"My Dad's Funeral" (1987)

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"My Dad's Funeral" (1987)


Recollection by George W. Rose.

1948 or 49
Written July 16th 87
My Dads funeral - Central Sq. fight.
I had been out of the Army for only a short time, my Dad passed away. I wa sliving on Hurley St. East Camb. the little house - at 213 Hurley St. I believe I had 2 or 3 children at the time. My dad was being waked at my Uncle Joe Costas funeral parlor on Prospect St. Camb. Joe Costa was married to my mothers ssiter Aunt Mamie Costa. Souza was my mothers maiden name.
I had a car about 5 years old at the time - What ever year it was. Anyway I needed a new pair of dress showes for the funeral. So about 4:15pm I said to my brother Eddie "lets go up to Central Sq. so I can buy a new pair of shoes." So my brother, Eddie, Mannie, Steve Kenney, my brother-in-law - my sister Catherin's husband jumped into my car and started out for Central Sq. Camb. - which was only about 8 blocks from my uncles funeral parlor on Prospect St. We were on Mass. Ave going towards the Mass bridge and M.I.T. at the intersection of Mass. Ave and Lafayette Sq. I was in traffic a trolley car in behind me. I moved way to my left to take a left hand turn not a turn exactly just to bear left of the gas st. that sat right in the middle of the square -  I stopped and saw this big coal truck step on the gas and pull right in front of me head on - I couldn't back up I had a trolly car directly in back of me. Two men in the truck, a big Mack coal truck from D.B. Raymond Co. from Watertown the Driver opened his window and said f-- you. I opened my window I was driving and said F- You too. Now there were people walking all around the sq. for there was a Candy Factory and Shoe Factory and many business establishments in the immiedate area - 
The driver of the coal truck in front of me said to a couple of passerbys who he knew and laughing he said to them watch this. Then proceeded to step down from his high seat in the big truck. I opened my door and started to get out of my car. my brother Ed was in the front seat w/ me. My brother Mannie was in the near seat. Mannie would fight at the drop of a hat.
Eddit got out and as he went to close the door, Mannie was getting out of the front door the car was a two door - Eddie went to close the door and he hit Mannie in the head with the door. Mannie got mad and said some son of a bitch is going to pay for this. In the meantime, the driver was right in front of me as I stepped out of my door - The other fellow was righ tin front of Eddie and Mannie. Eddied had to restrain Mannie from hitting the other fellow who now backed off a bit - The truck driver said to me lets go over to the alley across the street. I said O.K. lets go. I took 3 steps behind him to follow and he turned quickly and threw a sucker punch. I went slightly under it and just hit and graised my head. I then threw a couple of lefts then a right cross catching him right on the jaw. We started fighting I managed to get him over the hood of my car. And as I was pounding him - People were going oh! oh! every time I hit him. I let him get straightened up. It was evident he didn't want to fight any longer for he was bleeding from the nose and I guess his jaw was broken.
The police Sgt. and 2 cruisers came and took him to the hospital - The other fellow who Eddie and Mannie were holding didn't want no part of us.
The Sgt said to me George go to the Police Station and make out a report and I will meet you up there.
I was a little shaken up so Steve Kenney my brother in law frove my car with Mannie Eddie and I up to the Camb. police Sta. Of course they all knew me for I was an active resident of the City. The Chief and I belonger to the Kyanis Club together.
Anyway I filled out a report. And I was released - to appear in Court the next A.M. because he filed an assault and battery charge against me. I called Bill Andrews who was a County Comm. and a good lawyer former District Attorney.
I helped him when he ran for office. He was Portuguese and a good friend of my Dads and Uncle Joe Costa also. 
The next day he was to meet me at the 3rd District Court. I lived only 3 streets away. This was on Spring and 3rd St. and I lived on Hurley and 3rd St. as I approached the Court House Bill walked down to the corner to meet me. He said I just saw the other fellow going into Court. He is pretty well damanged up a brocken jaw. He has to go back to the hospital for a few days - You don't have but a bruise on the side of your temple. You had better not show up in court I will tell the Judge you also are banged up and couldn't make it.
I will get a compliance which we did - for about 3 weeks.
We went into the Judges chambers w/ the Clerk of Courts and w/ the two lawyers. He wanted all kinds of things from me to pay - His loss of work Dr.'s bills ect.
I explained to the Judge just what had happened and that my father was layed out at the Funeral Parlor at the time and that this man threw the 1st punch. I had a couple of people who were going by from work in Central Sq at the time and would come in to be a witness in my behalf.
Anyway. I said the most I will give him is three days taht he lost from work and one hundred dollars to help towards his hospital bill.
The Judge told him he was lucky he didn't get a charge yet of an assault + bat on him for he started the whole thing. His lawyer who also knew me from Watertown where the man came from this. This lawyer and I had worked together for Mike LoPresti for Senator and I also worked on the home for the Italian Children fun w/ Martin DeMateo, a contractor. The Lawyer was Mike Scalfiani. He adviced his client to take it, because he had been a professional Boxer and his hands were considered weapons therefore he could be in a lot of trouble for starting a fight - 
It cost me about $150.00 Bill Andrews wouldn't take my money and Scalfiani wouldn't take any money from me either for their services. I guess my Dad had taught us well how to Box only if we had to - don't go looking for trouble fo rthere ia lways some one tougher than you.
I met this fellow at the Camb. City dump about a year later - He was in his Truck and I was dumping rubbish w/ my truck. I shook hands with him and asked him to stop for a cup of coffee which we did. He said I never expected that you were as fast as you were. You sure retaliated fast after I threw that 1st punch. He said I guess we all learn lessons in life - We parted the rest. as friends -



From the collection of the Rose family, courtesy of Carol Rose Camelio.


UMass Lowell, Center for Lowell History




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Rose, George W., “"My Dad's Funeral" (1987),” Portuguese American Digital Archives, accessed October 23, 2021, https://umlportuguesearchives.omeka.net/items/show/971.

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