Thursday, October 30, 2014
When Boston voters elected Marty Walsh as their 54th mayor in the 2013 mayoral election, the city said good-by and thanks to its longest serving mayor, Thomas Menino.
Mayor Menino had been the face of Boston from 1993, serving five terms as mayor and stepping down with an unprecedented 80% approval rating.
On October 30th 2014, Boston said good-by again to Mayor Menino, when he succumbed to the very aggressive cancer he had been diagnosed with, shortly after leaving office.
Menino, a real Boston boy, grew up right in the city in Hyde Park. He was the son of a factory foreman, attended St. Thomas Aquinas High school, and later enrolled in night classes at Boston College.
Like many hard working parents, Tom Menino's father wanted a better life for his son. His dismay was great when Tom, citing President Harry Truman as his role model, declared that college was not for him, and dropped out of B.C..
He later went on to receive an associates degree in business, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Community Planning while serving as Boston's City Councilor.
In March 1993, after President Clinton appointed then Mayor Raymond Flynn as United States Ambassador to the Holy See, Tom Menino became acting Mayor of Boston and went on to serve five terms in office.
Tom Menino met Angela Faletra in 1963 when she was playing tennis on the court next to his. She and her friend kept hitting balls into the next court. Tom, made his move and suggested a game of mixed doubles. The two "hit it off", fell in love and were married three years later.
They moved back to Hyde Park, where they still live, had two kids and are now the proud grand parents of six. Angela still works 30 hours a week as an accountant while performing her ceremonial duties for the city of Boston.
Our thoughts are with the Menino family as they cope with this sad loss, and our thanks go out to them,too, for sharing this great man with the public.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Giuseppe Verde was born on October 10th or 9th 1813 (the baptismal records state that the infant was "born yesterday") in a small village called Busseto.
As a young man he studied composition in Milan and returned to be the music master of his small village. Much renowned, he was invited by a prominent merchant to instruct his lovely daughter, Margherita, in music.
Of course, just as in opera, the two fell deeply in love and, just as in opera, tragedy was just behind the curtain.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Greta Lovisa Gustafsson grew up in a poor neighborhood in
a shy child who preferred daydreaming and play-acting to school. When her
father died of Spanish flu in 1920, she had to leave school and go to work to
help support the family. Her first job was in a barbershop, as a "lather
girl," and she also found work as a department store model. Her modeling
jobs led to some small roles in advertising films for the store and for a local
While studying at the Royal Dramatic Theatre, she caught the eye of silent-film director Mauritz Stiller. He took her under his wing, changed her last name to "Garbo" and cast her in his film (1923). When Stiller signed a deal with MGM in
he insisted on bringing his star with him. The studio set about to craft a
persona for the aloof Swedish actress, portraying her as a woman of mystery,
and though they had only agreed to put her under contract to get Stiller on
board, they soon discovered that she had star potential.