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Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, AUGUST 28, 2015 e by Prof. Edmund Turiello A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. THE END OF A LEGEND Recently it was stated that Hercules is claimed to be one of the most ancient and most famous of all mythologi- cal heroes, and his leg- endary accomplish- ments are said to have been the richest and most comprehensive of all myths. It was only fitting then, for the great storywriters of an- tiquity, to provide that the demise of such a hero be accomplished in a manner which could only ,serve to glo- rify his memory. We remember from a previous column that during a period of tem- porary madness, Her- cules killed his wife and children. After visiting the Oracle at Delphi (Greece), he was told to go to the City of Tiryns and perform whatever ten labors the king of that community would demand of him. Also, after completing the required labors, he would be purified of the murders and achieve immortality. As long as he remained on earth, however, he had to endure mortal hardship and pain. After completing his cel- ebrated labors, Hercules took a new bride from a neighbor- ing country and, when he was returning home with her, they came to a river where a Centaur named Nessus conducted a ferrying Hercules and second wife Deianira business. Hercules did not need a ferry to cross the river but hired the Centaur's service for his new bride. As he was striding breast-deep through the water he heard his wife cry for help. Noting that the Centaur was about to rape his beautiful passen- ger, Hercules shot him with one of his famous poisoned arrows. As the balance of the story unfolds, we. will :find that this was the act which eventually caused the death of the legendary Greek hero. The dying Centaur pre- tended to be remorseful and told the young bride that if she would spread his spilled blood on the tunic of Hercules, it would act as a love charm. Know- ing of her husband's extramarital activities, 'but unaware that the Centaur's blood con- tained the deadly venom of the Hydra, the bride saved some of it for future use. The last and most tragic phase of his mor- tal career occurred as Hercules was preparing a sacrifice to his father, Zeus. Hercules asked his wife for a fresh tunic. Thinking that she was administering a love charm, she smeared the contaminated blood of the slain Centaur on the new tunic. The unsus- pecting Hercules donned the garment, only to fred that the Hydra's venom was quickly eroding his skin. The wife, in horror, killed herself. The god Apollo or- dered that a pyre be pre- pared and the hero climbed upon it. When lighted, the flames of the funeral pyre consumed what was mortal in the demigod, as a cloud appeared and lightning : struck. When the cloud had passed, there remained no trace of Hercules. He had achieved the immortality that he had earned through his labors. We are told that he ascended Mount Olympus and is living forever among his fellow gods. NEXT WEEK: Religious Grottoes The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Invites you to attend a public meeting to discuss: for Proposals On Parcel 11A & 128 North Street WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2015:6 PM Nazzaro Community Center 30 North Bennet Street, MassDOT will discuss their intent to release Requests for Proposals (RFPs) on two MassDOT owned properties in the North End of Boston. Separate RFPs will be released for each location: Parcel 11A - Located at the corner of Hanover Street and Cross Street adjacent to Mother Anna's Restaurant 128 North Street - Known as the Tunnel Administration Building. If you have any questions, please contact: JAMES KERSTEN Legislative Liaison, MassDOT emaih James.A. Kersten @ doL state.ma.us The meeting space is accessible to people with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation (such as American Sign Language Interpreters, assistive listening devices, handouts in alternate formats, etc.) and/or language assistance to fully participate, please contact James Kersten at MassDOT at 857-368-9041 or James.A.Kersten@dot.state.ma.us. Such accommodations will be provided free of charge. Letter to the Editor Proposed Hotel Development on Lewis Wharf Dear Editor, I'd like to take this opportunity to Voice my con- cerns about the subject proposal. I am a longtime resi- dent of the North. End.. I live here, I work here, t have devoted countless hours volunteering in many different capacities to help make and keep the North End the won- derful, vibrant neighborhood that it is today. I'm proud to call it home, and I can't think of another place in the world where I'd rather live. And I can say with complete confidence that a majority of people here feel the same way. But because of its unique charm a~nd desirability, the North End must constantly deal with developmental" pressures that seek to capitalize and exploit it. But it's the same old story, isn't it? These same forces that want to profit from its vibrancy and charm can also be its undoing, by changing the very essence of the neighborhood. I'm afraid that's what we have here with this proposal. It's the mixture of old and new that makes Boston such an amazing place to be. And nowhere is this juxta- position perfected any better than in the North End. I disagree with the developer's description of the area as "dilapidated." Admittedly, it could use some historical restoration, but it is historically accurate in its present state. Would you pave over cobblestones because they're bumpy and hard to plow? Would you braze the crack on the Liberty Bell? Would you glue the nose back on the Sphinx? For those of us who understand and appreciate the historical integrity of our city, this development would cheapen it, despite the architect's attempt to make it look like it belongs there. Whether Boston needs another hotel shouldn't be the issue here. It's whether the North End needs it. Our neighborhood shoulders a disproportionate burden of Boston's tourism, generating millions of dollars of revenue for the city and commonwealth. It can be quite overcrowded at times. The city being as small as it is, hotel proximity is really not a factor. There are various other areas in the city that would benefit from this kind of project. When you intend to put a substantial develop- ment in an area where there literally isn't even land, I think you are try/ng to squeeze too many sardines into the can. We've been through the Big Dig with the associated congestion, noise, rats and other disruptions to our daily lives. Obviously, a project like this would cause similar issues. It's easy to write this off as temporary problems. But there are children who grew up here who have known nothing different. This is a neighborhood after all. Every time a project like this happens, we lose a piece of it. The North End Union (on Parmenter Street) which was a day care center, job assistance for local youth, and fuel assistance for the elderly. It also offered classes in computer, cooking and drama. The Christopher Columbus Center (on Prince Street) which held functions such as christenings, showers, teen dances, fundraisers, basketball leagues, and after school programs. Two schools (Michelangelo and Christopher Columbus) It's easy to view the North End as a collection of world class restaurants, a cultural center and a tourist desti- nation for people all over the world. But please, look deeper. It's a community, a neighborhood ... our neighborhood. Thanks for your consideration. Anne Devlln Tayliaferro FUNCTION FACILITY Specializing in the art of celebration Wedding, Anniversary, Quinceahera, Reunion, Birthday, Social and Corporate Events. Convenient location and valet parking makes Spinelli's. East Boston the perfect location. We are dedicated to the highest level of service and professionalism to ensure the success of your special occasion. 280 Bennington Street, East Boston, MA Please Call 617-567-4499 spineUis.com