Hill Happenings

Runners, young and old, will participate in the annual, crowd-pleasing Mission Hill Road Race on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 9 a.m., beginning and ending at Kevin Fitzgerald Park. 

The M.H. Road Race was the brainchild of “Big Jim” Moynihan. Back in 1980 when the race started on Parker Hill Ave, Jim, a running machine in his prime, completed eight Boston Marathons. 

We have been close friends for more than 60 years going back to when Jim grew up at 49 Tobin Court in the Mission Hill project next to me. Jim, now retired, was a cabdriver for 46 years, mostly at Red Cab in Brookline. I was also a “nickel chaser” at Red Cab from 1980 until 1989 during Jim’s tenure. 

On one occasion, Red Cab manager, Andy Keough, fired me (long story), and I was rueful because I loved the job. Big Jim had a good rapport with Andy, and he went to his office for a talk on my behalf. I was back in my taxi the next day. Jim was the man at Red Cab. 

He had recently run the Boston Marathon wearing his Red Cab jersey, and the photo of him running down Beacon Street, with hundreds of cheering fans in the background, hung outside the manager’s office. 

Jim always looked out for me during our cab days, and one night in the early ‘80s, he warned me about the Cleveland Circle area and suggested I move on up to Chestnut Hill. Although a safe upscale region, some bad apples were calling cabs from the Cleveland Circle MBTA pay phone. Sadly, a few months later a cab driver (not from our company) took a fare from that area and was murdered. I occasionally think back to 40 years ago when that unfortunate soul was found slain in his cab in a lot near St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Brighton. Two men were apprehended and convicted of the crime.

After participating in the M.H. Road Race, there will be time to join us for the Mission Hill Post 327 Golf Fundraiser (also on Sept. 24) at Norwood Country Club. Tee-off time is 1 p.m., and a $10,000 prize will be awarded for a hole in one on the 7th hole. For more information, call our Commander, Col. George Rollins, at 703 209-2124. 

Another big event on the horizon is the Mission Hill-J.P. reunion on Friday, Sept.30 at the Elks Lodge, 1 Morrell St. in West Roxbury (across from the V.A.) For tickets, which cost $25 each and include food and live music, contact Candi O’Neil at  617-842-5007.

Wayne Selden, the great hoopster from Mission Hill, departed for Italy last week to play in the Euro Basketball League. Wayne signed a contract to play for Tezenis Scaligera Verona, and their season begins Oct.2. 

Mission Hill mourned the death of longtime Calumet St. resident, Tom McDermott, last month. 

Tom, a Korean War era veteran, was a wonderful guy. He was a welcome sight when he would occasionally stop in at Mike’s Donuts and converse with my coffee gang and myself there.

Tom, a retired MBTA worker, was smart and witty and I enjoyed listening to his stories. R.I.P., Tom.

English High School will commemorate their 200th year with a grand celebration Oct.1 at the Marriott Copley Hotel. 

Among their famous graduates is my friend and upstairs neighbor at Charlesbank Apartments, Enoch “Woody” Woodhouse, Class of 1944. Woody, an active member of the Mission Hill Post 327, was a military pilot in World War II, a component of the Tuskegee Airmen. 

Woody is fond of the slogan “Facta Non Verba,” which is Latin for “Deeds Not Words.” 

Marie C. Edmond is an alumna of Boston English, ’81, and she was among the first bilingual graduates. 

Marie, an immigrant from Haiti, is a nice lady and a diligent worker at the front desk at Charlesbank Apartments.

There was a terrific Mission Hill turnout for the eighth annual  Mark MacDougall Memorial Golf Tournament last month at Easton Country Club. I didn’t know Mark, but I’m told he was a fine young man and a great family man. Mark’s offspring grew up with me at Tobin Court back in the great old days and the MacDougalls are the best. 

I’ll see you at the M.H. Road Race. 

Why was the cat banned from the race? Because he was a cheetah.

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