Sports 03-17-2011

March 17, 2011
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Honor Roll Call

Latin Academy freshman Peter O’Donnell placed second at the City of Boston High School Science Fair.  He was also the recipient of the Optical Society of America achievement award…Jeffrey Wang and Patrick Kelly achieved High Honors and Ronan Carrier made Honors at St. Joseph of Medford Parochial School.

Fundraiser for Boys & Girls Club swim team

A “Texas Hold-Em” style fundraiser will be held at the Knights of Columbus Lower Hall, 75 West School Street, on Saturday, April 2 from 6 to 11 p.m.  The event will feature professional poker tables and trained volunteer dealers, with a $100 buy-in.  Contact Steve at 617-686-5939 to register, or for any questions.

The Charlestown Boys & Girls Club swim team will be travelling to St. Petersburg, Florida in April to compete in the 2011 National Swimming Championships and the fundraiser will help defray costs for the swimmers.

Help keep me in the “loop”

If you know of a “Townie” who is participating in a sports or recreational activity (elementary school, high school, college, or otherwise), please E-Mail me at bunkerhillbillie@aol.com with the information and/or photographs and I will be sure to include them in a column.  I’d also love to hear about any honor roll students or scholar athletes, or just about any story which would recognize the accomplishments of past and present “Townies.”

“Townie” sports update

Now that the spring sports season is fast approaching, let’s tip our hat to the extraordinary number of Charlestown winter sports athletes who provided us with excitement and wonderful memories…Tommy DeRosa (Tufts) and Alexa Hingston (St. Anslem) put the finishing touches on what are sure to be Hall of Fame college hockey careers…Charlestown High School (21-3) captured the City of Boston boys basketball championship establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with for years to come…The Latin Academy (14-9-0) boys hockey team also won the City of Boston title, their fourth in a row, as senior Ryan DeRosa emerged as one of the League’s dominant players…Boston Latin junior Conal Lynch scored the most goals in the MIAA during the regular season…The Charlestown-laden Latin Academy swim team won their third straight City of Boston trophy…Malden Catholic’s hockey “Townies” are still on their march toward the Super 8 hockey title…In all, fourteen high school/prep teams with “Townies” participated in the prestigious MIAA and NEPS tournaments, a remarkable accomplishment…Elms College freshwoman Caitlee Carrier recently returned from Florida where she competed in a series of exhibition softball games with her team…Junior Joe Sodergren scored two goals, including the game winner in a shootout, as Shawsheen outlasted Wayland by a 3-2 score.  In the Division III North hockey finals, however, they lost to Marblehead 6-2.

Girls Softball Sign-ups

Registration for both the spring and summer girls softball programs will be held on March 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. at Mishuwam Hall, 95 Dunstable Street.  Fees include $20 per player for the spring program and $50 per player for the summer program and must be paid at registration.  If you are unable to register on this date and would like to participate, please contact Joe Hayes at 617-869-0728 or Jack Schievink at 617-201-4507.

Boys Club memories

SATURDAY MOVIES IN THE GAMES ROOM: Kids filled every nook and cranny of the games room and popcorn, milk and Oreo cookies were plentiful.  My all-time favorite was “The Three Stooges Meet Hercules,” but any of the Flash Gordon re-runs would have suited me just fine.

THE KIWANIS CLUB DINNER: Every year, the Boys Club hosted a Kiwanis Club dinner which featured guest speakers, special awards and delicious food.  Well-dressed kids attended the event with a parent and every youngster received a trophy or certificate recognizing them for the activity or program they participated in.

FLICKING CARDS IN THE HALLWAY: One of my favorite pastimes was flicking cards, and who knew the cards I was flicking then would be worth hundreds of dollars today.  Most kids always had a stack of Topps cards in their back pocket just in case a flicking contest broke out in a hallway.  Some of the cards I lost included Sandy Koufax, Mickey Mantle, Ernie Banks, Willie Mays, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Yaz, Rod Carew, Roger Maris and Al Kaline.  Oh, well!

THE CHEF’S CLUB: Not only did Howie Bunkley teach you how to make cookies, cakes, bread and other delicacies, he let you eat some afterwards.  Most of the baked goods were sold at the front desk lobby to support one worthwhile cause or another, but it sure was fun wearing a chef’s hat and apron, being covered in flour and smelling all the scrumptious aromas.

THE DENTIST’S OFFICE:  My least favorite place.  I never failed to go home without a puffed cheek, numbed face and dried salt tracks under my eyes.  I’m guessing most of the instruments the dentist’s used in those days can be found in any hardware store today.

THE WOODWORKING SHOP:  After my first session in the woodworking shop, I was able to bring home a foot-long shamrock and a key-holder, complete with a half-dozen hooks, in the shape of a large key.  It may not have seemed like a big deal to anyone else, but to me, these items were priceless.  I painted them appropriately and proudly displayed them in my room.

THE MUSIC ROOM: My first experience with a musical instrument, in this case the guitar, took place with Mr. Henry Bernard, the music instructor.  Basic knowledge of notes and scales were emphasized during lessons, where Mr. Bernard would stand on a podium gesturing wildly with a baton, a la Arthur Fiedler, while I attempted to play “Lightning Row,” “Alley Cat” and other classics.

THE FRECKLE CONTEST: The freckle-counting machine was rolled out annually and the competition was fierce.  Once victorious, however, that person (usually a redhead) instantly became a perennial contender.

THE RANCH HOUSE: Unless you were a Junior Wrangler or Bunker Hillbilly, it’s hard to comprehend just how special it was to be in Bob Munstedt’s Ranch House.  He ran a tight ship, complete with “nicknames,” black marks, promotions and achievements patches, all culminating in a musical performance.

Last year, Bob’s family (including Alex Smallwood) attended a Bunker Hillbilly reunion which rekindled the special camaraderie that was once prevalent in the Ranch House.  The event also included an hour-long “Hey Day” concert which featured many of the classic songs Bob helped us to perfect.

THE INTERMEDIATE ROOM: Becoming eligible to enter the Intermediate Room was a very big deal.  You had to be a teenager and the staff was extremely proficient at protecting the sanctity of the room from the many crafty, but not yet teenage, wannabes.

Located adjacent to the swimming pool, the entranceway included a narrow corridor which led to a windowless metal door.  Once inside, members had access to the crème-de-la-crème of board games, electronic gadgets, foam-covered ping-pong paddles and high quality billiards sticks.  There was even a color TV mounted on the wall which was usually showing a seasonal sporting event.

The pristine pool tables were occupied with gaggles of players and monthly tournaments were often held, with the winner receiving a prize.  I remember my older brother Denny being awarded a pool stick (the 2-piece kind that screwed together), complete with the hard-shell case, after winning one of the tourneys.

THE ALUMNI BASKETBALL LEAGUE: Whenever I played hoop with my friends I always made a point to check out the Alumni League statistics, which were updated weekly and posted on the wall near the gym office.  John Driscoll was usually at the top of the scoring list with a 20-point or better average, followed closely by “Bo” Blakie, Paul Jackson, “Ro” Walsh, Richie Murphy, Bobby Smith, Dave Jackson and others.

Ten years later, I competed on the same court as these ageless legends and was awestruck at their talent, tenacity and love of the game.

  • Stephen Masse

    Fantastic memories of the Charlestown Boys Club! I remember the games room with its low oak tables, where we played checkers, chess and other games (some missing pieces). There was a TV set in the back left corner, where many of us would watch serial black and white shows such as Fury.  Movies were always a dime, but we often got in free by volunteering to set up the steel folding chairs, or occasionally “frauding” the black hand stamp off some other kid’s hand. Adventure movies and monster movies would have us all hyper and horsing around afterwards.

    We used the pool for a penny every Saturday, and swam buck naked. Imagine that going on nowadays! I was at first self-conscious, but with 40 other boys in the same condition I got used to it pretty fast.

    I was found to have 14 cavities when I was about 10 or 11 years old. Miss Eason was the visiting dentist. I saw her as a bespectacled battleaxe, but knew that her volunteering showed a big heart. She kept a bottle of red cinnamon Lavoris for mouth rinsing after cleanings, and once I witnessed her give a boy a mouthful and tell him, “Swallow it, it won’t hurt you.” I had my first tooth extraction there, if my memory is correct.

    Mrs. DeSimone (“Miss Dee”) was our resident librarian. I liked her enough to actually read some books and report on them to her. I also remember volunteering to stuff envelopes in the library for Mr. Santapaul, whom we called Mr. SantaClaus because he was large and had white hair. Remember coming in the entry door and reporting your member number to Harvey Brooks, who would record it on the member chart? I later discovered he was a parole officer, what a guy!

    I so clearly remember Mr. Bernard giving music lessons. My brother and I took guitar lessons with him for a couple of years. He was a magnificent soul with the most gentle manner. He spoke with a Ludwig von Drake voice, and sometimes if he coughed he would put his hand over his chest and ask, “Is that TB?” If we didn’t practice enough and were making mistakes, he would stop pointing at notes with his pencil, look over his glasses at us, and ask, “Did you practice this piece?” We didn’t need to answer, he would just know. “Hold out your hand, get your punishment,” he would say, and then ever so gently brush the back of our hand in a mock slap, just to make his point. The memories of him are enshrined in the character of Mr. Bernard in my children’s novel, The Taste of Snow, which was published in October of 2011.

    Thanks for bringing up such colorful memories, and I’d sure love to hear more from other former members!