Former and current Mission Hillers gathered at Kevin W. Fitzgerald Park on a glorious Saturday morning for the annual Mission Hill 5K Road Race on Oct. 15, which was preceded by an inspiring talk from Mayor Marty Walsh. The race starts and finishes at Fitzgerald Park and raises funds for the maintenance of the park. The park is named in honor of Kevin Fitzgerald, a beloved former state representative from Mission Hill who passed away in 2007.
Mayor Walsh spoke passionately about Kevin to the crowd of several hundred, recalling their friendship that began when they served at the State House. Nineteen-year-old Luke Janik won the race, sprinting through the hilly course in 16:35. Roisin Howley was the first women to finish with a time of 19:55, two seconds ahead of Arianna Maida.
Former local basketball star and my son, Rob Martin, completed the race in 21:52, winning the competitive over 40 division. My brother Dan Martin won in the over 65 bracket. Martin, from Mission Hill at Tobin Court, finished the race in 35 minutes. Mary Ellen Sheehan, a dedicated nurse at the New England Baptist Hospital earned a medal for being the first walker to cross the finish line. Patch Realty in Roslindale was well represented with John McCann and lovely Janet Earley walking the race.
A tip of the hat to 79-year-old runner, Tom Killilea, a Mission High School graduate, who completed the race at 43:37. Pat Flaherty, the director of Mission Hill Housing Services, did a terrific job organizing the event.
I enjoyed conversing with the many Fitzgeralds at the affair, and also the scores of former Hill folks including Billy Hallahan, Jimmy Cummings, and the lovely Maureen Earley. “Big Jim” Moynihan was also among the large crowd of spectators. Big Jim is the founder of the Mission Hill Road Race, charting the initial course in 1980.
Condolences to the family of Jimmy Grogan who passed away on Oct. 6. Jimmy grew up in the Mission Hill projects and he was a retired Brookline police officer. Jimmy wore a perpetual smile and his laugh was infectious. Jimmy will be dearly missed.
Good luck to my friend and former Mission Hill neighbor, Joe Donnelly, who is running for register of deeds in Suffolk County. Joe lived on Parker Street near the old Mission High School in the 1960s before moving to Jamaica Plain. Joe, currently with Brennan Realty Co., is the nephew of George Brennan. George founded the Mission Hill Little League in 1953 and coached thousands of Mission Hill youths for more than four decades.
Pat Bottary, Mission High School class of 1966, celebrated a birthday on Oct. 28. Pat, is the proprietor of Pat Bottary Real Estate in Brookline. Back in the Mission High days when I played hoop at Mission, “Pattsie B” was my favorite cheerleader. Patsie B was born on the same day as Father Manton, the renowned Redemptorist Mission Church priest, who died in 1998 after preaching at our celebrated church for 60 years. Father Manton, who came to Mission Church in the spring of 1939, liked to say, “Ted Williams and I arrived in Boston at the same time.”
Happy birthday to Mission Hill resident, Mary Burns, who recently retired after 50 years as a devoted nurse. I enjoy conversing with Mary, often at Mike’s Donuts about politics. On the presidential race, Mary proudly calls herself a “deplorable.”
Welcome to Mission Hill, Mairead Murphy, the new bartender at Flann O’Brien’s. Mairead is a beautiful woman who recently arrived from Galway.
Happy birthday to Marie Chet (Nov. 6), a nice lady who enjoys hanging out with the boys at the Mission Hill Post.
Regarding last month’s column about the 1966 Killilea Club, several folks inquired if Richie “Chubba” Schlehuber, a great lineman, was on that famous team. In 1966 Chubba played for the Wilson Club (named after Larry Wilson from Mission Hill), which was in the senior division of the Boston Park League. Reminiscing with Mission Hill sports guru, Frank Pedersen, the other day, Frank said, “Chubba was the best all around athlete ever from the Hill.”
Happy birthday (Nov.10) to Wally Foley, the former great running back on the 1962 Mission High football team. Ken Kern, a rugged linebacker on the Mass. Maritime football team had a game for the ages last month, recording 15 tackles against Westfield State. Ken, with Mission Hill lineage, is the son of Ed Kern and Beth Kern.
Congrats to Attorney-at-Law, Dermot Doyne, who passed the Massachusetts bar exam last month. Dermot is a great guy and he is the owner of Penguin Pizza, a fine eating and drinking establishment in Brigham Circle.
It was cool seeing Bill Cosby on the Jimmy Kimmel Show last week. Bill, a Boston firefighter from Mission Hill, was witty and humorous in a spoof about the more famous Bill Cosby.
Good luck to newly weds, Timothy Foley and Ciara Lynch, who had a delightful wedding celebration at the Sheraton in Norwood last month. Tim is an engineer at MATEP, the energy facility that serves the Longwood Medical area. He is the proud son of Mission Hill parents, Gerry Foley and Cheryl Foley (Bannon).
There will be a hat sale in front of Mission Church on Nov. 26 and 27 with proceeds going to the St. Vincent de Paul charity. Emma Lane is organizing the event and Emma tells me, she and her neighbors at the Charlesgate Apartments in Mission Hill have knitted an array of fine hats.