Hill Happenings

By Mossy Martin

Mission Hill lost a great man last month when Charley Kelly passed away at age 94.

Charley, a Mission High School graduate in 1943, was a star basketball player, part of the famous Kelly basketball duo, along with his brother, Ivan Kelly.

After high school, Charley enlisted in the Navy and he was engaged in many battles in World War ll, serving on the U.S.S. Wasp in the Pacific Theatre.

One night in 1944. Charley, after a long assignment on duty, was a bit hungry but more tired and he opted for rest, a decision that saved his life, as the dining hall area of the ship was bombed. 200 Americans lost their lives on that awful night.

 In 1946 with the war finally over, Charley met his brother Martin Kelly at the Fargo Building in South Boston and they took a taxi to the Calumet Café (currently Mission Bar and Grill). Charley was happy that the war was history and our country was safe but he mourned the loss of  so many brave men who lost their lives.  

Charley loved Mission Hill and he was a life long member of the Mission Hill Post. I loved sitting with Charley at the Post, sipping beers and chatting. He was a wonderful man from the greatest generation.

I went to Charlie’s wake with my friend, George Salah, who insisted on picking me up in his two seat Miata. George drives better than the average Massachusetts driver, although he is 96 years old.  The waitress at the Corrib Restaurant in West Roxbury, who served us drinks after the wake, didn’t believe me when I told her George’s age. He and Charley were friends for many decades. George also served in the Navy during World War ll.

George keeps busy, volunteering  for several  veterans organizations. George was the Commander of the Mission Hill Post in the early 60s and as a builder, it was his company that built the Mission Hill Post. Before the Post was erected in 1960, George and his crew razed the previous building, which was Dave O’Connor’s Funeral Parlor. Along with his good health,

George is still sharp in the mind. When I asked him his secret, he says; “God has been good to me.”.

A tip of the hat to Kristen Bennett, a Mission Hill scholar who was recently promoted to Assistant Professor of Early Modern English Literature  at Framingham State College. Kristen’s intellect is matched by her good looks and I enjoy conversing with her when I occasionally see her at Flan O’Brien’s Pub.

Kristen is married to Jason Bennett, and his band, Jason Bennett and the Resistance will be performing Sat., May 11, from 3-7 p.m. at the Midway in J.P. to raise funds for the Mission Hill Little League. Local bands “The Manglers” and “The Losers Circle” will also be playing at the fundraiser..

Happy birthday to Danny Adams (May 18), a great guy from Mission Hill who is a dedicated Boston Police Officer. Danny’s sister, Laura Adams, who does terrific work at Roxbury Tenants of Harvard, will celebrate her birthday on May 12.

It was nice to see the large crowd at the Easter Sunday 12:30 p.m. Mass. The parishioners heard a terrific sermon from Father Dabney and the eloquent priest concluded with an amusing Irish joke.

Belated happy birthday (April 17) to Vinnie Baldwin. Vinnie is a great guy from the old school, who grew up in the Mission Hill project.

More sad news … Mary (Killion) Looby, a wondrous and spiritual woman, passed away unexpectedly on April 22. Mary, a 1958 Mission High School graduate, grew up on Fenwood Road in Mission Hill. I feel fortunate to have known Mary, being  a close friend to her younger brother, John Killion and buddies with the Killion and Looby families.

Mary was a devout Catholic and she loved Mission Church, where her son, Timothy Looby delivered her eulogy. Timothy described his mother succinctly with three words, “Kindness, empathy and wisdom.”..

There will be a Mission Hill Seniors Health and Wellness Fair, Thursday, May 16, from noon – 3 p.m.. at R.T.H. Community Center. For more info, contact, [email protected]..

It was nice meeting Boston City Councilor, Montez Haywood last week at the Mission Hill Crime meeting . Montez, who is running in District 8, which includes Mission Hill, is a well informed articulate gentleman and he could be the right person to replace outgoing Councilor, Josh Zakim..

I stopped by the ” Laughing Monk”, the excellent Thai and Sushi restaurant at Brigham Circle and I heard a good one the other day. Why did the skeleton go to the dance alone ? Because he had no body to go with.

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