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August 29, 2014     Post-Gazette
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August 29, 2014

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Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, AUGUST 29, 2014 i ,00nno00e00a00.rin,,a00n*o00,ore 10000jtlI Loving the Change of Seasons (. ! Fall is in the air. When I • The way the sun looks take a walk around my especially golden when it is by Sal Giarratani neighborhood, the brisk wind low in the sky, sending its tastes like a crisp red apple. Tree leaves, resplendently green in the summer, now begin to faintly sparkle with hues of orange and yellow. I started setting up my class- room at the school where I now work, breathing in the familiar early fall scents of new notebooks and freshly sharpened pencils. Some people may be sad to see summer go, but this energy and excitement that circles around the beginning of autumn revitalizes me. I am suddenly filled with purpose, a desire for organization and ambition, for structure and goal-reaching. Not to men- tion, autumn heralds the beginning of a great cycle of festivities, starting with har- vest celebrations and mov- ing on to Halloween, then to Thanksgiving and beyond to the midwinter holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year. The period of changing seasons, when the Earth seems to pulse with life and hums with transi- tion, has always fascinated me. In moments like this, I can visualize the year as a wheel, turning forevermore with the rebirth of spring, the richness of summer, the bounty of fall, the slumber of winter. As August comes to a close, I marvel at the myriad ways in which time richly and excitedly turns to the cool, golden days of autumn. Monday September I st not only welcomes a new month, but it is also the holiday of Labor Day. Originally started to honor working citizens, Labor Day now serves as the unofficial end of sum- mer. For many families in the United States, Labor Day festivities center around barbecues or final excur- sions to the beach, before the chill of fall settles in. Indeed, a sense of finality does permeate Labor Day. After Labor Day, many school districts and universities begin their classes. There's even a well-known, informal fashion rule that states that wearing white after Labor Day is inappropriatel How- ever, I like to view Labor Day as a beginning. After Labor Day weekend, fall pushes ahead at full speed. Halloween decorations and candies inundate stores. Leaves turn brighter and brighter colors, with more blowing off into the wind and settling artily on the ground. I know that over the ocean in Italy, signs of fall blossom from the cities to the coun- tryside. Fertile vineyards pre- pare for la vendemmia, or the annual grape harvest. In the mountainous regions of northern Italy, trees twinkle with mele, apples. In my father's hometown of Sul- mona, morning mist will be gently covering the valleys, hushing the peaceful vil- lage. Autumn's beauty is ready to descend upon the world. During times of seasonal transition, I love to compose lists of the subtle changes I notice all around me. Doing so helps me live in the moment and appreciate the natural world, becoming fully aware of the transforma- tions unfolding around me and the rhythm of time. Here is my list for the past few weeks, as August mean- ders into the fall: • Cool, crisp evenings when the first stars appear earlier in the sky, enchant- ing the world into a restful slumber • The return of pumpkin spice coffees at Dunkin' Donuts rays dancing between the tree trunks of the forest behind my home • Glittery pumpkins, quaint cloth witches and arches black cat decorations lining the shelves of shops • Knowing that the sum- mer game show Reazione a Catena will soon end its run on the Italian channel, to be replaced by the other pro- gram L'Eredita • A cream cheese-apple tart in myi(favorite cooking magazine * The leaves on the old tree near my grandmother's home turning a bright rust color Keeping a list of seasonal changes, as I am fond of doing, definitely encourages optimistic thinking and deep gratitude towards the beau- ties of the natural world. These transitions remind us of the yearly dance of time, the way the Earth makes way for both harvest and rest, new life and ful- fillment. From the delicate early crocuses of spring, to increasingly bright nights of summer, from the leaves gradually turning golden in the cool autumn air to first intricate frost patterns on a cold winter morning, the loveliness of seasonal changes are innumerable to count and multi-faceted in their symbolism and per- sonal resonance. This Labor Day weekend, bite into a tart apple or sip on a pump- kin coffee, take a walk in the early sunset or buy a Halloween ornament for your home. However you choose to celebrate the • fall, make sure you do so with excitement for the glo- rious season ahead and an open mind as to its many pleasures. 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 North End Music & Performing Arts Center (NEMPAC) Announces New Leadership Dianne Royle to Serve as President of the Board of Directors Dianne Borrlello Royle was born In the West End. Her family's weekly food shopping was from the pushcarts at Haymarket and the specialty stores in the North End. She and her husband, Frank, resided in Mansfield, and raised three active chil- dren. During Dianne's forty years in Mansfield, she served on the Conserva- tion Commission, was elected to the Mansfield School Committee for nine years and Board of Selectmen for six years. She left her love of politics to become President of Mansfield Music & Arts Society (MMAS) and hosted her own Cable TV program for ten years, interviewing non-profit organi- zations, promoting their mission and fundraising efforts. Her late husband, Frank, was a devoted coach and umpire for Mansfield Little League for over twenty years. Before his passing, Frank was honored with the nam- ing of the Frank Rogle field, in the Mansfield Little League Complex. "I recently moved to the North End to return to my roots. My father was born on Henchman Street and my daughter, Jen, lives nearby. I love living in the North End and am especially excited to be President of NEMPAC, I look forward to working with our dynamic and diversified Board of Directors and our professional Executive Director, Sherri Snow and her staff. I can assure the North End community and surrounding areas that NEMPAC will enhance its out- reach and continue to offer quality programs for children and adults." If anyone is interested in joining the NEMPAC Board of Directors, I would love to talk with you. Please feel free to contact me at 857-233-2039. Media Dependency and Feguson Reaching the Tipping Point Recently, after getting in- dicted by the "Democratic- controlled" Travis County and chief prosecutor, Gover- nor Rick Perry went on the offensive over being seem- ingly the victim of a politi- cal vendetta. He wondered where was the rule of law as a grand jury brought two counts against him. Is the governor a victim of Texas justice? Is it true that a good prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich? Be that as it may, what really is much more con- cerning is the rule of law getting bent or misused to get a specific end. Shall we go there? Where? To Ferguson, Missouri where a recent police shooting on the night of August 9 th has led to days of unrest as citizens of Ferguson have taken to the street in protest demanding justice for the shooting victim. But what "justice" do they seek? Do they seek to find out what happened or do they demand the police officer who did the shooting pay for his crime? It seems many see only a certain outcome as justice. Not all in Ferguson are loot- ing and not all demand revenge over justice. How- ever, the media plays up the controversy and hives podi- ums to racial rabble-rousers like the Rev. Al Not-so- Sharpton. What scared me about Ferguson was the excuse for looting in the name of jus- tice. What scares me is that neither the president nor the attorney general of the United States ever men- tioned the words "looting" or "lawlessness." I believe in the rule of law and in our constitutional demo- cratic republic. I do not believe in mob rule. It can never be excused nor ignored. This country is in trouble when people become too dependent on media think- ing for them and advocating for as we see, even justice. We need a society where "We the people" actually think for ourselves rather than waiting for someone else to tell us what to think or what to say. The media has done for the most part, a disservice to the people by feeding into the anger rather than search- ing for the facts. Almost from the get-go much of the liberal media started off with an anti-police bias where the officer in ques- tion seemed assumed guilty until proven innocent which in turn fed into the anger on the streets. Sometimes we depend too much on the media for its insight rather than our own insights. If you listened and watched MSNBC, you were slanted one way. I believe the much-maligned Fox News Network actually was the only cable news network that attempted to present both sides of the story. 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