Category Archives: Music


By Rosalie Tirella

Hello again?
Yesterday Cece spied someone outside my apartment window.      pics: R.T.

It was former ICT scribe Ron O’Clair, in the St. Mary’s church parking lot, in a red convertible, with white interior! Ronny was wearing his big black hippy sombrero and (I think) sporting a beard. He was looking up at me, while I parted the curtains in my fourth-floor shack to admire the sight and snap a pic. Then he gave me a wide smile and a big thumbs up and sped off! Quite the sight!


Ahhh, Ronny! On a high! Feeling good with the sun shining on his sombrero and a new shiny red toy! Here’s a guy who’s been knocked down by life from day #1 (childhood poverty, death of a parent when he was a little kid, then foster homes, depression, the murder of his brother, discharge from the military, alcoholism) and come back from the brink so many times (STILL brilliant and articulate, a TERRIFIC writer, in recovery for 30+years, a cool street social worker who’s helped hundreds of people find food, solace, housing, AA meetings as the live-in manager of a Main South rooming house ) that “resilient” is too weak (and serious) a word to describe Ronny. “Come backs” doesn’t fit either because the phrase makes Ronny seem old – which he sorta is, at 55!❤ – and a has-been, like a member of the Herman’s Hermits🎵 – which he is  most definitely not! (Sorry, Peter Noone!)

For me, Ron O’Clair is more Dylan than Noone. More Byron than Seuss. He never goes out of style … But his bipolar illness makes him disappear from the scene now and then, leaving his friends worried and sad. His condition makes him see things so intensely! The perfect writer for ICT! Ron can be deep – deeply sad, deeply wise, deeply sensitive. He can also be deeply wound-up, loud, revved up,  ecstatic. Manic.  Ronny has always offered his friends his kaleidoscope of feelings – and experiences –

… often powerful. When in his emotional “troughs,” though, Ron  pretty much hunkers down in his two rooms in Main South – for weeks. This breaks my heart. You can call it mental illness. But why put a complicated brilliant person like Ronny in a box? Still, his emotional vales break his momentum, whether it be his running for Woo City Council or following through on a marriage proposal that he made to a lovely – I mean lovely both spiritually and physically – hooker that he rescued outside his Main South building. … I think back to that time: Ronny was in love! But his complicated brain waves brought it all to a halt! It made me cry! I was rooting for the pair: Ronny bought “Sandy” a beautiful ring, rented a car one Christmas eve so she wouldn’t have to sit in his crap-cluttered vehicle on the trip to his brother’s house for Christmas dinner – to meet the family.❤ Ronny got Sandy clean and sober, took her to the doctors, the dentist, NA meetings. A gal pal gave Sandy bags of cool  vintage clothing. I planned their wedding with our gal pal: she would provide the vintage wedding dress and I’d dress up my apartment. I’d make the mostly veggie meals, served on my late Mom’s china, turn  my dining and living rooms into an inner-city chapel with all my candles placed on an altar I’d fashioned from headboards I had found on the side of the road. I’d board Jett for the day… Then boom. Ron shut down, so did Sandy  …

… and that was the end of that. Ron dismisses the whole love affair as a non-love affair. A pain in his butt. But I know he’s lying.

Ron has shared many of his experiences with you in ICT. Like the time he was a boy in foster care in rural Maine and bonded with a buffalo on the farm he was living on. The buffalo was like a big pet for Ronny, and he visited him in the field next to his foster parents’ house every day. But one Christmas Ronny unwittingly ate his best friend in the world. The buffalo was the main course for his foster family’s Christmas dinner! Ron tells the story with a chuckle, but you hear the real pain in the story he wrote for InCity Times. ICT – the conduit for Ronny’s dreams and schemes – realized and/or crumpled. If you meet Ron in Main South or at any of his haunts in Worcester – at a Worcester diner eating a killer breakfast, at a junk-yard buying parts cheap for his cars that he collects like jewels – you would think he’s kinda glib and … a jerk. Incapable of the stories he writes. But if you read his columns – which I have with so much joy, through years  – you’d soon realize Ron’s the brightest guy in the room. But his poverty, his living on the edge in the rooming house in Main South, his sometimes too enthusiastic emotional style, his physical SIZE! have left him the perennial outsider, here in Worcester, the hometown he adores. You all discount him and his intelligence and goals. It’s  a kind of prejudice. Not racial. But economic. And maybe just maybe your version of mental well-being skews a little to the left or right of Ronny’s state of mind! Shame on you!

In this life: so many people crossing each other’s paths, so many good people shunted to another road or handcuffed into silence by the in-crowd, the money crowd, the politically connected crowd. The hit brigade wallowing in their version of Wasp happiness.

What about WOP happiness?


Wikipedia says: “WOP stands for WithOut Papers. Many Italian immigrants had no papers to identify themselves and were branded as WOPs.”

My grandfather Sabino was a WOP.

He was also a NANG: Not A Nice Guy!


I’ve told you all about him: Unlike Ron, Sabino took his outsiderness, his otherness and used it to become a pretty successful entrepreneur. But he was an asshole in every other aspect of his life: cheated on his wife who gave him 10 children, beat her, beat my father, was a bootlegger. I mean, the guy was BAD!

Ron – and this WOP! – aren’t bad: we WRITE, we try to do the right thing for our city and this makes us happy and proud! Forget about moi for a second, let’s focus on Ron. Over the years Ron has:

given me a million rides when the jalopy I am driving breaks down.

delivered gallons of gas to me when I’ve run out – usually at night in the inner city. How comforting it was to see my friend pouring the gas into my gas tank, wearing his fake-lamb-skinned-lined bedroom slippers. In the middle of a Woo winter night. He wasn’t smiling, made no small talk and walked away with a huge huff after he finished his AAA call, but he ALWAYS came, always came through for me.

driven tons of people from his rooming house to the food pantry to get food so they could eat.

driven tons of people from his rooming house to AA, Al Anon, NA meetings – often joining the group as he is in recovery and never gets complacent about the fact!

helped strangers when they needed help

befriended lots of Woo characters – including this one! I remember the night Ronny came to my house with an old ex-boxer from Boston who just got a room at Ronny’s place. I had called Ron frantic – my late Mom’s cat April had just become diabetic and I did not know how/was afraid to use the needles to inject the insulin into April. Well, Ronny brings the boxer over to my house to help – the guy is BALD, HUGE, covered with tattoos, standing at my door, with Ronny. It is close to midnight. I am distraught. April needs her medicine. I don’t want her to die. I say…OK, come in. The boxer comes in, fills up half the entry-way but … picks April up, talks oh so softly to her, takes one of the skinny needles out of her needle box (filled with about 1O0 needles), shows me how to poke the needle into the little insulin bottle (always shake it beforehand), measure the amount of insulin. Then he lifts a bit of April’s fur on her shoulder, making a little tent, and gently gives her her shot. Then the boxer gently massages the spot where he inserted the needle. He told me and Ronny his grandmother had been a diabetic and, as a little boy, he used to give her her insulin shots. Every day. He said it all so beautifully. I could tell he had really loved his grandmother. Maybe she had raised him… I felt like shit for having been afraid of the Boston boxer and hesitating to let him into my home. As he turned to leave, I hugged the boxer – and Ronny -and said THANK YOU, GUYS! They lumbered down the stairs that lead up to my 4th floor apartment. Noisy as hell. I loved them both!

A night I will never forget, courtesy of Ronald O’Clair.

Lilac and the late, beautiful April

Ronny has also:

supported his landlord who was overwhelmed with his rooming house.

worked with the Worcester police for years to make his neck of the woods – the corner of Main and Charlton streets – much safer and quieter and a little less heroin-infected, especially when the PIP wet shelter was still open (across Charlton Street!)

So naturally it enraged me to see my friend’s hopes dashed when he applied for a slot on a City of Worcester Board/Commission and  was turned down by a City Manager toady. Not the commission who does the vetting but by one of former CM Mike O’Brien’s (an ICT detractor for sure) employees. This was about five years ago, when Ronny was on a huge UP and had all his i’s dotted and t’s crossed. He had applied to sit on a City of Worcester health or zba board – for no pay, as the job is a volunteer position. I had encouraged him to apply. Ronny, living the life he’s lived, KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT INNER-CITY HEALTH ISSUES. And what he doesn’t know – he’ll read up on. He’s a brilliant guy! Also, so compassionate! Hell, he’d be down in the trenches with Dr. Mattie at a homeless camp, talking to the folks, driving them to job interviews! I mean, he would be all in – give 100%. But CM O’Brien hated ICT, so Ron got screwed.

A few days ago I called Ronny. We were talking about city boards and commissions when I urged him to take another crack at the HEALTH commission. “The city needs lots of people from District 4! On lots of city boards!” I said.

Ronny was hesitant. I said: GO FOR IT, RONNY! YOU WILL BE GREAT – on that city board or any city board!

He laughed. Then I asked him to cover an inner-city health clinic’s health fair for me, to run in the next issue of CECELIA. Ronny said YES, attended the event for me and sent me some pics he took a few hours later. Here is one for you!

Ronny O’Clair: gotta love the man!!
Baby in Piedmont. photo by Ron O’Clair

Chef Joey = 🎵🎹🎻 to your tummy!

Catch Chef Joey’s ALL ABOUT GARLIC❤ column in this issue of CECELIA! (Rosalie’s new mag, named after her late, lovely, magical mom!👗❤)

Text and recipes by Chef Joey

It’s beautiful weather, and there are many days and nights when outdoor cooking is a nice break to the usual pots and pans! But outdoor cooking does not always have to mean meats, chicken, hamburgers or hotdogs. There are lovely vegetables to savor!

Italians have been grilling veggies for years, firing off peppers for antipasto, grilling eggplant, carrots, fennel, squash, zucchini to name a few, and the flavors are exquisite – plus, it is so easy to do!

Back at Rose’s shack: she sauteed some veggies… pics: R.T.

If you think about it, people have been boiling or steaming vegetables for what seems like forever – oven-roasted is popular now, too. However, that tradition of cooking is as old as the first oven. Go back a few hundred years – they had ovens, spit roasts and pots over a fire. As the concept of cooking came about in the 1700s with fancy chateaus creating stoves, sauces and other delights were new for the palate…

R.T. says, more veggies❤, less meat!

You do not have to have a grill outside to do this – a panini press or a “Forman” grill works great. The trick to grilling veggies is to cut them diagonally so they are large enough and you are not spending hours on small circles.

Carrots, for example, sweeten up and taste fantastic! Drizzle them with fresh olive oil and salt, and you have the sweet and savory effect that everyone loves.

Simply peel your carrot and cut lengthwise, as thin as you can, and toss them with a little oil before placing on the hot grill.

Close the lid, wait about 4 minutes, then turn them.

You don’t want to burn them!

Cook another 4 minutes or so and then place them in a pan and cover. They will continue to cook.

This is the same process for virtually every vegetable …

Rose’s Trader Joe’s organic yum yum

Asparagus cooks much faster and, of course, adjust the time for squash, which is very wet so it takes a little longer to cook.

Eggplant burns quickly – so keep an eye on it!😉

Once you have completed your grilling – take your veggies and arrange them on a platter.

Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle kosher salt on top.

It is that simple!❤

If you want to take it to the next level…

pic: Chef Joey

Put 6 garlic cloves in the blender and ½ cup of olive oil and puree.

Add 1/22 cup olive oil and some salt – pour it into a dressing decanter and drizzle your veggies with that – the garlic adds a kick! And you have dressing for the next time. It goes fast, as the veggies soak it in.

Veggies like sprouts: I recommend a grilling basket. You can just shake it to move the sprouts around. Cut them in half for faster cooking times.

Rule of thumb is when you see the grill marks distinctly on both sides, chances are they are done. And again, they keep cooking when you take them off the grill.

When arranging your veggies, feel free to toss a can of drained chick peas, cannellini or navy beans into the oil and garlic mix. Place them with the veggies for added protein!!

No one’s perfect! Rose makes CHEF JOEY’S CAKE AND FROSTING – recipes on this website. She bought this cute little cookbook a few days ago!😉

Dorrie parked in music!🎵


And her Peggy Sue!:

Dorrie’s lil’ girl …

… after her appointment with the dog groomer.💙💙💙


Two Awesome Dogs that Need Homes to Call Their Own … and a Little Summertime Advice for Pet Owners

Text and photos by Dorrie Maynard

The first pup is called “Pinky Pie,” named after the pink horse from “My Little Pony.” Worcester Animal Rescue League staffers gave her that name because when she came in to the animal shelter on Holden Street, she was pink with very little fur. That’s because Pinky Pie has food allergies and probably seasonal allergies as well, which makes her skin pinkish looking – even though most of her “hair” has grown in!

Pinky Pie came into WARL as an owner-surrender. I imagine her owners couldn’t deal with her allergies. Pinky has been at WARL since October of 2016! She came in as a puppy and is now two years old! I am sure the reason why she has been at WARL so long is because of her allergies: she needs special food and medication, which can be expensive. And Pinky needs to be in a home where she is the only animal.

Both factors work against her adoption. She is a very good girl and small for a pit but strong as an ox. She can be around children, although she does have some issues with food and toys. She loves car rides, long walks and lots of play time. She is very high energy. A home with a really sturdy fence would be ideal.

The other dog I would like you to meet is “Mister.” He also needs to be in a home where he is the only animal. He came to WARL in October of 2016 as well, and came in as a stray.

Mister’s head is tilted, and the WARL staffers believe that is because of some sort of head trauma. WARL staffers think he is about 5 years old. They also believe that whatever happened to his head kind of left him in a “puppy state of mind.” He is a big lug that likes to lounge around and loves to play.

Both of these dogs have been at WARL for a very long time, and being in a shelter environment is not good for their spirit or well being. If you have room in your heart and can provide a home for either one of these dogs, WARL would be most grateful, Pinky and Mister would be most ecstatic, and I would be most happy.🌸

If you would like more information on either Pinky Pie or Mister, you can find their bio’s on the WARL website, and you can visit them at WARL noon – 5 p.m., 7 days a week. WARL is located on Holden Street in Worcester.

I would also like to take this opportunity to remind everyone who has pets: Please do not leave them unattended in a car. Even though you may think having the windows cracked or rolled down, and your car may be in the shade, the inside of your car becomes like an oven in no time.

Last year I was in the Walmart parking lot and saw a dog panting in a parked car. I saw no water and the car was parked in the hot sun. I went into Walmart and got a police officer who was on duty and he sort of laughed and said, “What do you want me to do about it?” I quickly said: “Make an announcement or break the window! The dog is in distress!” He followed me to the car, then sent the teen who was with him to get something to unlock the car door. I looked over before leaving – he had the dog in his arms. So I knew the dog would be fine. I am not so sure he would have been willing to make the effort if the dog had not been a small dog…??? If you see a dog in a parked car this summer, please call the police and report it – you could save his or her life!

I think signs should be posted in ALL parking lots telling people to NOT leave their dogs in cars. (I have seen them in Vermont) We have signs posted that tell you not to feed seagulls. How about saving a dog’s life, instead of worrying about people feeding the seagulls?
I also think that if a dog is left in a car and the police are notified, the owner should be fined or ticketed. I know in some states it is legal to break the windows out of a car if you see a dog in distress … not sure if that pertains in MA… I for one, would not hesitate to smash a car window and suffer the consequences, if necessary. I do carry a small hammer-type tool that is designed to break glass in my car…Please, don’t make me use it!!!


Rest in peace, my friend, David Carlson


By Ron O’Clair

It was with profound sadness that I discovered that the news item I had seen concerning a man found dead in a burning home off Greenwood Street was actually someone I had interacted with through the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous: David Carlson. I myself am a recovering alcoholic. I have been in recovery for 35 years!

When I first met David, he was high to the point that he tripped and fell down the third floor stairs of a mutual friend whom we both were helping to move from a third floor apartment to a fourth floor (!!) apartment! During the move, in one of the many treks up and down those wooden stairs, he lost his footing, slid down to the next level, taking out one of the balustrades in the bannister on his way down. With the luck that seemed to belong to David during falls, he was not seriously injured and insisted in continuing with the job at hand, which I am here to tell you, Rose, I do NOT plan on repeating any time in the future!

As I have been associated with the various recovery programs for multiple years – AA, NA, AL ANON –  I try my best to reach out a hand to those who could benefit from the simple AA program of recovery and perhaps help them to deal with their own problems with addiction to one substance or another. Hopefully, to get better ONE DAY AT A TIME as the A.A. motto goes. David was one of the people I met along my own journey to sobriety, and I recognized right away he could benefit from the program.

We became friends during Rose’s brutal move, and I began taking David along with me to AA meetings soon afterwards. David had a very long and distinguished career of trying to quit drinking and using; he had even gone to many expensive treatment centers, trying to get to a point that he could put down the stimulants for good. For whatever reason, David could not remain alcohol- and drug-free for any substantial length of time.

I did what I could to try to get David to stay away from that first drink or drug, offered to take him to  AA meetings, offered to take him to anywhere he thought he needed to go to get better, One Day At A Time. I spent hours in discussions with David, and during those discussions learned a lot about him.

David was well educated, intelligent, effusive and very likeable – the “life” of the party you might say. It was generally a pleasure to have his company! He was one of the rare ones who are able to remain civil and jovial, even when intoxicated, which was generally his condition most days of our acquaintance. Sure, he could be petulant and moody like anyone else, but I had never seen him become aggressive or violent either under the influence or sober. For me to read how David was brutally killed was shocking. I couldn’t quite grasp how David Carlson could have been a victim of such a horrible demise.

My first thought upon reading the Worcester Police Facebook Page account of the crime, without realizing that they were talking about David Carlson, was that it was some type of gay lovers’ spat that spiraled out of control, ending in the 54-year-old person’s death. That is what I got from what I read posted on Facebook. Then I found out from Rose that it was David Carlson who had been killed, apparently just the way I had surmised by reading between the lines of the WPD post.

David was a perpetual victim of those who preyed upon his generosity.

This observation is based upon my own observances and knowledge acquired during the course of our friendship. David had been victimized repeatedly by those on the fringes of our society whom he tried to “help.” He was often robbed, assaulted … What transpired still came as a shock to me, though in reflection, I suppose it was inevitable, due to his inability to achieve and maintain lengthy sobriety from alcohol and drugs.

The people he associated with while under the influence did not truly care about David Carlson as a person. They cared about what he could do for them or, more to the point, what they could manage to deprive him of through theft and deception, to enable them to get drunk or high at David’s expense.

It is an endemic problem in our society of late. There are many David Carlson’s out there, trying to “help” addicts and alcoholics, while at the same time battling their own addictions. There are many scams, thefts and lies that are perpetrated upon people like David in the quest for money to buy either booze or drugs in order to maintain a “high.” David had been a victim repeatedly, and he got dragged back into the life that killed him at the hands of these “friends” whom he himself was trying to “help” into recovery. People he sincerely liked.

But if you surround yourself with people who want to get drunk and high, your chances are not good of maintaining a healthy friendship – or your own state of sobriety. If you surround yourself with people who don’t drink and drug, your chances are greater that you will succeed in your sobriety. Unfortunately for David Carlson, he was perhaps not able to tell who his friends were in reality. True friends don’t continue to enable someone to fall into alcoholism and drug abuse and all the pitfalls that kind of existence comes with. True friends try to help someone get better one day at a time without being judgmental. I considered David Carlson a friend, one who will be missed but not forgotten.

Perhaps David’s death will make someone else who is battling the demons of alcoholism and drug addiction take a moment to reflect on their own choices and make a change in their own life before it’s too late.

“I am responsible, whenever anyone anywhere reaches out a hand for help, I want the hand of A.A. to be there, and for that, I am responsible”

Rest in peace, my friend David Carlson …

Your friend, Ronald O’Clair…


For Davey, from Rose💙:

Get to Unique Finds Antiques and Vintage gift shop – 1329 Main St., Worcester❤ … and a song🎵

TODAY! … Sale! … Vintage, industrial, bookcases, tableware, records (lps, 45s and 78s), CDs, guitars, antiques, neon signs, jewelry, collectibles, vintage toys, signs, prints, toy trucks and cars, comic books, lighting …

Unique Finds Antiques and Vintage gift shop – 1329 Main St., Worcester!

Open Mon. – Sat., 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
(and some Sundays)

pics: Rose T.
















They sell an abundance of 💚: Vintage, industrial, bookcases, tableware, records (lps, 45s and 78s), CDs, guitars, antiques, neon signs, jewelry, collectibles, vintage toys, signs, prints, toy trucks and cars, comic books, lighting …

Unique Finds Antiques and Vintage gift shop – 1329 Main St., Worcester

Open Mon. – Sat., 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
(and some Sundays)

pics: Rose T.












Sad 😢🎵: Animals pay dearly when euthanasia is “too expensive”

pic: R.T.

By Teresa Chagrin

He was deaf, blind, elderly and emaciated. His fur was matted, his teeth were rotten and he was riddled with maggots inside and out,— even in both eye sockets. And yet, somehow, he was still alive — and in extreme distress. Last month, a good Samaritan found this dog, named Spunik, tethered to a utility trailer in the rain. His owners said that they left him outside “to die a natural death” because they didn’t have enough money to pay for euthanasia. His misery finally ended when police took him to a veterinarian.

Please don’t think that Spunik’s case is an isolated incident. Countless other animals have suffered and died slowly and in anguish when people who couldn’t — or wouldn’t — pay to have them euthanized took matters into their own hands. PETA’s own emergency response crew has helped provide innumerable animals with end-of-life dignity and relief when their guardians could not afford the cost of euthanasia.

This is one reason why open-admission shelters accept all animals — not just the ones who are adoptable and will help make their “saved” rates look good. After all, don’t all dogs and cats deserve to receive that final act of kindness?

Just before last Christmas, a South Carolina man reportedly held down and stabbed his sick cat because he couldn’t afford to pay for veterinary care. When the cat started kicking, he began slashing at the animal’s other side. In Wisconsin, a woman reportedly beat her dog over the head with a hammer multiple times in an attempt to kill her because she couldn’t afford the $50 fee to have her euthanized.

A Nebraska woman pleaded no contest to killing her 20-year-old dog by sealing the animal in a plastic storage bag. She had also attempted to remove a cyst by tying a guitar string around it and trying to cut it off — because she couldn’t afford to take the dog to a veterinarian.

Who is to blame in these cases? The owners, certainly — there is no excuse for letting sick or injured animals suffer or for cruelly killing them, and all animal guardians should be prepared to cover the cost of veterinary emergencies and euthanasia. Ensuring a good life and a painless death are obligations that come with caring for an animal.

But animal shelters are also to blame when they turn away animals in desperate need, refusing to provide those who are terminally ill, injured or geriatric with free euthanasia. Why do they do this? Because nowadays, they are under extreme pressure from people and groups clamoring for “life at any cost” policies. This pressure can also motivate them to charge fees to surrender unwanted animals, require people to get on a waiting list and make them feel guilty at the thought of dropping animals off at the shelter.

The demonization of open-admission shelters has become so intense that some people now won’t even consider taking an animal to one: Just last month, a Florida man allegedly used a kitchen knife to stab his 3-year-old pit bull to death because he “could not bring himself” to take the dog to the pound.

Every community needs to thank its lucky stars for the existence of any open-admission shelter that welcomes all animals regardless of health, age, temperament or any other factor, without restrictions. And people who care about animals shouldn’t be criticizing these caring, decent shelters but instead supporting them for helping animals who would otherwise face terrible suffering.

Caring veterinarians can help, too. Like the animal shelters, they didn’t cause this crisis, and some of the burden falls to them when shelters dodge their responsibilities. But just as human doctors roll up their sleeves to help during crises, veterinarians, too, should be ready to alleviate pain when there’s a need. Offering end-of-life relief at a nominal fee or pro bono and allowing guardians to set up payment plans could spare many animals untold misery.

No dog or cat should have to linger in agony like Spunik did. Guardians, shelters, veterinarians and anyone who cares about animals should work together to ensure that all animals have access to the care they need, including a painless end to their suffering when the time comes.


And just because I’m remembering …

pics: R.T.


Visit Unique Finds in Webster Square this weekend for the best vintage/funky items (plus everything music!🎵❤) … Sold at the BEST PRICES in the city!

Unique Finds Antiques and Vintage gift shop – 1329 Main St. – drive past the Webster Sq. Shaws Plaza, the shop💙 is on the corner of Main and Henshaw streets …

Open Mon – Sat, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. (some Sundays)

Pics: Rose T.








Cece!❤❤ What are you doing in this post?!




Unique Finds sells lamps, candelabra, candle holders, neon signs, chandeliers, cool lighting … Back at Rose’s shack: a cute pink Unique Finds lamp on her too busy bedstand by the bookcase…UF also sells bookcases, vintage wood crates, shelving…