Hill Happenings

Veterans Day is next week and a tip of the hat to our veterans who served in our great country.

 I often think of my close friend and my former Mission High baseball captain, John Killion at this time of year. John, who grew up on Fenwood Road, survived the Vietnam War, but succumbed to cancer in 2004.

 John loved to celebrate Veterans Day and every Nov. 11, he would frequent different taverns and buy a round of drinks for strangers. I can picture John at J.J. Foley’s in the South End, drinking his beer and telling the bartender, “Give everyone a drink.”

On Veterans Day I’ll hoist a beer and dedicate it to John. The day of Nov. 11 was declared a national holiday by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938. Then called Armistice Day because an armistice was declared (on the 11th month of the 11th day on the 11th hour) between the allied nations and the central powers (Germany, Austria and Hungary), which ended World War I.

In 1954 the holiday was renamed Veterans Day.

Happy 96th birthday to George Salah, a distinguished World War II combat veteran and Class of 1940 English High graduate who grew up on Whitney Street in Mission Hill. George is blessed with good health, and I enjoy chatting and going to lunch with George, whose mind is still sharp. He was the Commander of the Mission Hill Post 327 in the ‘60s and George, who was a skilled designer, and his construction company built the Mission Hill Post in 1960. Because the Mission Hill Post building has been sold, the new phase of the Mission Hill Post 327 held its first meeting at the Corrib Restaurant in West Roxbury on Oct. 17 chaired by Post Commander, Col. George Rollins. Although I’m not a veteran, I’m proud to be part of this fine organization as the Community Affairs Liaison. 

The Mission Hill Post will continue its mission to support veterans and the Mission Hill community. There were several good ideas discussed at the meeting, including the best ways to reach out to needy veterans and also an offer to sponsor a Mission Hill Little League team. The next meeting will be held Nov.14 at a location yet-to-be-determined. For more Mission Hill Post information, contact Adjutant Mike Gormley at 617-894-8413.  

Don’t forget to get out and vote Tuesday, Nov. 5. There are two City Councilor candidates, Kenzie Bok and Jennifer Nassour are vying to represent Mission Hill. Nassour is a Republican, so it’s nice to have a balanced ticket for a change.

Turning the clock back in local politics, in 1860, thousands attended a political rally in Ward 7 in Roxbury supporting Democrat presidential candidate, Stephen Douglas. The majority of the Roxbury voters chose Douglas, but he lost the election to his Republican rival, our great 16th president,  Abraham Lincoln.

Two years previously Douglas defeated Lincoln in the Illinois Senatorial election following the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Condolences to the family of Tony Nunez, a longtime Mission Hill resident who had been in a nursing home for several years. Tony loved the Hill and especially the kids.

 Said Davey Curran, Tony’s Pontiac Street neighbor: “He would hand out dollar bills to the small kids.” A classy touch by the Currans, who sent a nice sympathy card to the Nunez family, along with three $1 bills.

 RIP Tony.

Mission Hill will have a new drinking establishment when the Tavern of Tales celebrates its grand opening Nov. 14. Jake, the general manager, tells me the tavern, which is located across the street from the Tobin Building at 1480 Tremont St., will serve a light food menu.

My choice of Hill taverns is Flann O’Brien’s. The bartenders are always pleasant and before I’m in my seat, my Coors light draft is in front of me. My only complaint is the music that is played at Flann’s, which is sometimes loud and unpleasant to my ears. Then I walk across the street to the Puddingstone Tavern and talk some sports with Scott, a bartender who is well versed on all topics.

Getting back to politics, in Keene, N.H., there is a “nobody” running for mayor – a candidate who is a “cannabis freedom activist” who legally changed his name to Nobody.

 Perhaps nobody will vote for Nobody.

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