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, August 16, 2013

The Rhythm of Another Village Memory

We wrote of the Taunton Band Club earlier in the blog, and at length.  Now, here is another musical memory interlude...thanks to Arlene Gouvia for the memory description and the photo.
This entire post belongs to her.

The Village produced two marching bands that were quite good.  There was the "Drill Team",  a group of young boys and girls who participated in the religious and patriotic parades.
The group was founded by Charles and Valentino Fostin, and the drillmaster was Wilfred Mador.  They practiced at the end of Winter Avenue, a dead end
 and were quite a sight in their red and white uniforms.

(Wilfred Mador was my classmate Sonny Mador's Dad)

                                                     The Village Drill Team  in the 1930's
                                                             Photo from Arlene Gouveia

The other group was the Liberty Guards, a group of young men who belonged to the Taunton City Band Club in the early thirties when it was also a social club and not just a practice hall for the band. The Guards were quite a colorful sight as they marched up and down School Street wearing white sailor suits (probably WW I surplus).  They practiced their intricate drills at the School Street Corner (now Braga Square).   The group participated in all sorts of parades and amassed quite a few trophies in competitions in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  Their drill master was Joseph Rose.

Addendum...The head tall girl in the front has been identified as Marie Vincent and one of the houses in back of the team that of Joe and Hilda Vincent.  Thanks to a relative that gave us this help.

Arlene gleaned these memories from Jeanette Nascimento who was a member of the drill team, and
Arthur (Baron) Lopes who was a member of the Liberty Guards. Arthur Lopes
recently passed away at nearly 100 years of age.

Thanks, Arlene.  The memories you share with all of us help take us back to a totally different time.  These days that is a welcome trip.  Having grown up in the Village in the 50's it is not hard for me to go back just a bit more to imagine what it must have been like.  In a way it was a microcosm of so many villages or small neighborhoods in the U.S. during those years.  Simpler, somehow more intimate and meaningful.  A time long gone but hopefully never forgotten.  It is the reason I began and continue this blog. It is my hope that children and grandchildren and on from there will read these pages 
and try to understand what can be and what once was.

Thank you to so many who have spread the news
about this blog.  At this point the blog has gone international, readers as far away
as Russia and of course, Portugal, routinely check in to read new posts.

Once again I invite readers to comment and share their own stories.
It enriches all of us.

This post has received lots of good notice, and I am especially pleased to
identify a few more members of the group in this picture.

Marie Vincent is in the front.

Also, in the group: Jackie Bernadino Rogers, Jeanette Rose Nascimento 
and Janet Perry Santos.

The group is in front of the Ferreira House with Joe and Hilda Vincent's house in
the background.

Thanks to the contributors including Arlene herself.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Scouts Honor

As a youngster and all the way through high school, I was a Girl Scout. Thanks to two aunts: my Aunt Mary and my Aunt Eleanor, we Souza girls were introduced early on and loved each moment. If you were a Boy Scout, you probably experienced the same thing.  For some reason, my brother was never a boy scout.  I do not think they were as active in the Village.  I started as a Brownie, graduated to a regular scout and then in high school was a junior high scout.  I am a senior scout today, but a different kind. My Aunt Eleanor passed away too soon.  My Aunt Mary, although living in different states, continued her leadership all the way up to leader recruitment.

Juliette Gordon Low founded the American Girl Scouts in Savannah, Georgia in 1912.  We live only two hours from Savannah and have often walked by her victorian home, now a museum. The following two you tube videos give a nice history for those of you who would like to enjoy it.  There are over 50 million girl scout alumni in the world today,  Remember Girl Scouts selling cookies house to house? I bet you do not have to guess hard to know that
 mint chocolate cookies account for 25% of all sales.
 During WW2, the scouts sold calendars
instead because of food rationing
but started up again right after the war.
 Girl Scout cookie sales began in 1917 in Muskagee, Oklahoma.

It is fascinating to see that the Taunton scouts were founded not long after, 1913 or 1914.  The first Taunton troop was at the Winslow Congregational Church in Taunton.  That was a seed troop as eventually the entire Eastern Massachusetts council flowed from them.  The following link is a good little summary of that history. The article honors Mary Powers, 
a long time leader in Taunton Girl Scouts.

My first scout memories were of our meetings at Fuller School.  Could not be more convenient. This is yours truly, it look like in our house on Blinn's Court in around 1947 . Get a look at that beautiful radio console on your left.  I must have been around 7 or 8 years old.
 Sorry about the poor quality....that is how old I am!!

Thanks to Pinterest, especially Michelle Smith, where I found these girl scout pins
 that we attached to our scarfs.
 Badges were worked for and earned.

I remember that we took a school bus to Camp King which was located
 near the E. Taunton airport, where we had day camp.
 We wore scarfs around our waists from which we  hung
the tin cups we drank from.

Overnight camp was not as frequent and was at Camp Merriwood.  I cannot find much on that except that apparently it is a housing developement area today.  The red spot seems to be where the camp was located, generally.  Camp Merriwood is listed on the net, King is not.

I used this photo previously when I wrote of front porches, but once again, here we are , I am on the upper left, my sister Kathy on the far right and little sister Mariellen with our dog of that time, sending us off.  All on the front lawn of our homestead on School Street in the Village.
A neighbor gal in the 
middle went with us to camp, too. 

This is a vintage photo of a girl scout overnight camp somewhere, they probably all were alike. We did all the campfire stuff, including s'mores, of course.  I think we just had tents, but that may be an incomplete memory.

Later, as a junior scout in high school, our troop went by bus to Washington D.C. to tour the buildings and monuments.  That must have been in 1956 or so.  We stayed at a Girl Scout hostel there, probably in nearby Virginia.  I wish I had photos...

Perhaps at least one reader will?

As I researched uniforms and such for this post, well, let me just say there is little resemblance to those uniforms of the 50's.....  I hope that the values and experiences remain the same.