Hill Happenings

October 6, 2017
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Last Saturday evening I was surrounded by joyous faces at the Dedham Hilton and the occasion was my high school reunion, Mission High, class of 1967. It couldn’t really be 50 years, not when I walk in the ballroom and see my beautiful former classmates, including Barbara McCauley, Mo Holden, Marian “Tootsie” McCarthy, “Barb” King, Rene Dykes, and Katie Gibbons.

The celebration began with Mass at Mission Church where I was delighted to see classmate, Sister Patricia Hammond S.S.N.D. It was great seeing Steve “Soft Shoes” Coote, who danced up a storm. Steve lives in Germany and is retired from Xerox. I hadn’t seen my former basketball teammate, Frank Nangle in 50 years. Frank, who made the All-Catholic All-Star team in 1967, was our co-captain along with the late Kevin Fitzgerald. I love Kevin and my other close friends from the ‘67 class, John Killion and John Moreau, who have also passed away. Those guys were the best.

Bill Mullin summoned me from the bar when he noticed vintage athletic pictures from our early years. Bill went from Mission High onto Harvard College, where he was a boxing champion. Next to Bill was Col. George Rollins, a graduate of West Point and Steve Casey, a hard throwing hurler on our baseball team. We reminisced about the game in Westwood when Steve struck 13 Xaverian High batters, but we lost 2-1. Peter Scott was on that team and he still looks in terrific condition.

I chatted with the ladies about the nuns who taught us. I can still hear my English teacher, Sister Dorothy, admonishing me for, “ending a sentence in a preposition.” God Bless those great nuns.

The night was over in a flash, as a poet once said, “Time, as he passes us, has a dove’s wing.”

The Mission Hill Road Race will be held Saturday, Oct. 21, 9 a.m. at Kevin Fitzgerald Park. Eighty-year-old Tom Killilea will miss this year’s race, as Tom is recovering from heart surgery. But Tom is on the mend and he tells me he’ll be ready for the 2018 competition. The first Mission Hill Road Race was held in 1980 and organized by “Big Jim” Moynihan. Big Jim, a gifted runner, completed six Boston Marathons in the 1980s. Big Jim was also a member of the famous barley hoppers, a local running club, whose motto was, “We run for fun and roam for foam.”

Good luck to Andy Clune and his sister, Mary Clune, who are leaving their jobs at the New England Baptist Hospital after long careers. Andy was a hard-hitting outfielder in the Mission Hill Softball League. He and Mary will be moving to North Carolina next month.

When I voted last Tuesday in the mayoral election, it was only I and the poll workers in my precinct next to the Tobin building. Hopefully they’ll be a bigger turnout in the November finals when Mayor Walsh and Tito Jackson vie. Although I knew his chances were slim, I voted for Robert Cappucci for mayor because he is opposed to Boston being a “sanctuary” city, in violation of federal law. Elected officials should not pick and choose which laws they adhere to.

A tip of the hat goes to local Boston Police officer Jerry Smart who apprehended a breaking and entering suspect last month. He was shocked when he was caught by Jerry, who was a track star at Boston English. Jerry, who has a keen sense of humor, told the suspect, “You would have gotten away if your pants weren’t falling down.”

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