The BOLLI Journal, our bi-annual art and literary magazine, offers a glimpse into the creative lives of the many writers and visual artists in our midst.
At BOLLI, we have an opportunity to invent and reinvent ourselves through our scholarly and creative pursuits. Our writing, photography, and art courses, as well as our less formal groups, encourage members to develop and refine their expressive spirits and skills. The BOLLI Journalprovides a showcase for a variety of these efforts, illustrating who we are, how our history and imagination have shaped our identities, and how we craft our lives now.
The BOLLI Journalseeks original writing and visual art from all members.
BOLLI members may submit up to FOUR pieces of writing and/or art work (total) for consideration for publication in the 2018 volume.
WHAT TO SEND
Any BOLLI member may submit original unpublished fiction and/or nonfiction prose, poetry, or playwriting. Please double space and number each page of your work, but do not write your name on your manuscript/s. Include a word count below the title of each piece being submitted. (2000 word limit.)
Any BOLLI member may submit original unpublished, high resolution digital photography. Professionally photographed, high resolution images of original drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, and/or crafts may be submitted.
HOW TO SEND IT
Work should be submitted via email although hard copy may be left with Matt Medeiros for scanning and sending via email. (No particular computer program is preferred for either writing or photographs.) The email subject line should read “Journal Submission,” and material should be provided as attachments. In the text of your email, provide your name, home address, telephone number, and return email address. Send to the editor at: Bollijournal@gmail.com.
Your submission will be acknowledged within a week of its receipt. If you do not receive such acknowledgment, contact editor Maxine Weintraub: firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
All material will be reviewed as “blind” submissions by The Journal committee: Editor Maxine Weintraub, Marjorie Arons-Barron, Beverly Bernson, Betsy Campbell, Jane Kays, Joan Kleinman, Marjorie Roemer, Larry Schwirian, and Sue Wurster. Other selected jurors are also part of the process. While suggestions might be made for improvement and resubmission of material, submissions will not be edited without permission.
Kittery. Kittery Maine is a beach town, rocky and cold but very peaceful. With lobsters, lots of lots of L-O-B-S-T-A-S . It is also a destination for those in need of retail therapy in the form of outlet store bargains. Lots of B-AH-G-U-N-S.
Bargain shopping is in my blood. You see, I grew up in Worcester—where we had Spag’s. Founded in 1934 by Anthony “Spag” Borgatti, it was the most wonderful store. At Spag’s, “where cash buys more,” you could by a can of paint, a wrench, or a 5-lb. jar of peanut butter. You could visit with friends and neighbors who were buying everything from grass seed to work gloves to vacuum cleaner bags—with no plastic. In fact, at Spag’s, there were no bags or shopping carts. You put your stuff in your own bags or in empty cardboard boxes found around the store. And every part of the store had its own smells. Bread. Shoe leather. Fertilizer. But always the fragrance of paper dust and just-cut cardboard. Spag’s may have closed a dozen years ago, but the retail lessons learned there will never fade. For me, the name of the game was—and still is—“the best deal for the best price.” We learned that from our parents and from Spag himself before the missiles were photographed in Cuba. And then, we taught our children “Spag’s Mentality.”
So, for me, when Kittery became an outlet store mecca, the leap from Spag’s to Maine was not a painful one. At Spag’s, Wrangler jeans, piled by size on shelves, had cost less than $10 a pair. Now, the Lee Outlet in Kittery offers a dozen different colors and cuts for prices ranging from $39 to $100, a definite bargain in today’s market.
During my years as the mother-of-the-bride, treks to Kittery became marathon. The drive north on New Year’s weekend was one of the favorites. Sets of handcrafted holiday ornaments in really nice boxes made great gifts for my daughters but also served as bridal shower gifts for their friends. Serving pieces from Lenox China likewise. Pyrex casseroles and OXO utensils were legion.
At about that time, I turned a walk-in closet into a storage space that my girls referred to as “The Store.” With four long shelves and six feet of closet rod, it became the resting place for good bargains. Fancy candles. Blankets and throws. Mirrors and holiday items. When my mother’s health impeded traveling to stores, she would do her birthday and holiday shopping in “The Store.”
My mother and I never shopped together in Kittery, but she had taught me well during the Spag’s years. No, my most diligent shopping partner was Betty, who loved a bargain every bit as much as I did. On one trip, she managed to score one of her greatest finds ever—an entire set of dishes to match the blue walls and red ceiling border of her newly renovated kitchen. Her very favorite trip, though, was our first venture to the When Pigs Fly bakery. Talk about aroma. Forty dollars later, we returned to the car where the “coup de gras” rested in my trunk—a tray, napkins, a knife, and a pound of butter. It was the most perfect January day–the sun was shining, there was no dirty snow in the parking lot, and the temperature was hovering in the mid 50’s. We sat on the tailgate and relished the baked goods and the moment. Her freckled smile is preserved in my memory.
With the arrivals of the boys, my grandsons Brady and Henry, my addiction to cute pajamas and overalls propelled me to the Carter Outlet where I would spend $30 on tiny tee shirts and rubber pants, and then take away a free umbrella stroller. The boys have outgrown Carter’s, and their new shirts–complete with dinosaur and sport themes–now come from full-price sporting goods stores, and of course, the vendors near Fenway.
So, here are a couple of tips for shopping at the Kittery Outlets. Use your VISA card as you drive north and your MasterCard when you head south, going home, to avoid straining either one. During the month of August, avoid the crowds of frantic mothers and unhappy kids altogether. Go to the beach. Eat lobsta and whole belly clams by day, and drive home at sunset. The crazy shoppers don’t tend to hit the road until the outlets close at 9 p.m.
Shopping at other beaches? The Outer Banks? Monterey? Key West? Sure, but it’s just not the same. You can’t find lobstas or whole belly clams, and if they have coupons, I have yet to see one.
I stopped my treks to Kittery when I retired, had lost forty pounds, and was shopping in good consignment shops that could accommodate my changing sizes and tight budget. In my heart, though, Kittery shopping ended five years ago when my dear Betty died. How could those trips bring me happiness when my faithful shopping partner was no longer there to ride shotgun? She is in my heart always, as is my mother who trained me at Spag’s.
Shopping with family and friends can be a distraction during times of stress or unhappiness. From big box stores to outlets to coastal gift shops, finding the perfect item for someone special and giving it with love is key. The warm smile delivered in return is the best kind of retail therapy there is.
Former English teacher and health care professional Lydia Bogar joined BOLLI in the spring of 2016 after returning home from a stint in South Carolina where she dipped into another OLLI program.
This recipe came from my Grandmother Helen Rudy in about 1965. She got it from her mother or grandmother. As is usual with that generation, nothing was written down, so what is here is a tuning of the recipe based on making it–a lot. Most commercial Noodle Puddings have a higher concentration of noodles, and that certainly can be arranged, but I like it softer and creamier. Others have raisins, pineapple, and other stuff I don’t like to put in my noodle pudding, but there is no problem adding other ingredients unless they either absorb a lot of moisture or generate a lot of moisture. If that is the case, moderate the milk to get the consistency you like. This recipe makes 8-10 portions in a 9” x 13” pan (117 sq in). A half recipe goes into an 8”x8” pan. With two of us, the half size works just fine.
9×13 pan8×8 pan
1 lb ½ lb Cottage Cheese (standard size container)
8 oz 4 oz Cream Cheese, softened
4 2 Eggs, Jumbo (adjust if using a smaller sized egg)
½ pint ½ cup Sour Cream
1¼ cup ⅝ cup Milk (note that 1/8th cup is 2 tablespoons)
2½ Tbs 1¼ Sugar
8 oz 4oz Broad Noodles. (Note: Some bags are 12oz, others are 16oz)
2 Tbs 1 Tbs Butter
½ cup ¼ cup Cornflake crumbs (just pour from box till it is enough)
shakes shakes Cinnamon-Sugar
Except for when there will be a crowd, make ½ of this recipe
Certain recipes require accurate measuring. A noodle pudding does not. And you might as well play with the ingredients to tune it to your taste.
Cook the noodles for 6-7 minutes, drain, and cool in water. Don’t make them too soft as they will continue to cook as you bake the pudding.
Beat the Cream Cheese, then add the eggs, Sour Cream, Cottage Cheese, and Sugar. If you use “lite” sour cream or cottage cheese it will affect the taste. Only you will know if you care.
Slowly beat in the milk and then stir in the well drained noodles. It will be very liquid at this point but will thicken during cooking.
Heat the oven to 350°
Melt the butter in a Pyrex pan and make sure that the sides are also buttered. The amount of butter is approximate. Place the pan onto an edged cookie tray (to collect leakage). Pour in the pudding material. This can, in fact, be done hours before the cooking.
Sprinkle the top liberally but not thick with Cornflake crumbs, and then sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.
Bake, uncovered, ~33 minutes until it browns on the top and it is reasonably solidified. It will not harden in the pan while hot. If covered it will boil, not bake. The smaller pan will take 28 minutes.
The pudding can be prepared a day before cooking.
The pudding reheats well in the microwave.
John says that it was his mother who inspired his love of cooking and baking at an early age. (She cooked vegetables in boil-able packages.)
A few months ago, my 11-year-old grandson Ben and I were in the kitchen. He was sitting at the table, patiently waiting for lunch. I was preparing to serve him the world’s greatest grilled cheese sandwich ever.
Out of the blue he looked up and said, “Nana, I hope you live a long time.”
“I hope so too,” I said, moved. I thought all he was interested in was his X-box, play station, texting, and winning at Monopoly.
At the time, I was 80. Now, I’m 81. I’ve already lived a long time. I don’t know what living a long time means to an 11-year-old. I didn’t probe or ask questions, but I’ve been thinking about this question off and on since then.
So what does living a long life mean to me? Is it the fullness of years or just another number to strive for? So I’m 81. Will I reach 82 and, if so, what difference will it make? What difference will I make? Is being here enough? Or am I just existing? Does my continued existence matter? Of course, my family and friends would say yes. And I say yes too!
But is my yes important? Will I live to see my oldest grandchild—and also my youngest grandchild who is 7—graduate 6th grade, 8th grade, high school, college. Will I see them have careers, get married, make me a great-grandmother? Unlikely. Very unlikely. Impossible. Do the math!
For me, it’s important to not only live well into a “ripe old age” but also to live a meaningful old age. Yet, a very wise person once said to me that all God wants us to do is to “be.” I ask myself, “How can I ‘be’ as I do?” A conundrum that gets me into, may I say the word, spiritual stuff.
Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be. Really?
So, how about a conversation?
Years ago, when we were in our 40’s, my husband and I bought a sundial with the saying “grow old along with me–the best is yet to be.” I’m not sure whether or not I believed it then, and I’m wondering whether I believe it now. Stay tuned!
I really don’t know how Lisa Scottoline keeps writing one excellent mystery after another, but she does. Her latest had me completely fooled until the author revealed the secret she’d kept for more than a third of the book.
One Perfect Lie opens with Chris Brennan interviewing for a position at the high school in Central Valley, Pennsylvania. He’s made it his business to know exactly the type of substitute teacher the school administration wants, and he presents himself accordingly. He’s observed the male high school staff and is dressed the way they are in what might be termed “school casual;” he’s even had his hair cut locally so that nothing about him will stand out or seem unusual.
His resumé is perfect, and the reasons he gives for the many moves he’s made in his life ring true. It also helps that the school needs a substitute Government teacher at once, as the regular teacher left suddenly due to a family emergency. Chris gives the principal, the only member of the school’s administration he hasn’t met previously, all the answers she wants and needs to hear, and so, he gets the job. Then he thinks to himself, “It was time to set (the) plan in motion, commencing with step one.”
Step one is finding out about renting a truck from a local man who’s not too fussy about legalities. The man assumes the vehicle is needed for a move, but Chris knows that the available twelve footer is the perfect size for transporting an ANFO bomb, an explosive with ingredients that are easy and safe to assemble.
During his first class Chris sets out to win over all the students, especially the boys. He’s already deciding who the leaders and who the followers are, and he’s narrowed down the ones he’s interested in to just a handful. He plans to cull the handful even more until he finds the perfect boy. Between his teaching assignment and agreeing to be the assistant coach of the school’s baseball team, he expects to find just the right one; he’s in a hurry because the bombing is only six days away.
Lisa Scottoline is a master storyteller. She brings to life the three teenagers in whom Chris shows the most interest. There’s Evan Kostis, the handsome, smart student from a wealthy but unhappy family; there’s Raz Samatov, bereft over the recent death of his father; there’s Jordan Larkin, whose single mother is guilty over how much time she needs to work in order to provide for the two of them. So what exactly does Chris want from the boy he decides to choose?
All of these characters, and many more equally well done and believable, inhabit the pages of One Perfect Lie. Ms. Scottoline has written one more thriller that will keep you guessing until the end.
I’ve always been a reader and, starting with Nancy Drew (my favorite, of course), I became a mystery fan. I think I find mysteries so satisfying because there’s a definite plot to follow, a storyline that has to make sense to be successful. And, of course, there’s always the fun of trying to guess the ending!
In June of 2014, Martha saw an advertisement for BOLLI’s “Scholar for a Day” in the Newton Tab. Having recently retired, she was intrigued with the idea of taking classes and signed up for the program. When she arrived, she found herself in a current events class that she did not think she would enjoy, “but I was so impressed with the SGL who gave us a map and spoke so knowledgeably about ISIS that I even talked during the session.” She says the Lunch & Learn program that day was also excellent, and, consequently, she signed up for the 2014 fall term.
“Since then, I have enjoyed all the classes I have taken–with only one exception. And since I have taken 17 courses so far, that strikes me as a great ‘batting’ average. I enjoy listening to the SGLs and my fellow classmates—everyone has so much to offer on the many subjects. I have been especially impressed with the great selection of speakers at Lunch & Learn, and I also love the seminars during the winter and summer terms.”
In addition to her course load at BOLLI, Martha has become a “part-time” member of the Photo Club, attending some of the group’s meetings as well as their outings which she has found particularly fun to do. She has also been taking part in the Book Group. “The books chosen have broadened my reading selections, and the discussions are very interesting,” she says.
One of Martha’s interests outside BOLLI is doing cross-stitch samplers, a tradition in which, for centuries, stitchers have created pieces to demonstrate their skills and commemorate significant events. “In 1976, I wanted to make something for my first child,” she says. “I first tried crewel and then needlepoint but then realized that I liked counted cross-stitch the best. It takes concentration, but I also find it relaxing.” She has enjoyed making birth samplers for the babies in her life which she says some receive shortly after birth while others come along later. “I just recently finished a birth sampler for my great niece who lives in Pennsylvania—she’ll be four in April! And now, I am working on one for my honorary great-niece who arrived twelve days early on March 5th.”
Martha majored in chemistry in college, and after she graduated as an analytical chemist, she worked in three different arenas. After two years in the chemistry lab at Mass General, she spent eighteen years in a Boston City Hospital research lab which then moved to Beth Israel Hospital. Her last job was a twenty-two year stint at Biogen, the well-known biotech company. “Working in biotech is fascinating and very rewarding,” she says. With a note of pride, she adds that “during my time at Biogen, we had seven drugs approved by the FDA.”
Martha is married to Bob, a retired high school guidance director, and the couple have two children. Son Michael is working on his Ph.D. in public policy at UMass Boston where he concentrates on English language learners. Daughter Jennifer, who works as a corporate recruiter, is married to Watertown Chef Mike Fucci who was recently the winner on an episode of Cuttroat Kitchen on the Food Network!
Apparently, Martha Berardino’s friends have dubbed her their “Culture Meister” because of her talent for organizing trips to drama, dance, and music performances. At the moment, she recommends the play Topdog/Underdog at the Huntington Theatre, the Matisse exhibit at the MFA, and Charlotte’s Web at Wheelock Family Theatre. “Right now, I am planning a five-day trip to the Berkshires in July which will include performances at Tanglewood, Williamstown Theatre, and Jacob’s Pillow as well as art museums and, of course, good eating at area restaurants.”
The simple answer is NO, but, as usual, nothing is simple. There are three circumstances I can think of (and there are probably more) when this should be fine and actually even beneficial.
I have a yearly contract with The Geek Squad, an organization that is part of Best Buy, for support of my computer. For a reasonable rate, they will support up to 3 computers for me and take as many calls as necessary. Sometimes a call to them is sufficient to get an answer to your question, but at other times, you might have a complex question that requires someone to log onto your machine in order to fix it. Of course, you can take the computer to a store, but it is more convenient when, given permission, they can log in to fix whatever ails the machine. I have received similar service from Comcast.
Occasionally, you might call a friend and ask how to do something, like work on a Word document. They say that they’ll be over next week. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to collaborate in real time?
You want to share something, maybe pictures, with someone, and the file is too large to easily send. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could just see them on your machine? There are a number of software products that accomplish this. You can check with the Geek Squad and Comcast or your own service provider to see what they deem to be safe.
When using Teamviewer, you provide a code to the person to whom you are allowing access and then either they or you can move the cursor on your screen. At the end of the session, they log out and cannot get in again until a future session is initiated by you. So it is safe. They have full documentation available on their site.
Having said all this, be very selective about allowing others onto your machine. They would then have access to material that you might rather keep private.
A long-time computer expert and guide, John provides his helpful hints in this monthly BOLLI Matters feature. In the comment box below, provide questions or comments for John on any computer/tech topic .
Last spring, Marty Kafka took a five-week “trial membership” course at BOLLI, found it to be very interesting, liked the people in the class, and decided to dive right into a full membership this past September. “I feel like I’m back in college,” he says, “but without the grades.”
Marty appreciates BOLLI’s community spirit of cooperative learning and says he is benefitting from the broad knowledge base of our members. “We help each other, and I am developing friendships associated with the courses and activities.”
An amateur digital photographer, Marty soon joined the Photo Club, particularly enjoying the group’s trips to the de Cordova Museum and Walden Pond. He’s also taken part in as many current events sessions as he’s been able to attend.
Prior to his retirement a year ago, Marty worked as a psychiatrist and still supervises psychiatric residents. As a clinician-researcher for over thirty years, he developed a specialty interest in sexual behavior disorders. He was awarded a Distinguished Life Fellowship by the American Psychiatric Association and was selected to collaborate on the revision and publication of the 5th Edition of the APA Diagnostic Manual.
While Marty enjoys a variety of interests, he is passionate about jazz piano and loves playing contemporary jazz. He says, as he was growing up, there was always music in his family.
“My father played the piano, the trumpet, the violin, and the ukulele. Before and after WWII (and before I was born), he spent summers as a small band leader, playing at various Catskill Mountain resorts. That, in fact, was how he met my mother. So, when I was six, Dad encouraged me to try the piano. I took to it naturally. He would accompany me on the violin for simple classical pieces and on the trumpet for popular music. Mom was our appreciative audience. When my younger brother Ken started playing the accordion and then the guitar, we were a trio—with our own built-in audience.
“I think I gravitated away from classical music toward jazz when I started listening to the music of Ray Charles during my teenage years. Listening to Charles as well as Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, I learned the blues scales and chords and gradually evolved my own style. My favorite contemporary jazz pianists were all classically trained—Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Stefano Bollani, and Gonzalo Rubalcava.
“For, me, music is meditative. That is one of the great things about improvisational music—your mind must remain in the moment and cannot wander. You try to hear something in your mind and then play what you hear. It’s a lifelong challenge to improve what you create internally and then work to be able to produce it accurately.”
Last summer, Marty played in a quintet that performed at an outdoor festival in Salem, but he says that his favorite place to play is in his living room. Currently, he enjoys playing at home with a saxophonist and a bass player–and he’d love to hear from BOLLI members who might also be interested in playing contemporary jazz!”
Finally, Marty says that “I have been blessed with my wonderful wife of 32 years, Karen, as well as two loving ‘children’ who are now both accomplished young adults. Although I am not a religious person, I am deeply grateful, every day, for having led such a fortunate life.”
To hear some of Marty’s music, here are audio cuts with the saxophone player. Just click on the little triangle on the left end of the bar to enjoy the music!
And, PLEASE–be sure to register your “applause” in the box below!
There’s nothing I love more than talking to people and finding out about their interests, ideas, backgrounds, families, plans, and more which makes it such a complete pleasure to focus on “Meeting Our Members” here on our BOLLI Matters blog. Be sure to send your ideas to: susanlwurster@gmail. com
This recipe was developed from a Chinese Cuisine site on the web, though I have made a lot of alterations. When buying the spareribs try to find those with a meaty back side (unlike what is typically found in a Chinese Restaurant where they remove that part to be used in other dishes).
The keys are to cook slowly, with the oven moist, to keep the meat tender. Then at the end cook them under the broiler to make them crisp.
6 Spareribs (meaty) ¼ cup Soy Sauce ½ cup red Chinese sauce (Ah So) 1½ Tbs Catsup 1½ tsp Mustard (I use powdered) 1½ Tbs Red Wine Vinegar (or other vinegar) 1 Tbs Brown Sugar 5 Garlic Cloves, well chopped 1/3 cup Honey (dissolved in some water)
Marinate the spareribs (turning occasionally) in everything but the honey. Best if marinated for a full day (or even 36 hours). A 10×14” pan works particularly well. You will probably have to cut the rack of ribs into 6” sections to fit, but don’t cut individual ribs.
Bake at 335◦ for about an hour, with the meat side up on a rack over a cookie tray. Put aluminum foil in the pan to catch the fat drippings.
Place a tray of water a few inches under the cooking tray. This generates steam and keeps the ribs moist. (Make sure that it doesn’t evaporate.)
Baste the ribs with honey every 15 minutes
Remove the ribs from the oven, get rid of the foil and the fat.
Put the ribs back in, under the broiler, about 6” from the element. Baste heavily with the honey and broil for 5-7 minutes to crisp the ribs. Turn over, baste the back side, and cook the back under the broiler for 5-7 minutes. A lot more fat may come off during the broiling process.
Individually cut apart the ribs.
Serve with Duck Sauce and lots of napkins.
John says that it was his mother who inspired his love of cooking and baking at an early age. (She cooked exclusively vegetables in boil-able packages.)