Category Archives: boston

Life Is Illusion in the Combat Zone

Back in 1969 Jerry Brendt took this photo of two brothers messing around with white girls. This was not Selma, but Boston’s Combat Zone where people could be people. The Caddy is a convertible and the girls love the horseplay. Everything seems perfect. Everything depends on your point of view or disposition. “it’s just a […]

GUNS GUNS GUNS by Peter Nolan Smith

American boys loved guns in the 50s. Plastic weapons lay gift-wrapped under the Christmas tree. Our movie heroes slaughtered the country’s enemies on the silver screen and tough cops performed gun ballets on prime time TV. Guns were good for the country and America was good to guns. Armed with air rifles my older brother, […]

I HATE PAUL by Peter Nolan Smith

The Beatles infested America in 1963 and the following April the Fab Four dominated the US charts with five #1 hits. I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND was followed by one chartbuster after another. Everyone had their favorites. My next-door neighbor, Addy Manzi had seen the group at Carniege Hall in December 2, 1964. Her father […]

Long Love The West End of Boston

The West End of Boston had been developed for the rich. The neighborhood also sheltered freed blacks, who bravely served in the Civil War. The waves of Armenians, Greeks, Irish, Lebanese, Italians, Jews, Lithuanians, Poles, Russians, Syrians, and Ukrainians emigrants pushed out the wealthy, creating a ethnic haven for one and all. The Ward 8 […]

Bless Me Father For My Sins

My First Holy Communion and Confirmation of Faith to the Catholic Church took place at a church in Maine in 1960. My mother dressed me in white to symbolize the purity of my soul, although she also had me wear a red jacket with a black velvet lapel. I had a fight with my best […]