Every time I have the opportunity to meet great parents and tremendously polite kids, I feel my life enriched, and the need to write their story, not an undertaking, but simply a pleasure. And this story isn’t any different, as I present the Casper Clan: Patricia, Frank, and Julia.
Patricia, 8, is in the second grade at the Murphy Elementary School in Dorchester. Her favorite subject is art and someday she hopes to be a cook, photographer or illustrator. Her favorite color is blue. Her favorite foods are apples and macaroni and cheese. She also likes food from Sully’s (who doesn’t), as well as chicken nuggets in white sauce and French fries from the Village.
Patricia has been taking Irish Step Dancing for four years at the Woods School of Irish Dance. Her favorite step is the local Saint Patrick’s Day dance step. Patricia plans on joining the South Boston Girls Softball League which is ready to start soon. Patricia also plays in the Gate of Heaven CYO instructional hoop league and loves going up to the Walsh Center gym to learn the game.
“I like playing center,” she said. “I’m one of the tallest girls. I like rebounding. I love Allison (Baker) and Hannah (Powers) who teach me things. It is fun and I like being with my friends in the gym.”
In her leisure time, Patricia enjoys playing with her friend Gia who lives across the street from her home. She enjoys drawing pictures with crayons. She’s creative and enjoys do-it-yourself projects. She loves watching SpongeBob SquarePants on TV and listening to her favorite singer, Taylor Swift. Patricia also likes to read and is currently reading Miss Daisy is Crazy and Mr. Klutz is Nuts, both written by Dan Gutman.
In the summertime, Patricia loves going to Ellis Haven where she can ride her bike, go to dances, sew, and attend arts and crafts. She also plans on enrolling in the McDonough Sailing Program on Castle Island so she can learn how to sail.
Francis, 14 – who goes by Frank or “Frank the Tank” – attends the Boston Collegiate Charter School in Dorchester. His favorite subject is science and someday he plans on being an engineer or a professional hockey player. His favorite NHL players are Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks, Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres, and former Bruins legendary defenseman, Bobby Orr.
Frank started his youth hockey career in the South Boston Youth Hockey League, and after eight seasons, switched over to the Dorchester Youth Hockey League. He’s currently on the Bantam “A” team coached by Chris Garside and Joey Carter. As a Pee Wee player in Southie, he scored over 50 goals and had a whole bunch of assists. He was a member of the Southie Mite “A” district champions, and in 2010, won the John Cunniff Tournament essay contest.
Frank started playing baseball in the Southie t-league, won the “Best Sportsman” award as a Little Leaguer, and last summer, played for coaches Bobby McGarrell, Jerry Galvin and Billy Crowley in the Babe Ruth League.
“I like playing second base and hitting the ball,” he said. “Last year during the playoffs I didn’t strike out once.”
In his leisure time, Frank enjoys his Xbox games, playing street hockey with his friends in the old Gatey School grounds and riding his hover board. He enjoys reading and is currently engrossed in the American Sniper memoir. And he loves journeying to a Plymouth driving range to hit golf balls with his dad.
Julia, 16, also attends BCCS. Her favorite subjects are honor algebra II and geometry, and she plans on being an orthopedic doctor. In her leisure time, she reads. Her current choice is George Orwell’s Animal Farm. She also cherishes hanging out with her friends and working at the Curley Recreation Center during the summer.
Julia started playing hoop in the Gatey program and was on her school’s varsity team as a freshman and a sophomore. She’ll never forget the time she was playing on her middle school team against the Neighborhood House Charter School in Dorchester. She hit a three-pointer from downtown and a fan yelled from the stands, “I taught her that!” The unknown fan was soon identified as Linda Chapin, who works at the charter school, but taught Julia in the Gatey instructional league.
Julia has been active in the South Boston Girls Softball League for the past nine seasons. She’s utilized as a catcher and second baseman and will always remember hitting her first home run at Evans Field. She was also on her school’s varsity team as an eighth-grader and was excited when they won the state charter school championship. And she’ll never forget her first at bat last season for BCCS when she hit a grand slam to win the game.
Julia played for the Angels in the South Boston Youth Hockey League and was a member of their state championship team coached by Chico Silva and Eddie Mahoney. Now, she plays for the Mass Bay Shamrocks, coached by Tommy McGrath. And finally, she has been on the BCCS cross country team for the past three years. She’s a busy young lady.
Patricia, Frank and Julia are indeed fortunate youngsters. Their caring parents, Robert and Paula, make sure they’re focused in school, busy with sports, and certainly not misbehaving.
“We do what families are supposed to do,” Paula said. “My husband and I enjoy watching them grow up. They keep busy with sports. We love going to their games and watch them compete. It’s fun.
“And we keep an eye on what they’re doing in school and out,” she added. “They’re just great kids.”