MEMOIRS OF SCHOOL STREET VILLAGE

Thanks so much for the great response to this blog!
A special thank you to those who have passed it on to others. We are heading quickly to amazing page visits to this blog! Welcome to folks from all over the country and other countries as well, including Lisbon!!

The "Village", as it was called, is located in the northwest corner of the city of Taunton, Massachusetts U.S.A. It covers about 1 square mile with the center being School Street. A large portion of the Village population was Portuguese when I was growing up.

This blog covers a lot of the history of the Village, much to do with my years as a child there: 1940 through the late 1950's. I do have many wonderful photos and information prior to that that and will share those as well. Always looking for MORE PHOTOS AND MORE STORIES TO TELL.

If you would like to send photos or share a memory of growing up in the Village
e-mail me at spinoart@comcast.net
feel free to comment on the posts. Directions are on the right side of the blog posts. Jump in, the water is fine and it is easy!!!


I will be posting photographs but not identifying individuals unless I have permission or they are a matter of public record. It you wish to give me permission, please let me know.

I am looking for any and all photos of the Village...

Please note: the way blogs work is that the latest post is first. It you would like to start from the beginning of the blog, check out the post labels on the right of the blog and go from there. Thanks.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I BID YOU GOODBYE AND FOND MEMORIES

FULLER SCHOOL circa 1950's
 Bidding goodbye to my Memoir of the School Street Village.  It is hard to summarize the story of this Blog, the places it went, the people it met, remembered and met once again.

 It began five years ago, the need to assure that the School Street Village story was not lost. It
began with an old photograph of our beloved Fuller School above.  It started as a memorial for all those classmates and dear ones lost over the years. It was dedicated to a dear friend since my early childhood who can no longer remember.  It's purpose was to remember for her.  It ended up being much more than that.


(Pinterest)

 It went on to gather, to present the stories of our people bit by bit and some of the history they lived through. It went back and back. It searched out stories of the Village that I knew and that others taught me like the incredible Arlene Gouveia.    I  cherished and presented like jewels each story for others to recall and savor all over again.  I wrote each word with all the love that grew in me for that place that was my childhood home.

Dredging up my memories, you see me at the age of five below, the the tapestry began to take place. Soon others joined in and the story grew with photographs so precious they took my breath away.

Me  at age 5 years

I have loved each moment of writing and researching this blog over the years.  I hope that it encourages others to try to gather their own basket of memories and reach out to others to put it all together.  So many readers have visited this blog and I imagine that it rings many bells of their own growing up.  Those of us that lived through those times are richer because of it.  I know others will continue to read it, to goggle some word or title that brings them here.  They are most welcome.

                                          I walk the bygone streets of my School Street Village 
and greet those who walked with me, who
laughed and cried with me.  I greet them with
a song of thanksgiving for all we had together.

I have tried to be the friend who remembered
for those who've memories have failed and for
those gone ahead of me.








Saturday, June 18, 2016

FOLLOWING UP ON PREVIOUS POSTS....



In the last post  http://schoolstvillage.blogspot.com  I posted incredible photographs from  Camp Myles Standish including group photographs of the switchboard operators at the Camp in1943.  I had no idea that anyone could possibly be recognized!  Our incredible Arlene Gouveia did just that and identified Mary Pina from School Street in the Village: third row up 7th from the left. A wonderful way to link the Village with the Camp and the woman we were writing about in that last post, Jacqueline Tremblay. The photograph was sent to us by Jacqueline's daughter, Melanie Capriotti. 
A shared heritage from mother to daughter.

If I am not mistaken the Pina family were neighbors of my Souza grandparents at 184 School St.
When my grandfather died tragically in a boating accident in 1927, my grandmother was
caring for a neighbor, Mrs. Pina , who had just given birth.  Connections, connections.....






Below is another fascinating follow-up. Kudos to the Internet, it can bring great good not just great harm.  But, it is the researcher's best friend.  Remember the posts about the baby spoon marked Mount Hope Hospital found in Brazil?


  Well, this is not so involved but still amazing.  In the past few weeks I received an e-mail from someone in Perth Australia who was trying to date this photo of the New York Lace Store circa 1800's.  This was a new one on me, I had never seen it or realized that the store had been located somewhere other than on Main St. next to J.M. Wells or prior to that in the Whittenton. Below is the link to my original post.


The researcher was actually looking for information about the photographer
upstairs in this photo: C.L. Fearnside. 







I sent out an info request on I'm From Taunton's Facebook page and found this 
out for our Aussie fellow historian.



I also sent the link to the post on Vintage Photographers I had done as well.  http://schoolstvillage.blogspot.com/2014/04/touching-past-power-of-vintage.html

It is grand that people around the world can link into the history
of the Village where I grew up.  It means the Village and its
people will live long in this blog, and not be forgotten.









Saturday, April 9, 2016

TELLING A NEW TALE OF CAMP MILES STANDISH !

In 2013 I wrote a series of posts about Camp Myles Standish, an embarkation depot and P.O.W Camp in Taunton during World War II.  The coming of the Camp saw the "war came to Taunton." Using eminent domain 1600 acres of farmland were taken from their owners to serve the war effort.

A large part of the research and writing of my previous posts in 2013 was the romance and wedding of my Aunt Alveda and her husband Ziggy Napieralski, he a soldier in WW II and she a native of the Village in Taunton.They were married the year after the War ended in the Village in Taunton.





 This  post will tell you more about the Camp in those years and add yet nother romance to its history. To set the stage, you can find my earlier post at this link:

       http://schoolstvillage.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-village-and-love-story-camp-myles.html
              There are 5 posts following this one (newer posts) all related to this story.

The post I am writing today was occasioned by Melanie Capriotti whose mother, Jacqueline, (nee Tremblay) had been a telephone operator at Camp Miles Standish and who had met her future husband in Taunton.  Meeting the daughter of that mother and collaborating with researching the subject was a fine experience and the way I love to write my posts. Knowing that her mother, in her 90's, would read and relive it is a joy.  Jacqueline was born  at home in Arlington, MA, 6th of 8 children. She graduated from Arlington High School in 1943.

In this case, we are not speaking of a Tauntonian or a Villager. We are actually speaking of a temporary Tauntonian, one who lived in Taunton in some of its most fascinating years. The young woman who came to Taunton during the war years was hired to be a telephone operator at the camp.

Many of us can remember the 40's when telephone operators worked like these women below in 1943, manually plugging in caller to caller.  Imagine the size and importance of the switchboard at a large military camp and its importance.



Those young women would have been carefully vetted for that task, We are certain the gal whose story we tell here was as well.

                I introduce you to Jacqueline Tremblay, this is her 1943 high school photograph.'Jacqueline was born at home in Arlington, Main March of 1925, 6th of 8 children.  She graduated from Arlington High School in 1943. Below is her high school graduation photograph.

Jacqueline's story as told to her daughter breathes new life into what we know about Camp Miles Standish during the war years with a totally new aspect of those who served and worked there.







Like my Aunt Alveda and Uncle Ziggy, Jaqueline met her husband, George in Taunton. They
actually met on Taunton Green where each weekend there were band performances.

This is George's 1941 high school graduation photograph. George was born in nearby
Fall River, MA. in 1923, graduating from Durfee High School in 1941.  
He passed away in 1946 in 
Seeking, MA.





Below is their engagement photo. George Mycock did not work at the Camp.
He was from Freetown/Assonet often going to Taunton with his buddies. That is how he and Jaqueline met. If she had not been working at the Camp, destiny would not have had its way. .George was 4F due to flat feet and a perforated eardrum.When he went to Canada on a family trip, he
wrote to his lady each day. She still has them.

Imagine all the other young couples who met at that Camp or its environs in those years..
It was a huge military complex and occasioned many visitors also
to the city of Taunton.  Young people love meeting other young people.




Many of the young women coming to work at the Camp stayed with relatives or with those who would accept a boarder.  Jaqueline was housed with the Widow Babbitt who was very particular as to the girls she accepted to board with her.  Mrs. Babbitt lived at 5 Summer St. in Taunton.
Jaqueline recalls that she got along very well with her landlady and tells us that she would wash Jaqueline's hair for her and they would talk for hours. 

 Jaqueline also remembers her incredulity that they were allowed go to any restaurants in town and order whatever they wanted, just sign the check and it was paid for.  Coming from a poor Irish family that was a quite a treat.  She said that they were allowed to go to the the Officer's Club for dances but not allowed to go to the Enlisted Club. They were careful and watchful of the girls providing bus service to and from the Club.  They were expressly forbidden from accepting rides from the men stationed there at the Camp.


The photograph below is of all of the switchboard operators at
Camp Myles Standish in 1943. It is a precious momento of  the young women who
worked the switchboards at the Camp and kept it functioning smoothly. Some were from Taunton, others came from other places to gain valuable experience in this field. Women were a vital part of the war effort, as we know from such stories as Rosie the Riveter. They freed up the men for
combat in Europe and elsewhere.




                      Did the best I could in enlarging the left side of the above photo....perhaps it will
be easier with your magnifying glass...




                                                      Right sided photo enlargement





Hard for us, in this digital age, to think about telephone operators of the "old Days" and their role in peace and in war.

Communication at all times is paramount to keep a society running in an orderly manner. It is even more important in wartime. In researching this post, I came upon an obituary of another telephone operator in those war years: Margaret P. Stewart, age 90 years, a native of Haverhill, MA. During WWII Margaret served as a telephone operator at Camp Edwards, Otis Air Force Base and Camp Miles Standish. She was then employed for 36 years by New England Telephone Com. She was a member of the telephone pioneers of America. She may even be in the above photo.

Below is our gal with other switchboard operators at the camp. She is third from the right in the first row. Next to her was a good friend, Synnove Strom on her left.  Synnove was from Norway and returned there not long after they all left the camp when the war was over.



Each time we receive another bit of the history of Camp Miles Standish, we build upon that fascinating period of history in Taunton. When the story is a personal one, it makes it even more interesting.  I am hoping that some of our readers will be able to add to this, perhaps recognizing someone from the photos or adding another story.

When we dip into a bit of history, like following the the crumbs left by Hansel and Grettal we are led to so much more history.  That is what happened to this post. It opened many doors. I invite you to peek into more history by perusing the links provided at the end of this post. They add to our knowledge of that time.  I also include a link to the Telephone Pioneers of America and the Hello Ladies of World War I. I  found it a wonderful read.



      I thank Melanie Capriotti and her mother, Jaqueline Mycock for sharing memories with us.
........................................

*This is a very interesting video about more details of Camp Myles Standish Military Base.
https://vimeo.com/128491788

This site has the above video but with the text.
http://news.wgbh.org/2016/03/25/local-news/ghosts-world-war-2-pows-haunt-taunton-industrial-park

History of Telephone Operators
http://www.vintag.es/2015/12/vintage-photos-show-hictory-of.html

The Hello Girls of WW I-Telephone operators in the military - a terrific read!
http://www.worldwar1.com/dbc/hello.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneers,_a_Volunteer_Network