George Salah, my fellow member of the Mission Hill Post 327, will celebrate his 97th birthday this month (Oct. 25). George is a World War II veteran who drove Navy landing craft in the Europe and Pacific theaters. He won numerous battle stars including those at Omaha Beach, Okinawa and Iwo Jima.
George, a Chestnut Hill resident, is blessed with good health, and he is a volunteer for several veteran organizations. Remarkably George still drives and does so better than your average Boston driver. George, a 1940 graduate of English High School, loves boating and is the captain of his small yacht moored at Victory Point in Quincy. George tells me his guide to good health is: “I always eat a big breakfast, but more importantly, God has been good to me.”
English High, incidentally, was founded in 1821, and its 200-year reunion is being planned for next fall.
Incumbent Ed Markey got strong support from Mission Hill voters in last month’s U.S. Senate victory over Joe Kennedy to continue representing Massachusetts’s 7th Congressional District.
Shortly after his win, Markey bashed the police in regard to the disorder that is now permeating the country. The Senator shamelessly posted on Twitter: “Portland Police routinely attack peaceful protesters. Law enforcement officers shouldn’t be using weapons of war against protesters.”
Markey called for a nationwide ban on various forms of police protection, including tear gas. To Markey, who was first elected to Congress in 1976, I say it’s time for you to retire. I’m supporting his Republican challenger, Kevin O’Connor, who is a first-time candidate from Dover and a strong advocate for our law enforcement officers, this November.
At the first-ever Marina Bay Fashion Show on Sept. 17 to raise money for first-responders, two Mission Hill Post 327 members were honored. There was a crowd of more than 300 seated across the boardwalk, and the emcee asked the nurses, policemen and firefighters to stand as they received an enthusiastic ovation.
The emcee then said: “We have two very special guests,” first introducing Enoch “Woody” Woodhouse, a World War II fighter pilot of the famous Tuskegee Airmen, who received a standing ovation from the crowd. The emcee then introduced Col. George Rollins, an Afghanistan war veteran, and another standing ovation ensued.
Throughout the evening, many guests came up to thank our Post members. Our two Mission Hill Post members were invited by one of the event’s sponsors, Betty Veneto.
Betty, who is an ardent supporter of veterans, did not inform George or Woody they were to be the event’s guests of honor. She is the proprietor of Ginger Betty’s, a terrific bakery in Quincy. Some years ago, Ginger Betty was a dazzling second baseman for Mission Hill Liquors in the Mission Hill Softball League and among just a few women to compete in that league.
In other Post news, members were planning a meeting at Victory Point Restaurant in Quincy on Sept. 29 to welcome three new members, bringing our total to 33. For community activities, the Post is sponsoring a Mission Hill Main Streets and Mission Grammar School cleanup during October. Most importantly, the Post will hold a ceremony on Nov. 11 at Brigham Circle for Veterans Day. Unless we are restricted by COVID-19, we will resume meetings on Oct. 22 and Nov. 19. For information, contact me, the Post’s Community Liaison ([email protected]) or Adjutant Mike Gormley.
Randace Rauscher has been curating local art shows since she relocated here from New York 25 years ago. The talented Mission Hill artist has produced countless art shows and silent auctions to raise funds for nonprofits. Due to COVID-19, Randace turned to Facebook to promote her art when she was unable to do group art shows. She created a campaign called “52 in 52,” profiling one artist each week for 52 weeks.
“With galleries forced to close, artists need new methods to display their work, “said Randace, who studied Display and Design Exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan.
As a close friend and former roommate of hers, I’ve seen Randace’s brilliant work, including the art she created from assorted paper and buttons. Randace displays the same dedication to her full-time job as Director of External Affairs at the Department of Veteran Services. Follow Randace on Facebook 52 in 52 and support your local artist.
CORRECTION: In last month’s column, I mistakenly wrote that Tom Earley, the Major League hurler for the Braves, was the grandfather of the younger Tom Earley, but an avid reader reminded me that the pitcher was in fact the uncle of Tom Earley.