Flashbacks: adventures in smuggling, all-star alternatives, and yet another person who's been threatened by Dapper O’Neil

20 years ago
February 5, 1988 | Nancy Roosa wrote of her experience as a smuggler in Asia.

“The offers were almost too good to pass up. For simply carrying items from Hong Kong into Thailand or Taiwan, as we did, handwritten signs promised US $50 to $100. Even more common are ‘milk runs,’ where a group of milk-fed innocents are led by a smuggler on a five-to-six-day trip through Customs of three countries: South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, carrying items that are limited, prohibited, or expensive in each country. In return, they receive free flights between the countries, rooms in good hotels, all meals, time off for sightseeing, pocket money, and a cash payment.”


25 years ago
February 8, 1983 | Phoenix columnist Alan Lupo injected new life into the practice of all-star selection.

“The nonjocks, or the asportual, need not feel left out. All-star teams should not be limited to muscular people who sweat and chew abscess-producing tobacco… Why not the following?
“The 10 Best US Presidents, five southpaws and five righties. A Secretaries of the Agriculture Hall of Fame roster. The Five Top Synagogue Custodians in the City of Kiev, 1850-1880. America’s Most Humorous Funeral-Home Ushers...The Five Lowest Academic Achievers in Portia Law History. A Short But Outstanding List of Revere Politicians Who Never Took a Dime.
“All-star selections must be open to all Americans. We’re talking access here, open covenants openly arrived at, community participation. So go ahead. Make up a list. For that matter, make up a category. Make up anything you want, and fill in the slots. Your rationale is no better or worse than the traditional reasoning used by the long-time practitioners of this craft.” Read Full Article


30 years ago
February 7, 1978 | Brendan Murphy described how Boston Globe cartoonist Paul Szep had incurred the wrath of hard-nosed City Councilor Dapper O’Neil.

“It was two weeks before last November’s elections and Paul Szep, the Globe’s editorial cartoonist, was taking pot shots at O’Neil, who with the rest of the council was up for re-election. He had rendered O’Neil as a cross-eyed clown with holes in his elongated shoes,...wearing a button reading, ‘Keep Dapper — vote NO on Galvin plan’ (designed to make the council more representative). Below was the caption, ‘I have done nothing in particular, but I have done it very well.’
“This was on October 19. Eight days later Szep portrayed councilors O’Neil, Hicks, Langone, and Kerrigan as four clowns tumbling out of a tiny, dilapidated circus jalopy with ‘City Council’ license plates; the caption this time was ‘Four reasons to vote ‘yes’ on the Galvin Plan.’ So Dapper was fuming. But Paul Szep wasn’t nervous. ‘O’Neil threatened me. He’s sort of a caricature of what we think a city councilor to be . . . . But I’m not worried about a guy of the age and condition of Dapper O’Neil. I’ve spent too long, between boxing and hockey: I can take care of a guy like that.’ ”


35 years ago
February 6, 1973 | Susan Philips profiled Common Sense, a Cambridge-based tax service that advised people who wished to stop paying for the Vietnam War.
“Having gone through a series of both ‘straight’ and war resistance tax training sessions, volunteers at Common Sense are aware of...the complicated details of filing returns. The novice workers cheerfully refer people to one of the experts for difficult calculations. ‘Actually the training of consultants at other tax services is no more extensive than at Common Sense,’ said one volunteer. ‘We’re just as qualified.’
“Common Sense is a project of the Roxbury War Tax Scholarship Fund. The Fund has an account in the Unity Bank of Roxbury where resisters can keep their tax money in escrow. If and when a personal bank account is seized for back taxes, the register can make it up by withdrawing the same sum from the Unity Bank. Interest on the fund’s account is directed to socially productive functions. In April and October of each year, members of RWTSF decide collectively where to award the monies. Last October $400 each was given to the Vietnam Resource Center in Cambridge and to the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) Gainsville Defense Fund. RWTSF has a bail fund which includes about one-fourth of their total amount in the Unity Bank. Some members are in contact with prison groups to find individuals who need bail money. This money is also available for tax resisters.”



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