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.

Monday, December 16, 2013


Last year Gina Lopes McKenna shared these photos of the "new" nativity set at St. Anthony's Church on School St in the Village.  The wonderful part of this is that this set once was at The Taunton State Hospital.  When the hospital more or less closed, a parishioner bought the set, restored it and then donated it to St. Anthony's.  Perhaps the prayers of all those patients once surrounding it so long ago blessed it in their own way . How beautiful that it still exists offering its simple message for hope.

As we wrote last Christmas, for Portuguese homes when we were growing up, the creation of a beautiful nativity scene was a prayerful task for all of us.  My Aunt Eleanor took us kids off to the woods to pick moss and branches to nest the Infant Child.  My mother did the same.  In essence their nativity scenes needed watering now and then.  They went into creating hills and ponds with mirrors.When we saw sweet little animal porcelain figures of animals we often gifted them to my Mom. Her nativity creations had the Noah touch.  Our cat loved it, too, somewhere is a photo of her all cuddled up within it fast asleep.  Even creatures can adore the Little King.  When a child once looked at my own nativity scene and asked me who that was, I was astounded.  You never needed to ask a child from the Village.  The story was there before our wondering eyes, much more the focus than the Christmas tree.  Shepherds wandered to the manger before us which often had a thatched roof, tinsel provided sparkle to our imaginations.  This is a very old slide of one of my mother's nativity scenes.  You can see the thatched roof on the shelter of the Holy Family.  More figures were below on other "hills" making their way to adore the Child Jesus.

We no longer have a Christmas tree, but there will always be my own Nativity set on my mantle as you can see below. There are still some reminders of yesteryear.  The little wooden dog at left with stars twining his tail, was carved by my mother.  The curly white porcelain lamb is from an old Portuguese set. My white Madonna, St, Joseph and the Child Jesus are Chechoslovakian. The polymer brown pieces:sheep, donkey and oxen I once purchased from the gift shoppe at La Salette when I had my own first home.  Each piece has a memory locked inside.  One of my paintings provides background for a night sky. Each year when I take the pieces out and place them I find myself full of emotion and memories.  A ceremony as it were, a ritual, a prayer….just as my mother's was…….

Enjoy this video of nativity scenes I found to share  with you as 
you prepare your own homes for a real Christmas
May each and all find this Christmas full of blessings.



1 comment:

  1. A reader wrote it to share that she would go with her grandmother down to the end of School and Thrasher at the edge of the Village to pick mosses and branches for the Nativity scene they were creating. Another woman would come as well and balance the basket on her head to bring it home.
    Then her grandmother would sprinkle grass seed on the mosses on the scene and the children could watch it grow….and learn the lesson of the symbolism. How beautiful the old ways, the ways so full of meaning and spirit. It is so good when others share their memories and it builds on all of ours…...