Hill Happenings

Shortly after terror suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured on April 19, it was heartwarming to look out my window and see several hundred young folks engaging in a spontaneous celebration in front of Calumet Square. When a police cruiser arrived, two Boston Police officers received a standing ovation. The crowd cheered late in the night and into the next morning. It was one time I didn’t mind the college students keeping me awake at night.

There was an impassioned remembrance of slain MIT Police Office Sean Collier at The Crossing, 1592 Tremont St., last week. Sean, 26 years old and a great guy, was killed, reportedly by the terrorists, following the Marathon Day bombings. Boston Police Officer John Quinn was a close friend of Sean’s, and John hoisted a few beers in memory of Sean. There soon will be a plaque on the back of a bar chair bearing Sean’s name. Good touch by The Crossing and their classy proprietors, John O’Sullivan and Sharon Driscoll.

More than a hundred current and former Mission Hill residents packed a Boston City Council hall last month to honor local veteran Joe Conlon, who recently was awarded the Silver Star Medal. The ceremony, which was emceed by Mission Hill City Councilor Michael Ross, recognized Conlon for his bravery in Vietnam on Aug. 23, 1968. On that dark day, Conlon’s Special Forces Group was attacked by the enemy, and we lost 17 brave men. Joe’s heroism averted the loss of many more American soliders. Joe spoke passionately about the loss of life. “I think about those men often, especially on Aug. 23,” said Joe, who is a 1960 Mission High School graduate.

In a lighter moment at the ceremony, Francisco Urena, the City’s veteran services commissioner, introducing Boston Police Superintendent Daniel Linsky, remarked that, “Because of the large Mission Hill contingent, Superintendent Linsky was checking for arrest warrants.”

It was nice seeing some of the old Mission Hill faces at the ceremony, including former Mission Hill state Rep. Frank Dwyer and former Villanova football great Joe “The Jet” Corsetti.

Frank Pedersen did a terrific job in organizing the event. Frank, a rugged middle linebacker, Number 51, and Conlon were Killilea Club teammates back in the days of Boston Park League Football.

Congrats to Dan Mullin and Michelle Mullin on the birth of their third child, William John Mullin, who was born at Newton-Wellesley Hospital April 2. Dan is the son of Mission High School graduates Bill Mullin and Virginia (Simmons) Mullin. By the long arm of coincidence, the name of the doctor who delivered Michelle’s baby is Dr. Virginia Simmons.

Dan’s brother, Mike Mullin, also recently became a dad when his wife, Christina Mullin, gave birth to Liam Michael Mullin.

Both Mullins played softball in the Mission Hill Softball League, teaming with their dad, who did double duty as player-coach for Mission Hill Liquors.

One enthused great-grandmother is Elaine Mullin. Elaine, a 1943 Mission Hill School graduate, is an avid Mission Hill Gazette reader who resides in Florida.

Happy birthday to Kay “Big Red” Ryan, who turned 91 on April 21. Kay is a remarkable woman who raised her family in the Mission Hill projects at 31 Tobin Court. Joe Ryan, one of Kay’s sons, is the affable bartender at the Mission Hill Post.


A pat on the back to Timothy Foley, who will graduate in June from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Bourne. Tim is the son of Jerry Foley and Cheryl (Bannon) Foley, both Mission High School graduates. Tim’s grandmother is Violet Bannon. Violet is a lovely woman who was my neighbor some years back at Tobin Court in the Mission Hill projects.

Happy 34th birthday to former Mission Hill resident Scott Alden (April 23). Scott is living in New York City, where he has entered the business world.

Elsewhere around the Hil, Kristen Abbott Bennett recently earned her doctorate degree in literature from Tufts. Kristen is a lovely Mission Hill woman who teaches at UMass Boston. There will be a party May 18 at Flann O’Brien’s to celebrate Kristen’s achievement.

Kristen and her husband, Jason Bennett, have stepped up to the plate on several occasions to raise money for the Mission Hill Little League. Jason Bennett, incidentally, is a guitar player in the popular local band The Resistance.

It was a nice turnout at the Mission Bar and Grill last Saturday for mayoral candidate Michael Ross’s fundraiser. Mission proprietor Michel Soltani put out a fine buffet, and I enjoyed conversing with my dear friends, Mary Todd and Theresa Parks. Former Mission Hill resident Billy Earley showed his support for Ross, as he stopped by the festivities and contributed to the entertainment. Billy, incidentally, was a bartender at the Golden Dome (next to the State House) back in the old days when a bottle of beer cost a quarter.

Joan Gray, a scholarly woman who teaches at Boston Latin, has become a regular at Mike’s Donuts in Mission Hill. Joan recently composed a terrific poem featuring Mission Hill and our beautiful church. The poem was framed and displayed at Mike’s, but unfortunately fell down. A new copy is on its way. Check it out.

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