I decided to take a spin with my bro today and check out the dodgeball tourney down at good old Toohig Park. This tourney has been in the works with Eddie Strumm and his boys for quite some time. Today, it obviously took on a more special meaning.
It’s a bit of a younger crowd, some Dot Rats, a few Southie kids. An old fashioned get together that brought back memories of the Jazz Tourney for me.
For those of you not familar, Jazz Maffie was a kid from the neighborhood who passed away suddenly years ago. Jazz was the son of Adolph who happened to be a historical figure around Boston. Every year on the Saturday before Dot Day….the boys get together and throw a basketball tourney in his memory. The Maffie familiy was loved throughout the neighborhood.
So I’m hanging out, a ton of faces look familar regardless of their age, probably because I was doing the same exact thing 20 years back with their parents. Eddie’s team is up “Team Swag”….they still played shorthanded in Ed’s absence and hung his jersey at center court in his honor.
Team Swag goes deep in the tourney but ends up getting knocked out…being shorthanded finally caught up with them. My bro points out this one kid on the team with an absolute rifle for an arm…he always seems to be the last one on the court taking on 2 or 3 other kids. I didn’t catch his name but he was an absolute beast out there. This kid wanted to win for Eddie…it was noticable.
The mood was a bit somber at points, maybe because some of them thought I was a cop or something. It has been a tough year for the younger crew around Dot. But as an older Rat, I couldn’t help but feel good about these kids. Why? Because they show up for one another….thats a huge lesson in these parts. It’s a neighborhood at it’s finest….it’s something my generation has passed on to the next….and I feel good about that. The parents around Dot and Southie have done well…for years they showed up for Jazz Maffie…..and today their kids showed up for Eddie Strumm.