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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
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, November 14, 2012


One very special sound plays in my mind : the soft sibilant sound of the Portuguese language spoken all around us as children.  It traveled on the breeze, no harsh sounds to absorb it.  After all, often only the click clack of a manual lawn mower broke the quiet.

I connect the music of that sound to our front porch on School Street in the Village.
 When I looked at the photos of that front porch over the years, 
I could trace the loss of community we took so for granted.

  Take a peek.

Here is my late cousin Jack Bernandino in front of the Souza homestead porch on School Street. It is totally open, big and wide. Its entrance was a  wide stoop of stairs perfect for sitting, for chatting.  Notice the wicker chair over on the right?  That was where my Grandmother Delphina would hold court.  Often there would be another elderly person sitting next to her discussing things of importance: always in Portuguese.  My grandmother went up to the second grade in Madeira; knew how to read and write. As the unofficial Village secretary she was adept at writing or reading letters for folks who could not do it for themselves.  Sometimes though these visits were about pure remembering, no agenda except to share, to remember, to laugh...perhaps to cry. Sometimes just to share Village happenings.

Sometimes my grandmother sat alone working her Madeira embroidery 
remembering her own stories.

Lots of events took place on the porch: weddings were launched. 

 Here is my Aunt Alveda on her wedding day in 1946.  I am happy to announce
that in 1978 my sister Mariellen left that porch for her wedding reception across the street,
probably as our Aunt Al did. 

Since the house was smack in the middle of School Street, people would stop and chat with my grandmother, with my father or mother, with us.  You had to pass our house since then everyone walked everywhere: to Church, to downtown or just for a turn "around the block". No one was in a hurry.  Menfolk going to the Portuguese American Civic Club across the street always gave a shout out of greeting to whomever was sitting on the porch,

As we got older and times changed,  the porch was closed in a bit.  Here my sisters Kathy and Mariellen and I sit with a friend  in the 1950' as we went off to Girl Scout camp, the porch now screened in.

In the 60's 0r 70's the porch was entirely enclosed creating a room with louvered curtained windows. It documented the changing times in our Village. It was no longer as inviting, but perhaps folks were not walking as much, playing freely as they used to or just moving away.  

There have been two owners since we lived there.  
Now there is a wrought iron fence closing off the yard.

Soudade is the word used in Portuguese for nostalgia, but it goes far beyond that, more like a deep yearning.  When I hear Portuguese being spoken, that is what I feel. I tried to look up translations for thte greetings I remember, they did not seem right.  I leave it up to your own memories.  Spending long hours working on my Grandmother Isobel's history, I would play Portuguese Fada music to put me in the mood.  I recommend this beautiful Fado video.

                                    Listen and close your eyes. This is my gift to you today.


  1. Enjoyed this. My aunt Marguerite L Hoye taught at Fuller for over 25 years.

  2. I remember your aunt so well. her beaming smile and her kindness. So glad you are enjoying the blog and appreciate your taking the time to comment. Comments keep me going!