Hill Happenings

Condolences to the family of Kenny Galvin, who passed away last month. Kenny was a good guy who always wore a big smile and enjoyed a friendly party. 

About 20 years ago when I was working at Mission Hill Liquors, Kenny had a free $1 lottery coupon (In those days the state mailed the coupons as a promotion) and he asked me for a  four-number quick pick. When he later came back in the store his eyes were abuzz with excitement as he displayed his $4,500 winning ticket. About two weeks later I wasn’t surprised when Kenny told me he was broke, having shared much of the winnings with his buddies. 

The Galvins are a wonderful Mission Hill family, and I was also  good friends with Kenny’s late father, who had the same name. The elder Kenny Galvin was a great athlete who played on the famous 1953 Mission High basketball team that won the Eastern Massachusetts basketball tournament at the Boston Garden.  I shared many laughs with both Kenny Galvins.

Kevin Connolly, another terrific Mission High athlete, class of ’63 passed away last month. Kevin was a rugged 6-foot, 4-inch  center on the hoop team, as well as a tremendous pitcher on Mission’s baseball team. Kevin hurled a no-hitter in 1963 against Don Bosco at Eustis Playground (currently Clifford Field) in the South End. It was a joy to watch Connolly on the mound, and I journeyed to Providence College to watch him pitch after Kevin  earned a baseball scholarship to that school. The ‘63 Mission team, coached by the great George Dunn, advanced to the semi-finals of the Eastern Mass. Baseball Tournament. 

Mission’s third baseman that season was Tom “Dubba” Walsh, who played in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball Summer League at age 15. After graduating from Mission in 1964, Dubba signed with the Boston Red Sox and he played three years in the minor leagues, mostly in the Carolina League at the Double A level. In 1967, Tom’s National Guard unit was activated and he served in Vietnam, which derailed his dream of reaching Fenway Park. I see Dubba often and I enjoy picking his brain and he is a proud member of the Mission Hill Post 327. 

Bobby Earley was another excellent player on the Mission 63 and 64 teams. Earley came from a great athletic lineage, as his uncle, Tom Earley, a 1936 Mission High graduate, played for six years in the Major Leagues. Earley, a World War II veteran, pitched for the Boston Braves.

Beloved Andres Cruz was shot to death in his Mission Hill store, AC Hardware, on July 17, 2017. Three defendants will be tried separately for the crime. With the wheels of justice turning slowly, Christian Soto-Olivero from Mattapan will be at Suffolk Superior Court Sept.13 facing charges, including first-degree murder. The other suspects to be tried later are Jerome Hobson from Dorchester and Shawn Redden from Brockton..

Mission Hill basketball teams reached their pinnacle, as their three clubs, aptly named Mighty Mission, won the B.N.B.L. championships with victories on Aug.26 against three South Boston teams at Moakley Park. Distinguished Mission Hill coach Chuck Davis guided the 15-and-under and the 18-and-under teams and John Jackson masterfully coached the 13 and under team. M.V.P. honors went to terrific Mighty Mission players Amari Mow, Jaylen Harrell and Tre Norman in their respective age brackets.  

Sal Giarratani, the excellent writer for the Post-Gazette (East Boston and Revere) stopped in Mike’s Donuts last week for a nice chat with me and my fellow coffee drinkers. Besides reading the daily major newspapers I enjoy reading neighborhood papers, including the weekly Post Gazette and, of course, our own Mission Hill and JP Gazettes and I’m a subscriber to the Chelsea Record. Thank God we have freedom of the press unlike China and many other countries. 

A stark reminder of this is the pro-democracy newspaper, “Apple Daily” in Hong Kong, which was shut down last summer. The owner, Jimmy Lai, and his three sons were jailed and their money seized.

I had a nice summer;  however, as I removed the August sheet from my calendar, it hit me like an iron fist that another summer has passed. Did you hear about the thief who stole a calendar and got 12 months? 

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