“Towns are like people. Old ones often have character, the new ones are interchangeable.”

Yesterday I ran into traffic everywhere on my way. I was in a line to get over the bridge. I was in bumper to bumper traffic in weird spots on the road. I was strangely patient during the first few lines of traffic and just sang along with the radio and kept the beat on the steering wheel. What caused a bit of cursing, a big bit of cursing, was nothing was there at the end of the traffic jams, not stopped cars, not state troopers and not accidents. It was a good thing I had given myself extra time. At the wake, I chatted with my cousins who number in the thousands. I hadn’t seen most of them in a long time. We are a family of huggers.

Yesterday was August hot. It was over 90˚ outside of Boston. The cape was a bit cooler but still hot. When I got home, the house was 74˚ so I opened windows then shut them once the house got cooler. It is pollen season.

Today is another lovely day and is only 62˚, the high for the day. This weather is May.

Yesterday I drove through the square of the town where I grew up. When I was a kid, that small town was my whole world. It always seemed huge to me. Uptown was filled with stores. My favorite was Woolworth’s where even a dime had great spending power. I remember Woolworth’s had old wooden floors which creaked when I walked on them. The comic books were upfront. The toys were in an aisle on the right. I can close my eyes and remember the square and Main Street from the fish market all the way to the post office. Some of the wonderfully old buildings have been demolished including the cobbler’s, one of my favorite spots. I still remember he always wore a sort of dirty white bib apron. I miss watching the lobsters in the fish market’s window. I miss drug stores with fountains, especially the Middlesex Drug Store. It was beautiful inside and had a marble topped counter. They made the best vanilla cokes. The movie theater is still in the square. It had become derelict but was bought and saved years back. It looks pretty much the same from the outside but has been converted inside to present live theater. The snack bar sells upscale snacks. I can’t get Good and Plenty or a Sugar Daddy anymore. What has this world become?

Explore posts in the same categories: Musings

4 Comments on ““Towns are like people. Old ones often have character, the new ones are interchangeable.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Today is a wet repeat of yesterday. We have finally caught up and have exceeded the rainfall deficit we had earlier in the year. I contracted with a landscaper to clean out the weeds from my shrubs and beds. Unfortunately, they can’t get started because of the wet weather.

    I’m sure the traffic is horrible because this is the week before Memorial Day weekend. People are anxious to get out of their houses and travel somewhere.

    In our family we are not huggers and we don’t like one another very much. No one has traveled to a funeral for years before the pandemic. All of my uncles and aunts have passed away and I only have a couple of cousins that I bother to communicate with via Facebook. My wife’s family is even smaller and we have parted ways with all of them. We didn’t even give my wife’s sisters are new address. It’s basically the four of us.

    When I was growing up in North Dallas in the late 1950s we were truly at the edge of the country with horse farms. Almost everything has changed due to the tremendous growth in population. The last remnants of my childhood were destroyed by the October 2019 tornado. My elementary school was hit hard and may be rebuilt as a learning center. My Junior Hight School was demolished along with the closest strip shopping center. I used to ride my bicycle to those stores but they are all gone. The grocery store was rebuilt recently as a “FiestaMart” Mexican grocery. The neighborhood has truly changed in more ways than just the buildings.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      We are on a water ban so every other day watering. It hasn’t rained in a while other than for a few minutes the other day. Today has stayed a lovely day but a bit chilly.

      This time of year isn’t usually all that busy until the Memorial Day week end. The week before is not usually all that busy, but I agree with you about people needing to get out of their houses. Summer rentals are already off the charts.

      My family, for the most part, enjoys each other. There are a few exceptions, my brother being one of them. My mother was one of eight, and I used to see my aunts and uncles all the time. I don’t see my cousins but my sisters do. I think the age difference between me and them is the reason. Yesterday there were my uncle’s kids, all seven of them and cousins galore.

      Stoneham had a couple of farms when I was a kid, both are gone now. The square is different but it is still a step back in time. My elementary school is still there. My high school was in a different town and is also still there. I even drive by every now and then where I used to live. I still have friends who live in town.

      My old town is easy to recognize.

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Possibly you have to go to the mall movie theatre complex to get Good N Plenty nowadays. I’m not sure you can get Sugar Daddies anywhere. Maybe the Vermont Country Store. Oop, you can get them on Amazon! I just looked.
    I sort of remember the town you grew up in because it’s right next to the town I grew up in and my Aunt and Uncle lived there. They lived down by bowling alley so I mostly remember China Moon and pony rides. But I do remember the police box in the middle of Main St. which aggravated me no end years later whenever I had to drive through there. And there was a memorial horse trough somewhere around there, too.
    One of my friends likens traffic jams with no observable cause to a rat moving down the digestive track of a snake. Something happened and was resolved but the initial traffic snarl has to make its way down the line. By the time you reach the place where the whole thing started, the rat has been digested, I guess. 😀
    Today I did chores. I put the winter things away and took the summer things out. I did the dishes. I weed whacked grass and watered seedlings and filled the bird water bowl. The weather is beautiful for weed whacking etc.
    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,

      The movie theater candy is so expensive I usually sneak in my own. Usually I just buy a drink. Those two were my matinee movie candy as they lasted so long. I usually buy what’s called a movie theater size of Good and Plenty. Amazon is my go to for everything.

      I remember the bowling alley near the China Moon. That is where we all went. I don’t remember pony rides too well but I have a hazy memory of them near the miniature golf course. My grandmother lived on William Street down just a bit from the bowling alley.

      The police box was never a problem for me. To the right of it by the fire station was the easiest way to get home. To the left was 28. I really liked that box. The town was horrified when a guy hit with his car and destroyed it.

      There were so many stops and starts yesterday I can’t think of what caused so many. The other side of the road also had traffic jams. South of Boston was a long one. I felt bad for all those people.

      I’m applauding your industry. I only vacuumed and took down the eaten lights. I haven’t out up the new set yet. I’m waiting for peppermint oil. Spawns hate the taste.

      Have a great evening!


Comments are closed.


%d bloggers like this: