Mon. May 16th, 2022

QUINCY — A few weeks ago Michele Draicchio Paige was watering and weeding her drought-tolerant plants in the city traffic island she maintains at South, Summer and Dartmouth streets when a passerby stopped to chat.

A stranger named Bill, he remarked that she was doing “such a good deed.” She replied, “It’s a lot of work but it’s enjoyable.”

He had a handful of lottery tickets he was giving out, asked if she played the lottery, gave her a ticket for the noon drawing that day and said that she “just might win.”

She took the ticket but forgot to check the day’s winning numbers until a few days later. “I’d won!” she says. She went to a nearby neighborhood store to cash it in and collected $330. She immediately put the cash back into more plants and mulch for the traffic island. 

Michele Draicchio Paige maintains the traffic island at South, Summer and Dartmouth streets in Quincy. She's planted flowers and added mulch to the area.

You could call it a good deed rewarded but Paige says she gets her reward just in being able to spend time at the island making it look attractive and chatting with people who walk by. 

“I’m not someone who can sit home and do nothing,” she says. She thanks her son Kristopher Kamborian, 37, of Quincy, a UMass Boston police officer, for getting her the traffic island to keep up after she retired two years ago.

Michele Draicchio Paige maintains the traffic island at South, Summer and Dartmouth streets in Quincy. She's planted flowers and added mulch to the area. Her son Kristopher Kamborian stands to her left.

 It particularly saved her during the pandemic when the Kennedy Center in Quincy and her other social groups closed down. “There was a lot of cleanup to do and I was down there everyday,” she says.

The city does not water the traffic island plants and her island is one of the largest in Quincy so she has chosen plants like sedum, ice plants, cone flowers and shrubs that don’t need a lot of water.

By senior

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