Townie Tidbits


Last Friday, May 18, the USS Constitution took its annual short trip into the harbor, then turned around and settled back at its US Navy berth at the Navy Yard. It was cold but sunny and the crowds came not just to see Old Ironsides, but also to honor Vietnam War veterans in yet another ongoing commemoration to the Vietnam War and all who served their country and the many who per

ished in that conflict. The U.S. Navy invited Vietnam vets to board the ship for its turnaround and many did.

By the way, this commemoration of Vietnam began in  2012 when President Obama signed a proclamation that would run from 2012 until 2025. Difficult to see that it is a 50th commemoration of a war so many fought and so many died and back home, so many who protested it all. The sacrifices made by so many during those turbulent times are never to be forgotten.



As I read Mary Boucher’s letter in last week’s paper. I commend  both the Charlestown Coalition and Turn it around for coming up with the idea of a Peace Garden in Charlestown in memory of all of the Town who have suffered violence or substance abuse in their family’s history. My mother’s Harrington family suffered through an unsolved homicide almost 90 years ago when my mother was a young girl. One of her older brothers was found dead in a doorway on Main Street and my ma always remembered how her brother had been killed and would tell me that story over the years. She had several losses over the years but that one really hurt..

I want to commend those younger Townies who applied for and won a $2,700 from the City of Boston›s Love Your Block Grant. I will be over at the unveiling of the Charlestown Peace Garden at 430 p.m. on June 26 by Prospect and Mt. Vernon Streets with a reception to follow down at the Knights.

This is a peace garden for all of the Town, for all generations old and new. I will be there, will you?




I’ve been reading your column in the Patriot-Bridge for years and appreciating the Townie perspective which you provide on the passing  times, and the link to life in Charlestown before my wife Lynne and I arrived here in 2000.

I’ve been thinking about the question you›ve raised in recent weeks about a new location for the Potato Sheds Memorial whose current location, along the ramp to Rt. 1 north, on the mostly untravelled, at least by pedestrians, side of new Rutherford Ave (Rt. 99) is, I agree far too inconspicuous to be appropriate.

I’ve enlisted Linda Neshamkin, AIA, of Neshamkin French Architects on Monument Sq. here in Charlestown to explore with me the possibility of using part of the shaded lawn area opposite the former front door of Old Sully’s, a site which her firm is now rebuilding for housing, to give a more suitably prominent new home to the 2’ x 3’ Potato Sheds Memorial.  If this can be arranged, not only would a lot more foot traffic encounter the memorial, but it would have a very nice overlook of where the potato sheds stood before the fire.

Linda has determined that the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) owns land there where it has 20th-century senior apartments, but looking at the Assessors› map it looks to her as if some of that lawn area at the corner might actually be part of the public way and not BHA land, but she can’t tell if the Assessor’s map boundary placement is accurate.  However  the assessor’s map shows her a much wider wedge-shaped sidewalk area near the corner at BHA land versus the straight sidewalk, following the angle of Union St. that’s evident in my recent photos.»

John Benson, Charlestown


I sort of like this idea since it gets the sculpture close to the last visible sign of the Potato Sheds by a piece of the original stone wall by Lynde Street separating the community from those long ago rail yards. What say you?

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