Hill Happenings

July 11, 2014
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The Mission High School Class of ’64 held their 50th reunion last month at the Holiday Inn in Dedham.

The Mission High principal back in those salad days was Brother Conal, and the celebrants were thrilled to reunite with the Man, who is now 85. Brother Conal was a strict disciplinarian. As a freshman, I vividly recall Brother Conal attempting to shake me from my indifference. While counseling me, he sporadically pounded his index finger into my chest. The world needs more Brother Conals.

Other distinguished guests included former English teacher Gerry Fortin and Coach John Grady. Paul Carroll, a terrific pitcher on the ’64 baseball team attended the reunion. Paul later became Mission High’s baseball coach. When Paul took the mound, the third baseman for Mission was Tom “Dubba” Walsh, a marvelous gloveman. After graduating from Mission, Dubba was drafted by the Red Sox, and he climbed to Double A ball. Dubba’s dream of reaching Fenway Park ended when his National Guard unit was activated and he was sent to Vietnam. Dubba later became baseball coach at Suffolk University.

Dubba is an alumnus of the Mission Hill Little league, circa 1959.Last month 21-year-old Calvin Graves, also a former Mission Hill Little Leaguer, was drafted by the Chicago Cubs. Graves is a gifted center fielder who stole 31 bases for Franklin Pierce College in New Hampshire last season. Local residents remember Calvin as a polite young man, bagging groceries at the Stop & Shop at Brigham Circle during his West Roxbury High School days. At this writing, Graves was expected to report to the Arizona Cubs, the team’s minor league affiliate.

Jim Donovan was also a terrific baseball player on the Mission ’64 team. Jim later became a savvy businessman in the financial world. In an extraordinary display of benevolence, Donovan donated $300,000 to initiate a scholarship fund that will benefit three Boston students. The three scholarships are in honor of Donovan’s classmates, Franny Killilea, John MaGee and John Moran, all of whom were killed in Vietnam. I am honored to have known Franny Killilea. He was a wonderful man. With Mission High now a glorious memory, the scholarships are for Malden Catholic High School.

After Franny passed away , the St.Alphonsus Club, Mission Hill’s Park League football team in the ’60s, changed their name to the Killilea Club in honor of Franny. The heart and soul of the team was Frank Pedersen, a fiery middle linebacker. Good luck in retirement to Frank, who recently retired from the City of Boston  in the Municipal Protection Services.

Mike’s Donuts is nice and comfortable thanks to Robert Chaisson, who installed new air conditioning at the popular coffee shop. The Mission Hill resident is the proprietor of Chaisson’s Air Conditioning and Heating.

A tip of the hat to the local Stop & Shop workers who raised more than $10,000 for the Jimmy Fund. One source of fundraising was a car wash. It brought a smile to my face watching Tyrene Hill scrubbing cars while dancing in front of the Stop & Shop on a pleasant Saturday afternoon. Tyrene has been working at the Brigham Circle Stop & Shop for years, and she is so nice. In fact, they are all nice, including Angela Dasilva and my long time buddy Yvonne Hawkins, who always informs me when bananas are on sale at 39 cents per pound…….

Congrats to Bill Raynor on his recently published book, “Poetry In Motion.” Raynor, from the Mission Hill projects, is a former basketball great at Catholic Memorial High School and at Dartmouth College. The book is a volume of poems and it is about the meaning of sports in everyday life. Bill will have a book-reading and signing at the Parker Hill Library, 1497 Tremont St., Thurs., July 17 at 6 p.m.

One Response to Hill Happenings

  1. Mary Kate Killilea on November 11, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    I am so touched by this very generous and thoughtful remembance in honor of my Uncle Franny. Knowing that his memory will live on is very special to all of us. Forever grateful to Mr. Donovan for helping keep his memory alive and for doing this while my father, his brother James was still alive to see. Thank you.

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