Sunday, August 20, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 44

The Catholic Sun Newspaper
November 5, 1998

Two honored as 'extraordinary servants'

By Carol Rennen

A lifelong Catholic and a distinguished rabbi may have different religious practices, but for these two Arizona men, a love for mankind and service to God has brought them side by side in the name of the poor.
Matthew J. Scott and Rabbi Albert Plotkin were honored Oct 15 as the first recipients of the Dan O'Meara Extraordinary Servant Award at a luncheon hosted by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul on West Watkins Road in south Phoenix, a facility the two honorees know well.
Scott, the only surviving founder of the Phoenix Society of St. Vincent de Paul, continues his service today at the age of 91.   He served as the first president of the Phoenix Council of St Vincent de Paul, and in 1952 established the first charity dining room in the city of Phoenix.   That program has since served more than 23 million free meals.
The dining room on Watkins Road and the Extraordinary Servant Award were named after Dan O'Meara, a cofonder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul who died Aug. 19, 1997 at the age of 76.
Wife of the late O'Meara, Peggy, presented the awards with tears of appreciation and words of praise for the years of service given by the recipients.  
Scott accepted his award in honor of the 17,000 Vincentians who work to provide daily meals for the poor in Arizona,  "Any of of them is as entitled to this as I am." he said.  "our work has been truly blessed by God."
Rabbi Plotkin accepted his award in the name of members of Temple Beth Israel.   Through Rabbi Plotkin's leadership, they volunteer to feed the poor during the Christmas Day and Easter Sunday to enable the Christian employees and volunteers to be home with their families.
In addition to his many community efforts to find solutions to help the poor, Rabbi Plotkin has served on the Mayor's Committee for the Homeless, the Mayor's Task Force on Drugs and Alchohol and the Governor's Task Force on Marriage and Divorce.
"These two fine men, as busy as they are with everything they do, still found the time to do the quiet things which no one would ever know about," said Steve Zablinski, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul.  "I am grateful, truly grateful, to Rabbi Plotkin and Matt Scott for their years of service for their love, their insight and their wisdom."
I remember this ceremony very well.   My mom and Teresa came up from Douglas and of course all of the Phoenix cousins were there.    
Our uncle Matt was so deserving of this award.   Not too long after this, St. Vincent de Paul Society named the chapel at the south Phoenix location after Matt.
Our family heritage is amazing!!! 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 43

As I continue to watch what unfolds on the national scene over the last few days with the awful rhetoric and hate that is spewing at so many levels, I continue to be very thankful for the way I was raised.

My mom was much stricter than Teresa. Teresa was  a much more gentle soul, but nonetheless, my mom deeply cared about many things.  She just showed it in a different way than Teresa did.

And then there was our Uncle Johnny.    Both Judy and I adored him and the feeling was mutual.   He was so good to us.  I will write more about him later.

Last night when I was watching the news, I was reminded of a quote that my dear friend, Wally Delecki, always used.   He was our GPS Superintendent for over 20 years and one of the best humans I know.   His quote is "that sometimes it is better to be KIND than to be RIGHT!"

Which then brought back a memory of a lesson I learned about that from my mom.   I was a pretty good kid in school.   I was very involved in activities and did not get into trouble.    

My sophomore year in high school, I had two teachers for biology.   Mrs. Herner was the lab teacher.   One day when my mom picked me up for lunch, Mrs. Herner had called her.    Mrs. Herner wasn't one of the most popular teachers.    She told my mom that I had been disrespectful to her.    I told my mom that I hadn't been and I wasn't even sure what she was talking about.   And it wasn't like me to be disrespectful to a teacher.    My mom's response was that she believed me, but that Mrs. Herner's perception was that I had been disrespectful so I needed to fix the perception.   She told me that I had to apologize to her.  I said I wouldn't--which was a bit of a mistake because it wasn't really a good idea to tell my mom I wouldn't do something!!

Needless to say, that afternoon after lunch, I went to Mrs. Herner's class and apologized to her.    It is still to this day one of the greatest lessons that I ever learned. 

From that day forward, I became one of her favorite students (and science was never my thing).   I was her aide for a period one year.   She had a pet skunk named, Petunia, and I got to go visit Petunia every now and then.   What I found out about this lady was that underneath her very gruff exterior was just a lonely person.   She could not have been warmer or nicer to me!

And this gets back to the quote--I did the kind thing by apologizing to her even though I know I was right in that I had not been disrespectful to her.   But a person's perception is their reality.   I am happy that I learned this at a young age and I have such a vivid memory of it.

I think there are a lot of people in this country right now who should heed this advice!

Thank you, mom, for this invaluable lesson that I have carried through my life!  Who would have ever thought that something so trivial, could have the impact that it did?

Friday, August 18, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 42

Over the last several days we have watched something really awful happen in our country.   Many of our family have been involved in politics at some level.   Although he never ran for any public office, our grandfather, E.A. Scott, was always involved in Democratic politics and union activities.

I remember a story my mom or Teresa told when I was young and something was going on in the country.  It might have been during some of the civil rights movement in the 1960's but I don't remember.

I know that when JFK was running and elected to the Presidency, there was an undercurrent of prejudice because he was a Catholic.   

Apparently, during the early days in Douglas, there was an active KKK organization.  I am thinking that this must have been in the 20's or 30's.   I think that when I have a little time, I may do some research as to the timing.

However, the KKK not only hates people of color and those who are Jewish, in those days they hated Catholics, too.    

I remember being told that the KKK was having a rally and was walking down 10th Street in their "garb."     I was told that our grandfather went to Immaculate Conception Church, which is on 10th Street, and stood proudly on the steps as the KKK marched by.   When I think about that today, all I can say is "WOW"--what courage that must have taken!!!!!

I also remember my mom saying that he was proud to stand there and be recognized and not be hiding behind some "garb."

I shared this post with my cousin, Ted, and asked him if he had heard this story before.  He hadn't.  But he gave me a little history.   There was a resurgence of the KKK in the 20's, so most likely it happened then.   

He also reminded me of something I had heard my mom say that was from Harry Truman, who our grandfather deeply admired.   Truman said that the KKK was a bunch of damn fools.  "Who else would spend $16.95 for a 69 cent cloth and put it on their heads?" 

After watching the awful things that are happening right now with all of the hatred that is being thrown around, I can honestly say that I was raised to be accepting of all and to treat everyone with dignity and respect.  

Growing up in Douglas which has a very large Hispanic population because of being on the border, I never thought about who my friends were other than they were my friends!  And I will always appreciate that I was taught that from an early age.  

Children are not born to hate.    They don't see color or make judgements.   They have to be taught this.    How fortunate we are to have been brought up the way we were.   

My hope for this wonderful country of ours that is what it is because of immigrants like our grandparents from all places all of the world can start a dialog about hatred and racism.   And maybe our current leadership will cause that to happen because of his actions, words and basic lack of any kind of empathy.

I can't imagine how my mom would feel about what is happening today.    Knowing her like I did, I think she would be out there with her "fighting spirit!"

Again, I will say, that we have had wonderful role models in this Scott Family and I know that I am most grateful!!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 41

From the Douglas Dispatch,  Feb. 1949

Final Rites For
E. A. Scott Set
For this Morning

Another Douglas pioneer is being laid to rest today.   A resident of this city since 1912, Edward A. (Pappy) Scott who passed away suddenly last Thursday, will be given final rites at a requiem mass in the Church of the Immaculate Conception at 10:30 a.m.,  with Fr. Doran officiating.

Coming to Douglas in its early days, "Pappy" was a pioneer in the true sense of the word.   He was a member of the Elks Lodge for 45 years having joined in 1903.  He was a member of the brotherhood of Railway Trainmen for 50 years--the oldest continuous membership in the state of Arizona.   He aided in the organization of lodges in the state and in Leadville, Colo.   And from the time he first came to Douglas, he pioneered strongly for the Democratic party.

Last evening the rosary was recited at the family home, 858 Fourteenth street, at 8 p.m., and a memorial service was conducted by the Douglas Elks No. 955 in the Elks Home at 4 p.m.

Active pallbearers at the services this morning will be four sons, John, Matthew, Thomas, and William; a son-in-law, Edwin Park; and a grandson, Edward Scott.   Honorary pallbearers are Dr. N. V. Alessi,  S. P.  Applewhite, Johnny Hart, Ben Blum, J. W. Rhodes, O. E. Spaw, J. B. Ward, W. J. Reay, Martin Donohoe, L. J. Park, Myer Gray, Everett Jones, Henry Williams, E. C. Hample, Rufus Northup, Fred Taylor, Fred Paxton, Lynn Palmer, E. B. Lynn, Oakley Lucas, Percy Bowden, Bob Ledford,  J. T. Byrne,  Frank Krentz,  Arch Jackson,  Bob Ellis, Wirt French, Tommy Donohue, Martin Byrne, Dave Richards, Henri Birch, Steve Puzzi, David Hickman, Tom Sanders, Cornelius Reidy, David Marks, Howard Ames, and D. M.Bloodworth.

Mr. Scott was born Sept. 3, 1874 at Amherst, Ohio.  He was married in April, 1902 to Miss Katherine Roughan, who survives him.   The couple had 10 children, five boys and five girls; seven of who are living.   

Survivors include his wife; three daughters, Mrs. Edwin Park of Sacramento, Calif.; Mrs. Tom Shannon and Miss Teresa Scott of this city; four sons, John Scott of Douglas, Matthew Scott of Phoenix, Thomas Scott of Washington D.C. and William Scott, a student at Tempe; ten granddaughters and three grandsons.   One grandson, Edward, who will be one of the active pallbearers, is in his fifth year at Saint Anthony's seminary, where he is studying for the priesthood.    The 13th grandchild is the month old Sheila "Cheyenne" Shannon.

Rev. Victor G. Burcher, O.F.M., pastor of St. Mary's Church,  Phoenix, a friend of Matthew Scott and his family, will be in Douglas for the funeral.

When we found all of these in the desk in Douglas, Ted Park said he had never heard me be called Cheyenne.   I told him the story behind it as best I could remember.   

When our Aunt Dot had Jean and Jan, I guess she was originally going to name them Pamela and Penelope.   Our grandpa wanted to know why someone would name their kids, Antelope and Cantaloupe?   Teresa actually named me Sheila and my mom was fine with it.   Apparently, our grandfather likened it to the Antelope and Cantaloupe names, and said something to the effect that if you name her "some damn name" like that, then I will call her what I want, which was "Cheyenne."   Interestingly enough, the only person I ever remember calling me Cheyenne was our cousin,  Eddie (Joel).  He always called me that!! 

This is a picture of Immaculate Conception Church from many years ago.  Notice the "tracks" running down the middle of the street from the street car?


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 40

I often regret that I didn't record or write things down after I heard them through the years.    I am going to relay this story with the best of my memory.

Our grandfather had a heart attack and died very suddenly in February of 1949. He was in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico at the time of his death.   Going to Agua Prieta, in those days, was like going to the grocery store is for us today.  It is so close to Douglas and it was very easy to cross back and forth between the border.

Teresa told me that she went with Percy Bowden, the Police Chief of Douglas, over the Agua Prieta as soon as they heard about it.

During that time, priests and nuns were not allowed to wear their religious "garb" in public.    It was my understanding that a Mexican priest gave our grandfather the last rites and that the Federales looked the other way while it was being done.

I know from growing up in Douglas that sometimes it was hard to get a body back across the border if a person died there who was a U. S. citizen.   I can only assume that because of the connections our grandfather had, there were no problems.   If there had been, I am sure I would have heard that story.

I remember Teresa saying ho difficult it was to hear the police radio when they were going to Agua Prieta.

As I have said before, I am trying to remember things as accurately as I can. If anyone has a different memory or something additional to share, please let me know.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 39

Another memory from Saturday night--tamales, which are my comfort food.    Before we left Douglas Sunday a week ago, a dear friend, Maritza, brought me three doxen tamales.    I always buy the ones that her aunt makes and they are delicious.  She said that she had some in the freezer that she kept for the family so she brought them to me before we left.

Saturday night, after a long week and a morning meeting, I didn't think I would be fixing dinner.  However, plans changed and Cameron wanted tamales.  So we pulled out a dozen and I put them on the stove to warm them.

It brought back so many memories.    I consider a lot of Mexican food comfort food after growing up in Douglas.    But the humorous part of this is that growing up whenever we  had tamales, my mom and Teresa (and many other family members) would eat them with ketchup.   I don't like ketchup very much so I never did.   When I asked about it, the response was that when our Irish grandparents moved to the Mexican border in the early 1900's, they had not had a lot of foods with chili in them.   So ketchup helped with the taste of hotness.     Whenever we had a family reunion and served tamales, I had to have a large bottle of ketchup available.

The other thing I remember was when Mary made her delicious red chili enchiladas, they always had sweet pickle relish on the side.  Once again, I don't like sweet pickle relish, so I never ate that.   I guess being born on the border and growing up there, I am okay with "hot" stuff.   Although I really don't like things that are so "hot" you can't taste it--unlike my cousin, Cecilia!

So many great memories keep coming up on a regular basis.   I am writing this in red for the "hotness," the "red chili" tamales, and  of course, "ketchup."

Monday, August 14, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 38

Something funny happened on Saturday when I was talking to a friend who works for GPS.    She told me that there was a problem with her paycheck and the District issued her a "live" check.   The best part is that the check was signed by me and by our interim superintendent.  I didn't realize that I was signing  a live payroll check in my role as board president.

We got to laughing because I told the story in my eulogy about Teresa doing payroll all of those years with many of her "clients" being done for free on her part.  I told about how my mom would sometimes ask could they just donate a ream of paper.   Well, I just realized with that conversation, that I am doing almost the exact same thing!!!  I am doing "payroll" so to speak with no pay.

When my mom ran for and served three terms on the City Council of Douglas after she retired, she was paid (I think) $100 a month for that position.   Even in those days, that was not a lot for the amount of time that she put in to being a City Councilwoman.   When we spent summers there, she was often on the phone, at meetings and events all because of being a council member.  But she loved the 12 years that she did this.  And I know that Teresa loved her years doing bookkeeping and payroll.

This past week when I got back from Douglas, I had a very busy week.  We had a special Board meeting Tuesday night,  a meeting with administrators late Wednesday afternoon, and a community/parent forum on Wednesday evening.    In between, I attended several other meetings and events that have to do with my role on the Board, including a town hall this morning.   Although I have been exhausted, it has been good to be so busy.  

I really thought I was following more in my mom's footsteps by running for an elected office after retiring.   But after the paycheck story, I guess I am also following in Teresa's footsteps, too.   In Arizona board members do not get paid!  

I don't know why this tickled me so.   I think it was because I had not made the association and I had told the story when I did her eulogy.

What incredible role models I have had in my mom, Margaret, and my aunt, Teresa!!!