Saturday, October 10, 2009

Walk to School: Fairview Elementary 1971-74

I attended Fairview Elementary from kindergarten to 3rd grade. On a recent rainy Friday afternoon I retraced my steps. The 1.75-mile walk to school was shorter than I remember.

Jay, Rob, Dad and Mike in our living room on 8th Avenue in the Fairview section of Chicopee in 1972.

Our house. It was a bit different in 1971. We didn't have the garage. Or second floor. No deck. No pool. It was a small house back then. But big enough for us.

We had some interesting neighbors. Mrs. Ouimet lived here, I think. I used to knock on her door and ask for candy. She always had a bowl close by like she was expecting me.

Turning the corner I made my way to school. There was a deaf kid who lived on 9th St. I would pal around with him from time to time. He had a hearing aid that he said didn't help him. And it made a high-pitched noise that he said he couldn't hear.

I would pass "Ronnie Radio Man" on my way. He was mentally retarded. He was often sitting on a chair in the front yard listening to the radio. I would chat with him but he would only smile at me.

Crossing Montcalm St., I made my way to the sidewalk. We didn't have crossing guards.

Faith United Methodist church. I would attend Cub Scout meetings in the basement here. I didn't keep up with the Scouts. I think I quit after the first or second meeting.

Just about halfway there. It was raining. During walks to school in the rain I would get drenched. Teachers would often want us to put our wet clothes on the heater. I kept my wet pants on till they dried.

School pool is closed for the season. State pool on Memorial Drive has been filled in, but School pool lives on! To the left is the fence of a new condo complex.

I learned to swim here. The pool is in great condition and was recently featured in a WWLP story.

This building once housed a variety store. All Star, I believe it was called. I would buy pixie sticks, Mike and Ikes, Sugar Babies, hot balls.

Finally arrived with time to spare!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Navy Flashback: January 1962

My dad was knocked overboard when a hose became loose during a refueling effort.

I found this edition of the Springfield Rifle in a photo album that belonged to my grandmother. I've heard this story and had seen the article but this version of the Springfield Rifle was in plastic and pristine.

Good job there, Buddy.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Final score: Deep Freeze 1 PCJ 0

The kayak is close by and we could drag it down right quick.

We could break through this ice. No sweat.

Well, on second thought, the wind. BRRRR!

We heard there is a Looney Tunes marathon on Cartoon Network. Let's do that instead!