Frances Bertulli

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Member of the Silver Stringers
Contributor to the Melrose Mirror

I was born on January 20, 1924 in Athol, MA, the second daughter of John Ambrose Logan and Catherine A. (Blake) Logan. I graduated from the Franklin Elementary School in June 1939. In the fall of 1939 I attended Catheral of Holy Cross High school.

My first job was at R. H. Stern, Boston. My job entailed many hands. Stockroom, Repair Jewelry, Check Room and Modeling dresses and Wedding gowns. This was a lot of fun.

I was courted in June 1947 by Elvis (Al) Bertulli, who I met at the YMCA in Boston at a social dance. I was a volunteer at the Chatter Box soda fountain. He asked me for a dance and I said yes. Little did I know I would trip over his size 13 shoe. The rest is history. We were married on a snowy, cold, windy Sunday on January 1, 1948. We had six wonderful children. Two boys and four girls. We now have eight Grand children- six boys and two girls.

As my children stared to face the people of the world, I decided to move from being a homemaker, interacting with the people also. I worked at a Nursing Home on Marlin Street in Melrose about a year. On February 19, 1967 I began working at the Melrose Wakefield Hospital as a Nurses Aide on the night shift. Later I was given a new title as Unit Secretary. As the years passed by, the hospital was getting a new face, surgical 4 was abolished and I was transferred to the Center Sterile Processing Unit and became a SSA Technician. I really enjoyed this work.

I retired in 1989 and took a long vacation. During this time Al took me to the First Baptist Church on Main and Upham Street in Melrose. The Senior Center was located in the church. One long narrow room with a small office in the lower floor.

In February 1991 I was selected as coordinator for the Senior Center. My hours were 8-12. I volunteered to help with the afternoon activities. The Sunshine Boys Bridge Club had been meeting at Memorial but began meeting at the Senior Center We also had movies,

In 1995 we became cramped for space because the church needed the space for computers that were to be installed. The New Milano Senior Center Opened in June 20, 1995.

When the Milano Senior Center opened more new activities were coming in. The Bridge Club had one table. We now have 10 tables. Other activities include Cribbage, Knitters, Painting, Chair Caning, Exercise classes, Line Dancing and other activities were added.

In 1997 MIT got several seniors in a project to create an online publication called Melrose Mirror. The group was to be called the Silver Stringers. Mit provided the equipment, technical assistance, and guidance in getting on the internet. In June we will celebrate our 7th Anniversary.

The first year under the umbrella of MIT, the Silver Stringers were invited to a lecture at MIT. One of the Professors mentioned making stories with pictures. Lucky me! I received a camera from my daughter Anne. Now that is what I would say: "Thats my cup of Tea". Thank you, Professor Gloriana Dowenport.

I have listened to Seniors stories of their lives; the ups and downs - tears, smiles and memories of the past. Maybe in the future I might write my stories so that I may share them with you.

As my "Pa" would say - "If you like what you hear, I'll tell you another."

March 17, 2004

Articles by Frances:

id 4622 Beebe School oil tank removal -- Photogravure 7/06/01
id 5227 Perfect cribbage hand -- Feature 8/03/01
id 5158 Learning chair caning -- Feature 8/03/01
id 5100 Working with Mother Nature -- Feature 8/03/01
id 9175 Does anyone recognize these boys? -- ShFeature 7/02/04