes: possession of heroin; and aggravated assault and battery. "This operation, teamed with our routine targeting of criminal aliens, is an ex- ample of some of the many tools that ICE uses to effec- tively reduce crime at the street level in communities throughout Massachusetts," added Archibeque. This enforcement action was spearheaded by ICE's National Criminal Alien Pro- gram, which is responsible for locating, arresting and removing at-large criminal aliens. The officers who con- ducted the operation received substantial assistance from ICE's Law Enforcement Sup- port Center (LESC) located in Williston, VT. ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration en- forcement that targets seri- ous criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our com- munities, such as those charged with or convicted of homicide, rape, robbery, kid- napping, major drug offenses and threats to national se- from Page 2) curity. ICE also prioritizes the arrest and removal of those who game the immi- gration system including immigration fugitives or those criminal aliens who have been previously de- ported and illegally re-en- tered the country. Largely as a result of these initiatives, for three years in a row, ICE has re- moved more aliens than were removed in fiscal year 2008. Overall, in FY 2011 ICE removed 396,906 indi- viduals nationwide -- the largest number in the agency's history. Of these, nearly 55 percent or 216,698 of the people removed were convicted of felonies or mis- demeanors -- an 89 percent increase in the removal-of criminals since FY 2008. This includes 1,119 aliens convicted of homicide; 5,848 aliens convicted of sexual offenses; 44,653 aliens con- victed of drug related crimes; and 35,927 aliens convicted of driving under the influence. ICE achieved similar results with regard to other categories priori- tized for removal. Ninety per- cent of all ICE's removals fell into a priority category and more than two-thirds of the other removals in 2011 were either recent border crossers or repeat immigra- tion violators. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security. ICE is a 21 st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number ,of key homeland security priorities. For more information, visit www,lCE,gov. To report suspicious activity, call 1-866-347-2423 or complete our tip form. POST-GAZETTE EAST BOSTON SATELLITE OFFICE is NOW OPEN MARIE MATARESE 35 Bennington Street, East Boston 617.227.8929 TUES. 10:00 A.M. - 3.00 P.M. THURS. 11:00 A.M.- 2:00 P.M. General Advertisements Sales and Rentals Memorials Legals ADVERTISING WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE I ..... 1t ,, D[],,, , 1 , ]]-:7 i:l]!Ilfl]t ]] 7ili7!.!1tlq1111111II11111II!11111 - "