Enter city or US Zip
South Boston Online
Contact Us
  Print Edition  
  Sign Up For Email Updates  
South Boston Online
South Boston Online
  Wednesday, March 4, 2015
South Boston Online
South Boston Online
South Boston Online
Home Page
Event Calendar
Real Estate
Contact Us
xtra xtra!
Rooney Real Estate
Commonwealth Cooperative Bank
The GRIME Watcher
By Rick Winterson

     That inelegant headline describes Ed Oliver/Bohld, and his latest project to improve the quality of life in his hometown of South Boston.  This project is the Community GRIME Watch; the volunteers he has gathered are called the “Southie Pride Patrol”.

     Ed Oliver/Bohld is a third generation South Boston resident, and he still lives in the Bohld family home on Seventh Street.  His parents were Peter Oliver and Mary Bohld.  He has one sister, Katie Sacco.  She lives in Lexington with her husband, Frank, who taught at South Boston High.  Ed has two children – Ed, Jr., in Rockland and Patricia (Park) in Milton.  He is a lifelong and loyal supporter of the South Boston neighborhoods.

     Taking a chapter from the newly-forming South Boston Crime Watch, Ed has created a “Community GRIME Watch”.  As its name implies, the GRIME Watch deals with the litter, vandalism, and property neglect that occur in South Boston all too often. 

     Ed is a firm believer in the “broken windows theory”, which was a great success in New York City under the leadership of William Bratton and Rudy Guiliani.  The theory states that completely cleaning and repairing all of the small eyesores in a neighborhood will be followed by a major reduction in crime and a significant increase in pride among its residents – “Southie Pride”, in our case.

     To this end, several volunteers have stepped up to join the Community GRIME Watch.  Fittingly, they are calling themselves the “Southie Pride Patrol”.  Mary Hoey has been working with Ed since last year.  More recent Patrol volunteers include Mary Harrington, Cheryl O’Brien, Christine Maher, Margaret Chabarek, Lorraine Flynn, and Maureen Shea.

     The GRIME Watch and the Southie Pride Patrol are ongoing volunteer efforts.  The Patrol uses cars, bicycles, and good ol’ shoe leather to observe and improve the quality of life in South Boston.  Right now, the Patrol is concentrating on Southie’s parks, beaches, and main streets.

     This is a cooperative effort.  Ed’s GRIME Watchers have taken part in the Mayor’s “South Boston Shines” program, Sen. Jack Hart’s Pleasure Bay cleanup, and the West Broadway youth Grime Watch by the Young at Arts Youth Ambassadors (see Online’s front page photo in our June 1 issue).  The GRIME Watch also informs and cooperates with the relevant local and state agencies and offices.

     Some of their efforts have made a big difference.  A homeless person was found in an abandoned car on public property.  The person received some much-needed assistance, and the car, a potential eyesore, was removed.  An area along West Broadway was overgrown and filled with litter.  The owner responded well after being alerted by the GRIME Watch – the area was cleaned, trimmed, and secured with a new fence.  Wayward shopping carts, missing signs, and broken lights have been reported and fixed.  Small items in some ways, but they make a difference.

     Ed Oliver Bohld has always been a “concerned citizen”.  Even as a youngster at Nazareth (now St. Brigid’s) and English High, he was involved.  He exercised the police horses at the old Newbury Street stables in back of the station that now houses the Institute of Contemporary Art.  Later, he formed mounted patrols on his own using his own funds for patrols and ceremonial events, which led to the County Mounted Patrol (sometimes called the “County Mounties”).  After that, he organized various patrols using motorcycles and bicycles.

     Ed’s career includes 32 years with the U.S. Postal Service.  He’s also an accomplished singer/performer, who has performed all around Boston.  One of his most frequent gigs was entertaining at large Bar Mitzvahs, which is not too bad for a South Boston Irish lad.  He used much of the proceeds from his singing to establish the patrols mentioned above.  By the way, the name Ed Oliver/Boehld is formed from his stage name, Ed Oliver, and the Bohld family name.

     The Southie Pride Patrol can use more volunteers for the Community GRIME Watch.  Would you be interested?  The commitment: around two to four hours a month; the reward: increased pride in America’s hometown, South Boston.  Give Ed a call at 268-2042.  Thanks.

Top Of Page

Ed Oliver/Bohld of the

Southie Pride Patrol in

his trademark T-shirt.