"Real Estate Office" (1987)

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"Real Estate Office" (1987)


Recollection written by George W. Rose.

Aug 20th 87
Real Estate Office
When I had the Real Estate office - on the corner of 7th and Camb. St. E. Camb.
I had two partners - one was Bill Smith who owned three bar rooms - and the other one was Charlie Burke - who owned a Rest and Submarine Sandwich Shop on Camb. St. Next door to the Italian Church St. Francis of Assisi - [illegible] Al Vellucci (Mayor) and Joe [illegible].
I had a file - the Irish Church was the Sacred Heart on 6th St. State Rep John Toomey and Father Ferrick who was a priest born in E. Camb. The Portuguese Church St. Anthony was on the corner of Camb. St. and Portland. We had the Irish and Lithuanian use the St. Patrick on Berkshire St. Walter Sullivan Councillor and Sen Dan O'Brien used to attend mass there. We also had St. Hendricks on [illegible] St. That was the Polish Church. St. Zelewiski the undertaker and a fellow head of the Polish Club were the ward bosses for that Church - Each church had its own politicians and ward bosses to get things done for them.
Now I used to go to most of them and knew quite a few people from all nationalities.
The nuns from the Sacred Heart would come in and sell me tickets to their affairs - I had a file on my desk. All the churches used to come in to sell me + Bill tickets to all of their events. The old folks senior citizens would also come in with chance books of some kind - I always took them. They would always go out of our office happy. I would buy two - The Esquire Bar + Lounge of which I owned half interest - Rose's Disposal Service - I ran LoPardo was my partner - Mystic Maintenance Corp. - of which I owned half interest and was Gen. Mgr. Plus the east Cambridge Real Estate office - So I could always find a check to buy tickets to help any charity in the neighborhood. We also sponsored softball teams or basketball teams in the neighborhood suits sneakers ect. We also sponsored a boxing club at the St. Francis Church (Italian Church) and [illegible] and cards Ping Pong, for the kids. I would always have a few drunks who would stop by in the mornings to get a cup of coffee - We always had a pot on. They would sleep out all night - Then I would give them a note to go to Mannie Costa my partner at the Esquire Bar to give them a free meal no beer no money. I think that is why god had been good to me. I did a lot of charity in my time. And got alot of people jobs and favors often. It made me feel good.
Patty Michaels had an office down the street from us 6 blocks near the Ital. Church. I would send customers to her office and she would give our office a cut if she made a sale or any money on whoever I recommended to her. She was pretty honest w/ us.
Walter Sullivan, Eddit Sul. Al Velluci State Rep Pete Velluci the Chief of Police Tony Palillo would also stop in once in a while for a cup of coffee and shoot the breeze with us. We had Jimmy Sower. He was weighted at one time and worked for the boys in the North End. He was in our office every day. He lived just one block up from us. He was a good guy - along with Eddie [illegible] who was a friend of mine for years. I got him a job w/ Sears Roebuck in Boston during a [illegible] for local 25 - He became the shop stewart - and when I had some problems w/ the Union 10 years later he was there to help me out.
My men used to take the rubbish off of the platform. Now some time we would have to wait until Sears men would bring it out to the platform. The Union used to raise hell when we would go in ourselves and roll the four wheel trucks w/ the rubbish and cardboard to the [illegible] platform. They tried to get me thrown out of there. But the manager and Eddie Bangs wouldn't let the Union do anything to my men and my trucks. So I kept the account for 3 years. It paid for me to have gotten Eddie that job years ago.
So many times I got people jobs, and later on in years they were in a position to return the favor. The women cop on the beat who used to be the meter maid in front of our office - She would overlook our cars not putting dimes in the meters - She used to stop in two times a day for her coffee - once in a while we would have to put money in when the Sgt was in the area checking her.
Charlie Burke also a partner in the E. Camb Realty Office - His nephew lived up stair over us. He kept his bike in our back room at the office. He was Cambridge Police Officer. His father Charlie Burkes brother was Lt. on the Camb. police and lived 3 doors down on the side street. He too was always in our office. We had Rep. Peter Vellucci Sen. Michael LoPresti and many other pols who liked to stop in also Judges who were friends of ours enjoyed talking to us.
We had poor and rich - sick and unfortunate. We had a good relationship with all departments of the city of Camb. We used to get invited to everything that was going on in the area. Always some one to do a favor for.
(Billy Maher was head of the Police internal affairs Dept. and was a good friend of mine)
Between Billy Smith Charlie Burke or myself we could do just about anything in the City and the people knew it. Senator Dennis McKenna would stop in to see me also once in a while.
We never knew who was going to stop in to say hellow to me mostly State Rep. from Somervill Marie Haue. She used to do alot of favors for people. I wanted to her in good w/ the Portuguese people because there were alot of them in Som. Manny Rogers son was also very active and he helped the Portuguese. He was pres of the Portuguese Credit Union Inman Sq. Camb. and I know his dad Manny Rogers very well. A peach of a man. He buried my son Geo Jr. when he died at the age of 27 yrs. He was great to me and my family.
Al Vellucci was the mayor of Camb. and he was always calling me to help some charity he was involved in for the City. We had the Warren Pals. Club on Warren St. Bugger Lampassi Joe Niealoro, Camb Bd. of Health Comm. Bill [illegible] Jim Parcie Income Tax inspector, Arthur [illegible] - and many more were influential people in the city hall - we had strength in all walks of life in Camb. Al Vellucci Jr. was head of the Camb City Hospital and many times Portuguese or others who could not pay their hospital bill and Al Jr. would take care of the bill for the poor people. This would also help his father the mayor and his brother the State Rep Peter Velucci to get some votes.
I told Al Vellucci one time I was going to take out my papers to run for City Councillor because he ignored me on some favor I had asked him to do for some poor unfortunate person. A Portuguese. I said to Al "If he was an Italian you would do it in a minute" When I said I would run against him he went pale and boy did I always get action after that time to this date.
I helped him very much with some of my Portuguese people to get the new Dante [illegible] Society building built and get it started. I donated money and materials and trucks along with my good from John Serpa Portuguese contractor



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., “"Real Estate Office" (1987),” Portuguese American Digital Archives, accessed October 23, 2021, https://umlportuguesearchives.omeka.net/items/show/972.

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