By Rosalie Tirella
When I was a little girl, my mom took me to see a traveling circus. I don’t know in which parking lot/hall the circus had tamped down its stakes and put up its tents, but I do recall it was in Worcester. I remember walking into the saw-dusty smelling circus tent. I remember running over to see a camel – excited about seeing an exotic animal I had read about in school. But low and behold! The camel was chained – his head in shackles – close to the ground. Blame it on my sweet mom, who once freed a “flying” grasshopper I had caught and tied a red string to (with her new manicure scissors she gingerly cut the thread I had wrapped around its skinny brown body and up it “flew” over our third-floor porch railing, back into our yard). Or blame it on the Old World Catholicism that seemed to envelop the Green Island apartment I grew up in – a household run by my Polish immigrant grandmother, “Babci,” who (to me) seemed as formidable as Moses. Whatever the reason, killing, tormenting, even chaining animals was definitely forbidden in my world.
So, it should have come as no surprise to my sweet mom that her little girl would burst into tears and run straight out of the circus tent, screaming her head off at the sight of the distressed camel. My mother never took my two sisters or me to see a live animal act again.
Continue reading Do the right thing, Worcester!
By Rosalie Tirella
Years ago, I lived on Dewey Street. It wasn’t a great time in my life, and my environment seemed to echo my dire straits – down to the beat-up street and sidewalk. Bumpty, bumpety, bumpety … bump. I got minor whiplash driving down Dewey Street back then.With all its potholes and patch-jobs and tornup sidewalk – especially the stretch from Oberlin Street to Chandler Street – I wondered how kids in the neighborhood safely walked to school (you had to spend a good deal of your trek on the street that lies behind Park Ave and skirts through Main South/Piedmont).To make matters worse, the dumpy street seemed to be an open invitation to slobs of every stripe. People threw away lots of trash on Dewey Street. One Christmas morning I awoke to a dumped sofa and soiled pampers on the sidewalk in front of the three-decker next door. Ho. Ho. Ho.
Well, here it is decades later and a drive down the same stretch of Dewey Street – no doubt named after Worcester’s famous Dewey’s – is still a depressing experience. Look at the photos I took! The street is still busted up, the sidewalk is still torn up and trash is king.
Continue reading A tale of two cities (or: I’ve got the sucky sidewalk blues)
By Rosalie Tirella
So there I was at Worcester’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, with the boyfriend and trusty dog, Bailey, when it hit me: this is the real Worcester, the Worcester I love. Worcester, the place where I was born; Worcester the place where I will most likely die. Home, sweet home! Home to me and the people I’ve met and known throughout the years. People who will pass before my mind’s eye when I am 85 years old and sweetly reminiscing in my Lazy Boy, somewhere in one of the Webster Square “tower” apartments: my neighbors, my friends’ children, former colleagues at old jobs, community volunteers, even a nemesis or two. They are all part of my life – part of me! To honor, love, respect (and sometimes diss). To have and to hold (sometimes a tad too tightly). ‘Till death do us part!
My life felt perfect on that brittle sunny day, the day we Worcesterites choose to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day (always a week before the real date, in deference to Worcester politicians who want to schmooze in/be a part of the Boston celebration). There was a melding of my heart and aluminumsided three-deckers. Because on parade were a city’s – my city’s! – aspirations and history. All decked out in Kelley green boas, bow ties, beads and baubles!
Continue reading I love a parade!
It’s all about dumping on Worcester’s older neighborhoods. Department of Public Works and Parks head honcho Robert Moylan reopens the Quinsigamond Village dump after Worcester decides it needs to have more landfill space. Moylan reopens/increases the size of the dump after the City of Worcester promised Quinsig Village residents that the city would never reopen the landfill – that it would honor the wishes of neighborhood residents who worked like mad in the ‘80s to get the dump closed – for good. Moylan reopened it after hundreds of residents signed a petition against the dump and presented it to the city – a petition which the city mysteriously has no record of. (Should we check the dump?!) So now the expanded landfill is with us – bigger and better, I am told. So new and improved that it has even won an award!
My question to City Fathers/Mothers: Why can’t we give the AWARD-winning dump to the west side – or perhaps relocate it down the street from Robert Moylan’s home?
Continue reading Casinos in Worcester? Don’t bet on it!