By Peter Levine
“Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. Maldonian from border to border, coast to coast and all ships at sea. Let’s go to press.”
The Malden tradition that every single one of us looks forward to is back with a vengeance! Yes, it is that time of the year again, good people of Maldonia! Summer, sadly, is in the rearview mirror, but with that gloomy reality comes some groovy news! The annual Irish American Labor Day Road Race, making Maldonians happy for decades now, and destroying gloominess along the way, will return once again! How far out is that!?
I ran into old friends Mike “Boss Dawg of the Boneyard” McCarthy and Brian “Little Brother of Kevin” Killion at the Saint Rock Festa just last weekend! They both reminded me that they and the rest of the boyos at the IA will be sponsoring their annual 5K/10K Road Race again, on Monday, September 4 at 10.
This is the best time of the year and Maldonians just love and adore this event. It is, frankly speaking, one of the many traditions that make Malden so special. Brian assured me that you will be welcomed with open arms if you are inclined to sign up for the race on the morning of the event (8:30 sign up), or you can go directly to Irish American 5 & 10k Road Race (runsignup.com) and sign-up beforehand. Sign-up fee is $40 the day of the race, $35 if you sign up early (includes a nifty T-shirt). Male and female runners’ prizes will be awarded for the first, second and third place finishers for many different categories.
Friends, Romans and Malden newbies (who may be complete strangers to this event), lend me your ears – come by and have a great time right here in your very own backyard. Mark this on your social calendar for a fun-filled day of raffles, music, pizza, hot dogs and (of course) “refreshments” (at the always affordable IA prices). This year there will be a really boss disc jockey (Gus Diaz aka DJ Gus) playing a wide variety of music, including, of course, some good old-fashioned traditional Irish bangers (and possibly some karaoke snuck in).
Brian wanted to personally thank the many sponsors and volunteers for their continued support and generosity. Without sponsors like Doherty-Keane Construction, O’Brien Construction & Remodeling, Brandano Plumbing (special shout out to Mike for his altruism and dedication to this event), Stop & Shop Store #62 and Anheuser-Busch distributor “In-Bev,” he emphasized to me, this event could not happen.
Brian also wanted to stress, once again, that all proceeds will go to Dana–Farber Cancer Institute. Every. Single. Penny. No better way to spend your hard-earned cash knowing that all earnings go to fighting this hated disease.
I ran this race once way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and had a wicked good time! I remember the encouragement from friendly faces along the route (even George MacKay!), and I also remember the unbearable pain I felt (during) and after! Loads of fun, though, despite the suffering, and I really enjoyed the “refreshments” part of the day after the race. I’ll be present again this year (not running, though, in case you were wondering) and will be sure to have a “refreshment” or two. First one in memory of Mike’s late brother, my pal and yours: Stevie McCarthy.
Once again, I am not 100% sure but you can probably expect Mike “Mr. 02148” Cherone, Rick Gately, David Ritchie, Donny “Spider” Lockhart, Al Macy Jr., Marty Gately, Carolann Gabriella, and Mayor Gary “The Beast That Ate Pleasant Street Slayer” Christenson to run the race like the road race dawgs they are and finish in the top of their respective age brackets. Embarrassing those of us who have made the art of the recliner our way of life these days.
Oh, and by the way, I’ll be sure to request DJ Gus play at least one Chieftains song (“The Foggy Dew”?).
It is said in “Malden Musings”…
- We lost another “Son of Edgeworth” recently with the passing of the inimitable Joe Teta. Joe was a stand-up guy with a million stories. We will miss him.
- Chris Moro has seen Bruce Springsteen live and in concert 108 times. His twin brother Tom “The Good Twin” Moro, 109 times. I’ve seen Bruce a handful of times in my life and felt that was, well, sufficient. Are these two Moros meshuga?!
- I spotted Dicky Drinkwater and his little brother Ronny at the San Rock Festa last weekend. Both looked great. I was at the Golden Banana in Peabody 47 years ago (Sept 13, 1976) to see Ronny (Malden High School 1973) take out Billy Brown of New York in the fourth round. “Bevy” was a heavyweight and outweighed his opponent by 26 pounds that night, improving his record to 5-1 with his third knockout. Warner Cablevision was filming; not sure if it ever aired. Ronny would later go on to box Muhammad Ali in an exhibition match, fight on the undercard of a Marvin Hagler bout and make us all proud to be Maldonians! Stay well, gentlemen.
- Pine Banks Park Superintendent Kevin Benner was spotted at Malden’s swankiest shindig of the year, the annual San Rock Festa in Edgeworth, wearing one of the coolest T-shirts at the Feast. Though more appropriate for a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, his wearing of the Green was nonetheless a sartorial success story. Townie pride forever, my friend!
- This is why we really need and yearn (well, I yearn anyway) for local journalism and local coverage. Here is the late Don Squire at his very best, a piece written in July of 2005, about the Elmwood Pharmacy and its matriarch, the late Betty Heitin: “The Elmwood Pharmacy is not only a medical Pandora but a haven against ravages of mankind for those in need of solace, medication, advice, protection against elements and themselves I might add. Kindness of language is not in the lexicon of Elmwood Pharmacy, but kindness of the heart and spirit are in evidence in every corner of this one in a million emporium. Betty Heitin was a giant of a woman at five feet one inch and every inch of her was one of the most beautiful people I ever knew. She had a certain decorum about her that defined their description by the ordinary human.” Thank you, Don, for putting that down on paper. The Heitins continue to this very day their altruistic ways, especially my friend (Betty’s granddaughter) Felicia.
- Old friend Dante DiSerio made a grand San Rock entrance, greeting the many friends on Pearl Street that he has made in the past 60 or so years. Dante is running for Councillor-at-Large this year as a dark horse type of candidate. Longtime Maldonians will recall Dante running for Mayor, Ward 2 Councillor and Councillor-at-Large many, many years ago – unfortunately, with not much success, but honorably and with integrity. He’s back in the game after taking a long, hard look at Malden’s current political landscape/discourse. Dante is a wonderful human being. I have a ton of respect for “The Doobster,” whom I have known my whole life. An honest man with a heart as big as all of Edgeworth – his lifetime home. Good luck, my dear friend.
- Pulled a Friday morning pop-in on some Malden power players at Franny’s in Maplewood Square two weeks ago. Birthday boy Bill Dempsey, MPD Commissioner Salvatore “Butch” Gennetti, Fred Smith, Bobby “Father of Rob” McCarthy, retired Malden Police Officer Mike Hardiman (amongst others) were finishing up breakfast and solving all the world’s problems as I walked in and saluted them. Next pop-in I hope to spend more time and catch up with former Mayor Ed Lucey. Always fun to hook up with these walking & talking Malden history books!
As Peter Falk’s iconic TV character Columbo would say, “Just one more thing, sir” – I am extremely proud and feel honored to participate in the Sunday afternoon San Rock Procession, the time-honored tradition of carrying the Saint (rolling the Saint, actually) through the streets of Edgeworth soliciting donations along the way. In the distant past, the money received would go to the good and welfare of those hit by hard times in the neighborhood. With Saint Peter’s Church no longer affiliated with the Feast, the money now funnels to scholarships and to keep the Festa running another year. This year’s march took an emotional toll on many of us who accompany the Saint. As we march, we pay tribute to the many family members and friends no longer with us and pay homage to those from the neighborhood who have recently passed or who are ill. One particular stop this year simply crushed our souls. I’ll elaborate in the near future when time and column space allow.
Postscript: Billy Hart at the Irish American Club; you didn’t think you were gonna get by without a shout out, did ya?! Billy is the go-to guy at the Club, the glue that keeps it together year after year after year. Thank you, Billy, from all your pallys at the IA and all your pallys across Malden and beyond.
Peter is a longtime Malden resident and a regular contributor to the Malden Advocate. He can be reached at PeteL39@aol.com for comments, compliments or criticism.