Having spoken of the little markets that dotted the Village, one must remember
that if you required other items, they could usually be found in yours or a neighbor's yard.
They might also be found in any of the wagon or truck vendors that traveled the Village such as
The Fish Man who parked in the square while women stood in line to buy fresh fish. Soda from
Gus, the Soda Man (Gus Duarte with his cases of White Eagle Soda), the Korman Water man whose name I do not recall but who was red cheeked and jolly. Korman Water was added
to the laundry to whiten whites. Why do I remember more people smiling and taking time to talk in those days? Maybe because of low overhead: people working for themselves and taking more pride in what they did? Their customers were friends, after all. People taking time to smell the flowers and enjoy friendship. The lost art
of conversation...either in English or Portuguese.
Sandy Souza and Theresa Rezendes
circa 1944 -1945
in the Rezendes vegetable garden on
People canned garden produce and "put up" fruits and vegetables. Large blueberry bushes flourished in the swampy areas along Longmeadow Road. We children, with our parents, would tie bandanas around our waists, hang clean tin cans from them
and get to picking as much as we could.
Pies, cobblers, muffins, etc would follow and then when freezers became more common, be a taste of summer in the dead of winter. No one ever heard of toxic preservatives and pesticides then. They were never used. There was a ubiquitous grapevine in every yard. It provided shade under which to enjoy a chat, or a place to keep a rabbit hutch. But, it provided grape juice and jars and jars of home preserved grape jam. The Village was a center of the so-called and very "in" green movement, long before it came into fashion.
My sister Kathy, age 3 or 4, under one of those grapevines.
Some wonderful comments have been shared with us. The memory of Fuller School being torn down and the children in fourth grade having to be bussed to Hopewell School, the sweet tradition of going home to your parents for lunch no longer a fact of life. The memory of small market owners keeping their customers fed during the Depression, often forgoing credit payments. The loyalty that was engendered in Village families right up until those markets finally closed. Families kept that loyalty in spite of the large supermarkets coming in to the City.
A very sweet memory of a Halloween party being given by my incomparable Tia Eleanor Souza
whose personality was a light to all who knew and met her.
The memory of Rose Serras who had Serras Market with her husband
with roughened hands doing the math on
paper bags for a purchase.
Finally, the little boy who was afraid to go into a garage that said: For Tenants Only...thinking Ten Giant Ants lived there! The little boy down on School St who sold pony rides for a dime....
The Hood milk bottle brought memories of the scoop that took
out that wonderful cream on the top.
Another gentlemen recalled that when the milk froze out on the stoop, the cream rose up and
pushed off the bottle cap. As soon as he said it, I remembered it! Bingo.
Keep them coming!