Hill Happenings

Timothy Clifford (second from the left) and others enjoying themselves at Larry’s Pub in the early 1960s.  (Courtesy Photo)

Timothy Clifford (second from the left) and others enjoying themselves at Larry’s Pub in the early 1960s.
(Courtesy Photo)

Condolences to the family of former Mission Hiller Timothy Clifford, who passed away last month. I hadn’t seen Timmy in a while, as he had been ill, but I have fond memories of hanging out with him at the famous Ellie’s Donuts across from Mission Church back in the 1960s and 1970s.

Ellie’s was owned by Timmy’s sister, Mary Clifford, and it was a congenial place to converse with Timmy and the rest of the “Mission Hill Rat Pack.” He was such a gentle soul who seldom raised his voice. Timmy will be missed.

Happy birthday (Oct. 20) to longtime Mission Hill resident Paul “Mop Man” Fitzgerald. Paul has been a dedicated maintenance worker at the New England Baptist Hospital for 38 years. He occasionally sips a beer at the Mission Hill Post 327, but he prefers the Mission Bar & Grill because of their beautiful bartenders.

Among the interesting personalities who frequent Mike’s Donuts in Mission Hill is retired Professor Bo Wiley. Bo, who taught English at New York City University, is a stickler for the usage of proper English. One day, while reading the morning papers, Bo frowned on the misusage of “who” instead of “whom,” when it is the object of a preposition. Professor Bo looks good after a few health issues and he maintains his good sense of humor.

Bo gave my fellow coffee drinkers and me a good belly laugh last week, talking about his doctor. After his heart examination, his doctor seemed to make a verbal slip when he told Bo, “I made an appointment for you with the bad heart doctor.”

The topic of discussion at Mike’s Donuts is often politics and last week my group was chatting about the $20,000 raise that the City Councilors are seeking, led by Council President Bill Linehan. I suggest we cut their pay down to $75,000, which is far more than the average Bostonian earns. When their salaries are set, we should tie their future raises to the inflation index, so there’ll be no more whining.

The High Falutin’ Band with lead singer Gracie Curran has been drawing large crowds throughout the region. Gracie of the Mission Hill Currans is the daughter of Chuck and Sam Curran. Several Mission Hill folks, including former hoop star Jimmy Dykes, watched the Falutin’ Band perform at the Newport Blues Festival last month. When Gracie sings “Bobby McGee,” it can bring a tear to a glass eye. The High Falutin’ Band also performed last month at the Fairmount Grill in Hyde Park.

Gracie’s mother Sam, incidentally, was a fine actress back in the glory days of the Mission Hill Theatre Group. Sam did a stellar job portraying Nurse Ratched in “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.” There is talk of the Mission Hill Theatre gang reuniting for one more show. I’ll talk it up on Oct. 24 when hundreds of past and present Mission Hillers will be at Fitzgerald Park for the Mission Hill Road Race.

A tip of the hat to the local bars that competed in the annual Dixie Cup Soccer Tournament, which raises money for local charities. This year’s games were played at Smith St. Field and won by Flann O’Brien’s. The other participants were The Mission Bar & Grill, The Squealing Pig, Penguin Pizza and Brendan Behan Pub.

I often use the Bank of America A.T.M. at Brigham Circle next to Dunkin Donuts. I’m not surprised when I must press one for English. My annoyance sets in when the screen tells me, “You pressed one for English, if this is correct, press yes.” If I had a lot of cabbage, I would open a Mission Hill Community Bank.


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