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Putting Screws to Scrooge by Making Life Rewarding

December 20, 1988|SHIRLEY MARLOW

'Tis the season for giving, so a city housing authority worker in Boston raised nearly $100 for two boys who received what he considered a Scrooge-like reward of $1 for returning a lost wallet containing $2,000. "I wanted to put the screws to Ebenezer Scrooge," said John Bartolo, 35, who read about the incident in the Boston Herald. Bartolo enlisted some friends who went through bars, restaurants and a market to raise a more generous reward. The boys, Tommy Martel, 9, and Scott Senesi, 7, found the wallet near their home in suburban Somerville, the newspaper reported. The paper did not identify the wallet's owner. The boys took the wallet to Tommy's mother, Peggy Martel, who contacted the owner. "He looked everything over and said he had just come from the bank with $2,000 and somehow dropped his wallet on the street. Then he pulled out a dollar and handed it over for the kids," Martel said. She did not criticize the owner for the reward. "We don't know what his circumstances are," she said.

--Christmas will come to the White House a little early. President and Mrs. Reagan will sit down to a turkey dinner Thursday evening with the First Lady's brother, Dr. Richard Davis, and his family and with their longtime friend Nancy Reynolds and her son, Michael, the First Lady's spokeswoman, Elaine Crispen, said. The Reagans will then fly to California where other members of the family, but not daughter Patti, are expected to join them Sunday for Christmas dinner at their new home in Bel-Air. That gathering will include the President's daughter, Maureen, and her husband, Dennis Revell; son Ron and his wife, Doria; son Michael and his wife, Colleen, and their two children, Ashley Marie and Cameron. The Reagans' Christmas gift to each other is their new house, Crispen said.

--Nobel Prize-winner Joseph Brodsky gave 2,000 graduates of the University of Michigan the gift of advice when he spoke at their commencement. Brodsky, a former poet-in-residence at the school, urged the graduates never to assume the role of victim. "No matter how abominable your condition may be, try not to blame anything or anyone: history, the state, superiors, race, parents, the phase of the moon, childhood toilet training, etc.," he said at Ann Arbor. Brodsky, who was deported from the Soviet Union in 1972, won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1987.

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