Hill Happenings

       A stately crowd gathered on Veterans Day at Brigham Circle to pay homage to our servicemen, and Mission Hill Post 327 Commander Col. George Rollins directed the ceremony.

       The Colonel cited two of our Mission Hill Post members, 99-year-old World War II veteran George Salah and Tom McCarthy ,who survived five bullet wounds in Vietnam.

       Tom, although small in stature, has always been a tough guy going back to his Tobin Court days in the Mission Hill project, and Tom played on the last Mission High football team in 1964.

       A nice added feature to this year’s Veterans Day ceremony was the appearance of Garret Saluk, who beautifully played the National Anthem with his trumpet. After the festivities a dozen of us enjoyed a fine meal at the Mission Bar & Grill. It was a nice gesture by Paul Fitzgerald, who happened to be at the Mission, to spring for a few rounds of drinks. Paul, a hard worker at the N.E. Baptist Hospital has always been a supporter of our veterans. His dad, the late “Big Dan” Fitzgerald from Sachem Street was a World War II veteran.

       On Saturday, Nov. 5, the Mission Hill Post participated in the State Veterans Parade, which started at Copley Square. I was happy to see the massive crowd on a beautiful day, and thanks to Rich Gormley for the use of his limousine for the parade. Rich, who is a great guy and a Vietnam veteran, is the proprietor of Gormley Funeral in West Roxbury. 

       Another excellent restaurant is the Galway House in J.P. and belated thanks to the Galway for their donation to the Mission Hill Post Golf Fundraiser in October.

       Happy birthday (Dec. 5) to lovely Jesse Barry, a dedicated teacher at Maurice J. Tobin School for 26 years. This is a milestone birthday for Jesse, who stops in Mike’s Donuts every morning for her coffee, always with a joyous smile.

       Condolences to the family of Robert Lee Spicer, who passed away last month. Robert was living in Brockton, and he was a manager for Howard Johnson and Hotel Co. Robert comes from a wonderful Mission Hill family.

       In last month’s Op Ed page in the Gazette, Glenn Mollette wrote an interesting piece about John Fetterman and Franklin D. Roosevelt and their physical handicaps.

       Mollette stated that F.D.R. was “one of the greatest presidents of all time.” As president from 1933 to 1945, F.D.R. had some notable accomplishments. However, not mentioned by Mollette was Roosevelt’s executive order 9066, which ordered the imprisonment of 120,000 Japanese Americans a few months after Japan attacked us at Pearl Harbor.

       The majority of the 120,000 were American citizens who lost their homes and businesses. This was reprehensible.

       Seventy years ago, Torpie Street in Mission Hill was called “South Worthington Street,” but the name changed after William J. Torpie was killed in World War II.

       Last month, the rusting Torpie Street sign was replaced; however the new street sign is spelled incorrectly. City Councilor Kenzie Bok was notified of this glaring error.

       William Torpie is on the Brigham Circle Memorial along with the other Mission Hill veterans killed in the line of duty.

       It was nice chatting with old buddy Frank Pedersen last week at Mike’s Donuts. Frank, from the Mission Hill project, was a rugged middle linebacker for the Killilea Club during the glory days of  Boston Park League football, more than 50 years ago when thousands of fans would flock to Fens Stadium for the games.

       The Killilea Club played the Hanna Club from Roxbury in the championship game  in 1969 at White Stadium before an overflow crowd. Killilea led throughout most of the game, but Hanna came from behind to win the title.

       A distraught Frank Pedersen went directly to the locker room and didn’t congratulate the victors despite being close friends with Hanna’s coach, Buster Carline, and Hanna’s linebacker, Sauce Callahan. As happens in life, friends go in different directions and it would be another 25 years before Pedersen and Callahan would reunite.

       Pedersen finally congratulated his Hanna Club rival, saying, “Good game.” Replied Callahan, “It’s about time.”

            Maurice can be reached [email protected]     

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