Hill Happenings

 By Mossy Martin

Happy belated birthday on March 3 to Eric Alden, a terrific advocate for our Mission Hill community.

Eric is the vice president of Mission Hill Main Streets, and in 2018, he was the recipient of the Mission Hill Main Streets Volunteer of the Year Award.

Eric, who grew up on the Hill, is a diligent worker, and he is the C.E.O. of Longwood Properties Inc. in Mission Hill. He currently resides in Westwood with his attractive wife, Christine and their pretty twin 16-year-old daughters, Lauren and Kendall. Eric also volunteers his time in Westwood, coaching youth soccer and flag football.

Some years back when Eric worked at the Larz Anderson Museum in Brookline, he would borrow the vintage firetruck and drive it through the course of the annual Mission Hill Little League parade to the delight of the kids.

There wasn’t a Mission Hill Little League last year due to the pandemic, and in previous years, the league interest was waning, with barely enough players to field teams. Hopefully the league can be revived.

On our “I Grew up on Mission Hill” Facebook page, Richie Stanton (a great athlete, Mission High ‘64) posted an interesting story from The Boston Globe archives about Max Siegal, who died in 2017 at age 99. The Globe wrote; “Max and his brother, Ralph opened a market in the ‘40s that was soon called the Calumet Market, located at Tremont and Calumet [Street]. Max Siegal was also an accomplished singer, who sang in several choral groups. Max was a lawyer and was instrumental in starting the Railroad-Pullmen’s union.” 

A few decades later, he helped start the Mission Church Credit Union. An abundance of Hill residents worked at the Market throughout the decades including Larry Cronin, Mission High ‘68.

Larry worked at the Calumet Market throughout high school and into his years at Northeastern University.

Said Larry: “Max Siegal had a major influence on my life and I have great love and admiration for him.”

John Keefe, who lived on Wait Street, earned his wages working as a butcher at the Market in the ‘50s. John is the grandfather of my good friend, Christine Keiley, Mission High Class of 1969.   

Eventually Max’s son, Dan took over the business and he later sold the Calumet Market to the Kelliher family.

The Calumet Market closed in 2000.

Condolences to the family of Joe Grogan, who passed away last month. Joe, from the Mission Hill project, was a stately citizen, having served in Vietnam as a Marine. After his tour of duty in the Marines, Joe served in the Navy for 20 years.

I got to know Joe a bit during the summer of 1969 when he returned home from Vietnam. I’m a good friend of Joe’s younger brother, Davey Grogan and during that summer, Davey, several other Mission Hill guys and myself rented a cottage for the summer down the Cape in Falmouth.

Joe visited our summer abode for a weekend and it was a pleasure to get to know this quiet classy patriotic gentleman.

R.I.P. Joe.

I occasionally think back to that marvelous 1969 summer on Cape Cod.

Davey, Jack Todd, Steve Casey and John “Harpo” Foley, with whom I shared the cottage, were quite a cast of characters and also great Mission Hill guys.

Where are they now?

Paul “Shaky” Roberts, a former Mission Hill man from the old days is doing well and living in Florida. Shaky was a personable bartender at “The Golden Dome” many years ago.

“The Dome “ was a popular tavern across from the State House that thirsty Mission Hill folks would frequent.

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