Townie Tidbits

Story and Photos By Sal Giarratani


Just when you thought that all we had to worry about was the «One Charlestown» project was all we had to worry about, along comes  «We Want to Bury the Underpass» option.

I completely forgot about the crew trying to bury the  two underpasses, the one at Austin Street and the one at Sullivan Square. The Rutherford Corridor Improvement Coalition has endorsed the surface option. I too had issues with the hybrid plan presented to folks at the Knights back in February. On the surface, no underpasses sounds nice.  Proponents of the surface option see it as simple and complete. Yes it is simple but completely a bad idea.  They have a right to their opinions but it doesn’t make them right. They believe that traffic will  move much better with only  surface roads. I am not however as optimistic as that  about the flow of traffic. I see massive gridlock from City Square through Sullivan Square. I see the need or both current underpasses to remain in play for the foreseeable future.

I do not see Rutherford Avenue as anything more than a highway. Cars travel it to get to and from work in Boston. Take away the Austin Street Underpass and watch traffic trying to get to from the old Prison Point Bridge to Cambridge. Take away the underpass at Sullivan Square and watch what happens to Main Street as drivers to Everett and beyond try getting to the Alford St. Bridge. Trying doing it when the casino is up and running.

Last time I heard from the Surface People, they were taking about green space and bike paths. What planet are they living on? Rutherford Avenue is what it is, a highway. The meeting at the Knights is tonight (May 18). Don’t get buried, get there.



My daughter and son-in-law took me to Fenway for the Red Sox-Orioles game. Boston lost the game 8-3 but I did get to sit not far from that pole out in the left field grandstands where Carlton Fisk hit that great homer in Game 6 against the Mets in ‹86. Here›s some advice. Don›t wear  shorts to a night game at Fenway in early May. I was freezing and had myself to blame.

I had to laugh at how expensive eating in the stands has become. Those vendors selling their stuff should be wearing masks like Jesse James once did. Folks behind me bought four hot dogs from one vendor and two hot chocolates from another.  Total price: $47.50 OUCH!

To date going to baseball games at Fenway on my birthday, the Red Sox are 0-3 and this goes back to a night game on May 4, 1982 when the Royals beat the Sox.

Nealia and Matt Morrison



I always cherish my memories growing up with a large bunch of Irish uncles. I miss them all. However, my favorite was (Uncle Neal ) Harrington.  He was a Townie by birth and attitude. He spent most of his adult life over in Uphams Corner where he worked as a letter carrier for years. He loved being a mailman but he also loved being involved in the world of Irish Music. For years he organized and publicized countless Irish dances over on Dudley Street in two nearby dance halls.He was one of the founders of the Irish Social Club over in Dorchester and over the years to his retirement which was much too short, he was constantly writing pieces for the local newspapers plugging this event or that.

He also liked seeing his own face in the papers too. Something I got from him. He was not just my uncle but my writing mentor. I learned from the best. he and I  celebrated birthdays in May days apart He was born n 1908 and I in 1948 He had a great sense of humor. I do too. He worked for the federal government. I worked for state government  However it was always  in our off hours we did our best work with passion.

He would have been 109 years old this past May 10 but he will be forever young for me.

Neal Harrington



The Friends of the Charlestown Branch Library will be presenting Billy Novick and Guy Van Duser on Thursday, March 25 starting at 700pm free and open to all.

Novick and Van Duser will be performing a special musical tribute to Edward F. Kelly, the Library branch’s 2017 Friend of the Year. Presentation, reception and concert will follow the Friends’ Annual Meeting.

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