God bless our veterans.
At this writing, members of the Mission Hill Post 327 were planning a gathering at Brigham Circle on Veterans Day to honor our veterans. The holiday was originally called Armistice Day when an Armistice was reached with Germany and the allies on Nov. 11, 1918, ending World War I. The name was changed to Veterans Day in 1954.
Every Veterans Day I’m fondly reminded of my close friend, the late John Killion. John, who served with the Army in Vietnam, celebrated Veterans Day by buying rounds of drinks for strangers in random taverns. John was not adverse to “dive bars,” and we’d hit several of them throughout the city. He had such a personality that you had to love him. John Killion, my Mission High classmate and baseball teammate, who succumbed to cancer in 2004, was the best.
Belated condolences to the family of Billy Dooling, a great former Mission Hill man who passed away in July. Billy, who was a terrific football player at Mission High, Class of ‘60, served in Vietnam, where he earned a Battlefield Commission. After graduating from Boston State College, Billy earned a master’s degree from Dublin University. Billy taught at Millis High School for many years of his well-lived life.
Beau Bevilacqua began his pro-boxing career in dramatic fashion, scoring a first round TKO in Sonora, Mexico, last month. Beau, the son of proud parents, Robert and Liz Bevilacqua (Thompson), is blessed with his Mission Hill lineage. Beau’s grandparents, Elizabeth Thompson (Mayer) and Phil Thompson, grew up on the Hill. Phil and I were childhood friends, going back to our M.H. Little League days in 1961. I miss Phil who passed away some years ago. Phil was a wonderful friend and a great athlete, excelling in three sports at Boston English, ‘68. Phil’s daughter, Liz tells me: “Beau has a lot of Phil in him.”
Phil adored his grandchildren and he’d be happy as a clam with Beau’s success. Beau trains at the Grealish Boxing Club in Dorchester ,and his trainer-manager is Martin Grealish. Beau, lives in Roslindale, and he attends Framingham State College. Beau, who stays busier than a one-armed paperhanger, also works weekends with his father at his dad’s plumbing business
There have been several terrific boxers from Mission Hill, including Bill Mullin, who won the Intramural Boxing Championship (145 pounds) division at Harvard University in 1968. Perhaps his best bout was against 81-year-old Jim McGonagle from Tobin Court, who fought many times at the Boston Garden. Col. George Rollins, also from Tobin Court., boxed at West Point in Intramural competition and the Colonel was known for his stinging left jab. I also did some boxing as a teenager. In the mid-‘60s, I worked at the Elm Farm Supermarket at Brigham Circle, where I boxed the oranges and apples.
The Red Sox reinstated Alex Cora last week after the team’s poor showing on the field last season. Cora was part of the video-sign stealing, which aided his crooked the Houston Astros to their 2017 World Series championship. No problem here, as it is noble to give someone a second chance. However, Cora’s offense was more grievous than Pete Rose’s sin of betting on baseball. Rose has been banned from baseball for more than 30 years. It’s about time Rose, baseball’s all-time hit leader, is allowed into the Hall of Fame.