One of the greatest things about living in Southie is how the neighborhood rallies around one of its own, whether it’s organizing a “time,” dropping off food after a loved one dies, or just simply stopping by an old friend’s home to spread some joy.
Members of the Southie Chippewa Club stopped by on Saturday afternoon to visit Southie native Joe Greene. Greene, who’s 82, was thrilled for the surprise visit, to see some familiar friendly faces and to talk about the good old days. Mark O’Leary, president of the Chippewas Club, presented Greene with some swag complete with t-shirts, a beanie, and a baseball cap. John Dillon, Steve “Kuzzy” Kuzmich, Joe McDonough, and Bobby Higgins stood by Greene’s bedside and swapped stories and even serenaded him with their rendition of “Southie is My Hometown,” complete with kazoo accompaniment.
Back in the day, playing for the SouthBoston Chippewas Football Team was a right of passage. The football team played games down at Columbus Park – now Moakely Park – from 1929 through 1984 as part of the Boston Park League Football. Before the NFL, amateur football was king in Boston, and the South Boston Chippewas were THE team to beat. They were tough, fast, and filled with a cast of characters that could fill a book.
Back in 1957, the Chippewas Club, a private club located in Andrew Square, was founded by John Sullivan. It’s a place where you could stop by, drink a beer, and talk and bust some balls. This group of Chippewas members decided on a crisp and sunny Saturday to visit a fellow Chippewas, and Greene’s smile alone was worth the trip. “Thank you so much. This means so much to me,” said Greene, holding on tightly to his new Chippewas hat.
And this simple gesture of kindness is what South Boston is all about.
(Back in 2013, a reunion was held, and the Herald wrote a great feature about it, including some awesome photos, which you can see here. )