He’s a bright young man with star potential. We became acquainted just recently, but I feel I can confidently call him, friend. He is Senior Community Center Coordinator for the City of Malden, and his name is Mikeneil Paul. Twenty questions to Mr. Paul, for your reading pleasure:
- My full name is…Mikeneil Jho-Alix Paul.
- I am currently…the Senior Center Program Coordinator.
- I am saving up…to invest.
- My homes are in…New Bedford and HAITI.
- I love people who…are respectful.
- Something I say a lot is… “do you understand what I mean” because I don’t know if what I want/intend to say is what you receive.
- I consider myself…to be very outgoing and direct.
- I need to have…space and need to feel comfortable.
- My favorite movie of all time is…Ride Along.
- My all-time role model is…my father.
- I respect people who…put their money where their mouth is.
- The best thing anyone has ever said to me is…“the only person you need to be competing with is yourself.”
- I am happy when…people around me are happy.
- I find it funny/hilarious when…people care too much about what other people think about them.
- I am named after…my parents.
- I have no kids.
- The farthest I’ve ever been from home is…Canada.
- My special talents are…singing and playing the guitar.
- I have no pets.
- I played sports as a youngster at…my high school soccer field.
It is said in Malden today, tomorrow and yesterday…
Gary Campsmith is now running one-on-ones with Rod “Puggy” Forbes and Peter Plachowicz at the Amerige Park in the sky. There will not be another character quite like Gary Campsmith in this lifetime or any other. Looking up the word charisma in the dictionary – yes, that is Gary’s picture included with the definition.
FYI: The top three Malden High School graduating classes of the 1970′s were the Class of ’75 (Russ Garland’s class) with 710 pupils, the Class of ’73 (Bob McCarthy’s class) with 669 and the Class of ’78 (Johnny Meho’s class) with 663.
A great memory related by birthday gal Marie Bionelli about when she worked at the Howard Johnson in Medford (Wellington Circle) in her teens: One late night she remembers being surprised when Jackie Gleason came in and sat down at her table. The “Great One” was in town visiting Frankie “Crazy Guggenheim” Fontaine, who lived in nearby Winchester.
So sad to hear the news of “The Flame and Fury of Fleet Street” Tony DeMarco’s passing. Such a wonderful and humble gentleman. Tony won the welterweight championship of the world at the old Boston Garden back in 1955. The North End remembers that night till this very day. Oh, what a night!
Tony had many friends in New England with deep roots in the North End of Boston, the old West End of Boston, right here in Malden and all the way out west to Phoenix (Arizona) where he owned a bar called “The Living Room Lounge.” Next time you’re in the North End, stop at the intersection of Hanover and Cross Streets where a statue of Tony stands and tip your hat to a great boxer and a greater man.
A great big official Malden today, tomorrow and yesterday welcome to Malden City Hall to Bybiose Larochelle, Malden’s first Diversity Officer.
I was proud as a peacock when I saw Malden High School Class of 1977 Mike Boyle’s name splashed across the entrance of his new training center at 15 Manning St. in Middleton. Mike’s come a long, successful way in his life. He’s known worldwide as one of the foremost experts in the field of strength and conditioning, serving as the head strength & conditioning coach at Boston University for 15 years. He also served as the strength & conditioning coach for the Cam Neely–led Boston Bruins (1991-1999), for the US Women’s Olympic Ice Hockey Team (Gold in 1998, Silver in 2014, Gold in 2018) and for the World Champion Boston Red Sox. His brothers Arthur and Dave also could not be prouder. Not bad for a kid from Amerige Park.
I thought the “First Pup of the Parking Department,” Theo, was a cute dog, then along comes Franklin, Johnny Spadafora’s French bulldog – a close second on the puppy cute scale to Theo.
I did not know this (said in my best Ed McMahon voice) … in another lifetime “The Comeback Kid,” Chris Simonelli, was a Sergeant Training Instructor for the Middlesex Sheriff’s Department, eventually being promoted to Captain. He was a Hearings Officer also for the Department of Corrections mostly dealing with dispute resolutions. During that time, he ran an afterschool program for the youths of Malden where he taught martial arts while also including the dangers of substance abuse in his teachings. Gang awareness, bullying and taking pride in their neighborhood was also incorporated. In his spare time (what spare time?), he helped spearhead something called the Triad Program which had youngsters, seniors and police working together in making the neighborhood a safer place to live. Did you also know that he created the first skateboard park in Malden? Great job, Chris!
Spoke with first year Malden High School head football coach Witche Exilhomme last week about the season so far. He mentioned that although the wins are few he sees progress each and every week and a bright future for the football program. That was good to hear; I could sense a great deal of optimism in his voice. Keep up the great work, my friend. Malden has your back.
“It was 48 years ago today…….”
- The 1973 Ward 2 Councillor seat being vacated by incumbent Billy Callahan (who at the time was recuperating at Boston’s Deaconess Hospital after a “serious operation”) saw future City Controller Dom “Mr. St. Rocco” Fermano edge out Eddie Lynch 1,113 to 823 votes with only 53 blanks.
- “Marty’s Sub Shop” in Maplewood Square – 728 Salem Street – had “Spaghetti with meat ball” for 99 cents.
- Walter “I endorse placing a large ugly building in the middle of Pleasant Street” Kelliher was an easy winner of his eighth two-year term as Mayor, beating “progressive” Council candidate Amelia Miclette: 11,399 to 6,675 with only 422 blanks.
- Councillor Herbert Jackson was the top vote getter running for an At-Large seat with 9,041 votes.
- “Alberti’s Salon for Men” (338 Broadway) featured cuts in all the latest styles – “rega cut,” “layer cut” and “shag” – all the cuts for your bad 1973 self.
- Roli Music on Irving Street had a sale going on – “3 pop records” for one measly dollar! I bought a bunch of Monkees singles back in ’73. (Yes I know, I was a little too old to be listening to the Monkees but I really liked them!)
- Malden High School Class of 1933 got together for their 40th class reunion on Nov. 9 at Spinelli’s on Route 1.
- Lou Reed’s song “Walk on the Wild Side” was a huge hit in 1973. I vividly remember playing it on the little jukeboxes that were in the booths at the old Highland Café – not exactly sure what the heck he was singing about at the time.
- Jesus Christ Superstar – the movie – came out in 1973. I believe I saw it at the Granada, but my mind is a bit fuzzy on that. We were big fans of the album (the “brown album”), but when the movie came out we were a bit confused by the direction of the film. Years later I had the privilege of hanging out a bit with the star of the movie and album – Ted Neeley – a sweeter, nicer man I do not think I have ever met!
- Born in 1973: Andrew Lincoln (“Walking Dead”), Rose McGowan (best actress of her generation!) and Monica Lewinsky.
“This is the end, beautiful friend, this is the end, my only friend, the end” – my (late) father told me a great story years ago about himself and one of his good time pals running into Leonard Nimoy on the streets of the old West End back in 1952, shortly after Nimoy’s first movie, “Kid Monk Baroni,” was released. Nimoy was born in the West End, and he and Ruth Roman are two of the more famous people to walk the streets of that long gone, greatly missed neighborhood. The movie “Kid Monk Baroni” was the type of movie that made “unknowns out of celebrities,” as Nimoy was once quoted as saying. It featured the future Mr. Spock as a tough street punk bound for glory in the ring as a boxer. The neighborhood story goes that Nimoy was home for a stretch of time; he was walking on the opposite side of the street (North Russell, I believe) of my father and his friend when my father’s pal yelled out to him (and I am paraphrasing) that he found his portrayal as a street tough less than realistic and his acting ability rather lacking (much saltier language than this, though). Nimoy acknowledged the two men with a shrug of his shoulders and a smile and kept walking, straight into pop culture history. Check out the movie on YouTube – Leonard Nimoy as you have never seen him.
Postscript: Contrary to popular belief, Paul Anka did not write “My Way” for Frank; he wrote it for my late father, Solomon (Jerry) Levine. Yes indeed, my pops lived every single day of his life his way. Fact is he passed away as he lived his life, fearless. My family and I are grieving once again, but the outpouring of condolences from friends far and wide has made it a little easier to navigate. “Kel Maleh Rachamim” to the man who instilled dignity, compassion and altruism in his five children probably without even knowing it.