By John Lynds
Maxine ‘Max’ Tassinari-Teixeira, a lifelong resident of East Boston, and longtime columnist for the East Boston Community News, has died.
Mrs. Tassinari-Teixeira, or ‘Max’ as she was affectionately known in the community, died suddenly on Friday, October 20 surrounded by her loving family. She was 74 years old.
A prolific writer, Mrs. Tassinari-Teixeira was first published in the East Boston Community News in 1972, and continued writing for the newspaper for close to two decades.
While she worked as an Executive Assistant for the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, it was Mrs. Tassinari-Teixeira’s column that introduced her to the East Boston public.
Her column gave insight to the everyday joys and struggles of living, working and raising a family in Eastie. Mrs. Tassinari-Teixeira’s column for years was insightful, whimsical, comical and, at times, serious. Above all she had the knack for expressing anecdotal stories of everyday life that working mother raising their children in Eastie could identify with.
One such column came on May 6, 1980 when Mrs. Tassinari-Teixeira expressed her frustrations with the new plastic phones that had recently become en vogue.
“One thing I have noticed recently is that the phones just aren’t as sturdy as they used to be,” she wrote. “Remember when your phone broke and you called the company and a man came out with a whole truck and a million tools hanging from his belt to fix it? Well, how often did your phone break then? Now they have those things they call “modules” and you can unplug them and bring them in for repair yourself. It seems to me they break faster. Before a phone could fall on the floor a million times and maybe the bell would sound funny. Now, with that little plastic thing plugged in, ail you have todo is let it drop once and you end up with a broken plastic thing, totally cut off from the world unless you make all calls while holding the phone together. I have returned my telephone twice in the past month. I get really intelligent questions like “Did you let this phone fall?” No. With four kids and a twenty foot cord that allows them to walk all over the place with the phone, fight over it and trip over the cord, the phone just fell. I did not let it, but it fell, nevertheless. All you working mothers receive calls like …. “Ma, he won’t help me clean,” then, “Give me the phone, I’ll tell her the real truth.” You know there is a tug-of-war going on over the phone, and then you hear it drop, and then, nothingness. Houses with working mothers don’t need these modern plastic phones, they need the big old black ones. If they fell on your foot, you knew about it.”
Then 28 years ago, Mrs. Tassinari-Teixeira penned her last columns for the East Boston Community News 17 years after beginning at newspaper.
While “Family Chronicles, My Life in Print” was not the last article she would write in her life, it does seem most appropriate to use as tribute to the incredible life of Maxine Tassinari-Teixeira. As her family and friends gathered and discussed her many accomplishments it was clear that the East Boston Community News was a very special part of this very special person’s life.
“In Maxine’s eyes her greatest accomplishment was her family, especially her children and grandchildren, but her passion for journalism was a close second,” said her brother Thomas Tassinari. “After the Community News she continued writing for the East Boston Transcript into the early 1990s where she went on to share more stories and opinions.”
Tassinari said his family would like to thank the entire East Boston community for their love and support in this trying time.
They also asked that you kindly take a moment to read Mrs. Tassinari-Teixeira’s last Community News column.
Family Chronicles My Life in Print
By Maxine Tassinari-Teixeira
Every two weeks for the past 17 years I have been in front of a typewriter (usually 9 hours late) writing a column. Some of them just flowed out of my fingers, pure inspiration. Others came from ideas of articles and had to be worked on. Still others were literally strangled out. Of all of them, this is the hardest.
I never really planned on writing my last column. I guess I figured I’d keep doing this until I keeled over and then there would be a memorial issue for me. Over the last couple of years, though, I figured I might have to write the last one when I finally talked to Mr. T. into moving to San Diego. But I never thought about what it would say.
In my first column I told you I had one husband and four children. The kids’ ages at the time were 2, 3, 5 and 8. I still have Mr. T., and the children are now adults, 19, 20, 22 and 25 years old.
But you know this. I told you about every major event in my life. You went to school wit h my kids, joined Scouts, went to summer camp, heard about our vacations, all the proms; and graduated high school. You lived through my son moving into this own apartment. You laughed because they reminded you of your own children, and I put your feelings into words.
You suffered with me when Mr. T was “fixing” the bathroom. You heard about my old cars and my new cars, and the terrible price we pay to insure either of them here. (Do you know that insurance bills are still not the right bill for a parking sticker. They still feel people would insure their cars here just to park.) You sent cards to my grandmother in the hospital; you shared her 100th birthday with us, and our sorrow when we lost her. You cried with me when I lost my mother and then listened to my anger over the medical profession and its gender bias. You heard form the births of my nieces and nephews. And just last year celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary with us.
I told you what to eat, what not to eat, what idiots ran the government (both federal, state and local). You heard it all. There were lots of times you disagreed with me. Sometimes I made you really angry. At least it meant you were reading me. That was one of the things I could never figure out. I would write a column that I felt sure would have my phone ringing off the hook, and nothing. Then I would make some little innocuous statement, and WOW, fireworks.
I asked the kids if they had anything to add to this column. One daughter suggested it would be nice to finally admit that everything I said about them wasn’t true because how could such wonderful kids get into so much. This is the kid who, at age 3, ate the bottle of vitamins, which were stored on a shelf six inches from the ceiling. I asked her a couple of years ago how she ever got up there. She used to open the refrigerator door, climb up the shelves, get on top and hope over to the other shelves and reach up!!! Why did I ask? Did I need to know that?
All good things must come to an end. And this is it. So, even though you won’t know whose birthday it is (Mike Tex), who’s graduating college (Carole Tex next week, Summa Cum Laude), getting married (not yet), or making me a grandmother (good Lord, not yet), I hope I have provided you with some interesting, and/or amusing, reading.
This column, this newspaper and the people on it have played a very important part in my life. We’d like to think the paper was as important to you.
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