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.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Village Club

It has been a struggle to get a handle on information regarding the Portuguese American Civic Club but I am assured that help is on the way.
I hope to have more photos and such as we go along.

The P.A.C.C. is important for these memoirs, as it played a pivotal part in our lives growing up, especially when most of that growing up was done right across the street as mine was!  It and we sat smack in the middle of the Village.  The Souza homestead where members of my family lived from around 1906 on to 1980 must have meant they were just as familiar with it . I suspect that my Grandfather Souza may have had a hand in founding the P.A.C.C. himself.  That location meant, as I have mentioned before, that  most of the Villagers, at one time or another, 
walked right past the Souza front porch.  
Very often that traffic included Village men stopping at the Club for a quick one, to catch up with the local news, or for a polka game.  My Dad was in all those categories.  Often he would come in the back door after finishing work and go out the front and cross the street to the Club to catch up
on Village happenings with his buddies.

The P.A.C.C. was officially founded in 1929.  A reader told us that it was, for a time, housed in the front house on the Rose property on School Street.  Later, after it  moved
to its current location at 175 School Street, the Taunton Band Club took its place.

When I see photos of the Club today it is hard to recognize it as the one from my childhood. Back in my day the Club was still that one story building whose front door was accessed by descending a lot of cement stairs.  The top of the stairs was at street level.  The building sloped back down alongside the driveways on either side ending in a big parking lot and the festa area which included the meat pits for Carne no Espetada. This is the Portuguese name for meat-on-a stick, our version of Shish Kabob. The meat would have been marinated in garlic, salt, Portuguese wine and perhaps other herbs.  You brought your own meat or purchased it there.  Fresh Portuguese bread topped it all off.

The cooking pits consisted of approx. 4 foot high cement surrounds.  You took long metal poles, threaded your pieces of beef and then let the poles rest over the open fires.  Now and then you basted the meat (Carne no Espetada) with your beer. The meat would have been marinated in salt, garlic, Portuguese wine, and perhaps more herbs and seasonings.  This was our version of Shish Kabob.  You either brought your own meat or bought it there.

 Sizzle, smoke, yeasty smell of beer....aroma therapy for the mind. Add to that the sound of laughter and greetings, and you have it.  Oh, and then little ones running around.  What is a Portuguese event where little ones are not running around?

This photo is from the current P.A.C. C. web site
                       Big enough for a large Festa, the area could also house a small carnival                         at other times.

            This is a recent photo but just change the clothing styles and it could be from 
 anytime from the early 1900s on.

John Gage sent me a great email of his memories of the P.A.C.C. building and gave me
permission to share it.  My words are added in parentheses.  
 John lived with his family right next door to The Club.

   " For fun we boys (of the Village) would climb up on the roof of the P.A.C.C. and run to the far
     end and back.  Then we would hide so as not to get caught. 
 Like someone was going to get up from
 their card game to chase us down.  We weren't very bright, it must be a boy thing.  Maybe that's why everyone says that girls are smarter. 
My guess is that this is not entirely true.  I suspect that the 
girls didn't climb onto the roof because the guys would be looking up their dress.  Like we knew what we were looking at anyway. Yeh, we were pretty dumb, but what boy wasn't in those days.  
     I fondly remember the toughest kid in the Village. (It was a girl.)  That's right!!  I'm serious!  When we saw her, we crossed the street in order to keep from getting...whipped....
      Yes times were simpler in the Village.  Those times  seem so very long ago yet seem so close. Perhaps we keep the closeness in our hearts because the times were so special.  Its a shame that we didn't realize how special at the time.  If we had that realization, we would have shown more appreciation for all those characters who played their part so wonderfully in making the School Street Village the wonderful place that it was.  
Not sure if you can see a tear on your screen,
 but there is one on mine."

                                                        Yes, John, I can see it.


                                     Next:  more about the P.A.C.C., but that depends
                              on your input and more information coming my way......

1 comment:

  1. The main card game at the PACC was called 45. Even young men my age played it. My Dad was a great card player and usually knew by the way they played, what cards others had in their hands. We were not allowed to call on the phone to the PACC so often my brother would have to go and get Dad for My mother.