Upham's Corner Online

Andreas and Willie are Gone

Willie Torres and Andreas Acheveria get along - sharing a commonality of alcohol, telling jokes, hanging out and passing out. 

Earlier this summer, Andreas, one of our local Dudley Street alcoholics, disappeared.  You can tell he’s gone when the sidewalk between Monadnock and Virginia Streets begins to fill with trash and litter.

Andreas Acheveria Camilo Liquors Patron

When Andreas is at his best, despite his inebriated condition, he "works" for a living.  The local businesses pay him (a little) to keep the sidewalk clean.  He does an excellent job.  Notice in the photo, Andreas is holding his prized possession of the moment - a nip.

In July, his friends found him out cold and an ambulance took him away.   Surprisingly, he was back the next day, smiling as usual and making funny jokes.  It happened again. Out cold.  Ambulance took him away.

Then (the story goes), Andreas took a brick to another Camilo Liquors frequent visitor, a female with one arm.  The police took him away, and he hasn’t been back since. 

Monadnock St - Where they Hang Out

The context of this story is not just alcoholism and the fact that Camilo Liquors draws a particular crowd to the block between Monadnock and Virginia Streets.  Around the corner on Monadnock Street, behind the businesses and at the back of #6 Monadnock Street is a strip of land belonging to the Dudley Street business building.Loitering Spot on Monadnock St

The owners at #6 Monadnock Street have expressed frustration over how the alcoholics, vagrants and street people congregate at the very back of the nail salon, often sitting on top of the retaining wall, well onto their adjoining residential property.  "Up to no good," they are alcoholics, drug users / dealers and more.  One of the people in the group photograph, the one with the red hat, is "T" who was murdered on May 31, 2011. 

Until the police routed them out, Jeannette was one of the five homesteading at St. Kevin’s in the winter of 2011.  Recently, she was found sleeping at the back of the nail salon on top of the retaining wall, curled up in a fetal position.  Several days later, she was walking around with a severely bruised face, saying she had been hit by a car.  A known drug addict, she is also HIV positive (her words).

At the August 2012 SNI meeting, one resident brought up the problems of vagrancy and loitering in that spot on Monadnock St.  "Not a lot we can do," the police said.  They can arrest for public drinking.  They can ask loiterers to move but it’s just a matter of time before they come back again.

The business building owner was also discussed at the SNI meeting.  He is an absentee landlord – lives in Florida.  Unless he is in clear violation of the law, Inspectional Services does not have reason to cite him.  Even if the community would like him to put up a fence to deter loitering, they can't make him do that. 

Willie Torres, Inveterate Fixture on Monadnock Street

On September 8, Andreas wasn’t around to take care of his friend, Willie, and watch him pass as the final bell tolled.  Around 6pm, we got the news that Willie had died on the street where he lived - of a heart attack, at least that's what the street people surmise.

Willie Torres, another street alcoholic and a cut up, loves to make jokes.  They slip out of him as smooth "as butter."  Makes you laugh but he has a mean side as well.  You can see him change as the state of inebriation escalates.  You can see him change when you turn your back.  He was a snitch.

Sometimes we would all run into each other on Columbia Rd - me and the dogs and the two of them making their way to their favorite hangout spots on Monadnock and Dudley Streets (close to the liquor store).

They protected each other.  When Andreas was out cold on the sidewalk, Willie yelled:  "Leave him alone."  

On Saturday afternoon, September 8, 2012 Andreas wasn’t around to take care of his friend, Willie.  He wasn't there to watch Wille pass from this world into the ambulance and maybe into the next world as a final bell tolled.  Around 6pm, one of the youthful residents came down the street giving out the news. "Willie died," he said, "of a heart attack."  Willie?  Permanent fixture on Monadnock Street?  Gone?

Back on Dudley Street where surely the action had taken place, a "neighborhood watcher" reported that the EMT’s had put a mask over Willie’s face.  "They were performing CPR and the mask," he said, "didn’t have no fog.  Stayed clear.  That means he was dead." Willie died in the company of his friends - all but Andreas.  He died where he lived - on the street. 

Willie - Among the Missing

Boston Emergency Services has confirmed that they received a call at 4:45 for 734 Dudley Street.  "No," he said, "no fog in the mask does not necessarily mean the guy is dead."  People make up all kinds of stories, he said.  They delivered the guy we know as "Willie Torres" to Boston Medical Center.  Boston Medical Center, both Admitting and Emergency, do not have records for anyone named Willie Torres.

So Willie has vanished into the night, maybe to reappear after his wounds have healed, maybe not.  "Call the Medical Examiner's office."  They don't give out any information either.

One by one, the bullets leave the pistol and gun you down, whether you pull the trigger or someone else does.  That’s how life is on the streets here in this part of Uphams Corner.

Posted: September 9, 2012     Nancy J Conrad

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