Category Archives: Music

This just in from the Preserve Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society

PRESERVE OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL SOCIETY OPPOSES ILLICIT SALE OF CHURCH

The Preserve Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society strongly condemns Monsignor F. Stephen Pedone’s solicitation of buyers for the historic building.

The announcement that Msgr. Pedone is actively marketing the property follows the abrupt shuttering of the parish last year, absent the required formal decree from Bishop Robert Joseph McManus.

The Vatican is currently hearing an active appeal on behalf of parishioners protesting Bishop McManus’ decision to close Our Lady of Mount Carmel-St. Ann Parish, which remains consecrated.

Attorney Brody Hale states that “as the Diocese of Worcester’s chief canon lawyer, Msgr. Pedone has consistently misinterpreted canon law throughout the course of events relating to the closure of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.”

Under canon law, Msgr. Pedone may consider no offer on the property until that appeal is concluded.

Msgr. Pedone has refused to consider any plan of action other than the demolition of the church, despite the community’s commitment to meet the financial and material requirements to preserve the building.

The Society is receptive to the sale of most of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish property, so long as the church itself remains preserved and consecrated Roman Catholic sacred space.

Mrsgr. Pedone has failed to respond to any proposal made by the Society.

Counselor Hale notes that in doing so, Pedone ignores the success of numerous similar arrangements that have allowed the preservation of dozens of Catholic sacred spaces throughout the United States and Canada.

The Preserve Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society denounces Msgr. Pedone’s unnecessary and inflexible commitment to the sale and destruction of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.

The members of the parish maintain their willingness to work with Pedone, the Diocese of Worcester, and the Magisterium to preserve the building and the community.

On behalf of the Society, local businessman Mauro DePasquale commented: “Closing the Church is unjust. The unilateral treatment employed by the Monsignor and the Diocesan leadership is discouraging the faithful. Our beloved Church is a central part of Worcester’s Immigrant history, especially of its Italian Americans. We need to stand tall together to save this iconic building, one of Massachusetts’ top seven most endangered historic resource and architectural treasure.”

Mauro DePasquale, President

🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊

💗💙💚for body💗 and soul💙

flyer 2017 health fair

🚲🚲🚲🚲🚲😄

💗💗Worcester Earn-A-Bike💗💗

Annual Kids Bike Sale!!!😄😄😄

☀Saturday June 24 – from noon – 4 PM

4 King St. (Stone Soup)

🚲🚲All Kids Bikes $5😄
🚲🚲🚲All BMX bikes $10😄

Free Children’s Helmets💙💚

Come check out your part-time bicycle shop with full-time bicycle love and learn about other cycling events and opportunities happening throughout Worcester!

For more information, please contact info@worcesterearnabike.org

🚲🚲🚲🚲🚲🚲🚲

IT’S HERE!

The Worcester Regional Transit Authority & the City of Worcester are excited to present: “THE W”! Worcester’s premier pilot public transportation youth pass.

Unlimited rides, Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm – wherever the WRTA goes!

Sign-up today! https://goo.gl/forms/ZlfJsX2471YHp5Pg1

facebook_1497648880895_1497648892156

🌸🌸🌸🌸

image035

Greetings, friends and allies:

As you probably know, access to high-quality, consistent early education and care is critical for children in refugee families. Stable childcare arrangements are key to working parents’ employment success and family self-sufficiency, and quality center or family-based programs provide an important foundation of educational and life success for refugee children.

Join us THIS THURSDAY (6/22) in Boston or next Wednesday (6/28) in Lowell for a workshop that will provide refugee-serving groups, community-based organizations, early education providers, and others the tools you hey need to empower refugee families to improve their access to quality childcare services.

Training topics include:

Options for early education and care services

Challenges facing refugee families in accessing early education and care services

The benefits of quality early education and care

Navigating process of accessing subsidized child care

Resources for staff in refugee-serving groups, early educators, and families

A New Start BOSTON workshop:

Thu, June 22, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
JVS Boston
75 Federal Street
Boston, MA 02110

REGISTER HERE: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-new-start-strengthening-refugee-access-to-quality-early-education-care-tickets-35406294179

image036

A New Start LOWELL workshop:

Wed, June 28, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Pollard Memorial Library Community Room
401 Merrimack St
Lowell, MA 01854

REGISTER HERE: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-new-start-strengthening-refugee-access-to-quality-early-education-care-tickets-35406600094

This training is sponsored by the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition and Edward Street Child Services, with support from the Clowes Fund.

For more information please feel free to contact me by email (leah@miracoalition.org) or phone (617-350-5480 x228).

I look forward to seeing you at our training!

Warmly,
Leah Muse-Orlinoff

🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼

At the Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square! FREE!:

Gardening-1

🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺

Families! PLEASE! THIS SUMMER VACATION DON’T VISIT ROAD-SIDE ZOOS OR SOUTHWICK’S WILD ANIMAL FARM! Wild animals don’t belong in pens, cages or pits! Thank you!!! – Rose T.

HelpMeAntiCircus-1

🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼

Adult Summer Reading Kickoff(1)

🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻

20170620_200253-1
Cece!💙💚💗

Wed:

Worcester news you can use

But first …

🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻

JOIN EPOCA ON A TRIP TO THE STATE HOUSE TO SHOW SUPPORT FOR THE LEGISLATION TO END MANDATORY MINIMUMS.

PLEASE CALL US OR VISIT OUR OFFICE IF YOU PLAN ON JOINING US ON THE BUS.

ALL COST INCLUDING MEALS WILL BE COVERED BY EPOCA.

THE BUSES WILL LEAVE FROM THE FRONT OF WORCESTER CITY HALL AT 10 AM NEXT MONDAY, JUNE 19.

IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND BUT ARE ABLE TO DONATE TOWARD THE COST OF THE TRIP THAT WOULD BE NEEDED AND VERY MUCH APPRECIATED.

ALL DONATIONS NEED TO BE MADE OUT TO EPOCA, 4 KING ST. WORCESTER, MA.

💗💗💗💗💗💗

Ascentria Care Alliance and our partners cordially invite you to join us as we recognize and celebrate World Refugee Day, on Friday, June 16, from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at Trinity Lutheran Church, 73 Lancaster St.

At 4:30 p.m., Mayor Joseph M. Petty will read the proclamation recognizing World Refugee Day.

Come and enjoy performances by Southeast Asian Coalition dancers, African drumming and dancing led by Crocodile River Music, as well as crafts, exhibitors and delicious, international food.

World Refugee Day was established by the United Nations to honor the courage and strength of women, men and children forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution.

Worcester welcomes refugees from 30 countries, including Iraq, Syria, Bhutan, Somalia, and Democratic Republic of Congo.

We look forward to seeing you!

🌎🌎🌎🌎🌎🌎🌎

Adult Summer Reading Kickoff(1)

🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷

image002

🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸

image015

The Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts and the Asian Community are very proud to announce that the following cultural program is being organized to celebrate its 14th Annual Asian Festival in Worcester.

Sunday, June 25

12 Noon to 6:00 PM

Italian–American Cultural Center
28 Mulberry St., Worcester

The Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts (SEAC) is a local nonprofit organization established in 2001 to serve and advocate for the South East Asian Community in Central Massachusetts.

With the support of the City of Worcester and local charities, the SEAC currently locate at 484 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608. From this location, our fledgling organization accomplishes its goal of providing much needed advocacy to the surrounding Asian community.

As you may know, there are over 349,768 Asian Americans living in Massachusetts, out of which 33,000 live in Worcester County. Over 12,000 Asian Americans call Worcester their home, the place of their dreams and aspirations.

This is an opportunity for this community to come together and share their cultural heritage with the Worcester Community at large.

We are planning an exciting afternoon full of dance performances, music and food from many Asian countries, and a concluding lion dance competition. Additionally, we will offer valuable information on health education and hold a free medical screening program for all those interested.

We would like to thank you for your help and support in promoting this program for the community.

Admission to the Festival is free.

🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼

Summer Reading Program Kickoff Events at the Worcester Public Library

Join Youth Services as we kickoff our summer reading program filled with activities throughout the summer months.

The Main Library’s kickoff is on Saturday, June 24 from 10-1pm.
Fun building zones will be set up throughout the Main Library Children’s Room including a Little Builders Zone, Twister, Legos, and crafts. We’ll also have a balloon artist and offer glitter tattoos. The Main Library is having a pre-summer reading kickoff Scavenger Hunt on Friday, June 23 at 11am.

Kickoff at the Branch Libraries is on Friday, June 23 in the afternoon (see flyer for exact times). The Tatnuck Branch Library will have a Yo-Yo demonstration. Other highlights include prize raffles, chalk draws, crafts, tinkering with Zoob Builders, Legos, marble mazes, and more.

The Frances Perkins Branch will have a carnival of games with face painting and balloon animals. Other highlights include decorate your own book bag and bookmark in preparation for the summer from 3-5pm.

The Great Book Valley Branch will kick off the summer with snacks and a craft.

Our Adult Summer Reading Kickoff Event at Main Library is on 6/24 from 10am-1pm! Visit our library and sign up for our summer reading program and various programs and classes during the summer. In addition, learn about our Talking Books Library, download ebooks to your devices (or borrow one of ours), and meet representatives from the Blackstone Valley Veggie Gardens and get samples and tips for growing summer salads and herbs.

🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊
Happy Fathers Day!

I was disappointed to learn of this despite our past efforts to contact the Monsignor as our members sought to work WITH him to save our Church and serve on his “building committee” which he only chastised us for.

Just as Judas betrayed Christ for small change. It appears to us the Pastor is also betraying us, the parishioners on Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

We were informed before the today’s article was printed, that the committee hasn’t met in a while and yet, suddenly, two days before a Mount Carmel Preservation Fund raiser at Mechanics Hall, the Pastor Pedone announces the sale. Without a decree from the Bishop that we are aware of.

Many parishioners are angry and against selling the church property.

On their behalf, Mount Carmel Preservation Society will challenge the sale at every step in accordance to Canon law process. This is something developers should be aware of and consider, our appeal could take years but we will do what ever is possible to save our Church and Parish. Even if it takes years.

We are praying for those who remained quiet or who intentionally followed Church leadership to break up our historic parish. To our brothers and sisters at Loretto, we hope you come to agree with the truth, this closing and pending sale is unjust and wrong.

To those parishioners who have remained quiet, we invite you to stand tall and speak up, join our fight visit our web site join our mailing list. Stand tall with us as we continue our mission to save our beloved and historical Italian Church

http://www.preserveourladyofmountcarmel.org

No matter what developers do with the property it will never replace the community and nurturing impact that our parish has had on that district of Worcester over the past 100 years. The Monsignor, in an article, says the Italians are gone, well he is wrong, we are here, we are strong. Demolishing one of the top 7 most endangered historic resources in Massachusetts, will not erase our history or resolve. It will however leave a huge hole in the City and in our collective hearts. Without the property remaining in service to a community of the faithful, it will never be a real improvement for Catholics, for Shrewsbury street or for the district. It seems, as we observed in the past, a sale without pursuing other alternatives to sustain the parish, will be just tragic political land grab.

Look for our comments and responses in related articles.

Our Board of Directors will be meeting in the upcoming days, stay tuned for further statements, announcements and invitations.

Onward with Courage !

We look forward to seeing you Saturday at the Italian Dinner Show (fund raiser) at Mechanics Hall and/or also at the “FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL … CONTINUING TRADITION” on July 16. Meeting at OLMTC on Mulberry St.
Come march with us.

Thank you and God Bless Our Lady of Mount Carmel!

Mauro DePasquale
MPS

🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞

Jeremiah’s Inn to hold its 23rd Annual Food Drive

Can you imagine not knowing where your next meal is coming from? School’s about to let out, which means that nearly 25,000 students will be at risk for hunger on a daily basis until school starts again in August.

That’s right – 100% of Worcester’s public school students are eligible for free or reduced breakfast and lunch.

When school’s out, they’re at risk for missing two meals a day.

The good news is that Jeremiah’s Inn houses one of 29 food pantries in Worcester, where families struggling with hunger and food insecurity can turn to for help.

Each year, Jeremiah’s Inn provides more than 10,000 people with 50-65 pounds of food per visit.

But we need your help!

You can help us battle hunger and food insecurity by participating in our 23rd Annual Food Drive, being held from June 19-24 from 10 am – 6 pm at the Shaw’s Supermarket in Webster Square.

Come on down and donate some food, or make a cash contribution. You can also send your check to Jeremiah’s Inn at PO Box 30035, Worcester, MA 01603.

🐈🐈🐈🐈🐈🐈🐈🐈

everybodys-somebodys-baby

🎵🎵🎵🎵🎵

Free! June 17! At Institute Park! Noon to 8 p.m.

image

An amazing festival THIS SAT. – June 17 – at Institute Park! The Black Heritage Juneteenth Festival!🎵🎵💙

IMG_3559
Parlee Jones is on the Black Heritage Committee of Worcester County, which coordinates this fest!🎶🎶🌸

By Parlee Jones

Black Heritage Juneteenth Festival
Hosted by the Black Heritage Committee
Saturday, June 17 – Institute Park – 12 pm to 8 pm. FREE TO ALL!❤❤

This festival is near and dear to my heart, as I have had the pleasure of managing the children’s tent for the past 10 years. It’s gone through a few rebirths but has been a presence in Worcester for many years. And will continue to be!

I really want to shout out Carlos Anderson from Panama’s Photos for coming through each year with his camera to capture all the amazing moments we have on the third Saturday in June!!!

This is an annual festival where we celebrate the cultures of people in the African Diaspora. The event is coordinate by a volunteer committee, the Black Heritage Committee of Worcester County (Laurie Abernathy, Fabian Glenn, Gloria Hall, Parlee Jones, Kevin Odom, Anissa Pennyman, Fred Taylor and Doreen Samuels).

Join us as we celebrate family, community, freedom, and African American culture and history. 

This event 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.

Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, is a holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas and, more generally, the emancipation of African-American slaves throughout the Confederate South.

Celebrated on June 19, the word is a combination of “June” and “nineteenth.” Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in most states.

The holiday is observed primarily in local celebrations. Traditions include public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, singing traditional songs such as “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, and readings by noted African-American writers such as Ralph Ellison and Maya Angelou.  Celebrations may include parades, rodeos, street fairs, cookouts, family reunions, park parties, historical reenactments, or Miss Juneteenth contests.

Quock Walker, also known as Kwaku or Quok Walker (b. 1753 – d. unknown), was an American slave who sued for and won his freedom in June 1781 in a case citing language in the new Massachusetts Constitution (1780) that declared all men to be born free and equal. The case is credited with helping abolish slavery in Massachusetts, although the 1780 constitution was never amended to explicitly prohibit the practice.

Massachusetts was the first state of the union to effectively and fully abolish slavery. By the 1790 federal census, no slaves were recorded in the state.

The Black Heritage Juneteenth Festival 2017 will celebrate with music, fireworks, and personal expressions of the “new dawn” and the “new day” in the lives of those enslaved who became freemen in Massachusetts and the nation June 1783 and June 1865 respectively.
 
“None of us are free until we are all free.” – MLK

image

Riding with the mutts today …

20170607_182619

Then walking with them …

20170607_175040

I’ll run my dogs in soft and hard rain. Lilac likes running in the rain more than running in sweet weather like we had today. I’ll join her rainy day mayhem, too! Jett is a fussy old man who wants a warm spot by the fire.

Here is Lilac, a few days ago, before our walk, sitting, waiting by the car window like a little kid …

20170605_144435-1

We went to see my friends at Greyhound Friends …

20170607_151029

20170607_151040

So wrong – what they’ve done to Louise. She and her volunteers work miracles with the greyhounds they get and adopt out!!! I’ve been at GF when the big long truck comes in from the racetrack. I’ve seen those dogs taken off the truck … They are afraid of sunlight! They don’t like walking on grass! They don’t want to play in the big meadow next to the GF kennel cuz they never played in their lives. Open an umbrella over your head and many quiver in fear. They are sad creatures. Most have to go the vet to get their teeth pulled because they are fed a horrible liquid diet when they race.

LOUISE AND HER STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS TAKE THESE DOGS AND HEAL THEM!!!! Physically, emotionally. In all the years – 16 – I have known and visited them I have never seen abuse, unkempt kennels. The dogs eat high quality top of the line! dog food, there is a fenced-in yard to the side of the building, an open field on the other side. Warm, caring volunteers – many high school and college kids! They have never run a bad shelter! And I “popped in” often enough!

I almost adopted a greyhound from Louse several years ago – all the dogs were so nice and sweet. I almost got this huge white greyhound – a dog at his physical peak but that the racetrack surrendered cuz it was just bored by the whole racing thing. Didn’t go around the track, didn’t want to chase a thing. Sometimes that happens. They called it their Velcrox dog cuz he literally stuck on to people he met. That dog LOVED PEOPLE.

Instead, I got my Jett. No regrets!😉

20170527_080216

– text+pics: Rose T.

Why I’m Launching TrumpiLeaks … A Letter from Michael Moore

But first …

editor’s note: I’ve made some sentences bold. – R.T.

Friends,

I need one of you to help me. It might get dangerous. It may get us in trouble. But we’re running out of time. We must act. It’s our patriotic duty.

From the time you opened this letter to the time you get to the bottom of it, there’s a decent chance that our President will have violated the constitution, obstructed justice, lied to the American people, encouraged or supported acts of violence, or committed some horrible mistake that would’ve ended any other politician’s career (or sent you or I to jail). And just like all the times he’s done so in the past, he will get away with it.

Donald Trump thinks he’s above the law. He acts like he’s the above the law. He’s STATED that he’s above the law. And by firing Sally Yates, Preet Bharara and James Comey (3 federal officials with SOME authority to hold him accountable) he’s taken the first few steps to make it official.

And yet, we keep hearing the same reaction to President Trump that we heard with candidate Trump after every new revelation or screw up – “He’s toast!” “He can’t survive this!” “He’s finished!”

Make no mistake – Donald J. Trump has NO intention of leaving the White House until January 20, 2025. How old will you be in 2025? That’s how long he plans to be your president. How much damage will have been done to the country and the world by then?

And that is why we must act.

As I’ve said since the election, we need a four-front strategy to end this carnage: 1. Mass Citizen Action 2. Take Him To Court Nonstop 3. YOU Run for Office 4. An Army of Satire

I’m doing everything that I can, publicly and privately, to aid this effort and I know that you are, too. And while quietly working on my new movie, I came across an old video that inspired me to write you today to ask for help.

In this video, a former congressman is passionately testifying about the importance of whistleblowers and need to protect the First Amendment.

He stated:

Enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution, we all know, are these words: Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. The freedom of speech and the press form the bedrock of our democracy by ensuring the free flow of information to the public. Although Thomas Jefferson warned that, “Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that limited without danger of losing it,” today this freedom is under attack.

The young congressman went on to decry the harassment, legal threats and even jailing of American journalists. He continued:

Compelling reporters to testify, and in particular, compelling reporters to reveal the identity of confidential sources, intrudes on the newsgathering process and hurts the public. Without the assurance of confidentiality, many whistleblowers will simply refuse to come forward, and reporters will be unable to provide the American public with the information they need to make decisions as an informed electorate. But with all this focus on newsgathering, it is important that we state clearly: Protecting a journalist’s right to keep a news source confidential is not about protecting reporters; it is about protecting the public’s right to know.

Indeed, the power and the importance of whistleblowing is part of the American tradition and as old as the republic itself. On July 30, 1778, the Continental Congress voted unanimously for the first whistleblower legislation in the U.S: “Resolved, That it is the duty of all persons in the service of the United States, as well as all other the inhabitants thereof, to give the earliest information to Congress or other proper authority of any misconduct, frauds or misdemeanors committed by any officers or persons in the service of these states, which may come to their knowledge.”

This legislation came in response to the first known act of whistleblowing in our country’s history, when in 1777, 10 revolutionary sailors decided to blow the whistle on a powerful naval officer who participated in the torture of captured British soldiers.

The sailors paid a price. They were sued and jailed for their courageous actions. But in the end, our Founding Fathers agreed that the sailors were doing their patriotic duty by reporting this crime. They made sure their legal fees were covered, protected them from retaliation and unanimously passed the 1778 whistleblower protection law.

Since then, courageous American men and women have put their careers, their freedom and even their lives on the line to report government and corporate wrongdoing. From Karen Silkwood (nuclear safety), Sherron Watkins (Enron) and Jeffrey Wigand (tobacco) in corporate America to Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden revealing government lies, the American whistleblowing tradition remains strong, despite constant attempts to intimidate and stifle these truth tellers.

And this is where I need one of you to help me.

Today, I’m launching TrumpiLeaks – https://michaelmoore.com/TrumpiLeaks – a site that will enable courageous whistleblowers to privately communicate with me and my team. Patriotic Americans in government, law enforcement or the private sector with knowledge of crimes, breaches of public trust and misconduct committed by Donald J. Trump and his associates are needed to blow the whistle in the name of protecting the United States of America from tyranny.

We’ve put together several tools you can use to securely send information and documents as well as photographs, video and/or audio recordings. While no form of digital communication is 100% secure, the tools we’re using at TrumpiLeaks provide the most secure technology possible to protect your anonymity (and if you don’t require anonymity, you can just email me at trumpileaks@protonmail.com)

I know this is risky. I knew we may get in trouble. But too much is at stake to play it safe. And along with the Founding Fathers, I’ve got your back.

As for the former congressman quoted above, he’s moved on to bigger and better things. His name is Michael Richard Pence, the Vice President of the United States. Who knows, he might even back you up on this, too …

Yours,
Michael Moore

https://michaelmoore.com/TrumpiLeaks

trumpileaks@protonmail.com

Hello, old friend …

Text and photos by Rosalie Tirella

Yesterday was Memorial Day. So I visited my ol’ pal Tony Hmura. You know all about him, if you’ve been reading my columns these past 16 years. Tony – despite being a septuagenarian when I first met him – is one of the true rock ‘n’ roll guys, along with the OIF and “Just Joe,” my first serious beau (only 3!😢😢). By that I mean Tony embodied the spirit of rock music his whole life: sex, freedom, an unfettered mind and body. Three-somes?  Tony had them! And showed me the pictures! A juicer? Tony was concocting his own health potions years before the hippies mashed their first soy bean. He loved animals – especially cats…

20170530_110649
Cece!💙💙💙💙

… but he was suspicious of people, society. He was a gun guy. A few months before he died I found a pistol – new, silver, angular, heavy, loaded – under the seat cushion of his Lazy Boy while cleaning his living room. It was hidden under his blanket, next to an old Play Boy magazine. His easy chair (along with his gun) was strategically placed before his TV set – and front door. He watched his Humphrey Bogart movies – and front door – in Boggey style.

Tony did not give a shit what anyone thought about him. He did as he pleased, often living outside the law. He carried razor blades in his pants pocket at all times and once suggested that I do the same. He gave me a lesson in how to use a razor blade – cut up and fast. Like this, like this! he kept yelling at me. “God, Tony!” I said. “Put that away!” He didn’t. He showed me his three-some photos right before Christmas! He always carried them in his shirt pocket. The good old days. “Put them away!” I’d yell at Tony, alarmed. Yet fascinated. So Mick Jagger …

Tony surely went his own way, a loner dancing to his own crazy beat. But he always had – not at all obvious to most folks – his own wild moral compass. I recognized it early on, which is why we became friends. Like me, he grew up poor in Green Island, and his childhood haunted him. Through grit, pluck and smarts Tony pulled his entire family out of poverty – as a kid! He eventually made himself and his sons rich. But he always carried himself like a little sewer rat – same as me.

20170509_135816-1
Rose has baggage galore …

And he never forgot his roots. Giving money to every poor South Worcester guy or gal who crossed his path with a sob story. And, like me, his psychic pain roared unabated. No matter how good things were. We got each other on a deep level – often with just a phrase, or a sigh. I miss that.

anthony-hmura11
Tony, about 12 years ago. He had his WW II plane painted on the back of this leather jacket. Which he wore in all seasons.

Tony was a gunner in a bomber plane in World War II. He was a gunner because he was a little guy and gunners had to be small so they could crouch in the small sides of a fighter plane. Tony flew a ton of missions – the U.S. military kept increasing the number of missions the guys had to fly as the war dragged on. He was shot down twice and survived because he was so brutally smart. A SURVIVOR like I have never known! You felt it buying a cup of coffee with the guy! (no sugar, cream and two ice cubes, for Hmura!) He served his country with a tough grace that most people just don’t have. No judgements. It’s just a fact.

So yesterday, Memorial Day, when I went to his grave and saw his tombstone adorned with just that one classy beige cross AND ZERO AMERICAN FLAGS, I knew I had to get busy! I drove to the Dollar Store and bought a bunch of American flags, stars and plastic flowers – for Tony. For Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.

I really did it up for Tony!

20170529_152113-1

Sure, it’s not the most artistic looking tomb in the cemetery, but it’s what Tony would have loved: bold, in your face, colorful, red white and blue and a mess of Old Glories! The gaudiest, freakin’ most patriotic tomb stone in the whole cemetery!!

Just what Tony – a Type A personality all the way – would have loved!

And I put a red plastic rose on his stone so he’d know it was me, Rose.

20170529_152113-2

20170529_152116

See? There’s his plane – a perfect replica – etched onto his tombstone.

20170529_152130-1

And in back his birthday. He lied to me about being born on the Fourth of July! But that’s ok – the lie was out of love for country!

20170529_152143-1

I like how Tony’s death date isn’t engraved onto his tombstone… It’s like he hasn’t died! Or refused to go!

Keep rockin’, Tony! Keep flyin’ above the clouds!💗💗💗💗💙🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

20170529_152137