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July 4, 2014     Post-Gazette
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July 4, 2014
 

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POST-GAZETTE, JULY 4, 2014 Page 13 00Babb00onno 1,1,1111111 ii .11 Happy 4  of July. Summer has finally arrived and most folks are planning an event to celebrate the first sum- mer holiday. This prepara- tion includes a backyard bar- becue with hotdogs, burgers, ribs, and all the fixin's that correspond like chips, pick- les, soda and beer. Some folks take off with their families and head to Cape Cod, New Hampshire, Maine or the coastal area of north- ern Massachusetts. On summer holidays, it was difficult to tear Nanna and Babbononno away from the backyard. This is where they felt most comfortable when they could be sur- rounded by the entire fam- ily. Several times, though, I remember Dad and my uncles preparing for a 4 th of July picnic at Mystic Lake. The location was close enough for family mem- bers from the North End, East Boston, Medford and Saugus. Back in the day, this is where most of the family lived, and Mystic Lake seemed to be dead center for one and all. Dad would call the MDC and reserve a fireplace and picnic table way in advance. From there, he and my uncles would begin to put to- gether a list of family mem- bers who should be invited. From my grandparents gen- eration would be Nanna and Babbononno, Nanna's brother (Babbononno's closest friend) Zio Antonio Ceruolo and his wife Mariuccia. Next would be Nanna's youngest brother, Zio Luigi and his wife, and maybe Nanna's remaining sister, Zia Peppa and her husband, Zio Michele. From my folks gen- eration would be Mom's cousin Louise Pepe and her husband Ralph with their kids, Lulu. Anthony and Ralph Another of my mother's cousins, Marie Beatrice and her husband, Al were always included, and from the immediate family Uncle Paul and Aunt Eleanor with their two daughters Paula and Ellie, Uncle Nick, who was divorced at that time, and Uncle Gino and Aunt Ninna with their infant twins, my cousins Richard and Donna. In spite of this being a genuine American holiday, the women of the family would begin cooking their specialties that only had to be reheated before being served. With Dad's list in hand, Mom and Nanna would head to the local butcher by John Christoforo A Nostalgic Remembrance i shop and buy pounds of steak, pork chops, spare ribs, hot and sweet sausages, hamburgers and hot dogs. Mom and Nanna would head to a greengrocer and buy the ingredients for a garden salad and an assortment of summer fruits, especially peaches, cherries and a watermelon. Cut up peaches were great in wine, the Ital- ian version of sangria. Dad and my uncles would head for a liquor store and stock up on beer and hard stuff. God forbid, someone would buy a bottle of wine. My grandfather and great uncles made wine in their cellars. To purchase wine in a liquor store would be an infamnia. Zi'Antonio would bring a few gallons of his best wine (it was that good), and the old timers would be happy about that. Once Dad picked up a couple of bags of charcoal, we were ready for the 4% Recreational equipment was on the minds of the men also. We kids would bring bathing suits so we could swim in Mystic Lake which had a public beach near the picnic area. We also brought baseball equipment, a bat, a ball and gloves. I had a badminton set and always brought that along for my female cousins. We wouldn't let them play baseball with us boys. The old timers brought their sports equip- ment with them, too, a set of bocce bails, a deck of American playing cards and a deck of Italian playing cards for those that wanted to play scopa, briscola, and sette bello. An Italian deck doesn't have 8s, 9s and 10s in the deck, and the jack is higher than the queen. On the morning of the 4 TM, we would arrive at the lake early and locate the barbecue and picnic bench that Dad had rented. Every- one would help out bring- ing the food, liquids and bags of charcoal to the table. Dad even brought a port- able charcoal burner and a Coleman gas stove that we used when we traveled. As the morning wore on, the rest of the family would begin to appear, each sec- tion bringing something in the way of food and drink to add to the mix. When Dad saw that most of the family had arrived, he would get the charcoal going and the pre-cookout food would come out on the table, cold cuts, several types of cheese. olives, sun dried tomatoes. and loads of other things to pick on before the main part of the cookout. We kids would head for the lake and have a before din- ner swim. While we were in the lake under the supervi- sion of an uncle or cousin Lulu who was the oldest of my generation, the pasta courses would be laid out on the table. When the folks started on the lasagna, ravioli or other macaroni with the accompanying meat- balls and gravy meat, Dad would begin grilling. Sau- sages and steaks got the priority. We kids liked the hot dogs and burgers. The old timers wouldn't touch them. When the salad that fol- lowed the meats was eaten, we kids would begin to play baseball, and the men bocce. Later when dessert was laid out on the table, Dad would have two pots of coffee brewing on the Coleman stove, one Italian and the other American. Dessert consisted of fruit and a pot- pourri of items brought by each family. Cannoli usu- ally won out as being the most plentiful. Throughout all of the courses, Zi' Anto- nio would pour his wine. Some of the men opted for a cold beer instead and we kids, who were allowed to take a sip of wine, were rel- egated to helping ourselves to ginger ale or orangeade. After all the food was eaten, the ladies would clean up and re-pack what- ever wasn't eaten. Dad would clean his charcoal grill and the old timers would play Italian card games, or if they weren't too tired, bocce. Within a half hour or so, most of the men would be sitting in folding chairs sound asleep. The ladies would be at the table sipping a second cup of coffee talk- ing about family and friends, and we kids would be argu- ing with our mothers who insisted that we couldn't go back into the lake. Accord- ing to them, we had to wait an hour after eating before going swimming or we would get cramps and drown. Fifty- five minutes later, we were back in the water. At sundown, everyone would say goodbye to one another. This was a process that would take at least a half hour to an hour. The cars would be re-packed and by the time Dad was exiting the parking lot, I would be asleep in the back seat, accompanied by Babbononno who was out before I was. That's the way we cel- -- FOR YOU WHO APPRECIATE THE FINEST -- THE MUSIC FOR ALL OCCASIONS WWW.BOSTONPOSTGAZETTE.COM 781-648-5678 ebrated the 4 th, a genuine American holiday ... cel- ebrated Italian style. Happy 4 TM for 2014, and may GOD BLESS AMERICA! Socially Scene (Continued from Page 9) Worldly known Tim Reynolds Band will take stage on July 26 th with the Berklee Summer Series at George's Island. (Photo by blogtimesunion.om) performs with the power of Freddie Mercury. "He's a singer-songwriter with amazing energy, terrific stage presence and catchy songs," said Expresso Sounds. Saturday, July 26 th at 1:00 pm - Miriam Elhajli's sound recalls Joan Baez and Buffy Sainte-Marie with a touch of Delta blues. Last summer she traveled to London, where she played at renowned venues including the Cambridge Folk Festival, Leigh on Sea Folk Festival, and the Troubadour Club. At 2:00 pm - Tim Reynolds Band, combining pop, soul, and R&B, finds its unique sound by using both voice and violin as the lead instru- ment. It has performed at venues including the Rome City Auditorium in Rome, Georgia; the New England Conservatory; and Berklee. At 3:00 pm -- Zoya's fourth EP is titled Letters to Toska. Zoya's confessional songs convey her experiences throughout the world, be- ginning in her native India, to her childhood home in Southern California, and stretching to her most recent travels across South America. Saturday, August 9 th at 1:00 pm -- Damn Tall Build- ings is an acoustic blue- grass and blues band from Boston with lyrical story-tell- ing, foot-stomping grooves, and up-tempo hobo an- thems. With members from all around the U.S., Damn Tall Buildings is four people uniting their influences into a single sound. At 2:00 pm -- E1 Feeling is a folk band composed of Colombians Camilo Gomez, Felipe Gonzalez, Carlos Pinzon, Ivan Valbuena, and Juan Alvarez; and Mexican Diego Torres. The group met at Berklee and developed a sound based on the rhythms of the different regions of Colombia. At 3:00 pm -- Chorobop is a new ensemble with reper- toire based on the traditional Brazilian choro genre, with a twist of bebop. They per- form with traditional and contemporary instrumenta- tion that includes mandolin, 7-string guitar, pandeiro, electric guitar, bass, and percussion. Saturday, August 23 rt at I:00 pm -- Bailey Taylor honed her sound -- a pure voice combined with banjo- style fingerpicked guitar -- writing and performing in the Twin Cites before com- ing to Berklee. Her passion is music's role in cross-cul- tural communication and much of her songwriting fo- cuses on social change. At 2:00 pm - The Georgia English Band tell stories of youth, discovery, and vul- nerability. English used pop, soul, folk, and jazz to explore everyday themes on her 2012 all-original al- bum In the Fog. She also re- ceived Berklee's Songwrit- ing Achievement Award and a SESAC Award. At 3:00 pm -- Wambura Mitaru's music blends funk, soul, R&B, jazz, and hip- hop as well as sounds from her African background. A young, passionate singer and songwriter from Nairobi, she attended the Kenya Conservatoire of Music be- fore enrolling at Berklee on a full scholarship. Saturday, August 30 th at 2:00 pm -- Ludovica Burtone, an Italian violinist, composer, and arranger, came to Berklee in 2012 to follow her passion for jazz. Burtone and her string quartet present a variety of compositions, from clas- sical to jazz standards, tan- gos, and original composi- tions. Please note: Burtone is the only performer at this concert. Summer Concerts at Georges Island is part of Berklee Summer in the City presented by Natixis Global Asset Management (ngam. natixis, corn) which brings free musical perfor- mances by Berklee faculty, students, and alumni to neighborhoods in the Bos- ton area and beyond. Berk- Ice's Summer Concerts are accessible by ferry from Boston's Long Wharf North, next to Christopher Colum- bus Park (MBTA Blue Line to Aquarium Station, Green or Orange Lines to Haymarket Station}. Ferry tickets can be purchased at the Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion on the Rose Kennedy Green- way, across from the Long Wharf Marriott. Ferries also depart from Hingham Ship- yard Pier. For more on travel, visit bostonharbori slands.org. For more infor- mation and a full schedule, visit www.berklee.edu/ eventssummer.