Hill Happenings

A hundred and forty golfers participated in the Mark MacDougall Memorial Golf Tournament last month at the Easton Country Club. The event was a celebration of Mark’s life, who passed away in 2012.

A legion of MacDougalls were on hand, including Mark’s dad, Paul, and Paul’s beautiful sister, Tricia MacDougall-Fitzgerald. The team led by Peter Shaughnessy and Jackie Harrington won the tournament on a day when former Mission Hill folks hugged and reminisced. Faces in the crowd included Bernie Fitzgerald, Maureen Fitzgerald, Fran Toner and John Nagle. Also on the golf course were former Killilea Club quarterback Eddie Gillis and the O’Neill brothers, Jim and Kevin.

Former local football great Tom Fitzgerald was noticeable on the golf course, wearing his plaid trousers. George “The Col” Rollins used a biblical reference describing Tom’s pants. He referred to the pants as, “Joseph’s Cloak of Many Colors.” A tip of the hat to Jimmy Sheehan and others for the fine job in organizing the golf tournament.

Condolences to the family of Cathy Leonard-McLean, a beautiful and scholarly woman, who passed away last month. Cathy, who grew up on Hillside Street, battled Parkinson’s disease the past five years. Despite the disease, Cathy kept her spirit and her terrific attitude. When I visited her in the nursing home recently, Cathy still had the sparkle in her eyes. Cathy leaves her beloved husband, Jimmy McLean, and two terrific kids, Joe McLean and Cliff McLean.

Last month, I erroneously referred to the Veterans Post in Jamaica Plain as a V.F.W. Post. It is an American Legion Post, but not a Veterans of Foreign War Post.

Dan Martin, the former Irish National Handball Champion, will celebrate his 71st birthday on Sept. 12. Dan, who is from the Mission Hill projects, still plays competitive handball. Martin’s secret to his athletic longevity is occasionally sipping a glass of Guinness.

Good luck in retirement to Tony “Amps” Pitts after a standout career working for the state Department of Youth Services. Amps was a local basketball star in the 1960s.

Speaking of great athletes, Tom Killilea tells me perhaps the best all around athlete from the Hill was Richie “Chubba” Schlehuber. Chubba, who passed away much too young, was a three sport star at Mission High, class of 1962. Chubba was a catcher for Mission and his senior year he played at Fenway Park in the Hearst Sandlot All-Star game. On the gridiron, the hulking Schlehuber was immoveable on the line of scrimmage.

Chubba was a good guy with a big heart and he gave me many laughs. One Saturday afternoon, Chubba and I were in the Peter Bent Lounge (a.k.a. The Gong Show, currently the Penguin) and the bartender, Joe Luna, was slow. “Lunafish, two Budweiser’s on the double,” bellowed Chubba. For some reason, that one really hit my funny bone.

Chubba’s great nephews play in the Mission Hill Little League and the past season Joe Schlehuber struck out 16 batters in a game. The catcher in that game was Joe’s brother, Drew Schlehuber.

Chris Keiley stopped by Mike’s Donuts last week to say hello. The boys tell me that Chris, a 1969 Mission High graduate, is still looking good.

Dozens of folks gathered outside Mission Park on a hot Saturday for fun, burgers and live entertainment last month. The highlight of the day was music by the “Shadow,” featuring Tony Nunez, who is Mission Hill’s “Singing Policeman.” Crooner Mark Coyle displayed his talents to the delight of the crowd. I knew Mark was a fine pitcher, from his days in the Mission Hill Softball League, but I didn’t know he could also sing.

Thanks to Barry Twomey for giving me a $10 gift certificate to the Mission Hill Farmers Market last week. Barry and his colleagues do a terrific job distributing fresh fruit and vegetables at Brigham Circle on Thursdays. I exchanged my coupon for a bag of fleshy delicious tomatoes.

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