Wednesday, July 3, 2013


      I love Fourth of July - well, actually love all holidays, but the Fourth is special because of warm memories of my past. I grew up in a medium-sized city where I knew almost all the high school students and was class secretary for three years. That and being president of my eighth grade influenced me at a young age. We used to go to Middleboro where my cousins lived for the fireworks. Fun times.
       My family had a two-story house on Floral Street in Taunton, MA. We lived downstairs and my grandmother lived upstairs. At the end of the street was an open area where we would gather firewood and set it ablaze on the Fourth. All the neighbors would be there and especially my school friends. Many times when  my mom wouldn't let us out, my sister, Janet Custer, and I would climb out our bedroom window and sneak down. I really don't know if my parents found out or not. My mom was extremely strict, and my sister always had a boyfriend to meet.
      Because of my move to Tucson, I have not kept in touch with those neighbors except Eddie Perry who still lives across the street from where I was born. He, my sister, and I got together in May when I visited there and we had a chance to reminisce ( I can never remember how to spell that word, but love using it in a sentence.)  Eddie still knows all the people on the street, those who moved, those who died, and those who have been born.
       Eddie's mom used to grow gladiolus and sell them for $1.00 (yes, one dollar) a dozen and always added one more for a baker's dozen. I remember watching them grow and anticipating the day they would go on sale. My mom would give me a dollar and I would walk so carefully across the street to purchase. We had a special vase reserved to display those luscious, colorful blooms. That is one of the flowers mentioned in a poem from Small White Hearts, on page 177, Precious, Brilliant Flowers of Heaven  I'll insert on my  next blog.
        I didn't get into too much trouble for the other holidays, except Halloween when I would soap many windows as I walked from my house to downtown to view the parade. Remember Ivory Soap?Broke a few panes of glass, too, accidentally, by writing Trick or Treat! I also used to take down signs for any opponent my Uncle Johnny Parker would have as he was State Senator for many years and it was election season. That was my greatest secret - not telling anyone I removed the signs and left them on the ground nearby. Did I ever go to Confession on that? Not too certain.
        Doing something different for the Fourth this year. I live at the foot of A-Mountain where all the fireworks go off at dusk. Usually my relatives, friends, and neighbors visit my house for food. Then we sit on my front lawn and wait to the fireworks. This year I am going to friend Katherine's house where we had my signing party. She has invited all of us to watch from her Foothills home and see the magnificence of them from there. Should be wonderful change of scenery.       

1 comment:

  1. You? Get in trouble?? NAH!!! :))

    You had some good stuff up there in the Village. The Irish didn't have any bonfires...or if they did, we were always down in Somerset on the 4th watching the fireworks out over the river.

    Halloween was spent traveling all around the neighborhoods, then making our way downtown, too. To enter the costume contest in back of The Taunton Inn. They'd also give the awards for best artwork on the store windows. I got caught one time soaping a car window...just my luck it was a police officer's personal car. SIGH. Had a great time washing it all off! :)

    Other than that, I didn't have a lot of freedom...our parents were very strict, too...and didn't spare the rod. Or in my Mom's case, the yardstick. Never did climb out a window to escape, though...our bedrooms were all on the 2nd floor!

    High school was no fun til I met Frankie (Tank). You, Rose, Irene and some others used to go to the Canoe Club. I never got to go there but once...and wouldn't ya know, that was the night Buzzy Brezinski got us all in trouble. Fortunately, my parents never did get wind of that night, or I'd have been in the convent quicker than you could bless yourself!!

    I remember meeting Rose to go to Mass every weekday AM during Lent...did you go with us...I thought it was you and Irene that did. That was about as "Holy" as I ever got, but it nonetheless really meant a lot to me to do that. My mother would never write my note to be late for school on those days...I don't think she believed I was actually going to I had to write them myself. I always thought it was rather funny to have to "sin" in order to go to church!! I don't know as I ever confessed that, either.

    Ah, the memories, Norma...and hasn't life brought us down some strange paths since those days? And haven't we been blessed that the good Lord had given us the strength to deal with all of it.

    Catch you later, Norma,