Hill Happenings

On April 29, 1945, Holocaust survivor Steve Ross was rescued by American troops from the horrors of Dachau. Incredibly, Steve met one of his rescuers, World War II hero Allen Zucker, last month at Mike’s Donuts in Mission Hill

The get-together was arranged by Steve’s son, Boston City Councilor Mike Ross, who is friends with Allen’s son, real estate man Ed Zucker. I was sitting two booths away from the men and I could sense the magnitude of this historic event as Steve and Allen embraced.

When Steve was rescued from Dachau, one of the American troops gave him a small American flag, which Steve still cherishes.

I met Steve Ross 40 years ago when we both were working for the City of Boston, interacting with troubled kids. Steve had a passion for his job. He loved helping our young people. Steve is a great guy.

This month in local history, Oct. 25, 1860, hundreds gathered in Ward 7 in Roxbury for a rally supporting Democratic presidential candidate Stephen Douglas, according to “When in Boston” by Jim Vrabel.

On the topic of politics, folks at the Mission Hill Post were treated to a terrific debate last month between knowledgeable conservative Dan Martin and a well-known Mission Hill intellectual liberal. The debate was spontaneous, starting after a few brews, and somewhat intense when the President Obama-Romney race was discussed. One patron at the bar summed it up, saying, “This was better than the Liz Warren-Scott Brown debate.”

Tom McDermott, my Calumet Street neighbor, is home and looking well after a brief hospitalization. Tom is 82, with a sharp mind, and he knows his politics. I enjoy seeing him at Mike’s Donuts, expressing his conservative viewpoint to the chagrin of several coffee-drinkers who lean to the left.

Last month, the bartender at Flann O’Brien’s did yeoman’s work, reacting to an attempted handbag-grab in front of the popular bar. I watched the tape of the incident, which was captured on the camera outside of Flann’s. A young lady was sitting on the bench when a man attempted to grab her handbag, but she resisted. The bartender, who was quicker than a cat in a room full of rocking chairs, pounced on the thief and turned him over to the quick-arriving Boston police.

Former Mission Hiller Bobby Burns was back on the Hill last month. Bobby, a 1975 Mission High graduate, has been living in Santa Cruz, Calif., and he is retired after a career in law enforcement. Bobby was a linebacker on the 1979 Killilea Club Park League Football championship team, and he is fondly remembered as a free spirit who kept the team loose. He was home to attend his cousin Mike McCarthy’s 50th birthday party at the Dedham Legion Post 18. Of course, Bobby also visited his favorite bartender, Joe Ryan at the Mission Hill Post, where he reminisced with the boys over a few Budweisers.

Jesse, the classy bartender at Friday’s in Brigham Circle, looks cool in her New York Mets hat. Jesse, a native New Yorker, received the hat from friendly Mission Hill customer Paul “Muffin” Fitzgerald.

At this writing, Mission Hill’s Sean Clarke, proprietor of Diablo Glass School on Terrace Street, is in China. Sean is spreading his vast knowledge to the Chinese folks. Good luck to Sean.

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