From the day I was born until I was almost 12 years old, I saw George Frawley almost every day - I lived just around the corner. George was a rough and tough man, confident and fearless - as Irish as a pint of Guinness. As a young man, he was an excellent boxer, well known in the Boston area.
He was a bookie. He was married and had two married daughters. By the time I was 5 years old, I was is partner and sidekick. We went to ballgames, horse races and boxing matches - and spent time in many Boston barrooms. He attended all of my little baseball and basketball games.
Every Friday night I stayed overnight at his house. We got pizza and watched TV and the Friday Night Fights. On Saturday mornings, we went out to breakfast. Almost every day, he challenged me to spell a new word. I was a magical and memorable time.
Decades ago, on an early September morning, I told him that I would see him after school - and he said that he would see me later.
When I g…