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Decades-old Roslindale mystery solved: What happened to Vinny Criss and his teeth?

Vinny Criss Has No Teeth

For decades now, one of the ways you could tell an old Rozzie rat - or even somebody who used to take the Orange Line el back in the '70s and '80s - was if they smiled when you said "Vinny Criss has no teeth."

The saying, originally scrawled on one wall in Roslindale, spread to walls along the elevated. Even today, people new to the neighborhood might hear the phrase and, of course, promptly wonder: Who's Vinny Criss and what happened to his teeth?

All is revealed in this video.

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Comments

I love it.

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i didnt know he was a rozzie lad

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and always wondered what it meant....now I know!

We even knew about Vinny's teeth in JP.

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What happens in Rozzie, should stay in Rozzie.

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I thought originally only Vinnie's name was up there, but later Chris' name was added, almost like the two of them had a beef of their own.

It is interesting to get the full story. Also, always great to see old Roslindale spinning the tales.

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I don’t reckon them times will ever come again. There never was a more bullier old ram than what he was. Grandfather fetched him from Illinois–got him of a man by the name of Yates–Bill Yates–maybe you might have heard of him; his father was a deacon–Baptist–and he was a rustler, too; a man had to get up ruther early to get the start of old Thankful Yates; it was him that put the Greens up to jining teams with my grandfather when he moved west. Seth Green was prob’ly the pick of the flock; he married a Wilkerson–Sarah Wilkerson–good cretur, she was–one of the likeliest heifers that was ever raised in old Stoddard, everybody said that knowed her. She could heft a bar’l of flour as easy as I can flirt a flapjack. And spin? Don’t mention it! Independent? Humph! When Sile Hawkins come a browsing around her, she let him know that for all his tin he couldn’t trot in harness alongside of her. You see, Sile Hawkins was–no, it warn’t Sile Hawkins, after all–it was a galoot by the name of Filkins–I disremember his first name; but he was a stump–come into pra’r meeting drunk, one night, hooraying for Nixon, becuz he thought it was a primary; and old deacon Ferguson up and scooted him through the window and he lit on old Miss Jefferson’s head, poor old filly. She was a good soul–had a glass eye and used to lend it to old Miss Wagner, that hadn’t any, to receive company in; it warn’t big enough, and when Miss Wagner warn’t noticing, it would get twisted around in the socket, and look up, maybe, or out to one side, and every which way, while t’ other one was looking as straight ahead as a spy-glass. Grown people didn’t mind it, but it most always made the children cry, it was so sort of scary. She tried packing it in raw cotton, but it wouldn’t work, somehow–the cotton would get loose and stick out and look so kind of awful that the children couldn’t stand it no way. She was always dropping it out, and turning up her old dead-light on the company empty, and making them oncomfortable, becuz she never could tell when it hopped out, being blind on that side, you see. So somebody would have to hunch her and say, “Your game eye has fetched loose, Miss Wagner dear”–and then all of them would have to sit and wait till she jammed it in again–wrong side before, as a general thing, and green as a bird’s egg, being a bashful cretur and easy sot back before company. But being wrong side before warn’t much difference, anyway; becuz her own eye was sky-blue and the glass one was yaller on the front side, so whichever way she turned it it didn’t match nohow. Old Miss Wagner was considerable on the borrow, she was. When she had a quilting, or Dorcas S’iety at her house she gen’ally borrowed Miss Higgins’s wooden leg to stump around on; it was considerable shorter than her other pin

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Ayuh.

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