Hill Happenings

February 7, 2014
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Wayne Selden, the gifted freshman hoopster from the University of Kansas and the pride of Mission Hill, has been playing proficiently in the Jayhawks backcourt as the “March Madness” Tournament approaches. In the late ’90s, “Little Wayne” was the batboy for Winnie’s Pub in the Mission Hill Softball League when his dad, Wayne Selden Sr., played. Little Wayne’s grandfather, Tony Pitts, aka The Agent, also played for Winnie’s Pub.

The elder Wayne Selden hit perhaps the longest home run in the Mission Hill Softball League about 15 years ago. I recall watching the softball sail into the night air at McLaughlin Park. The ball traveled so far it was reminiscent of a scene from the classic 1963 Walt Disney movie “Son of Flubber.”

With the cold February winds upon us, here is one more summer memory from the Mission Hill Softball League. One memorable game, Mike Mullin and Dick Pettengill hit consecutive home runs against the Owl Nest. The unusual aspect of this feat was the 40-year age difference between young Mullin and the seasoned Pettengill. Dick Pettengill, incidentally, is married to Winnie Lyons, who was the beloved sponsor of the Winnie’s Pub softball team. Winnie and Dick live in Jamaica Plain, and the couple never miss reading the Mission Hill Gazette.

On Thurs., March 6, the premiere of “The Mission,” a documentary about the Mission Hill projects, will take place at Northeastern University in Blackman Auditorium. The documentary, produced and directed by Brian Culkin, is terrific. I saw the rough draft last month, and it focuses on the good times and also on the era when the projects were neglected and crime and drugs were prevalent. Having grown up in the Mission Hill projects, I am on camera for a minute or two. Other familiar Mission Hill faces in the documentary are Ruth Hemingway, Tom Killilea and “Cowboy Joe” Looby, all of whom have well-articulated points of view. The film starts at 7 p.m.

Cowboy Joe, incidentally, is a lover and collector of doo-wop and older music, and he will soon be doing some DJ and karaoke entertaining in local saloons. Joe, do you have “Eddie My Love,” 1956, by the Teen Queens? The music was so much better in those days.

Pat Kennedy, who is recuperating in Long Island, N.Y. with family from an illness, says hello to his Hill friends, and he hopes to be back in Mike’s Donuts in the near future

A tip of the hat goes to local Boston Police Officer Jason Nunez, who was among several officers honored with the Schroeder Brothers Memorial Medal last month. Jason helped capture the alleged terrorist in Waterown following the Boston Marathon bombings. Jason is the son of proud parents Tony Nunez and Denise Nunez from Mission Hill. Tony Nunez is also a Boston Police Officer.

Several terrific paintings of Mission Hill were recently displayed at the Mission Bar and Grill at Brigham Circle. My favorite is the one of Mission Church, done by talented local artist Tina Pankievich, beautifully illustrating the steeples.

Belated happy birthday to Janet “The Cranapple” Earley (Jan.31). It doesn’t seem that long ago when Janet was a little girl and her family and my family rented a summer cottage on the ocean in Hull. It’s a great memory, but time time moves on, and Janet has since grown into a lovely young lady.

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