Thinking a lot of my brother George who has both dementia and cancer and our growing up here in Centralville so let’s hit the way back button…Time to take a break from the upcoming Election and take a walk back to the old neighborhood with me.
I’m 58 y ears old, my father grew up on 4th St here in Centraville, my mom on Riverside Ave . Where the Bank of America is on Bridge St. there used to be a whole block that included a store that my Dad owned for a short time in the 1960’s. We lived on 11th st (151) next door to George Edgerly, near the Saba, Woods, Collins and Howe families, then on Humphrey St. with the Marias, Rogers, Bonin and Goulakos clans.
Has a kid I went to the 10th st. School for Kindergarten (now condo’s) then the Varnum School (now Apts) for grades 1-4. Mrs Smith was the Principal and Mrs. Flanagan, Ms, Loiselle, Mrs, Hines, Mrs, Scott, Mrs. Hyde and Mrs. Dancaus were some of the teachers. Junior High was at the “new “Robinson School, I think we were the first class who attended grade 5-8 before heading to LHS or the Voke which was doing a 45-15 school schedule. Don Gagnon , Frank Georges, Matt McCormich, Betsy Moore, Maryland Blinkhorn, Don Pizzano , Tommy Leonard, Mr. Silva, Sandy Norwood, Paul Lynch , Brian Leary, Mrs.Pare, Mrs. Chawsick (?) and Mrs Marchesi were part of a great team.
In High School I worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken (now Top Donut) CVS on bridge st (now a laundromat) that was next to the Store 24 and at St. Michael’s Rectory. A few years later I worked at Mannings Package Store and then at the Tavern at the Bridge. I coached Girls Softball, Tee Ball and Senior League baseball.
I remember the College Ice, Hell’s Angels living on 2nd St., the explosion of Jakes Cafe that made Bridge St. look like a war zone with broken glass all the way to 11th st. Plunkett’s, Carr’s and Murphy and Callahan pharmacies, Fosters, Blue Dot, Top Shelf, Lena’s, Nichols Fish and Chips, Toni’s, the Honk, Dickie Mercier’s Centralville Cafe, Maguires Insurance, Horns Cleaners, St. Louis Carnivals, Gacek and McKenna’s Funeral Homes on Bridge St., Genes Ice Cream on Lakeview Ave, Flynn’s Market which became Bretons on Sith St. Later run by Jim Rourke, St. Michael’s and St. Lois Bingo, CYO, Stuart’s, all the changes at DeMoulas Market Basket especially George and the snack bar and Birdie Houde from the Liquor Store and Fred Slavin from Mannings.
The Rez on Beacon st. that had the caretakers house, the original hill and maybe jumping a fence to swim in the Rez. The green tower on 10th st, the 17th st woods, the dunes which are now Dracut Apts. St. Michael’s Drop In and packed High School dances with Ray Trembly ( goodnight, god bless and be careful going home), Ralph Miller’s Mobile, Paul Allen then Paul Demers Shell, the East End with the bar in front and a dance floor behind it, Monte Carlo nights downstairs on Friday nights.
The Slattery’s, Finn’s, Annis, Dolan, Keefe’s, McKenna, Millard, Koumpouras families, Mike Kunzler, the Fitzpatrick’s, Bill and Delores Green, Paul and Shirley Cyr, The Stecs, Iby’s, Plunkett and Kane Families. The 3 McCarthy families (Ludlum st, Christian St and Kathy, Karen I believe on Beacon) the Bedfords, Piche,McGarry and Martin families. Donna Martino, Debbie Belanger, Leah Treadwell, Jill McSwiggen, Karen Ferreira, Paula Fredricks, Judy McCarthy, the Nugent and Kane families.
Kathy Kane and Bobby Houde being the Park Instructors at McPhersons, Jim Rourke, Dave Mitchell, Katie Cooney, Connie O’Neil, Lynn Machacus (?) and many other McPherson lifeguards. My brother George and Joe Sawyer, Bobby Champagne, Scott Tarsa, Larry Harding and others diving off the guard house roof into the pool and running if they saw car 2 and Frankie Dumont and Alex Siliotis (?) coming. When we had the fourth st and west sixth st firehouses and Ernie Sullivan’s Funeral Home on fourth st. Tighe’s variety on Reed st., Fruens, Scott Hardware and a little variety store on bridge st. across from an empty lot near west 5th st. Sunny side Up restaurant for breakfast after a long night of 45’s at The Bridge.
I’ve seen many changes in this ever evolving section of Lowell and soon we will have a City Councilor to represent us. Peter Richardson, Bernie Lemoine and Leo Farley are the last Centraville Councilors I remember.
What did I miss? I know I missed many many great people!