SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

August 6, 2013

Letter: Remembering a longtime friend, athlete

To the editor:

I want to mention the passing of a longtime friend, Paul Petrathelis, a native of Peabody.

Paul was always involved in sports, lately as a golfer at Beverly Golf and Tennis, and a few years back at Kelley Greens in Nahant when Richie Conigliaro, Tony’s brother, ran it.

And several years ago at the Salem Country Club, Paul won the annual Four Ball Tournament with the Salem Country Club’s John McCarthy.

And many years ago, when I was young in the mid-’50s, Paul would take me with him to the Kernwood Country Club to caddy.

At that time, Paul used to organize our neighborhood kids from the Wallis Street and Highland Park area in baseball where we would line up a baseball field in Buckley Field in the early ’50s before Buckley Field was restored in 1954. The field had a short left field fence of 200 feet for a home run with home runs going over Louie’s Barns (the Louie Millwright Company).

And we had a small field on the corner of Tremont and Wallis streets (now the site of the Luso-American Credit Union and, at the time, the site of the World War II memorial constructed and maintained by World War I veteran Arthur Harrison who lived on Highland Park).

The home run over that fence would go into the A.C. Lawrence property on Tremont Street.

And in the summer of 1959, when the Peabody Summer League first started under Pete Retos on the basketball court on the hill behind the Carroll School. The Hellenics, who I played guard for, and John Kiepinen, another guard, Minnie Dakos, the Hellenics sponsor, guard and forward, Jim Sweeney, guard, and Paul Petrathelis was our player-coach.

The next year, 1960, the summer league moved to James Street, Emerson Park, where the league has operated ever since.

All these sports that Paul Petrathelis was involved with over the years.

Rest in peace, Paul.

Wally Birmingham

Salem

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