My latest news story in The Ballston Journal is about Frank Darling, a World War II veteran approaching his 100th birthday, who was captured in the Battle of the Bulge. My uncle Joseph Gaffney, of Brooklyn, the 19-year-old son of Irish immigrants, was killed in the same battle. They both served in Patton's Third Army, although Darling's 7th Armored Division had been transferred by then to a different American command. The battle is also famous for the stand in Bastogne by the 101st Airborne Division, which was for a time surrounded by the German advance and then relieved by the Third Army. In more recent years, my daughter and son-in-law served a combined five tours in Afghanistan. Three of those deployments -- two of his, one of hers -- were with the 101st.
The wife and I went to a performance of Mozart's Requiem tonight, along with a few unrelated short religious pieces, at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Glenville.
On Sunday, Nov. 13, the Burnt Hills Oratorio Society with the University of Albany Chorale will put on a repeat performance at 3 p.m. at UAlbany's Main Theatre. Tickets are only $10 (half what we paid) for the general public, and $5 for students, staff and seniors, which is as good a deal as it gets. Thanks to all these singers and musicians.
I especially appreciated the excellent program, with the Latin text and English translation enabling you to follow along. I'd never realized that requiem means rest. I did know this was Mozart's last work, but not that it was finished by his pupil, Franz Xaver Sussmayr, who also died young.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine: et lux perpetua luceat eis.
At St. Vincent's, we were shown around by the parish life director, Betsy Rowe-Manning, a former sister of St. Joseph, who like my (non-Catholic) wife Barbara had known the late Sister Lucina Hayes. Barbara, who is now a Presbyterian, got her master's degree in special education from the nearby College of Saint Rose, where Sister Lucina had a profoundly positive and long-lasting influence on her life and work.
Dorothy Day had a similar influence on my life, although I had only one brief contact with her at the Catholic Worker Farm in Tivoli. She was then a much older woman than the one shown by Hales in the icon above, but four or five years younger than in the photo below:
I think Dorothy would feel at home at St. Vincent's, where the former rectory next door is now part of the Hope House drug/alcohol recovery program.
Here's a news story I wrote for The Ballston Journal about Paul Sausville, a recently retired longtime public official in the Saratoga County town of Malta, and how he thinks the town has handled development pressure. The photo shows Sausville, left, with fellow Rotary volunteers working on a project to install three benches on the Zim Smith Trail, on April 30, 2016.
Tulip Fest is next weekend, but today (Friday) Moses was already presiding over an impressive array of the flowers in Washington Park. We stopped by on our way to a concert at the Albany Institute of History and Art, one of a number of free events being put on this season by Opera Saratoga. They will, for example, be back in in Albany on June 4 at Capital Rep, performing scenes from operatic fairy tales.
Meanwhile, on Sunday May 1, the wife and I are planning to attend the Albany History Fair, which this year "will focus on Albany's agricultural and gardening past." This event,too, is free of charge, and will be held from noon to 4 at Historic Cherry Hill.