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May 6, 2011     Post-Gazette
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May 6, 2011

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POST-GAZETTE, MAY 6, 2011 Page13 Mom had told me that Babbononno loved dogs. By the time I came along, the only pet I remember was Tippi the cat, which was Nanna's pet. When my mother and her brothers were young, Babbononno had a dog. I believe it was a German Sheppard, but I'm not sure. The only story I re- member about the dog was based on a happening when my mother and her girl- friend, Ada Giorgione, were about 15 or 16. (Years later, Ada would marry Uncle Nick, but the marriage would dis- integrate during WWlI.) The girls were in their mid teens and Mom had asked Babbononno if she could go to the movies with Ada. It was a Sunday afternoon, and evidently there was a film showing at the Seville The- ater that they desperately wanted to see. Babbononno reluctantly gave his okay, looked at his pocket watch and told Mom what time to be home. She and Ada later headed to the theater which, being a local neighborhood movie house, always had double features, usually a B level film preceded by a car- toon or short subject and fol- lowed by the main feature. Ada and Morn arrived after the first film had begun, settled in and watched the rest of it and then saw the main feature. Seeing that this was a Sunday, the Seville ran its films con- tinuously. Morn and Ada decided to stay and see the part of the first film they had missed. Not returning home at the time Babbo- nonno had given to his daughter, he decided to head to the theater to retrieve her and her girlfriend. First, he attached a leash to the German Sheppard, exited the house at 70 Eutaw Street, walked with the dog to Meridian Street, headed south toward Cen- tral Square and entered the outer lobby of the Seville abb.6Jnonn by John Christoforo with the dog. In his fractured English, Babbononno told the person collecting tickets that he wanted to pick up his daughter. The dog must have had an intimidating appearance, as my grandfather was not stopped at the entrance, nor did any usher stop him as he entered the lobby and headed for the orchestra area where he knew the girls would he sitting. Once inside, he waited until his vision and the dog became adjusted to the dark. He then unhooked the dog from the leash, and in Italian, told the dog to find Angelina, my mother's name in Italian. The dog then wandered through the orchestra seats sniffing out the patrons who began squirming, lifting their legs and yelling about a loose dog. Finally locating the girls, the dog barked for Babbononno, who followed the sounds of his dog and found the two girls sitting to- gether. He yelled at them and they immediately got up to leave with my grandfa- ther. Hitching the dog up to the leash, Ada, my mother, Babbononno and the dog left the theater and headed home. They were repri- manded for not being home on time and tried to explain the circumstance, but Babbononno grounded my mother for a week in spite of Nanna trying to explain to her husband the situation as she understood it. The dog was long gone by the time I was born, but Nanna had an orange and white cat named Tippi. Tippi was her bilingual pet. She spoke English to the cat as Beagsley Domenic Christoforo, the Wonder Dog. did Morn. Babbononno spoke only Italian to the cat, but the animal seemed to un- derstand everything that was said. He was Nanna's cat, though. I remember, one day, Tippi brought a present home and dropped it at Nanna's feet, a mouse it had just killed. I don't ever remember my grandmother swearing at anything or any- one at any time, except this once. She started swearing and dropping Avellinese F bombs at the cat loud enough for everyone to come run- ning toward her location to see what was wrong. I guess I inherited my love for animals, especially dogs from my grandparents. When we lived in East Bos- ton, we didn't have any pets, but when we moved to Belmont, one of the first things I did was accept a puppy from a friend who had bought it but couldn't keep it due to restrictions at her apartment building. Tammy session and someone looked ,1 at the medallion hanging ! from his collar. The vet's ! name and number were listed on the metal disc and a cell phone call to the vet t prompted her to call me. ] A Nostalgic Remembrance When I arrived at the field, i ....... I discovered that the dog had stationed himself at 2nd was my dog while I lived at base and had actually home, but after I was on my stopped a couple of ground- own, it became my father's faithful follower. When he was home, the dog never left his side. When Tammi had to be put down years later, Loretta and I inherited a Keeshond and gave it to my folks to fill the void left by the absence of a pet. After my kids came along, a woman who taught with Loretta told us that her beagle had had pups. She asked us to take one and the kids picked one out of the lit- ter. He was the cutest little thing with orangish brown and white coloring like many beagles. The kids decided to name him Beagsley and he quickly became part of the family. Seeing he was now part of an Italian family, he became Beagsley Domenic Christoforo. The back yard had to be sealed off to allow the dog to wander around without wan- dering away, so I put in a chain link fence which Beagsley disliked, but it was safer that way. The only problem I remember oc- curred one Saturday after- noon when I got a call from the dog's vet. I answered the phone and the voice on the other end said, "It's Saturday afternoon. Do you know where your dog is?" I asked who was calling and when the vet told me who she was, I explained that the dog was in the back yard. She then told me to check, and when I did, I discovered that the dog wasn't there. Some how, he had gotten out and wan- dered to a Little League field near the house. He decided to join the game that was in ers. The coach told me that he was better than the kid he had playing 2nd base, but the player covering the base had to be a human, not a dog. I leashed up the dog and took him home much to his chagrin. Beagsley loved the water. When the kids were young, we had a boat that was moored at the Medford Boat Club and whenever we headed out, Beagsley's feet were firmly planted on the front deck. He was the navi- gator or lookout and led the way for us. Those were great times and he grew up with my kids, John and Michael. For some' reason, whenever Dean Saluti and Margie Cahn came over, Beagsley loved to jump on their laps and be lovey dovey. They weren't too happy with this, but never really said any- thing to keep peace in the family. When the boys went off to college, Beagsley became my dog and we grew older to- gether. Three years ago this summer, he had too many things wrong with him and we had to put him down. Michael was off doing a film, but John was home and stayed with Beagsley at the vet's office until it was all over. To keep his memory alive, we use his name daily. I have his name immortalized in our email address. In the future, if any of you would like to get in touch, you can email me at How's that for a memorial to a dog?. GOD BLESS AMERICA ! 1 t ! ,t :4 d The Socially Set (Continued from Page 9) ACCEPTING Advertisements The Big Apple Circus continues its run at City Hall Plaza through Sunday, May 15. For tickets and more information, call 888-541-3750. (Photo by Bertrand Guay) Village presented the first lifetime achievement award to Ken Burns himself in 2008 in honor of his many award- winning documentary films. Old Sturbridge Village, one of the oldest and largest living history museums in the country, celebrates New England life in the 1830s. The museum, famous for its costumed interpreters, has 59 historic buildings on 200 acres, three water-powered mills, two covered bridges, a working farm with heritage breed animals, and a stage- coach that visitors can ride. OSV is open year-round. For more information, call 1- 800-SEE- 1830 or visit Enjoy! (Be sure to visit Hilda Morrill's gardening Web site, 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.) Ken Shallow 617.59 6211 Fully Insured Lic #017936 Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning Sales, Service & Installation kenskjs @ 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. :! 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