Townie Tidbits


Charlestown Live! has signed off BNN-TV. It’s last show was this past Thursday, June 25. After nine years and 475 episodes, the show now goes into the Charlestown history book. When it began, it was immediately accepted as must TV along with the Charlestown Patriot newspaper, both Thursday traditions.

 Charlestown residents old and new, young and old loved to watch this show to find out what was happening and who the shakers and makers were too. When I think of this show, I immediately think of both the late Peter Looney and of  Cookie Giordano who brought this show to life week after week, month after month and year after year.

Among the many quests on this show, I showed up for one episode when the studios were in Park Square in the Transportation Building on Stuart Street. I had a great time hanging out with this dynamic duo chic-chatting about Charlestown history  over the years and talking as I lover to do about my mother’s family, the Harringtons from the Devens, Harvard and Rutherford Avenue neighborhood back in the day.

I talked about the busing era when Charlestown took on Judge W.Arthur Garrity in the ‘70s and when the Peoples Firehouse folks kept Engine 50 in Charlestown by taking over the firehouse in April and May of 1982. I love talking and so did Peter. He was a great guy and solely missed by those who knew him. I think people will miss Charlestown Live! but as I told Cookie, things have beginnings and ends. It is part of the Circle of Life as Elton John might sing about.

I never missed watching the show or talking with Cookie whom I first met years ago when she and I were part of the old Charlestown Patriot. Today, folks still aren’t out of the news loop because of Charlestown Patch, Facebook or bloggers out there.The fabric of the social network still lives. We have much to be thankful for over the years with folks like Peter and Cookie and so many others who have gone before them.

 Charlestown has changed much since  I was 20 years old living on Pearl Street next to Holden School. I remember the busing era and I remember the fight over public safety and the takeover of the Winthrop Street firehouse. I remember when the Toonies started arriving in the Town scaring folks as the new culture clashed for a bit with the old Townie culture. Eventually, things worked out and today, folks have accepted each other as best they can and with a big smile most of the time.

Charlestown lives because it accepts change and brings  things together for all. Townies still like calling themselves Townies and the other folks are the other people not exactly what they were being caled about 30 years ago wihen the invasion began. I laugh at house prices being so ridiculously expensive. I still remember that roll of little attached gingerbread houses between Bartlett and Bunker Hill Street. Back in the Summer of ‘70, you could have bought one for $9,900 I kid you not.

I still recall all those courageous ladies from Powderkeg during busing and I remember Spuds and all the Alerta guys up on Bunker Hill Street who took on Tip O’Neill in 1976 and were able to kick Tip in his #&@ in all of Charlestown precincts. When it came to busing, O’Neill seemed to have forgotten that all politics is local.

Charlestown has had its share of ups and downs over its lifetime but one thing for sure, folks living in the shadow of Bunker Hill know how to fight and stand up to all comers. This tradition started in 1775 and lives today.

“Charlestown Live!”  has bit the dust but this community remains alive because there is no other option but to continue on loving this historic neighborhood with such historic characters out there who never forget their roots and hold onto their pride.

Thanks to Peter Looney and Cookie Giordano  for all they did for us.

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