Tag Archives: incitytimesworcester.org – CECELIA website

☘️BUCKLEY!!! …A sign👏 for Izzy ❤️ and Charlie!❤️

By Rosalie Tirella

The Heywood shoe factory building with its famous heart

The other day I was driving by the Heywood shoe building – now a mixed use development and a Canal District staple owned by the sweet and handsome Tortilla Sam’s “Eric” – when I noticed this sign (pictured) at the end of Eric’s property: a kind of BUCKLEY WAS HERE, as in this is the spot where an Irish immigrant named Cornelius Buckley owned and operated a general store. The historical marker tells you Buckley and his family lived on the first floor in the 1800s and lists some interesting architectural facts. More Canal District IRISH history! With a mere mention of the Lithuanians and a few other ethnic groups who passed through Green Island, now the gentrified Canal District. It’s all about the Irish and their da*n canal – which is no where to be found in the Canal District!


When I first drove by the sign and saw the word BUCKLEY I laughed. I couldn’t help but think of Spencer Tracy spewing out the word in disgust in his FATHER OF THE BRIDE movies. Big hits in the 1950s – and still fun to watch. Buckley! Ahhh! Buckley! Buckley the gangly and hapless man-kid Spencer Tracy’s beautiful daughter – ELIZABETH TAYLOR!!!! – was going to marry. Elizabeth had fallen madly in love with this skinny nerd and would make Spencer Tracy the Father of the Bride, no longer her first love and hero. Spencer had a distinct distaste for the nincompoop BUCKLEY and was flummoxed: how could his gorgeous daughter fall for a BUCKLEY?!!! BUCKLEY!! There was always a look of quiet exasperation whenever Buckley did something ridiculous – which was pretty much everything because Spencer couldn’t wrap his arms around him… everything Buckley did pissed of the Father who hated losing his “little girl.” Forever. Kitten, I think he called her, would leave home to build a life with … Buckley. These days Buckley was kitten’s master! Buckley was in – and Pops was definitely out!

So today I say: BUCKLEY!! BUCKLEY!! As in who cares? Why should Buckley get a historical marker in the chi chi Canal District, and my old, dearly departed friends – the real Market Kings of the Canal District, Izzy and Charlie GOLUB – get nothing? Get no historical marker on the spot where their sweet little store stood?

You kiddos may ask, Rose, who were the Golub brothers?

The Green Street Market – along with owners Charlie and Izzy GOLUB – were here! For a half century! Their little ethnic gem is gone, but Canal District history buffs should put up a sign – WITH A PHOTO OF THE GOLUB BROTHERS – to commemorate the HISTORIC space, now a parking lot.

Why just across the way from Buckley, on Green Street, sat the iconic Green Street Market owned by Izzy and Charlie. For a half century. The sons of Jewish immigrants. The sweetest guys. Joined at the hip – “close” doesn’t begin to describe their relationship. These brothers loved each other and you felt the love every time you walked into their market to buy an apple or a can of soda. You’d go into the Green Street Market pay for a grinder and then maybe Izzy would give you a little wicker basket or two for the plants in your apartment. He’d ask you how you were doing – and listened as you told him about your new job or kitten. …The neighborhood wino would walk into Green Street Market and Charlie would give him a sandwich for free. Of course, they had an incredible business …a meat counter – cold cuts cut fresh for your order. They had soups and fresh veggies and fruits. They had special Jewish foods and other ethnic delicacies. They sold the local newspapers, and they always wore big white aprons. I’ll never forget they’re big aprons because Charlie was a tall, bigger guy. So he had a really big apron. Because they were working hard and the blood from the fresh hamburger sometimes stained their hands, their white aprons were smeared with the stuff of their business. The GOLUB’s were the nicest guys…it wasn’t all about money, though they lived in beautiful houses on Worcester’s West Side. It was really about the Kelley Square neighborhood, their families, education, serving their country in World War II, reading, writing letters to their special ladies …wives who would grow to love these two wonderful men for more than a half century.

Charlie and Izzy would charm you, kid you… reminisce with you. Always in quiet tones. There was nothing crass and loud about these two men who lived deep in their Jewish faith.

The tiny spot where the market was, now owned by Allen Fletcher who turned it into a parking lot, should get its own historical marker. Because IZZY AND CHARLIE GOLUB are Canal District history, too. No, they didn’t build a canal. No, they weren’t Irish, but THEY WERE HERE TOO AND ADDED TO THE VIBRANCY OF A TERRIFIC, IF POOR, INNER-CITY NEIGHBORHOOD. Give the GOLUB Brothers and Green Street Market their historical marker!

Their market and sandwich shop was bought by Fletcher about 24 years ago, right after he bought the Ash Street School, directly behind Green Street Market. Allen rented the building to an African entrepreneur who just couldn’t make a go of the place. By then the Golub brothers had died – both were in their 90s – and the magic was gone.

Missing the late GOLUB brothers! The two men were life-long best buddies! It was a joy to see them working together!


By Rosalie Tirella

Innocence. photos: R.T.

I saw this little girl today, she was walking down Millbury Street with her mom, and I fell in love with them holding hands, making their way through the inner-city, daughter dressed in butter yellow tutu, mom dressed in a grey burka. They reminded me of my mom and me decades ago … holding hands as we walked “under the tunnel” after having mass at Our Lady of Czestochowa Church on Ward Street … we were walking home to our Lafayette Street tenement.

When I asked to take their photo – together, holding hands like when I first saw them – Mom declined to be photographed … was adamant about not being in the pics. She stepped back a couple of yards to make certain I didn’t even get a teeny bit of her in the frame of my photos. But she allowed me to take a bunch of pics of her little girl, me high spirited and smiling, her little girl tentative, yet definitely enjoying being the center of all the attention in the middle of busy Lafayette Street, the cars zooming by, big kids walking to Crompton Park.


I had given mom a copy of CECELIA when I first stopped my car and ran out to introduce myself to the pair – and to ask for a photo or two. To be published in the next issue of CECELIA. They made such an interesting pair! The American Dream writ large! Child in bright yellow tutu, the buttercup of Green Island, posing for pictures, open to the world around her. A little American. First generation American. Mom, a Muslim woman: quiet, modest, covered head to toe in conservative garb – a grey burka. Over her shoulders a navy blue cape. She was a mystery to all. Half her face – mouth, chin and cheeks – ensconced in a swath of grey cloth. No words for me, just nods and a shake of her head NO when I tried to coax her into the pictures. She pointed to her little girl as if to say: she’s the one! she’s the future! The mother seemed to enjoy the attention her child was soaking up like a sponge. I imagined her smiling when the corners of her eyes – her only facial feature exposed to the world – crinkled as I explained my job to her: writer! editor! owner of a newspaper! Mom seemed impressed – and game! Yet the layers and layers of cloth to hide her body from the world – as well as her face – were a wall between us. A pretty smile, an elegant nose? We’ll never know. How long was her dark hair? No one could tell on Millbury Street. Big-breasted or flat-chested? Her loose-fitting burka swirled around her like a tent. She was a triangle – in motion – not a woman. Yet she was a woman. Which is the point. Her culture wants her modest … and still there she was – herself. I liked her. And her daughter was the innocent buttercup waving to mom who was standing behind me. She was smiling at her mother who, she knew without having to see her lips, was smiling right back.




By Luis Sanchez

Luis Sanchez is CECELIA’s talented intern!

Gotham City’s vigilante tries to solve a new riddle in this new feature film – a new take on Batman which hit the screens this spring. I saw the movie one Friday night: my spoiler-free review will go over the good, the bad, and the dark of the movie for you!

The Batman is a superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. The movie was produced by DC Films, 6th and Idaho, and Dylan Clark Productions, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. This reboot was directed by Matt Reeves and stars Robert Pattison as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as the Riddler, and Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon. The Batman takes on a different approach to the masked vigilante, and seeks to explore the detective side of Batman. With a runtime of 2 hours and 56 minutes, the viewer is witness to an investigation with Batman and his efforts to uncover the truth behind a series of murders committed by the Riddler.

This movie contained a lot of dark themes, as well as dark scenes. About three total scenes took place in daylight, and the rest of the movie was within the light of the moon, adding to the overall dark sensation of the movie. The Batman provides the viewer with a new and mysterious universe through its themes, characters, and realism.

The Batman makes sure to nail down the theme of Gotham being the worst possible place on Earth. We are shown how corrupt, dirty and scary it would be to truly live in Gotham City, and it makes us question why Batman is even trying to help this city if it is beyond saving. With the setting in place, Gotham City births heroes and antagonists who ultimately fight for the same cause, which is what I enjoyed deeply about this movie. We do not get any origin stories from any of the characters, and that is something to appreciate because it makes the world seem more established and stable in terms of its characters.

From the early production of the film we were told that The Batman would not be connected to the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). This allowed for plenty of creative license to the director Matt Reeves, in which he used it to his advantage. It felt truly like a Batman movie in Batman’s world with no ties to the exterior heroes, which placed an emphasis on Batman and his vigilantism.

Zoe Kravitz’s Catwoman is exceptional in this film. Her character has intentions that she keeps to the heart and helps drive her story within this universe. I haven’t mentioned much about Robert Pattison as Bruce Wayne and that is because simply put, there isn’t much about Bruce Wayne in this movie. Pattison excels in his Batman persona and excels in drawing out his dark side, but Pattison keeps his Batman face even when he needs to act as Bruce Wayne. This means that in The Batman we see a brooding and dejected Bruce Wayne which is disappointing, but compared to the amount of screentime Batman had, Bruce Wayne’s persona is pushed aside. This helped Pattison focus more on being THE Batman, as the movie is titled.

I cannot talk much about the Riddler because he is not shown much in the trailer, but I can say that his character is a very realistic version of the Riddler. Paul Dano puts an emphasis on his character’s menacing side which makes the hairs on your arm stand up. His riddles are somber and violent. In fact, every character in The Batman is realistic, which makes the movie believable.

Typically we are used to a Batman that seems mythical, is able to fly using only his cape, and with a well-built Batmobile, but this Batman is quite the opposite. Robert Pattison’s Batman has real weaknesses, has to attach a wingsuit in order to fly, and has a muscle car with a rocket attached to the back (which sounds, looks, and feels absolutely amazing!). When you hear the rocket thrust, it just radiates power – which then leads to an amazing car chase!

Overall, this movie exasperates darkness. Its cinematography and direction help emphasize the gloominess of Gotham City, while its actors provide characters who have grown up in Gotham and seek change. Both protagonists and antagonists have a valuable reason to act the way they do, which makes you feel sympathy for both and places you in a struggle to choose whom to support.

The Batman reimagines its setting and characters in a darker tone, ultimately reimagining these characters into a new and intriguing universe – and film. I would rate this movie an 8/10 and would definitely recommend watching it in theaters!

🍿Movie reviews by our intern Luis📽️: always in style!🎟️🎬

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness movie review

By Luis Sanchez

Luis just graduated from Worcester’s South High School!🎓

Marvel Studios is once again releasing another highly anticipated movie in 2022. This time we follow the former Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in his quest to save America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez). This is a spoiler-free review, so feel free to keep reading if you are interested in watching this movie.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a film where Dr. Stephen Strange runs across a new character named America Chavez. She is being chased by demons, and Doctor Strange makes it his duty to help her battle these creatures. In their attempt to find the source of the demons they end up traveling across the multiverse – hence the name Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

To begin with, Dr. Strange and America Chavez have a bonding that is enjoyable. Strange attempts to guard her and frequently tries to, but America Chavez does not know whether he is trustworthy or not. It builds tension throughout the movie because as the audience we are able to see it from both perspectives, and it’s hard to decide who has a greater right to be skeptical.

Sam Raimi is the director of this movie, previously known for his direction on the original Spider Man trilogy. He begins the movie with an action scene and then continues to show that although a superhero, Doctor Strange is also a human. He does a great job at depicting someone as powerful as Doctor Strange as someone completely relatable in our lives. Also, Sam Raimi is known for his addition of horror elements into action movies. What he aims to do is sprinkle a little bit of horror elements into the action movie so it is still classified as an action movie, but with dark scenes. In fact, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness contains a lot of dark scenes, more than what was expected. Although this was advertised as a family movie, Sam Raimi gives it a more mature tone which honestly works great.

The audience that grew up watching the original Avengers is now much older, so Marvel has to produce more mature movies in order to appeal to its audience. This darker and mature tone works great for a film regarding the multiverse and its exploration. Definitely be aware of this, if you plan to bring your children to this movie. It’s not a warning but simply advice. You might want to close their eyes during some of the fight scenes due to its imagery.

Elizabeth Olsen plays Wanda Maximoff in this movie and she is great! The emotions are felt and radiated throughout the theater. I’ll be honest: I did cry at some point, and there were several times when I felt that knot in my throat. Wanda Maximoff has gone through a lot of emotional damage and it is shown once again in this film. There were moments when I wished I could just go through the screen and give her a comforting hug!

Overall, this movie brings the audience into an adventure that nobody could see coming. Being fair, I did not know what to expect and the trailers do a good job of keeping it vague. Leaving the theater, I was very happy to have spent my time watching Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Being an action movie with horror tones sprinkled throughout definitely showed a new level of maturity that Marvel’s Cinematic Universe can achieve, and it gives me hope for the future films.

I recommend this movie a lot, especially to the older generation of Marvel fanatics. I am giving it a rating of 7/10 only because I believe this film could have been a tad bit more sophisticated (cannot explain, this is a spoiler-free review), but its mature tone works amazingly well.

So grab your friends and go watch this movie in theaters! This is one of the few films that does not give you the same experience watching it at home than in the cinema.

✝️Bishop McManus and the Nativity School🙏… Worcester County’s hot🔥 housing market 🏡 and more …

Bishop McManus and the Nativity School

By Rosalie Tirella

Jesus on the cross at the long gone Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. photo submitted

The Diocese of Worcester’s Bishop Robert McManus is in a pissing contest with the Nativity School in Worcester. The good Catholic Bishop is threatening to strip the good Catholic school (that mostly serves poor Black Worcester boys) of its Catholic status ASAP – which would stop it from performing holy mass or even sponsoring masses! This comes after the good, equally anal and vindicative Catholic Jesuit college, Holy Cross, banned, as punishment for the good Bishop’s petty actions against the Nativity School, Bishop McManus from this May’s graduation ceremony at Holy Cross. Where the good Bishop has – for years – proudly sat up on the Holy Cross dias dressed in all his fancy bishop vestments blessing and smiling beatifically on all the Holy Cross grads striding across the HC stage – filled with local, state and national dignitaries – to grab their diplomas. This after the good and holy Nativity School dug its heels in and refused to remove the BLM and gay pride flags flying outside the Nativity School (the old Lincoln House Girls Club on Lincoln Street).

This is why so many have fled and continue to flee the Catholic church.

It usually has nothing to do with Catholic gospel, the church music, God or Blessed Mary or Jesus and his beautiful THE FIRST SHALL BE LAST AND THE LAST SHALL BE FIRST teachings. No, it’s often a result of the holier than thou, unforgiving style of self-righteous, unforgiving and proud bishops, priests, nuns, etc. The brass of the Catholic Church. The elementary school nuns who slapped the palm of your hand with a ruler if they thought you were “bad.” The priests who forbad your sweet, single, working mom from receiving Holy Communion because she was legally separated from your abusive, cheater, loser father – her husband. The Catholic kings and queens who often lorded it over the parish poor and dispossessed. For the misguided power play. The thrill of winning. Being RIGHT.

What does Jesus have to do with all this abusive, nasty crap? If Jesus were still preaching on earth, let’s say in Worcester, what would He say to all these Catholic knuckle-heads? The Bishop and Holy Cross poo-bas and even the Nativity School principal and board of directors?

What would Jesus think of this mess? All done in his name … all done in the name of the Catholic faith and being a “good” Catholic.

Bishop McManus is an old guy. My pal has to drive him to the furniture store to pick out a new mattress! The Bishop thinks BLM is radical! He’s just being an old out of touch guy. And you know the Catholic church’s stance on gay marriage etc. And Holy Cross SHOULD know better, but decided to hurt a clueless old man, the Bishop. The Nativity School is in the right but too cool and progressive for the old fart Bishop.

Maybe the Bishop and Nativity School principal should sit down together – at the Holy Cross student union cafe – and talk. Break bread. Make peace. Compromise.

This “unholy” mess brings all local Catholics down!


Housing, Joe Petty, homelessness, rent control…

Worcester’s affordable housing crisis has created Worcester’s homelessness problem. photo: R.T.

1. Based on the nepotism and pointlessness of Mayor Joseph Petty’s office – we’re talking office director Mary Orosko who doesn’t know how to email an attachment and never returns phone calls – and Petty political office head Dan Raiscot – who never returns phone calls either – why should I vote to send Joe Petty to Boston next election cycle? Why should he replace retired Harley Chandler? I’m voting for his opponent, the gal from the YWCA. She’s young, politically experienced and savvy and will (hopefully) advocate for women and girls once elected …

2. The landlord of the apartment I had my eyes on IN DUDLEY/WEBSTER! has raised the rent by $300 per month since last week!!! WHEN I FIRST SAW THE APT LISTING! For no reason whatsoever!! No special work was done on the crappy studio apartment! No add-ons added!! The unscrupulous landlord did this JUST because they could … TO GOUGE THE TENANT!! The housing and rental market IS OUT OF CONTROL in Massachusetts – TOO MANY HOMELESS PEOPLE, too many poorer blue collar tenants pushed out of units if the building is sold…or if the landlord feels like he or she can get away with it. … Our legislators in the STATE HOUSE in Boston need to enact rent control!!! Now!!! To stop homelessness, displacement, the degradation of blue collar neighborhoods …to stop landlords from being greedy a-holes!!! Our state legislators must step in and enact rent control! And build more affordable housing. Cities and towns must step in, too.

🌹🌹🌹… My old landlord Ken Buzzell sold the Blackstone River Road building where I lived plus his two other residential buildings across the yard for $1.2 million!!!!! Blackstone River Road!!!! He sold it all to a young guy …. The young guy is investing in Worcester three deckers all over city.

… Our state and city housing markets have no guardrails! Unscrupulous investors come in and buy old buildings/three deckers in our poorer neighborhoods, slap on some paint, do a few cosmetic tweaks … and raise the rent by hundreds of dollars!!! BECAUSE THEY CAN!!! Not only in the Canal District but all over WORCESTER and the SURROUNDING TOWNS – Worcester County!! Government must apply some pressure, brakes – poorer tenants are being gouged!! Enact the laws that will save … families…kids…seniors!!!

– Rosalie

Winners and losers

By Rosalie Tirella

Rose’s Bapy, right, and auntie, in their tenement, in The Block, during World War II.

It’s true: the “winners” (usually the rich white WASPs), write our history. When Blacks were making gains in the South, laws changed to keep them down – and rich white people everywhere who didn’t want social change started building these HUGE CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS – to Robert E. Lee and his cohorts – everywhere. Even though General Lee, surrendering at Appomattox, was for peace and healing for ALL Americans after the Civil War, the rich white folks built the big statues and wrote the history books that enshrined “the lost cause.” In misplaced nostalgia and lies. The white money people controlled the towns and the cities: the Confederate statues were erected – life-sized, marble, granite Confederate soldiers on their trusty steeds, swords drawn, Confederate uniforms without tatters or tears. These monstrosities were built right in front of state houses, city halls and town halls and schools. Schools and other public buildings were named after Civil War confederate “heroes” like Jefferson Davis and pompous dedications were held, with the local newspapers covering the events, the manufactured history, the omissions and falsehoods.

With Worcester’s Canal District coming into its own, we must admit it’s been molded and run and is OWNED by rich white men who have never given Green Islanders what we’ve begged for: a fully staffed bank branch, a pharmacy, a supermarket … And these men, we now see, have rewritten or omitted Green Island history. They’ve chosen to forget, to omit, during their recent ceremonies and monument dedications and mural painting, the Polish/Eastern European immigrant experience that defined Green Island/Kelley Square/Water+Green streets from the 1920s to at least the 1970s.

A whole half century defined by the Polish and Lithuanian churches and three decker and The Block tenants like my Polish mom and my Polish immigrant grandmother, Bapy, and grandfather Jaju. All the Jewish small businesses of Water and Green streets, the ethnically beautiful mom and pop stores of Millbury Street selling made-from- scratch pierogis, jars of pig knuckles and large links of freshly smoked kielbasa (Polish sausage). The dance halls of Millbury and Water streets and Green Street where all the kids of Green Island danced to Benny Goodman in the 1930s. Millbury Furniture. Whites five and ten with Mrs. White and her jet black, foot high bouffant hairdo. All missing from the Canal District scene. As if they – this part of Canal District history – never existed.

Maybe it was all too earthy. Too grubby. Too poor. Not the story Allen Fletcher and Ed Augustus never wanted to tell …

You want a Worcester public market? Un-curated? Natural and springing up organically from the people of the neighborhood? Take a walk down my old Millbury Street, the Millbury Street of 1940 – 1969, and be enthralled. Eat like a princess, buy yourself a pair of slippers at Lisbon’s, visit the tailor with his large cage filled with yellow and peach and white canaries sitting next to his sewing machine, so he’d have company as he sewed … THAT IS HISTORY. THAT scene, that experience, deserves its own tribute, its own monument.

The great thing about the old Millbury Street – now one long stretch of dirty, garbage-covered, homeless shelter – you saw the WONDERFUL and the real, when shop keepers yelled at their young help, Mrs. White pushed those new polyester curtains for your kitchen …on Green Street the neighborhood “wino” got that free submarine sandwich from Charlie or Izzy Golub at Green Street Market.

According to Allen Fletcher, Ed Augustus and the other monument erectors, Green Island’s history is all about the Irish canal leaders, the Pickett’s and the Tobias’s … Little parades have been held in their honor, plaques hammered in walls, a tiny water fall with a grassy yard built by the ball park…all honoring the history these rich white men want us to remember.

My Aunt Mary – Jacqueline Kennedy’s personal secretary in the White House🇺🇲🇺🇲

By Jim Coughlin


My Aunt Mary – Mary Barelli-Gallagher – died recently (April 22, 2022) in Alexandria, Virginia, at the age of 95. She had lived a pretty amazing life for an American woman of her generation. She lived in that city, just outside of Washington, D.C, after being appointed as one of Senator John F. Kennedy’s very first staff appointments for his Senatorial office on Capitol Hill in Washington, D. C. This was after JFK defeated Senator Henry Cabot Lodge in November of 1952.

One of my aunt’s first tasks she was assigned by Senator Kennedy was translating incoming mail coming from Italian immigrants and constituents who wrote to his office in Italian. My aunt was amply qualified to do this for Senator Kennedy because at the Barelli home in Hyde Park, Boston, only Italian was spoken!

Jim’s aunt grew very close to the Kennedys. photos submitted.

It all began when my late Aunt Mary worked at a paper company in downtown Boston where a former salesman, Kenneth P. O’Donnell (who happened to be from Worcester), had left to work for then Congressman John F. Kennedy’s senatorial campaign that year.

According to my aunt, O’Donnell recruited her to work for Kennedy shortly after Kennedy won the election. After Kennedy had ascended to the Presidency, he named Kenny O’Donnell as his Appointments Secretary, which by today’s political standards would be called “The President’s Chief of Staff.”

My Aunt Mary started working for Senator Kennedy in January of 1953. Since then, and until November 1963, my aunt worked at various times for a total of three members of the Kennedy family: John F. Kennedy; his wife, Jacqueline; and also for Jackie’s mother, Janet Auchincloss, on a part-time basis during the mid- 1950s.

After President Kennedy’s inauguration, my aunt began working as the Personal Secretary to his wife, First Lady Jackie Kennedy, in the family quarters of the White House. Aunt Mary held that position until President Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963.

America might have become a different country if the Kennedys had not been killed.

Aunt Mary later continued working for Mrs. Kennedy at her home in Washington, D.C, for about a year following the assassination, until the fall of 1964, when Mrs. Kennedy moved with her children to New York City.

During the Kennedy administration, my aunt never traveled publicly with the President or his wife on their official trips. However, the one time that she did was on November 22, 1963, the day of the President’s assassination in Dallas, Texas. Immediately after President Kennedy was rushed to the Parkland Hospital in Dallas, my aunt sat right next to Jacqueline as she kept a vigil immediately outside of the hospital’s Trauma Unit One. The ER doctors had told my aunt “not to change any of her expressions.”

Later, when the President’s casket was brought home to Andrew’s Air Force Base, just outside of Washington, D.C. in Maryland, when they were deplaning from Air Force One, my Aunt Mary was right next to Jacqueline Kennedy and the President’s younger brother, Robert F. Kennedy, who at the time was serving as Attorney General of the United States.

In happier times, on the President’s Inauguration Day on January 20, 1961, my aunt was the last one to see JFK out of his house in the Georgetown section of Washington, D C. when he was still “President-elect Kennedy.” Earlier that day, my aunt was in the room when still Senator Kennedy rehearsed his soon to be legendary inauguration address before heading out to the White House to meet with outgoing President Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower.

Autographed to Aunt Mary

In August of 1962, my aunt had arranged with the President’s personal secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, for members of my immediate family to come down to Washington, D.C for a complete tour of the White House that was topped off with a private audience with the President in the West Sitting Room of the White House! While we were waiting for the President to arrive, we were all a little bit on edge. However, when a big brown door was opened, the President of the United States began walking towards us and he looked very rested, tanned and was brandishing a very big “Kennedy smile.” As he approached our family, my mother literally jumped up and screamed, “Mary, he is even more handsome than in his pictures!” My aunt later said, “she squirmed, embarrassed that he (JFK) might have heard – needlessly at that. He not only heard but obviously loved it.”

My older brother John was equally, if not more, complimentary to the President of the United States. He said, “I am not going to wash my hand (the one that “shook” Kennedy’s in their handshake) for a week.” At first, the President did not know what to say. It was almost as if he was caught off guard (if only for a second) by my brother’s great compliment. The President began to laugh and then he immediately flashed the most beautiful smile that one could ever imagine.

This interaction our family had with the most powerful man in the world has long remained as very powerfully charged memories amongst members of our family.

Also in this meeting, upon the President’s hearing that my mother, Eva, had married a fellow Irishman, it was now the President’s turn for a return compliment to our family. He quipped, “So another member of the family went off to marry an Irishman.”

My cousins Christopher and Gregory, who live in Alexandria, recently told me their lives were much connected and intertwined to the members of the Kennedy family, especially during the Kennedy administration. During that time at the White House when Caroline Kennedy’s childcare worker was of on Wednesdays, my cousins would be the childhood playmates for Caroline, either at the White House or at my aunt’s home in nearby Alexandria.

A slice of American History🇺🇲

There is a little known fact that the President was allergic to animal fur. This made it necessary for the Kennedys to give Caroline Kennedy’s very much loved cat, “Tom Kitten,” to the Gallaghers. So Caroline would he happy to come and visit with the Gallaghers so she could spend time with Tom Kitten! In fact, the White House cat is buried in the back yard of my aunt’s home in Alexandria, Virginia.

My aunt very often said that her relationship with Jacqueline Kennedy “was like that of a sister.” In July of 1960, my aunt had traveled with the Senator and his wife to be with them at Democratic National Convention when he was competing for the Democratic Presidential nomination. Jacqueline Kennedy happened to walk into the Senator’s room and caught my aunt changing one of her daughter Caroline’s diapers. This made Jackie quip, “So, Mary, you are part of the family.”

My aunt once wrote about her long relationship with the Kennedys: ” … when I was a child, I never dreamed that I would work at the White House, walk with Presidents and be on a first-time basis with the First Lady of the United States. Jackie Kennedy was like a sister to me and neither time nor distance can erase the memories of the years we shared together.”

As I sit in my hotel room in Alexandria, Virginia, penning this tribute to my aunt for the CECELIA newspaper, Mary Barelli Gallagher preparing to later attend a Funeral Mass of the Resurrection at St. Mary’s Basicilia, (and later to take her to her final resting place), my aunt remains my hero, right alongside President John F. Kennedy and all the Kennedys.

My aunt’s association with the Kennedys has inspired me over my many years of being a researcher and lecturer on The Kennedy Presidency.

And, yes, to those who wonder what keeps me going with my unabated passion for a state holiday in the state of Massachusetts, it is the relationship that my aunt and my cousins and members of my family had with the 35th President of the United States of America, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, JFK.

And as President Kennedy very often said, “God willing, that goal will be achieved.”

Can we save the planet with food?

By Rebecca Libauskas

Our planet, earth, is a living organism, and every one of us is a part of its body. But that body is burning up with fever.

💙💙💙💙💙💙 art: PETA

The past four years have been the warmest on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This warming is an alarming trend, and the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that a global average temperature increase of more than 2.7°F would be catastrophic. Experts predict that with an increase of this magnitude, extreme weather events will become more frequent and have permanent consequences for the environment. But this diagnosis isn’t just for some future planetary ailment — we already see the symptoms everywhere.

Scientists have observed severe hurricanes linked to warming oceans over the past few decades. And recent research suggests that increased heat and aridity are the main reasons for the more extensive and powerful fires out West. These phenomena are linked to human-caused climate change. But that’s not all.

New record highs in greenhouse-gas concentrations, sea-level rise and ocean acidification indicate that we are causing disastrous changes on land, in the ocean and in the air, according to the World Meteorological Organization. This is bad news for all species.

What we eat matters!

What can we do? When we’re ill, we must take care of ourselves. Why not extend that same remedy to our planet? Raising animals in order to exploit or kill them for food is like drinking poison when we’re already in the ICU. Eliminating animal agriculture is “our best and most immediate chance to reverse the trajectory of climate change,” according to research published in the journal PLOS Climate.

Go, Joe!

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of water and air pollution, deforestation, and biodiversity loss. It dominates a whopping 83% of all farmland and generates more than half of farming’s greenhouse-gas emissions, according to a University of Oxford study. Precious ecosystems are ruined and replaced by animal farms, whose products deliver only 18% of our calories and 37% of our protein. This system is not sustainable or healthy.

The Earth has finite land, water and energy resources, and raising animals for food exhausts them. Approximately 70 billion animals are raised each year for human consumption, and nearly 16% of global fresh water and a third of the grain produced worldwide are used to support them. But eating plants directly — instead of diverting them through animals — would be an ethical, sustainable, healthy solution.

A model developed by scientists from Stanford University and the University of California–Berkeley shows that a worldwide shift away from animal-based foods in the next 15 years would have the same beneficial effect as a 68% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions through the year 2100. Other experts and studies have reached similar conclusions: A study published in Science, for example, shows that producing protein from soybeans in the form of tofu creates only 4% of the emissions that raising and killing cows for meat does. And growing protein-packed peas and nuts creates less than 1%.

Embracing vegan foods would eliminate animal agriculture’s soil degradation, deforestation and greenhouse-gas emissions. This would help to stop the climate catastrophe while securing our global food supply. But time is of the essence — we can’t let a sick planet get sicker. For the sake of the Earth, we must act now.

Every human can have an immediate impact by ditching animal-derived foods and switching to healthy vegan options. There are plenty of delicious choices already on the market and more on the horizon. Plus, each of us can save the lives of nearly 200 animals every year simply by going vegan.



Why should the 🚓WPD get drones if Worcester cops act like this?🚔🚓

Text and photos by Rosalie Tirella

This morning…

Millbury Street…

Several police cruisers spotted in the Canal District, on Millbury Street

June 8, 2022 … the a.m. … several Worcester PD police cruisers parked by the homeless persons sleeping nooks on Millbury Street in the Canal District…I stop to see …

My message to the several cops on the scene:
Worcester Police Officer Padavano (white cop facing camera, below), you’re so young and dunderheaded! Don’t ever disrespect a citizen who just asks you, an overpaid PUBLIC SERVANT: What happened on Millbury Street just now, officer?

Padavano, right

What an ugly little person you are – and, of course, your fellow Worcester cops were just as vacuous – and threatening me with tickets if I don’t “move along.” Threats and more threats. THIS IS WHY WORCESTER NEEDS A CIVILIAN REVIEW BOARD! I hope and pray Acting Worcester City Manager Eric Batista can stand up to these City of Worcester cop-bullies!


I would never give Officer Padavano discretion when it comes to using drones – or grant that privilege to any of the Worcester cops I saw on Millbury Street this morning! Would these officers respect a homeless person needing privacy as he pees in the woods near one of several Worcester homeless encampments? Would photos be circulated – just for giggles? What do you think?


That “attitude” on full display. But these guys have GUNS, TASERS, HANDCUFFS, PADDY WAGONS – EVERYTHING TO KILL OR TRAUMATIZE.


By Rosalie Tirella

Millbury’s Saint Brigid’s Church. photos: R.T.

Miracle of miracles! As I was driving through downtown Millbury this morning I spied a CHURCH WHOSE FRONT DOORS WERE … OPEN! St. Brigid’s Catholic Church on Main. The light beige brick church with the big crosses had its big dark wooden doors flung wide open, as if to say: Hey, everyone! Come on in! Cone on in and pray!!

The church (and its rectory) face a busy street with lots of cars and pedestrians zipping by, yet it welcomes all, invites all to step out of the hurly burly and calm down in, bask in the quiet, dimly lit, pew-lined church. To meditate. Focus on a friend or family member in prayer. Wish, hope, dream … This is true for today, Sunday; it was true for yesterday at Saint Brigid’s … even Friday its front doors were open and I wanted to walk in and take a peek. Any one could walk in to take a peek …to pray to God, Jesus, Mary … Saint Brigid (whoever that is – and as an old Catholic grrrl, I know my saints)!

Heading to Sunday Mass

In Millbury this morning it was 1955 all over again – a time when churches of all ilks all over America opened their doors to one and all pretty much from dawn to dusk – so you could pop in to say a little prayer before work, visit at lunch-time, stop in after your work day, especially if it was trying and you prayed for inner strength – or terrific and you were grateful to God and wanted to thank him for the raise or promotion. It was a time when churches weren’t robbed with a-holes fleeing, running out the back door with gold-leaf candle sticks or chalices or Holy Communion platters … or even sound systems and microphones with stands. We Americans were unafraid of being gunned down by some sicko – murdered as we were about the sing a hymn. Together. We were not attached to our smart phone and too lazy to join a real community. We were all a bit more spiritual, less rapacious. Money wasn’t so important: families were happy with modest houses, modest cars, basic vacations once a year. There were more rosaries among our middle class than more boob jobs. I suspect there are now more Boob jobs. We have Botox treatments and so many other body-enhancing but soul-depleting “treatments.” Yet we all die.

Saint Brigid’s rectory

My Polish immigrant grandmother, Bapy, loved going to our Lady of Czestochowa Church – our neighborhood church in Green Island. There was also St. Anthony’s at Kelley Square and St. John’s on Temple. You really had quite the Catholic menu – the strict Poles of St. Mary’s, the cool Father Frank, the street priest for the poor, at St. Anthony’s or …the Irish of St. John’s. She was a proud parishioner, as was my late mom, as was I – up until college of St. Mary’s. Bapy, though poor, filled her little parishioners envelope with quarters every Sunday. Ma dressed us girls like dolls and together we walked every Sunday morning to weekend Mass where she always sat us in the pew directly behind a beautiful, beautifully dressed young woman and her daughter. The daughter had Downs Syndrome but was also beautifully dressed and so close to her mom who so obviously loved her.

I left the Catholic church when Freud, Erickson and Jung filled my brain, pushing God out of it – or at least the way I had been trained to “see” and worship Him in our working class household.

Now I say: God is pure love.

But what does that mean?

Pure happiness? Pure joy? Is God when you’re with people you love? Animals you care for? Nature. Is it feeling close? Understood? Cared about?

I don’t know. I try to be a better person every day to every molecule of life that wafts by, but I really liked believing in God decades ago when I was young. I was more optimistic, less burdened. Belonging to a parish and knowing everybody in the pews was cool. And looking up behind us, in the balcony of our little Polish church, sat our little Polish organist, dwarfed by our huge church organ with many tall golden pipes. He played the church hymns so passionately. I struggled to keep up with him! Ma always sang off key, her face contorted in pain. Sing along with our little maestro who strode into St. Mary’s every mass with his winter over coat or light jacket dramatically draped over his small shoulders was pure hell! And yet didn’t Ma love it when he strode by her and bowed ever so slightly and said in Polish, Good evening Pani. And he’d smile at Ma and her three perfectly dressed little girls, with our ribbons all aflutter, our Communion pocket books white and sparkling, Ma’s work-hardened hands covered, softened in her pale pink gloves that were so demure… so soft to the touch, going up to her wrists.

Ma used to tell me how often Bapy went to church when she lived in the Block on Bigelow Street: every morning. Every morning. She put on her cute blue hat with the fake flowers tucked in the band and walked to church in her black no nonsense shoes. Winter, summer, fall, spring. Every day.

Ma went to church every week day with the nuns at St. Mary’s School – they walked down Richland Street, where their little brick school was, and crossed Ward Street and piously filed into St. Mary’s church. On Sundays she made the trek with Bapy.

During my Green Island girlhood, when Ma and us three kids would be running an errand and just for the heck of it Ma would say: Do you want to go to church, to light a candle? Our Lady of Czestochowa was a little gold painted church on Ward Street, 20 yards away from the yet widened I-290, but I loved visiting. It always looked so cute, surrounded by pink and red flowers, the stairs painted white …inside the smell of incense was intoxicating.

Yes! we kids would shout, and we’d walk down to our church – whose doors were always unlocked – and we’d kneel once we entered the main area, Ma gripping the back of the last pew for support as she got back up from kneeling and blessing herself after entering God’s house … Then we’d walk softly to the right of the marble altar …to a huge statue of the Virgin Mary – Ma’s fave saint!- and Ma would place a dollar bill in a box, take a long stick and touch its end to an already lit votive candle and it would flare up and Ma would take the flame band ever so carefully light a votive candle that was a bit closer to the statue, closer to Blessed Mother. Then we’d all kneel on the long pale red velvet kneeler, bless ourselves and quietly say a prayer. Each of us saying our own prayer to Jesus. Ma probably praying to make rent. Me probably praying for an A on my book report. My two sisters murmuring their Hail Mary’s, too little to ask for anything … just happy to be boppin’ along with Ma.

When church doors were open …
Ma as a young lady. She loved going to church!