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From Me
to You

DianeDiane Margolin
Publisher of
The Santa Monica Star Newspaper

(Continued from Monthly Columns)

On one Saturday, I went to the memorial service for Joseph Bologna, my friend Barbara Carson’s brother, at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills. It was like no other.

The mass began with a brass band playing “I’ll Be Singin’ Up There” and ended with their performance of “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Throughout the service the most beautiful voices from the St. Agatha’s Gospel Choir filled the sanctuary. We clapped, sang along, prayed, and reflected. The priest said it would take too long if we all told our stories about Joe, so would we call out words that described him. Many people did, and then the priest put them together to paint a picture of Joe’s life. Family members did select readings and gave words of remembrance. Joe’s wife, Renée Taylor, spoke about him with her wonderful sense of humor that we love from the writings she did with Joe. We all laughed, but at times our eyes filled with tears. At one point, Gabriel, Joe and Renée’s son, stood on the pulpit and said, “My mom asked that in the show business tradition, would you rise to give my dad a standing O.” So we did, cheering and applauding and remembering all of Joe’s special qualities. At the end, after Rabbi Jerry Cutler spoke the Mourner’s Kaddish, two marines marched down the aisle to present Renée with an American flag in honor of Joe’s service in the marines.

In the afternoon, a lunch and a celebration of Joe’s life was held at the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club. A film about his life was shown and several friends got up to share their memories. It was quite a tribute.

The Hero Dog Dinner, sponsored by American Humane, focuses on animals who have been abused
and their courageous owners who performed amazing feats to bring the dogs to a point where they can have normal lives. There is entertainment and a delicious dinner at the Beverly Hilton, but the dogs themselves are the stars. Videos are shown about each dog, and then they appear on the hotel stage with their owners. Very hard not to cry during these presentations. Watch the show on the Hallmark Channel on Thursday, October 26 at 8 p.m.



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