Whats going on in Charlestown and Southie these days?
While I grew up outside of DC in the 60s and 70s, my mother's family had then (and still) live in Charlestown on a side street off of Bunker Hill Street. Last I visited, (1996) gentrification had invaded, yet, much still looked the same not far from Saint Francis DeSales and the Thousand Flights. My family has lived in the same row houses for well over 100 years now. Back in the 1960s, those row houses could be bought for under 10 grand each. Now, since the invasion, they are worth upwards of half a mill each.
We visited every summer back then. A yearly highlight for me was watching, hearing and riding on the Orange Line EL that screeched above Main Street 24/7. Back in the summer of 1975 or 76, I remember drinking in the park at Doherty Playground with local youth and getting pretty fucked up. I was an outsider, but, being that my mother's family lived there, they mostly left me alone and let me drink with them. I recall it was mainly a girl or two that wanted to see me get my ass kicked. After, I returned to my aunt's and awoke the next morning with her shaking her fist in my face and one shoe missing! I don't believe anyone took it from me. I think I simply lost it in my stupor. There was booze and mescaline mixed together in a cooler that everyone had been drinking from.
Anyway, my grandmother's father and a brother were both named Bernard McLaughlin. She also had a brother named Charles. Yet, while the famous Charlestown gangland McLaughlin's were of my parent's generation (not my grandparent's), I wonder - nevertheless - if they are related to us. Na, there are more fuckin' Bernie McLaughlin's in Boston than there are John Smith's in all the USA!