HOPE: A Four-letter Word
By Edith Morgan
We have lots of four-letter words at our disposal – and sometimes we misuse or overuse some of them. But my favorite is HOPE, and it can not be overdone! There should always be HOPE! As we enter a new year, we need hope more than ever: there is so much to do, to fix, to change, and to innovate …
Many of the greeting cards I get, and many of those I send out, express the HOPE that there will be peace and joy, presumably throughout the world, not just at home. And as we face probably several more months of mask-wearing, hand-washing, and social distancing, our hopes are high now that there are two vaccines becoming available, and many more are being tested – giving us HOPE that there may soon be one that requires only one shot and no special refrigeration.
And can we hope that there will be, sometime in the not-so-distant future, some way to immunize us all against the evil relatives of the coronavirus and its mutations? We can surely hope, and meanwhile we can pin our hopes on the scientists who spend a lifetime studying these questions. And we can back up our hopes with support and funding so that their work can be continued uninterrupted and with the equipment they need.
During this global pandemic, we have found out that our healthcare system is inadequate, that we do not have a unified plan for meeting the challenge of the next one or two – or who knows how many are out there? So we need to back up our hopes with planning and organizing and funding.
Being hopeful is a life habit for me – but hoping is never enough: it lights the way to the needed action, and keeps me going. Hope is the carrot dangling before us, but we have to do the chasing and the running!
Meanwhile, I am heartened by all the wonderful and kind and thoughtful activities that are arising all around us, filling the gaps our systems have left. But these generous and well meaning acts, especially triggered by the season, are not enough, and will not be sustainable for the entire year. The efforts of all, from the single five-year old to the centenarian, from the small groups to the major organizations – they cannot keep up the effort all year in addition to their regular functions.
So I look to our elected representatives who, after all, are our paid servants – to put our money to work for all of us over the long haul. There will always be those who fall between the cracks (the neighbors, friends, relatives, who need us) … There will never be a time when kindness and caring will not be needed – and I continue to hope that we all create a “caring zone” around us, wherever we are, and share our hopes with those near and dear to us.
Remember: “Hope springs eternal in the human heart!”
MY ALLEN FLETCHER DREAM
By Rosalie Tirella
I fell asleep last night while reading … and woke up this morning remembering the weirdest dream: It was about ALLEN FLETCHER, the big cahoona behind Worcester Publishing, the son of the old T and G’s papa, and, finally, the $$$$ – dare I say visionary? – behind the Canal District, my old neighborhood of Green Island/Kelley Square. My childhood dream/night scape❤.
In my dream, Allen and I were, of course, in the Canal District. We were eating at some cheapo Chinese restaurant on New Year’s Eve! The Chinese restaurant looked exactly like the Chinese restaurant in the Billy Wilder film THE APARTMENT, starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley McClaine and Fred McMurray. Fred takes Shirley to the Chinese restaurant, on New Year’s Eve (I think), in the movie. Terrific looking scene: paper lanterns strung from the ceiling, dancers on the dance floor, silly hats with confetti splashed on them atop neatly coiffed heads … the works!
In my dream, Allen and I are laughing together, old pals: We are interviewing each other for each other’s podcasts! Simultaneously!! So it is all very confusing – and silly. We are talking about EVERYTHING! Our conversation is wide-ranging, eclectic … literary, but not in the boozy sense. I don’t know if we touch on urban renewal, Jane Jacobs or even the Canal District! But we’re sipping fancy drinks with paper umbrellas in them and buzzed. A mutual admiration society!!! After all these years of … acrimony, weird stares on Millbury Street, sour pusses and my photos of the homeless a block away from Allen’s digs on Ash Street.
Then, all of a sudden, Allen gets up out of our booth and absentmindedly – like he used to at WoMag where I worked for him 25 years ago – just walks off. I stare at him, wondering …hmmm. Bathroom break? A visit to friends he’s seen at another booth? Allen is a such a social butterfly, flitting and flirting about … I wait … and wait…and wait…but Allen never returns to our booth.
No matter! I am ok. I sit happily in my booth in the Chinese restaurant of the Billy Wilder film, in the Canal District, nursing my fancy cocktail with the paper umbrella in it.
Happy New Years Eve, Worcester!