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August 11, 2017     Post-Gazette
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August 11, 2017

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PAGE 10 POST-GAZETTE, AUGUST 11,2017 J Fanna abb onno by John Christoforo A Nostalgic Remembrance Right after the 2nd World War began, life changed for the Christoforo/Contini family. My dad and uncles had been on the road with the big bands (except Uncle Gino) and that came to an end with the begin- ning of the war. Uncle Paul went to work days as a journeyman printer; Dad accepted a job teaching machine shop at his old alma mater, East Boston High School (EBHS); Uncle Nick got hooked up with a band that played for the dinner crowd at one of Boston's hotels; and Uncle Gino went to work at the Chelsea Navy Yard. All just waited for the draft to catch up with them, because we were at war on two fronts and, early on, it was called World War II. By the summer of 1942, Uncle Nick was called and he enlisted in the Navy to avoid the draft. Uncle Paul was rejected due to his age and never went into the military. Once Uncle Gino was called, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. Dad had a high lottery number and wasn't called right away, but by the end of '42, or early '43, he was approached by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner to today's CIA, and was asked to become a part- time operator for their Boston division. It seems that they were housing Italian war pris- oners at some of the old forts on Boston Harbor Islands and at the closed immigration sta- tion on Marginal Street in East Boston. They needed someone to interrogate the captured sol- diers and somehow Dad's name came up. With Babbononno as his recording secretary, he accepted the job on a part-time basis. (He actually needed Bab- bononno. Dad couldn't read or write Italian and barely spoke the dialect he learned from his father.) So, Dad's schedule included teaching at EBHS, working for the OSS, and, oh I forgot, playing six nights a week with a quintet, the Jimmy McHale Orchestra, at the Fife and Drum Room, a downstairs car6 at the Hotel Vendome on Commonwealth Ave. He would eventually work in coaching football as well. Gasoline became rationed early on and all car owners were issued rectangular stickers that were placed on the bot- tom comer of the passenger's side of the windshields. Most people were issued stickers with a capital "A" in the center. They were only able to buy, I believe, five gallons of gas per week. Dad and my uncles were issued stickers with a capital "B," which allowed the purchase of ten gallons per week. Ration books were also issued, and a person buying gas had to hand over ration stamps that corre- sponded to the purchase. This meant that there was no joy riding or side trips. Most cars were used for business, and that was it. Oh, and new tires were impossible to get, which didn't help the situation. It was the summer of '42, and Babbononno wanted to have a dinner for his fam- ily before they all went off to fight the war, with, God forbid, some never returning home. Back then, there was no home air-conditioning. There were window fans or just screens located on the outside of open windows. As a result, it was often too hot to cook and eat in an East Boston kitchen. The alternative was a kitchen in the cellar where it was a bit cooler than on the upper floors. In the cellar was the old ice box that was replaced by an electric refrigerator in the kitchen. There was the old kitchen set that was replaced by a new one just before the war. Along with this was a black soapstone sink. Surrounding these creature comforts were shelves where Nanna stored the vegetables she had prepared the winter before. Not too far away were the barrels filled with the red and white wines vinted by Babbononno and almost ready to drink. This was the down- stairs summer kitchen. Outside in the back yard was another table and six to eight chairs that had been in the cellar at one time, and in the upstairs kitchen even before that when they were new. If the day selected for the dinner was a good one weather-wise, this is where they would all eat, al fresco. A Sunday was selected and both Nanna and my mother prayed to St. Anthony for good weather. He answered their prayers and the dinner was served outside. Nanna had made the pasta a day or two earlier and had the strands slung over the nails on the kitchen curtain stretcher that stood in the back yard. (I didn't eat store-bought pasta until I was about fifteen. Up until then, it was all homemade.} The dinner started out with antipasto that contained cold cuts, cheeses, and vegetables that grew in the back yard, nurtured by both Nanna and Babbononno. This was fol- lowed by what today is called "Italian Wedding Soup." Next was the tagliatelle with Bolog- nese sauce (thick homemade spaghetti with meat sauce). This was followed by an assortment of meats cooked in Nanna's gravy (tomato sauce to non- Italians). This was accompanied by saut6ed vegetables and, lastly, garden salad. The old- timers served the salad after the main courses, not before them. They claimed it was better for the digestion. There would be bottles of Babbononno's red and white homemade wine on the table and a couple of carafes of red with cut up peaches, That was intended to be the dessert. Pastry and coffee might come later, but not right after the dinner. What did follow the dinner were a large bowl of fresh fruit, dishes of nuts, and maybe little boxes of torrone, in case someone wanted something sweet early on. When the dinner came to an end, Babbononno would light up a cheroot, and my father and uncles hand-made Cuban cigars. From this point on, the men would relax in the shade and the ladies would do the dishes in the black soapstone sink in the cellar. My cousin, Paula, and I would be allowed to leave the table and both baby- sit her sister, my infant cousin Ellie, while we romped in the back yard. This was one of the last dinners we would all share together during that summer of 1942. Soon, Uncle Nick would head off to the Navy and Uncle Gino to the Air Corps. We would not all be able to sit down again until after the war ended, about three and a half years in the future. The war took its toll on the family. Uncle Nick and his first wife, Ada Giorgione, separated and later divorced. Uncle Gino, while in New York on leave, would meet a Flamenco dancer and later marry her (Aunt Ninna). Nanna would suffer a massive heart attack and never fully recover, causing Babbononno to have to sell the big house at 70 Eutaw Street in East Boston and move into a small apartment. He also retired from his day job to take care of my grandmother. And that's the way it was in 1942. GOD BLESS AMERICA Before I close, to those of you who try to contact me at the paper: If you have a computer, my email address is: beagsley@ This might be an easier way to go. LEGAL NOTICE Commonwealth of Massachusetts The Trial Court Probate and Family Court Suffolk Division 24 New Chardon Street Boston, MA 02114 (617) 788-8300 Docket No. SU17P1517EA Estate of SLOANE A. ORLANDO Date of Death September 4, 2016 INFORMAL PROBATE PUBLICATION NOTICE To all persons interested in the above captioned estate, by Petition of Petitioner ka~y s. Orlando of Weatwood, K~L ~ Francis M. 0dando of Westwo(xl, K~. Ashley S. Orlando of Westwood, MA, Francis M. Orlando of Weatwood, MA has been informally appointed as the Personal Representative of the estate to serve without surety on the bond. The estate is being administered under informal procedure by the Personal Represents- tive under the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code without supewision by the Court. Inventory and accounts are not required to be filed with the Court, but interested parties are entitled to notice regarding the administration from the Personal Representative and can petition the Court in any matter ralatJng to the estate, including distribution of assets and expenses of administration. Interested parties are entitled to petition the Court to institute formal proceedings and to obtain orders terminating or restrict- ing the powers of Personal Representatives appointed under informal procedure. A copy of the Petition and Will, if any, can be obtained from the Petitioner. Run date: 8/11/17 The Post-Gazette accepts memorials throughout the year. L_ Please call 617-227-8929 # by Chris Hanson Consider Shoehorning Some "Rejects" into Your Investment Portfolio Back to school shoppers will soon be out in force look- ing for bargains as September approaches. With many op- tions, including online sales, getting bargains on clothing, shoes and supplies is easy. When investing your hard earned money, things get a lot trickier. Let's recall a place jammed- packed with bargains, Marion's Shoes in Weymouth Landing. The huge store occupied a half block on the incline of the Landing. Once inside, shop- pers were greeted by helpful staff and rack after rack, and level after level of quality foot- wear at great prices. There were plenty of shoes, but few shoe boxes as packaging costs money. Consequently, a scent of quality shoe leather reas- sured shoppers they would soon make out like a Buster Brown Bandit. The Wicked Smart Investor recalls a time when he really cleaned up at Marion's. Weeks before the fourth grade, the owner Fred fitted me with the perfect pair of Earth Shoes. The price tag was only ten bucks. Across town at the fancy schmancy stores, the ugly but trendy shoes cost $30. Okay, you got the shoebox and the mall smelled like eau de toilette (whatever that is), but big deal. In the late 70s, families were struggling with high unemploy- ment and double-digit inflation and $20 was lot. Many families really needed the savings Mari- on's offered. Marion's was able to offer such savings because it fre- quently sold irregular mer- chandise. In fact, a campy sign on the roof famously boasted "The Best Selling Rejects in America." The misfit shoes had slight imperfections in appearance but sturdy con- struction. The blemishes were barely noticeable and no one in Braintree really cared any- way because they probably got their shoes in Marion's, too. With my Earth Shoes and a few pairs of Sears Toughskins pur- chased during the July sale, I returned to Hollis Elementary School in cost-effective style[ How can you get similar bargains in the stock market? You could invest in value stock mutual funds. Let me explain: A value stock is a security trad- ing at a lower price than what is expected giving its earnings, dividends, and sales, etc. In the financial world, these are known as ffundamentals." The usual cause of the lower stock price (but good fundamentals) is the stock is slightly beat up like Marion's Shoes. Maybe the company suffered a scandal, a labor strike, or some other setback. Events like those tend to put companies out of favor on Wall Street and drive down the price. In a strange way, bad publicity can eventually make the stock a bargain. Investors are betting on a rebound. The rebound may never materialize, so investors are taking more risks when pur- chasing value stocks versus growth stock. Yet, when the rebounds do happen, investors are rewarded with a market- beating return. Consider the performance of broad mar- ket indexes during the past 20 years. The Dimensional U.S. Large Cap Value Index returned an annual average of 9.5%, while the more tradi- tional S&P Large Cap Index's average annual performance was 7.7% a year. Value invest- ing can yield better returns*. Long term investors should consider allocating a portion of their portfolio to value stock. I recommend leaning into value investing, not leaping. Your Pro Keds from Marion's really don't make you an investing Bionic Man. Speak to your advisor for the proper mix. We~l never know if notorious shoe hoarder Imelda Marcos ever shopped at Marion's, but she would not have regretted it. If you implement value in- vesting wisely, it is likely you won't have regrets, either. * Index returns from 1/1/1997 to Standard & Poor's and Dimensional is no guarantee of future results. 12/31/2016; data compiled by Pund Advisors. Past performance Chris Hanson is a CPA that specializes in financial planning at OakTree Capital Partners in Easton. He earned his BBA at the Isenberg School of Management University of Massachusetts and an MBA at Babson College's F. W. Olin Graduate School of Business. On the Aisle (Continued from Page 5) Ragtime shows us the diff- culties in dealing with change, but change will ways be occur- ring as it always has. We can deal with it. Let's tone down the moral superiority and stop the shouting and lecturing. That is what I have taken away from this wonderful play. It will never be easy, but there's much more kindness than cru- elty out there. We just need to listen. Ragtime runs through Au- gust 26th at the Ogunquit Playhouse, 10 Main Street, Ogunquit, Maine. For more in- formation, please go to www. or call 207-646-5511.