Friday, May 31, 2013

A new use for that old toothbrush!

You know, Joan told Marash Girl, you can get any stain out with a toothbrush -- no, not a stain on your tooth, unfortunately, but a stain on your clothes.  Just dip the toothbrush into  detergent and scrub a dub dub on the spot you wish to remove from your otherwise lovely (washable) garment; then throw that garment (white cotton pants, were they?) in with the rest of your wash.  Voila.  The garment will come out of the wash with no sign of the stain whatsoever.  And you don't even have to use a chemical stain remover!  

When Marash Boy heard tell of Joan's toothbrush trick, he was reminded of the day that little Lorig found a toothbrush beside the wrench and the pliers in his tool box.  She kept looking at that toothbrush, unable to understand what a toothbrush would be doing on the work bench down cellar in her father's toolbox.  

Well, what did you use the toothbrush for? asked Marash Girl. 

Marash Boy:  For brushing away the dust and grime from screws and bolts and hard to get at corners, of course!  What else would I use an old toothbrush for?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Fox that Sang at Dusk

Amazing to learn about nature in your own backyard, nature that you have never seen on the top of a mountain or in the Wilbraham woods.

Marash Girl had always loved foxes . . . from the days that she used to read, and then sing to the children about the fox that went out on a chilly night,
to the time that she saw a red fox dancing in the sunlight on top of a Plum Island sand dune, to the time when a beautiful red fox wandered through her very own suburban side yard.  

You may recall that Marash Girl heard a bird calling just after the fall of night on Memorial Day, soon before the fisher cat appeared. . . She asked Marash Boy, "What bird would be singing after dark?"  She had asked that question earlier (see, but these bird calls, the ones she heard at dusk on Memorial Day, were calls and not whistles.

As Marash Girl researched the screams of the fisher cat, she noticed that there were recordings of a fox, and listening to those recordings, Marash Girl was somewhat in shock. . . Those yips recorded on the internet were the very "bird" calls she had heard at dusk on Memorial Day. . . so beware . . . your ears may deceive you!  When you hear birds calling in the dark, you may be hearing a red fox, and not a "night bird" at all!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

More on the Fisher Cat . . .

Noticing signs in Newton Corner announcing that kittens were missing, signs accusing coyotes of the dastardly deed, Marash Girl was chagrined; the coyotes that she knew would have nothing to do with cats or kittens.  But then again, this was Newton Corner. . .

The advent of spring brought the need for planting perennials, and as Marash Girl lives in the Garden City, she simply visited a neighbor who was willing to share her overgrown garden, to be specific, her large masses of Iris, Iris of every color . . . Marash Girl had never seen such a variety of Iris (or do we say Irises?)  So off she went on Memorial Day to the far corners of Newton Corner, and there she met the Queen of Iris who was not only queenly in her manner but was queenly in her generosity as well.  As Marash Girl chatted with the Iris Queen, she learned that a fisher cat had been roaming among the Iris in that far flung corner of Newton, and  that her neighbor had actually taken a picture of it.  Imagine!  A fisher cat!  Marash Girl and Marash Boy had heard tell of such a cat, but certainly had never heard one screeching, much less appearing in broad dusk light. . . But then so much can be left to the imagination as the dusk settles and the wind ruffles the leaves of a garden full of mature perennials.  

Marash Girl was pleased with the Iris shared by the Iris Queen, and carried home several buckets full of Iris (roots and all), planning to plant them (or planting to plan them?) in the morrow.  She was so excited about the prospect that she decided to serve dinner on the front porch where she could gaze at her soon to be planted perennials, sleek leaved with buds, some of yellow, some of purple, some of mauve,  buds ready to burst into bloom.  

Chicken shish kebab and pilaf were on the docket for that night, with fresh veggies . . . and more!  As the sun set, and the gloom descended, Marash Girl heard a bird calling.  Strange, she said to Marash Boy.  What bird would start calling after dark?  But then, she had gone through that already (see her blog of bird calls in the night).  .  .
And soon after the bird stopped calling, a dark form came into view from along side the house opposite, crossing the little dead end street, heading for the circle . . . a dark form with a long flat tail somewhat like a beaver's and a head like a cat's . . . Quick -- put the light on!  We didn't want this never seen before animal on our porch!  What was it?  It silently glided along the southern side of our house and was soon out of sight, following the path of the fox, the coyote, and the wild turkey that Marash Girl had seen pass in the past.
Do you think that was a fisher cat? Marash Girl asked Marash Boy. . . Let me go inside and check on the internet . . . and this is what she saw . . .on the internet AND on her very street.  Not a very pleasant sight, and taken to screaming screams that once heard, would never be forgotten (although the fisher cat was silent on the evening of Memorial Day). 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Fisher Cat in Newton Corner?

  -- I can't believe it but I just saw a fisher cat walk past our house!!! (I had never seen one before but google had a picture of it: and that's exactly what we saw -- 10 minutes ago, just after dusk.)   Maybe he was attracted by the iris that are about to be planted, or the water that I gave the iris before I went in for the evening!!!!  [Written Monday evening, May 27th, 2013]

Monday, May 27, 2013

Late to work at Walmart?

A retired military officer, somewhat bored after his exciting life in the military, decided to apply for a job working as a greeter at Walmart.  Needless to say, he was hired on the spot.  He was a great employee and enjoyed his work.  During his annual review, however, his supervisor said, "Listen, you are doing a great job -- you're very friendly and interactive with the customers and other employees, and we're really glad you're working here! 
The only thing is, you're always 5 or 10 minutes late to work.  I'm surprised by that because you used to work in the military and  I'm sure they didn't tolerate tardiness.  When you were in the military, what did they say when you showed up 5 or 10 minutes late?"

"They usually said, 'Good morning, General, can I get you some coffee?'"

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The one you give away survives

This past week, with the Oklahoma tornado dominating the news, and the June 2011 Wilbraham tornado dominating Marash Girl's thoughts, Marash Girl received a gift in the mail, a gift which had been shipped before the tornadoes dominated the news, a gift which included the following note:

Handblown miniature glass pitcher with pontil mark, circa 1930

"I came across this miniature vase that you sent me years ago from your summer home in Wilbraham.  I wanted you to have it.  I am reminded of the story you told me once about the tiles you bought in Jerusalem . . . how they all broke, but the one that you gave away survived!  This is the little survivor of the house that blew away -- "

Saturday, May 25, 2013

You're my favorite . . .

Grandpa Peter used to always say to his grandchildren, "You're my favorite!"  When his granddaughter Lorig asked, "What do you say to all the others?", he answered, "The same thing!"

And so, in true Grandpa Peter fashion, Marash Girl said to her soon-to-be daughter-in-law, 
"You're my very favorite daughter-in-law." Her soon-to-be daughter-in-law, a bit perplexed, replied, "But I'm your only daughter-in-law!"

MARASH GIRL just smiled and remembered her father, Peter, for whom everyone he loved was his absolute favorite.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Red Sox, the Union Oyster House, and the freshest scrod in town!

Union Oyster House, Boston's oldest restaurant, proudly displays Boston (Red Sox) Memorabilia and proudly serves the freshest of fish, including scrod which they define as baby codfish.
(If you dine at Legal Seafood, they'll tell you that their  "scrod" is any white fish that might be in the kitchen that day!)
[For an interesting and sometimes hilarious discussion of the word "scrod", see Wikipedia's history of Boston's use (and sometimes intentional misuse) of  the term "scrod".   Can you guess what it is?]

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Through the chain link fence . . .

One day, there was a house on the other side of this chain link fence, and the next day it was gone . . . left behind was a gigantic hole. . . . Yesterday the concrete mixer arrived and soon, the memory of the house that was there will be history . . . Another mega-mansion will eradicate any remembrance of the humble beginnings of our corner of Newton Corner.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tornado tears . . .

Marash Boy has an uncanny sense of weather, a sense that he learned growing up summers in Wilbraham, on top of Wilbraham Mountain.  Yesterday, he raised his head and sniffed the wind.  "With all the news about the tornado devastation in Moore, Oklahoma, I can't help but be reminded of the tornado that tore OUR lives apart . . . the weather was just like this, on June 1, two years ago . . . it feels like tornado weather right here, right now!"

And sure enough, true to his Native American roots, Marash Boy had predicted the weather.  Last night the weather news was reporting tornado warnings in Western Massachusetts and the Berkshires -- a tornado had been sighted touching down just west of the border between Massachusetts and New York State . . .

The sorrow that was dredged up in our hearts upon hearing the news of the tornado, the memory of loss . . . not only loss of home and loss of three generations of memories . . . but a loss of sense of place . . .

Our condolences to all of those in Moore, Oklahoma, who have suffered at the hand of the tornado of May 20, 2013.

[To view the devastation wrought by the tornado of June 1, 2011, on top of Wilbraham Mountain, click this link:]

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Boston's Mayor Curley chats with Deron

Boston, Massachusetts:  Deron chats with Mayor James Michael Curley.
Bored with Mayor Curley,  Deron moves on to chat with Marash Boy.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Bamya: Okra Stew, Armenian Style

Marash Boy:  When I was a kid, my mother always sent me to the "colored" section of Springfield to purchase the best okra -- the "best" meaning the smallest, of course!

Here's the way Medzmama prepared fresh okra (or bamya, as she called it).

Bamya, Armenian Style

Rinse and trim off the stems of young, tender okra.
Peel and slice onions; using a heavy iron pot, sauté  the onions in olive oil.
Add the okra and stir ever so gently.
Add canned whole tomatoes or fresh tomatoes, chopped into large pieces.
Simmer over stove top until okra is tender.
Add salt, pepper, and the juice of lemon(s) to taste,

For special occasions, Medzmama would spread the prepared, yet uncooked okra onto a tray several inches deep, decorate the surface of the okra mixture with dried apricots, and bake in a slow oven for about an hour.  Presented in the tray decorated with apricots, the bamya became a festive dish.

Serve bamya hot over boulghour pilaf. [See Marash Girl's recipes for boulghour pilaf by clicking this link.]


Delicious, that is, if you like okra!  [Grandma Jennie used to make okra when Marash Girl was a kid; no further comment necessary.]

Sunday, May 19, 2013

What do you think?

Marash Girl's eternal question: "How do you know what you think until you see what you write?"

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Two takes on reading

Watertown Public Library, Watertown, Massachusetts

Main Street, Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Friday, May 17, 2013

A brief walk through Edgartown, or Wish I were there!

     A final farewell:   the mural on the wall of Stop & Shop in Vineyard Haven, opposite the Ferry taking folks back to "America", as Phillip Craig would call the mainland!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Grandma Gorilla: Sign Language and Sorrow

Grandma Gorilla mourns:  Franklin Park Zoo, Boston, Massachusetts
Raised by humans from infancy outside of the gorilla community, Grandma Gorilla was taught sign language at a very early age, and learned to communicate by signing. But soon sign language and signing gorillas were no longer the rage, in the scientific community there were no monies available to continue to train gorillas in sign language, and Grandma Gorilla was plunked into Franklin Park Zoo with a group of gorillas who could not sign, the first non-signing gorillas that Grandma Gorilla had ever met. She became pregnant, had baby gorillas, but never became a part of the community.   If you see an old gorilla dragging around a blanket, that's Grandma.  She needs her blankie for comfort because she sure doesn't feel comfortable with the gorilla talk going on around her.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Fly in the Raisin Bread . . .

A bit late for publication, this post was written on the occasion of Mother's Day.

Breakfasting at Panera this morning, Marash Girl ordered a bacon, egg & cheese breakfast sandwich.  The sandwich arrived with great dispatch and Marash Girl, beginning to eat the sandwich, thought that something was amiss; as she peered between the layers of whole wheat toast, she noticed that, yes, something was not right.  The bacon was missing!  Going to the kitchen to report the missing bacon, Marash Girl was surprised when the cook did not simply hand her some bacon, but rather gave her the bacon enclosed in a whole "nother" sandwich.

Why did Marash Girl think the short order cook was going to simply hand her the bacon?

Flash back to Marash Girl's childhood and a favorite story of Marash Girl's father -- the story of the raisin bread.  This is how Peter told it.

"Abie, here's some money -- go to the baker and buy a loaf of raisin bread."

Abie did as he was told.  He walked to the baker's shop and brought home a loaf of raisin bread.

On inspecting the bread, Abie's mother noticed that there was a fly in the raisin bread.

"Abie, go back to the baker and tell him that there is a fly in the raisin bread."

Abie walked back to the bakery and told the baker, as his mother had instructed,  "My mother said to tell you that there is a fly in the raisin bread."

The baker thought for a moment and replied:  "Bring me the fly and I'll give you a raisin."

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

United Armenian Brethren Evangelical Church, now Watertown Evangelical Church, celebrates 75 years, Cont'd.

Historical Review by Phillip Alajajian

Christ Jesus- The Chief Cornerstone of HIS CHURCH

Christ’s great commission: “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.”

1940s - mid 1950s

Founders of Armenian Brethren Church- Vartan Bilezikian, Socrate Amiralian

Vartan was saved at 25 yrs under the ministry of a Swedish evangelist, Fredrick Franson

“Apraham Hoja of Aintab”- a book written by Vartan in his later years tells his story profoundly; it  is available online at

He experienced great revivals throughout Armenia but was imprisoned for publicly preaching the Gospel

Following his release from a prison stay for preaching the Gospel he left for the US at age 33

He planned to return to Armenia to preach the Gospel  (I.e., as with the early Apostles, the fires of persecution brought an even greater zeal in him to proclaim the Gospel)

In the meantime began preaching and teaching the scriptures in homes of Armenian families & later Dover Street Mission (renamed Union Rescue Mission)

A church is formed leading to the building of a church building in Watertown for $15,000 in 1938 (i.e., when average salaries were only $12/week)

Certain Godly women sold their jewelry to help finance its construction

The Bilezikian family was very instrumental in the construction of the building, esp. electrical needs

Vartan and Socrate focus was always on evangelism and growth in Christ likeness (Spiritual development)   - Meetings were held in Armenian and Turkish only, and later English

Leadership in Transition

Mid 1950s- 1960s

2nd Gen leaders decide to conduct services in English only to enable their children to adapt to American culture

Breaking from Brethren tradition the leaders invite a full time pastor to preach the Word in English beginning with Dr. Stuart Lease

1960s - 1970s

A Crossroad Decision- Name change from UABEC to WEC

To better reach the community of non Armenians with the Gospel, a proposal is made

Armenian heritage versus Christian heritage?

At first voted down, it is eventually welcomed and adopted in 1964

Early Pillars of Faith at UABEC-  Vahan Terzian, Barkev Amiralian

Vahan was a gifted Bible teacher and organizer of Christian ministries
He took the initiative and received support from Vartan and Socrate to become an elder/minister

Barkev excelled at Church administration and helped organize Children’s Sunday School and ministries for well over a decade

Many Armenian families were faithful in attendance and in ministry: Alajajians, Amiralians, Bilezikians, Chorlians, Ezekielians, Harutunians, Kechadorians, Kechajians,  Kricorians, and Terzians, among others

Among the non Armenians who joined WEC between 1960s thru 1980s were: Bruce & Karen Daggett, Jean Fault, Davis Family, Natalie Collela, Paul Capazolli, Steve & Carla St Germain, Gary & Ann Lentel, Bob & Marie Marchessault, Sam & Eileen Meier, Paula Usten, Andre & Julia Wu, among myriad others

Guidance and Growth in Ministry

Twelve pastors have served the church since the departure of the founders to Glory

Originally the primary services were Sunday School and Morning Worship and Prayer Meeting on Wed nights

The first missions conferences took place annually in the 1960s with themes like

- “Go Ye Into All the World and Preach the Gospel”

- “The Night Cometh When No Man Can Work”

From the 1960s onward the church added programs for youth

- Boys Brigade

- Pioneer Girls

- Youth groups


3rd Gen members, David Terzian and Phil Alajajian are appointed leaders at WEC

Ken Umenhofer serves as first interim pastor for 3 years in 1978

Bruce Daggett begins a tenure of 17 years as pastor of WEC in 1981

Seeking church growth WEC adds the following:

- Small group bible studies

- Nursery

- Dramas

- Choirs

- Praise and Worship Team

Looking Back over 75 years

We see where we have come from and how we got here

We need to reaffirm our commitment to knowing Christ individually and as a Body of believers, walking with Him in the Holy Spirit, and in making Him known by the same Spirit to a lost, fallen world in desperate need of His saving grace.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Praying at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem

Praying at the Wailing Wall.

Special to the New York Times
Published: March 21, 1989
A group of Jewish women trying to hold a prayer service at the Wailing Wall were attacked today by rigorously Orthodox men and forced to flee when the police fired tear gas to disperse the attackers
New York Times ‎- May 11, 2013
JERUSALEM — Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews tried to block a liberal women's group from praying at the Western Wall (more commonly known as the Wailing Wall)  on Friday morning, ...

These ongoing notices in the New York Times, although very serious in nature, bring to mind a joke that Marash Girl heard recently.
A journalist covering Jerusalem,  walked by the Wailing Wall  every day, and every day he noticed the same man praying aloud, praying for peace at the Wailing Wall.  Finally, after a month, the journalist stopped, waited until the prayerful man was ready to leave, and asked him,  "Every day for the past month I have walked by the Wailing Wall, and every day I hear you praying for peace.  How does that make you feel?"
The man looked at the journalist and answered, "I feel like I'm talking to a wall."

N.B.   Politcally correct folks now refer to the Wailing Wall as the Western Wall.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Trees in Massachusetts History

A giant Pagoda Tree still stands on South Water Street in Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.
Photo Credit: Marash Girl

"The Giant Pagoda Tree, Edgartown, Massachusetts: (A Chinese Nuai Tree - Sophora Japonica) was brought from China in a flower pot in 1837 by Captain Thomas Milton to grace his new home then being built. This is believed to be the largest of its kind on the continent." Photo Credit: Marash GIrl

No longer standing in Concord, Massachusetts is Jethro's Tree - 1630-1930:  "Near this spot stood the ancient oak known as Jethro's Tree beneath which Major Simon Willard and his associates bought from the Indians the "5 myles of land square" ordered by the General Court for the plantation of Concord, September 12, 1625.  Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission. Photo Credit: Marash Girl

No Photo Available
The Oak Tree atop Wilbraham Mountain, Wilbraham, Massachusetts
Central to the lives of an Armenian family who summered at the top of Wilbraham Mountain was a giant White Oak Tree, a tree that had survived for 300 years, a tree under which the family picnicked for many a summer, a tree which was central to their summers and their lives,  a tree around four people could stand and still not touch hands, the tree under which their Uncle Harry slept on the day that he went to be with the Lord, the tree that fell soon after Uncle Harry's passing.  Marash Girl has yet to find a photograph of this tree.

The Historic Trees of Massachusetts

 By James Raymond Simmons published by the Plimpton Press in Norwood Massachusetts in 1919 and housed in the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, is now available online as an e-book.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

United Armenian Brethren Evangelical Church, now Watertown Evangelical Church, celebrates 75 years, Cont'd.

The Armenian Brethren and the Turkish Language . . . a reminiscence written by James Bilezikian

          I was ten years old and I had been hearing sermons on sin and redemption for seven years. The sermons were proclaimed from behind a pulpit, by my uncle Vartan.   The pulpit was neither attached to an ascending ladder, curved and pregnant with the promise of levitating heavenward, nor was it attached to a stairwell curling downward with the threat of judgment. Our pulpit was bound to the earth at the front of a stage, three feet above the floor, a general in command of an army, of pews.   The pulpit stood there in its summer sweat, and in its winter freeze. 
           We, the bodies of that congregation of brethren from halfway across the world, now within a picnic ride from Plymouth, we sat there, not as Plymouth Brethren, but as Armenian Brethren, smelling of garlic, weeping in silence, and singing from the heart. The hearth of our home was from across the Atlantic, through the straits of Gibraltar, even further, beyond the colossus at Rhodes, where the towns and villages lay, by the way of the 'ten thousand', and before that, the wonder of Alexander, as he trooped his way through western Asia, on his journey to the land of rupees and maharajahs.     
          We were neither cowered by that history, nor emboldened. It was but another event under the reflection of the gaze of the ark, as her glance bore down upon us from her confinement in snow and ice, in the solitude of her wood and timber. That was our pale, the knowledge that the ark was above us, and everything below was a stage on which was written the cries of Noah's children.
          From the pulpit, the sermons coursed their way to my soul through the filter of a translation. As they were preached in Turkish, a language unknown to me, although surrounding me, I received the truth, second hand, in the car ride home, and during the lunch that consumed half the afternoon, whose humor and intensity satisfied the mist of our history, and sustained our cord to the 'old country'.
          I learned, during these bouts with Sunday afternoon, stories of the bible. My favorite was David and Goliath, if only because David's weapon of choice was my father's in his battle with the Kurdish boys in the mountains surrounding the city of Marash, his birthplace. Dad fought them when he was younger than the age David was when he fought Goliath. Dad was small, the weapon even smaller, yet everything grew large in my eyes which beheld the wonder of my father waging war at the very same age I was.
          These stories provided life to the hours and Sundays spent in church listening to sermons in a language that was incomprehensible. I learned, also, how hard life could be, not from listening to the sermons, but, from sitting in those pews, which unlike the god about which I was being taught, were unforgiving. The oak benches, their back set at a puritan angle of discomfort, were hot and sticky in summer, cold and condemning in winter.
          From all these Sundays and stories, I learned that the life of the Christian was an heroic one.   I found myself, weekly, saving the congregation from interlopers, bandits, thieves and thugs.   Jumping down from the balcony in a surprise attack, and overwhelming all with my derring-do, was normal fare for me on a Sunday morning, and only fitting to the fulmination against evil coming from the front of the sanctuary.
          From the pulpit emanated always the sound of love.  Because the sermons were in Turkish, the sound of the Turkish language was inseparable from the sound of love. In that language, also, I experienced the smells of mother's cooking, the taste of her fare, the laughter of our guests, and the frustration and comedy of backgammon. That language was a mountain stream, capturing the sun by day, and the moon by night.    It touched everything in its path, cooling the sun and warming the moon, and sending the single note of its cascade around one stone into a serenade over thousands. The forest, nearby, rang with the sound of its serenade, and the darkness at noon, in the depth of the forest, was lessened at its fringe, by the reflection of the sun on the maiden face of the stream.
          Like all of life, the stream carried at its waistband, ready for adornment, the mask of death. I learned at an early age why this language was hidden from me, why it was not spoken to me, why all those around me shrunk back from teaching it to me. I learned at the age of ten that it was the language of the murderers of our race.   It was a language that embraced me, but impaled the history of my people.  It was a language whose origin and ownership was of and by a people who hated to death my ancestors and their progeny, and yet a language that provided a bridge for the establishment of a new life on a new continent. That was the brute of it all, the marriage of good and evil in the melody of a language.
          Yet, it was from the English translation of this language of a people of the Koran, that I learned the Bible. From that rough sound flowing from my uncle, who was dressed in a suit, made by his own hand, and whose face was whiskered by the stones and mountains of his loss, I learned the consequence of sin, and the commitment of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to the redemption of His people.
                                      Notes to the Reader
1) Presumed is the knowledge of the genocide of the Armenians, by the Turks, in 1915, where an estimated 2,000,000 people, 80% of the Armenian population of Turkish Armenia, were exterminated.
2) Most of the Armenians arriving in this country after the First World War were survivors of that genocide.   For various reasons, many spoke Turkish, exclusively.
3) The 'ten thousand' are the 10,000 Spartan warriors, who undertook a   march of 1000 miles, back to Greece, led by their elected leader, Xenophon, an Athenian, following a defeat in upper Asia, in the fourth century, B.C.   That march led them through the western reaches of Armenia.  It was a march of epic proportion, unique in military history.
4) Of the many Protestant denominations, one is called the Plymouth Brethren, a conservative, fundamentalist denomination.   The Armenian Brethren is an ethnic derivative of the Plymouth Brethren. 
5) The remains of the ark putatively sit on the western face of Mt. Ararat, facing the western part of historic Armenia, modern day, eastern Turkey.
6) The church, the locus of the experience described here, was established in 1939, and still exists, today, at its original address, on Arlington Street in Watertown, Mass.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

United Armenian Brethren Evangelical Church, now Watertown Evangelical Church, celebrates 75 years, cont'd.

Watertown Evangelical Church celebrates its roots after 75 years.

Rev. Vartan Bilezikian, the founder of the United Armenian Bretheren Evangelical Church of Watertown,  who preached  every Sunday in Armenian, English, and Turkish,  to his congregation of survivors of the Armenian Genocide and their children and grandchildren.

The stained glass windows from the sanctuary of Watertown Evangelical Church

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Love One Another: Watertown Evangelical Church Celebrates 75 Years cont'd

Ever see those bumper stickers that read, WWJD?
Rev. Bruce Strickland, past pastor of the Watertown Evangelical Church, guest preacher at Watertown Evangelical Church's 75th Anniversary Sunday service, referred to the New Testament's "One Another" commandments .  Marash Girl, curious to know how many there were, looked them up (see below), so if you are ever wondering what Jesus would do in any given situation, just check these out, and if you don't understand the English, send Marash Girl a note under the comments below!


  • Mark 9:50 - "Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."
  • John 13:14 - "If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet."
  • John 13:34 - "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another."
  • John 13:35 - "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
  • John 15:12 - "This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you."
  • John 15:17 - "This I command you, that you love one another." 
  • Romans 12:10 - "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor."
  • Romans 12:16 - "Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation."
  • Romans 13:8 - "Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law."
  • Romans 14:13 - "Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this--not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother's way."
  • Romans 14:19 - "So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another."
  • Romans 15:5 - "Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus,
  • Romans 15:7 - Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God."
  • Romans 15:14 - "And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another."
  • Romans 16:16 - "Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you." 
  • 1 Corinthians 11:33 - "So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another." 
  • 1 Corinthians 16:20 - "All the brethren greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss." 
  • 2 Corinthians 13:12 - "Greet one another with a holy kiss." 
  • Galatians 5:13 - "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another."
  • Galatians 5:26 - "Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another." 
  • Galatians 6:2 - "Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ." 
  • Ephesians 4:2 - " . . .with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love." 
  • Ephesians 4:25 - "Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another."
  • Ephesians 4:32 - "Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."
  • Ephesians 5:19 - " . . .speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord. . ."
  • Ephesians 5:21 - " . . .and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ." 
  • Philippians 2:3 - "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;"
  • Colossians 3:9 - "Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices . . . "
  • Colossians 3:13 - " . . .bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you."
  • Colossians 3:16 - "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God."
  • 1 Thessalonians 3:12 - " . . . and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you."
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:9 - "Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another . . ."
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:11 - "Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing."
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:13b - "Live in peace with one another."
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:15 - "See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people."
  • 2 Thessalonians 1:3 - "We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater."
  • Hebrews 3:13 - "But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
  • Hebrews 10:24 - " . . .and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. . ."
  • Hebrews 10:25 - " . . .not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near."
  • James 4:11 - "Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it."
  • James 5:9 - "Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door."
  • James 5:16 - "Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much."
  • 1 Peter 1:22 - "Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart . . ."
  • 1 Peter 4:8 - "Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins." 
  • 1 Peter 4:9 - "Be hospitable to one another without complaint." 
  • 1 Peter 4:10 - "As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."
  • 1 Peter 5:5 - "You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
  • 1 Peter 5:14 - "Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ."
  • 1 John 1:7 - " . . .but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."
  • 1 John 3:11 - "For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another . . ."
  • 1 John 3:23 - "This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us."
  • 1 John 4:7 - "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God."
  • 1 John 4:11 - "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." 
  • 1 John 4:12 - "No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us."
  • 2 John 1:5 - "Now I ask you, lady, not as though I were writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another."
Get it?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Watertown Evangelical Church Celebrates 75 Years

This past weekend, Marash Girl attended the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the Watertown Evangelical Church (formerly known as the United Armenian Bretheren Evangelical Church of Watertown), the church in which she grew up, the church established by her Great Uncle Vartan, the church that her Grandmother and Grandfather helped to fund.  Marash Girl will be commenting over the next few days about her reminiscences, but today, she wants to share a bit of downright disappointment.

When Marash Girl was 5 years old, she appeared in a Christmas Pageant on the  stage of this very church . . . Marash Girl played the part of Mary and Leo played the part of Joseph.  Marash Girl was so excited then . . . and has never forgotten the experience, but when she saw Leo at the church anniversary celebration this past weekend,  she asked him if he remembered the Christmas Pageant of years past, the pageant in which he played Joseph and Marash Girl played Mary.  He shrugged his shoulders and answered, "No..." 

"It was so romantic, and he doesn't even remember!" wailed Marash Girl, several hours later.

"Unrequited love," quipped Marash Boy with a grin.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Katherine Hall Page, THE BODY IN THE PIAZZA, at Stellina's Restaurant, Watertown Square

Stellina's Restaurant in Watertown Square was the site
of  a book signing and talk given yesterday by Katherine Hall Page.
The book launch for Katherine Hall Page's new mystery, THE BODY IN THE PIAZZA, took place yesterday evening at Stellina's Restaurant in Watertown Square.  [Yes, if you've been watching the news, the very same Watertown Square, 3 blocks from the police shootout and capture of the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon terrorists.]  

Katherine Hall Page:  "Whenever I go to a party or a gathering, folks ask me what I do. Once it is known that I write murder mysteries, invariably someone sidles up to me during the event and whispers, 'I have the perfect way to kill someone without anyone ever finding out.'  Well, that certainly gives me pause!"

Page explained that she writes in the tradition of Agatha Christie; she writes a puzzle mystery where the author is matching wits with the reader, giving clues that are fair, without strewing any red herrings.  "When you have finished reading the book, I want you to say, 'I should have guessed that!'"

She described her murder mysteries as "soft-boiled" as opposed to "hardboiled", and quoted earlier critics of the genre as placing such mysteries in the "cozy" genre . . . more tea than blood!  "Murder mysteries play on the difference between appearance and reality," she commented.

Page traced the genre of the murder mystery back to Medieval times and the battle of good vs. evil, where order is finally restored.  "In the 1980's, such writers as Sue Grafton and Sarah Peretsky broke through the glass ceiling (years after Agatha Christie had begun to lead the way), and women started authoring murder mysteries.

Commenting on her own love of reading, she commented, "I can't remember a time when I couldn't read.  If I have nothing to read, I read soup can labels, the backs of cereal boxes . . . whatever I can find."

Unlike her earlier mysteries, most of which were set in Maine, The Body in the Piazza is set in Italy.  

The Body in the Piazza concludes with recipes for the dishes mentioned throughout the novel, and it is for that reason that yesterday evening, following the book signing, Stellina's served an Italian dinner using those very recipes.

"Nothing you can think of is as strange as reality," said Page. She said that when she begins writing, she knows who the murderer is and how the book is going to end.   Page admitted that when she writes, "It's as if I'm taking dictation from my imagination."  

"Nothing you write cannot be made better. . . I have great editors!"

Katherine Hall Page talks about her new book, THE BODY IN THE PIAZZA.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Bingo, or, Taking Democracy for Granted

Manning the polls at yesterday's special primary election for Senator Kerry's seat in the U.S. Senate, Marash Girl once again witnessed a very sparse turnout of folks showing up to vote in a city that touts its educational system. (Folks who move to Newton and are willing to purchase homes at over the top prices in order to live in a city where the schools are considered excellent.) In one precinct of this very city, a representative precinct at that, only 20% of registered voters turned out to vote.  The attitude was summed up by one woman who arrived and exclaimed, "What?  No Bingo today?  Well, if I can't play Bingo, I might as well vote!"