One of Boston’s all-time favorite Irish politicians was Dapper O’Neil. With a name like that you know there had to be a lot of rakishness in the man. One thing that always struck me funny about him though was his relationship with Helen T. Skrzowski, his girlfriend of 56 years who died at age 91 on December 14, 2011, almost four years to the day after Dapper who died at age 87 on December 19, 2007.
I could never figure out how a guy could have a girlfriend for 56 years. I would have thought at some time during that half century plus he would have felt strong enough to her to commit to marriage. In my mind Dapper was an odd duck when it came to that relationship. All I could figure was Dapper’s mother once told him he could not marry a Polish girl and that held him back.
Now we get a new Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and what do we have; a guy who has been in a relationship with a woman for nine years. How does that happen? Isn’t there an expression “make an honest woman out her” that used to be said to guys who hesitated when it came to fully committing to a woman.
It has been a big week for Major Martin Walsh soon to depart from my home town of Savin Hill. Trying to figure out exactly why he intends to move from a mainly blue color neighborhood filled with three-deckers that was a short trip down Dorchester Avenue to downtown to the more uppity neighborhood of Lower Mills was not difficult. Everything became clear when I read the part of the article telling of his move that said: ““Everybody loves the mayor,” said Russell Hutchinson, a 76-year-old who moved to the street less than a year ago and feels a connection to Walsh, even though he has never spoken to him.”
If you know Russie Hutchinson you’d know Tuttle Street was not big enough to hold both men. One had to leave. It wasn’t going to be Russie.
Good luck to the major on his move. Now that he has convinced his Lorrie Higgins to leave Savin Hill with him perhaps he can get her to take down the Walls of Jericho that kept Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert separated and follow their example.
Billy Bulger was elected out of his senate district in South Boston to the Massachusetts Senate in 1970, ten years after he had been elected to the House of Representatives. In 1978 he became president of the Massachusetts Senate in which capacity he served until 1999, a total of over 17 years. Governor Michael Dukakis said of him: “There has never been any question about the integrity of the Senate since he has been president.”
I came upon an article in 1987 in the Boston Globe. A James Higgins from Vineyard Haven wrote to the Globe complaining about Billy being mentioned in an article about an incident between Whitey and some security people at Logan Airport. He said, “I just don’t see why it was necessary to mention Billy Bulger as Whitey’s brother in the article. I don’t see the relevancy. Sen. Bulger isn’t responsible for his brother, and in this case, his brother isn’t even charged with anything.”
The Globe Ombudsman Robert L. Kierstead responded to the letter in a column. The story was written on September 23, 1987, by Kevin Cullen, who just wrote a book about Whitey. Kierstead said: “The initial story . . . ran on the front page under the headline “Question: Just What was Whitey up to?”