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June 1, 2012     Post-Gazette
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June 1, 2012

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Page2 POST-GAZETTE, dUNE1,2012 Stir ep_00 Nostra by Prof. Edmund Turiello A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. CHOW During the cena, when hunger's needs were satis- fied, the diner usually turned on his left side and rested on his elbow with the aid of a cushion. The couch of honor was always that opposite the empty side of the table. This place was usually reserved for the host or a very important guest. Other guest s were assigned places in order of their im- portance, first on the left side and then on the right. The "mensa" or serving table came in all varieties and shapes. The simplest had round tops and three legs. They were made of wood or white marble. Some were very costly and were regarded as heirlooms. Wood tops were cut to display a great variety of markings and curling veins. The feet were often made of ivory and were beautifully carved. Table tops were often over- laid with plates of gold, sil- ver or bronze, and some were inlaid with jewels. According to present day values, some of these tables could easily be valued at fifty to one hun- dred thousand dollars. No table cloths were used, the mensa was either cleaned DOWN IN OLD ROME, between courses or the en- tire table was carried away and a clean one substituted. The first part of the meal was called "frigida mensa" (cold table). This part consisted mostly of shell fish, vegetables with savory sauces, olives, mushrooms, and eggs. The drink was a mixture of wine and honey called "mulsum." This was followed by the cena proper which contained at least three courses called the "prima, altera and tertia cenas." Each course was brought in on a tray called the "repositorium" which was made of fine wood or of silver. The arrangement of the food on the trays was a work of art and was per- formed by a "structor." Between each course the repositorium was carried away and the following course brought in. Meat was sometimes expertly sliced at the table by a "carptor" (carver) or a "scissor" (split- ter). The kinds of foods served at luxurious dinner parties are too numerous to list, but it is said that they contained all of the products of land, sea, rivers and air. Consuming the enormous PART III amounts of food that was served at these gastronomi- cal orgies could never be accomplished without re- sorting to an often used but seldom talked about indoor sport called "forced vomit- ing." Rules for this famous Roman up-chuck were laid down by physicians. These rules contained specific instructions regarding ... how to ... and when to, but common courtesy dictated ... where to. For this purpose, the well designed domus of the wealthy Roman con- tained a special room with special equipment. After the cena proper was finished, the table was removed and offerings to the household gods were thrown into the hearth. When it was felt that the gods were satisfied, a short period of silence was observed. A salt- cellar and some meat were placed before a shrine and then they went back to "mensa secundae" (dessert). This consisted of pastry, fresh and dried fruits, apples, grapes and probably a double brioschi. NEXT WEEK: Chow Down in Old Rome, PartlV Eucharistic Congress by Bennett Molinari and Richard Molinari Recently, a neighbor commented, "It is never dull living in the North End." As life- long residents of the storied neighborhood, we agreed whole-heartedly, the North End with its layers of historical events and eth- nic groups is unique among the neighbor- hoods of Boston, lending itself as both an interesting and welcoming place to live. Through the years, the North End has played host to a vast number of events none more colorful than the annual feasts that take place throughout the summer season. The Fifth Annual Eucharistic Congress sponsored by the Archdiocese of Boston, a,oPasO owsamso CaaO Ima 6 Ilaao&  GWmaiSO J P=  c,,,= so) l]Oma ( ScSO ta aa cao,mn, s On behalf of the Archdiocese of Boston join us in saying thank you to all of the restaurants, stores and individuals, who helped to make tl year's Eucharistic Congress possible!   a.frtaa % N 1tla s l'ama 641t SO recently concluded, is among the very special events that takes place in our neigh- borhood each year. Hosted by Saint Leonard Parish, for two days hundreds of college students and young adults are offered the opportunity to participate and become involved with Christian service, meet new people and listen to both interesting and inspiring speakers. Eucharistic Congresses are described as gatherings of ecclesiastics and laymen for the purpose of celebrating and glorifying the Holy Eucharist and of seeking the best means to spread its knowledge and love throughout the world. The great advantage of these congresses comes in their ability to make known to the participants the means by which devotion towards the Holy Eucharist may be promoted and implanted in the hearts of the people. The first congress owed its inspiration to Bishop Gaston de Sdgur and was held at Lille, France, June 21, 1881. The idea at first was merely local and met with few adherents, but it grew from year to year with an ever-increasing importance. Through the years, these Congresses have taken place in many cities and have been attended by countless thousands. Smaller monthly gatherings con- tinue to take place at Saint Leonard Church as they have in past years, in anticipation of next year's, Sixth Eucharistic Congress. Remember Your Loved Ones The Post-Gazette accepts memorials throughout the year. Please call 617'22 7-8929 Res Publica Don't Write When You Can Talk. Don't Talk When You Can Nod Your Head. Many Post-Gazette readers will recognize the saying, by Martin Lomasney, that heads this column. It is one of the few things ever uttered by Lomasney (1859-1933) that made it into writing. Lomasney, as Democrat Ward Boss of Boston's old Ward Eight (now Ward Three), is one of Boston's most storied political figures. Lomasney himself gave, in an interview with reporter Lincoln Steffens, probably the best definition of "ward boss" when he said, "There's got to be in every ward somebody that any bloke can come to -- no matter what he's done -- and get help. Help, you understand; none of your law and justice, but help." In return for that help the boss expected the bloke to vote the way the boss dictated. The ward bosses of the 19 t and early 20  century had tremendous power. With the power of the bosses came enemies. On March 7, 1894 Lomasney received a bullet wound in the leg in an unsuccessful assassination attempt. His assailant, James A. Dunan, blamed Lomasney for a dispute he had with the Boston Board of Health. Dunan told a policeman at the scene, "I had a good reason for doing it. If you knew as much as I do, you would have done it yourself. He is a villain and anything but a friend of the unemployed." Lomasney is reported to have said some- thing along the lines of, "The people didn't think an awful lot of aldermen, but they didn't think we ought to be shot without a fair trial." As for Dunan, he was committed to the Worcester insane asylum. Martin (the "Mahatma") Lomasney is the subject of a show at the West End Museum. The exhibit, which runs through August 4 th, is curated by West End Museum Executive Director Duane Lucia. The exhibit reception takes place on June 16 th at 6:00 pm and is free and open to the public. Guests will enjoy light refreshments, including the "Ward Eight" a cocktail created in 1898 at Locke-Ober in honor of Lomasney's election to the state legislature and the district largely responsible for his victory. Recipe for the Ward Eight Cocktail 2 ounces rye whiskey V2 ounce fresh lemon juice V ounce fresh orange juice 1 teaspoon grenadine Maraschino cherry (optional) DIVORCE CRIMINAL LAW OFFICES OF FRANK J. CIANO GENERAL PRACTICE OF LAW WILLS ESTATE PLANNING TRUSTS PERSONAL INJURY WORKERSCOMP. 617-354-9400 Si Parla Italiano 230 MSGR. O'BRIEN HIGHWAY CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS 02141 Hazardous Waste, Tires & Propane Tanks Drop-off for Boston Residents New: No Latex Paint (oil-based paint only) Saturday, June 9 9:00am to 2:00pm UMass Parking Lot, Morrissey Bird Saturday, June 30 9:00am to 2:00pm Public Works Yard, 315 Gardner St, West Roxbury Residents may bring up to 50 pounds of products labeled toxic, flammable, reactive, corrosive, or poisonous; such as: motor oil, pesticides, solvents, glues, cleaners, weed killers, photo chemicals, pool chemicals, car batteries. NO COMPUTERS, MONITORS, TVs, OR ELECTRONICS NO COMMERCIAL WASTE ACCEPTED The City reserves the right to reject materials PROOF OF RESIDENCY REQUIRED Boston Public Works Department Thomas M. Menino, Mayor; Joanne R Massaro, Commissioner For more information, please call 617-635-4500 or visit