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Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: November 27, 2012

Mad Dogs And Englishmen, Part III

When our cruise ship arrived in Malta, there were no signs of Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet or the Maltese Falcon. Malta is a limestone-walled city, sitting proudly in the southern Mediterranean. It is Malta’s location, not its size that dictates its importance. You might have trouble locating Malta on a map, but its history is written in large letters.

Valletta, the capital of Malta, was built by the Order of the Knights of St. John. It has two deep channels that accommodate large vessels. The history of Malta dates back 7,000 years. Malta was conquered by the Arabs, Normans, Germans, French and Spaniards. It was also an important Crusader outpost.

In 1565, the Turks, under Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, attacked Malta with 35,000 troops. The 540 Knights of St. John repelled the Turks. During World War II, Malta was bombed daily by the Nazis. King George VI, Elizabeth II’s father, awarded the George Cross for Bravery to the entire island. An interesting note, the Duke of Wales and his bride, Wallis Simpson, honeymooned on Malta. The current population is 401,880.

We arrived in Venice, which is at the head of the Adriatic Sea. The heart of Venice centers around St. Mark’s Square, which has been called “a great marble salon,” open to the sky. The piazza is huge with covered galleries, luxury shops and cafes. St. Mark’s Square has always been a vibrant, dignified and exciting meeting place. Unfortunately, we arrived during the rainy season and the piazza was flooded. We rolled up our jeans, took off our shoes and socks and squished through St. Mark’s Square. The gondolas kept rowing and we felt that there is no more exciting place than Venice.

The graceful Bridge of Sighs links the Doge’s Palace with the dark old prison building. The name comes from the small windows on the bridge providing the last sunlight the prisoners would see for many years. The tall Rialto Bridge in the heart of the business district is arched to allow commerce and gondolas to pass beneath it. The island of Murano, known for its intricate blown glass, is a must stop for tourists. It certainly is easy to spend all your Euros in the bewitching city of Venice.

Back onboard the The Grand Princess, we waved goodbye to Venice and sailed on to Croatia.

News

The Columbus Day Parade played host a to a very special group this year. The Family Residences and Essential Enterprises’ (FREE) Players Drum Corps made history as they became the first special needs drum corps to march in the New York City Columbus Day Parade.

The group marched up Fifth Avenue from 44th to 72nd Street with a red carpet performance on Fifth Avenue between 67th and 69th Streets.

Driving rain and cold temperatures could not keep Long Islanders from coming out to support the first annual DogFest Walk ‘n Roll, a fundraiser for Canine Companions for Independence. Held for the first time at Marjorie Post Park in Massapequa, dogs of all breeds and sizes came with their humans with one goal in mind; to raise funds for CCI.

Massapequa resident and event organizer Yvonne Dagger, past president and now board member, discussed the importance of the event.


Calendar

4th Annual Harvest Festival

Saturday, Oct. 25

Health and Wellness Senior Fair

Tuesday, Oct. 28

Haunted Halloween

Wednesday, Oct. 29



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com