Friday, March 7, 2014

Visiting with the Griffins: Southie was more fun than Disney! (52 Ancestors - #10)

Imagine sending your 14-year-old daughter to Boston to bring home your 2 year-old-daughter every week.  Imagine a loving sister who was happy to take your two year old daughter!  Imagine a spread of goodies that leaves deliciously vivid memories.  Family are wonderful!  When I was a child, I too had fond memories of Southie...visiting Aunt Cassie, despite being wheel-chair bound by the 1970s, put out a mouth-watering spread of goodies (bologna sandwiches and bake shop treats).  My Aunt Marilyn (Amirault) Lima, the writer of this story, tells us of how wonderful she felt when visiting her Griffin relatives in Southie!
Aunt Mal (white hat) with her mom and sisters (1939)
By the time I was born in 1934 and all my grandparents had died. Therefore, I have no memories of grandparents (Michael & Elizabeth (Leggett) Griffin and Lawrence and Mary Alice (Boudreau) Amirault).

I do recall going in to South Boston to visit my mother’s sister, Cassie, every Sunday. I was seven when my father died but I have heard we visited Cassie every Sunday before my father died and as he pulled his Dodge automobile in to Bolton Street, the street was so narrow, my Dad had to pull half of the car up on to the sidewalk to make room for other cars to get by.

Harry's car that would almost block the street in Southie!
My more vivid memories of visiting relate to after my Dad died and my mother, along with the five of us, took a bus to Quincy, switched to a trolley car which took us to Fields Corner followed by the subway train that took us to Broadway Station. We went up the stairs, out of the station to Broadway where we got a trolley to C Street. I can picture my mother with the five of us in tow.

Oh, what fun we had at 96 Bolton Street. We played with our cousins which consisted of Cassie’s kids and my mother’s younger sister, Nonie’s kids. Nonie lived in the next building. Rita, another sister, lived in the same building as Cassie in her own apartment. Rita was widowed when I was young and she had no children. My mother’s brothers, Tom and Buff also visited Cassie and that is where we got to know them. My mother’s maternal aunt, Jo Leggett used to come over also. It seems in looking back that Cassie’s was the focal point for all to visit.
Tom Griffin
Cassie’s husband was Charlie Hurl. I can recall his coming to North Weymouth by bus to do something for my mother in the way of yard work. He was a great guy.
Charlie Hurl
When Judy was about two, she moved in with the Hurl family where she lived until she entered the first grade in Weymouth. Cassie did not hesitate to add another little one to her family of seven kids. Cassie was the best. Joan, at a very young age, went to Southie every Friday to bring Judy home for the weekend. When we would leave Cassie’s on a Sunday late afternoon, my mother and Cassie would both be crying as it was so hard for my mother to leave Judy. At this point in time, my mother was only 38 years old.

My cousins were so good to all of us. We played outside until the gas lights came on and I can remember their listening to "The Shadow Knows" on the radio which I found very scary. I also remember McCarty’s store where I would get orange sherbet in a cone that was like paper but I thought it was delicious.
Uncle John and Aunt Cassie (siblings)
Every Sunday, Cassie put out the best spread a kid could imagine. There were boxes of pastries from the bakery shop plus rolls and cold cuts and soda (which we called soda "tonic"). Soda was a definite treat as we did not have that at home. Happiness is something we all experience in our own individual minds. Kids today go to Disney World and are happy. They are no happier than I was when visiting Cassie each and every Sunday when growing up in North Weymouth.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post. It made me remember my Sunday afternoon visits with my mom to her aunt and cousin's home. I think I'll write about our visits in an upcoming post. Thanks for the ideal.