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Malden today, tomorrow and yesterday – Dana Brown’s tie

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  A Malden slice of life: Dana Brown speaks… “Quick story about the tie in the photo…Police Chief Kevin Molis, who was ‘Sarge’ at the time, gave me this tie 19 years ago to wear in my interview to be the next Malden High School Principal. The year was 2003. I got the job. The rest is history. I still wear the tie. Thanks Chief! Go Malden!”

  You know you’re getting old when…a young pup like State Rep Steve Ultrino is saving up for retirement. Steve and his family have called Edgeworth home since before time began – when every basement had a wine press, when a freshly killed chicken was steps away at Freddy’s Market, when every backyard exploded in the summer with tomatoes, basil, hot peppers, fig trees and much more. The Ultrinos were part of that large Italian diaspora that made Edgeworth the best “Little Italy” this side of the North End. It isn’t a lie to say Steve has always fought the good fight. Steve walks the walk. From his Saint Peter’s altar boy days to his lifelong love affair with the Saint Rocco Society to his first run for office (Ward 2 Councillor), right up to his current gig as a state rep. Steve is 100 percent invested in his friends and family, his neighborhood, his hometown and to his unwavering faith. Steve is the real deal.

  I asked Steve 10 hard-hitting questions. He was courageous enough to take up the challenge. Here is a very small glimpse in the life of a very good friend of ours, Steve Ultrino:

  What one thing would people be surprised to learn about you? Despite my stockier build, I am a very picky eater (except for milk chocolate).

  Where would you most like to buy a one-way ticket to? Aruba.

  What person, alive or dead, would you like to eat dinner with? Well, I would always like to see my father and grandparents again; however, I always wanted to eat with Saint (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta.

  What’s one song to play to put yourself in a good mood. The song “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran; a bonus if Andrea Bocelli sang along.

  What is the one piece of advice that most changed your life? A former teacher/Xaverian Brother once told me “The greatest deed is the one in which you have accomplished and not in which you need to talk about.”

  What one piece of advice would you give your younger self? Learn how to relax; one thing I am not very good at unfortunately.

  What’s the one thing that keeps you motivated? Helping people/working in the community.

  What’s the one thing you want to be remembered for? Helping people and community service.

  Malden is a small, vibrant community with, by any standard of measurement, a bright future. You (and your family) have long known Malden. Through good times and bad. With the influx of new restaurants, new residents, a forward-looking administration in City Hall led by Mayor Christenson and his staff, the removal of the city hall building/police station and the ongoing “transit-oriented development” centered around the Orange Line – what is your vision of Malden and the downtown area, in say, five years? And how would you continue to spur growth in Malden? I would like to see more of a selection of ethnic restaurants, a hub for innovation in science, education and the arts.

  Malden has long been known for its outstanding restaurants, delis and bakeries. You grew up in a neighborhood renowned for its food. Growing up what were your favorite places to grab a slice of pizza, a sub or a French bread? The original DiPietro’s Pizzeria and the bakery. However, a full pizza would be at the former Highland Café and my grandmothers of course...

  It is said in Malden today, tomorrow, yesterday…

  Large crowd on hand Monday night (April 18) at the Italian American Citizens Club for opening night of bocce ball. IACC President Billy Settemio and the rest of the boyos at the Club were downright giddy all weekend long in anticipation of this Club High Holy Day. On this cool evening, stogies were lit and Club members drank adult beverages like the gentlemen that they are. Master Chef Jimmy Semon will be behind the grille on Thursday and Friday nights again this year. For that, we are all grateful.

  Speaking of giddy with excitement, count many Malden police officers giddy with excitement as the 2022 Mac Singleton Basketball League revs it’s engine in early May. Many of Malden’s finest volunteer to coach in this league, which consists of grades 4 through 12. The Malden Rec Dept.’s Joe Levine explained to me that for the youths of Malden to get to know police on a personal level helps develop healthy and positive relationships through their formative years into adulthood. Young people see that police aren’t the enemy up close and personal. Great job, MPD, Malden Recreation Dept., Mayor Christenson, Captain Cronin and Police Chief Molis for thinking outside the box.

  A Malden baseball reunion not to be missed! For all you hardball fans past and present, on Sunday, June 5 from 4-7 p.m. at Devir Park, Dave Caiazzo and friends will be remembering all the great Malden Merchants/Augustine A’s championship teams and the talented players from years past who performed on those teams – unquestionably the greatest teams in Intercity league baseball history. Join organizer Kevin Larson and reminisce with friends and former players on the soon to be reconstructed Devir Park in the Edgeworth section of Malden. Players like Steve Ring, Joe DiSarcina, Bobby Guidi, Charlie Meeker, Dave Polcari, Andy Brickley, John Brickley and Dave Caiazzo – along with so many other names that lit up your baseball past – will be introduced along with sportswriter and columnist (speaking of talented!) Steve Buckley. Refreshments will be available along with all your favorite former players sharing so many of their stories of those glory days. Also, they will be paying tribute to those players and coaches that are no longer with us, particularly those who had an impact during those fabulous years (Eddie Larson, Harry Mehos, to name but two). Kevin and Dave Cai hope to see all of you there.

  “This is the end, beautiful friend, this is the end, my only friend, the end” – former Malden High School Principal Dana Brown continues:

  “1983 – April 15th, a bit cold, a little wet; there were snowflakes. Made sense to get married that day because it was the start of school vacation week!

  “I had lunch with some of the boys at the Roadside Tavern, now the 621, owned and operated by the DeVincentis Family, formerly of the Revlon Plaza! Great peeps, great food!

  “Marie and her parents had lunch at the Stadium Café, now the site of John Brewer’s Tavern! Great food! The Stadium was owned at the time by Willie Marinelli, and then later by Billy Settimio, my brother-in-law’s best man.

  “Married at St. Peter’s Church in Edgeworth by Father Cintolo. St. Peter’s was predominantly made up of Italian immigrant families. The Church is now the Grace Church of God, still serving a largely immigrant population, this time Haitians. It is still a landmark for folks coming back to the St. Rocco Feast.

  “Our reception was at the Summerside Lodge, now the Pearl Street Station Restaurant. The Summerside was operated by Freddy and Louise Spadafora. The current Peart Street Station is managed by longtime friend Paul Solano.

  “Side note. After a year or so living in a house (next door to the Molis boys on Russell Street) owned by the DiGiammarino family (my HS Asst Principal and then colleague), we moved to 16 Thacher Street and lived on the first floor; Freddy and Louise Spadafora lived on the second floor. Fantastic leftovers weekly!

  “Rumors are that the wedding after party at my family house was epic. That is according to Bransfield, Chiccuarelli, Cagno et al. We still get together and tell tall tales…

  “Marie and I spent Friday night at the Bedford-Stauffer’s Inn; turned into a Doubletree Hilton, now closed; got up early Saturday and drove to the Nevele Resort in the Catskills (think Dirty Dancing!) Closed! Marie’s Uncle Mike (of Boston masonry and political fame) had the connection there and we were treated like royalty.

  “Here we are 39 years later, doing ok. Connections matter. Relationships matter. Stories are important. Tell yours. Happy Anniversary Marie.”

  Postscript 1: Happy birthday, by the way, Dana Brown!

  Postscript 2: Mr. Brown, did I tell you how much Malden misses you at 77 Salem St.?

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