THE VALUE OF YOUTH MENTORING
After recently attending the 125th anniversary of the Charlestown Boys & Girls Club, and the impact it has had and continues to have with Charlestown›s young people, I thought about the value of these intergenerational service organizations.
I grew up in the ’50s and ’60s in Boston›s South End and lower Roxbury neighborhoods when kids of all races and ethnicities grew up together and mostly in harmony with one another. We shared the same streets and parks, we played baseball together at the same fields. Many of us went to the same churches on Sunday and if not, that mattered little.
The South End had the Salvation Army Boy›s Club on Washington Street inside the Cathedral housing project. Roxbury had their Boys Club up on Dudley Street across from Dudley Station and lower Roxbury, where I spent many years growing up, had the Emmanuel House on Newcomb Street. It was run by the Graymoor nuns and was a great after-school hang out for kids and kept us out of trouble. In 1996, I attended the 90th anniversary of this place to a large crowd of folks who grew up in the surrounding neighborhoods. I look back in amazement on the impact that place had on so many kids and now older adults.
I saw the very same thing when I attended the Charlestown Boys & Girls Club’s 125th anniversary. We all grow over the decades but their are some memories we hold onto strongly. It happened for me in Lower Roxbury and happened to many of my Townie friends that recent night up on Green Street. You enter the place in the present and immediately step back into time when we were younger and full of many dreams.
One of the folks I met at this recent gathering was Bob Beckwith, who loved this place and knew how much it meant to him and his friends growing up in the community. Beckwith is still in love with this place and with Charlestown and is currently serving as vice president of the Bunker Hill Associates.
A few years ago, I was at the Club with Bob as another Townie, Howie Long was inducted into the Charlestown Sports Hall of Fame at the Boys & Girls Club. It is amazing how community youth groups can bind kids together for life and instill important values for their entire life of twists and turns
OLD SULLYS SOON TO BE HOUSING?
Just read that news and hope somehow the developers will work to keep the memory of Old Sully’s in the new residential site. I never thought this old bar would ever close. I remember it well. My Uncle Jim (Callahan ) owned one of the old Potato Sheds right across from the wall at Lynde Street. His place ( F.J. Wards) directly faced Old Sully’s. He liked the place and the owner.
My maternal grandmother was a Sullivan but wasn’t related, but I think my uncle was partisan to someone named Sullivan. Or maybe it was just the beer inside the place.