Hill Happenings

The Executive Office of Veteran Services came to Mission Hill last month to photograph Enoch “Woody” Woodhouse as part of the photographic essay “Many Faces of Veterans,” which is displayed at the State House.

Woody was a member of the fabled Tuskegee Airmen. That group of all black airmen flew over 15,000 missions and shot down 112 enemy airplanes during World War II. Woody, who is an active member of the Mission Hill Post 327 is my upstairs neighbor, and I am privileged to be his friend.

I was honored to attend the City of Boston Veterans Day Ceremony at Freedom Hall on Nov. 10, which was chaired by our own Col. George Rollins.

The following morning it was great seeing a photo of Woody and Air Force veteran Tony Broccoli on the front page of the Boston Herald from the event. Kudos go to Randace Rauscher, director of external affairs of the Executive Office of Veteran Services, who  helped organize the terrific event.

The next day the Mission Hill Post held their Veterans Day Ceremony at the Brigham Circle Memorial site. This is where the names of all Mission Hill veterans who were killed in the line of duty are engraved on two headstones. Our Post Commander Col. George Rollins presided over the ceremony which included a moment of silence for our fallen soldiers and our M.I.As. Bugle player Garret Savluk passionately played “Amazing Grace”. Boston City Councilor Sharon Durkan attended the ceremony, and it was nice that she joined us after the ceremony at “The Mission” for a fine meal.

It was great to see “Big Jim” Moynihan in the Brigham Circle gathering. Big Jim is a U.S. Army veteran, from the Mission Hill project and a former long-distance runner who completed eight Boston Marathons.

Thanks to Maria Weinograd of Mike’s Donuts who supplied the delicious coffee, donuts and muffins prior to the ceremony.

The Curran family and Mission Hill mourned the loss of beloved Robert Curran last month. Robert, a decorated Vietnam veteran, passed away unexpectedly two weeks after the death of his older brother, Richard Curran.

Robert, a lifelong Mission Hill resident, was the father of six and the husband of his loving wife, Mary (Casey) Curran. Robert’s son, David Curran beautifully eulogized his dad at his funeral mass at Mission Church, remembering his father as a hard-working cement worker with Local 534 and reminiscing about when Robert was an inspiring coach in the Mission Hill Little League. Robert had more stories than Walt Disney, and I heard most of them upon my walking by his home on Pontiac Street hundreds of times. Some days I’d stay for hours listening to his absorbing tales.

Bernie Fitzgerald was Robert’s classmate from first grade through high school and he succinctly encapsulated his life: “Robert was a good man and a great father.”

Under a brilliant sunshine dozens of golfers teed off Oct. 28 at the Norwood Country Club for the Mission Hill Post Golf Fundraiser after several rainout days.

Nobody won the $10,000 grand prize, a hole in one  on the 7th hole, but by the long arm of coincidence, John Marroni earned high-fives and fist-bumps for his hole in one on the 8th hole.

The golfers and the many $100 club donations were appreciated for this noble cause and thanks to sponsors Nancy Ross, Sharon Durkan, Kenzie Bok, Robert Bennet, and Col. Rollins’s granddaughter, Teagan Condon. Also thanks to Donato and Mattie and Mission Bar & Grill proprietors, Harry Walsh  and Michel Soltani, the owner of Brendan Behan’s in J.P. for their contributions.

The Behan is a nice place to warm up on cold days, particularly in the cozy refurbished back patio that is well heated.

I was happy to see John Fitzgerald get elected to the Boston City Council from District 5 in Dorchester.

John, the son of the late Kevin Fitzgerald and Tricia (MacDougall) Fitzgerald from Mission Hill, is bright and street smart savvy. Congrats to Henry Santana who won a City Council at-Large seat. Henry grew up in Mission Hill after migrating from the Dominican Republic.

Sharon Durkan has done excellent work representing Mission Hill and she was reelected to another term on the City Council.

It was nice chatting with Kervin, the polite and personable cashier at the Brigham Circle Walgreens. His regular customers call him “Swervin, Kervin.”

Patty Cosby stopped by Mike’s Donuts for a pleasant chat. Patty, a pretty woman from Mission Hill is a realtor working for Coldwell Banker and she has helped several of our local residents who have purchased homes.

Condolences to the family of Carol Healy who passed away last month.

Carol, from a Mission Hill family of nine children, is a Mission High School  graduate. The Healys are a terrific family. I didn’t know Carol, but I’m friends with Bobby Healy and Father John Healy, going back to the Mission Hill project days.

R.I.P. , Carol.

Thanks to the New England Baptist Hospital for donating 30 Thanksgiving turkey dinners to residents at Charlesbank Apartments in Mission Hill, and it was kind of Pam Carthy and her staff at Penguin Pizza who skillfully prepared the turkeys.

Why did the turkey join the band ?

Because he had his own drumsticks.

Maurice can be reached at [email protected]      

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