My family lived outside Boston from 1954 until 1959, first in Sudbury and then in Lincoln. These were great years for my parents. For five years they were not in Pennsylvania, not yet looking after aging mothers. On their own!
In Sudbury, we lived hear Longfellow’s Wayside Inn.
My parents went to waltzes there. My father wore tails. They danced until 2:00 a.m. and then had friends over for breakfast in the middle of the night. My father made omelets in a cast iron frying pan.
Also near us was the Inn’s old Grist Mill.
And the Country Store. What smells! Penny candy. Many old nickelodeons.
At the end of our road was a Central Casting New England Church. Next to the church was a little red schoolhouse. Sarah Josepha Hale wrote “Mary Had a Little Lamb” in 1930 about a REAL LIFE incident in Sterling, Massachusetts. Henry Ford moved the REAL LIFE schoolhouse to Sudbury.
We moved to Lincoln in 1956. My parents built a house on Winter Street, just off Trapelo Road.
I came of reading age in Lincoln, and of an age to go to the library. Curious George!
We occasionally were sent to church at what I think was a Unitarian congregation.
We often went to Concord, to a toy store there. Every time we went, we stopped at the bridge of the Shot Heard Round the World.
We went swimming in Walden Pond. I was not a good swimmer. As in – I splashed around. I didn’t swim. At all. And I didn’t know Henry David Thoreau from Adam.
Sometimes Benny Shambaugh’s dad took us to the dump (!) and we stopped and had ice cream right near where Paul Revere was captured.
Lots of history around me!
I had a great setting for my Davey Crockett fantasies.
One part of Lincoln that I knew nothing about was the collection of modernist houses there, thanks in large part to the presence of Walter Gropius at Harvard.
I’ll bet we drove by some or all of them once in a while and I’ll bet we scoffed at them. If we did, I regret this.
My father worked at Arthur D. Little in Cambridge.
My mother took my sister and me into Boston and Cambridge a few times a year. First stop was the dentist. Second stop was the swan boats in the Public Garden.
Next stop was S.S. Pierce in Brookline. My mother loved their jarred kumquats in heavy syrup. She had one in her sweet bourbon drink each night.
Then we went to meet my father for lunch at the Wursthaus. Where, closing the loop, there were Dogs Playing Poker prints on the wall. I cannot imagine what I had to eat there, picky eater that I was. I remember my father’s German beer.
Years later, when I got to know Gabby, I learned that as a boy he had spent a couple weeks in the winter of his senior year in high school at Harvard. He eventually settled on going to school in Ames, and he more eventually decided not to go to college but instead to go work for the UFW in Delano. But, the thing is, he had some very fond memories of places he had eaten in Cambridge.
My friend is a serious student of the folk revival. When I showed him these pictures, he focused on the Cambridge ones. To him, Cambridge meant one thing – Club 47 and the folk music played there in the 1950s. Especially Joan Baez.
This was before Gabby’s time, and while it was my time, I was only seven and not really hip to the folk revival going on ten miles from my house. Joan Baez has been a hero to me for a long time.
I drew my friend back to Cardullo’s and The Tasty and the Wursthaus. What did he think of these photos?