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.

Thursday, May 8, 2014


As you may have noticed, the I'm From Taunton Facebook Page is a frequent source of inspiration for this blogger.  Recently, a post appeared of an autograph book from the 1880's.  For me this was a message from the vintage days of Taunton when our grandparents
were bringing up our parents and building the Village.
The message echoed the beautiful, studied photographs by H. Boutin
in which clearly the photographer
and the photographed were giving their best.  
It is a message of Conscious Living.

     Pondering that graceful pace of living long ago takes us onto other paths. 
 It made me think about the care with which people wrote their signatures
 knowing they were a window into who they were.

                     Look at this beautiful signature from the 1800's which I found online!

Below is  a  fascinating online find.  On coming upon this, I thought…Taunton, England?
  No, this is from Massachusetts.  Anyone have any ideas?  The Duncan family 
ended up in Maine as far as I can tell.

                              Another incredibly artistic and lovely signature from Pinterest.

What about other aspects of that long gone gracious living? What we can take from these signatures?  For me, they are a sign of considerate and conscious effort. 
 The old adage of "if you are going to do anything, do it well"comes to mind.

Conscious living, as they tell us, happens when thoughtfulness occurs.  There is a revival of that thoughtfulness in what is being called "slow living".  People are seeking time out from speed obsessed technology and the isolation it often brings.  I would be the first to say that  I am a techie and would be hard pressed to be without my computer and iPad.  Because I live at a distance from family and old friends,
it keeps me connected.  Still, the real thing: a voice, a hug, eye contact
 is never going to be displaced.  
Neither will the experience of fine conversation.
Arlene Rose Gouveia sent me, as part of her written memoirs, an example of that other hallmark
of slow and conscious living: the art of conversation.  Her comparison to the
famous Algonguin Round Table in New York is very appropriate.
The Algonquin club was a luncheon gathering that brought
together many literary personages of the time.  Their goal?  

Stimulating and interesting conversation.  

                                         The Algonquin Round Table, New York City

Arlene tells us that something of that famous get together took place periodically in the dining room of St. Anthony's Church on School St.  The first pastor, the beloved Father Alexandro Loura, gathered together people whose purpose was to share that same stimulating 
and graceful conversation around an excellent table.

Although not as large nor filled with national and international literary celebrities such as Hemingway, those evenings would still have been impressive. The dinners at St. Anthony's  preceded the Alconquin Round Table by quite a few years.  Fr. Loura  came to St. Anthony's as Pastor in 1906.  The N. Y. group went from 1919 to 1929 and was known for its witty and sparkling  conversation.  In N.Y. the attendance would change from week to week.  At St. Anthony's some of the participants would have been Monsignor James Coyle, Jean Dupont, Lawyer, and Joseph Enos, Funeral Director.  Since we have written of some of those people in this blog, it is easier now to retrieve their photographs and start to imagine those dinners.

They would have been graceful, probably those attending would have thought of various themes of conversation.  Just knowing Sophia Dupont and her lovely voice and laugh helps to picture it.
 These photographs show some of the attendees in later years,
 but nevertheless, I am glad to offer them.  

           Dr.Joseph Murphy                          Father Loura               Maybelle Murphy
                                                                                                             and Sophia Dupont

Those were some of the guests at the dinners hosted by Father Loura.  The table had to be set just right, and there were five courses with interludes for deeper conversation.  This is not a photo below of that dining room but certainly must echo it.  The guest list  could change. 
 Sometimes, Fr Couto, assistant at St. Anthony's, 
Monsignor James Coyle for whom 
Coyle High School would later be named and perhaps others would participate.

(Father Loura was at St. Anthony's from 1906 to 1927 at which time, after
becoming exhausted in his work, he retired to his native Terceira, Azores. There must have been many dinners before 1927! He and Msr. Coyle had a deep friendship
which even included Fr. Loura taking Msr. Coyle to visit the Azores and Portuguese mainland.)

Writing this and the last posts let loose my imagination stretching it way back by following a thread of living now in the distant past.  Like many such nostalgic meanderings,
 it leads us to ponder the things that have been lost over the years.  What is now called mindful or slower living is one such treasure.  Living detached from the immediacy of short,
 often trivial technological messaging and abbreviated faceless communication.

We seek that which is fading: simplicity, the savoring of life, of moments sweet and precious, the dance of fingers and wrist in creating an art of writing, a conversation laced with friendship, 
family, respect and tolerance.

                             I wonder, how can we bring those values into our lives today…..?

Recently, a paper entitled :The Southampton Paper was presented to the American Psychological
Association, noted that nostalgic memories inspire positive feelings of joy, high self regard, belonging and meanfulness in life.  In two other studies it was found that past fond memories help us become more self-reliant and cope better in the present. 
 So ---reading this blog
         The article relating this can be found in the February issue of Natural Awakening below.


                                              For more about the Algonquin Round Table


                                             Unfortunately, I lost the site where I found the
    Taunton, Ma/Boston image of handwriting implements.
   Mea culpa, once in awhile they get away from me…

To view an excellent documentary on the history of the Algonquin Round Table (and thus its period in American history), Arlene Gouveia directs you to this You Tube video.

Also, she comments that the St. Anthony's "round table" was a group of interesting people who could talk on many subjects.  When the Algonquin Roundtable tried to have a reunion, it failed.
 People had passed on, and it was an end of an era.
This could be said of the St. Anthony group as well….an end to an era.

"One fact I am sure about.  Sophia Dupont had more class than Dorothy Parker"
                                                                 Arlene Gouveia

(I so agree, Arlene)

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