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.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


  A medley of Village Christmas memories....ah, they soothe the soul.  We are bombarded with ads and wants and spaced out Christmas shopping.  I hope that you can play this video as you read this. It is a long video but I am going to keep it going.

                                             ...and remember, no matter where you grew up.

I am letting the music slow me down.  My mind and spirit focused lets me reach way back into memory and feel those far off Christmas years all over again.  The silence of the Village (not many cars remember?), the snow snapping under our feet, hot cocoa for when we came in from building snow forts or sledding down Blinn's Court in a rush of colored jackets and stocking caps. Pulling your wooden sled back up the hill.  Your breath coming out all frozen with laughter warming you up.  Clusters of snow clinging to hair and woolen clothing.  But, laughter and screeching as your sled picked up steam,  My friends, my family.  Frozen in time in the Christmas card of my memory.

Nearly every Village Portuguese home had a Creche in prominent place.  My mother and my Aunt Eleanor took us out to the woods each year at the edges of the Village to gather greens and mosses for the best Creche ever.  Those women who lit up our lives, not just at Christmas but all the years of our childhood and beyond to this day.

My sister Kathy and I often sat at the piano and sang together, especially at Christmas time
I took piano lessons and plunked along.  My mother loved to hear us sing.  Our piano
looked just like this....

Christmas carols and religious decoration were part of our childhood.  The Taunton Green always had a focus of what Christmas is really about.  There seemed always to be snow, usually soft and kind.
Christmas was a time like no other.  It was everywhere: downtown, in our schools, in our Village and in our homes.  It was a lesson in love, in sacrifice as you saved your pennies for presents for your parents. If you were very young, still at Fuller School, you made your own presents and gave them with great pride.  It was about giving and worship and celebration.


As we grew, the festivities and religious meaning of Christmas stayed with us.  I am no longer a child, of course, far from it.  I am a silver haired senior.  But, I remember everything about my Christmases.

 As teenagers Christmas changed. We started a new tradition.  A group of teens that I and my sister Kathy hung out with joined together for Christmas caroling.


Our wonderful mother, Angi Souza, piled us all into the back of my Dad's company pickup and off we went around the Village, singing carols all the way in the cold snowy evening.  We would go to our family homes.  I especially remember the Silvia home down around 237 School Street, Pat and Joanne's home. Mrs. Silvia always had cocoa and refreshments waiting for us.  Midnight Christmas Eve this group went to Mass and were surrounded by most of the Village. Then afterwards my Mom awaited us with a big breakfast-all of us- when we returned to 184 School Street. My Mom's cooking abilities were legendary. One member of our group was known to eat one of her pies all by himself!  

Midnight Mass was glowing and bright.  St. Anthony's in all of it's beauty shone like no other time.
The choir would make Ebenezer himself soften.  We were warm inside and outside. Friendship did that, family did that, the holy day itself did that.

Christmas in the Village

In these times of global uncertainty, of growing older and less energetic
the Christmases of yesteryear bind us once again in the liveliness and meaning of those times.
Times of simplicity and greater meaning.

I wish each and all a dear and wonderful Christmas.
May you not be lonely.  But,if you are, harken back, for somewhere there
must be a Christmas memory or two to savor.

Not everyone grew up in our Village, but I hope these
memories have cheered you.


  Sandra Souza Pineault

My past Christmas in the Village blogs are below if you would like to read them.
 This is the third Christmas for this blog and still
the memories come, well maybe with a repeat now and then.  

After all, I am a silver haired blogger.


12/2/13 Memories Dance Like Sugar Plums....

12/11/13 One Hundred Years of Lighting Up Christmas

                                                        12/16/13  Away in a Manger



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  2. KathyDecember 4, 2014 at 7:19 AM

    I am Sandy's sister and I really enjoyed the times where we sang and laughed around the piano in my parent's living room. I like the song "You are my Lucky Star" the best. During the holidays my Mother kept us involved with setting up a large manager and my Dad would decorate the outside covered with lights and Santa on the roof. People would drive by and at that time you could be on Dean Street by the trestle area and look up and see our home all a blaze of lights. We would go to Midnight Mass and try to not nod off. Felt like your head fell off your neck. After Midnight Mass my mother would set up an elaborate buffet for us as we came back from the church. Oh dear, warmed syrup , waffles, bacon, sausages and eggs galore. She manage this like the loaves and fishes it did not matter how many friends came. My parents liked having us with our friends at our house. They were always so hospitable.
    When it snowed my Dad would pile up the snow so we could have an igloo. we would be sliding down the outside and crawling inside . We would not quit until our faces were frozen with red red cheeks.. In those days my Mother would take bread bags and put them on our feet to stay drier in our boots. Sandy and I would take cardigan sweaters and slide our legs in the sleeves and button them up like thermals. Function over form for sure. Once they video taped us coming out of the igloo and would stop the camera and we did over and over so when they ran the film it looked like twenty people , of course you quickly saw the same faces and hats repeatedly. We would go ice skating on the Duck Pond and often came home to have poison ivy from the bon fires that the guys built. They did not know they were burning the ivy leaves. All of this spontaneous and free. So many wonderful memories.
    You know in those days we got what we needed at Christmas now we do not know what to buy people because everyone gets what they want all year long. We always got at least one doll or toy too.

  3. Beautifully said, Kathy. It was a magic time...though we received less under the tree our lives were full of gifts money could never buy, then or now.

  4. My Christmas memory growing up on East Water st. was the Coelho's down st. had the biggest tree in front and they they put the lights on it we knew Christmas was coming!!! They were always the first to do lights. We also had the only and best driveway for sledding from the street all the way down to the river! Gran used to get mad when we let friends sled with us at night!

    Comment for this post left on I'm from Taunton Facebook comments..

  5. my Christmas memory growing up on east water st was the Cohelo's down st had the biggest tree in front and when they put the lights on it we knew christmas was coming!!! They were always the first to do lights.We also had the only and best driveway for sledding from the street all way down to river! Gran used to get mad when we let friends sled with us at night

  6. I grew up near "the 'village", on the lower end of Purchase St., but had friends that lived closer to the Village and went to Fuller School! Those truly were the good old days, I would love to go back to that time! Families and neighbors helped one another, and no one had more than the other. We "made do" with what we had, and appreciated it so much more than the young people of today. Hope that they can have half of the good memories of our time!

    1. You are so right...simpler, happier days. Quieter, too. I think that is why we all treasure those memories from a time we were so blessed to be part of...thank you for sharing, it is much appreciated. One feeds and nourishes a blog with comments such as there.