Friday, October 04, 2013


My first childhood home was in Malden, Ma. It was a two family house at 37 Beach
St. near the corner of Clapp St. That part of Malden is on the southern end of the
city near Linden Square and close to the border of the neighboring city of Revere
to the west. My parents were co-owners with Uncle Ed(Mom's brother) and Aunt Emily;
we lived on the second floor and they lived on the first.
Mom shoveling snow in the driveway we shared with the Tedesco family.
Me standing to the left, my cousin Winnie sitting on the car.

My maternal grandmother Agnes(McFarland) White lived with us and watched us
during the day when my parents were working. I have a few memories of Nanny: I
remember she used to eat peas by lining them up along the blade of a knife and them
rolling down them into her mouth. I also remember the day a roof repairman fell off
the roof while shingling it and landed in the grass a few feet away from the white
picket fence that separated our property from our next door neighbors' the Coriellis.(sp?)
We were in the kitchen and something went past the window. I got one quick glimpse
of the man on the ground and then Nanny pulled me away from the window. (The man
survived his fall.)

My maternal grandmother Agnes (McFarland) White.

We lived in a mostly Italian neighborhood. The Corielli's lived to the left of our house
on the corner of Clapp St. The father and mother were Vincent and Jo (I think short
for Josephine?) and they had three sons, one and older boy whose name I don't
remember, and the twins, Ronnie and Richie who I played with.  To the right lived
the Todescos, Pat and Rose, who had an older daughter and their son, Mike, another
playmate. Pat owned a shoe repair shop in Linden Square. Across Beach St from
our house was a small grocery store run by a man named Johnny.

 One of the things I recall was that besides the Corielli twins, there were three
other sets in the neighborhood: the Tadonio twins, Madeline and Marie who lived
on Clapp St and whose backyard ordered ours, the Randall brothers, and the Higgins
twins, a boy and girl.

The view across the backyard towards the Tadonio house.

Our back yard had a little dip in the middle of it and a large lilac bush at the back. You
could see over a wire fence into a row of other backyards that bordered ours and
the Todesco's. I remember chasing fireflies in the yard and listening to Aunt Emily's
own Uncle Luigi playing mandolin and singing at some family party.

The other side of the yard.

That was the house where we were living when my sister was born. Our parents
let me name her and I named her Cheryl after a little girl I had a crush on in
the ABC Nursery School.

That was the house where we had  the first family dog, a fox terrier named Saddles
that had belonged to my parents before I was born. Saddles lost a dog fight with a
larger dog and was bitten so badly he died.

Saddles, the first family dog.
We were living there during one of big hurricanes of the mid 1950's.  The street was
flooded by the overflowing Linden Creek and Dad was working in Boston at the time.
Mom didn't think he'd be home that night, but he was driving one of the old Pontiacs
with a high engine block, and he managed to get home by driving down Beach St behind someone's motorboat.  Not long after that, Dad bought a new 1956 black and red Olds

And that was where we were living when my grandmother passed away. She'd had a weak heart from the rheumatic fever she 'd had in her childhood. Shortly after that my parents
sold their half of the house to my Uncle and Aunt and we moved to Boston.

I was 8 years old when we moved away from there 57 years ago. One of these days I may
take a ride over there to see what 37 Beach St. looks like today.


Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

I loved your post. When we were married we had our first apartment in Malden for almost one whole year. I was still going to school, and took the orange line to the green line to Harvard Square. I loved living so close to Boston, and it was culture shock moving from Malden to New Hampshire.

Gerry Abbott said...

Interesting to stumble across your blog. I am 73 years old and my name is Gerry Abbott. From about 1952 to 1959 I lived with my parents and brother in the upstairs apartment at 120 Beach St., on the corner of Oliver St. I went to the old Linden Elementary School and the new school at Linden Park in the 6th grade and then on to Browne Jr High. One of my friends was Robert Carlberg whose father was Vice President of Malden Savings Bank. Another friend was Mike Epstein whose father owned the Higgins Rexall Drug Store in Linden Square and was the Pharmacist. We played around the Linden Creek, the hills North of Salem St. and the railroad tracks. We also played in the streets and at Linden Park. I remember the Todescos and many other Italians in the area. I am one fourth Italian. I have great memories of growing up in a city that had a bit of a rural feel. Gerry Abbott