What’s Happening on Main Streets

By Ellen Walker

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” Sir Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of England

       Once again, the Mission Hill American Legion Post 327 and Mission Hill Main Streets pulled off another fabulous ceremony to honor all veterans – those who have served and those who are still with us. The wreath-laying ceremony with Peter Scott and James O’Neil (both are Mission Grammar and High School graduates)was followed by trumpeter Garret Savluk playing the National Anthem, a wonderful addition to this annual event. Colonel George Rollins oversaw the observance and gave a moving speech regarding George Sahlas (he piloted the last boat out of Normandy Beach) among others. The crowd of guests attending the event included City Councilor At Large, Michael Flaherty and City Councilor Kenzie Bok, both longtime supporters of the Mission Hill community; Councilor Erin Murphy’s office was represented as well. After the ceremony, everyone was treated to coffee and donuts by Mike’s Donuts, coffee and pastries by Solid Ground Café and pizza by Penguin Pizza – what a great gesture from our local businesses! As usual, everyone shared conversations, gave each other updates, met new friends and showed camaraderie to honor our veterans from Mission Hill.

       On the opposite side of town, another community gathering, and important event, took place on November 16th. I had the good fortune of attending this year’s “Building a Better Community Award” event at the Tobin Community Center. New England Baptist Hospital President David A. Passafaro, and the Board of Trustees, honored Mission Hill legends. The “legends” of Mission Hill include Willie Pearl Clark, Chuck Davis, Sophie Deng, Matilda Drayton, Patricia Flaherty, Rich Giordano and Maggie Cohn (who were referred to as Mission Hill’s “power couple”). These individuals were instrumental in the community and worked to provide housing, equity and access. Congratulations once again to each of you! John Jackson, a member of the Board of Trustees, also spoke about the importance of recognizing these individuals. As the “movers and shakers” of our community, I was not surprised that all of them are so humble in receiving their recognitions. To all awardees, it is never about them, but rather the people that they serve – an exemplary spirit we all took note of.

       A great community only thrives with appropriate attention given to the arts. The Mission Hill Arts Festival is already working on their 2023 lineup. The festival is getting better every year with an array of supporters including Celebrity Series. Did you know that Dan Vlahos, INFocus Camera Club member, designer, artist and educator, along with interns Felica Fishel and Joseph Lopilato, designed the MH Arts Festival printed collateral? It is being recognized by MassArt x SoWA Gallery in their inaugural Design Biennial. This new exhibit opens on November 19th and the juried exhibition features select work form faculty, students, alumni and staff. Kudos to Dan, Felica and Joseph!

       Recently I stopped by to view the exhibitions at Massachusetts College of Arts and Design museum, MAAM. The exhibits present a combination of works by renowned artists, students and faculty. The most impressive piece of artwork is an installation of sculpture with artistically woven fabric, which occupies the entire second floor. The “Valkyrie Mumbet” was created by artist Joana Vaconcelos. Admission is free but be sure to check the museum hours because of Holiday schedules at the school.

       Mayor Michelle Wu is continuing the holiday tradition of The Mayor’s Annual Trolley Tour and Tree Lighting at Brigham Circle again this  year. This is a festive celebration begun by former Mayor Thomas Menino and the popular neighborhood event is on Saturday, December 3rd at 3:45 pm.  Hope you can attend and bring the family to enjoy the goodies from our Mayor!

       On the same day, MHMS will launch its “Shop Small, Shop Local!” campaign. The promotion runs from December 3rd to January 7th. MHMS small business promotions include (1) Spend $5 at a local business, fill out the snowflake-card and show your support; and (2) get yourself a new look for the holidays at our local hair salons or barbershops and enter a raffle to win MHMS Swag. Participating businesses include Carman’s Hair Salon, Liz’s Hair Care, In The Cut Barbershop, Sully’s Barbershop and Vanity Loft Salon; and most importantly (3) remember to “Shop Small, Shop Local!” this holiday season.

            Until next month, take care and be safe!

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