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:



And the Party Continues

November 28, 2017

You all know I’ve been celebrating my 60th birthday since about mid-summer. The actual date was Thanksgiving, 11/23 and the dance party was the night after. And what a great birthday celebration it all was. Having my brother from another mother, Mark, and his wife Jan here for the holiday was so special and I […]

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Deb’s Childhood – Revisited

November 20, 2017

Thomas Wolfe wrote “You Can’t Go Home Again”. His experience was vastly different from mine; his protagonist’s town turned against him. My house just got smaller. Still, it held stories and memories, which I won’t share here but choose to hold back for possible eventual blackmail purposes. My darling husband wanted a surprise birthday experience […]

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Mussels and Carrots and Leeks, Oh My!

November 8, 2017

As the weather cools I look for soul satisfying soups and stews to take the chill off and to use available seasonal ingredients, especially fall crops like leeks. I am a big fan of leeks. Yes, they can be a pain to clean, but they make everything I do with them better. I use them […]

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Wicked, In a Good Way

November 1, 2017

Yesterday was my mom’s birthday. She would have been 95, but she left us at 87. Having a Halloween birthday was always good for witch jokes, broomstick as mode of transportation, and just calling her scary in general, which wasn’t far from the truth. She had a wicked sense of humor, in every sense of […]

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For the Love of Pumpkin

November 1, 2017

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Irreverence and Sarcasm

October 26, 2017

Some of us were lucky enough to see the humorist David Sedaris at the Zeiterion Theater in New Bedford last week. I’ve been a fan for a long time, but unlike my companions on this night it was the first time I’d ever seen him live. And while his books are brilliant I enjoy listening […]

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The Official Invitation

October 18, 2017

Anyone going to be in New England over Thanksgiving? I’m celebrating and I want everyone to come. Turning 60 is a big friggin’ deal, especially when at 50 I wasn’t sure I’d make it. My old friends and readers know the story, but I’ll provide the Cliff’s Notes for those who are new to the […]

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The Hurting Time

October 11, 2017

I just read a wonderful novel called The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. I read a passage that was so insightful, so appropriate for anyone experiencing grief that I felt the need to share it with all of you. We are all reeling from another mass casualty event, 58 people dead and scores injured; […]

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Big Head Todd and the Monster Mussels

September 27, 2017

Actually, the band’s name is Big Head Todd and the Monsters. But we dined at Red Stripe restaurant in East Greenwich, RI before the show and the mussels were, well, monsters. My cousin Claudia and her husband John invited us to the show. John had been a fan of Big Head Todd’s since he experienced […]

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