There was joy permeating the Jamaica Plain ball field on McBride Street on a sun splashed Sunday for the Mission Hill fathers, sons, and daughters baseball game, held every year on Father’s Day. It was great seeing Kevin O’Neill looking robust after a bout with cancer. Kevin was at his usual third base position. Power hitting Wally Gleeson hit one ball that would have reached the Green Monster if we were at Fenway Park.
After the game, my next stop was the Mission Church Parish Center for a celebration commemorating 50 years of priesthood for Father John Lavin. Father Lavin graduated from Mission Grammar School and I have known this great man since we were Tobin Court neighbors back in the 50’s. God Bless Father Lavin. Thanks to the church volunteers who prepared and served the food for this wonderful milestone. There was American food and also a separate line for Spanish cuisine. Ambivalent about my food choice, I moved through both food lines.
Condolence to the family of Michele Patterson (Bovaird), who passed away last month. Michele, a lovely former Mission Hill woman, was a dedicated nurse at the VNA Care Network for many years.
Gregory Fox, also from Mission Hill, passed away recently. Gregory was a plumber and he worked in many Mission Hill homes. He was a good guy and prone to give one a break if the person was short on cash. Greg honed his craft at the old Boston Trade School on Parker Street.
I was saddened by the death of my friend, Billy Averill last week. Billy was a dedicated Boston probation officer since 1998. Before that Billy and I worked side by side at Mission Hill Liquors and he was a joy to be around and we shared many laughs. It was as a probation officer that Billy had a failing, an aberration of the person I knew, which led to his death. Billy’s wife and children are heartbroken, of course, but life must go on. I’ll always remember Billy as a cheerful good guy.
John McCann journeyed to Wayland last week to see my former Winnie’s Pub (currently Flan O’Briens) teammates “Grandpapa” Geno McCarthy and Dick Pettengill perform in oldtimers softball. The league is for players age 65 and over and John tells me that in the doubleheader, Dick was 8 for 8. Dick and his lovely wife, Winnie live in Jamaica Plain and they are avid readers of the Mission Hill Gazette.
Dick Dennison celebrated his 92nd birthday on June 18 with friends and cake at Mike’s Donuts. Dick, a former opera singer, has lived in Mission Hill since 1962. Dick is still astute and he shared several interesting stories. I especially enjoyed Dick orate about his mother who was a nurse in World War 1.
Davey “Lil Cowboy” Gill celebrated his 70th birthday on June 17, relaxing down Cape Cod . Davey, a Mission High School graduate, is a Vietnam war veteran. Dave is a member of the Mission Hill Post and as an officer he works tirelessly for veterans and Post charities.. Congrats to Chris Dwyer on winning the 2016 “Excellence Award” as a dedicated worker at the New England Baptist Hospital. Chris, an elegant woman, is director of public relations and community relations at N.B.H.
Condolence to the family and friends of Michael Traylor who passed away last month. My thoughts are with Michael’s parents, Robert Traylor and Gail McLean.. Happy birthday to Arlene “Candi” O’Neil. Candi, a lovely woman celebrated a milestone birthday last week.
Have a safe and glorious July 4 weekend, or as John Adams said, “the most memorable epoch in the history of America” and he predicted, “Independence Day will be celebrated by future generations with pomp, parades, games, sports, guns, bells, and bonfires.”