My Summer Vacation....
by Thom DiGeronimo September 2007
My trip to Leominster was really pretty good. Stayed with my
brother Jimmy at his house on Lake Monomonac in Winchendon, although it
was really too cool most of the time to use the beach & boat.
Had a night out with about 16 sisters, nieces, nephews and in-laws at
Ixtapa Restaurant in Fitchburg, but stay away on Sundays as they have a
Mariachi band; too load, too much play time!
Had breakfast at Jasper's Restaurant, although Jasper Chirco had just sold
it! Met some LHS Alumni there, Karen Byrne,
who is the step daughter of my oldest member, Olive Simard Byrne,
Her sister Veronica Simard Robichaud,(LHS'35), was mother to Bobby & Pete
Robichaud, '69, but she just passed away about a year or so ago, giving up
the oldest title. She was fun to IM on AOL. They were our neighbors and
playmates for years at Spec Pond.
Another lady, Judith Nelson, '57, was in town to go to her 50th Reunion
this week! I messed up because I could have gone this week instead and
gotten to meet many people I've only met online! Anyway, she wants to
learn how "Dit-Dot-Dit-Dot-Dat" and make web pages too, so she bought
software and looks like I'm gonna be holding online classes for the
elderly by the elderly! Another of her classmates, Dr. Ai-Lei Oung, wants
to learn also. She's also a Spec Pond Alumni, but "Little Spec". You
should see her credentials!(LHS'57)
While in Leominster, I
was invited to breakfast by Nikki Vitone, at Don's Diner, owned by her
brother Don Anctil. We were celebrating the return of her 1971 Class
Ring by Sheila (Gordon) Collin's daughter, Melanie Adams who lives in
Indiana with her husband and children.
A couple of years ago, Melanie had written to me at the alumni website I
started, wanting to know more about her mother, Sheila Gordon Collins,(LHS'69),
as she had passed away in 1991. Sheila had led a tough life that she
talked little about. I told her that Sheila was in my class and that I
had known her for years and had even dated her. I sent her a picture of
us at the Carter Junior High Prom and filled her in as much as possible
as my memory would bear. I recommended some others she might contact for
information about Sheila and we stayed in contact.
When Melanie found a
1971 Class Ring among some things that her brother had brought back to
Indiana from a recent trip to Leominster, she realized it wasn't her
Mom's and wrote to ask me to help solving the riddle of whom might be
the owner. Her Uncle John, Sheila's younger brother, who had also past
away, had graduated in 1972 so she was very curious about the ring.
Nikki Vitone, Nichole Anctil
in trying to remember that far back, says she'd had last seen it 35
years ago on her boyfriend's little finger. They were swimming at Lake
Samoset, where it apparently slipped off his hand. Nobody is sure how
Sheila came to find it, but after some confusion with initials that
didn't match anyone in the Class of '71, Melanie rechecked them and I
made some phone calls. I found Nicole Anctil, now Nikki Vitone, through
her sister, Carmen Cormier. Nikki couldn't believe it at first, but
happily confirmed it was her long lost ring.
I wrote back to
Melanie with names and numbers and they spoke by phone. Melanie
graciously mailed the ring to Nikki the next week! 1900 miles and 35
And I got to meet the
Anctil family at Don's Diner! Don was cooking and I sat with Nikki, her
sister Carmen and niece Kristine. At the next table were Carmen's
sister-in-law and her husband whom I also got to meet. I got to take
some good pictures and meet some wonderful people.
I also went to Maine to see Marcus Gale, '69, and his wife Mary Byrom.
Marcus is a children's entertainer, writing and singing his songs at
Library and other public Civic functions and doing private parties. He has
several CD's of children's songs he's written and sings / plays guitar.
You can hear him sing on the website. His wife Mary Byrom is a painter and
is critically acclaimed to be very good.
They were getting ready for a trip to Idaho for "En Plen Air" seminar /
instruction with an artist that is very highly regarded and Mary will be
asked to teach local artists when she returns. "En Plen Air", translates
literally to "open air" or painting outdoor scenes in the actual
environment as opposed to from pictures, quite common, or memory. I help
with their websites too. www.MaryByrom.com and www.MarcusGale.com .
Mary, the artist, commands and I obey! Pretty amazing couple!
I stopped at Dick's Barber Shop for a haircut and catching-up and then to
Tim's Diner to try to see Tommy Kamataris, '69. Maybe next year. I don't
know if I mentioned it, but he has Alzheimer's and is not doing well. He
lost his job with the City and has no benefits as he hadn't been there
enough years. The City was trying to fit him into some benefits, but it's
still very iffy.
Tommy Bisol and his wife Susan were out touring Napa Valley to see
vineyards up close. He wants to make and sell wine as well as his great
crops of blueberries! Susan's pies and jam are to die for, almost as good
as my Mom's blueberry cake!
May my heart attack come from things such as these! I won't go willingly,
but I will go happily!
They were set to visit Susan's niece on the way back, but a car accident
in Wyoming put her in a coma and she wasn't doing very well. I had lunch
with Susan's mother, Joan McCumber Saturday. They were our next door
neighbors for years on Hall Street and one my Mom's best friends. For the
last two years she's made a huge dinner for all of us including her son, Jack
McCumber, LHS '76, and his wife, so it was time for my treat. My time
management skills lacking, I didn't get to invite Jack, but will make sure
I do next time.
And that's all I have to say about that!
PS If you haven't filled out your Bio's and updated yer stuff,
New policy is if you don't, I'll make up stuff. And I am