How could I know that I would spend twenty of the happiest years of my life from age 69 to 89 at one of the most undesirable office locations in Brookline:), amidst a gang of Irishmen, two Irishwomen, a Garage Punk Midwesterner, and a severe Italian landlady. After all, I had just recently inhabited the grandest office in Brookline’s famous Coolidge Corner. Sure, I wanted a small and private space to test out my notion of becoming an author and historian, but what was I getting myself into? My tough landlord, Patricia Simboli, had me cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s, probably figuring this old guy will be outta here in no time with his grandiose notions. As (bad) luck would have it, on my first day my office mates, each having their own small office, were out in the hall talking, chief among them the seemingly unwelcoming husband and wife legal team, Joe and Paula Killion. Being crazy me, I said, “Hey everybody, I’m just what you need up here, an old Jewish guy.” That broke the ice. We all became immediate friends, and that warmth continued forever.
Joe turned out to be a pussycat who helped me out of the trouble my bad driving habits induced, and discussed baseball with me constantly, he having been a star pitcher at Holy Cross. He also proved to be the Champion Pack-Rat of all time! Brilliant criminal defense lawyer, Paula Killion, stared at me with her gorgeous blue Irish eyes, set in a face of flawless alabaster skin, but later shared with me her vast knowledge of the criminal law and shrewd opinions of people. Linda Gavin, Esq. became a chapter in my book, “Voices of Brookline”, when she was married by the Town Clerk to her longtime same sex partner at the Brookline Town Hall right after the Massachusetts Supreme Court allowed such unions in the landmark “Goodrich” case. Gentle Walter Landergan flawlessly handled several cases I referred to him with honesty and respect. Walter was close to Joe, and was broken up, as were we all, when Joe passed early at seventy. Walter and I bonded as friends. So too I bonded with the low key Steve Simon who startlingly combined that persona with his love of garage punk music which he blasted out on his program on Boston College radio station WZBZ. Steve’s late small dog, Chloe, came to the office often with Steve, and whimpered when I called him down the hall from his sanctum sanctorum to fish me out of my ineptitude on my computer. It turned out that Patricia Simboli possessed a full measure of warm Italian family feeling when she told me of her happiness with me as a tenant, and of her pride in my success. My luck in friends had held, coming as I did from my previous big quarters and my long friendship there with David Jensen, Esq., who like those above possessed a warm personality that has made us friends to this day.
Listen and you’ll hear much more about these nice folks! Who knows, you might get to like lawyers’
People, Always People!