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June 7, 2013     Post-Gazette
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June 7, 2013

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POST-GAZETTE, JUNE 71 2d13 Page 5 S i rn p l e TIMES by Girard A. Plante As we saluted, honored and remembered our veter- ans living and deceased this Memorial Day, I write the third column in as many years about my 92-year-old friend Armando, a veteran and hero of WWII. Armando passed away Friday, May 24 th at 5:00 p.m. in the safe and loving pres- ence of his youngest daugh- ter and wife Mary, whom he married 64 years ago af- ter courting her during WWII. And so it is a fitting trib- ute that Armando should peacefully leave her, their family and the nation he loved and safeguarded the month we honor our heroes and heroines of wars past. Affectionately known by many friends -- most he knew for decades -- as the "Mayor of Auburndale," Armando could be seen every spring, summer and fall tidying up nearly every open-space of the village he and Mary adopted soon after the end of WWII. Every fabric of community goings on pulsed with Armando's selfless giving. His patient perseverance proved infectious as he cul- tivated working re}ation- ships with Newton officials so he could get diseased trees cut down, a load of mulch dumped next to the fountain to spread around trees dotting the village business district and re- ceive bread from the neigh- borhood bakery to bring to food banks in Waltham and Watertown. He grew up with grand- parents who came from Italy in the 1880s. His mother taught him to speak Italian so he could converse with his grandparents and neigh- bors from Italy. He spoke English as he and his five siblings went to school in their hometown of West Haven, Connecticut. After WWII, Armando hum- bly took advantage of the G.I. Bill and earned a college education at Boston Univer- sity. He educated young minds for four decades in Newton and Wayland public schools. On numerous occasions, I witnessed students he taught long ago stop to chat whenever seeing Armando in the corner market or out- doors mowing the lawn at the village fountain or prun- ing trees along Common- wealth Avenue. Greatness never grows old nor fades away. And with America's Great- est Generation, we Baby Boomers and ensuing gen- erations, are blessed as for the past 70 years these giv- ers provided gifts to a nation free from tyranny and in po- sition to daily better the lives of its citizens and oth- ers across the planet. Upon receiving recogni- tion for his tireless efforts through the years, Armando graciously took time to thank community leaders and neighbors who honored him for serving others. My final visit with Armando and Mary, four days before he passed, saw him true to cheery charac- ter sifting through poems he wrote. One favorite he read aloud. It brought special meaning of a tree's delicate beauty to him. He remi- nisced about learning the Act of Contrition and Our Father from nuns in Catho- lic school and from "my won- derful mother." The one anecdote that Armando shared with me, which shall stay in my memory more vividly than the hundreds of stories he spoke, is this: "The happiest day of my mother's life ar- rived when me and my brother Joe walked up the sidewalk to hug her as she stood on the top step of our home's front porch, tears streaming down her tanned cheeks, after our call to duty in World War II was finished." Though his earthly absence will be immensely missed by myself and the many folks who are blessed to have known him, Armando's spirit shall for- ever be with us. Again, he is happily reunited with his brother Joseph, mother, father and two other sib- lings who have gone before him. The world is a better place because Armando helped make that way. N.E. W.H.B.A Fest The N.E.W.H.B.A (North End Waterfront Health-and Beauty Alliance) and the Friends of Christopher Columbus Park have come together to create N.E.W.H.B.A Fest, a day focused on beauty and exercise for all of Boston, free of charge. The N.E.W.H.B.A is an organization dedicated to the growth of healthy lifestyles in the historic North End Boston Neighborhood and surrounding com- munity. The activities include free exercise classes such as yoga, pilates and bootcamp from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, all day Health and Beauty Expo and live music from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The event will take place on Sat- urday, June 22 "d at Christopher Columbus Park. Little City Garden Program Offered Saturday June 15 th Free Seed, Sow & Grow Programs Hosted by Boston Natural Areas Network Containers can be a creative way for the urban gardener to grow food, herbs and flow- ers. Whether you are struggling to make the most of your limited garden space or simply want to decorate your front steps, this pro- gram will help you create beautiful and pro- ductive container gardens. BNAN garden edu- cator Caitlin Goslin will be joined by other expert gardeners who will cover the tech- niques used to design, construct and main- tain container gardens so you can grow food and plants on stairs, balconies and patios. BNAN's horticultural series Seed, Sow & Grow, Container Gardening program will take place from 9:00 to 11:00 am at City Natives, 30 Edgewater Dr., Mattapan. The program is limited so Registration is re- quired and registering early is recom- mended. To register call 617-542-7696 or email Winthrop Lodge #2057 Installs New Members Recently installed as new members of Winthrop Mixed Lodge #2057 Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA) are Jane Howell, pictured with her sponsor, husband Arthur "Skip" Marcella and Anthony E. Avallone being pinned by his sponsor and cousin, Past President Janis AvaUone LaRosee. Past National OSIA President Atty. Philip R. Boncore acted as Harold and Lodge President Atty. Joseph A. Boncore welcomed both Jane and Anthony + into the Winthrop OSIA family. , Ru. yore cow, mow m ISUU Per Ounce! 24K 781-286-CASH We Buy Diamonds, GoM and Silver lewelrylWlL We Buy Gold and Silver Coins Jl - 9 OX 345 Broadway, Revere -- EXTRA SPENDING MONEY-- Hours lO-5:30 pm every day. Saturdays until 3:3O pm Learn to Speak Italian this Summer at the Dante Alighieri Society Adult Italian Language School In Cambridge, MA Registrations Are Now Being Accepted Classes wiil be held on Tuesday Evenings from 7 pm to 9:30 pm Starting June 11 and Ending July 30 Tuition $200 For Detailed Course Information Visit K 3 Mec h Fullylnsured Lic #017936 anical Heating & Air Conditioning Sales, Service & Installation Ken Shallow 617.593.6211 f LUCIA RISTORANTE & BAR Traditional Italian Cuisine 415 Hanover Street, Boston 617.367.2353 11 MountVernon Street, Winchester 781.729.0515 Pr+v,h Fu.dio. [oorns fop ontj Occasion CPisteni. 9 B+.I Show+ Bo. Show+ Biikciml [e,,eovemcnt, Ek. Donato I:mttarolJ donato @