Category Archives: boston

The SS Showboat Mayflower Nantasket

Throughout the early part of the 20th Century a fleet of side wheel steamers plied the waters of Boston harbor. The flotilla was reduced to one by a fire in 1919, but the Mayflower ran to Nantasket Beach until 1948. After its decommission its new owner hauled the white-hulled ship close to shore and opened […]

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 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 driven […]

$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 […]

Danger Mr. Smith

The 1960s Space Race between the USSR and USA exterminated young boys’ worship of westerns. Cowboy hats, vests, guns, and holsters were retired to the closet next to toy boats and teddy bears. I pleaded with my parents for an astronaut costume for Halloween and my father answered my dream with a gleaming space suit […]

El Phoenix Bar – Boston

My friend Jorge posted this photo and I thought ‘pink elephant’. Only one place had one and it was in Brighton, Mass. In college I drank in Concannon and Sennetts’, a Commonwealth Avenue establishment with a mural of a naked woman riding a pink elephant over the bar. The dive offered draft ‘ganseets at 25 […]