I attended a spirited birthday party for Theresa Parks at the Penguin Pizza on June 17.
Theresa loves Mission Hill and she and her late husband, Bob Parks were instrumental in the founding of Mission Park back in the ‘70s.
Thanks to classy Dermot Doyne, the Penguin proprietor, for hosting the celebration for this distinguished woman. I enjoyed a nice chat with Theresa’s daughter, Vanessa Parks, who is a superb journalist for The Boston Globe.
I met my State Rep. Nika Elugardo for the first time. I didn’t talk politics with Nika, however; the following day, I had an amiable conversation with my State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz at Mike’s Donuts. I suggested to her that the State income tax be reduced back to 5 percent after a “temporary increase” in the 1980s under Mike Dukakis. Chang-Diaz, a charming woman, was attentive, and I look forward to seeing her at her next monthly political session.
We were blessed with a gorgeous, sunny day last week at the annual Breen Cookout in Roslindale, hosted by the twins John Breen and Dennis Breen. The Breens lived below me at 32 Tobin Court in Mission Hill and big brother Dan Breen gets an A+ for working the grill to feed the hungry masses. Among the notable faces at the cookout were former rugged Killilea Club middle linebacker Frank Pedersen; Billy Cummings, the former sure-handed shortstop for the famous Ed Burke’s softball team; and Mission Hill marathon man “Big Jim” Moynihan.
The Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Mission Hill is among the best in the world but I was appalled at their decision to remove portraits of 31 medical pioneers, who were white, in a misguided effort to promote diversity. Last month, former Dean of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Jeffrey Flier, gave a speech at the Bornstein Auditorium, where the portraits were previously displayed, and he was stunned by the “emptiness of the room.”
The decision was made by Brigham & Women’s CEO, Elizabeth Nabel, who was quoted in The Boston Globe as saying: “Removing the portraits will foster a more welcoming environment for the diverse community of employees and students.”
Among the 31 portraits that were removed was that of Dr. Harvey Cushing, who was surgeon in chief at the hospital in 1911, when it was called the Peter Bent Brigham. Dr. Cushing earned a worldwide reputation for his innovation in the field of neurological surgery. Dr. Cushing also served in World War l, rising to the rank of colonel, and he was credited with saving numerous American lives who were wounded in battle.
As Dr. Flier aptly stated in a tweet after his speech: “Celebrating diversity does not require erasing the memories of those who contributed greatly to the institution and the profession.” Removing the portraits of Dr. Cushing and the other 30 medical pioneers defies common sense.
Thanks to the good folks at Mission Hill Main Streets for the award for my contribution in writing for this fine newspaper in a ceremony at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy last week.
At the celebration it was a nice surprise to see four of my fellow workers at the New England Baptist Hospital in the auditorium. Craig Galbrait, Michelet Brun, Emerson Chadderton and the boss, Neukis Ortiz are classy and a great bunch of hard-working guys. Thanks to M.H. Main Streets V.P. Eric Alden for the kind words upon my introduction. Eric is the proprietor of Longwood Properties, Inc. in Mission Hill.
The annual Mission Hill Road Race will take place Sat morning, Sept. 28, at Kevin Fitzgerald Park at 9:30 a.m. (Walkers at 9 a.m.). This is a great event with many former Hill folks reuniting and it raises funds for the maintenance of Fitzgerald Park.
At the grand opening of the Encore Harbor Casino in Everett I spotted several Mission Hill peeps roaming around, observing the spectacular sights. I’m off to a good start, having purchased $200 in chips for the 1-3 No limit Texas Holdem game and I made a few clams, cashing out for $323. I resisted eating at the casino’s all-you-can-eat buffet, deterred by the $40 price. I’ll eat there in the near future when I build my “comp” points up to complimentary status.. With the impressive casino so close to home, keep in mind the old cliché: “Bet with your head, not over your head.”