Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fennessy Hits Moving Van, Vol.1, No. 2, March 4, 1944

Trolley bus off of Eastern Ave. in front of Highlands School
Photo Credit:  Mark Pharo*
Spring 1949

This, my good friends, is a late news flash, so late in fact, that we had to stop the press in order to get it in this issue. We have taken these steps just to prove to you that we are ever on the alert for news that may have some little interest for you.  Now let us refer back to the "Purely Personal" column where you will note that John Fennessy is a motorman. Call it that if you will.

It is indeed quite common to see mothers leading their children to school with a firm grip on their child's hand -- children ranging in age from 6 to 16, ever conscious of the dangers that lay in the path of children when Fennessy is loose with a street car.  Just for your information, Fennessy took his pre-flight training at the Hyde Park barn.  His instructor must have been, not Mr. Jeykl, but Mr. Hyde, for the barn has the title of the HYDE Park barn, and who else could go around the city streets ever seeking out women and children hoping for the chance to run them down. Well, whoever gave Uncle Bulgey his training sure had something on the ball. If ever you have seen the glint in the eyes of other motormen as they rattled along the streets of our fair city, you can forget all those glints, for Fennessy has a glint all his own.

The "Horror of the Highway" really has that evil look.Well, let's get down to the point. Last Thursday about noon, some poor Eight Ball was driving his moving van along Gilbert Avenue, never dreaming that someone like Fennessy was at the controls of the oncoming street car. But alas, that was the Eight Ball's mistake.

Back about a square was the fearless Fennessy and as soon as he saw a truck on the tracks all of his pre-flight training came to him.  With the daring of a demon, he let loose with everything he had and scored a perfect hit on the poor Eight Ball and his truck.

All of our local papers carried an account of what happened, but to the Times-Star, we take off our hat. The picture they carried to show what had been done was a knockout.

Never in all my life have I seen a better display of hillbilly furniture set on any street. No doubt it could have been in a little better order, for the stove was where the sofa should have been, and the pot with the lid on that should have been under the bed was on the dining room table. Light globes were popping louder than popcorn in the lobby of the Orpheum Theatre. Things were in a general disarray. Fennessy stepped off his car with that look of satisfaction on his face just in time to see the Eight Ball climb out from under the living room rug.

I might also mention that Fennessy's face looked like he made too close of an examination of a meat chopper while it was in operation. The papers said that Fennessy was hit by flying glass. We were wondering just how much glass the Eight Ball threw at him. Brothers, you can only take my word for it -- he did a perfect job. Again calling to mind his training, he went back to the barn and was given another car to start all over with.

*Photo Credit: Mark Pharo provided this photo, taken in the spring of 1949, from his aunt's front porch. Although it has nothing to do with Fennessy's wreck, I couldn't resist including this picture. Hopefully, I'll eventually be able to find the original article in the Times-Star.

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