Tag Archives: CECELIA

Mart Magic!!

Text and pics by Rosalie Tirella

Boy, with my old neighborhood, Green Island/Kelley Square, being gentrified up the yazoo …


… I am really itchin’ to go and patronize … the old THE MART of Main South! Right now! Even though it went out of business decades ago and is now a neighborhood grocery store. I want to buy things like: Bengay arthritis cream!, ladies polyester underwear briefs (white, medium)!, Vicks Vapo Rub!!, a beige pet mouse and mouse supplies!!, a packet of Sea Monkeys!!!, a pair of flannel pajamas!, a small pot and a big pot!, gold spray paint!, a Kinks lp or, most likely if we’re talkin’ The Mart, a Kinks knock-off lp. And a bag of Baby Ruths!

THE POLAR OPPOSITE of the Canal District boutiques and shoppes that have now moved into my old poor world and would never sell things like suppositories, ladies girdles, Q Tips and “dusters” – those polyester/cotton-blend snap-up house coats you bought for your granny every Christmas. You know, clothing, supplies, items and personal care products that REAL PEOPLE NEEDED AND USE – still need and use! – every day. But the Canal District is a kind of upper-middle-class fantasy land, streets where everything – greeting cards, shoes, sweaters – is in such good taste that no one would ever need to use a suppository! The Mart and the Green Island/Kelley Square stores and shops of my childhood and teen years were gritty reality-based. Driving down my old Green Island streets, once criss crossed by winos, kids, dogs (no leash laws), cops, slumlords, Mrs. White with her 1-foot-high black-dyed bouffant hair do, an old sunbaked window washer/popcorn salesman, drunk hairdressers, Polish immigrant Bapies now feels surreal! Everyone these days is usually female, young, attractive, artfully dressed, middle-class and white! The meals at the eateries are so aryfully arranged – they look like paintings! $90 linen blouses. Locally sourced carrots! $8.50 artisan loaves of bread. Artisan. It’s like passing through a Julia Roberts movie … the ones where she has great gal pals, journals, does yoga, finds her better self.

At the old Mart we all wore pink polyester Mart pants and vests – hot pink. Everything was made in Hong Kong!! Sometimes we farted! Sometimes we Mart shoppers were ahead of the curve and bought Mart shoes that were “vegan” – not made of leather (a cruel industry) but a kind of shiny black heavy vinyl material. My uncle wore his big black shiny Mart shoes (with white cotton ankle socks – also bought at the Mart) to church every Sunday morning. Then he’d drive down to Widoff’s Bakery on Water Street to buy a dozen of bulkies. At Widoff’s many of the workers were also wearing Mart shoes with white ankle socks – reflections of our city’s once modest, hardworking and thrifty working class. A working class that owned or was saving up$$ for their own three deckers!

Everything BOUGHT FOR A SONG at The Mart brought you closer to home ownership! Snatched from one of the scores and scores of Mart sales bins parked smack dab in the middle of the store, contents changing every week. Bin after bin after bin filled with sale items like: navy blue or black knit winter crew hats, dishwashing liquid, facecloths, Kotex pads, writing pads, shelf paper. … Remember shelf paper?! … and the sometimes decorative trim that came with it, self-adhesive tape at the top? If you wanted to, you could use thumb tacks to really secure the trim – thumb tacks also for sale at The Mart. White or red. Lined up in 10 rows, punched in a white notepad sized piece of cardboard.

The Mart! The sprawling downtown/Main South icon bargain store my family used to walk to practically every Saturdat! You walked in the store, just past the Aurora Hotel …

… and let your imagination run wild! You only needed $5 or $10 to buy your treasures. The handwritten sale signs written in red or black magic marker font and plastered all over the store’s utilitarian beige walls pointed you to stuff that was NEW. CHEAP. LAYAWAY AVAILABLE, if you needed it. And I loved it all: board games like TROUBLE, CANDYLAND, CHECKERS or LIFE in their big toy department downstairs, across from the pet section: golden hamsters, white mice, turtles, gold fish, yellow canaries, blue and violet parakeets … all so colorful and lively, beautiful and innocent, chirping, eating, sleeping under those harsh Mart fluorescent lights.

And The Mart ramp – that little stretch of bumpiness you felt as you walked down a kind of grey carpeted ramp down to yet another Mart section, but on the same floor – the first floor. The Mart had just one floor – the first floor. But it was long and winding, making left and right turns. Then there was the basement, home to the toy/pet department. Maybe the lamp section, too.

I remember being in the 7th grade and walking into the lamp department – three aisles of lamps, stacked on shelves that practically reached the ceiling – and picking out a huge white ceramic lamp, its base the shape of an old fashioned country milk bottle – a big rooster painted on it – for my mom. It was her birthday. I bought it for our used living room end table, given to us by my aunt, my mother’s big sister, after her husband, my Uncle Mark, an elementary school principal, bought his wife a brand new matching living room set from O’Coins. The rooster lamp, huge and probably meant for the kitchen, was proudly placed on that two-shelved, glass-water-stained, slightly wobbly maple, hand-me-down end table by my mom. Then we walked into the kitchen where we sang HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU around the candle-lit Duncan Hines Cherry Supreme cake my mother baked for herself a few hours before – knowing that was my favorite cake! Then I shouted – couldn’t help but crow to Ma – “I bought it for you at The Mart, Ma!” We all smiled.



By Steven R. Maher

Trump being Trump

The vote on whether President Donald J. Trump should be impeached will take place this Wednesday February 5, 2020. To no one’s surprise, a Senate majority will vote to exonerate Trump. That was foretold in the 53-47 party breakdown in the Senate between the parties at the beginning of this process. In this hyper-partisan era, party registration is everything.

Trump will contribute nothing to the reconciliation of a deeply divided America. To the contrary, Trump will make the situation to worse. He will denounce everyone involved in the impeachment. He will denounce the system as “rigged”, even though he benefited the most from any “rigging” which took place.

Addicted to Tweeting

How many problems has Trump made better with his verbose denunciations and damning tweets? Recently I was in a phone conversation with one Trump supporter. I said Trump’s popularity would be far above what it is now if he stopped tweeting. This person heartily agreed.

Another Trump supporter emailed me that Trump was a patriotic American who loved his country and his country’s freedoms. I concede Trump does love his country. If Trump is re-elected, his love of our country’s freedoms will be severely tested. Second terms are when Presidents are usually impeached, and the Presidents get involved in scandals that threaten the Presidency itself (think of Nixon with Watergate and Bill Clinton with Monica Lewinsky.)

Most Americans will put up with a lot, but Trump has clearly become addicted to tweeting, to the point of obsession. A life without tweeting would appear a penalty worse than death to President Trump. He is like a heroin addict who has to maintain a continual state of being high in order to exist. To expect patience, understanding, or an extended hand of reconciliation from an individual trapped in such a circumstance is to expect manna from heaven.

Pelosi’s Goals

I think Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi had several goals in this first Trump impeachment. First, she wanted to send a strong message to Trump that there were lines he dare not cross. Despite what everyone thinks, Trump suffered greatly during this impeachment process. Donald Trump is a human being, and press reports describes his rages during this impeachment as choleric, that he was angry to the point of imbalance. Trump will approach some issues differently to avoid going through something like this again.

Pelosi’s second goal was to force the Republicans to defend Trump using legalistic arguments (“what Trump did was not an impeachable defense”). This could end up turning large masses of voters against the Republicans. In the wake of the Nixon resignation in 1974, there was a Democratic landslide. Whether that part of Pelosi’s plan was a success we will know in November 2020.

Impeachment as a tool against Trump by the Democrats is dead right now. If an effort is made to impeach Trump again, it will have to come from the Republicans. Given the bizarre nature of Trump’s Presidency, if Trump found himself a lame duck no longer feared by his party, that is an entirely possible event.

Elliott Smith

Before Spring arrives:

And before GOOD WILL HUNTING, the early version of “Miss Misery” (which I like better than the reworked one for the movie):

Chef Joey column … Crying foul over the “Python Bowl” … + 🇺🇸🎶

Things We Take for Granted

Text and photos by Chef Joey

ICT_Yum Yums-edited
Chef Joey. file pic: Rose T.

Things we take for granted – sunrise and sunset, running water, gasoline stations just waiting for us to pull in … What we do not realize is there are simple foods out there that we take for granted.

Let’s take the potato: it can be mashed, baked, fried, stuffed, au gratin – even made into pancakes – and it costs basically nothing compared to other things. Carrots, onions all the basics are inexpensive and vital parts of any meal as the base ingredient.


The onion is one of the most cultivated foods out there in this crazy world – food origins trace back to 500 BC due to the ability to transport and store it. The Egyptians took them as a sign of eternal life, and when the first settlers came to what we now know as the United States, the “bulb onion” was one of the first crops planted by our pilgrim fathers.

Little did they know that there are red, yellow, brown and even sweet (Vidalia) onions out there from which we can make savory snacks and even sweets with this caramelized item. The onion is also one of the only veggies that can be eaten at any stage of its growing stage.

Carrots are also another crazy veggie that has a bunch of colors besides orange. There is yellow, purple, red, black and white out there. The tops can be eaten as well. This veggie can also be mashed or baked, shredded for salads, pureed on its own or made into soup – combined with ginger it is a tasty delight!

Earlier I wrote a CECELIA article about lentils. There are so many food items out there that we are passing by that can feed our entire family for pennies, and yet the world goes bonkers for “Vegan Hamburger.” I, as a devoted eater, think foods should be used for their flavor – not be manipulated to taste like chicken or beef etc. An onion soup or a caramelized onion quiche is delicious and costs less than $5 to prepare – and eight people can enjoy it and be full. That is the most important part.

With this new world of Google and other searches, you can never run out of new ideas for basic food recipes, changes of the old family traditions … We can step out of the box and embrace the fact that you do not have to spend $200 at the grocery store to feed your family. Trim it down and you will enjoy healthier choices, especially with the rising costs of everything. This is the one thing you can control, and making your own food makes you more in control of yourself – and your budget.

Chef Joey is in France – he will be sending us a Francais column!

In addition to the nutrition items, quite often foods have recipes written on them, or suggested preparation techniques. Try them. That is exactly how new traditions get started, because you learned something!

🥕🥕Carrot and Ginger soup🥕🥕

The basics are the best!

Peel and chop:

1 pound carrots
2 cloves garlic
2 large onions

Additionally you will need:

a piece of fresh ginger (size of your thumb)
bay leaf
vegetable bouillon cubes (2)

Sauté the onions and garlic in butter or oil (about 3 tablespoons) until soft.

Add the carrots and 8 cups of water and bring to a boil.

Add fresh ginger – about 2 teaspoons to this mix – as it is boiling and bay leaf – add veggie bouillon to the soup. Two cubes is plenty. When the carrots are soft, mash them in the broth for a healthy hearty winter soup!


By Jennifer O’Connor

For football fans, the biggest day of the year is right around the corner. For pythons in Florida, their days are numbered.

In a grotesque twist on the Super Bowl, Florida wildlife officials and Gov. Ron DeSantis are promoting a spectacle called the Python Challenge™ Python Bowl, in which participants are encouraged to hunt and kill as many snakes as possible. Footballs made from the doomed snakes’ skin will be used during Super Bowl festivities.

When inexperienced and untrained individuals go traipsing through the woods and swamps on a mission to kill, it’s akin to sending a quarterback onto the field with no game plan. Neither one will end well.

The python “problem” in Florida is fueled by the exotic pet industry, which encourages a capricious public to buy these animals on a whim. “Must-have” novelty pets tend to be disposed of rather quickly (often abandoned outside to fend for themselves) when the excitement wears off.

Displaced pythons are here through no fault of their own and shouldn’t have to suffer for it. Their unique physiology puts them at risk of experiencing a prolonged, agonizing death at the hands of people unequipped to kill them humanely. The contest allows firearms, snake hooks, snake tongs, snake bags and noose poles to be used. Anyone in the state can decapitate a python with a machete at any time—even though pythons can live for up to an hour after getting their heads chopped off.

There’s also the impact on the Everglades to consider. The national park is a delicate ecosystem that provides myriad flora and fauna, including numerous rare and endangered species, with important habitat. Within the park, 47 plant species have been listed as threatened by the state of Florida and 113 as endangered. Yet Gov. DeSantis opened up more than 150 miles of secondary trails within Big Cypress National Park to Python Bowl contestants. Imagine the disruption to native wildlife and the potential for environmental destruction when teams of four-wheelers take over Big Cypress. Drones and dogs are also allowed in some areas.

Pythons are not only beautifully patterned reptiles but also fascinating animals. They’re excellent climbers and swimmers. To keep their eggs warm, mother pythons continually contract their muscles to raise their body temperature, and they rarely leave their eggs while incubating them. Pythons hunt using chemical receptors in their tongues and heat sensors along their jaws. Unless threatened, they are docile and shun contact with humans.

It is one thing to recognize an environmental crisis in the Everglades in which humans have released snakes into a habitat that’s perfect for them to breed in and then to kill them humanely in order to alleviate the problem. It is another thing entirely, however, to trivialize their deaths and turn their skin into footballs. Killing animals should never be portrayed as fun, and compassionate football fans should be able to enjoy the Super Bowl without having to support cruelty.


No animals tested – no animal ingredients! Look for RABBIT🐰 LOGO on the package – that means it’s a vegan/cruelty-free product🐰:




At the Aurora Hotel: Creative Hub Worcester Art Show

Text and photos by Ron O’Clair

Main South’s Aurora Hotel – Creative Hub art gallery on ground floor!

I attended the Creative Hub Worcester Art show on the 25th of January, which started at 4:30 p.m. and went on until 7 p.m. or so. This is located in the Aurora Hotel on Main Street on the ground floor, just to the right of the main entrance to the building.

Entrance area to the Aurora Hotel – graced by Aurora! pic:R.T.

I got to meet one of the people whose art adorned the walls who also happens to reside in the Aurora Hotel. He is an interesting guy: Monyenou Tehoue, with a most difficult to pronounce name!

Artist Monyenou Tehoue

I took photographs of all the art in the exhibit …
Check out the exhibit!

Lots of thought-provoking work

BUY$ ART AT AURORA – support$$ our local artists!!

… and hobnobbed with the people, had some delicious fresh strawberries and blueberries, along with a cup of coffee – all graciously provided by the Creative Hub Worcester staff.There was a big cheese platter, too.


They were actually giving out wine samples, but I am in recovery – haven’t had a drink in almost 40 years. I have no intention of starting up again anytime soon!

The gallery is a beautiful space!

It was a nice time. I got to see many different forms of artwork, including some that were based on photography. I hope you enjoy my pictures and that you will attend the gallery to support our local artists, like Monyenou Tehoue.

I met some very prominent Worcester people such as the owner of the Heywood Building on Harding Street, which is being repurposed quite nicely from its long forgotten manufacturing days. It started its life as one of the many Worcester Shoe Factory buildings. He said progress is being made on converting the building to housing people instead of machines, banking on the convenient location near Union Station to be the selling point to commuters interested in living in Worcester and commuting via the train to Boston.

I met this very flamboyantly dressed gentleman named Mike who looked like a cross between the “Joker” and/or a very tall Leprechaun. He wore a Derby hat, saddle shoes, heavy gold rings and necklaces. He was very outgoing and friendly. I took some photographs of him that would have been better had I used the flash, but you can still see the styling!


The gallery was filled with people from every social group, young to old, rich to poor, working class to the affluent. Everyone seemed to have a good time looking over the various artworks exhibited. There are going to be more exhibits in the series at the Aurora, each with its own theme (this show: OTHERNESS). You should check out this show and the upcoming ones for yourself!
Go look at the art at the Aurora!

More info:

❄️January:​ “The Feeling of Otherness” ​Dates:​ January 24 –

❄️February 13th
❄️February:​ “Main South Residents” ​Dates:​ February 15th – March 7th

❄️March:​ “Multi-Theological Perspectives” ​Dates:​ March 9th – March 31st

❄️April​: “Female Artists, Female Empowerment” ​Dates:​ April 4th – April 22nd

Where:​ This exhibition series will take place at the Aurora Gallery on the first floor at 660 Main St.,
Worcester, MA, 01610. Free parking will be available at the lot on the corner of Main St. and Ionic
Ave., and the first floor where the exhibitions will be held is fully accessible.

♥️♥️♥️Creative Hub Worcester’s mission is to provide affordable and accessible opportunities in the Arts for all Worcester area community members, with a focus on at-risk and under-served youth. 
Please contact gallery@creativehubworcester.org​ ♥️♥️♥️



Volcano traps animals exploited by Taal’s tourist industry … and more …

By Jason Baker

PETA Asia’s emergency line has been ringing nonstop. After the Taal volcano in the Philippines spewed hundreds of tons of suffocating ash and sent lava streaming down its sides, PETA Asia was the first charity on the scene, and staffers are working to help as many animals as possible in the evacuation zone, providing food, water and veterinary care to dogs and cats who’ve been abandoned or taken to evacuation centers. We’ve done food drops, and one of our staffers had a four-hour meeting with the government trying to coordinate a rescue plan.

Taal is a tourist destination, and travelers flock to the picturesque area and rent horses to ride to the summit of the volcano. Now that the volcano is active, everyone living in the area has been ordered to evacuate, and countless animals have been left behind, including the horses.

These at-risk animals are precisely why we ask tourists never to ride an animal when vacationing. Long after a traveler is back home with memories and anecdotes, the horses, donkeys, camels and other animals forced to give rides to tourists around the world are still in harm’s way.

Taal authorities believe that all the animals who were in the area immediately surrounding the volcano have likely died. It’s an especially painful possibility for PETA Asia staffers, who have been working for years to improve conditions for the island’s animals, especially the horses forced to haul tourists to the summit.

Long before the volcano erupted, a team of PETA Asia staffers, veterinarians, assistants, veterinary students and volunteers as well as a farrier had been conducting clinics to provide care. Clinic staff treated horses with severe injuries, including one who couldn’t walk because of a huge laceration on her leg. Most horses needed fundamental care such as vaccinations (for rabies and tetanus, which is very common on the island), deworming, parasite control and wound care, among many other issues. They were also treated for saddle sores and thrush, and most needed to have their hooves trimmed and teeth filed.

Abuse and neglect go hand-in-hand when animals are treated as beasts of burden. A recent PETA Asia investigation in Jordan’s “Lost City” of Petra, for example, documented the entrenched suffering of more than 1,300 horses, donkeys, mules and camels who are forced to carry tourists or pull carriages every day. Handlers routinely whip and beat the animals during grueling treks through the ancient city in the sweltering heat, and there’s no water or shade for them, either.

Conditions are similar in the Havasupai region of the Grand Canyon. Horses, donkeys and mules used to transport tourists or their gear to Havasu Falls are routinely starved, beaten, overloaded, whipped, kicked and forced to work while injured. Horses often collapse. And in Egypt, PETA Asia documented the plight of horses and camels, even those with painful, bloody wounds, who struggle in the sweltering heat to carry tourists in Giza and Luxor.

The situation in Taal is immediate and dire and in constant flux, but we’ve saved some of the animals, including a stray dog named Palakatik, who recognized us when our boat pulled up and came running! There were a lot of happy tears amidst the grief.

But while options are limited while a volcano is active, every single tourist can make a difference by refusing to force any animal to provide a ride, wherever rides are offered, including horse-drawn carriages in Nassau and New York City, elephant rides in Thailand’s scam “rescue” camps or Santorini’s donkey and mule caravans. When you take that ride, animals suffer and die.


In Steve’s opinion:
Patrick running effective TV political ads

By Steven R. Maher
Deval Patrick was never my favorite politician. His ties to Mitt Romney’s old investment firm of Bain Capital dampened whatever sympathy I might have had for him.
That is, until I saw the Patrick for Governor advertisement on television today:

“According to Advertising Analytics, a political ad tracking service, Patrick is spending more than $100,000 on a two-week ad flight in New Hampshire, where he’s told supporters that his plan is to finish near the top,” the website Politico reported on January 3, 2020. “He [Patrick] intends to carry that momentum to South Carolina, where he’s spending an additional $60,000 on ads this month. Representatives from Patrick’s campaign would not specify details of the buy or the nature of the TV ads. During a campaign stop in his hometown of Chicago, Patrick spent time filming scenes for the ads, the Associated Press reported.”
“Some people say it’s too late for me to run for president, Politico quoted Patrick as saying in a January 6, 2019 web post. “Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, people told me then what I couldn’t do,” he says. “I’ve been an underdog my whole life. And I’ve never let that stop me.”
The usually pacific Patrick was combative, passionate, and Obama-like. He seemed resolved, resolute, and determined. Watching this advertisement makes one wonder if Patrick had gotten into the race six months ago, whether he would be the one rising in the polls at this point in Iowa and New Hampshire.


Lookin’ cute, healthy and rockin’ out!😊♥️🎶:


The Bernie Sanders presidential campaign comes to Worcester! Go, Bernie! 🇺🇸🇺🇸♥️🇺🇸

By Jim Coughlin

For the past several weeks the WRTA bus terminal in Worcester – The Hub – has been the scene for a gathering of anywhere between five and 10 supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, and they are going under the banner of “Worcester for Bernie.”

Cold temperatures that have hit the city in recent days have not deterred members of this group from getting out there to show their unconditional support for their candidate! They are somewhat of a “fluke” in local politics because no other candidate has supporters braving the cold weather to rally support for their individual candidacy – only Bernie’s people.
♥️♥️ pics submitted

Their presence is especially noteworthy because Massachusetts does not vote in a Presidential primary until March 3. … Several members of the group interviewed last Wednesday said they are doing this because of an intense love for the leading presidential candidate from the neighboring state of Vermont.

Mary DePew🇺🇸🇺🇸 and Bernie!

“I love Bernie because he is changing our world, he has already changed mine, by fighting for me who he does not even know, and showing me how to fight for those those I don’t know”

They even made several handmade spontaneous signs indicating their support.

The local woman who has spearheaded this effort is Mary Depew, 63, formerly of Clinton, a Worcester resiident since 1985. She said she has been active politically with the Sander’s campaign since 2015, (just prior to the start of Sanders 2016 unsuccessful campaign in 2016) which he very narrowly lost to former United States First Lady and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that year.

Depew said she has the title in the local effort of “Bernie Victory Captain.”

“We are an active group of local supporters who have been organized since 2015 and have previously met monthly, but shortly, we are going to start meeting weekly,” she said.

Depew has never done anything like this before, and was never politically active for any other candidate in the past according to her son, Joseph, 43.

“My mother has spent her own money for campaign expenses, driven people around in her car and has brought together a widely diverse group of people in this effort for Senator Sanders,” he said.

“There are people who are disabled, (including her son who has Multiple Sclerosis, MS) elderly people, and people of different ethnic backgrounds and young people who have never even voted before,” he said.

To prove the validity of her son’s claim of diversity, there was even a former Peace Corps volunteer among their ranks: Gabriel Connolly of Millbury.

Depew said that members of her group have also been involved in calling voters in the two early presidential contests in both Iowa set for February 3rd and New Hampshire on February 11.

To help Bernie WIN, CALL (508) 963 – 1399!

“We got lots of hang-ups,” she said. She indicated that many of the voters who she personally reached by telephone said they were undecided. Those voters, she said “will be called back later.”

Depew along with other volunteers have also gone to New Hampshire to campaign for their candidate. Not only that, Depow said that she even had the opportunity to dance and to be photographed with the popular United States Senator at a reception for campaign volunteers held n Manchester, NH in 2019.

When asked what kind of a dancer Sanders was, Depew flashed a broad smile and said, “He has his (dancing) moves.”

“There was a line waiting to dance with him,” she added.

“After Sanders finished dancing with one partner, he would say, “Next,” she said, as he went onto dance with the next woman in line.

In a follow-up interview on Sunday, she said, “ I thought, ‘I got to hug the man who is going to lead the world to peace.” I am not kidding. My first world leader hug ! Bernie!”

City resident Rena Grasso, a retired Psychology and Literature professor was among the more passionate of Sander’s supporters Wednesday.

When interviewed, she spoke about Sanders with the passion of a religious convert, continally using her hands to emphasize what she was saying about Sanders.

“He is not only trustworthy but has 40 years of unassailable uncorrupted principles and speaks with a moral voice,” she said.

For those interested in the local campaign, they can call (508) 963 – 1399 or email them at: Chris44horton@gmail.com


Got it, Elliott!

By Rosalie Tirella

Yesterday, I took my dogs out to the country for a run. Foggy ride up the hills, foggy meadow at the top. I tried to watch my ghost dogs … couldn’t see them. But a shout or two or three from me, and out of the mist … Lilac, front paws outstretched and muddy and snow-covered … still carrying her winter fat, but wanting to RUN REALLY FAST, despite her layer of chub. Jett running, too, wearing his relaxed Husky “smile,” as I shout “HOME, JETT!” He’s in love with me and I him.

Yesterday: fogsville. pic: Rose T.

❄️In my car it is all Elliott Smith all the time these days on my CD player … So, for the ride home, I pop in his first solo CD: “Elliott Smith.” Songs Smith wrote when he was 17, 19. His songs are BRILLIANT. ALL OF THEM. Not a dud in the bunch – and he was prolific! Smith’s songs are wonderfully melodic … my brain unreels, gets cozy, when I listen to them. But his lyrics are brutal, mournful, angry, witty, wry: PURE PUNK. So … yesterday, driving home, down the big hill in New England-winter time, white fog and mist enveloping my jalopy, struggling to follow the disappearing curve in the road, my feelings raw, I HEARD – FOR THE FIRST TIME – his “Southern Belle.”

And I got it.

Got his story – to me: the Southern Belle = his mom (he was born and spent his childhood in Texas). The killer of the Southern Belle = his stepdad. The narrator of the song = Elliott, a youth, the once upon a time little child who was sexually abused, molested, by his step dad. Elliott is adding it all up AND EXPLODING. In his song he nails his step dad’s – a preacher – personality. A screamer who makes others feel like crap. “You give people hell/It’s what they expect from you …” A preacher preachin’ , a sick f**k who ruined the Southern Belle’s (Elliott’s mom) life. Elliott sings: Aren’t you “sorry that you’re the one she got?”

He hates his stepfather for doing secret, terrible things to him – this hypocritical pillar of the community: “How come you’re not ashamed of what you are?” … “I wouldn’t have you how you want”

Elliott doesn’t want to be around his stepdad – he leaves home, runs away, at 14 to move in with his psychiatrist (biological) Dad in Portland, Oregon. “I don’t want to walk around/and breathe the air you breathe” he sings to his step dad. Softly. Enraged. He wonders HOW CAN YOU LIVE WITH YOURSELF after what he did to a little kid – him? “How come you’re not ashamed of what you are?” And for wrecking his mom’s life: “and sorry that you’re the one she got.”

The sick secrets of a child molester, Elliott nails them: “Aint nobody looking now. Nobody about to shout …” Seeing “red” – the community doesn’t see red, the alarms don’t go off. The predator’s a phony and his prey are quiet, helpless children.

In the song, only when I play the CD in my car CD player, can you really hear Smith’s devastation – which, I believe, he never overcame, stabbing himself twice in the heart at 34 and killing himself. …

… “But I wouldn’t have you how you want,”(me to be) Elliott sings angrily but with such intimacy. YOU MADE ME YOUR VICTIM – I WON’T BE YOUR VICTIM! And he isn’t when he’s singing and writing and performing to show, figure out and transcend his pain. Even for only a song. … You hear: Elliott shredding his guitar strings – this sounds, on his acoustic guitar, positively percussive! Loud without the volume! … Shaken, struggling to drive thru the fog, I had to pull into someone’s driveway yesterday to regroup and whisper … WOW.




Chef Joey is in France🇫🇷♥️ with his daughter Gigi …

… He is cooking for family and friends there. He was nice enough to send us this recipe and photos – a vegan stew he made yesterday for loved ones. Vive le Joey! – Rose T.

ICT_Yum Yums-edited
Chef Joey🇫🇷

Text, recipe and photos by Chef Joey🇫🇷

This is a Middle Eastern dish that is quite easy to make, and it can be vegetarian and even vegan. The protein source comes from the chickpeas; the main ingredients are onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, if you want … pumpkin or butternut squash or pretty much any hearty vegetable make it winter-worthy.


For color you have zucchini. As you can see in my pictures, it’s a rough chopped kind of stew, as it is meant to fill up the people who eat it!!😊😊

Traditionally, it’s served with steamed couscous, but I tend to use quinoa because it is gluten-free.


This recipe is simple:

You add some oil to the bottom of the pan and some tomato. You can substitute tomato paste, but I just use crushed tomatoes and reduce it down … you add your garlic, sauté, add your Moroccan spices. Which are generally Dried Mild chili pepper, ginger, cumin and coriander. Also: chervil, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.


You have an equal amount of all the spices – about a teaspoon each to this mix. Then add your water – about 4 cups – bring to a boil.

Add your vegetables and simmer.


Then add chickpeas at the end and simmer till warm.

Total cooking time is about two hours. Add salt and pepper to taste and additional spices of your flavor choice.

You then steam your couscous or your quinoa, put it in a bowl and ladle the soup like dinner on top of it.

Enjoy this meal! Cost: less than $10! And it feeds 8 or more people!

Ingredients are:

five carrots

two zucchini

four potatoes


two large onions

four cloves of garlic

1/2 a head of cabbage

one small butternut squash

chop these all up and larger size chunks and, of course, your chickpeas and couscous … then the Moroccan spices!


Hope you enjoy this as much as the people who have been eating it over the centuries. This stew is filling and delicious – back-to-basics food:


An end to speciesism🐻 … Main South: Aurora art show!🖌️ … and more♥️!

An End to Speciesism

By Tracy Reiman

It’s obvious when you think about it: Most conflict stems from the idea of “us vs. them.” Our family vs. theirs. Our country vs. theirs. Our religion vs. theirs. Our species vs. theirs.

In the ranking of species, humans have conveniently put Homo sapiens not only at the top but also in its own category separate from the rest of the animal kingdom—a ranking as inaccurate and arbitrary as declaring that men are more important than women or white people more important than people of color. Is the human race really separate from and above all the animal races? PETA doesn’t think so, and that’s why, in 2020 and beyond, we have our sights set on ending the toxic mindset known as “speciesism” — prejudice or discrimination based on species.

If you’ve ever wondered how someone can be moved to tears by a news story about an abused dog yet think nothing of eating a bucket of chicken wings that caused multiple birds to suffer and die, that’s speciesism.

It’s speciesist to convince ourselves that we have the “right” to experiment on animals in laboratories because it might help humans. It’s speciesist to tell ourselves that it’s OK to eat ice cream made from cow’s milk because our desire for the dessert outweighs a mother cow’s need to care for her calf. That it’s OK to steal sheep’s wool for sweaters and scarves and to deny orcas their freedom for our “entertainment.”

It may be convenient for humans to ignore animals’ interests, but it’s not right. Animals aren’t objects for us to use; they’re individuals, just like us. When we look into an animal’s eyes, there’s someone—not something—looking back at us. Someone who feels hunger, thirst, pain, fear, joy and love and who makes decisions, has preferences, overcomes challenges and uses language (even though we may not be able to understand it).

Anyone who has carefully observed animals knows this is true. Think of the clever sheep in the U.K. who learned that they could cross hoof-proof cattle grids by lying on their sides or backs and simply rolling over them. Their reward was tasty flowers and vegetables in neighboring gardens. Think of the octopuses who — though colorblind themselves — can, within a split second, elude capture by “becoming” part of the sandy ocean floor or the pearlfish who use oyster shells as speakers to help amplify the volume of their communications. Think of the elephants who mourn their dead, the female orcas who stay with their families for life, the puffins who use sticks to scratch their backs and the rats who willingly put themselves in harm’s way to save others.

These other animals aren’t just like us: They are us.

So how do we end speciesism in our own lives? We can start by valuing other animals as individuals, not for the ways they can be exploited. And then we must act, by rejecting anything that causes harm to other living beings. It can be as simple as choosing personal care and household products that aren’t tested on animals; leaving animal-derived foods off our plates; buying sustainable vegan clothing instead of items made from wool, leather, reptile skin or feathers; shunning SeaWorld, roadside zoos and other facilities that imprison animals for entertainment; and always referring to animals as “he” or “she” instead of “it” (the same pronoun you’d use for a sofa or table).

PETA’s vision for 2020 is that we all break free of our prejudices and see ourselves in everyone else — animals included. Are you ready? Visit PETA.org to find out how you can end speciesism in your own life.






Aurora! pic: Rose T.

Creative Hub Worcester takes over Aurora Apartments Gallery Space

🖌️Who:​ Local non-profit organization Creative Hub Worcester, and this project is made possible by the support of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation and The Community Builders

🖌️What:​ ​Creative Hub Worcester @ The Aurora Gallery proudly presents our first submission-based
exhibition, and opening reception, called “The Feeling of Otherness.” This is the first of four shows
which will take place in the course of four months, beginning in January, in the Aurora Apartments’
first floor gallery space.
Why:​ ​For Creative Hub, this exhibition series is part of a community-focused initiative that aims to celebrate and promote the work of local artists, specifically focusing on the voices of those who may be silenced or underrepresented. The Aurora Apartments first floor gallery, previously occupied by
Arts Worcester, deserves to continue its legacy as a premier exhibition space. Our January
exhibition, “The Feeling of Otherness,” aims to engage artists around the topics of prejudice,
discrimination, racism, and marginalized communities.”

🖌️Who Should Attend:​ The entire community is invited to come enjoy these exhibitions.

🖌️State and city leaders, Managers and Local Officials are invited to attend the opening receptions to support our local artists and learn more about Creative Hub Worcester’s current programs and initiatives.

When:​ Our January exhibit, “The Feeling of Otherness,” will kick off with an opening reception on Saturday, January 25 from 4:30pm-7:30pm.

The current exhibition schedule for 2020 is as follows:

January:​ “The Feeling of Otherness” ​Dates:​ January 24 – February 13th
February:​ “Main South Residents” ​Dates:​ February 15th – March 7th
March:​ “Multi-Theological Perspectives” ​Dates:​ March 9th – March 31st
April​: “Female Artists, Female Empowerment” ​Dates:​ April 4th – April 22nd

😊Where:​ This exhibition series will take place at the Aurora Gallery on the first floor at 660 Main St., Worcester, MA, 01610. Free parking will be available at the lot on the corner of Main St. and Ionic Ave., and the first floor where the exhibitions will be held is fully accessible.
Creative Hub Worcester’s mission is to provide affordable and accessible opportunities in the Arts for all Worcester area community members, with a focus on at-risk and under-served youth. 
Please contact gallery@creativehubworcester.org​


The trad and rad:
Vintage Valentines Day card from the Worcester Historical Museum, 30 Elm St., Worcester😊

“Cupid’s Trick” by Elliott Smith:


Don’t go, Aurora!

By Rosalie Tirella

A few weeks ago, I drove by her and smiled – happy at our chance encounter. I had almost forgotten her! My Aurora! Remorseful, I tried to snap a picture of her while driving by in my jalopy, but my cell phone camera wobbled in my left hand (I’m right-handed) so I missed the shot, especially with all the Main Street traffic speeding between us.

Downtown Worcester: I would have just driven by Aurora, over my left shoulder. pic: Rose T.

Aurora! The Main South enchantress of my Worcester childhood! The star of – the star ON! – the Aurora Hotel on Main Street – that 4-story-high red brick building almost on the corner of Main and Chandler streets! The beautiful, long-haired, swan-necked, life-sized Greek Goddess drawn onto the front entrance of the old downtown Aurora Hotel. Her figure cut into one of the Hotel’s entryway stone columns – a permanent “drawing” for all to admire: the smooth lines of the folds of her robe, the straight, noble nose, the dainty bare feet – sandal-less, naked, even in January! Aurora of the Aurora Hotel! Still young and flawless, face smooth and unwrinkled, just as you were when I stood before you to admire you 50 years ago! Eyes staring away in calm wonder. I bowed before you, Aurora! You were unmoved! Yet you continue to grace all the poor pedestrians hurrying by you to shops, to cafes, to city hall, to bus stops.

Drawn into stone, yet walking amongst us: the Hispanic grocery shoppers, men in recovery, drug sellers with their tiny white square packets … desperate women, addicted to heroin or crack, and willing to do anything for their fix. In their youth, some as beautiful as you, Aurora!

Goddess Aurora of the Aurora Hotel dreamily floating in stone, down Main Street, still with us – after all these many many years! Artsy signage for the old flophouse of my Worcester childhood. Before that, maybe a nice place to live for aging actors, or work space for a city photographer (Mr. Cocaine!). Later, for a decade or so, Aurora actually adorned the entrance way to the NEW main art gallery for Arts Worcester located on the ground floor of the Aurora Hotel! Wow. West Side matrons, patrons and art lovers inside the Aurora during art show openings, tumblers of white wine in their soft hands. Worcester cops outside the Aurora Hotel – now a non-profit residential building with studio apartments and rooms for rent to recovering women alcoholics/drug addicts – the cops with their guns in holsters, standing erect in their blue uniforms in the crosswalk in front of the old hotel … making sure all the beautiful people felt safe inside and the neighborhood people felt unwelcome outside the Aurora. What a picture that made!

But I will always remember the old Aurora Hotel of my childhood – its lobby a portal for the old Aurora clientele: bums going in and out with their flies open.

Shopping Goddess Aurora! As a little girl walking by you you made me happy because 1. You were so beautiful and 2. Ma, my two sisters and I were walking to my favorite store in the whole wide world, THE MART, just three or four doors down! (now a neighborhood supermarket) … Flawless, your dress never dirty or wrinkled, your eyes wide open, never droop-lidded like my tired and weary Ma’s – you said to me: Ask Ma to buy you a pretty MART dress, Rosalie! Run downstairs to the pet section and nag your mother into buying you a pretty little grey and white mouse – the one with bulging red eyes!

There she was. Still is! Aurora! On the hotel wall! Waiting for me. For you? For everybody! A new Downtown Worcester emerges – all the new murals and street art diminish Aurora. But only slightly. She is still beautiful and still calmly wafts above all the City of Worcester craziness. She’s been around for maybe almost 100 years. She will be here when we are gone – have stopped all our yammering about taxes and racism and potholes!

Aurora! The Roman Goddess of Dawn! Tiny waisted, every day you dreamily usher in the new day, announce the sun to all Worcesterites! City manager, mayor, college kids, junkies, house wives, doctors, babies, cabbies … you greet us with grace! And then you slide back onto your column by the revolving doors of the Aurora Hotel.♥️

Elliott Smith and this Elliott Smith song were the inspirations for this column.