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Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, JULY 18, 2014 The Top 25 Memories of My Childhood by Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz My birthday is coming up on July 20 th- 6} The sounds of a televised soccer game and it's a big one! I will be turning twenty- 7) every Sunday morning five, meaning that I will officially be a quar- The taste of fresh cantaloupe (melone) by Sal Gzarratam ter of a century old. Birthdays provide us with the opportunity to reflect on our past, to gauge our progress and triumphs over the past years in our lives. Lately I have loved waxing nostalgic, and while contemplating my upcoming birthday in the shower, I was hit with the idea to compile a list of the twenty-five things I most appreciated from my Italian-American childhood -- one for every year of my life thus far. My identity as an Italian-American proved a winding evolution in and of itself. During the early years of my life I viewed my ethnicity as something to hide, until eventually I matured and took pride in my heritage and ancestors. As I turn twenty-five, I want to pay homage to the traditions and curiosi- ties of my Italian-American childhood that finally helped me realize that I was proud to be me! Important note: Italian-American culture is not monolithic. That is precisely what is so beautiful about it. Traditions, curios, and practices vary among families and individu- als, creating a lovely tapestry of diversity. This sometimes nostalgic, sometimes tongue-in-cheek list is meant to be repre- sentative of MY Italian-American childhood, not a snapshot of Italian-American child- hoods in general. Below are the foods, customs and memories that filled my house year round, and that I look back at fondly. So enjoy, and feel free to write to me about YOUR personal memories of grow- ing up in Italy or in an Italian-American household. My Top 25 Memories of Childhood in the Di Censo Household: 1} Nutella 2} Speaking two languages by the time I was in preschool 3} My father singing Adriano Celentano songs when he came home from work 4} The puzzled looks I would get from other people when I pronounced "gnocchi" correctly 5} Giving and opening presents at mid- night on Christmas Eve on hot summer days 8) Trips to the North End 9) Breaking open the large chocolate eggs (uove di Pasqua) on Easter 10) Watching the game show Reazione a Catena with my father every evening 11) My Nonna's Christmas struffoli 12) The way my father stays glued to the television every year a World Cup is on 13] My father's scary stories about biking home alone at night in his mountain village of Sulmona 14) Knowing that charms to ward off the evil eye {malocchio) are never far away in my Nonna's house 15] The assortment of butter cookies at Maria's Pastry 16) Hazelnut gelato 17) Dancing the tarantella at the parties hosted by my father's soccer club 18) Sunday lunches 19) Having to tell everyone "It's pronounced 'Dee CHEN-so' not 'Dih Zenzo'" -- and being proud to do so! 20) Ricotta pie 21) Baking with my mother 22) The excitement I felt when I visited Italy 23) Zeppole di San Giuseppe on St. Joseph's Day 24) Pride in my ethnicity and an apprecia- tion for multiculturalism and diversity in the world 25) Love So there you go -- these are my twenty- five fondest memories of growing up in the Di Censo household. I encourage every- one, whether a birthday is coming up or whether it is a day when you could use an extra boost, to make a list of happy memories for which you are grateful. It is a wonderful way to count your bless- ings, to realize that pleasure and joy can come from the smallest of places. Also, remember that each day offers us the opportunity to make new memories, and to create a life where love and gratitude reign supreme. Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz 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. The Martyrs of Compeigne (Continued from Page 2) tion, an eerie silence de- scended upon the normally noisy crowd that gathered in the Place du Tr6ne Renvers6 (now called Place de la Nation) the square where the execu- tions took place. As the cart transporting the Nuns ap- proached, the serene sound of their singing could be heard, they were chanting verses of the Te Deurra The Nuns wore long white choir cloaks over brown robes similar to their habits, such attire had long since been outlawed. Their religious clothing and singing in Latin embodied the time before the storming of the Bastille and the start of the revolution on July 14, 1789. The event was unique for while many priests and nuns had been executed individually, never had an en- tire religious community been taken to the guillotine. Their radiant, happy faces were wrong for this place. They should have looked sad, they were about to die instead they looked joyous. At the guillotine, Sister Henriette, who was the Car- 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 mel's infirmarian, took a place by the steps and helped her older, weaker sisters up the scaffold. Before beginning her climb up the steps, the prioress, Mother Teresa of Saint Augustine, age 41, made the sign of the cross and paused. A devout woman in the crowd, who saw the hesi- tation, understood and moved up to discreetly take a tiny terracotta Virgin and Child statuette from the hand of the prioress. The statuette was kept and exist to the present day. Before their execution, they knelt and chanted the Veni Creator Spiritus, after which they all renewed aloud their baptismal and religious vows. The novice was ex- ecuted first and the prioress last. Absolute silence pre- vailed the whole time that the executions were proceeding. Psalm chant stopped only when the last Carmelite, Mother Teresa was executed. The 16 Nuns were guillo- tined on July 17, 1794, dur- ing the Reign of Terror con- ducted by Maximilien Robe- spierre and the dictatorship imposed by the ruling Com- mittee of Public Safety. They were beatified on May 27, 1906. Their Feast Day is celebrated on ........... What Is Happening to America's Border Today? "The border is secure. The fact is, the children are handing themselves over to the border patrol ... and that under existing law we must put the children's interests first, which is what President Obama is doing." -- U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D- Illinois "Shame on those who would use this tragedy to instill fear, intolerance and hate for all immigrants." -- State Senator Wendy Davis, D-Texas and gubernatorial candidate AUSTIN, TEXAS -- By now all of America knows about our southern border which is like a leaking dam. The flood- gates have opened and thousands upon thousands are flood-" ing into south Texas and all that the federal government is doing is processing all these undocumented human beings (mostly children) seeking entrance into the United States of America. However, the impact is being felt all across America as ICE, working with Homeland Security, are send- ing these young kids to relatives and family friends from the East Coast to the West Coast. We have already seen reports in Greater Boston newspapers talking about the expected influx in to the local public school systems, such as Everett, Chelsea and Revere, Massachusetts. Governor Rick Perry has been lobbying the Obama White House to call out the National Guard to secure our borders as the daily invasion continues. The governor is right on target. The U.S. Border Patrol has become overwhelmed with the huge numbers crossing over into the U.S. and the federal government needs to secure our southern border. We can't fix the problem without first stopping the bleeding. Here is America recently having celebrated our Indepen- dence Day and our borders have collapsed and we have a president and Democrats in the U.S. Congress unwilling or unable to see the crisis for what it is. No nation can survive without defined and guarded bor- ders. Our integrity as a nation is at stake. I recently watched the HBO mini-series on John Adams and the founding of our nation. We have clearly forgotten what the Revolution was fought over, the principles upon which our rule of law was created. Ours was .an experiment in self-rule. It was based upon self-evident natural rights. We the people are and were supposed to be always the government. As Ben Franklin warned, "We have a Republic if we can keep it" When the former Speaker of the House announces she is going down to our border to greet and welcome masses of people crossing that border illegally, you know that some- thing is fundamentally wrong. Howie Carr often jokes about not wanting to be treated special, "jut treat me like any illegal." It isn't really a joke anymore. We have founding documents like our Declara- tion of Independence and U.S. Constitution that are being thrown by the wayside in order to allow in more and more folks who are getting here by hook and by crook. The issue at our border and the seemingly inability of the Obama White House to act upon it makes one think that Perry might be right that President Obama doesn't care much one way or the other about the collapsing of our national border with Mexico. President Obama had a chance to see the border mess for himself and decided not to. The President missed a chance to view Kelly Field and Lackland AFB too. Even Texas Democrats couldn't understand his decision for skipping through Texas quickly. Our Founding Fathers must be rolling over in their graves listening to the likes of U.S. Reps Luis Gutierrez and Shelia Jackson-Lee of Texas who think our borders are secure and there's nothing to see in south Texas. Soon I will return home from my vacation in Texas or America as I often call it. However, I will not be leaving the border crisis behind. It follows me home to Boston where the American Revolution all began when Paul Revere took off on hose-back and road into history. Fighting to secure our borders is not about fear or intolerance or hatred, it is about saving our constitutional -- based democratic republic and our ability to "keep it" as Ben Franklin warned 238 years ago. i For events going on in Massachusetts this SUMMER, check out the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism Web site at www,massvacation.com. For a complimentary Massachusetts Getaway Guide, call 1-800-447-ASS, ext. 300. WWW.BOSTONPOSTGAZETTE.COM