Thursday, January 28, 2010

January 29, 2010

Biked to Coolidge Corner, Brookline yesterday - from Uphams Corner, Dorchester. Nearly died. Looked over a project then went to this place to warm up with some tea. The place was freezing, the tea got cold in two seconds. I didn't get warm, so when we left I was chilled and shivering. I knew I wouldn't make it home. I'd have to stop somewhere warm. So by chilly circumstance I got to do something I've wanted to for years. Eat at the Busy Bee and chat up the waitresses about the Winter Hill Gang (Whitey Bulger's crew).

Sat in the book furthest back, as far away from the door as possible, next to the warmth of the kitchen. The waitress let me because the place wasn't busy. Ordered spaghetti and meatballs. Found out they obviously didn't eat here for the food.

So I was wondering - where did they sit? They were gangsters. Creatures of habit. Probably always sat in the same spot and had their table. Thought to myself, right here, down back, out of the middle of things, keep eyes on the whole place.

So when I was done, having hardly touched the horrid strings, asked the waitress, "This is where the Winter Hill Gang used to hang out isn't it?" She affirmed and I asked, "Where did they sit?" She said that was before her time but called over a senior staffer and asked her.

"Always right up front. First two booths," she said. Of course. Stupid me, although I got the always part right. They were gangsters. To watch the door and get out fast if need be.

Waitress #1 filled me in on the story she'd heard. The FBI bugged the napkin dispensers at those two tables to record the gang's Busy Bee business meetings. And no one ever knew, not even the owner (she said gesturing to the guy in a Busy Bee cap sitting at the counter watching the lottery on TV) until the whole Bulger story came spilling out when Whitey skipped. "He's dead," she said. And waitresses often know whatever needs to be known.

On the way home stopped by the garden. No criminal activity. Everything intact and in place but for a few things blown around a bit. Brought back a book and some packets of seeds to start. Coming wasn't as bad as going, but it wasn't easy. Walked parts of the way in scattered snow showers.

Driveway Shrine. Dorchester, Mass.

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