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November 22, 2013     Post-Gazette
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November 22, 2013

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Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, NOVEMBER 22, 2013 by Prof. Edmund Nostra Turiello A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. GERALD R. FORD (Leslie Lynch King, Jr.) DATE OF BIRTH: July 14, 1913 PLACE OF BIRTH: Oraaha, NE DATE OF DEATH: December 26, 2006 PLACE OF DEATH: Rancho Mirage, CA SPOUSE: Betty Bloomer PRFIDENT: August 9, 1974 - January 20, 1977 Vice President Agnew left under duress, If my memory's correct, we can thank his bad press: When it first became known that Spiro had quit, The House said to Ford, "It looks lOce you're it." Never look in the mouth of a genuine gift horse, It was ten months later when Dick resigned in remorse: The best string of good fortune since the clay Ford was born, The Presidency was something he just stumbled upon. dust about this time the country needed some ftxin', The .first thing he did was to pardon Dick Nixon; Then vetoed many bills for this that and such, Because he said that they cost too damned much. We respect Ford for taking all of our kidding, Please check the fine print he did all of our bidding; You'll soon discover he was quite a martyr, Even in defeat by a man named Jim Carter. Here is more news, try not to be floored, Elizabeth Anne Bloomer is now Betty Ford, She was born in Chicago, but moved three years later, Really had no choice, but to follow her pater. In later years modem dance was her thing, Joined a small group just to give it a fling; Then in Grand Rapids she was driven to tears, Her marriage to Bill Warren only lasted five years. She started a dance group, really knew the score, Became a fashion expert for a Grand Rapids store; Then came the time, with her life she was just bored, But this was all changed when she met Gerry Ford. To prove that their marTiage was not on the skids, They settled right down, had four beautiful kids; She became quite active in those interim pauses, Helped the Red Cross and all women's causes. Res Publica by David Trumbull Thanksgiving Day 2013 "Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor...l do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the benefi- cent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be " -- George Washington, 1789 ([rom the first National Thanksgiving Day Presidential Proclamation) The Pilgrims, Puritans, Huguenots, Quakers, Anabaptists, Lutherans, Jews, Catholics, deists, and even atheists who came to America in the colonial period found here freedom not possible in the lands of the Old World where an established church was the norm. Their descen- dents founded the United States on a radical and untried principle -- no religious establishment and no government interference with religion. What a surprise then to find that the very first Presidential Proclamation issued was Washington's Thanksgiving Day call to prayer to Almighty God. Indeed, the only distinctly American holi- day is the fourth Thursday in November, which we set aside to thank God for our blessings. Think about it. Christmas is cel- ebrated worldwide, even in lands where Christians are a small minority. Every nation celebrates New Year's Day and the various national holidays commemorating great leaders, important battles, and the date of national founding. Our distinctly American national holiday is a re-enactment -- and re-interpretation for contemporary multi-ethnic and multi-religious American culture -- of that first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massa- chusetts, celebrated by survivors of the Mayflower passage. And, yet, the story is not narrowly the tale of the Pilgrims. Few Americans are liter- ally Mayflower descendents. Most of us do not trace our roots to East Anglia. Most of us do not follow their reformed Calvinist religion. Nevertheless, their story is the American story. It is the story of families that left their homeland for a better life in America. Did your people come here on sailing ships in the 17 th, 18 th, or 19 th century? Or were they part of the big steamship migration of the late 19 th and early 20 a century that filled Boston with Irish and Italians? Or perhaps you are a more recent immigrant. Whenever your people came here and by whatever means, they, and you, are part of the narrative we re-tell every Thanksgiving Letter to Sal G. Dear Sal, I am a cancer research doctor and read your article "Mental Health's Long Spiral Down to Dante's Inferno: published in the September 27, 2013 issue of the Post-Gazette. Your article is among the finest I have read about mental health. I hope you will have it printed in a wider forum such as, perhaps, the Boston Globe. Or, I hope you will con- sider submitting Your article as a letter- to-the-editor or editorial in a scientific/ medical journal. Please consider making your article available to a larger audience beyond the Post-Gazette. As for me, I am a transplanted East Bostonian for whom the Post-Gazette serves as my connection to Boston. I grew up at 152 London Street, about 100 feet from the toll booths of the Sumner Tunnel. My father, Sal Penta, was a delivery man for Quinzzani's Bakery then located on LaGrange Street downtown Boston. My mother Josephine, was a daughter of Fallica's Groceries, for years located at the corner of Chelsea and Marion Streets in East Boston. As a young boy, I worked for two young brothers Sal and Paul Lombardo as a stock boy/delivery boy at their grocery store called Liberty Market on Porter Street. Growing up in Central Square and only a few blocks from Maverick Square, I was a frequent visitor to the many pool rooms of East Boston. Somehow, I graduated from Northeastern University, received a full aca- demic scholarship to Purdue, where I received my doctorate, then continued on to Johns Hopkins University Oncology Center in Baltimore, and from there to Duke University Cancer Center in Durham, NC. I worked at the National Institute of Health prior to moving to California. One of my long-ago East Boston friends is John Christoforo, who also writes for the Post-Gazette. He and I both graduated from Boston English High School in the '50s. I always enjoy reading your columns, Sal. Please accept my congratulations upon your retirement. Sincerely, Dr. John S. Penta, Yorba Linda, CA : i!ii This Thanksgiving make a difference! By donating pet food and supplies, you'll help Freeway support a local shelter. Your generosity can go a long way in supporting the needs of these deserving animals! Drop your donation off at the Post-Gazette 5 Prince Street, North End, Boston by Tuesday, November 26. Don't Forget That Tough Times Impact Them Too!