Calling All Angels

December 12, 2017

The Standard Times, New Bedford’s local newspaper, (and, full disclosure, the paper in which my articles appear weekly) is selling a photograph taken by staff photographer Mike Valeri back in 1997 to raise money for the Salvation Army’s Neediest Families program. The photo was of a Padenarum (a village in South Dartmouth, MA) sunset. After it was published a reader called in to ask if he’d seen the angel in the photo. It became an international sensation, and the reader who called in was my Aunt Laura.

They were worldly, having traveled extensively, even to Asia when nobody went to Asia.

We were not related by blood; she was my mother’s sister-in-law. Laura and my Uncle Albert Morse never had children, but they had nieces and nephews on both sides that they loved and to whom they showed great kindness. They were worldly, having traveled extensively, even to Asia when nobody went to Asia. I particularly remember a postcard of Japanese pearl divers with beautiful postage stamps. Their home in New Bedford’s North End was always meticulous, and I loved the interior with its dark wood and many Asian accents and décor from the places they visited. They always struck me as being so cosmopolitan; a beautiful couple always interestingly dressed, she often in a hat, always with a story of their travels. They were quirky, and always amusing, and were lovely to me when I was a child.

I didn’t live in the area when Laura and Al passed away, but I did learn from my mother that Laura was happy for the notoriety she received for spotting the angel. And I know she’d be pleased the angel is helping to raise money for a good cause. I’m volunteering at the Salvation Army this Christmas to help with applications and to give out toys and clothing to the needy in the New Bedford area. Some of the stories are heartbreaking. Puerto Rican hurricane survivors with nothing, showing up to apply in 30 degree weather in shorts and sandals; working families that can’t make the rent and are being served with eviction notices right before Christmas; the elderly whose social security isn’t enough to pay for electricity AND food. If you can help please send whatever you can spare to the Salvation Army/ Standard-Times Neediest Families Fund. Checks can be made to: “The Neediest Families Fund” and sent to: The Standard-Times, 25 Elm St., New Bedford, MA 02740. Please print your name and telephone number legibly and how you want your donation listed in the paper. Donations are tax-deductible and 100 percent of the donations will go to help the families. You may also donate in memory of a loved one.

I hope your angels are around you this Holiday Season.


PS: The article about the photograph is here:


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrea December 12, 2017 at 5:32 pm

I think the angel has red hair…..


Deborah December 13, 2017 at 3:36 pm



Linda & John December 13, 2017 at 5:57 am

Deb, This is a lovely, heartfelt story and Yes! I saw the angel before it was circled. I always say….Ya Gotta Believe!! Thank you
Love, Linda


Connie December 13, 2017 at 10:36 am

Warms my heart.


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