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August 22, 2014     Post-Gazette
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Page12 POST-GAZETTE, AUGUST 22, 2014 by John Christoforo N'anna iabb onno A Nostalgic Remembrance Socially Scene (Continued from Page 8) I attend as many old car get togethers as I can during the summer. I have a few old cars that I like to show off and bringing one of them to the planned or impromptu shows allow me to do just that. Over the years, people have asked me why there are certain cars that have become collector's items. My replies usually include the period of time when the owners were teenagers. !n my own case, I was a teen- ager in the 1950s. From about 1954 through 1960, some of the most flamboyant cars ever produced by the auto manufacturers were on our roads. I didn't start to look at cars until I was about 14. Let me backtrack and say that be- fore I went to work at the Seville Theater at age 13, I washed and waxed cars in my neighborhood. But begin- ning at about the age of 14, I fell in love with cars. I could smell October 21st coming all year. October 21st is my birthday, and each year, I knew that the age of 16 was coming closer and closer, and this meant I would be able to get my driver's license. Today, one of the icons of that '50s era is a Chevrolet. The most popular being from 1955, 1956 and 1957. As an example, a '55 Chevy convertible was somewhere around $2,500 to $2,800 back then. Today, one in good condition will bring upwards of $40,000. The reason is simple. Most of us who were teens back then, couldn't afford the cars or weren't old enough to drive. Those cars were part of our dreams, especially when we saw older teens or adults driving them. Today, we can afford them and many enthusiasts own a sample from that period of time. It's the same with the next generation down. They are just a few years younger than I, but the elusive cars of their teen years are the muscle cars of the 1960s, and many of them around are in good shape with hefty price tags for enthusiasts. Babbononno hated cars. They were his enemy. He preceded the advent of auto- mobiles by many years. He was bom in 1875, and by the time autos became a practi- cal means of transportation, he was well into his adult years. Horses, he knew. Trains, he could understand, and the troUey, it was a train without the loud noises, but cars, he hated every one of them, and they hated him. My grandfather would have trouble getting in and out of cars, always knocking his hat off and banging his head upon entering. A good part of my Italian vocabulary, which I can't use in this column, I learned from listening to Babbononno trying to enter Dad's or Uncle Nick's car. Once he was !n, he would slam tim. door and:kiotd onto the haf dle or'arm r st for dear life. If he was sitting in the back seat, he would grasp the strap that hung on the post that separated his rear seat window from the door window. He would grasp things so tightly that his hands would turn red. Upon exiting one of the cars, he would have the same or a similar problem and curse everyone's sister, brother, aunt or uncle. He never cursed anyone's parents, even he had his principles when it came to cursing people. To the next generation, cars were transportation, especially to the men in my family, all of whom were musicians. Just as an example, when I came along, Dad owned a 1937 Plymouth. He had bought it used from the local mailman in 1938. It wasn't until 1949 when the car had had it, that Dad thought of a new car. Drag- ging me along, and his bass violin, we headed to Reese Chevrolet in the Day Square area of East Boston. A neighbor, Tony Patti, had bought a new '49 Chevy Deluxe fast back at the same place and Dad loved his car. However, we had to settle for a regular two-door sedan, as the bass wouldn't fit in a fast back. Babbononno had less trouble getting in compared to the '37 Plymouth, but he wasn't impressed. This was just a new example of an enemy. Dad kept the '49 until 1954. One day he came home from work driving a two-tone, robin's egg blue and white four-door Chevy Belaire. When Babbononno asked the price, he mum- bled under his breath, "Mi genero e' pazzo e stupido." (My son-in-law is crazy and stupid) Dad began to slowly lose his Depression mentality from that point on. His next car was a '57 Pontiac. Uncle Nick had bought one at an agency in Brookline and -- FOR YOU WHO APPRECIATE THE FINEST -- THE MUSIC FOR ALL OCCASIONS 781-648-5678 brought Dad there to see what they had. The next thing I saw in front of 74 Eutaw Street was a blue and white '57 Pontiac four- door hardtop. Next came a 1962 Chevy Impala, then a 1966 Cadillac, a 1974 Ford, and his last car a 1979 Buick. He fluctuated between the more expensive cars back to what used to be called "The Low Priced Three." As I said, cars to that generation were means of transportation. To me and the next couple of genera- tions down, they became part of our lives. We washed them, waxed them, scrubbed the white walls and made sure that they ran perfectly. Speaking for myself, I have always had a love affair with my cars. They were not just a means of transportation. They were part of us, but this was later. When we were teens and admired the new cars the older people drove, we secretly wished we could too, but knew the reality of the situations. The light at the end of the tunnel was the fact that someday, we would be old enough or making enough money to afford what we wanted. I knew Babbononno had changed his attitude a bit when he was in his 90s and in an assisted living home. I picked him up for Easter Sunday dinner, and at the time I had an Imperial con- vertible. He saw that it was a convertible and asked me to put the top down. I did. He then asked if the front seat went up and down. When I said that it did, he asked me to push it up all the way. This made him look tall. In his old age, he was 4' 11" tall. With the top down and his seat up, I was asked to drive to the Star of the Sea Church. As I arrived, Easter Mass was just exiting and Babbononno made me slow to a crawl. Spotting several elderly people he knew, he tipped his hat, and yelled out, "Buona Pasqua, Buona Pasqua." (Happy Easter, Happy Easter) As far as Nar tl , nd my mother were concerned, a car was driven by a man and they were 'passengers. Once for kicks, Dad tried to teach Mom how to drive. It didn't work, but on that day, Dad became religious. Mom took the hint and never climbed behind the wheel of a car again. Things are a bit different with my genera- tion. My wife drives a newer car than I do, Oh well; GOD BLESS AMERICA. The 22nd annual Cambridge Carnival International will hit Kendall Square on Sunday, September 7th. (Photo by partyearth.com) parade accompanied by rich rhythmic musicality. All types of cultures can be seen as revelers masquer- ade through the streets of Cambridge in dazzling hand- made costumes dancing to the beat of Carnival. Cambridge Carnival is the most unique event in the City of Cambridge. It is planned entirely by the com-" munity for the community. The organizing committee works hard year-round to plan an event that is inclu- sive, engaging, and reflec- tive of the city's diversity. The event is organized by a non-profit volunteer com- munity organization made up of a diverse group of indi- viduals. Members of the group either live and work in Cambridge or run local businesses and have a de- sire to promote, preserve and share the history and culture of the Caribbean and Carnival traditions, based on the models of Trinidad, Tobago and Brazil. The fes- tival is a vehicle to bring to- gether Cambridge's diverse community for a spectacular annual costume parade and celebration. This year will feature some of the festival favorites like the costume parade, international stage music, kid lest, arts & crafts and always the delicious delights of traditional food. Log on to www.cambridge carnival.org for show times, directions and specific details to all of the fun. Pop Star Takes Stage ... Erossroads Presents and Citi Performing Arts Center announced Jason Mraz will take the Wang Theatre stage on Friday, September 12th at 8:00 pm and Saturday, Sep- tember 13th at 8:00 pro. Tick- ets are on sale now! The tour is in support of Jason Mraz's fifth and first- ever acoustic album, "YES!," which he wrote and recorded with his friends in the Los Angeles-based folk-rock band Raining Jane. "The whole album is the product of yes," Jason Mraz says. "Whether it's Raining Jane saying yes to our annual songwriting retreats, which led to this collection of songs, or my label giving us the green light to let them become my next album. If anyone on our journey had said no, we wouldn't be where we are. 'Yes' really is the connector." Jason Mraz's journey has propelled him from the San Diego coffee house scene to arena, amphitheaters and stadiums all over the world. A two-time Grammy Award winner and six-time nomi- nee, Mraz made pop history with his record-breaking classic single, "I'm Yours," while also earning platinum and multi-platinum certifi- cations in more than 20 countries. For more, visit www.jasonmraz, com and www. atlanticr ecords, com. Don't miss out on the opportunity to see this hit musician on a whole new key of sound. The Wang Theatre is located at 270 Tremont Street, Boston. Tickets are on sale now and are available at the Citi Performing Arts Center Box Office, through Citicenter.org, by phone at 800-982-ARTS, or through Ticketmaster. A Tasty Treat to Compli- ment Your Time in the City ... Boston is filled with many restaurants to satisfy any craving but only August can bring some of the finest foods. The North End of Boston will be home to Saint Anthony's Festival August 29th, 304 and 31st. In 1919, Italian immi- grants from the small town of Montefalcione in Avellino began Saint Anthony's Feast and it has became the larg- est Italian Religious Festival in New England. Named the "Feast of all Feasts" by National Geographic Maga- zine, this authentic Ital- ian street festival has it all. Visit www.saintanthonys feast.com for more details. LEGAL NOTICE Commonwealth of Massachusetts The Trial Court Probate and Family Court Middlesex Division 208 Cambridge Street Cambridge, MA 02141 (617) 768-5800 Docket No. MI14P4095EA Estate of HARRIET L. FISHER Date of Death March 22, 2014 LETTERS OF AUTHORITY FOR PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE To Beatrice Batey, 3809 North 9th Street, Tacoma, WA 98401. You have been appointed and qualified as Personal Representative in Unsupervised administration of this estate on August 8, 2014. These letters are proof of your authority to act pursuant to G.L c. 190B, except for the fol- lowing restrictions if any. Run date: 8/22/14