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Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, NOVEMBER 6, 2015 L'Anno Bello: A Year in Italian Folklore November 1 lth: Exploring the Heart of the Month by Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz The month of November encompasses two faces, similar to a copper penny. One face of November in- volves the countdown to the frenzy and joy of the holiday season. Commer- cials featuring jangling ................... jingle bells and shiny wrapped Christmas gifts are already beginning to inundate television chan- nels. When my best friend and I visited the mall the day after Halloween, ever- green boughs and white- gold electric lights draped along every balcony and column. The second face of nies from veterans of all ages. I November is its most immedi-am eager to bring my classes to ate however. This is the gray this event so that my young stu- November of early winter, when dents will grow in gratefulness cloudy skies disguise the early- " and appreciation towards these setting sun. This is the Novem- brave men and women, and ber when chill winds blow the so that knowing the horrors of last scraggly yellow leaves off the war they will be more likely to trees and geese plaintively call strive towards peace. Veterans' from above as they fly south. Too Day can also be a somber occa- often, we only pay attention sion, honoring the soldiers who to the bright holiday face of died in duty. Indeed, in ancient November, trying desperatelyto Europe the whole month of rush into the festivities of November was completely dedi- November that we forget to cated to the commemoration of appreciate the beauty of the the dead. As the vegetation present month. The blustery withers around us and the days of November carry their year sighs its way to a close, own sense ofbeautyand signifi- our minds drift to matters of cance. They encourage us to memory and the past. This Vet- reflect on the cycle of nature, erans' Day, we should all keep the memory of the past and the sacrifices of our veterans, beckon us to spend time with living and dead, close to our loved ones. Right in the middle hearts, and .express our deep- of the month, the special date est thanks for the freedoms of November 11a encapsulates they provided. Moreover, we all that is powerful and wean- should carry this gratitude with ingful about this time of the us all year long, for the courage year. of our military men and women When I was preparing my desk is never confined to just one calendar for November, I drew day. a little American flag on the November 11th is also the eleventh day of the month. I date of a holiday which hear- wanted to honor Veterans' Day, kens back to the Middle themostweU-knowncommemo- Ages. St. Martin's Day, often ration taking place on this date. known as Martinmas, honors Originally Armistice Day, Veter- St. Martin of Tours, a fourth- ans' Day celebrations began as century French bishop. All a way to honor the end of the across Europe, Martinmas func- First World War, when peace tions as an agricultural as well was declared on the eleventh as religious holiday, an occasion hour of the eleventh day of the marking the end of the harvest eleventh month. Nowadays, this season and the beginning of the holiday serves as reminder of winter. As such, St. Martin's the heroic sacrifices our vet- Day is often celebrated with erans -- of all wars -- have feasts of hearty autumnal deli- undertaken on behalf of the cacies and family reunions. In country. One of my coworkers Central Europe and Scandi- is a veteran and conducts an navia, goose is the dish of assembly every year along with choice, often stuffed with fall other teachers who had served staples such as chestnuts. The in the armed forces. The assem- use of goose stems from a leg- bly includes speeches by those end regarding St. Martin, which who witnessed war first hand, states that the humble man hid music provided by the school's in a goose pen when he was band and chorus, and testimo- reluctant to accept the position Since 1969 FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS RICHARD SETTIPANE Public Insurance Adjuster Experience makes the difference! 209 BROADWAY, REVERE, MA 02151 Tel. 781.284.1100 Fax 781.284.2200 Boston 617.523.3456 Free Parking Adjacent to Building as bishop. In Germany and the Netherlands, children dress up and participate in processions bearing lanterns, while in Poland people feast on croissants filled with poppy seeds and almond paste. However, St. Mar- tin's Day retains a very strong association with wine. In Italy, St. Martin's Day, known as//Giomo di San Martino, is the day when people sample the new wine of the year. My father always repeated the proverb "San Martino, si fa il vino," meaning that wine is made on Martinmas. Another Italian proverb simply and succinctly declares: "San Martino, castagne e vino, "which translates to "St. Martin, chest- nuts and wine." These proverbs speak to the Italian love of seasonal food and traditions with deep roots in the old agricultural-based society. I too celebrate St. Martin's Day with comforting Italian autumn recipes. For several years now I have been making pumpkin gnocchi on this day from a recipe in my much-beloved copy of Festa by Helen Barolini. As the scent of nutmeg and browned butter wafts through the kitchen, I feel a special kinship to my ancestors who battled the darkness and cold of winter with cozy meals and the love of family. Martinmas is special to me because it honors both sides of November. Its emphasis on the harvest and the commencement of winter teaches me to appreciate the uniqueness of the month, while its customs of feasting prove a tantalizing foreshadow- ing of the holiday season to come. November is a month of many delights and much significance, despite the fact that many people view it as simply a cold and gray transitional point to the festivals of December. However, if we pay special attention the hidden wonders of the month, we will fend them most rewarding. The sight of bare branches across a cloudy sky and the pale yellow light of the afternoon sun encour- age me to pause and reflect on the past year, evaluating my goals and desires. The cold evenings beckon me back home, creating treats in my kitchen or enjoying the irre- placeable company of loved ones. November 1 1th is a special date for recognizing the unique- ness of the month. During Vet- erans' Day, we honor the brav- ery, courage, and sacrifice of America's military men and women, an action we should undertake all year long. On Martinmas, we prepare for the coming winter while reveling in traditional foods and feasts with our family. By observing these commemorations, we will discover the warm and loving heart beneath November's chilly exterior. 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 adicenso89@gmaiL com. by Sal Giarratani I Always Thought Cats Could Drive Us Crazy A couple of weeks ago while reading the New York Post, a great paper for conservative readers like myself, published a great commentary on October 25a by an author named Harriet A. Washington. She just wrote a new book entitled Infectious Madness. In it, she explains the ways in which we can "catch" mental illness and it is difficult once you read the whole book as she says for anyone to look down at their cats again. Can one really catch schizo- phrenia or bipolar disease? The author thinks the rise in mental illness is linked to the rise of cats as household pets. I worked for the Department of Mental Health for over 40 years and never heard such a theory before from anyone in the field of mental illness. As I read the article adapted from her book I wondered if this was all a bunch of cat litter, I showed the piece to several folk working in the field and they all thought it was pure nonsense. Sometimes I do wonder be- cause I have been a longtime cat person and have had all kinds of cats, the good, the bad, the ugly and the psychotic. Currently, I have "NICA" who is about six years old. I adopted her from the Quincy Animal Shelter when she was about two years old. She was born in the wild, and as a result one of her ears was clipped. She's settled in pretty quick as a house cat. Every so often she tries to escape but I'm too fast for her. She's not the healthiest cat I have had, and I have the vet bills to prove it. The other day it was another $177 and change. Thought I got offcheap. Her first choice of food is canned, which is good, cause you can sneak medicine easy into moist food. I lie, and tell her the stuff is just gravy. Personally, I think she is quite sane, except in the mornings when she turns into a furry sociopath demanding her break- fast by nibbling on my face to get me moving toward the kitchen. Actually, doing that she is also a great alarm clock. Same time, same bed every morning. By the way, I also have a part-time cat, too, named "Tho- mas" who lives with one of my nieces. Whenever I visit he runs to the kitchen for his treats in the overhead cabinet. He knows which one, all my cats over the years have trained me well. The cat I had that I suspected was mentally ill was "Sidney," whose last name should have been "Vicious," or maybe "Rose- mary's Baby." He was the most vicious kitten imaginable I kept him all of three days, I was afraid to close my eyes in bed. If I had kept him, I would have needed psych meds. I don't plan on buying this book because If the basis of the book is true, it is already too late for me. LEGAL NOTICE LEGAL NOTICE Commonwealth of Massachusetts The Trial Court Probate and Family Court Middlesex Division 206 Cambridge Street East Cambridge, MA 02141 (617) 768-5800 Docket No. MI15P5609EA Estate of KENNETH O'NEAL SMITH Date of Death January 12, 2015 INFORMAL PROBATE PUBLICATION NOTICE To all persons interested in the above captioned estate, by Petition of Petitioner Barbara Rogers of Tuscaloosa, AL. Barbara Rogers of Tuscaloosa, AL has been informally appointed as the Personal Rap- resentative 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 Probate Code without supervision by the Court, Inven- tory and accounts are not required to be filed with the Court, but interested parties are en- titled 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 proceed- ings and to obtain orders terminating or restrict- ing the powers of Personal Representatives appointed under informal procedure. A copy of the Petition and Will, if any, can be obtained from the Petitioner. Run date: 11/6/15 Commonwealth of Massachusetts The Trial Court Probate and Family Court Middlesex Division 208 Cambridge Street East Cambridge, MA 02141 (617) 768-5600 Docket No. MI15P5604EA Estate of JOSEPH R STEDNITZ, JR. Date of Death June 29, 2008 INFORMAL PROBATE PUBLICATION NOTICE To all persons interested in the above captioned estate, by Petition of Petitioner Pamela Stednitz of Pottstown, PA. Pamela Stednitz of Pottstown, PA has been informally appointed as the Personal Represen- tative 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 Probate Code without supervision by the Court. Inven- tory and accounts are not required to be filed with the Court, but interested parties are en- titled 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 proceed- ings and to obtain orders terminating or restrict- ing the powers of Personal Representatives appointed under informal procedure. A copy of the Petition and Will, if any, can be obtained from the Petitioner. Run date: 11/6/15 of The POST-GAZE-I-I-E newspaper is a paper general circulation. We are qualified to accept legal from any court in each town that we serve. notices For information on placing a Legal Notice in the POST-GAZEN-E, please call (617) 227-8929; or mail notice to: POST-GAZEI-IE, P.O. BOX 135, BOSTON, MA 02113 Attn: Legal Notices