The city of Boston is home to several street newsstands, urban shacks, squatters of commercial enterprise that have survived the rise of city ordinances and building codes. Located across the street from the Mallory Arms was Mickey's Newsstand, and it was the best of these, not because his selection of newspapers and magazines, not because of having a better menu of candy bars and cigarettes, but because of two very specific things. The first was Mickey's coffee, the legendary Mickey's Java, his own blend of this and that, most likely a homemade mix of Chase & Sanborn and Maxwell House spiced with a sprinkle of this and that of who-knows-what. The second was Mickey himself, a disabled veteran of Guadalcanal, blinded by a flash of a Japanese grenade. Though he had lost the use of his eyes, Mickey observed more of what was going in the streets than any man I've ever known.
"Hey, Mickey. Coffee and a paper."
"What's the headline this morning?"
"Archbishop Collins Murdered. It says the old coot was found dead right there at Saint Francis."
As I picked up the paper, I found the lead story. "Yea, Mickey. The doc seems to think that the Archbishop was put down by some sort of slow poisoning."
"D*mn. I betcha didn't know that I was an altar boy over at Saint Francis."
'"Really, you an altar boy? You gotta be kidding me."
"Hey, I take exception with that, MacKenzie. I'll have you know that I was thinking about the priesthood before Uncle Sam snared me."
"Aw, come on, Mickey."
"Yep. Me and Father Kelly were classmates back in high school. Now look where he ended up and where I ended up. Poor fella - he could of had all this."
And that's Mickey - a living, breathing monument to resiliency of spirit and positive attitude.