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
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.

Friday, January 25, 2013


Working on this last Band post, I was seeking a good photograph. I need not have worried. Along came this wonderful photo of two youthful band members in the late 1950's.  Here are first cousins David and Norman Rose in their band uniforms.  Love the loosened ties.  This photo emphasizes again the strong family  aspect of the band.  We go on with that legacy now. Thanks Arlene once more for completing the stories in words and in pictures.

Leaving their Rose house School St. location in 1959 only after it was needed for the growing  Rose family, the Band went next to the Ward 5 on Winter St.  James Walczak tells us that he played trombone with the band during those years in the Ward 5 basement.  He said it was grand to play somewhere every weekend, especially at the Portuguese Festas.  Later practice took place at the Eagles Club on Lawrence St. in Taunton, the Gun and Rifle Club on E. Brittania, back to the Ward 5 and then to the Veteran's of Foreign Wars on Engle St.  Someone will have to take on the more recent history of the Band which still plays today.

We know that young musicians were nurtured By John Gonsalves and the band. Often they went on to make their names in bigger venues.  Here are more of them and their stories.

Joe P. Silvia, a trumpet player with the Band later played with the Billy Mays Orchestra and the J's with Jamie (he married Jamie).  Joe excelled in commercials and in 1964 was nominated for Best Group New Artist losing only to Peter, Paul and Mary.  After he died, a Grammy was found in one of his suitcases.

Darrly Bayer played with the Boston Pops under Harry Ellis Dixon, also with Destiny's Child, The OJ's, The Temptations and the Four Tops as well as Michael Bolton. His grandfather, Mr. Schine, ran the little variety store that my Uncle John Bernadino once ran on School Street.

John Gonsalves himself had a son, Jack, whom he taught to play the trumpet. After years following his father's footsteps in the band  he form ed the Jack D'John trio with two other musicians, brothers Dan and John Majkut.

The Trio went off to Las Vegas to make their name, playing in all the big hotels: The Sands, The Flamingo, Cesar's Palace.  Often they opened for big name acts such as Bill Cosby. Once Bill Cosby was very late, so the Trio played nearly the whole evening wowing the crowd. Headlines the next day read "Unknowns Outshine Cosby".  The Trio is still familiar to all of us.

Jack also had a son who followed in his father's and grandfather's footsteps.  Jay Gonsalves is known for the BaHa Boys who began 20 years ago.  The Brothers have played in Las Vegas, Treasure Island, Puerto Rico, Bermuda and for 14 years in their beloved Key West. Last year they were invited to play with their idol Jimmy Buffet in Newport, RI.

Here is where the big circle closes and I come in.  Carol Souza, my sister-in-law, wife of my brother Frank, is former wife to Jack and mother to Jay.  Certainly when I listened and danced to the BaHa Brothers....I had no idea of the legacy that I was tapping into.

Village ties run deep and far and wide. The Taunton City Band was born in the Village and will always belong to it in a special way.  May the Band play on...and on....and on....


  1. Your work on the Taunton City Band was awesome. I enjoyed every bit of it.I was so glad that I was able to help you. Your entry on Joe Crovelho was written so beautifully! I really enjoyed the audio and video. Arlene

  2. Sandy,I really enjoyed the section on the band members who made it big.Your information on the Jack D John was so interesting!
    I just loved seeing the picture of my brotherNorman and cousin David.My cousin posted the picture because of his birthday on January 23rd.Both he and Norman were born in January of 1945.My brother was born on the 29th. Although David grew up in Bridgewater, he and Norman were good friends.His father was my Uncle Tony's son.The last time I saw David was at Norman's funeral in 2005. As David gets older,he looks so much like Norman.


  3. Sandy,I'm sorry I didn't ever mention that Norman had died.I thought you knew. He died of pancratic cancer.The doctor gave him six months and that's how long he lasted. Although he died young,he packed a lot of living in his short 60 years.He really enjoyed life!