What’s Happening on Main Streets

Welcome to each returning student of Mission Hill, with a little reminder to behave yourself and don’t be a knucklehead while you’re here! Do this and we’ll all get along fine.

I overheard a splendid suggestion by Eric Alden, owner of Longwood Properties, to some young folks: “Act as you would in front of your own mother’s home. More than likely, someone else’s mom is living next door to you!” He speaks with authority because Eric grew up on the Hill and stands 6-foot-3-inches and weighs north of 250 lbs. I’ve learned that one should heed the advice given by guys who resemble linemen from the New England Patriots.

Like swallows returning to Capistrano, the annual “Moving-in Days” coincided with Labor Day weekend and the colleges, municipal agencies, community leaders and the Boston Police Department planned months ahead to insure that things proceed smoothly.

I’m happy to announce that Esmie’s baby has arrived! Frequent patrons to Mike’s Donuts (which includes most of Mission Hill) are abuzz that longtime coffee gal Esmerelda Tangu delivered a healthy, bouncing 9-pounder named Leo in August. The proud parents hail from Albania and now reside in South Boston and are rumored to be humming “Southie is my Hometown” as their lullaby to their precious firstborn. Mike’s owner and baker, Bruce Weinograd, is playing the proud surrogate granddad by greeting well-wishers with chocolate crullers in lieu of cigars.

Many in the neighborhood are saddened to learn that Community Alliance of Mission Hill President Jessica Casey and her husband John are moving from the Hill. Jessica’s urbane manner and pleasant disposition make her a natural leader in a role that can very often test one’s patience. I will miss her. Elections for officers of the CAMH will be held at their Sept. 7 meeting and all residents are encouraged to attend. Our tradition of self-government can trace its roots to Boston in 1630 by people gathering to deliberate and vote on issues affecting their way of life. If you care about your neighborhood, there is no better way to protect it by taking a couple of hours each month to let your voice be heard at your neighborhood civic association.

Many on the Mission Hill Main Streets Board of Directors are encouraging their friends to support the 2nd Annual “Friends of the Poor Walk” fundraiser on Sat., Sept. 20. This 5.2-mile walkathon funds the good works of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Mission Church Conference, which helps any and all people down on their luck. Flyers are up throughout the neighborhood with the particulars, and this year promises to be even bigger and better than last year’s kickoff.

One wish from my bucket list for our local business district will soon be coming to fruition…a barbershop! Our last remaining tonsorial parlor shut down four years ago, and despite a couple of tentative inquiries, we’ve gone without that traditional totem of a thriving American commercial zone; the red-striped barber pole. How nice that a son of Roxbury will be opening his shop at a spot that was the location of “Sam’s Barber Shop” of yesteryear. Longtime residents like John Todd recall a time when the beloved Truman Cabinet Secretary and former Massachusetts Governor Maurice Tobin (of Calumet Street) would hold court in Sam’s chair with the likes of Mayor Curley and Rep. Dave O’Connor.

Tom O’Sullivan’s hands have been scissoring a “little off the top” in shops in Dorchester, Scituate and Randolph for decades, and he is thrilled with his new location at 1596 Tremont St., next to the Crossing Bar.

“I graduated from the old Boston Trade High School on Parker Street and grew up on Forest Street near St Pat’s. Although I now live in Quincy, I still consider Roxbury my home,” the stylist said.

Crossing owner John O’Sullivan (no relation) told me how pleased he is because “I know several longtime customers of Tom who swear by him who will follow him to Mission Hill.”

It’s certain that many handsome clean-cut dudes will drop in next door for a burger and a beverage after they’ve had their ears lowered by Tom. It sure beats a lollipop.

I received a pleasant surprise on the Aug. 23, when word reached me that my son Charlie returned to the United States from Afghanistan. An Army officer and platoon leader with the 4th Infantry Division, he was serving his second combat deployment. Charlie worked at the Stop & Shop in Brigham Circle throughout high school and has many friends in Mission Hill, not the least of whom is his beautiful sweetheart Sarrah. Thank you to all who extended well wishes and prayers for his safe return. My wife and I are sleeping much easier now. Please remember all our brave men and women in uniform defending freedom.

The writer is the executive director of Mission Hill Main Streets.

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