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June 30, 2017

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POST-GAZETTE, JUNE 30, 2017 PAGE 9 ....... i~ii;ii: ~ -- - ,r Nanna Babb onno by John Christoforo A Nostalgic Remembrance Recipes from the Homeland by Vita Orlando Sinopoli COPYRIGHT, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Babbononno had taught me industry to climb to the top. I They were stealing money and how to work with woodworking didn't understand it at first, I candy from the concession and tools even before I was in long was too young. When I reachedhe had caught them. Theresa pants. Considering the genera- my preteen years, I put it all and I stared at each other, not tion he came from, they were all together and decided to adoptknowing what had gone down. hand tools, nothing powered. I the same attitudes. Mr. Ray next stated that he learned the difference between My first attempts at being also discovered that we were a rip saw and a crosscut saw, an entrepreneur came along not involved and he, personally, a rough cut from a finish file, when I was about ten years had fired allthe candy girls and how to use a plane to clean up a old. Aunt Mary, Dad's sister,ushers except the two of us. piece of wood, and how to finish worked in a candy factory, and He then pointed a finger at us, wood by hand to make it shine, often brought home a lot of stuff saying, =You, you're now head I think he was hoping I would that was classified as seconds. I candy girl, and you, you're now follow in his footsteps and learn would sell the assorted candy to head usher. Now get out of my how to make furniture, do car- the local kids for less than they office and find me a new crew pentry, and work with stains could get it for in a candy store of each." paints and varnishes. His sons or the corner grocery store. At My folks and Babbononno, didn't express any desires to the same time, I bought the especially, were so proud, that learn his trade, and while he necessities to wash and wax at the age of 16, I was so well was still working, I was the only cars. I traveled throughout the respected. Because of the time grandson and the buck stopped Eagle Hill neighborhood (Eastrequirements my new job levied right here. Boston) I lived in and gave out on me, I sold my car washing My grandfather was a perfec- flyers advertising my services and waxing business to one of tionist and everything he made and the price attached to each the kids who worked for me. showed that he was. He instilled one. As a result, I was in busi- My Ray would become a second this in my psyche, and for the ness. As an.example of what Ifather to me and I would stay rest of my life, I have tried to could do, a neighbor, Marjorie working at the Seville through do things right, to the best of Warren, allowed me to use herhigh school, college, and into my ability, and give every chal- 1948 Nash as an example of graduate school. lenge 1 i0 percent of my efforts, what my washing and waxing That same work ethic applied He also passed something else could make a car look like. By to my study of music. I tried along with his teachings, the the way, the flyers were madeevery instrument imaginable. =Italian Work Ethic." Through- in the print shop at the Joseph Being Italian, the first instru- out my young life, I had heard H. Barnes Junior High School. I ment they stuck in front of me the term, but with a twist. It was made them myself during print- was an accordion. This was fol- called the =Yankee Work Ethic." ing class, lowed by trumpet, sax, clarinet, What l found out later was that At age 13, I went to work piano, guitar and drums. After they had their work ethic, but at the Seville Theater. I lied brief attempts, I stopped prac- so did we! about my age, knowing that I tieing each and went on to the When I was of 6, Babbononno was supposed to be 16 to worknext one. When Dad had me try sat me by his side and taught there. Right after I started at the his instrument, bass violin, I fell me how to read music. My 'Seville, I hired a few neighbor- in love with it, and by the time grandfather played guitar and hood kids to do the washing and I turned 18, became a profes- drums and had all of his three waxing. I didn't want to give up sional musician. I would later sons learn instruments a gen- what had become a lucrative teach myself bass guitar and eration before me. Uncles Nick operation, but, well, workingplay both for the next 50-some- and Paul played sax and clad- at the Seville was "big time for thing years. net. Uncle Gino, his youngest, a kid." Dad talked me into going to was taught trumpet and drums. Using that same work ethic college, but Babbononno was a Babbononno's daughter mar- passed on by Babbononno, I did little disappointed that I wasn't ried amusician (my father), and rather well. The manager, a Mr. going to follow in his footsteps now, being the first born male in James F. Ray, kept asking me working with wood. So, I com- my generation, it was my turn. to obtain working papers frompromised, I became a shop The concept wasn't to learn an the state labor board, as they teacher specializing in drafting instrument for personal sat- were required to work at the and, later, woodworking. As isfaction, it was to learn one theater. I thought I was conning far as my grandfather was con- or more instruments to be a him along, making excuses whycerned, I took after him. As far professional and make my way I couldn't get them: "I had to as my father was concerned, I in the world as a competitor stay after school;" =I couldn't took after him. What could be and work my way to the top of get to the labor board beforebetter for a kid from an Italian the game. they closed;" =I had too muchfamily??? Through the years, !k,e dis- homework to do ... " Once I GOD BLESS AMERICA covered, that the major por- made it to 16 and obtained the tion of musicians, especially working papers, I discovered in urban areas, were Jewish, that Mr. Ray knew how old I African-American and Italian. was all along. He just let it pass A couple of generations ago, all knowing I always gave 110 per- three had troubles making it in cent every day I worked. America, and this was just one Babbononno was so proud way to do it ... and we did. that I was successful at an It wasn't so much the con- . early age. My endeavors were Loved Ones cept of being a woodworker or not what he had taught me, a musician. It could have been but the work ethic he passed any trade, I guess. What was along was quite evident. When important was the work ethic I turned 16, Mr. Ray called me that my grandfather passed and a candy girl named Theresa along. My Uncles and Dad were to his office. In his abrupt man- on top of their game. I discov- ner, he told us that there was ered how well they played and a conspiracy going on between how they networked in their candy girls and the ushers. -- FOR YOU WHO APPRECIATE THE FINEST -- THE MUSIC FOR ALL OCCASIONS 781-648-5678 The Post-Gazette accepts memorials throughout the year. Please call 617-227-8929 CAPONATA Eggplant I medium eggplant diced 1 tablespoon sugar 6 or 7 tablespoons olive oil1 tablespoon capers 1 sliced onion 4 green pimento olives 3 tablespoons prepared tomato 1/4 teaspoon salt sauce 1/8 tablespoon ground pepper 2 stalks celery diced A sprinkle ofcayennepepper 2 tablespoon wine vinegar (optional} Wash whole eggplant (without removing outer skin}, and dice. Heat five tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and add diced eggplant to simmer until it softens. Add sliced onion to skillet and one or two teaspoons of additional olive oil, and fry until onion is lightly browned. Add tomato sauce and diced celery. Simmer mixture until celery is tender. If needed, add a tablespoon of water before adding capers and chopped green pimento olives. Stir frequently to p.revent sticking. Slightly heat wine vinegar separately. Add sugar and stir. Then pour vinegar gently over eggplant mixture in skillet. Simmer for ten to fifteen minutes. (Optional) Add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Salt to taste. Serve this hot or cooled as a side dish with broiled lamb chops, breaded fried cutlets or roast beef. It is also delicious on crackers or toasted bread to serve as hors d'oeuvres. Caponata can be refrigerated for future servings. It can also be frozen and reheated. NOTE: My husband and I met Louis and Rose =Dolly" Sorrentino on Cape Cod in the 1980s. They were former North End neighbors of ours for many years. We renewed our friendships., While having lunch at their Cape Cod home one day, Dolly served us some homemade Caponata. I mentioned how much I had enjoyed it when my mother served it. But my motherprepared Caponata only during the summer when eggplants were available. Like so many of her friends, Mama never had a written recipe. I was delighted that Dolly offered me a copy of her recipe. Because eggplants are now available year round, we can enjoy homemade Caponata throughout the year. 2017 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular (Continued from Page 1) to receive its world premiere at 20-minute fireworks show Boston's famed Independence designed by Grucci Fireworks, Day celebration. Allx Steel,and accompanied by the music co-anchor of Bloomberg Day- of the Boston Pops and other break Americas on Bloomberg popular music of the past Television, and Qarol Massar, and present, will bring the co-anchor of Bloomberg Mar- celebration to an end. This kets on B1oomberg Radio, will year's Boston Pops Fireworks co-host the 2017 Boston PopsSpectacular will also showcase Fireworks Spectacular with the U.S. Army Field Band and additional reporting by MattSoldiers' Chorus, alongwith the Miller, co-anchor Bloomberg Middlesex County Volunteers Markets: European Open on Fifes and Drums adding their Bloomberg Television. own special patriotic flair to the The traditional fighter day's festivities. The program jet Military Flyover in will spotlight musical selections coordination with the "Starfrom the Boston Pops's recently Spangled Banner" will open released album, L/ghts, Camera the evening's Boston Pops ... Music! Six Decades of John program, and a spectacular Williams as well. Boston Fireworks Spectacular & Pops Concert Schedule 2017 Monday, July 3 (Concert only; no fireworks, no radio or television coverage) 8:30 pm - Concert starts I0:00 pm - Concert ends" Tuesday, July 4 (Concert &fireworks - gates open at 9:00 am) 7:00 pm - Boston's WBZ News Radio AM 1030 begins its local broadcast of the show 7:30 pm - WBZ-TV Countdown to the Fourth pre-show begins 8:00 pm - Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular and WBZ-TV local broadcast begins 8:30 pm - Boston Pops Concert and show begins with the National Anthem. 9:00 pm - CBS network television broadcast begins (lasts until 11:00 pm) 10:30 pm - Soon after the concert ends, the Boston fireworks begin to be launched from 7 barges in the middle of the Charles River. 11:00 pm - The show concludes