Townie Tidbits

By Sal Giarratani


Gerald O’Neil better known as Jesse recently passed away at 81 years of age. He was husband to Margie O’Neil for 53 years. He was the father of Gerry Jr., Patrick and Maura (Perriello) and is survived by many loving family members His wake was recently held at Carr’s and his funeral at St. Mary’s Church. Burial at the V.A. National Cemetery in Bourne.

The family is asking anyone interested that they can make a memorial donation in Jesse’s name to Harvest on the Vine.


Charlestown no longer has a BNN-TV show on cable and I believe one is needed now more than ever.

In the past everyone could count of folks like the late Dennis McLaughlin and Peter Looney or Cookie Giardano who since Peter’s passing tried to keep the show going “Charlestown Live!’ morphed into  “Charlestown and Beyond.”

However, Cookie had to give up the show because it needed more time and energy that only a younger Townie could offer.

We need some new voices and faces out there who are Townie Strong to step up to the plate and host a new BNN-TV Charlestown weekly show. Too bad we can’t clone Cookie but there must be some good younger folks out there with ideas for a new show. If you are interested just contact me at [email protected] and I will pass it along to Cookie who would be more than happy to show you the ropes.


 I heard it continued this year but with only six or seven recipients  and without any publicity. “Townie Santa” began as an idea by Gloria Conway back in 1982 when I joined the cause and helped out almost every year.

  There were so many great folks who came together in 1982 and started this great Townie Christmas tradition. I hate the idea of seeing it just die in silence. It did so much for so many years for both those who received and from those who delivered the basket of goodies and the turkey meals.

Townie Santa after Gloria’s passing was picked up by her son Timmy and now like the story above, we need to create a new way to keep this tradition going.

One way to keep “Townie Santa” going might be to morph over into Harvest on Vine run by Tommy MacDonald, like Gloria before him, he too has recognized the great need in community to help those in need at these special times of the year. “Harvest on Vine” does a great service at Thanksgiving and maybe now those folks who have volunteered their time for “Townie Santa” at Christmas could work with the volunteers from “Harvest on Vine.” Just an idea. I will be talking with Tommy about this idea real soon. Meanwhile, once again, these community efforts are always in need of newer and younger blood. You can’t depend on us older farts forever, can you?

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