Townie Tidbits

Story and Photos By Sal Giarratani


Yeah, that is correcto. I was born on May 4 or as I like to say “Quartro de Mayo.” Which means I am almost Mexican. A day later and I would have been born on Cinco de Mayo. Get it? Almost Mexican. Never mind!



I keep hearing from folks concerned about that new stop over at Assembly Row in Somerville. Recently, Elaine McCarthy contacted me with her views. She thinks the newly relocated MBTA stop for  buses from Charlestown makes life harder and less safe. Townies mostly seniors must now walk back to their shops near the old bus stop through the parking lot. Like most who have contacted me, few think the MBTA respects them at all. How does Charlestown get the T to do the right thing?



It is unbelievable to know that this June 17 will be the 45th anniversary of the horrible Vendome fire in the Back Bay in which ten firefighters died including Tommy Beckwith from St. Francis de Sales Parish. I remember that Bunker Hill Holiday as one of the saddest in my life. The parade that year was on the following day, Sunday, June 18. Difficult to celebrate and be happy when you know that 10 heroes from the Boston Fire Department had perished in the previous twenty-four hours.

I still remember the scene on Harrison Avenue following the funeral Mass for those firefighters. Watching hearas after hearse pass me by over at Worcester Square by Boston City Hospital. The line of cars for each hearse was endless. At Massachusetts Avenue, the vehicles all turned right headed toward  the Southeast Expressway. That scene will remain in my memory forever. I was 24 years old and had just graduated from Boston State College

Kudos to the Teamsters for their recent donation to St. Francis de Sales. Tommy Beckwith will never be forgotten nor all his brother firefighters who died that Saturday  afternoon 45 years ago. Their lives and sacrifice will always be remembered. They did not die in vain.They were heroes.



Here is a great old classic, a 1960 Volvo I saw  down in East Weymouth at my car mechanic’s shop.  I checked the trunk and was surprised. It looked so small from the outside but open it up and there was so much space. You could store two tires and all your grocery shopping inside and still have space to use.


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