Townie Tidbits

By Sal Giarratani


   About 10 years ago I signed up for the movies as an extra. I had a bit part in “Stiffs” starring Danny Aiello, playing a low-level hood. More recently, I was an FBI agent in “Black Mass” and a wealthy businessman in “Joy.”

A few weeks back, I showed up over in Allston for an open casting call at Boston Casting for a part in “Patriots Say” about the Boston Marathon Bombings. This past week, I received a call to show up for a fitting for the movie as a Boston police officer.

  I spent 27 and a half years as a real cop for the Department of Mental Health and I felt it might be fun to play a real cop too. After-all, unless you become actor Vic Morrow from “Combat” and end up dead during the filming of the “Twilight Zone Movie” like unfortunately him, it should be pretty painless.

Back in the day, extras were called extras because that’s all they were considered. Nowadays, we are now called “Background Actors.” Sounds more professional but still pays the same.

As I read last week’s Weymouth News about this movie company recreating Boylston Street at on a Southfield runway in Weymouth, I am curious how it will all look in person and on the big screen too.

   As a real police officer, I was still on the job when the real thing happened-retiring on April 30, 2013. I do hope this movie is presented in such a way not to hurt people again. It is an important story about not only senseless violence but also of the way people came together Boston Strong for one another. Those who were there and those who viewed on TV will never forget that awful day.

 I do hope that Mark Walhberg gives all of us a good movie to reflect over as we press on in our lives knowing that evil appears lurking all around us. We can not give into fear but remain strong and hopeful that we will keep on keeping on.


While attending the Annual St. Patrick’s Day Evacuation Day Banquet put on every year by the South Boston Citizens Association, I caught up with Jack Kelly, Jimmy Collins and  Cookie Giordano. There seemed to be enough Townie representation to get our own table.

After the banquet opened and Father Joe White gave grace before meals, I ended up at the head table talking with Father Joe, then Jack Kelly joined us and we had quite  a discussion about the opioid crisis killing so many of our young people in places like Southie, Eastie and seemingly in both urban and suburban communities too.

 Father Joe is doing his part in fighting this battle trying to educate our young folk to the dangers and slow death that awaits them if they take that long road to nowhere fast. Jack Kelly is doing his bit too. It is not the sound of silence anymore. It is far too late for a Simon and Garfunkel routine.

All of us need to be doing our part in dealing with drug abuse and the spiraling number of kids dying far before their time.

I try through this commentary to talk about this issue and to re-enforce our communal responsibilities to help one another. We can’t stand by as innocent bystanders because no one is really innocent if we see evil and decide to do nothing. We can close our eyes to the sight but we cannot make it going away by pretending it isn’t there or it’s not my personal problem.

Every death to drug abuse is one life wasted. Life is a precious gift and it is our job not to waste it. It is also our job to join forces with others in helping folks overcome this horrid disease. Together we can try. Together we can show our support. Together we can show mercy, love and empathy to those in the pits or depths of life.

As a community we must care, because when one is suffering, we all have pain. Doing nothing is no longer an option. Kudos to both Father Joe and Jack Kelly for all that they do to stem the tide of addiction.

  The corned beef and cabbage was good on that night, but now is the time to deal with our communal plate and rid our societal appetite for poisonous drugs.

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