Townie Tidbits


This past Sunday morning I was listening to ‘Country Memories’ on am 740 WJIB and an old tune I remembered came on with the lyrics, ‘Yesterday when I was young.’ I remember listening to that tune years ago, when I was, indeed younger than today.

Saturday night I went over to the Charlestown Boys & Girls Club for its 125th anniversary. The place was packed with many aging Townies who were once club members in their yesterdays. I came from Lower Roxbury and my haven of yesterday was the Emmanuel House staffed by Graymoor nuns. At its 90th anniversary I spoke to the audience gathered about how important that place had been for me and kids like me. The same was true on Saturday for those who were part of the Boys Club decades ago in youth.

Before arriving at the clubhouse, I met Kenny outside the bank building in Thompson Square and found out that the new bank was to open in Thompson Square this past Monday and that Starbucks was hopefully due to open on February 9.

As I looked inside the Starbucks, I saw how huge it was. Starting at the front window of the former Bunker Hill Florist and reaching to the back wall of Lorraine’s Coffee Shop which is still so sorely missed today.

Leaving Kenny, I headed up Green Street and one of the first people I bumped into was ‘Boston Bobby’ Powers, Charlestown’s historian. He said to me, “How sad about Loraine Connolly, huh?” and I said what about her. Guess I missed the news. I never read the obits the way my mother did. She always seemed to know who made the obit list. I don’t.

I thought this column was going to be about the Club’s anniversary and the impact it has always had for the good of Charlestown. All of a sudden I was thinking about Yesterday, once more.

I did have fun at the time meeting lots of long-time friends in the Town. I even got to check out the tunnel between the club’s building. It was the first time. Mighty long, too, with too many stairs to climb. By the time I made it up to the gym on High Street, one would think from the huffing and puffing, I had just worked out for a couple of hours at Planet Fitness. I joked is EMS nearby. I am sure kids love going through this tunnel but not this older guy. They should have pit a train down there, huh?

I have never seen so many Townies stepping back to yesterday and remembering how important this place had been for them. It was nice having those beer and wine tasting tables there and the table of little muchies, too. That table put together by Brewer’s Fork over on Moulton Street starting off the evening great.

The news of Lorraine’s passing stayed with me and made me remember how great that coffee shop was for everyone who was a part of it. It wasn’t just a place for coffee or a sandwich but a social gathering too. Every Thursday, you picked up the Patriot and in between got the latest news down at the coffee shop.

Oh, almost forgot, Tony V usual doing his stand up by the six foot pool warning sign. He always stays above water.


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