Hill Happenings

At Mike’s Donuts across form Mission Church, my fellow coffee drinkers and I engage in a variety of subjects, and recently the topic was the alleged cheating by the Houston Astros and our Red Sox.

The teams are accused of using technology to steal signs from the catcher and relaying the information to the batter, a blatant violation of Major League rules. We are beleaguered by dishonesty in everyday life, particularly in politics, as we have a presidential candidate with blue eyes who previously claimed to be a Cherokee Indian to advance her career. Baseball, however, was still thought of as clean, aside from the steroid abuse some years ago.

Once an avid Red Sox fan, I haven’t been to Fenway Park since Sox owner, John Henry, with the approval of Mayor Walsh, had the Yawkey Way street sign removed in 2018. Yawkey Way was named in honor of Tom Yawkey, who bought the Red Sox in 1936. The snooty Henry concluded that Yawkey  was racist, thus walking on the grave of a dead man. Evidently it didn’t matter to Henry or the Mayor that Yawkee Way was replaced by its previous name, Jersey Street, named after the sixth British Duke of Earl, who was a slave owner. When the weather warms the only live baseball I’ll watch is up the Hill at Killilea Playground where the Mission Hill Little play for fun and they don’t cheat.

Condolences to the family and friends of Ricky Keefe, who passed away last month. The Keefes are a terrific family from the Mission Hill project. I often chatted with Ricky at his favorite Jamaica Plain tavern, Paul Griffin’s, which closed a few years ago. More recently, Ricky enjoyed playing cards at the Elks Club in West Roxbury. In his younger years, Ricky was a laborer, and he worked for several years on the Big Dig. R.I.P., Ricky.

The next Mission Hill Post 327 meeting will be held Thursday, March 5, at an undecided location. The Post is sponsoring a traveling team in the Thomas L. Johnson Basketball League. The team is coached by John Jackson, who is great working with the kids at the Tobin Community Center. The Mission Hill Post also donated to the Mission Grammar School, which is now 150 years old.

Speaking of Mission Grammar School, more than a dozen of their kindergarten students, upon entering Mike’s Donuts, said “thank you” in unison to owner, Maria Weinograd. It was a touching tribute to Maria for her long time support of Mission Grammar. The youngsters also appreciate the delicious honey-dip donuts.

Kelly Farqharson passed away last month in North Carolina. Kelly lived in Mission Hill for many years and worked tirelessly for the neighborhood. An early opponent of institutional expansion, Kelly, along with Kevin Fitzgerald, was instrumental in creating the Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Service in 1975. Former Mission Hill State Rep. Jeff Sanchez fondly recalled Kelly who served as a Lector at the 7 o’clock Mass at Mission Church that Jeff attended daily. “We would talk after Mass and she would offer advice. She was a wonderful woman,” said Sanchez. 

January was an ominous month as we lost two other former Mission Hillers. Timmy McGuillycuddy, a retired Boston firefighter, died unexpectedly in Florida. I lived on Oswald Street in the ‘70s in a triple-decker owned by Timmy, and he was kind, giving me a good shake on the rent. Timmy was a good man. 

 Thomas “Timo” Maloney also died suddenly. Timo, who was 76 and retired from the telephone company, grew up in the Mission Hill projects. Timo was my Tobin Court neighbor, and he was always a gentleman . A terrific athlete, Timo pitched for English High School. He had a blazing fastball but not great control. One afternoon at Fens Stadium in 1960, Timo was dominant on the mound, hurling a no-hitter.

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