‘Club 13’ alumni gather to talk about how things were then, how they are now

Club 13 alumni smile for the camera at their reunion last Friday.Club 13 alumni smile for the camera at their reunion last Friday.

We named our storefront lair on Dorchester Avenue “Club 13” because we had 13 charter members, most of them from St. Mark’s Parish, and few able to take a taste under the law. It was 1962. JFK was still at the helm, but not for much longer. And there was a rustling of rebellion in the air; things were about to get stormy with the placid ‘50s giving way to the chaotic ‘60s.

Within a year or so, the 13 originals welcomed associates from around St. Ann’s parish and the Howard Johnson’s gathering spot on Morrissey Boulevard. Club 13 was a home away from home for members, who used the facility to hang out, play cards, have a drink or two, and sleep over when it seemed the right thing to do. And across the avenue sat the Peabody Tavern (Jim Kelly and Pat Mitchell, amiable proprietors) over to which club members would drift in the years that followed.

 But for a time, the club was the place to be and last Friday, 49 years after its founding, some 25 alumni gathered in Brockton to bring back the old days, if only for a while, and also to update their fellows on children, grandchildren, divorces, deaths, jobs, and retirements. Those who made it to the reunion included Bill Wallace, Gil Sullivan, Bill and Eddie Battos, Gerry Walsh, George Radeos, Bill, Bob, and Jack McPherson, Bob Mulvoy, Bob Hurrie (in from California), Tom Hurrie, Frank Kearns, Fred Tully, John Costello, Dennis Cosgrove, Paul Buckley, Bill Harkins, Jim Holmes, Paul Maloney, and Lenny Norton. Three alumni – Frank Ivens, Tom McMorrow, and Ivers (Smokey) Zeidens – have died.

As the ‘60s moved on, some of us left Club 13 and Dorchester for college, others for marriage and jobs, still others for the service, and a half-century later, there we were in Brockton talking with each other about the way we were then and the way we are now.

 Our life stories surely resemble those of any like-sized group of late teens who grew into adulthood together in Dorchester in 1962, but in the end they are our stories.

– Submitted by Bob Mulvoy (OFD)