en English
en Englishes Spanishpt Portuguesear Arabicht Haitian Creolezh-TW Chinese (Traditional)


Your Local Online News Source for Over 3 Decades

~ Malden Musings ~ Just Once More

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

By Peter Levine


Back by popular demand! Because you insisted! Because it was so wicked good the first (three?) times! Because you had to read it “just once more”! My modified version of a column that first appeared in 2014 reflecting on (some of) our collective and shared memories! Without further ado…

“Just once more…”

  • I’d like to see Brendan Duffy walking by the basketball court at the old Y, sweat soaked t-shirt, after a hard-fought handball game upstairs.
  • I’d like to see Ron “Bevy” Drinkwater applying the “Sweet Science” of boxing on his way to another victory.
  • I’d like to walk that long front corridor at the Granada Theatre (now Ming’s), sit in one of those ratty old seats and take in a midnight movie (“Song Remains the Same,” anybody?)
  • I’d like to see Meffa’s very own “Joe Pet” Petruzzelli’s “Incredible Two Man Band” at the Centre Bar & Grille on a Saturday night with Jaybird, Frankie and Goodie.
  • I’d like to see future strongman/all-world wrestler Dan Ford selling Sunday Globe’s out front of DDs on Highland Avenue.
  • I’d like to spend a Sunday night at Broadway East when Vinny Straccia and North Shore Acappella ruled the world.
  • I’d like to rest my weary bones on one of those vintage bar stools at Jack Haney’s and order a thirty-five-cent draft.
  • I’d like to order up some dogs at Joe & Nemo’s with childhood friends Mark Nolan, Mark Anastas, Jon Crannell, Mike Scibelli, Greg Lucey and Paul Figelski.
  • I’d like to sit at the counter at Bernie Miller’s O’Neill’s Drug Store on Charles St., with all the neighborhood youngsters, a Cherry Coke and a bag of Vincent’s Potato Chips.
  • I’d like to spend a Sunday night at the Blue Star Bar & Grille with Gary, Mike and Mark Cherone, Steve Moran, Al Cocorochio, Nuno Bettencourt and Mike Katz.
  • I’d like to see beloved educator/literary muse/bon vivant John O’Brien walking through the Square, trench coat & soft hat, salt & pepper beard – on his way to his next class.
  • I’d like to debate The Clash, Jam, Buzzcocks and Stiff Little Fingers with Sean Lucey.
  • I’d like to see Paul Gennetti’s big, beautiful smile behind the stick at the Highland Café.
  • I’d like to walk up that long flight of stairs to Al’s Pool Room and watch Al LeFave, Vinnie (aka Jimmy) Della Gatta and Tony DeFilippo hold a table all afternoon.
  • I’d like to walk into Schopell’s on a Saturday morning, quietly sit at a side table and listen to Bill Mini, Don Squires, Arthur Kahn and the rest of the OG’s swap stories about bygone days in Malden.
  • I’d like to see Patrolman Sal “Butchie” Gennetti (now Commissioner) directing traffic in the middle of the Square.
  • I’d like to watch Godzilla on “Creature Double Feature” on a Saturday morning with “Uncle Dale” (Dorman) making with the wise cracks during commercials.
  • I’d like to play another game of no-holds-barred hoop at the old Y in 90+ degree weather.
  • I’d like to see the Santos, Sensiles, LePages, Maynes, Bionellis and Surettes playing street hockey at Girls Catholic across from the “Red School.”
  • I’d like to walk over to the Shell Station at the Fells and Emerald Street, grab a 10-ounce Coke out of the machine and take a seat on the steps of the Bandstand with my Big A meatball sub without a worry in the world.
  • I’d like to attempt to shoot over the long-outstretched arms of “Tall Paul” Abare at that lyric little bandbox we used to call the Y.
  • I’d like a DiPietro’s Bakery French Bread fresh out of the oven.
  • I’d like to see Bob “Knight for Life” Rotondi teaching prospects like John Furlong baseball/life lessons – lessons I know John utilized his entire life. BTW, happy 85th, Bob! Nobody was more disappointed than me that I could not make your grand birthday bash at the Moose (grandson Christian turned 14 on the same day).
  • I’d like to walk into Riley’s Roast Beef, scarf down a jumbo beef plain, then watch the after-hours crowd stumble through.
  • I’d like to see Anthony Spadafora Sr. sitting by the fireplace on a Saturday afternoon holding court with the rest of Malden’s power players.
  • I’d like to see Jawn P (aka John Preziosa) and Top Choice Clique rip through “Push It Past Red.”
  • I’d like to see “Sal the Barber” tanning himself on his lounge chair in front of his shop on Charles Street.
  • I’d like to see Coach (Frank) Adorn hitting fungos to his sons, Frankie and Steve.
  • I’d like to visit Jerry’s Army & Navy Store – Jimmy Kelley and Richie “Hard Rock” Hannon working the register – and “purchase” a new biker leather.
  • I’d like to pull up to Linden Park and play a pickup game of hoops with the Pashoians, Jimmy Murphy, the Restuccias and Billy Murray.
  • I’d like to walk into the living room of Superintendent (Paul) Phaneuf’s home on Greystone Road and see him sitting on his favorite recliner reading a classic with a tall glass of Ballantine Ale (perfectly poured) by his side.
  • I’d like to see Anna Puleo working the phone at the old Highland Café taking pizza orders on a Friday night.
  • I’d like to pull up to Amerige Park and play a pickup game of hoops with Paul Coleman, Scott Hanley, Arthur Boyle, Larry White, Jimmy DiNitto, Mark Burns, Bernie McCole and Bert Cioffi.
  • I’d like to pull up to Harvard Street Park and play a pickup game of hoops with Rod Marshall, Kenny Fulgham, Gregory, Philip & Douglas Rogers and Derek Wilson.
  • I’d like to pull up to Green Street Park and play a pickup game of hoop with Larry Kinnon, “Choppa,” Brad Snow, Joey Hult, the Lynch and Nolan brothers and Marty Grasso (then over to Signor Pizza).
  • I’d like to pull up to Devir Park and play a pickup game of hoops with Dave Angelo, Frankie Hanley, the Guerins, Pasquale Petrangelo, the Durso brothers and all those great guys from Medford.
  • I’d like to walk down Pearl Street on a hot summer night and see Eleanor & Frank Molinari sitting on their stoop, Jimmy Palermo directly across the street.
  • I’d like to see Boston’s Chinatown at 3 in the morning with Choff, Luce, Albert and Goodie.
  • I’d like to see the Edgeworth-based garage band Anthem with Richard “Dr. Love” Santo on bass and Dommy “Love Gun” Settemio on guitar one last time at the I.T.A.M.’s.
  • I’d like to see Jimmy Palermo holding court, anywhere.
  • I’d like to drive down Pearl on a hot summer night and inhale the fresh bread baked from the kitchen at Pearl Street Bakery.
  • I’d like to put another dime in the jukebox at the Highland Café, select the latest Beatles hit song and have a large pizza.
  • I’d like to walk into King Neptune with my childhood bud Jimmy Damiano, order some French fries and talk Red Sox all afternoon.
  • I’d like to see Billy & Dom Settemio behind the stick at the Stadium Café on one of those special “3 Stooges Marathon Monday” nights.
  • I’d like to walk into Cai’s Playoff Pub and see celebrities Michael J. Fox, Bob Montgomery, Cam Neely, “LB,” Julio Franco, Gordie Kluzak and Rick Upchurch nursing cold beers with the regulars.
  • I’d like to watch Ruffino “Ruffy” Mugica throw blazing fastballs from behind the screen at the big-league diamond at Devir with Jackie Walsh.
  • I’d like to see Steve Powell throw another touchdown pass from the pocket.
  • I’d like to watch David Surette score another goal.
  • I’d like to see another Robby Santo at bat.
  • I’d like to see Shawn Brickman dominate from the mound, on the hardwood and on the gridiron.
  • I’d like to see Cathy “Mac” MacMullin dive for another loose ball.
  • I’d like one of Frankie Villa’s famous meatball subs!
  • I’d like to see Mark Cannon breaking ankles for another 80-yard gain.
  • I’d like to watch John Stanasek run a game of hoop.
  • I’d like to see Matty Marden win another NCAA (hockey) Championship (at BU).
  • I’d like to watch Freddy Ribeiro make wrestling look easy.
  • I’d like to see Harry Mehos work the sideline at a Malden High School football game, keep the book at an Augustine’s Athletics game or just walking the gym as Malden High athletics’ number one fan.
  • I’d like to hear Bobby Crowley sing “60 Minute Man.”
  • I’d like to see John Surette and Boy’s Life perform “Two Doors Down” one last time at the Rat.
  • I’d like to walk into the I.T.A.M.’s on Oakland Street and see “Joe Candy” Candelora, Moe, Johnny Barry, Dom & Tiger Settemio, Joey Moreno and Al Aretusi playing poker and drinking Schlitz at one of those mid-century barroom tables.
  • I’d like to hear Mark “Choppa” Chopelas call me “Pistol Pete” and see that great big smile of his!
  • I’d like to see Walter “Killer” Kowalski and his wife Theresa sitting in their favorite window booth at Ferrari’s on Eastern Avenue.
  • I’d like to walk into the Converse Rubber Retail Store on Pearl and purchase a pair of 9 1/2 Chuck Taylor “irregulars.”
  • I’d like to see Sean Collins sitting at his favorite spot at the Rez, enjoying every moment of his life and in the process showing us what is important in life.
  • I’d like to spend a Friday night up The Mount, bundled up warm, waiting for that certain point in the night when Russ “Galooch” Garland would command our attention and break into “God Bless America” or Norm Pashoian break out “My Way.”
  • I’d like to see Richie Cremone work the grille at Brandano’s, Tricca’s, Anthony’s, Cremone’s or the Saint Rock Feast.
  • It’s a simple, timeless sentiment – just once more spending time with my mother. Jimmy Carducci is extremely fortunate to have just celebrated the 99th birthday of his mother, Lady Esther. Just once more… I’d like to spend a Saturday afternoon in the North End at Regina Pizzeria on Thacher Street with my mother.

As Peter Falk’s iconic TV character Columbo would say, “Just one more thing, sir” – just once more, for the sake of old times and old-timers!

Postscript: Thank you to James Calagero, whom I totally lifted this idea (and especially the last line) from while I was thumbing through an issue of “Boston’s North End” from 2002.

—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 criticisms.

Contact Advocate Newspapers