Archive for the ‘Billerica’ category

Deep Dive #3

March 27, 2017

So I have finished curating the last batch of slides from Harold. The box contained 10 slide trays and each slide tray had up to 100 slides. Some were full some were less than full but never less than 75 slides. The slides were taken from as early as 1974 and as recent as 1980. Most were circa 1977 and 1978. Much of the pictures were of wilderness. There were two trays from a trip to Alaska in 1974.

There were pictures from Harold and Mary’s visit after our first son Mike was born in 1980.

Here are some samples of the better stuff. 

Mary Stanley, Paula and Joe

During the visit, I took Harold and Mary for a ride in my airplane. (I don’t know what caused the yellowing of the white areas of the slide.) I first got my private pilot’s license in 1974. By the time this picture was taken I had become IFR (Instrument) rated. Not long after this picture was taken the plane was sold and I stopped flying. Price of fuel was going up and I no longer had the time to spend flying. I once took my mother for a ride in the airplane. She was scared silly. (That wasn’t the word I wanted to use, but this is a family blog.) She couldn’t get on the ground soon enough.

New Dad with Baby Michael

This was the other reason that I stopped flying. In this picture, I think Mike was a couple of weeks old.

Harold in front of US Capitol

This is one of the rare pictures of my father-in-law Harold. Harold was always the one behind the camera. The trip to Washing ton was in 1977. In the load of about 1000 slides there are probably less than 10 pictures with Harold in the picture. We all miss Harold a lot. He was a great guy.

Mary K., Mimi-Mary, Uncle Jack, Aunt Donna (dec) and Maurice/James

This picture was taken in 1977 during one Harold & Mary’s many visits to New Orleans. Mary’s brother Jack lives outside of New Orleans. The family was together that day to tour some antebellum mansion. I don’t know how people could survive living during a summer in one of those mansions. So everyone was in the picture except for Harold.

This picture is the rear of our house at 90 Gray Street in Billerica, MA. We lived here from 1978-1984.

Mary and Paula circa 1978

We’re not quite sure of the provenance of this picture. Perhaps on the ferry to Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyeard or maybe a Boston Harbor cruise. I included it because it was a good picture of Paula and Mary.

That’s enough for now. I will be picking up another box to work on from the storage locker.



Trip Report

May 23, 2016

Whenever I travelled on business, I had to write a trip report. I’m sitting in the departure lounge for Delta Airlines. Had lunch at Legal Sea Food. We both had a cup of clam chowder. So good. Had Sam Adams Summer Ale. Also, good. 

We visited our old friend Candee up the street from where we used to live. Drove by our old house  to see what they had done. Added a fence. Lawn needs mowing and weeding. Dogwood and Japanese maple in full bloom. 

We filled the tank on the rental car and headed for Logan. Turned in the car and got to terminal. Through security. Now time to wait. I’ll get one last DD coffee. 


The Blizzard of 1978 #Blizzard

January 28, 2015

So with all the news of the blizzard going on back east, I thought I would write about my experience of living through the infamous Blizzard of 1978. I don’t miss having to endure the current snow in the northeast.

The Blizzard of 1978 occurred from Feb 5-7, 1978. This was just about a month shy of my 30th birthday. I was living in a house in Newton Highlands about a block from Rt 9. I was working for DEC at the Mill in Maynard, MA. Typically on normal days that was about a 30 minute commute.

In the days before the storm, the forecasting didn’t predict the eventual severity of the storm. So many people got stuck, seriously stuck in places they would rather not be. ¬†Here are some pictures.

I guess I was one of the lucky ones. My boss told everyone at about 10 am to get going home. Anyone who waited until 2 or 3 pm to leave got stuck. Somehow, I knew that this was going to be a big one. I decided to give my girl friend Paula (who at the time was my girl friend of about four months) a call. I gave a her a call and reached Paula’s roommate Joan. So Joan tells me that Paula was sleeping after working a midnight shift at Children’s Hospital.

Wake her up I say. I knew I was treading in dangerous ground here. It could be a real test of our relationship don’t you think? I eventually got Paula on the phone. I tell her that I would be by in 45 minutes to pick her up. I explained the storm situation and that if she didn’t get going we wouldn’t see each other for 4-5 days. Okay she says.

So an hour later, I manage to pick her up at her apartment in Brookline and then another hour to my place in Newton. Finally we settle in for the duration.

Later that night with the snow and wind howling outside, we get to bed and keep each other warm. Then at about two am, the phone rings. The phone call was from Paula’s Dad out here in San Pedro. Harold had called Paula’s apartment in Brookline and Joan give him my phone number in Newton. Remember this was long before cell phones, smart phones, flip phones, etc. We just had the land lines.

Harold (Paula’s Dad) already knew about our relationship. Paula had traveled home to San Pedro for the 1977 Christmas holidays. And I called her every day at about 9 am west coast time. And I usually got to talk to Harold before I got to talk to Paula. So I roll over and hand the phone to Paula and tell her it’s your Dad. All Harold cared about that Paula was safe. And she was.

Once the storm had run its course, we started to dig out. No snow blowers or plows. Just shovels. It took a long time to get the driveway shoveled. But it didn’t matter, we couldn’t go anywhere. We were in a state of emergency and cars were forbidden. We took the opportunity to do snow angels in the middle of the east bound lane of RT 9.

By the evening of Feb 7th rolled around we were developing a serious case of cabin fever. So we decided to take the Green Line into Brookline Village to go to an Irish Pub called the Village Coach House. So we had a wonderful time listening to an Irish band and drinking Guinness. So all things have to come to an end, as does this. We staggered home on the Green Line (no designated driver required).

The next day, Paula was scheduled to work the evening shift at Children’s. Somehow she managed to hitch-hike into Brookline to the hospital.

One more story, then I’ll shut up. in the Spring of 1978, DEC was relocating our department from the Mill in Maynard to a new building in Tewksbury. DEC in its generosity was paying for my relocation. Companies don’t do that much anymore.

Paula and I found a house in Billerica. When we were looking at the house in March there was still much unmelted snow from the winter storms. There was so much snow that I didn’t realize until we moved into the house that there was a five foot boulder in the front yard.

So we eventually got married in October of 1978. We lived in Billerica until 2012. A total of 36 years. And no, Mike isn’t 36 years old, but you get the picture.

Boston Cream Pie

August 25, 2014

In the Spring of 1978, we had bought our first house in Billerica. Paula and I were dating and we were pretty much thinking about marriage. So at that time, Paula was spending most of the time at our house in Billerica. But she still had her apartment in Brookline.

So in June or July, (I don’t quite remember which). I asked Paula if she would marry me. So she immediately said yes. Thence started the wedding plans.

So you’re thinking, what has this have to do with Boston Cream Pie? Read on. So Paula called home to Harold and Mary and broke the news. Lucky for us there was no Caller-ID at that time. If there were, the display would have displayed “Billerica, MA”.

So we set a date of October 7, 1978, the day after her birthday. That was good for me because, it would mean I could likely remember both dates.

Harold and Mary then made plans to come out to visit us in Boston. This meant that Paula decided to temporarily “move” back in to her place on Beacon St for the duration of their visit. I sort of think, that Harold knew what was going on but whatever. We allowed the charade to continue.

Paula acted as tour guide to Harold and Mary, while I went back to work at DEC.

So your saying, “What about the Boston Cream Pie?”. I’m getting to that. Well we decided to have a fancy dinner to celebrate our upcoming nuptials. We decide that the occasion called for going to a fancy-shmancy place. So we booked reservations for the Ritz Carlton dining room on Arlington St in down Boston. At the time, the Ritz required men to wear jacket and tie, women dresses. No T-shirts and jeans. Very fancy. Valet parking and all that.

My brother Rich and his wife Mary joined us for the occasion. So we had a total of six for the dinner. At this point it is important to understand the seating arrangement. Paula was NOT sitting next to Harold. Harold was on his own.

So the time came for us to order dessert. So Harold orders Boston Cream Pie. Harold loved pie. He didn’t care so much for cake. If Paula were to have sat next to Harold, she would not have let him order Boston Cream Pie. But order it he did. So then and there Harold discovered to his dismay that Boston Cream Pie was a cake, not a pie in the common understanding.

I wish I had a picture of Harold’s face when he saw the plate arrive. What’s this he says?

If you are not from around the Boston area, you might not know what “Boston Cream Pie” is. Here is the pointer to the article on Wilipedia. Next time you are in Boston, by all means try the Boston Cream Pie.

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Treble Cove Road

May 18, 2013

As many of you know, I am presently back east visiting friends and family. We decided that we would meet with our old neighbor Candee in West Billerica. So we got into our rental car and headed down to Billerica from Andover.

We got off at our old exit from Rte 3 and the first thing that we see is a brand new Mobil gas station with a Dunkin Donuts shop. Now we lived in the house for 28 years. The corner of Treble Cove Rd and Republic Rd had an old abandoned restaurant. So on my way to work, if I needed to get gas, I would have to either go into Billerica center or North Chelmsford to get gas. Need a coffee, go to Boston Rd to the Dunkin Donuts store by Treble Cove Plaza.

So, no sooner do we leave town, but Mobil and Dunkin build a new store. I am seriously bummed. I will probably have to wait another twenty years for Dunkin to build any stores in San Pedro. Bah…

And another a thing, I forgot about Hay Fever. All of the trees are in bloom and the air is full of tree pollen. Watery eyes, sneezing and runny nose. Three more days until we get back to LA.

Location:E Merrimack St,Lowell,United States


June 12, 2012

Another bucket list before we leave town.

Fried clams, fried scallops, onion rings and fries. So good.

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