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November 29, 2013     Post-Gazette
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November 29, 2013

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o'; THE ITALIAN-AMERICAN VOICE OF MASSACHUSETTS L~ (Formerly LA GAZZETTA del MASSACHUSETTS) VOL. 117 - NO. 48 BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, NOVEMBER 29, 2013 $.30 A COPY The Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving by Edgar Albert Guest, 1881-1959 It may be I am getting old and like too much to dwell Upon the days of bygone years, the days I loved so well; But thinking of them now I wish somehow that I could know A simple old Thanksgiving Day, like those of long ago, When all the family gathered round a table richly spread, With little Jamie at the foot and grandpa at the head, The youngest of us all to greet the oldest with a smile, With mother running in and out and laughing all the while. It may be I'm old-fashioned, but it seems to me today We're too much bent on having fun to take the time to pray; Each little family grows up with fashions of its own; It lives within a world itself and wants to be alone. It has its special pleasures, its circle, too, of friends; There are no get-together days; each one his journey wends, Pursuing what he likes the best in his particular way, Letting the others do the same upon Thanksgiving Day. I like the olden way the best, when relatives were glad To meet the way they used to do when I was but a lad; The old home was a rendezvous for all our kith and kin, And whether living far or near they all came trooping in With shouts of "Hello, daddy!" as they fairly stormed the place And made a rush for mother, who would stop to wipe her face Upon her gingham apron before she kissed them all, Hugging them proudly to her breast, the grownups and the small. Then laughter rang throughout the home, and, Oh, the jokes they told; From Boston, Frank brought new ones, but father sprang the old; All afternoon we chatted, telling what we hoped to do, The struggles we were making and the hardships we'd gone through; We gathered round the fireside. How fast the hours would fly--- It seemed before we'd settled down 'twas time to say good-bye. Those were the glad Thanksgivings, the old-time families knew When relatives could still be friends and every heart was true. i!iiii~iiii!iii~ii!~iiil i~>!>!>!~i!~i~ CNN Investigates VA Hospitals Apparently, according to a CNN report, the Department of Veterans Affairs even after get- ting additional funding from Congress still hasn't dealt with the long waits that put our ailing vet- erans using the system at risk. Between 6 and 20 veterans allegedly died as a result of either long waits for treatments or just seemingly plain substandard care. One veteran interviewed on CNN on November 19~ stated that he was told at Dorn VA Hospital in Columbia, SC that he didn't need an immediate colonoscopy. He was leery of that statement, went to a private doctor who per- ......... formed a colonoscopy' and found several pre- cancerous polyps. Had he waited as told by the VA, he could have been dead and unable to speak with CNN on this report. Can I tell you something? This is government- run medical care. This is the future of Obamacare for all Americans. Lincoln to Obama Addresses Recently, America celebrated the 150th anni- versary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. (Continued on Page 13) Trellis Lighting at Christopher Columbus Park ...... by Matt Conti The annual trellis lighting at Christopher Columbus Park marked the start of the season during this Thanks- giving week. Mayor Tom Menino and Mayor-Elect Marty Walsh helped flip the switch on (Photo by Rosario Monday night turning on the thousands of blue lights to create Boston's iconic holi- day scene. The trellis lights are sponsored by the Friends of Christopher Columbus Park that hosted the event. FOCCP President Joanne Scabin, Ross Photography) Hayes-Rines and Parks Commissioner Toni Pollak moderated the festivities with a holiday program headlined by NEMPAC stu- dents, saxophone extraordin- aire, Scott Boni, Magic 106.7 and, of course, Santa! L'Anno Bello: A Year in Italian Folklore A Season of Waiting and Cheer The holiday season, that wonderful time of light and greenery and chiming bells, has wrapped itself around me like a warm sweater. This morning, as I stepped out- side into the chilly air, I noticed how perfectly the leaves scattering my front lawn were ensconced in frost, seeming like crystal- lized Christmas ornaments. Hanukkah begins the last week of November, so house- holds around the country shine with soft light from golden menorahs. Holiday music fills the air from car radios all around me, setting a mood of cheer and good spirits. Foods of the season, from tart cranberries to silky eggnog, tempt me with their delectable smells and fes- tive flavors. Yes, the holiday season has come upon us, evident in the holly wreaths that line doorways and the shoppers that zigzag in and out of bustling stores. In the midst of all this excitement, however, it is important to remember that a period of reflection and respite pre- cedes Christmas. This time, known as Advent, contains by Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz a plethora of folksy traditions in both Italy and America that comprise the tradi- tional, family-oriented heart of the season. Advent, which begins on December Ist this year, refers to the weeks of prepa- ration for the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas. Falling on the four Sundays before Christmas, Advent used to be a period of fasting in the Middle Ages, though now the focus has shifted to the anticipation and eager wait- ing that accompanies the Christmas holidays. Advent also contains a strong emphasis on light, linking it to all the midwinter festivi- ties that honor the rebirth of the sun after the winter solstice. All around the world, people light candles on Advent wreaths, circular like the sun in the sky, to help count down the weeks before Christmas. Tradition- ally, three of the candles are purple, except for the rose- colored candle which corre- sponds to the third week of Advent, its cheerful hue tan- talizing people with thoughts of the holiday joviality to come. My husband's family celebrates Advent with strik- ingly simple rituals that are both cozy and intimate. Every Sunday of Advent, they light the appropriate Candle and read a Biblical passage. After that, they choose ~a small homespun ornament to pin to a felt Christmas tree tapestry. By Christmas Day, there are 25 ornaments adorning the tree, ranging from a quirky seal to more quintessential adornments like a Santa Claus face and a haloed angel. In some other families, children open little drawers on Advent calen- dars on the days preceding Christmas. The prominence of waiting during Advent reminds us that stepping away from the chaos that all too often characterizes the holiday season provides us with invaluable oppor- tunities to spend time in the company of loved ones. Meanwhile, the light of the Advent wreath tells us that the sun will shine again, even in the midst of the dark winter nights. (Continued on Page 7) THE POST-GAZETI E SATELLITE OFFICE IS NOW OPEN AT 35 BENNINGTON STREET, EAST BOSTON This office is open on Tuesdays from 10:00 AM to 3.'00 PM and Thursdays from II.'00 AM to ZOO PM, for the convenience of our East Boston and North Shore clients and contributors Call 617-227-8929 for more information