by Thomas F. Schiavoni
A vacationing North End neighbor asked me to look after his sidewalk planter. I later asked about the 3-inch figurine with a halo, mallet and carpenter’s plane interred beneath the greenery. He explained that he had salvaged spilled dirt from a broken flowerpot at the condo next-door. The owner had buried a plastic St. Joseph in hopes that the patron saint of home sellers would bless her with an acceptable offer. Squeezed for space in Boston’s Little Italy, a desperate lady found a clever way to keep alive a tradition long honored by realtors.