Hill Happenings

By Maurice ‘Mossy’ Martin

Last month Mission Hill mourned the death of Bobby Healy, a pillar of the community who contributed much to the neighborhood with his kindness and volunteer work.

Bobby, who was employed at Mass College of Art, was generous with his time, particularly at Mission Church, and he was always there for the church-sponsored “Walk for Hunger.”

Bobby’s younger brother, Paul, beautifully eulogized Bobby at his Mission Church funeral mass. After Mass during a lighter moment I reminisced with Bobby’s older brother, Father John Healy. When Father Healy played basketball for Cathedral High School, he and I were opponents in a memorable game 50 years ago at the Tobin Gym when I played for Mission High. Fr. Healy wasn’t the most talented player, but he was smart and adept at the bounce pass

The Maurice J. Tobin School won’t be the same, as beloved Jessy Barry retired after teaching Art and Writing at that school for 27 years. Jessy would stop in Mike’s Donuts before every school day for her coffee and say hello to me and the boys. I’ll miss Jessy’s warm smile.

Hard-working Kevin McNulty retired after a career working for the V.A. Kevin, a Vietnam veteran, worked the last eight years as a painter at the Jamaica Plain V.A..

In 1976, when I was working with troubled youth in the city, I was invited to a banquet at the Boston Science Museum. The guest speaker was Willie Mays, who gave an upbeat speech on the youth of America. There will never be another Willie who died June 17 at age 93. When Mays was 20 and playing for the New York Giants he rented a small apartment in Harlem, and before the games he’d play ‘stickball’ with the kids and buy them ice cream cones. He’d then walk to his ‘job,; playing centerfield at the Polo Grounds.

As an amateur baseball historian I rate Mays, who served in the U.S. Army in 1952 and ‘53, the best, or equal to Babe Ruth. I’ve often been asked what I said to Willie that evening in 1976. I don’t remember and I didn’t say much. I was too much in awe of the great Willie Mays.

The Mission Hill Post 327 held its final summer meeting at Victory Point Restaurant in Quincy. Save the date: Sept. 21, when our annual M.H. Post Golf Fundraiser will be held. More golf info will be upcoming and if you are interested in joining the Mission Hill Post, our Commander, Col. George Rollins can be contacted at 703-209-2124..

There will be a public meeting on July 10 at Mission Main in the Willie Clark Community Center to discuss the development of 80-100 Smith St..

Thanks to Jason Moore and Mairead Moore for inviting me to their post wedding celebration last month at Brendan Behan’s where I had a great time. Mairead, whose good looks are matched by her  conviviality, tended bar for many years at the old Flann O’Brien’s ,and she currently does the same at the Behan.

Congratulations to the terrific staff at Brendan Behan’s and proprietor Michel Soltani on being named a recipient of Boston’s Legacy Business Award.

I enjoy going to the Behan, particularly on Saturday evenings to hear the terrific live Irish music.

It was nice rubbing elbows with the folks from the Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services last week at Roxbury Crossing Plaza in celebrating 50 years of service. Looking back, the M.H.N.S. was instrumental in the building and revitalizing of One Brigham Circle. Keep up the good work.

There was a fire in Mission Hill last week, which sadly it destroyed the Squealing Pig, a terrific neighborhood bar. I spoke to the owner, Dermot O’Neill. Dermot loves the neighborhood and said, “God Bless the Mission Hill  people and my staff.” 

A belated happy birthday goes out to our great country. It was 248 years ago when our Declaration of Independence was adopted unanimously by the 56 Delegates in  Philadelphia.

Q: What do you call tea that tastes like freedom?

A: LiberTea.

Maurice can be reached at [email protected].

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