MEMOIRS OF SCHOOL STREET VILLAGE

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 spinoart@comcast.net
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, November 23, 2015

HAPPY THANKSGIVING !



Thanksgiving 2013 I posted this and it seems
right to use it again.  My memories simmer like gravy on the stove, 
loved laughter drifts through my mind, the taste of that special squash pie only my Aunt Eleanor could make, the smell of the apple pies that were my mother's specialty, the sound of the bubbling crispness of the turkey roasting in a brown paper bag in the oven, The smell and taste of Aunt Alveda's stuffing. The sound of children's feet as they sneaked into the kitchen for a taste of this and that, little fingers traveling the tabletop.  

The heat and heart of the kitchen from all the cooking and from all the love.



Happy Thanksgiving memories and dreams to all !
.........................





This is a great photo of two of my wonderful aunts: Aunt Alveda and Aunt Eleanor.  
The light of their smiles lit up a room. This was some kind of 
a family get-together;
maybe Thanksgiving, maybe not.  But the message is there: of family, 
of place, of all the gifts
in our lives that started with being born into the place we were.

  I am thankful for everything, for 
my family and for the family of the School Street Village.
May Thanksgiving blessings be on each of
you and your families wherever you may have roamed. 





Saturday, November 7, 2015

FALLING BACK INTO THE LEAVES OF MEMORY





Photography by Ryan Smith


I am no longer in the region of glowing Autumns. Yet, just recently visiting
the mountains of North Carolina my memory taste buds received enough to
stir my memoirs. Some of the photographs from there appear in this post. The 
above was taken by my nephew who has inherited his grandmother's photography genes.

I have taken to bringing a little red notebook with me on trips.  I write when
the spirit moves me. I absorbed the ghosts of the autumns from my childhood while in the mountains this year. The ghosts were benign and kind and spoke to me of misty autumns. 

Now, in these November days even in the
South the crickets have an autumn sound waking my long gone 
 childhood experiences.

I remember....

the feel of gardens entering their winter slumber.  Are we meant during the days of autumn to go into some quiet protected place as well?   Those of us who were fortunate enough to live back in another time may well feel that we are called to do just that.  

"The magic of Autumn has seized the countryside; now that the sun
is not ripening anything it shines for the sake of the golden age, for
the sake of Eden, to please the moon for all I know."

Elizabeth Cutsworth


Autumn in the Village where I spent my childhood was a magic season. It entered the turning paths of our imagination where we found myth and possibility. There was enough silence in the Falls of my childhood that the drying leaves played by the wind created a scintillating sound that was a music unlike any other.  The pines plucked their needles to
produce their own lullaby, especially right outside a child's window.

The child's imagination could be slowly nurtured by the night wind rattling old
wooden sashed windows and gently nurtured by shadows of big trees in the backyard.

As children we collected the bright leaves, ecstatic in their dying.
They were used for collage, for tracing and then coloring, for
dry bouquets for our mothers.

Sweaters and jackets kept us swathed in the scent of mothballs where
they had been hidden all summer.





                                     We began to nestle into our dreams of paths yet to come.
                              Nothing like shushing one's feet through dry leaves on the way
home from school to nudge such dreams.  They gathered in great piles
against old tall wooden fences waiting for a child
to plunge into them with laughing glee.




The elegance of autumn in New England.  Color upon color reaching high, like a dowager in her finest garb. A last hoorah! The leaves must touch each other to play their Fall song.  Many softly let themselves join Mother Earth.  Mellowed and wizened they gracefully slip silently to sleep.












Even back in my childhood Autumn held its own traditions.  It held the promise of Halloween. It made you hold your breath passing by a cemetery, expecting to see the Headless Horseman come galloping through.  The violence of today's video games and movies were not around to stifle our imaginings. Even before us,  poets like Robert Frost had created poems that nurtured our childhood creativity. There was silence abounding to let all of that pass through. Cell phone were way in the future and everything let us be.

The creativity of the Autumn palate.  The creativity of Halloween and how we were part of it. Simply a part of it.   The safety of the Village on the eve of Halloween. A gaggle of children slowly processing from house to house. Hooted Trick or Treats (never a trick...) and giggles upon giggles as we spied who some masked child really was.  The fained surprise of the adults greeting us at each house. All the porch lights were lit to welcome each and all.



                                                          boysandghoulspodbean.com


Innocence wrapped in the colors of Autumn. Costumes were patched together with our own old clothes or that of our parents. Black mascara worked wonders. We were who our imaginations wished us to be and we acted accordingly. A bedsheets with eyes cut out was perfect. An old mop made a wig for a witch, Cardboard was always helpful.  Pillow cases made the bags for the candy we collected. An old soft hat of our dad's pulled down over a cheap paper mask, one of his jackets so big on a little boy that the sleeves dragged along the ground.




Autumn is a time to wrap oneself up in the memories of a childhood in the 50's hiding oneself from the noise and anger of the world around us. Values were clear back then, like the shine of red leaves and the gift of an apple from a neighbor on Halloween Eve.  How blessed those who can go back and pull out friendships and trust their remembering.




     Milkweed in Autumn
photography by my mother
Angelina Motta Souza