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October 17, 2014     Post-Gazette
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October 17, 2014

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POST-GAZETTE, OCTOBER 17, 2014 Page 13 Babb fnonno by John Christoforo A Nostalgic Remembrance Babbononno, once he settled down in Boston, became involved with all things Italian. Back in his day, just before the turn of the 20th century, there was a lot of discrimi- nation and prejudice leveled at the unwanted newcom- ers, the "Eye-talians". As a result Italian organizations sprung up in every commu- nity the newcomers settled in. The one dominant, now national, organization is the Sons of Italy. On Saturday, October 4,h the members celebrated the 100th anni- versary of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Babbononno was proud of his people and wanted to help, through this organiza- tion. the newcomers who might have trouble adjusting to American life. What he later told me, and I verified it with a bit oi research, was that 95% of the Italians who came here in that first wave. from 1880 to about 1900. were from southern Italy (south of Rome). and were illiterate in both Ital- ian and English. Because of the isolation in southern Italy, they were distrustful of people from other provinces than their own. Napolitani didn't trust Siciliani, Siciliani didn't trust Calabrese, etc. Once in America, they continued with this approach to people, and as a result, remained fragmented as an ethnic group. Not knowing the ins and outs of the culture, they let mercenaries, Italians who preceded them, take advantage of them. So, 100 years ago, when the OSIA came into existence in Boston, Babbononno was right there, ready to join and help Italians less fortunate than himself. It wasn't all business. When my mother and uncles were kids, there were family events that were sponsored by the Sons of Italy, dinner parties, dances, outings when the weather was good, and church activities, as most of the Italian popula- tion was Catholic. Babbononno was lucky once he came here. He had two talents he could put to good use and make money. My great grandmother, Maria, sent her son Michael to the parish priest in Foggia to learn music and a trade. From that priest, my grand- father learn to make furni- ture and how to build things out of wood. He also learned how to play drums and guitar. Once in America, Babbononno would find im- mediate work utilizing his talents in furniture making and he would join with other Italian musicians playing music at night. As a result, he did rather well. My father's father, on the other hand, did not have a trade, and once he got here, was handed a pick and shovel, and told that, ff he wanted to work, he had to utilize those tools at construction sites. This is what he did until he retired at age 65. Babbononno and Grandpa Christoforo brought up their families in 2 worlds, the world of the Italiani in America and the world of the Americani. Sometimes it was rather tough, but mv parents and uncles survived and that second generation of the Contim and Christoforo families did rather well. The one thing the old timers didn't stress was education. In the old country, the elite {maybe the enemies) the clergy (maybe the enemies) the nobility (maybe the enemies) were all educated. They were not to be trusted and whatever they did, you did the oppo- site. If they sent their chil- dren to school, you learned a trade. The way a man was judged was by his sore back muscles and the calluses on his hands. With that same philosophy in play in America, most of the first born generation, went into family businesses or learned a trade. The girls from Italian families might work when they were single, but that was to help support the family or put money away for when they got married. My mother loved math and was a whiz at it all her life, but she was forced by Babbononno to quit school when she was in the I0th grade. She went to work as a salesgirl in retail and remained at her job until she married my father. Later in life, she told me that she had regretted not con- tinuing her education. Dad and my uncles were proponents of education and made sure their children went to school. As a result, all of my cousins and I fin- ished high school and went off to college. None of us left home, as that wasn't heard of in those days, so we attended local colleges...a compromise that came from being part of -- FOR YOU WHO APPRECIATE THE FINEST -- THE MUSIC FOR ALL OCCASIONS 781-648-5678 Italian families. Well, that was a long time ago, and my story started out about the Sons of Italy. My dear friend, Dean Saluti, and I were sitting down at dinner one night and the subject of who and what we were came up. Considering our successes in life, we both agreed that it was time to give back something back to the Italian American community and we both be- came involved with the Sons of Italy. We became involved with a new lodge in the 1980s, The Greater Boston Renaissance Lodge. Dean eventually became the president and I the orator. Dean has stayed in that po- sition, but I have moved on to positions within the Grand Lodge of Massachu- setts. Today, I am the state treasurer. I guess Im the one who signs the checks. The Sons has dwindled down over the vears. It really isn't needed for survival any more as we've taken our place alongside the rest of the Americans. Today, it's more social than protective, but there are issues still out there: discrimination, prejudices and ethnic biases. And let us not forget Hollywood's images of The Godfather and The So- pranos. These discrimina- tory images we constantly fight on local and national levels through the OSIA. To conclude, I wish to congratulate my brother and sister members of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge for 100 years of existence in our Commonwealth. You were necessary for the survival of our forbearers and you are still needed today. Happy Anniversary and may GOD BLESS AMERICA! LEGAL NOTICE Commonwealth of Massachusetts The Trial Court Probate and Family Court Middlesex Division 208 Cambridge Street East Cambridge, MA 02141 (617) 768-5800 Docket No. MI14P5155EA Estate of JOHN F. HARTMANN Date of Death December 13, 2010 INFORMAL PROBATE PUBLICATION NOTICE To all persons interested in the above captioned estate, by Petition of Petitioner Kelly A. Hartmann of Valley Stream, NY. KellyA. Hartmann of Valley Stream, NY 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 Represen- tative under the Massachusetts Uniform Pro- bate Code without supervision 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 relating 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 restricting the powers of Per- sonal Representatives appointed under infor- mal procedure. A copy of the Petition and Will, if any, can be obtained from the Petitioner. Rundate: 10/17/14 Socially Scene (Continued Prom" featuring food and li- bation specials, a costume contest and live music from 80's cover band, Safety! Not to be typecast as your average "cover band," Safety is anything but. From 9:00 pm to 1:00 am Safety will bring The Beehive back to the '80s, as their five (yes five!) lead singers perform spot-on renditions of every- thing from the Bangles to the Pretenders, Cindi Lauper to David Bowie, Michael Jack- son to The Cure, The Clash and Billy Idol. Led by Brian King from "What Time is it Mr. Fox," Safety combines the tunes with the theatrical for what's sure to be an all- around electric performance. In true Beehive fashion, the rest of the night will be anything but "dead." In addi- tion to their regular menu, Chef Marc Orfaly will be of- fering dinner specials from 5:30 pm to 1:00 arm and the servers will be dishing it up decked out in full Zombie makeup and attirel Cos- tumes are encouraged and there will even be a prize for the best-dressed from 5:00 pm to 2:00 am. The Beehive's bar team will be shaking up festive cocktail specials, and an early performance will set themood from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Eat, drink and let live (or not) on Thursday, October 30% All are welcome, with or without costumes, dead or alive to The Beehive, 541 Tremont Street, Boston. For more information visit www.beehiveboston, corn or call 617-423-0069 to make reservations. Ether Dome... A new medical thriller set at Mas- sachusetts General Hospital Begins October 17th at the Huntington Theatre Com- pany. Huntington Theatre Com- pany continues its 2014-2015 Season with Ether Dome, "an essential story" (Hartford Courant) by Elizabeth Egloff about the advent of ether as an anesthetic and the re- suiting revolutionary impact on the medical profession. The provocative medical thriller's sprawling story is set primarily at Boston's Mas- sachusetts General Hospital and nearby Hartford, Con- necticut, and explores the scientific discovery, personal manipulations, and deep per- sonal cost of the ground- breaking medical achieve- ment. Hartford Courant says, "If you like to go to the theatre to laugh at yourself a little, get shocked, feel-strange sensations in your brain and emerge strangely calmed; Ether Dome is a gas!" San Diego City Beat calls Ether Dome, "a mesmerizing tale," and Examiner.corn says, "Historical theatre at its best! In Wilson's visually delicious staging, one can definitively see how Dr. Horace Wells became the model of Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." "Elizabeth EgloiTs thrilling exploration of a revolution in modern medicine unfolds in our own backyard," says Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois, "The from Page 9) The Wine Riots return to Boston on October 24th and 25th at the Park Plaza Castle. (Photo by Second Glass Productions ) P Huntington's collaboration with MGH will illuminate a lesser-known chapter of our city's rich history. As our nation grapples with a healthcare overhaul, now is the perfect time for Elizabeth and gifted director Michael Wilson to connect the rami- fications of this fascinating event to the world in which we live." Hear more from DuBois about the production at huntingtontheatre.or~/- peter-ether-dome. "I am excited to return [o the Huntington with Eliza- beth Egloffs exhilarating play about America's greatest medical discovery - anesthe- sia - and the lives destroyed in the wake of creating a new world without pain," says di- rector Michael Wilson. "LIZ is a fiercely intelligent and deeply human writer who has woven a captivating nar- rative from true events. Ether Dome holds an un- flinching mirror up to our ambitious American charac- ter and the ways in which class, greed, and prejudice form a twisted path to inno- vation." In Ether Dome, Horace Wells, a Hartford dentist ex- periments with a surprising new treatment to end pain. His student and sometimes- partner introduces the tech- nique to the surgeons at Boston's Massachusetts Gen- eral Hospital where epic battles for credit and between altruism and ambition ig- nite. As the doctors discover the transformative benefits of their new tool, they simul- taneously descend into de- spair, and even insanity - ~_ the story of the dentist is r~- putedly the inspiration be- hind Robert Lewis Steven- son's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This fascinating new play explores the ecstasy of pain, the sweetness of relief, and the hysteria that erupts when healthcare becomes "- big business. Under the direction of Michael Wilson (Now or Later), the co-production with Alley Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, and Hartford Stage begins at the South ,,- End Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA on October 17th and continue through November 23rd. The Calderwood Pavil- ion at the BCA is located at 527 Tremont Street, Boston. You can purchase tickets online at huntington-; by phone at 617- 266-0800; or in person at the BU Theatre Box Office, 264 Huntington Ave.