North End Martyrs
by Sammy Viscione
Turn backward, turn backward,
O’ Time in thy flight
And make me a child
Just for tonight.
Will that be sufficient time to make amends and thank Ms. Dennison, Herrick and Pagliuca. Remember them? The Librarians on North Bennett Street.
There, these dedicated women avail themselves to everyone seeking guidance through the myriad of books shelved on two floors.
In our teen’s, the Library was merely a social center, a pool room with books, a place to hang around after school or after supper on cold winter days.
A place where wise guys had laughs at the expense of the librarians, driving them crazy.
I’m sure their salaries were far from munificent and we certainly didn’t help to compensate it.
Ejections were common.
Miss Dennison, in her everyday blue dress showing us the door, while Ms. Herrick was leveling suspensions as we exited.
One day, myself, Charlie Coppola and Victor Passacantilli were recalling to mind our past teachers and civic leaders.
The Library came up.
Suddenly, Victor started lamenting over the things we did to nettle and abuse them, in particular these women.
Victor’s words grated on my mind.
I began to feel equal to his ruing and embarrassment.
Fame or shame could be inspirational and that’s what encouraged me to remember them and hope for all those they helped during their many years of service to our community, they will always be a credit to them and their memory.
Thank you ladies.