Hill Happenings

Courtesy Photo U.S. Army Lt. Col. George Rollins, a Mission Hill native who frequents the Mission Hill Post, is ready for action during his tour of duty in Afghanistan. Rollins is due back home in a month.



By Maurice “Mossy” Martin

Special to the Gazette


Condolences to the family of Richard Dwyer, who passed away last month. Back in the ’80s, Rich and I were softball teammates for Winnie’s Pub in the Mission Hill Softball League, and he was a class act. Rich graduated from Mission High School in 1957 and he played left end on the football team. Those were the golden years of high school football, and Rich caught several passes from legendary Mission High quarterback George Dunn.

Peter Looby was the left guard on that team, and he reminisced about his friend and teammate. “He was a bit skinny for football, but he had a big heart,” said Looby. “He was an overachiever.”


Good luck in retirement to John “Harpo” Foley, who completed 42 years of dedicated service to the U.S. Postal Service. For many years, John was the first to arrive at the Jamaica Plain post office at 4 a.m. Early birds in JP remember John trudging through snow and rain on Centre Street, always arriving on time.

John grew up on Burney Street in Mission Hill and he graduated from Mission High School in 1966, where he was a bruising fullback on the school’s football team. As a youth, John was a member of the “Grisly Gunners,” a legendary Mission Hill group of friends in the ’60s.


Mission Hill lost a great guy last month when Mike Welby succumbed to cancer. Mike was gifted with an infectious smile, which remained until the end. Back in the ’70s, Mike was the lead singer in the fashionable Mission Hill band Bacchus. Mike loved the music and he relished the camaraderie of performing with his friends and band members, Bobby O’Neil, Charley Stevens and Billy Dorethy. “Bacchus,” incidentally, is a Latin word meaning the Roman god of wine and intoxication.


Happy birthday to my downstairs Mission Hill neighbor John Clifford, who celebrated 85 years on the Earth July 31. John has dedicated part of his life to Mission Church, having served as an altar boy/altar server almost continuously since 1934. The folks at Mike’s Donuts say hello, and we miss you. John’s birthday, fittingly, is also St. Ignatius Day. St. Ignatius founded the Society of Jesus—the Jesuits—in the 16th century.


For you golfers, the Mission Hill Open will be held Sept. 23 at 8:30 a.m. at the Norwood Country Club. The $125 fee includes green fees, a golf cart and a world-class Mission Hill dinner at The Crossing (1592 Tremont St.—formerly Curtin’s Tavern). More importantly, the proceeds go to care packages for our overseas troops. There will be many prizes. For more info, contact Peter Lynn at 617-435-9706.

There are some terrific golfers in Mission Hill, and several of them—including John Nagle—play at the George Wright Golf Club in Hyde Park. George Wright, incidentally, is in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, having excelled for the Boston Red Stockings in the 1800s. Later, he became a prominent local businessman, and he donated his Hyde Park land to the City of Boston. That land was developed into the golf course, which opened in 1938.


The boys at the Mission Hill Post say hello to George “The Colonel” Rollins, who is about to end a tour of duty in the Army in Afghanistan, and see you in a month.


Rick Gleeson and Wally Szczepkowski edged Mission Hill native Jack MacDougall and Chris Gleeson to win the 25th annual Gleeson horseshoe tournament at the Gleeson villa in Hyde Park last month. Dozens of sun-splashed Mission Hill folks watched the prestigious tournament from poolside. Szczepkowshi, a machinist, is among the elite horseshoe players from his Elks Lodge #118 in Fall River.


That stray black cat often seen behind Flann O’Brien’s is well-fed thanks to good guy George Curran, who feeds the feline every day. The cat seems to enjoy the music from Flann’s and occasionally crosses Wigglesworth Street to see who is going into the Mission Hill Post. Said the self-deprecating Curran, “It’s nice to see someone from Mission Hill who is glad to see me.”


I am a talk radio enthusiast, and “Nightside” with host Dan Rea on WBZ from 8 until midnight is among the best. One night last month, Rea’s in-studio guests were Mission Hill City Councilor Mike Ross and at-large City Councilor Felix Arroyo. The conversation was engaging as the councilors articulated the pros and cons of having a Walmart in our city.

I say yes to welcoming Walmart to our fine city. Our hard-working citizens could use a break in their shopping bills.


Congrats to Michael Mullin, who published a collection of his web comics, “Domestication.” The book is available on Amazon.com. Michael is a graduate of Catholic Memorial High School and Stonehill College. Michael has Mission Hill blood. His mother, Elaine Mullin, is a Mission Hill Gazette subscriber living in Florida. Elaine is a 1943 graduate of Mission High School. Elaine, known as “Lefty” in her youth, was a legendary tennis player on the Mission Hill playgrounds.

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