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August 30, 2013

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POST=GAZETTE, AU .GUS,T,3(1, 2013 .Page 13 J00a/lna 00Babb?Ynonno Labor Day will be with us in a couple of days, but other than it being the practical end of summer, it has an- other significance for me. I met someone during the Labor Day weekend 40 years ago and we've been hangin' around together ever since. Babbononno always used to say, "You can't pick your rela- tives; you're stuck with them. But, you can pick your friends, so do it wisely." Over the years, I discovered his visions were right on target. My story begins around July 4 t", 1973. I had been in Hollywood doing some extra work at Paramount Studios and with the summer com- ing in, most of the production companies housed on the Paramount lot were shutting down for July and August. As a result, I decided to head home. The folks greeted me with open arms, and after set- fling in, I headed to East Bos- ton to visit Babbononno. He was now in a nursing home and ready to turn 98. When I arrived at the Columbus Nursing Home on Saratoga Street, Uncle Nick was there visiting his father. The three of us chatted, and when it was time to leave, Uncle Nick said, "Oh, by the way, there's a Motown group passing through Boston minus a bass player ... you interested?" I said yes and let it go at that. A day of so later, I received a call from one of the leaders of the Uniques, a Motown group that was heading north for the summer. Eddie Jack- son called at the suggestion of Uncle Nick. He said that the band was heading to Maine and needed a bass player. Knowing from what Uncle Nick had said, I told Eddie that I wasn't African- American. His comment was, "What color's your talent?" I replied, "What do you mean, it's colorless." He then asked, "What color's your bass guitar?" I replied, "Black." Eddie's comment was, "Close enough." So, I joined the Uniques for the summer. I did let the guys know that I would be leaving around Labor Day as I had decided to return teaching in the Boston Schools and playing music locally. They had no problem with my decision, and so, I headed to the Ports- mouth Circle, met the band at the then Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge and followed the caravan northward to Caribu, Maine. When we arrived at the location, we brought our equipment into a supper club by John Christoforo A Nostalgic Remembrance that was part of a motel com- plex. The room was large, decorated like a Vegas night- club and the people already in attendance having dinner were well dressed, multi- racial and many of them were in air force uniforms. It did not compute. As far as I knew, that part of Maine had only white people or Indians, and most were involved in Maine's potato industry. What I discovered later that evening was that there was a SAC base in Caribu, the Loring Air Force Base, and the east coast's most strate- gic missile site. The patrons I saw were employees and servicemen and women from the base. There was nothing else in the way of entertain- ment for them except the per- formers at the hotel. Things went well. I fit in and learned their tunes and routines rather quickly. The man I mentioned, Eddie Jackson, became my room- mate and we hit it off. The money was good, but as August pushed forward, I told everyone that I would be leav- ing around Labor Day. Around the beginning of the last week of August, Jerry Cobb, the other leader of the band told me that a New York based bass player was available and I could leave after the last show on that Friday evening. I was delighted. I had been invited to join a bunch of guys who were going to spend the holiday weekend on the Cape. I called one of the guys and told him I would be able to make it and asked for the directions. I left Maine, stopped at the house in Belmont, packed some Cape Cod clothing and headed for Hyannis. I arrived in the middle of the night exhausted. Paul Blair, the friend who had invited me, showed me my bedroom and told me that there were some other folks coming later in the night. It seems that they all worked at a Boston night- club and were leaving after work. When they arrived, I was awakened and looked out the window. What I saw made me curious. A gray Jaguar XKE two seater pulled up with about six people wedged into it. The driver got out and looked like a little kid with a mustache. My comment to myself was, "Oh, what the Hell" and I went back to sleep. The next morning, some- one yelled out brunch is ready. Everyone staying at the cottage headed for the kitchen, and I was introduced to all of them. The one who -- FOR YOU WHO APPRECIATE THE FINEST -- THE MUSIC FOR ALL OCCASIONS 781-648-5678 looked like a little kid with a mustache was named Dean Saluti. We sort of hit it off. He was a doctoral candidate at Boston University, working his way through the program as a bartender at Lucifer's, one of three nightclubs located in a complex called The Kenmore Club situated in the middle of Kenmore Square. As the weekend pro- gressed, Dean and I had many conversations about our backgrounds, growing up in Italian families, both hav- ing multiple college degrees, and our likes and dislikes in women, music and food. It seemed that we were always on the same page. When the weekend came to an end, we swapped phone numbers and I headed back to Boston and returned to teaching drafting and engineering subjects at Hyde Park High School by day and playing music at night. Within the week, I called Dean and told him I was play- ing at a nearby hotel that Sat- urday evening and might he be "interested in getting a bite to eat afterward. We headed for Chinatown and a late night dinner. During our con- versation, Dean talked me into applying for entrance to a doctoral program at Boston University, where he was studying. I already had two master degrees and was so busy teaching in Boston, play- ing music nights and periodi- cally heading for Hollywood when they had something for me in the way of acting. The conversation we had over dinner that night kept cropping up in my mind over the next few weeks and I decided to take one of the exams that would allow me entrance to a BU doctoral pro- gram. When I was sent a let- ter of congratulations by BU, I quickly picked my subject area, signed up for courses and contacted Dean to let him know I was now a BU gradu- ate student. From that point on, we became closer friends, even double dating when there was time. Over the course of that fall and winter I came to know many of his friends and introduced my friends to his crowd. Uncle Nick and I often worked to- gether on weekend nights and he enjoyed hanging out with the younger guys when- ever we headed for a late night restaurant after work. That friendship hit the 40 year mark this weekend. Dean Saluti was a grooms- man in my wedding party and I fulfilled the same obligation in his. For many years after we received our degrees, we worked together in a com- pany he put together. Today, in our senior years, we have the Sons of Italy and our antique cars to augment our lifestyles. But most of all we have the friendship that began 40 years ago, some- thing that is rare and unique in today's world. GOD BLESS AMERICA • Mayor Signs Agreement will never receive less than $32 million annually. EXAMPLE of upside com- ponent dependent upon Gross Gaming Revenue: When the establishment reaches its projected GGR of $1 billion, payment to the City would be $52 million. If the establishment reaches $1.2 billion of GGR, payment to the City would be $80 million, etc. The City will never receive less than $32Million/year $33.4 million Upfront Community Fee will be used to fund several projects in the East Boston community, including: improvements to the Umana School; the for- mation of an East Boston Neighborhood Business Pro- gram; construction of a state-of-the-art youth and senior citizen community center; and improvements to Noyes Park and LoPresti Park. To continue this work and provide for more resources for the mitigation of impacts to the community, the City of Boston will establish a Community Trust guaran- teed to receive $20 million annually to mitigate impacts to the host community. The developer has commit- ted to spend $50 million annually on goods and ser- vices in the City of Boston, and shall spend $5 million annually in goods and ser- vices specifically in East Boston. A $45 million minimum spend on infrastructure im- provements will include: • Flyover on Route 1A • $9.32 million on City of Boston/East Boston inter- sections and roadways • MBTA Suffolk Downs sta- tion improvements • Additional bike lanes and Hubway stations • Subsidized water ferry transit connecting East Bos- ton to other Boston locations, and operation of a shuttle bus service from Maverick in connection with subsidized water ferry transit COMPULSIVE GAMING Suffolk Downs will be re- sponsible for full mitigation of compulsive gaming, in- cluding through an educa- tion program, employee training, public awareness and a commitment to the Boston Public Health Com- (Continued from Page i) mission and the Board of Health. PROJECT DESCRIPTION Under the Host Commu- nity Agreement, the devel- oper will invest $1 billion to construct a resort-style destination gaming estab- lishment consisting of: • . Two distinct gaming ar- eas providing between 150,000 and 250,000 square feet of gaming space with between 4,000 to 6,600 gam- ing positions (consisting of an evolving combination of slot machines and table games); • A World Series of Poker TM room or rooms; • Two luxury hotels provid- ing a total of 450 rooms; • Between 24,000 and 46,000 square feet of meet- ing and entertainment space; restaurants, includ- ing fine dining concepts, casual dining and a local marketplace, collectively containing between 1,700 and 2,600 seats; • Up to 30,000 square feet of retail space, including a spa, thoroughbred horse racing and simulcast wager- ing; and • A seven-story parking garage with up to 2,600 spaces, valet parking for up to 460 additional ve- hicles, and up to approxi- mately 2,100 surface park- ing spaces. SECURITY OF PAYMENTS The agreement also in- Cludes several penalties for non-compliance to ensure security of payments: • Penalty on construction schedule: $55,000/day, • Penalty on payments schedule: $88,000/day • Penalty on all other non- monetary requirements: up to $25,000/day The City of Boston will require Letters of Credit in the amount of $20 Million for the entire term. Payments will be paid to the City on a monthly basis. NEXT STEPS, AS OUTLINED BY STATE LAW • Proponent sends request to City of Boston for vote to be set • A vote on the signed agreement takes place in the community 60-90 days after agreement has been signed • Proponent sends com- pleted application to Gam- ing Commission by Decem- ber 31, 2013. • Hoops & Hockey (Continued the past. There can no longer be any real up- sets similar to 1980 -- at least on the men's side. If one wants more of a clas- sic Olympic experience, one must look to the women's team. This year's team will be led by veteran Harvard Coach Katey Stone. She has coached the Crimson for the past 19 seasons, amassing a 402-171-35 record over that span. An initial camp was held in June and some 25 play- from Page 16) ers were selected for a pre- Olympic team that will train and compete during the fall and early winter. The roster will be cut to 21 players in the weeks leading up to the Olympics. Thus, there are two ways of preparing for the Olympics. If you want the contempo- rary way, choose the men. If you want the classic way, choose the women. Either way, there should be some memorable games in Sochi next February. Happens: en For ion on advert/s/ng; call 617227-8929 .... : ....... : : : .