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June 8, 2012     Post-Gazette
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Page2 POST-AZETFB, <JUNE 8.2012 Stir00 by Prof. Edmund Turiello Nostra of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. CHOW Between courses of the cena (dinner) described in the previous issues, the ministratorii (waiters) kept the cups filled with a variety of fine wines. There were French and Falernian wines and also those which were blended with resin and pine pitch. After dinner wines were always mixed with warm or cooled water and never taken full strength. A ceremonial drinking match or "Roman chug-a-lug" usu- ally followed the meal in which the cups were emp- tied in one draught. It was considered to be the exclu- sive right of the host to pre- scribe the amount of wine to be poured into the cups and the number of rounds for all to drink. Guests soon began to propose toasts which soon turned the affair into a "com- issatio" (wild drinking party). There were toasts to some- one'S mistress (as many toasts as there were letters in her name). Toasts were also drunk to the emperor, government officials, army officers, the head of the house, the birds, the bees, you name it and they would drink to it. Entertainment was also provided between courses. These amusements were called "acroamata" and would consist of readings, DOWN IN OLD ROME poetry, music, riddles, lot- tery, clowns and lascivious dances by Spanish maidens. Considering all of the "Stirpe Nostra" columns to date, with their humorous inferences or summations, nothing seems to compare with the ancient Roman attitude towards flatulence (stomach gas). With most eastern cultures as well as with the Romans, the good old after dinner belch was considered a politeness and a compliment to the host. Even the most learned felt that the greatest wisdom was to follow the dictates of nature. The great Emperor Claud- ius, at one time, had seri- ously considered enacting a law permitting other emis- sions of wind in public places (probably through an emis- sion control center). This was an act from which even those liberal easterners refrained. Doctors suggested to their patients that they take full advantage of the attitudes and liberties fa- vored by this well-meaning but effervescent emperor. Old Roman music of this kind was not absent from the triclinium of even the fa- mous "Trimalchio" who, at one time was reported to have said, "I have such rum- - PART IV blings inside of me that I fear the presence of a wild bull" and advised his guests not to risk injury to their health through self restraint. He also announced that as far as he was concerned, any- one could relieve himself in the dining room any time he was so inclined. However, even this ill bred Trimalchio had the decency to leave the room when liquid emissions were necessary. More than one vulgar host simply snapped his fingers for a slave to bring in an empty wine jug which had just been relieved of its precious con- tents and then replaced, with uncanny measure, all of the wine which had recently been drunk from it while the unfortunate slave on bended knee attempted to guide the jug or the person to prevent priceless marble floor mosa- ics from being defiled (what a spot for a candid camera). Finally, as I sit here before my trusty Underwood up- right I can't help but wonder ... when a dinner guest took advantage of his host's lib- eral attitude toward the emission of wind ... if all of the other guests took time from their feasting to turn and say ... "figlio maschile." NEXT WEEK: The Dinner of Trimalchio CAN POLICE USE STUDENT ID IN CRIMINAL CASE? The Supreme Judicial Court has ordered Suffolk Juvenile Court Judge Leslie Harris, to explore whether the privacy rights of Boston public school students are violated when their student ID cards are given to Boston police for photo arrays. The SJC said itneeded more in- by Sal Giarntani formation from the judge be- fore deciding the constitu- tionality of the practice, which was used in 2009 as police investigated an armed robbery between two public school students. In the court case, the judge barred police and Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley from using the photo array as evidence for prosecution. The questions to be decided are: if police need to obtain a warrant ex- plicitly authorizing the use of the image from the stu- dent ID card and do public school students have a reasonable expectation of privacy with ID cards? Hazardous Waste, Tires & Propane Tanks Drop-off for Boston Residents d 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 www, cityofboston.gov/recycling 5inat, ra Live with the Strictly Sinatra Live Orchestra .JUNE 14-17, 2012 Join the Strictly Sinatra Live Orchestra featuring Richard DeLuca and Michael Dutra for six shows at the Stoneham Theatre, lo- cated at 395 Main Street in Stoneham, MA. These tal- ented "Franks" cover your favorite tunes spanning Sinatra's career. For tickets or further information, please call 781-279-2200 or log on to w w w. s tonehamtheatre, org. Res Publica by David TrumbuU America: Prodigy of Modern Times, the Wonder and the Blessing of the World From last week's subject, Martin Lomasney, remem- bered for saying, "Don't write when you can talk, don't talk when you can nod." I turn to a man who was never shy about speaking. Daniel Webster, one of our greatest ora- tors, in his 1825 address at the laying of the corner-stone of the Bunker Hill Monument, took the occasion to sketch a history of America of her people and their character. In the introductory paragraphs he sets forth the purposes of the speech: (1) to move the listeners to an appreciation of the sacrifices of their ancestors; (2) to place the Battle of Bunker Hill as a pivot point in American history and (3) to sketch a likely future of American prosperity. He begins, not with the battle, nor even the War of Independence, but with the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus and continues through the early English settlements of North America -- in New England in 1620 by the Protestant Pilgrim Fathers and in Maryland in 1634 by Roman Catholics -- passing to "that prodigy of modern times, at once the wonder and the blessing of the world," the American Revolution. Webster justifies the erection of a monument to the first great battle of the revo- lution by pointing to the happiness and prosperity of America fifty years later, to the New World generally shaking off European colonialism and to both Europe and American progressing in knowledge, legislation, commerce, in the arts, in letters and in freedom since the American Revolu- tion inaugurated a new age in the world. Returning to the subject at hand, Webster addresses the survivors of the Battle of Bunker Hill, about 40 of them, present. He pays homage, by name, to some the heroes of that battle who have since been gathered to their fathers. Finally, he addresses all the veterans of the Revolutionary War. Having addressed the men who had served in the war, Webster turns to the narration of the events leading to and proceeding from, the Battle of Bunker Hill. He traces the conflict to the Intolerable Acts passed by the British Parlia- ment in 1774. He discourses on how the British suppres- sion of Boston, rather than bringing the other colonies back to obedience to British authority, drove the 13 colonies to- gether in a common rebellion against British outrages. He rehearses how resistance to British misrule turned bloody at the April 19, 1775 Battles of Lexington and Concord and how New England united with "one cause, one country, one heart" for the June 17, 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill. Bunker Hill, he asserts, transformed the patriot cause from a local insurrection to a full-blown war of independence and in- spired the world by showing that Americans were prepared to die for freedom. NEXT WEEK: Part 2 of Webster's 1tBunker Hill Oration. Flag Day Celebration in Quincy by Sal Giarratani The City of Quincy will be holding its 61 st Annual Flag Day Celebration. It has become one of the largest such celebrations in America and is set for Saturday, June 16. The parade will start at 7:00 pm and the fireworks will be going off at approximately 9:15 pm. Mayor Tom Koch's father started this Quincy tradition back in 1951. The parade starts off near the Church of the Presidents in Quincy Square and then marches down Hancock Street to Merrymount Parkway, ending at Pageant Field. The fire- works will be launched from nearby Black's Creek. The mayor who is also the chairman of the Flag Day Committee stated that this celebration "is truly one of my favorite days of the year. You actually feel the entire city is together. Originally, this was a very small parade led by the mayor's father Richard Koch with hundreds of the city's children carrying American flags as members of the Koch Club. In over six decades it has grown into a full-fledged parade with marching units and bands from across the South Shore.