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June 7, 2013     Post-Gazette
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June 7, 2013

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Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, JUNE 7, 2013 L'AnnoBello:4YearinltalianFolklore 007or by Ally MYDiFather order tinues Censo to toSUpprt be an his active family, and however, engaging He pres- con- !  /'"'''" ! ('"  / rkLlJ   1' '/'  "I ence even when spending downtime with by Sal Giarratani "Here I am with my father Rocco and my older brother Dan." Some people have to look far and wide to find a hero. I don't. I have my father. My father, Rocco Di Censo, was born on August 16 th in Sulmona, Italy. He typifies the quintessential Leo personality: caring, selfless, generous, funny and magnetic. He has the rare ability to charm anyone with the power of his smile alone, lighting up a room with a jolt whenever he enters. My father makes friends no matter where he goes; people are just naturally drawn to my father's sincere and friendly nature, espe- cially since we live in a world where irony and sarcasm seem to rule. Being at home with Dad means listening to silly Italian shows at top volume, random bouts of tap dancing and impromptu trips to fun locales. It is impossible to stay sad around my father. In addition, my father's story exemplifies that of the hard-working and intelligent Italian immigrant. My father canne to the United States from Italy.when lae was a young man and received engineeering de- grees from Northeastern Univer'sity and Wentworth Institute of Technology. When- ever I am driving through Boston and look at bridges and highways, I take pride in the fact that my father had a hand in the city's infrastructure. Dad's hard work didn't just end with the long hours he put into work in all of us. As the most scientifically-minded of the family, my father would always take time in the evenings to help me with my math homework when I was in high school (trust me, the stereotype that historians can't do math is one-hundred percent true in my case). He always stayed up late to watch old comedy movies with my brother, and when I was little, our weekend days were spent playing soccer. I am so fortunate to have such a caring father. Finally, I can thank my Dad more than anyone else for my deep interest in Italian folklore and traditions. My father always ensured that my brother and I remained proud and aware of our Italian heritage. He is the one who brings panettone and turrone home for Christmas, and a uovo di Pascua for Easter. He always calls me over to watch Italian programs with him, especially those that deal with Italian geography, history or traditions. While I never quite inherited any athletic genes from him, I do enjoy accom- panying my father to the parties thrown by the fan club of an Italian soccer team, Juventus, to which he belongs. Now that I write for The Post-Gazette, I know that I can turn to Dad whenever I need more informa- tion about Italian customs. All I have to do is tell him the topic of my next article, and he returns home from work with stacks of papers detailing Italian folk practices. Through my father's plethora of stories about his life in Italy and the superstitions and customs with which he was raised, I have developed a strong sense of identity and a keen awareness of my Italian heri- tage. In short, my father is one of the main reasons I blossomed into the young woman I am today. This Father's Day, I want to thank Dad for all the love and support he has given me. And to all the fathers out there, I would like to give this message: Never underestimate your influence. Dads are powerful forces in their children's lives, and caring fathers equip their daughters and sons with the strength and confidence to face life's chal- lenges. Happy Father's Day to alll And Daddy: t/ voglio molto bene. Ally Di Censo is a Graduate Student in History at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She appreciates any comments and suggestions about Italian holidays and folklore at adicenso89@gmail, com. NEAA ALL-STAR GAME SPONSORS NEEDED The North End Athletic Association Youth Majors Baseball Program (Boys & Girls ages 8 to 12) will have their annual All-Star Game on Thursday evening June 27 th at Langone Field in the North End. This year's game will feature the NEAA All-Star Team vs the Hill House All-Star Team. NEAA is looking for spon- sors for this baseball ex- travaganza, which will fea- ture a BBQ for all the players and fans. A free Red Sox ticket raffle for all the players and also MVP and Defensive Players of the Game awards. Each of the NEAA All-Stars will receive All-Star Medals at title NEAA Annual Banquet heldl later in the year. Boston Harbors;ide Home Joseph A. Langone NEW LOCATION 580 Commercial St. - Boston, MA 02109 617-536-4110 Augustave M. Sabia, Jr. Trevor Slauenwhite Frederick J. Wobrock Dino C. Manca Courtney A. Fitzgbbons A Service Family Affiliate of AFFS/Service Corporation International 206 Winter St., Fall River, MA 02720 Telephone 508-676-2454 J Sponsors will help cover the cost of the BBQ, special All-Star hats for each player, Red Sox tickets for the player raffles, the Umpires for the game and the All-Star medals. The cost of the event will be approximately $1,800. We are looking for sponsors of any amount, no amount is too small. We are also looking for a few gift certifi- cates and any sports related tickets, memorabilia or sim- ilar for our raffle. Checks can be made to: NEAA, c/o John Romano, 30 North Bennet Street, Boston, MA 02113. We appreciate everyone's support and hope there will be a big turnout at the game to cheer on all of the players. 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. FJ.B. Facing Down Fear on Freeport Street "We must heed young Martin Richards' (the 8-year-old Dorchester boy killed in the Marathon bombings) call: 'No more hurting people.' We have to put an end to violence in our neighborhoods and the senseless scourge of guns." -- Mayor Thomas M. Menino On a recent evening while stopping by the office of the Boston City Paper newspaper on Freeport Street in Dor- chester, I was at my car in the parking lot when I noticed getting a long stare from three youths passing by the lot. I was nervous. It was late and no one else was around. Yes, they were three black boys in their late teens. I'm an older guy just retired. I was relieved when they disappeared out of view. However, moments later they returned. One walked directly toward me and asked ff I had a cell phone. My blood pressure started rising. It was too late for flight, so I put on my best Charles Bronson face and told the kids, I had no phone. I stood my ground and at that point all I was armed with was my chutz- pah. He looked at me and I at him and he blinked first and left the lot with his friends. I was a police officer for 27 years and have had these moments before but never alone. I always had someone at my back. However, not this evening! I can see why more and more citizens are seeking to become gun owners. The world keeps getting more dangerous and it gets closer and closer to us all the time. I am sure my hubris made the trio nervous that I might be armed. As they say, "Most criminals prefer unarmed victims." Recently, Mothers for Jus- tice and Equality held its 17 th Annual Mother's Day Walk for Peace. It was preceded and followed by yet newer acts of violence. I keep hear- ing folks within the affected neighborhoods of the city liv- ing with constant violence demanding that the police do more. One minister inquired at a recent meeting at the Baker House about having the police lock-down crime- ridden areas as was done fol- lowing the Marathon bomb- ings and manhunt for the killers. Most at the meeting rejected that idea but the fact it was even raised is concerning. I have nothing but sup- port for groups that organ- ize this Annual Mother's Day Walk for Peace every May. However, actions speak louder than words or annual marches. People continue to be shot and killed in Matta- pan, Dorchester and Roxbury and none of it will stop unless the communities involved stand up together and face down their collective fears together. On May 12 th, over 5,000 walkers, many who had lost loved ones to violence par- ticipated in the Mother's Day march. Some chanted slogans like, "One, two, three, four -- no more vio- lence at my door." Everyone is tired of the violence but yet it continues and too many seem to accept it as part of their daily living. Mothers for Justice and Equality was founded by a group of mothers who have lost children to violence. Their message is: The death of our children is not okay. Monalisa Smith from Roxbury is the president of this mother's group and in a recent letter in the Boston Herald, she stated, "Urban mothers can no longer assure the safety of their children by making sure they are home before dark. Shootings take place as children are on their way home from school. The cumulative effect of the vio- lence is whole neighbor- hoods suffer from trauma. There is little outrage among the wider public." I beg to differ with this point to a point. Where is the outrage from within these commu- nities under siege of con- stant violence? President Obama recently delivered a commencement speech at Morehouse College in Atlanta and told graduates (Continued on Page 14) Since 1969 FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS AUTO * HOMEOWNERS * TENANTS COMMERCIAL Experience makes the difference 209 BROADWAY, REVERE, MA 02151 Tel. 781.284.1100 Fax 781.284.2200 Free Parking Adjacent to Building