Townie Tidbits

Kudos to Eddie Callahan and ‘The Green Square Mile’

Thanks to a number of Townies like Eddie Callahan who were concerned about retaining the history of Charlestown for the future, he and others worked hard and many long hours to put together in video, what Charlestown was, is and hopefully to be. The old Charlestown town motto must have been part of the reason for making this history for

the future generations who will call Charlestown home. Look at the old motto and you see the commitment made to the future written right into it.

I believe this old video has stood the test of time and is as relevant today as it was when being produced. It was recently shown at the Bunker Hill Museum once again and to a large crowd of folks who have already seen it before and for many who viewed it for the first time.

Folks need to know their history and not just as a litany of sins but of our continued growth as a people. View this video and you get a sense of pride not only in your neighborhood’s history but pride in oneself. Each generation carries the torch to the next generation.

Dermot Sparhawk Is Pounding the Bricks Again

Tommy MacDonald brought his latest Dermot Sparhawk crime novel to the bricks itself on Bunker Hill Street at the project administration building.

I have been following Dermot’s adventures for a while. One of his previous capers took him from Charlestown over to my old hood in Lower Roxbury and Northampton MBTA station. There he found a major clue that helped solved that case.

Last time I saw Dermot it was right here in Thompson Square. He was headed for the library. He had just come out of the liquor store with a bag as he headed to his car. It worried me. I know he’s been in recovery for a long time now. He saw me stare at him, smiled, opened

his bag to show a six-pack of Pepsi. “Don’t worry about me,” said Dermot, “I love my sobriety.” Since Spenser left town, folks have been hoping for another sleuth with some Townie character.

Derm says latest caper is fantastic, but he didn’t  pill too many beans. I don’t think anyone dies in this one, but you never known with all the twists and turns he usually takes. He starts following one lead, which leads to another and then a different twist or two.

He is still wearing his Irish scally cap, which he purchased down at the same hat shop on Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas, where I bought mine last November. That was the last time I saw Dermot until last week in Thompson Square. He keeps himself busy.

Kudos to Ann Kelleher

Living in Charlestown myself for a number of years starting in 1968 at age 20, I have watched this community intensely even before arriving there myself over 50 years ago. It wasn’t the same as today. Housing was moderately priced. Rents were pretty inexpensive compared to today. The community was still working class Irish with its sense

of history. I was pretty much the same Charlestown, my Grandpa Harrington lived in until he left for Quincy in the early ‘50s.

However, looking at Charlestown today and it is far removed from 1968. It has become overcrowded by over development. And prices, to buy or rent? Out of this world. The demographics have changed, too. The Irish American working class keeps disappearing with the cost of living.

We can’t stop the future, nor should we. But Charlestown is constantly impacted and not in a nice way. Today, working families and those at the bottom of the economic barrel keep getting pushed to the edges.

Charlestown needs to retain a viable middle class and that is not happening so much anymore.

Kelleher is so right about the traffic mess. It has only gotten worse and very quickly over the last two decades it seems. As we add to the town’s population, we add to the number of motor vehicles. More cars in town and more cars using us as their shortcut to and from town.

Sullivan Square is a mess, only destined to get worse after the casino opens up. No one seems to be seeing the traffic mess except those who live here and need to enter and exit it for work.

Things don’t get better by sitting by quietly. Things get better by speaking up and sometimes loudly. “Do it,” as that Nike commercial says. Townies have never been afraid to fight before, so don’t be now.

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