Sunday and today – Lukes’s old place in Green Island gets a new face! Shame on Worcester City Councilor Konstantina Lukes and hubby Jim for livin’ high but actin’ low-down when it came to their rental property on Harding/Millbury streets!
Kudos to the new landlord who recently bought their building and is making the oh-so necessary improvements!💐💐💐
I have been to many Democratic Issues Conventions: in Lowell, Springfield, etc, but this one was by far the most energetic, well-attended and positive!!
We have had these conventions in Worcester before. I appreciate the convenience of having only a 15-minute drive to get there. And this weekend was no different – and by great good luck, looking for a parking place, we found one right across the street from the DCU’s rear entrance, on Commercial Street.
Though the convention was slated to begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, there was partying the night before, giving the out-of-town delegates and guests a chance to experience a taste of the new Worcester.
Saturday began with several breakfasts on the 3rd floor of the Center. By the time we made it up there, the whole floor was already mobbed with hungry crowds, and long lines slowly snaked their way to the food.
We made our way to the convention floor, sat down in our assigned area, and watched the crowd.
The estimated attendance was around 5,000 – a much bigger group than I had ever seen at these issues conventions before! And the crowd seemed much younger – probably because there were 1,500 first-time delegates. The energy in the place was palpable!
We began with the usual ceremonies and a very moving rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.” Then we got down to business. After a welcome from our Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty, the speakers began – with a common theme, rendered with gusto: basically saying that the time to “Resist, Fight, and Win” (in the words of Senator Elizabeth Warren!) had come!
Speaker after speaker – including Congressman Jim McGovern, Senator Ed Markey and a whole bevy of political figures in local and state politics – delivered impassioned speeches, repeatedly interrupted by applause and standing ovations. After the obligatory criticisms of President rump and several critiques of Governor Baker, they launched into a list of what the Democrats of the future want to accomplish.
Added to the pages and pages of issues that Democrats will fight for, goals that were spelled out in the party platform (which was unanimously adopted after the speeches), the convention delegates also adopted 15 amendments, which included making Election Day a holiday, putting an end to private prisons, ending gerrymandering and many more.
The speeches did go on a bit long and seemed to be somewhat repetitive after a while, causing some of the delegates to become impatient, with shouts of “VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!” But the scheduled speakers got their chance to speak, although in less time than they had hoped. And we finally got the voting done, although a couple of hours later than expected. But the time was well spent, and we left our convention full of vigor and energy.
Much of the Democratic leadership on the state and local level was in evidence throughout, but I saw many NEW faces in the crowd.
And I added many pins and stickers to my ever-growing collection, to help me remember all these occasions!
Farmers’ Market begins at 11 a.m., and runs to 2 p.m.
Concerts: noon to ?😉
During intermission local restaurants, farmers and crafters sell their goodies!
Farmers Market happening NOW! Concerts begin at the end of June!
Blue Light Bandits
Ball in the House
Worcester Jazz Collective
Whitney Doucet and the Moonshine Band
Women of Worcester
Aug. 17 – Eduardo Ortiz Latin Jazz
Boombox “The ’70s and ’80s Experience”
Black Heritage Juneteenth Festival
“None of us are free until we are all free.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
noon – 8 PM
Institute Park, Salisbury Street
The “Celebration of Freedom” on June 17, 2017 commemorates two seminal events on the timeline of America becoming a more perfect nation; Quock Walker’s Massachusetts Supreme Court Decision in 1783 and General Gordon Granger reading of the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston, Texas in 1865.
For residents of Massachusetts the Supreme Court decision essentially nailed the coffin of legalized enslavement shut and with Juneteenth, emancipation from enslavement for all enslaved Africans became a reality.
The Black Heritage Juneteenth Festival is a celebration of freedom with individual and family-fun activities, music, history, and food. Attendees are provided the opportunity to participate in games and sack races and to define what “freedom is” to them which public artists will incorporate into a community painting.
There will be living history; authors including mystery writer Carrie H. Johnson; spirited music and dance from the various performance genres within the African diaspora including high life, drumming and dance from Akwaaba Traditional Drum and Dance Ensemble, soul music from the Chop Turner Band and many others. DJs Kimpa DJKb Barnes and Kool Chris will keep the sound flowing while our MC’s will keep the audience engaged and the program going.
Looking for a hands-on introduction to computers?
Register for our FREE COMPUTER LITERACY CLASS!
Learn how to use the basic functions of a Windows computer, set up and utilize an email addres Five Sessions Starting
… 6/6, 6/13, 6/20
Tuesdays at 11:30 AM
Call Sarah at 508-796-1411 x 421 for more info.
At the Worcester Family Resource Center of YOU, Inc.
484 Main St., Suite 450
Greater Lowell Community Foundation
TUESDAY, JUNE 6
Tewksbury Country Club
1880 Main St., Tewksbury
EMBRACING OUR NEIGHBORS
Join the Greater Lowell Community Foundation at our Annual Meeting for a discussion on recent community needs data, a response to these indicators, and how each of us can support our neighbors and our community.
Sheila Och, MPH
Chief of Community Health & Policy
Lowell Community Health Center
Greater Lowell Community Foundation, 100 Merrimack Street, Suite 202, Lowell, MA 01852
I’m having an early lunch, in my big kitchen, in my lower Vernon Hill flat. Looking straight at “Ma” (with me at the park) and thinking back to her big kitchen in her Green Island flat, where I grew up, where Ma used to throw some great birthday parties for us kids.
Here I am, at the head of our paper-table-cloth-covered kitchen table (the “table cloth” bought special at White’s Five and Ten on Millbury Street for this special occasion!), basking in all the attention. I’m sitting in the “queen for the day” chair, our old needs-a-paint-job creaky, cracked wooden chair taken from our back porch. We had four green wooden chairs in our apartment – to be tucked under our green kitchen table. No dining room – or dining room “set,” a staple in all Mad-Men era homes but absent from poor ones like ours. So there was no dining room table from which to pinch dining room chairs for our guests. So Ma would run to our third floor back porch and grab the late Jaju’s (Grandpa’s) wooden chair, along with a couple of benches he built 10 years before.
It was all very rough hewn! See! I still have the tin cup Jaju made for himself, with the door hook handle. He used to drink his cheap vino from it. He loved to work with his hands. His carpentry projects included: wood swings for our bedroom doors, a long gliding patio swing for our front porch. Most of them made from scrap wood. He even made me pink Play Doh horses with my pink Play Doh!
Jaju, a Polish immigrant who worked his whole life in the textile mills in Douglas and Dudley, felt besieged in his new country, America. He missed the “Old Country” and played sad Polkas on his harmonica in the evenings, from his bedroom filled with the thick furling grey cigarette smoke from the cigs my mother used to roll for him, in his little rolling machine. Unfiltered, of course. I used to have a small package of his cig papers somewhere in my desk drawer – they were so fine and delicate. Tracing paper that left no traces of Jaju … He died of cancer, just an illiterate “Polack” factory worker to most folks… (not to me, my sweet Jaju!)
Back to my birthday party… A fine time was had by all – me and my cousins and my aunts and uncles! Pin the tail on the donkey games! State Line potato chips for the kids! Pickled pigs knuckles in big clear jars – a Polish peasant delicacy! – for the adults! My birthday cake from Widoff’s! My purple, ribbon-trimmed dress from Jack and Jill’s kiddie clothing shop on Green Street!
Ma’s beaming down on me, straddling my kid sisters on her strong legs. The babies are twins! No one can tell them apart, except Ma! Ma LOVED all little kids.
She loved animals, too. Cats, kittens, puppies … dogs, especially. Here’s her fave dog (not any of mine!) – ROCKY, her brave, beautiful and loyal Doberman pinscher from her Springfield days. I wrote about Rocky last year – the beloved, vicious-to-everyone-but-Ma-and-my-aunties Dobie who died trying to get back home to my mother and my two aunts. Rocky had bitten several folks, so he had to be given away to a farmer, miles up north in the country. But he broke free and ran back home to Ma and her sisters. One night they found big old Rock at their door, bleeding from the mouth. He died at my aunt’s feet – he just had to get back to his favorite mistress!
Here is Ma outside Worcester City Hall, wearing – like all women of the late 1950s/early 1960s – her pretty gloves…
I still remember them! – will never forget them! – crumpled at the bottom of her closet on Lafayeytte Street, in a box, with her nice jewelry – of no use to her now, living on Lafayette Street, working 60 hours a week at the dry cleaners, a single working woman with three little girls and an ailing mother (Bapy) to care for. When I was a little girl, I used to take Ma’s gloves out of their box and flatten them out on my lap to admire them. They were the epitome of all things feminine! They were powder pink, soft, so pretty with delicate, pale blue stitching along their edges. I’d brush them up against my cheeks and smell them! They’d smell like musty moth balls! I loved that smell! It was of hidden secrets! A special past! Ma’s glamorous days!
Did you know my new monthly, Cecelia, coming out next Friday, is named after my late mother?💗