Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hey... That's Me!

Bromley, 1924 (BPL)

The picture on top was taken around 1959-60. I'm in the middle, and I think one of the Schatz boys - Jacky or Ricky - is on the left. I can't place the boy on the right yet. We are posed between the end of Spalding street and the railroad embankment. You can see the embankment sloping up in the back right, with the top of one of the oil tanks that still sit on Washington street opposite the Arborway MBTA yard just showing itself. I suspect the tree we are standing in front of was a crab apple. They seemed to thrive along the embankment going towards McBride street, and I distinctly remember being unable to resist temptation and eating a few. And becoming sick as a dog, exactly as I had been warned.

To the right and out of view was the Hood Milk distribution plant, where big trucks brought in product from the dairy and smaller trucks departed deliver it.[Note: the map above (added 7/2008) shows the facility much as I remember it, at the end of Anson st. Below the "ST" of "ANSON ST" there's a long wood frame building with an "X" through it that may have been a stable for the horses and wagons]. It's hard - no, impossible - to imagine the truck traffic coming and going on little one-way Anson street today. I've read that the trucks were made by Divco, and were tricky to drive. The delivery trucks were kept in a brick garage that is still there, on South street, directly opposite Anson. This map from 1924 shows that Hood was already at the location at the time, and also shows the empty lot where the picture was taken. That lot, always overgrown with weeds, is where I caught bees and grasshoppers in jars - classic boy stuff. The map also shows a Percy street, which disappeared into a turn-around lot for Hoods. The park that runs through the area is certainly much more attractive than the patchwork asphalt and broken glass that once filled the area, and the railroad embankment was nothing to look at either. Still, I'm sure it was a playground for generations of kids from Anson, Spalding, Rosemary and Hall streets.

Other families on Spalding street? The Schatz kids lived in the same house as us at 17, The Perrin family was next door - probably 15, and the Hoyts lived across from us - I remember Raymond and Elaine Hoyt, and there was a baby as well. My father used to go hunting with Leon Perrin, and one of the older girls was my babysitter. Years later, long after we had moved away. I met Mary Ann Perrin while we were in high school. My mother stayed friendly with the Hoyts, exchanging Christmas cards and occasional visits over the years. The only other family I remember is the Bariskys (spelling?). Bobby was near my age, and I think they were Ukranian. That's my Spalding street brain dump - 47 years is just too much to do any better.


  1. Cool to hear about the way the 'hood used to be. I don't live far from Spalding.

  2. My family was from Dunster Rd. My older brother went to Boston Tech with Mark

  3. Another Tech Tiger! No one goes to the reunions because there were no girls back then.