A CHRISTMAS CARD TO ONE AND ALL
The Harvell Gazette, MA
Dec 18 2014
Tom Vartabedian Haverhill Gazette
Hard to believe that I've waited until close to the last moment to
wish everyone a joyful Christmas.
It's only because I'm strapped for cash after going bonkers this year
and decided I'd use my best resources to get the word out.
Nothing easier and cheaper than to convey my intentions through
this Almanac column. It's okay. You don't have to reciprocate. I get
enough afterthoughts leading up to the New Year and beyond, if you
count Armenian Christmas on Jan. 6.
So let's begin by wishing my family the very best -- my wife, Nancy,
with whom I'll be celebrating our 50th anniversary on Feb. 19. I
chose that date because it was her birthday and I couldn't think of
a better time to exchange our vows.
Cheers go out to the other three favorite people in my life --
children Sonya, Ara and Raffi -- and the six grandchildren in our
lives. Get set for Disneyworld, guys. We've got a lot of celebrating
to do this February in the land of unbroken dreams.
Let's hit the newspaper crowd next -- editor Bill Cantwell, who
peruses my columns each week and makes them readable, along with
climbing cohorts Dave Dyer, Paul Tennant and Mike LaBella. I still
remember that time we got stranded on Mount Katahdin in Maine and
spent the night on a rock studying the stars. Turned out to be a
pretty decent Almanac, as I recall.
You'll find me three afternoons a week playing racquetball at
the Haverhill YMCA. Maybe George Yell will let me win a game this
Christmas. Welcome Clint "CJ" Clay. You're the next generation. I
marvel at the job Executive Director Tracy Fuller does in keeping
that facility intact. Kudos to you, too.
You'll also see me browsing up a storm at the library -- a true
resource for our community -- and all that it avails to me, whether
books, CDs or DVDs. I am proud to admit that both my sons secured
their Eagle Scout badges by doing community projects for the library.
Not a bad consideration for any good scout.
As the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide approaches in 2015,
the congregation at our Armenian Church at Hye Pointe is already at
work planning a milestone commemoration in the community. Watch for
details. While I'm at it, good luck to all those involved with the
church's building project in Ward Hill. It's been a long time in
Greetings and salutations go out to my doctor, Peter Rees, for keeping
me agile. He sets a fine example for health and fitness. And to my
cardiologist Salmon (Sonny) Ghiasuddin for saving me from expiration --
not once but twice. It's been 10 years since I've become "pipe free."
Same goes for Dr. Alan Gonick and his staff at Greenleaf. Be true to
your teeth -- otherwise they will become false. He makes a root canal
seem so tolerable. My sentiments also go out to Dr. Alvin Yadgood,
my oral surgeon at Northern Essex. I cannot say enough about implants.
I marvel at the work being done by cohorts Kathy Bresnahan and Rita
LaBella in organizing a myriad of activities at the Council on Aging.
There's no reason why any senior citizen in this city should be bored.
The guy behind it all is head honcho Vinny Ouellette, who seems to
have more arms than an octopus.
The ping-pong vibrations you may hear Monday nights come from West
Meadow Road, where some pretty hot table tennis activity is heard. Bob
Baillargeron and Malcolm Anderson are two fine players who don't act
their age. May their paddles always keep them young.
Special Christmas greetings go out to the sick and the infirmed of
this city, those who will spend the holiday in hospitals and nursing
homes. It's not the place you want to be. May you be joined by family
Extended wishes are conveyed to the caregivers and medical support
staffers who must work this day to keep the health system mobilized
and in good hands. Santa applauds you.
Here's a greeting to all the police and firefighters who maintain
their constant vigil, holidays or not. And to all those who do not
celebrate Christmas. May some of you get caught up in the spirit,
whether you're a Christian or not.
For one brief day, bury all the bad news and put a moratorium on crime
and punishment. Let's finally end this terrible plight in the Middle
East and live in a world where peace and harmony work hand-in-hand.
Above all, let's put Christ back into Christmas and honor the day
for what it was intended.
If you're looking for the perfect last-minute gift, try this. Human
kindness costs nothing and goes the furthest.