Hill Happenings

It’s cool when celebrities drop into local establishments and such was the case last week when Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder stopped in the Puddingstone Tavern with his small group. Discerning bartender Scott Prince recognized Snyder and tells me the football mogul seems like a real nice guy. The Redskins, incidentally, were the Boston Redskins in the 1930s, playing at Fenway Park before moving to Washington in 1937. No truth to the rumor that Snyder was in town for a meeting with Patriot’s owner, Bob Kraft, involving a trade for Rob Gronkowski.

About seven years ago, Ben Affleck stopped in the same bar when it was Curtin’s Roadside Tavern. Affleck was scouting bars for one of his movies and he chatted with patron Billy Jewell and Mission Hill’s beloved bar owner, the late Steve Curtin. A few Hill oldtimers recall being in Larry’s Pub (currently Flann O’Brien’s) in 1964 when actor Peter Lawford electrified the crowd, stopping in for a few drinks at the popular Mission Hill watering hole. Lawford performed in Las Vegas with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. in the famous “Rat Pack.” He was in the neighborhood visiting his brother-in-law Ted Kennedy, who was at the New England Baptist Hospital, recovering from injuries sustained in a plane crash.

Local artist and poet Deta Galloway will be featured at Bunker Hill Community College April 12 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. It’s well worth the short ride on the Orange Line to see the talented Deta and there will also be exhibits from eight other artists.

Condolences to the family of Helena Trainor, who passed away last month. I feel privileged to have known Helena, a beautiful woman from Mission Hill. Helena, a 1973 Mission High School graduate, will be dearly missed.

It was kind for my two neighbors around the corner on Pontiac Street to shovel out a stranger’s car during the last snowstorm. When approached by a family member as to why, one of the young men said, “This guy is a veteran,” pointing to his Purple Heart license plate. Thanks guys, you brought a smile to a Vietnam veteran.          Another one of my neighbors, “Gentleman Jim” Burke is also a Vietnam veteran. He celebrated his 75th birthday last week and a terrific party was held in Jim’s honor at the Mission Bar and Grill. I had a nice time at Gentleman Jim’s party, hanging out with Mission Hill celebrity John Todd and the food was great. Sometimes the best lunches are, indeed, free lunches.

Good luck to Joe LeBlanc, who will be running the Boston Marathon on April 16. He is running to raise funds for Dana Farber. Joe is married to the lovely Kate Weldon from Mission Hill. Some years back, Mission Hill’s “Big Jim” Moynihan completed seven Boston Marathons. Mission Hill folks would wait near the Kenmore Square finish line to cheer on Big Jim. Recalled Bill Mullin, “I would never leave until Big Jim and John Kelley crossed the finish line.” Kelley was the famous runner who completed 61 Boston Marathons, his last one in 1981. The New England Baptist Hospital will feature four runners in the upcoming Boston Marathon. Kudos to Connie Dawson, Kerry Feltner, Erika Giovanniello and James Hogan who are running to raise funds for NEBH charities.

Happy 91st birthday (April 8) to Betty Smith. I was chatting with her last week and Betty, a 1945 Mission High School alumna, is still sharp on the uptake.

At the annual Mission Hill Beavers Golf Tournament at Victoria Hills Golf Course in Florida, Matt Killion scored a hole-in-one, astounding the crowd on the 182-yard seventh hole. Sean Mullin, a former Mission High baseball star, beat out the other 15 golfers to win the coveted Beaver Green Jacket.

Condolence to the family of Olga O’Neil, who lived on Mission Hill for many years. Olga was a beautiful woman and the mother of four terrific sons, two police officers and two Boston firefighters

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