Posted tagged ‘Sullivan Square’

“I told my dentist my teeth are going yellow. He told me to wear a brown tie.”

April 9, 2017

My skepticism is draining away. Perhaps spring really is here as today is another sunny, warm day, a lovely day. It is already 57˚, today’s high. Gracie and I slept on the couch last night. She had such a difficult time with the stairs yesterday morning I didn’t want to put her through that again. The rest of the stair treads should be here tomorrow so we can move back upstairs. She went outside with me helping her down the stairs. I waited, but she disappeared from view. All of a sudden she reappeared from the other side of the deck. She came up the easy stairs. That’s one smart dog.

Tonight is game night. We’re having pizza and playing Phase 10 and Sorry. We’ll watch The Amazing Race recorded the other night. That’s been a long time tradition.

When I was going through catalogs the other day, I saw jelly nougats for sale and a memory jumped into my head. When I was nearly 8, I started wearing braces. Back then, braces were not all that common. I remember closing my mouth for my school picture so you couldn’t see the braces. I was a bit self-conscious. There were only a few orthodontists. The office I went to was in Boston on Commonwealth Ave. My mother had to get a babysitter for my two sisters then she and I would walk uptown to get the bus to Sullivan Square then the subway close to the office. The office was on the first floor of a beautiful old house. It was a living room with comfy sofas. The nurse’s desk was there, and the doctor’s office was behind a door in the front of the room. His name was Dr. Nice.

After my appointment, we’d backtrack to Sullivan Square. We had to walk upstairs to the bus station. Right in the middle of that station was a news kiosk. It sold papers, magazines, and candy. My mother often let me choose a bar of candy. I remember picking the jelly nougat. I liked the colors of the jellies, and the way they looked in the nougat. With tightened braces, the nougat was a bit tricky to eat, but I managed. We’d get to Stoneham, and sometimes we’d stop to buy my lunch to take to school. I remember the bread was toasted. My mother would then walk me to school a few blocks away from the squar

I always liked the before and after of those appointments. I got to be alone with my mother, ride the subway, be late to school and eat a lunch bought from a restaurant. The day would have been perfect if we took away the orthodontist.

Tom Cruise has braces now, too. I’m right in style.”

August 9, 2012

It’s back to hibernation I go. The day will be hot and humid, mostly humid. I turned the AC on last night so the house is now quite comfortable. Gracie rang her door bells at 8, and I let her out, waited for her and then went back right upstairs to bed. I woke up at ten. I was surprised.

Some commercials are now filled with back to school clothes, school supplies and happy kids. I don’t get the happy kids part.  A new pair of pants or a shirt just isn’t enough to make up for the end of summer. The school year looms and it’s always long. Summer is a mere 9 or ten weeks and school is eons, months and months. I never thought about them until I was older: school pictures. They take them early in the year, and I finally figured out why. If it were later, not a kid could smile.

My first grade picture is of a little girl wearing a white blouse and a skirt with straps. My hair is long and curly at the ends. I have crooked, buck teeth so in the second grade I had started to go to an orthodontist, not so common back then. There were none where we lived so my mother and I had to walk uptown to take the bus to Sullivan Square where we took the subway to Kenmore Square. I remember going to see Dr. Nice. His office was in one of those grand homes along Commonwealth Avenue which are still beautiful today. The waiting room was a big as the downstairs of my house. It had couches and lovely lamps on the tables. His receptionist sat at a giant desk, or at least it looked giant to me. Dr. Nice wore a white jacket with buttons on the shoulders like Dr. Casey’s later on TV. Dr. Nice was an old man with white hair. His office faced the street. I didn’t see much of it when my mouth was open. All I saw was the ceiling. I liked Dr. Nice.

I went through all the stages of braces. Early on my teeth were covered in metal. I looked like Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me. No one else I knew had braces. Some needed them but going to the orthodontist as a rite of childhood was off in the future. I was embarrassed by those braces. In my second grade picture I didn’t smile. I hid my braces. It is not a pretty picture.

“I guess God made Boston on a wet Sunday.”

January 30, 2012

Today will be a short post as I have to go to Boston. In days of yore, I used to go to Boston fairly often and never minded the trip. I’d meet friends, see a play, go out to dinner or shop. Now that I have all the time in the world, I begrudge the trip. I’d much rather sit at home and travel the Cape roads.

When I was a little kid, my mother didn’t drive. If we wanted to go to Boston, it meant walking up town and picking up the bus to Sullivan Square. Once there, we’d walk upstairs from the bus to the subway station. My mother would warn us away from the edge of the platform so we’d stand back and lean over to look down the tracks for the coming train. When it arrived, the doors always slid open with a whooshing sound, and we’d hurry inside to our seats. We always knelt on the bench like seats with our backs to the cars and our faces to the window. The city enthralled us as huge buildings, lots of cars and houses close together were unusual sights for us. The rule always was if we got separated, we were to get off at the next station and wait. We never did need to do that.

Mostly I remember going to Boston with my mother to see Santa Claus at Jordan Marsh. We were dressed in our good clothes and would wend our way to Santa through the Enchanted Village. It always held our attention, and we never once asked how much more we had to wait. Compared to today, the exhibit was primitive but for us it was almost magical. The people and the animals moved. Mostly they moved back and forth in one spot or their heads went up and down, and we thought it amazing.

That trip was always the best from start to finish. We got to ride a bus and a subway both ways. We saw Santa and the village, and my mother usually bought us a treat like a cone or a soft pretzel.

It was those trips which helped make Boston my all time favorite city. When I got older, high school age, I’d make the trip with my friends. Little had changed. We all still looked out the window and we warned each other to meet at the next stop if we got separated.

Looks like this was longer than I expected!