Hill Happenings

Photo by Billy McMullen Dave Grogan competes in the second annual Mission Hill Road Race in 1981. The 2011 edition will be held Oct. 1.

Former Mission Hill High School principal Sister Patrice Garrity departed her beloved Mission Hill Parish last month, having been reassigned to a convent in Connecticut. Sister Garrity, a 1947 Mission High School graduate, was the school’s best principal when the school closed in the early ’90s.

In the last year of Mission High, I fondly recall seeing Sister Garrity on the front page of the Boston Herald, as the school’s basketball team went out with a blaze of glory. That team, coached by Tom McDermott, won the High School State Basketball Championship at the old Boston Garden.

Incidentally, Sister Garrity chose the name Patrice in honor of her father, Patrick Garrity, a tough Boston cop who emigrated from Ireland.

Sister Garrity will, of course, miss Mission Hill and our acclaimed church, but as she said last week, “The Lord knows what He is doing.”

God bless you, Sister, and thank you.


Congratulations to Sheila Sullivan on her graduation from Northeastern University. Sheila, from Mission Hill, majored in early childhood development. She is the daughter of proud father Kevin Sullivan and the late Maureen Sullivan. Shelia is the granddaughter of oil man Jim Sullivan. Jim, formerly the proprietor of Parker Hill Oil, delivered oil to Mission Hill residents for more than 40 years. Sullivan also delivered coal and ice, and in those days, the customers would display a sign on their windows indicating which of the three products they wanted.


As a writer, I seldom tell fish stories, but the first at Bell Isle Seafood in East Boston is terrific. Jim Costin, the hard-working owner, is the son-in-law of Mission Hill native Chuck Curran.

Speaking of the Currans, I miss my neighbors, Richie Curran and Nancy Curran (Sheehan), who moved to West Roxbury last month with their two beautiful children. No. 68 Calumet St. will never be the same. On the first night in their new home, 2-year-old Richie Curran said he was “taking his bed and going back home.”


If I may be a fly in the ointment about Hubway, the City’s bicycle-sharing program: The bicycles at Brigham Circle eliminated three prime parking spots in front of the Penguin Pizza and across the street from the Mission Bar and Grill.

Last week, I was conversing with Ellen Saucier (the younger), a hospital supervisor in the Longwood Medical Area, about the bicycle program. Ellen suggested that the hospital area should have absorbed the parking loss instead of the bustling business section.

Ellen, incidentally, is a Mission High School graduate, and as a catcher, she was a terrific player on the school’s softball team.


It was nice chatting with local hoop star Wayne Seldon last week at Mike’s Donuts. Wayne was with his lovely mother, Lavette Pitts, who was driving him back to school at Tilton Academy in New Hampshire. Although Seldon, a 6-foot-4-inch guard, still has two years of high school remaining, he has gotten offers from several colleges, including Boston College, U. Conn. and Kentucky.

More important than being brilliant on the basketball court, Wayne is a nice kid. Wayne has the basketball genes. His grandfather, Tony Pitts, was a terrific hoop player on the Mission Hill courts and a standout in the old Boston Park League at the Tobin Gym.


A memorial Mass for my friend Richard Dwyer, who passed away in July, will be held Sat., Sept. 24 at 2 p.m. at Mission Church. Rich graduated from Mission High School in 1957 and played on the football team.


The Mission Hill Road Race will be held Sat., Oct. 1, starting and ending at Kevin Fitzgerald Park at 10 a.m. Walkers may begin at 9 a.m. and the pre-entry fee is $15, $20 on race day. Proceeds from the 5K race benefit the Kevin Fitzgerald Park. The event co-chairs are Nancy Sheehan, John Fitzgerald, City Councilor Mike Ross and state Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez.

The first Mission Hill Road Race was organized in 1980 by “Big Jim” Moynihan. Moynihan is a Mission Hill native from 43 Tobin Court. Big Jim is now a light walker, but in his prime he completed seven marathons, including five Boston Marathons.

In those days, the Mission Hill Road Race was followed by the Mission Hill Fair at McLaughlin Park. The fair, with plenty of food and drink, was a fun-filled afternoon that included entertainment for the youngsters and was highlighted by a charitable auction. Perhaps in 2012, we’ll bring back the Mission Hill Fair.


I am a frequent visitor to the Parker Hill Library and I enjoy conversing with librarian Carolyn Horymsk. Carolyn is a poker player, and I love that game of skill and instinct. Carolyn, who prefers 7 Card Stud over the more popular Texas Holdem, won some coffee money on her recent trip to Foxwoods. The time has come for a tournament to crown the Mission Hill poker champion.

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