Tag Archives: InCity Times

🐈Stop the spring “kitten curve” upswing: Please spay/neuter your cat!

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

Brace yourself — there’s another surge coming. But this one isn’t COVID-19. It’s kittens.

Tiny felines are undoubtedly more appealing than a spike protein-wielding virus, but the fallout from the annual surge of kitten births, known as “kitten season,” is devastating. And, just as with the coronavirus, there is no cure — only prevention. That’s why it’s vital for all of us to have our feline family members spayed or neutered now and to help everyone we know do the same.

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Rose’s Cece with pals in Rose’s old digs (owned by Chef Joey’s late dad). Cece was spayed three years ago, when she was pretty young. That is OK, say all veterinarians.

It’s not unusual for some shelters to take in hundreds of kittens a month during kitten season, which starts in early spring and lasts through the fall. With most shelters already at full capacity year-round, many are forced to make heart-wrenching decisions in order to accommodate the influx of kittens. Often this means that older cats who’ve been waiting for a while with no adoption prospects must be euthanized.

Other facilities dodge this responsibility by turning away animals when they run out of room. When shelters refuse to shelter animals in need, it leaves vulnerable kittens, cats and other animals in the hands of people who can’t or won’t take care of them or it leaves them on the streets — where they can starve, get hit by a car, succumb to extreme weather or face some other cruel fate.

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One victory – let’s promise to SPAY/NEUTER CATS to create another. … AND … ADOPT CATS AND KITTENS FROM YOUR LOCAL ANIMAL SHELTER!

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 75% of free-roaming kittens observed disappeared or died before they were 6 months old. Trauma was the most common cause of death.

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Feral cats and kittens lead horrific lives outdoors – often dying so young! Cars kill them, people hurt them … THEY CANNOT FEND FOR THEMSELVES, as some people mistakenly believe!

Imagine these scenarios playing out in thousands of communities across the country, and the scope of the emergency becomes alarmingly clear. But the good news is that we have the power to end the “twindemics” of animal overpopulation and homelessness — and all the suffering they cause. Spaying just one female cat can prevent the potential births of 370,000 kittens over the course of seven years; neutering one male cat can prevent him from fathering untold numbers of litters.

If you’re one of the many people who’ve added a cat to your family during the pandemic, you might be surprised to learn that your new companion can become a mother while she is still a kitten herself — as young as 4 months of age. Cats are nearly as efficient at reproducing as the novel coronavirus is at spreading: They can go into heat every two to three weeks and can even become pregnant again while they’re still nursing — enabling one cat to give birth to multiple litters during kitten season.

Just keeping cats indoors — while vital to protecting them from the many dangers that cats face if allowed to roam — isn’t actually an effective means of birth control. Raging hormones can turn an otherwise docile kitty into an escape artist who bolts out the door in search of a mate at the first opportunity. If you haven’t gotten around to making a spay/neuter appointment yet, please don’t delay any longer.

It’s up to us to stop this catastrophe. If your own feline family member is already “fixed,” pat yourself on the back — and then offer a helping hand to a neighbor or friend who needs to have a cat sterilized. Many communities have low-cost spay/neuter clinics or offer vouchers for free or reduced-cost sterilizations at veterinary clinics, which make it easy and affordable for everyone to do the right thing.

Together, we can stop the spread of animal homelessness and save lives, by flattening the “kitten curve.”

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Cece was a rescue! Please rescue or adopt!

LES 400 COUPS – Little Boy Lost

By Rosalie Tirella

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Jean-Pierre Leaud plays Antoine Doinel.

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At school …

Thinking about everything small and helpless as I rewatch 1959’s LES 400 COUPS by Francois Truffaut. For the 20th time! – it’s one of my favorite films! The French New Wave I know nothing about, but Antoine Doinel, the main character in the movie, I know something about. I see a little boy’s austere life … the neglect at home … and school. I see a little boy buffeted by life – a child’s life, his world: an abusive parent, a careless parent; poverty; “authorities” just as dismissive and hapless as the little boy’s parents. It’s a universal theme. … And so a young life doesn’t grow quite right. With some little boys it’s “slow learner” … or no friends or acting weird or acting out in a million ways. Truffaut was a genius, so for him, it was act out but eventually “make art.” Write. Direct films.

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Semi-autobiographical, LES 400 COUPS, is Truffaut’s story: he takes his horrific childhood and turns it into The 400 Blows, which, roughly translated, is French for “taking a pummeling.” Which the little boy does. … Truffaut wrote and directed this gritty, at times violent, yet visually poetic movie when he was just 27 years old. Your heart is with the boy every step of his bleak journey.

The movie begins a little after WW II, though the war and its deprivations aren’t a part of the film. Scene 1: Antoine’s school – all boys and very “old school.” Teachers are demanding, students recite and copy facts into their notebooks, learn what their teacher writes on the backboard – memorized poems; teachers rough up the students if they can’t recite a poem or if the boys plagiarize an author’s work…the classrooms look bleak, spartan. Antoine is already in trouble with his teacher – he’s apathetic and the class clown. The nonconformist. The teacher – equal parts sadist/instructor – grabs Antoine by his jacket collar and throws him out of the classroom, makes him stay in for recess, makes him wash the blackboard as the other students work on the assignment.

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Antoine’s mother

At home, things are just as lousy. Antoine wants his young, beautiful mother to notice him, even like him a little, but she has her own life (an affair with her boss) and is out often. She never plays with her little boy – or gives him the attention he craves. His step dad has a soft spot for Antoine, knows his mother neglects him, but he ultimately defers to his wife. He’s in love with her – the child is a distant second place. Like so many kids …often the anchor to keep a disinterested dad around. Or a hindrance a parent wants to shed.

How do children survive their childhoods?!

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For Antoine, it is imagination! Paris is amazing! His best friend is terrific and sees Antoine’s specialness. Unlike today’s deprived little boys, back then, even in the Green Island of my girlhood, kids PLAYED IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD, we had best friends we ran around with – to the school yard, to the corner store, to a granny’s house for tuna and creamed corn sandwiches. You escaped your crumby family life – you were free, you were with friends who loved you, appreciated your uniqueness. Dense urban neighborhoods like Green Island were rich with small businesses, people, adventures, stories … They fed your imagination. Antoine has that in his poor Paris ‘hood! Today’s deprived little boy is stuck in the apartment/home. Computers and TVs and smart phones are a poor substitute for friends, exercise, walkable neighborhoods …

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Antoine’s friend, his neighborhood, the cinema – all are a balm, but he still has to go home at night. His mother doesn’t buy him sheets and makes him sleep on a cot in a little hallway. He’s her errand boy and little garbage man. Antoine hears his parents screaming at each other – and plotting to send him away … Is it any wonder Antoine runs away? Or steals a typewriter? Or tells his teachers his mom is dead? (She’s not.) Enraged at the lies, the juvenile delinquency, mom and step dad hand Antoine over to the state. He’s “arrested” for stealing the typewriter and goes to reform school, where he’s abused even more. His mother comes to visit him – he couldn’t care less. But he’s heartbroken when his best friend isn’t allowed on the premises.

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This movie is heartbreaking – Antoine makes me cry. He is stoic. He never sheds a tear. He takes the blows … The final scene of the film: escape, running and running and running … to the sea…infinite yet totally constraining.

The good, real, happy ending: The young Truffaut is befriended by French cinephile Andre Bazin who lets him write for his film magazine. Truffaut reviews hundreds of films … and starts making his own.❤
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Truffaut at work

🌷How shoes and satchels saved my grandparents …

By Chef Joey Cancelmo

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Joe Joe!!!!

Picture yourself being born in a rural village in the middle of a county where your birth name is the name of the village. That’s because hundreds of your family had been extensive farmers.

A family of five girls and five boys with an age difference of 20 years, from the oldest to the youngest. World War I claimed the lives of four of the brothers; one was exempt from serving due to being cross-eyed. The girls all took turns working for the DuPont family in Paris. As nannies, the youngest should happen to meet her future husband who had immigrated by foot from Greece through former Yugoslavia, then lived in Italy and happened to start his own cobbler/ shoe manufacturing business in Paris.

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Europe: Chef Joey’s family …

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Chef Joey’s grandparents’ grand shoe business! They had a factory whose workers made many shoe styles.

Travelling by Metro, they were in opposite cars when their eyes met. Sounds like the beginning of a romance novel! But that is how my grandparents met! They started a family in 1928 with their first daughter – had another in 1930.

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Joey’s grandparentsIMG_92671
💙🌺😊

And because business was going so well, they moved to the South of France which was starting to boom. The birth of “La Reine des Plages” – a boutique store and an affordable line of comfortable and affordable shoes and, of course, custom shoes and bags that would rival any designer today.

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Tres pretty!!

Bigger houses were built, bigger factories – nuisîmes was good. My grandfather went to the USA around 1939 to look for new materials to work with and, while in New York, he heard about a War starting, wired my grandmother and warned her. And told her to seek passage to the USA.

While they were building their new house, they lived in one that was behind the new factory building in Mougins. The Germans came – kicked them out and basically took over the place. My grandmother hid my grandfather’s Panhard, a French luxury vehicle.

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A Panhard

They took over the factory as the soldiers barracks, and my grandmother and now four children lived in the chicken house. Those farm-house roots are a good foundation for every situation!

The old factory, in the meantime, was making satchels for people to escape the Nazi’s clutches. People took thin leather, placed the dollar bills on top, then sewed another piece of leather on top, hiding the bills, pictures and stock certificates. They then put a liner in it so when the liner was torn out there was “nothing” hidden under the liner.

They also made shoes with hollow soles and heels and filled the gaps with sawdust so when they hid jewelry it would not make noise. My family was kind of the the underground cobbler for the fleeing Jewish families.

So my grandmothers, their sister Jeanne and her husband Pierre stayed and worked with the Germans keeping the five hectares in tact with the fruit trees farming, as that was their roots. And they tended to the store while my grandmother and her kids travelled to Portugal and then to New York on an Italian steamer.

My grandfather started a small grocery store, as the shoe market was saturated in NYC. Then they heard about Worcester. In 1942 the family made their way here, starting in Southbridge. They opened a small grocery store in Webster that my grand-dad later passed over to his sister, Olympia Pappas (Park and Shop) while he was starting his new American shoe company the “Ideal Slipper Company.”

While in New York, he learned about faux leather and took to making comfortable light weight slippers, and next thing you know they are the latest rage!! Sears Roebuck was one of their biggest customers, making every children’s sizes to match the parents’ slippers of any size.

From there the summer line turned into king Solomon Sandals, and those were pretty much all we wore growing up!

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A little Chef Joey with his mom! His Dad on next photo strip. Doesn’t Joey look exactly like his pere?!

By 1970 Grandpa had called it quits. The show machines were sold to Russia, and he lived the remaining 24 years travelling back and forth to Greece France and Worcester. His village in Greece has a statue of him, and he is mentioned as a pioneer in the story of the village because of his business sense and the fact that he brought electricity to them as well! Also, fun to know: My grandfather was the person who put the now “Wingtip” shoes in style based on Apollo’s wings – being Greek -and farming shoes that had holes in them to let the water drain! Being once a farmer!

My grandmother spent seven years in the USA, learned the language and took her now fifth child back to France with my mother to tend to matters. Land had to be reclaimed, a building that was under construction pre-World War had to be sorted out. Life was getting back on track … then the highway sliced right through the middle of the property in the 1960s, the factory was sold in the mid-1970s and I, as a 12 year old, apprenticed in a delicatessen in Cannes that was once one of the shoe stores.

My grandparents lead man in the shoe manufacturing bought it for his wife, and she started the prepared food store that was open until 10 years ago after a 59 year run!

So, from farm to fortune for both of my grandparents! New worlds, new beginnings a couple of times, new languages (my grandfather spoke seven!) … NEW LIVES!

❤At Worcester State University – the excellent COVID COMMUNITY VACCINATION SITE!💙 Go, if you haven’t gotten your vaccine!❤

By James Coughlin

The Wellness Center in the center of Worcester State University on Chandler Street has been the scene of a COVID 19 vaccination site for Worcester and
Central Massachusetts residents since February 16.

In a telephone interview with Rhiana Sherwood, a spokeswoman for St. Vincent’s Hospital, she said that the hospital “is a clinical partner for the site, overseeing the operations for the vaccine distribution.” Sherwood said it is collaborative effort involving St. Vincent’s Hospital, Worcester State University, WSU, Commonwealth Health, UMass Medical Hospital and the City of
Worcester. Sherwood said that it is a large-scale site, but emphasized, “it is not an official vaccination site for the state.”

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CECELIA editor and publisher Rose T. got her first COVID vaccination at WSU this week. Took her a total of 35+ minutes! pics: R.T.

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💜

“We are not one of the big sites for the state” – which she said are the official sites for the Commonwealth. Sherwood said that as of late March/early April, the WSU site has seen approximately 15,000 people with an average of 260 people a day.”

Patients need to register in advance, and have an assigned appointment time beforehand. “They have to register at the online website: vaccinefinder.org, and put in their zip code, and then select the WSU location,” Sherwood said.
“It is just like the deli at the supermarket,” she said “ We are there … day to day to make sure it runs smoothly.”

All adults in America are eligible to receive a COVID vaccination AS OF THIS MONDAY, per the federal government.

Sherwood said currently the WSU
site has the advantage of “lots of [FREE] parking.”

In an interview with Linda S Larrivee, Ph D, the Dean of School of Health
Education at Worcester State University she said, “The hours of the site depend on the number of doses available. When we are at full capacity, we have the maximum number of doses. The days are Tuesday through Saturday 9 to 5 (a morning and afternoon session).”

In an interview with Maureen Stokes, spokeswoman for WSU, she emphasized
that people cannot just show up. “They need to register,” she said.

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Rose’s vaccination info sheets, received at WSU.

Paula Bylaska-Davies, the Chair of the WSU Department of Nursing said there are approximately 100 undergraduate nursing students and more than 30 graduate nursing students administering the vaccines.

Among the nursing students who have given the shots is Rachel Casey, WSU
nursing student, class of 2021. “People were very appreciative and very happy to
see us,” she said. “They thanked us, over and over for what we are doing and that touched my heart. I told them it’s really our honor to be doing this.”

Those wishing to volunteer at the university can apply at http://
commed.umassmed/vaccine corps. Those desiring to volunteer must pass a CORI review. Call 508-963-1399

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Cece approves!

Joe Joe – always in style!🍇🌹🌱🌊☀

Zucchini Flowers!

By Chef Joey

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Joey!!

It is Zucchini flower season here in Europe! This also leads to quick, easy side dishes. What quicker way that to pan sear this delicious and uncomplicated veggie?

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Fresh from France! pic: Chef Joey

Cut the zucchini in half and half again.

Cube.

In a large sautee pan spread the zucchini out so it can brown.

Add 1 tablespoon diced fresh garlic and a tablespoon of sunflower oil (or butter) to your pan.

Spread the zucchini out and let it brown.

Do not salt while cooking and keep the skin on.

When it starts to brown, turn it over and cook through.

What’s great about this side dish is that it takes 10 minutes start to finish, and you can add tomatoes, almond slices, mushroom or even spring onions to the mix!

By adding a protein, you can make it a meal!

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Eat less meat – and more veggies!

When it’s done add the spice – go with salt. Or how about a curry dusting?! Lebanese or even Cajun seasoning – there are no rules! Chickpeas also go great with this easy Mediterranean side!

Enjoy!

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Sautee your zukes in olive oil for heart health! pic: Chef Joey

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All organic in France!

Earth Day 2021🌍🌏🌎

By Edith Morgan

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Edith working in her garden

It’s time to stop abusing our Mother Earth, folks! What we humans have done to the planet that sustains us is pure abuse, and we are waxing closer and closer to the time when finally mother nature will have her vengeance. We are committed to an economic system that can survive only with ever growing waste and expansion.

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Momma!!💜💜💜

So we throw away things we have used once, or that we are bored with, or that advertising and fashion say are “passé” We double and triple wrap everything …

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Too much packaging!

… and regularly throw away a huge percentage of our food, either because we are served larger portions than we can or want to eat, or for any of a number of reasons. When we were growing up, my parents would say “Eat up, because the ___________ (fill in your own people) are starving.“ We live in a “throw-away“ society where rather than fix, mend or otherwise repair things, we throw them out and buy new stuff.

Out of sight, out of mind. When we throw it out, it is gone … Or is it? Where does it all go when we dump it? China used to take shiploads of our trash, but as they enter the industrial age themselves they no longer take our refuse. Our landfills are filling up, and we have miles of floating debris in our oceans, plastics that do not just disappear but last for many more years than we live!

We have populated a whole continent, fenced in and laid claim to it all, taken from people who believed that you cannot own your Mother Earth and, therefore, it was easy for White man to just take it all and declare it as ours. And so now we are responsible for what has happened to it and what will be handed over to our children and their children.

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In Edith’s yard … pic: E.M.

I am hopeful when I see so many of our young helping with clean-ups, recycling, re-using, renewing. I am very disturbed that our public schools are not at the forefront in teaching our young every year, in every area, to be aware of what we humans are doing to this planet. So far the only one where we can comfortably survive!

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💜 pic: E.M.

As we go from 2 billion people to seven billion people on Earth … to maybe even 9 or 10 billion humans, displacing and extinguishing species that are part of the delicately balanced ecosystem on which life depends, do we really have a full idea of how long we can continue down this road?

I had hoped that the enforced sequestering of this global pandemic would be seen as a warning, a time for a course correction, a time to decide to mend our ways, and to cherish that which sustains rather than to overpower it.

We can still decide! Re-use, recycle, renew, share and think, think, think!!!

Glass is better, more lasting, safer than plastic, and can be re-used so many times. We can buy vegetables and fruits locally, even grow our own, without big gardens – pots work well. We can walk, bicycle, car-pool and insist that our vehicles deliver 60 or more miles to the gallon – or are free of gasoline altogether. And we can fund or enact research that shows us how to live more respectfully on this planet where everyone can thrive.

So, love your Mother Earth, treat her respectfully, and listen to what she has to say …
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In Edith’s garden …hyacinth. pic: E.M.

🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺

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SAVE OUR EARTH! REDUCE GREENHOUSE GASES by EATING LESS MEAT!!

🌺I still love “LOVE STORY”!🌺

By Rosalie Tirella

We were hooked, in love with the 1970 movie LOVE STORY. It was the film’s heart-rending, classical-sounding piano score. It was long-legged model Ali MacGraw acting, looking gorgeous in the snow despite dying of cancer in the movie. It was her co-star Ryan O’Neal looking adorable and sexy despite losing the love of his life. It was “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” despite no one really knowing what the phrase meant back then. Or today.

And who were they kidding? Love ALWAYS means having to say you’re sorry!!! Again and again!!

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Ryan and Ali star in LOVE STORY.

And my three cousins, all cancer survivors, looked positively shriveled when they had the Big C: their hair thinned and turned gray within weeks. Their breasts, ovaries and uterus were removed: they were shriveled shells of their former selves. You looked at them, then looked away.

Still, the movie LOVE STORY was THE love story of the 1970s. I, my cousin (who looked a little like MacGraw and, after seeing the film, wore her long dark hair the Ali way – parted in the middle and topped with that infamous MacGraw crocheted knit hat), and the world watched the flick – and sobbed. And wept seeing it at Webster Square cinema for the second time. We pulled out the Kleenix from the bottom of our pocket books. Men cried over the ending, too – all that white privilege: POOF! Gone! Jenny dies at 25! Oliver is alone, forsaken, heart broken!

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They were so in love!!!

They lived in Cambridge! They slummed it in a three-decker! They moved to New York City – to a terrific apartment building on their way to nouveau riche SUCCESS. Oliver graduated third from Harvard Law School …!

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Oliver running to find Jenny after he’s been notified he won a law school scholarship award!

Oliver’s law career was just taking off! And Jenny looked like a model in her tight white jeans and tight black tee shirt!

The film’s music won an Academy Award! The lead actors were nominated for the gold statuette! The screen-play’s author – Erich Segal – saw he could make big bucks from this heaping bowl of platitudes and wrote his slim novel AS he wrote his screen play. We all bought the novel! I did! … Segal became rich and famous, for a while.

Sure, the film was very late 1960s: naked sex scenes, swear words, an independent female who speaks her mind, a romantic relationship that leaps over socio-economic walls … Jenny is her elementary school students’ pal – tells one boy: “Don’t bul*sh*t me, Paul!” and they call her “Jenny.”

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Ali MacGraw created a whole new fashion sensibility. We Baby Boomer gals all tried to look like, dress like, Ali: sexy/preppy!

But the movie was very old school, too, very reassuring during America’s tumultuous times of drugs, Vietnam War, Civil Rights murders, MLK, JFK, RFK assassinations, and the pill. LOVE STORY had: Marriage. Kisses in the rain, snow and sleet. College. Trust funds. … Oliver (Ryan O’Neal) and Jenny (Ali MacGraw). They were so young! So white! So brilliant! So good looking! So full of promise! So deeply and truly in love! And they uttered such deep thoughts: For instance, Jenny didn’t give a fig about heaven. “How could heaven compete with earth?” she says to Oliver: “What could be better than Bach, Mozart and you?”

“I’m up there with Bach?” Oliver asks Jenny, incredulous. Jenny says, “And the Beatles.”

Wow. This love affair is for real!

She’s a poor but gifted music major (piano) on full scholarship at Radcliffe. Oliver is dumbfounded: the beautiful and brilliant Jenny Cavilleri chooses him?! And he’s right up there with the Beatles?! They kiss! The LOVE SONG theme music begins! Their first kiss on the Harvard campus, in the rain … and that LOVE STORY theme song swoops in … again. We tear up! We can’t help ourselves!

And Jenny and Oliver’s wedding! More KLEENEX, please!!

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We do!

They write their own wedding vows! Like everybody did in the 1960s and ’70s! They tell Jenny’s dad, when they drive down to Cranston, Rhode Island, to visit him: We don’t believe in God (too limiting), the church (too patriarchal and hierarchical), or the Bible (all that dogma!). Like my cousin, “Laura,” a WPI grad who “created” her and her husband’s own wedding ceremony in 1976 under some weird dome in the woods (they carved their wedding wings out of a light wood, they wrote their own loopy vows. I was there.), Jenny tells her dad she’s gonna write her own wedding vows and so is Oliver.

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💜

Her wedding day words are … very poetic, rife with translucent wings beating to heaven and filled with “golden orbs.”

They sound nonsensical, today.

Oliver’s turn! He faces his beautiful young bride and says: ” … I give you my love, more precious than money.”

That’s debatable.

When the kids drive to Cranston to explain it all to Jenny’s dad, an Italian immigrant, a working-class baker with his own humble bakery, Jenny tells her incredulous, conservative Catholic dad: “It’s a new world, Phillip!” Yep. She breaks her father’s heart about not marrying in church – and calls him by his first name. Not Dad or Daddy or Father or Papa, or even “Phil.” That’s what half of us Baby Boomers did when we were 19 years old – called our parents Susan or Beth or John or Phillip. Very egalitarian. Our folks swallowed our obnoxiousness.

And for us Baby Boomer New Englanders the movie was a keeper because it was also Oliver’s Harvard University and Jenny’s blue collar Cranston, Rhode Island, originally from Fall River, Massachusetts – even worse than Cranston! They drive through Boston and Jenny says: SLOW DOWN! Oliver says: THIS IS BOSTON, Jenny! All to prove the point LOVE TRANSCENDS everything, even Boston drivers.

Absolutely untrue about love being transcendent … Studies show you are most likely to marry someone with matching religion, socio-economic background, formal education and world view. We knew it back then; but we didn’t care. It was LOVE STORY!!! It was Ali MacGraw in her crocheted hat!!

The movie’s plot is kinda Romeo and Juliet: ultra rich trust-fund Harvard boy Oliver meets ethnic, feisty, working-class but brilliant Radcliffe girl Jenny. After a few clumsy, swear-laced flirtations, Jenny and Oliver fall into bed, fall in love, try to reconcile their differences – learn from them! ultimately love each other more FOR them! – and marry. Oliver’s stuffy, rich father is condescending and disapproves of the union. Maybe, at some point, he tells Oliver, he will give the relationship “the time of day.” Oliver is enraged. He and his arrogant father part ways. “Father, you don’t know the time of day!” Oliver says as he zooms off in his fancy sports car (paid for by Daddy-o).

The movie’s ending is a tear-jerker: Lying in her hospital bed, in the cancer ward, Jenny says to Oliver: “Screw Paris! Screw music! And all that stuff you think you stole from me! I don’t care! … and get the he*l out of here! I don’t want you at my go*dam#* death bed!” Then, her bravado, evaporated: “Please hold me. I mean rally hold me. Lie next to me!”

Oliver climbs into her sliver of a twin hospital bed. Kisses her like lovers do. Tenderly. Then he lies right by his wife’s side, holding her head … kissing her pale cheek.

Now I am crying, the tears are rolling down my cheeks! Just like in the ’70s!

Jenny dies in Oliver’s arms. We do not see this scene. It is played off camera.

That is why I am now sobbing.

Oliver’s estranged rich dad is at the hospital. He has found out…rushes up to his son, tries to make amends with Oliver. “I’m sorry,” he says.

Oliver, wiser now, says: “LOVE MEANS NEVER HAVING TO SAY YOUR SORRY.”

The last bit of dialog of movie.

Wah!!! Wah!!!

Final scene of the film: Oliver’s alone in a snow covered football field, the place where he and Jenny first kissed passionately …
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💜

Now he’s alone.

Where’s the freakin’ KLEENEX?!!

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Oliver, alone again, naturally.

I still love LOVE STORY!

💜Victory! Saks Fifth Avenue Sacks Fur!💜

By Michelle Feinberg

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Read Ingrid Newkirk’s book – and share it with friends.

Over a decade of determined campaigning by PETA and grassroots activists has paid off: Saks Fifth Avenue is saying so long to its notorious “fur salons”!

The department store will stop selling rabbit jackets, mink coats, fox puffer coats and fur of any kind by the end of fiscal year 2022.

Saks’ decision follows a sustained siege by grassroots activists that included protests and disruptions inside and outside Saks locations, e-mails from more than 100,000 PETA supporters, countless calls to Saks executives, pressure on the store’s social media accounts and online and in-person protests during PETA’s recent Canada Goose Week of Action. (Saks was a retailer for fur-trimmed and down-stuffed Canada Goose coats.)

As PETA President Ingrid Newkirk eloquently put it, “May Saks’ ‘fur salons’ rest in pieces, for they won’t be missed by today’s shoppers, who no longer find it acceptable to drape themselves in an abused animal’s stolen skin.”

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Saks protest

Animals who are trapped in their natural homes for fur — like the coyotes who are killed for the fur used to trim Canada Goose jackets — may suffer for days with broken legs and bleeding wounds. Some have even been known to try and chew off their own legs in attempts to return to their young. Those who don’t escape are beaten or shot by trappers. On fur farms, animals are beaten, bludgeoned, electrocuted, and even skinned alive.

Saks joins a long list of retailers making the socially conscious choice to ban fur, including Nordstrom, Macy’s, TJX, Prada, Gucci, Coach, Calvin Klein, Topshop, Burberry, Michael Kors, Versace, Furla, BCBG, Diane von Furstenberg, INTERMIX, Gap Inc., H&M, Zara, Banana Republic, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, Vivienne Westwood and The Kooples.

This victory brings us one step closer to making the fashion industry entirely fur-free.

MY FILIGREE TREE

By Rosalie Tirella

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Rose, December 2020.

So long, favorite tree, so old and tall you grow straight past my third floor apartment! I’m moving out in a few weeks: by then, maybe a little past, you’ll be in full bloom – your green leaves wrapped in tiny tight buds unfurled, burst open. Your filigreed beauty gone.

I like trees best when they look like the one outside my pantry window: spare, the lacey green of a handkerchief’s edges embroidered on every brown branch, the branches still visible in all their drama. They are dark, gnarly, rough, crooked and broken in so many places. I like the way they cradle their “babies” – buds and fledglings in nests – spring after spring. April was invented for the filigreed trees and their promise of good things to come.

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Rose’s tree …

I think of my late mom when I look at this tree, too. When I was a little girl, we lived on the third floor of a Lafayette Street three decker. If you walked out onto our back porch you saw this picture too – tree tops – but in my neck of Green Island. Before the gentrification and martinis. Back when we were a Bud neighborhood. In April the filgreed trees – a row of them – stood just yards from our back porch. Four, right close to us, so close, that when I was a little girl I tried to reach out and touch the tips of their branches. The telephone poles and their heavy black wires were there, too. They were where the black crows sat. The crows on the heavy black wires tilted their iridescent heads at me, staring right back at me with their flat, black eyes. The brown English sparrows perched on the telephone wires, too. The pigeons, too big and clumsy, were often huddled on nearby three decker roof tops and under their eaves. All of them were waiting for Ma – never for me. And every morning, right before breakfast, in the early pale sunlight, before she made us kids breakfast, my mother did not disappoint. My mother, hunchbacked, careworn at 41, would stand on our back porch and whistle to her friends and throw bread scraps to them from our third floor porch.

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Rose’s mom as a teen standing before Green Island back porches …

Ma was the best whistler I’ve ever heard and could carry entire show tunes or religious hymns, verse, chorus, verse. She had taught herself to mimick the sparrow songs – and whistled them as she threw pieces of bread over the porch into our back yard. Birds – even pigeons – are smart: soon scores of crows, sparrows and pigeons were out waiting for my mom – every morning, way before her whistles. Lined up like communicants at church, waiting for their Holy Communion … with Ma. With nature, goodness, God.

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Rose, when she was a child … on her Green Island back porch where her mom used to feed the birds …

Of course, the savvy crows took the biggest slices first, then the big pigeons hustled their way into the fray, the male puffing up their chests, as they attacked their scrap of bread. The wee brown English sparrows, dusty and flicking their wings, waited off to the side. That’s when Ma would throw the few scraps she had held back, round 2, special for them, right under their noses, as we kids used to say in Green Island …

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Circa W W II: Ma (left) and Aunt Mary on The Block’s roof, Bigelow Street. Pigeons roosted here, and you took photos before the panorama of Green Island. Here Uncle Joe is back home on leave from the Navy. Ma, his favorite sister, wears his uniform!

🌍New Earth Day column – by Edith!🌍🌎🌏🌱

Mother Earth – Her Own Day!

By Edith Morgan

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🌱Edith gardening🍃…

April has just started and already the City of Worcester’s DPW and P crews have been out in my neighborhood sweeping away the debris left by winter: mainly salt and sand, with surprisingly little litter. And now our area is pristine, for how long no one knows.

This year, Worcester’s city-wide Earth Day Clean–up is scheduled for THIS Saturday Morning, April 10, from 8 a.m. to noon. Usually the DPW trucks come by each site just before noon and pick up what has been collected by us volunteers at the 50 sites around the city. My ED co-coordinator and I had been doing the cleanup yearly for some time, and we had a regular crew of helpers, which included Kristen’s two sons and my grandson and some of his high school friends, in addition to neighbors who cleaned their streets.

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You want to save our Earth? Keep it clean, reduce greenhouse gases? EAT LESS MEAT!

This will be the first time after the year of COVID cancellations that I will not be out there early on Saturday, in the St. Bernard Church parking lot, signing in our helpers. I am 90 years old now, and since Kristen moved away I could not round up a new co-coordinator in time to sign up for this year. But there are 50 sites, so the city will get a thorough cleaning anyway!

Earth Day is actually much later in April – on the 22nd – when we really celebrate our environment. But actually, every day should be Earth Day: we should not be befouling our nest with trash, chemicals, plastics and all sorts of unsightly refuse.

I have always felt that it is the job of our public schools to train our young right from the very beginning to be aware of their surroundings, to pick up after themselves, and to feel responsible for being respectful of Mother Earth. It s never too soon to have children pick up their play area when they come in from recess (I used to make a game of it: everyone needed a “ticket” to get back in – a piece of litter from the playground.) and of course at the end; of the day, to pick up the area around each one’s own desk.

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Love your Mother!

My parents always taught us that public property should be treated especially well, out of respect for our fellow-citizens. ( Some of us were somewhat more cavalier about our own rooms, and I know that especially with adolescents , their own rooms tend to be somewhat more messy…)

Our major corporations have begun to run ads bragging about what they are doing for the environment, it has become fashionable at last to conserve, recycle, re-use and think about how we use things.

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What do you want to leave behind for your grandchildren?

I hope it is not too late to reverse the effects of our wastefulness and lack of respect for our planet.

🌱But we have taken the first step: awareness. 🌍🌏🌎🌱🌱🌱🌱

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Hundreds of birds and insect species have gone extinct during the past century …

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Butterflies are free!