Category Archives: boston

FLUTE THING By Peter Nolan Smith

In the Spring of 1969 I ran for president of the South Shore CYO Deanery. My older brother was the incumbent and my election was close to unanimous. Mid-summer I met with the other officers at the CYO headquarters in Weymouth and we planned out our event schedule for autumn, winter, and spring. The previous […]

$148 LEVIS by Peter Nolan Smith

My mother dressed my older brother and me in jeans for most of the 1950s and early 1960s, however when the hippies adopted the tough western trousers as part of their unofficial uniform, Cardinal Cushing of the Boston diocese banned Levis on his evening rosary program. A fierce Catholic my mother obeyed the Pope’s representative […]

BURN CHELSEA BURN

In the early 1970s Chelsea, Massachusetts on the north bank of the Mystic River was a good example of a failed post-industrial city. Thousands of residents had moved out of the working-class community throughout the 50s and 60s. The Expressway split the city and sped up the decline, then on October 14, 1973 the coffin […]

House On Fire

One night back in 1971 my friend and I were returning from a Sha-Na-Na concert in Boston. Mark was driving along the Jamaica Way and after rounding the circle at the entrance to Arnold’s Arboretum he sped up toward Forest Hills. His Nova had a lot of pull for a V-6. Both of us were […]

THE SMELL OF MOONSHINE by Peter Nolan Smith

Back in the late 50s my Irish grandmother took my older brother and me for a monthly visit to downtown Boston. We left from her house in Jamaica Plains and rode the trolley into Boylston Street. The El from Forest Hills to Washington Street was quicker, but Nana preferred the trolley. My late grandfather had […]