Thursday, November 8, 2018

"Ring ring" Oh the phone! Who's calling me? Oh it's me!

Today I received two calls! I wonder what I wanted? My name and number both appeared on the little screen. I didn't leave myself a message. What a jerk. Anyway in other news the Red Sox won the World Series again and it is great in a sporting sense for sports bragging rights to other cities. Since 2001 the various Boston sports teams have won eleven championships. If you were a sports fan around here it's been quite a run, but on to other things.

A headline that made national news was the killing in a prison in California of Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger. Now of course I knew who he was but that's about it. He was the head guy of the "Winter Hill gang" Winter Hill is a part of the city Somerville, that borders my city, south of here bordering Boston. Somerville is a small but densely populated city of a bit over 4 square miles. Population of 81,560 or over 18,000 per square mile. I just included that to satisfy my own curiosity. The 16th most densely populated city in the country. Anyway I worked part time in a supermarket, the Winter Hill Star Market, which closed in 2007. It was right across the street from a club called Pal Joeys which was the hangout of the Winter Hill Gang of mobsters. It used to be run by Whitey Bulger. Well eventually it was taken over someone called Howie Winters. It was the early 70's I can't remember exactly what year it was. I was in my early 20's. I worked in the deli.  Here's a shot of the store.

  Now across the street, to the right, was the night club Pal Joeys, now a bakery.

Now I include this shot of the inside of the closed store for nostalgic reason as I spent 9 years in the deli.

And now back to our story. On one particular night I was scheduled until midnight. It was about 10 p.m. This guy came to the counter.
"May I help you sir?"
He was very soft spoken. "Yes I'd like to order a party platter."
"Sure." I replied, "When would you like it?"
I gave him the company speech, "I'm sorry sir we require 24 hours notice on party platter orders."
He didn't look happy. "You mean I can't have one now?!"
"I'm sorry sir but that's the company policy."
He stood there for several seconds and then said, "I'll be right back."
Maybe a couple minutes later the evening manager came rushing down like he was shot out of a cannon.
"Whatever he wants! Make him a platter!" So I made a platter. The customer was back in about 45 minutes. I gave him the platter. He was very polite to me.
A while later the evening manager came down to the deli.
"Do you know who that was?"
"No." I replied.
He then explained that it was Howie Winter and the whole mob connection deal. Who knows what Mr. Winter said to him when he initially left the counter  and went up front but Kenny was  acting nervous and very upset.

On Monday night I was at my friend Dave's house watching some stupid movie basically so we could fun of it. Now as we cracked wise, though it certainly wasn't like the Algonquin Nights of the Round Table, we were amusing ourselves the subject turned to names. We both wondered why certain names had a second version that wasn't anything like the original name. Namely how do you get Jack from John? Bill from William? I once worked with a woman whose name was Margret but she was called Peggy. These are some of heady topics that we get into.

Ok I've droned on long enough and as I always end it,
I'm outta here.



  1. We still are getting junk calls so we're just letting the phone ring. P.I.A.! Baseball is the only sport I really understand as far as rules go. Soccer comes in 2nd. I'm not really a sports fan at all. Snow came here this AM. How exciting... yeah. The geese are all gathering to fly south. Good riddance. I'll think positive soon.

  2. Scam...they want you to answer so they can take all your info I guess. Several I know have been getting the same deal. Nice to have momentos from the past to look at.. So many businesses are gone now. Hope the fall/winter is well with you. :-)

  3. I enjoyed this reminiscence. Hope you think of more from time to time. And at least Mr. Winter !! was *kind* enough to take his mad out on the manager and not you, the guy just rolling company dictates!

  4. Boston Boy, Sorry so late getting here. I loved that gangster story Yikes. That was a close one...get that platter up. LOL... I love hearing those crazy stories. Yes, nicknames are just nuts. Once I called a bartender Kimmie...she said , "my name is Kim not Kimmie." Well she said it a bit snotty I told her , "oh too bad, we all know that if your mommy loves you she puts y or ie at the end of your name. " Well she did laugh. Hope you and Arlene are doing well. Takes for showing all these old is fun to see around other towns. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

  5. Thinking that I missed your birthday????? Well if is isn't this month, Happy Birthday for whenever it is!!

  6. Hi Boston boy hope all is well with you and Arlene. Good post get quite a lot of those scams here to ugh! Just to wish you a very Merry Christmas .

  7. Just checkin' in and wishing you and your family and friends a vey nice Christmas and good new year!

  8. We are all missing you Boston Boy. Hope all is well .

  9. Bigger and better things to do? Miss you too.