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Malden today, tomorrow and yesterday – reintroducing Paul Donato

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  State Representative Paul Donato is straight out of Compton, oops, I mean Medford. But make no mistake; he is one of Malden’s best friends. Has been since “goodness knows when” (Three Stooges catchphrase). He knows all the local characters. He knows the landscape. He knows the flava from Robinson’s News to John Brewer’s Tavern. And he knows where all the best restaurants are (and where a few bodies are buried – I kid)! In all seriousness, when it comes to doing the right thing, Mr. Donato checks off all the correct boxes. Constituents he reps in Malden and our Thanksgiving Day archrival, Meffa, voted him in year after year after year because he is always on the right side of the issue. Renewable energy? Check. Keeping children safe? Check. Fighting for veterans? Check. Adores puppies? Check. Loves long walks at sunset on Revere Beach. Check!

  This election Paul would give his right arm to continue to serve the good folks of Malden and Medford. You know him as a public servant who always fights the good fight. Let’s get to know Paul the person, just a little bit. You wanted the best!? You got the best! Ten questions for the hardest working man in show biz…

  1. Where would you most like to buy a one-way ticket to? Sicily.
  2. What person, alive or dead, would you like to eat dinner with? Abraham Lincoln.
  3. What’s one song to play to put yourself in a good mood? “It’s Impossible” by Perry Como.
  4. What is the one piece of advice that most changed your life? Be true to yourself.
  5. What one piece of advice would you give your younger self? Reach for the stars.
  6. What’s the one thing that keeps you motivated? Being able to help people.
  7. What’s the one thing you want to be remembered for? Helping to improve the lives of children in the foster care system.
  8. Malden is a small, vibrant community with, by any standard of measurement, a bright future. You’ve represented Malden for a long time. 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’m really excited about what’s happening in Malden, especially downtown. I foresee additional residential and business development, as well as many new restaurant opportunities. My vision is to upgrade and rehabilitate the Malden Train Station to accommodate those who will take advantage of the indicated opportunities. In addition, I’m excited for my ability to assist the city in acquiring the old Malden Courthouse that hopefully will be transformed into an Arts and Cultural Center.
  9. Malden has long been known for its outstanding restaurants, delis and bakeries. What was your go-to place in the past? What is your go-to place today? My old go-to was Pasta Market and my current favorite is All Seasons Table.
  10. What one thing would people be surprised to learn about you? I spent eight years in two foster homes as a foster child.

  You are a longtime Maldonian if you remember…

  When Malden had two movie theaters (The Strand & Granada); you’re an even longer resident if you remember when we had three.

  When the Malden River ran under Charles Street along Canal and could be openly viewed behind the Granada Theatre in all its trash strewn pre-EPA polluted glory.

  When you could make it from your home in Edgeworth to the Square (substitute your section of Malden here) without hitting a light if you knew which side streets to take; try that today.

  When Freddie’s Market on Pearl Street was a thriving neighborhood Italian Deli before the corporate giants came in and altered a way of life.

  When Mr. Carroll (our very patient meteorology teacher at Malden High School) would have you deposit all illegal or banned substances on his desk before you departed for the restrooms.

  When basketball players would be lined up 30 deep at the YMCA on a Wednesday night for the next game.

  When the DPW flooded Devir Park in the winter and most of the best hockey players in the city (and the state for that matter) would play deep into the night; players such as the Matty & Mike Marden, Frankie & Mike Hanley, Joey & Peter Mayne, and the Surette brothers Steve, Dave and John.

  When the Settemio brothers Billy & Dommy took ownership of the Stadium Café sometime in the late 70s (now home to John Brewer’s Tavern) and had their incredibly successful and very popular “Three Stooges Nights.”

  When then manager of the Augustine Athletics of the Intercity League Steve Ring got involved in a disagreement with some of the youngsters from the Bandstand and was pig piled right there on the pitcher’s mound at Devir Park as bat boys John Bionelli and Kevin Killian looked on in horror (or was it delight?).

  When you could get a brand-new pair of Converse High Tops for four bucks at the retail store on Pearl Street or out of the trunk of a car for half the price. But fair warning, those sneakers may have been different colors with maybe a blemish or two. Who cared though?

  When Walter Wishkoski was behind the stick at Mike’s Café on Highland Avenue. Mike’s may have been the last of the sawdust floors in Malden.

  You’re really a longtime Maldonian if you remember when local icon Sal “Butchie” Gennetti donned the MPD blues for the very first time.

  Danger Will Robinson! Stepping carefully upon my soapbox…. You’re a longtime Maldonian if you remember the day when you confronted a bully face to face. The days when they did not hide behind a keyboard. The shameless and cowardly display of faceless machismo that is so ubiquitous on some Malden based social media sites is troubling, to say the least.

  “This is the end, beautiful friend, this is the end, my only friend, the end.” My father, Soloman Levine, grew up hard on the streets of the West End of Boston, a self-taught man who had street smarts and may have actually written the book on street smarts. Utilizing these street smarts when his three oldest boys came of age, there were two truths that he held close to his heart (truths that I will be forever grateful for): My boys will not play football and they will not go to Vietnam. Thank you, pops, for the courage of foresight and hindsight. My dad wore his Star of David proudly right up until that day last year when he passed on. (Hopefully, his long-awaited and hoped for reunion with his father, Herschel, was realized.) A voracious reader, he had a saying after scanning the obituaries; noticing the passing of yet another lantzman, he’d say to nobody in particular, “We lost another friend today.” With that said, dad, we lost a couple of friends today; rest in peace, David Irving Westerman, 86, of Malden, active member of Agudas Achim–Ezrath Israel in Malden and Congregation Ahavas Sholom in Saugus, and Arnold Green, 92, of Peabody. Arnold was married for 69 years to Barbara.

  Postscript 1: Congratulations to me! I am extremely proud to announce that I had a part in securing a spot in the Malden High School Alumni Hall of Fame for Norman “Spirit in the Sky” Greenbaum and Michael “The King Maker” Goldman. On April 29 at Anthony’s on Canal Street, Michael and Norman will be inducted in a real live ceremony with real live people in attendance. Details to follow. Jordan Shapiro also nominated Norman, and Ronny Cox also nominated Michael. Great minds think alike.

  Postscript 2: For information on how to obtain tickets for the banquet contact Camille Colantuoni at 781-632-1646 or email cmc5767@aol.com. If you would like to place an advertisement in the program book, please feel free to contact Len Iovino at 781-321-3568 or email him at lvi_mps@yahoo.com – or John Froio at 781-321-0339 or email him at jfroio38@verizon.net.

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