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September 29, 2007



how about dollys and ming toy, two of my favs. mcdonalds comes, mcdonalds goes and micky d's comes back again. recently gone is ming toy and la contessa and disc digger. i cant think of another place id rather live!!

The Pie Man can also RECALLL!!!

Great piece Jimmy!! I can also remember the good old "Somer Days in the Ville"! Starting out the weekend with a bite to eat at "Dapper Dans" on a Friday night then after dinner making our way to "Choices" to get some "Good Stuff (aka something for the head)" to make us smile and also for bait! Then make our way to "Club III to do the stuff and pick up some more! Then off to "Face's" to pick up some poor misguided sluts! Then finally off to "The Town Line for a last call drink to pick up some more poor misguided sluts! Ahhhhh, The good old days in The Ville!!!!!!! It was fabulous!!!!!

More Pie

You must have been a stud "Steve". Maybe Delponte remembers the trash in the streets, dirty politics, and an endless line of city hacks. We always figured the guys who talked about conquests the most, got it the least.....right lack-of-pie-man !!

The Pie Man knows a Dummy when he see's one!

To "More Pie": After reading your posted comment, I have completely come to the conclusion that you must be a real uneducated fool and a complete Moron. It must have been hard for you to read from your Crayon hand written notes than later trying how to figure out to-type-it-into-a-computer-one-finger- at-a-time! Dur! And Yes, "Maybe Delponte remembers the trash in the streets, dirty politics, and an endless line of city hacks"! Ya, Maybe he does! So what, just listen to you! You fit that criteria just fine! Maybe you learned all of that from your Crayon writing ancestors as well. And yes, by the way I was a "Stud"! Just ask your sister!


John Travolta is a Scientologist, not a Christian Scientist. There's a big difference.

Great Memories

I think the article was great. I have lived in the city all my life, and I love all the memories. If you went further down past Powderhouse and into Ball Sq., you would remember the many places there. Of course Lyndell's which is one of the only originals left, besides the Powderhouse Pub , but there were so many great places there too. We would run in Bo-Bo's for a quick eggroll after hanging out. And going way back we had Johnnie's Foodmaster before it was CVS and O'Briens and the Willow and LePore's was our local pharmacy we had Ray's fruit store, where if you got the gold gumball, you got a prize. There was the Italian Bakery beside Suburbans, and Mitchell's was there and from where I lived you could run up the street to Y-not which if you have lived here for as many years as I have, you know it is Tony backwards. Our friendly neighborhood grocer. There was Lambros Roast Beef, that had a walk up window and back when I was too little to get in, there was a pinball arcade which was the coolest place when you were young back then. There was Harold's for breakfast and Todi's and Ball Sq. Fish which was always packed EVERY Friday. There was Crowley's liquors on one side of the square and Ball Sq. Liquors on the other side for when you were older (like the kids who hung out in the "Blockyard"). There are so many great memories of all the squares in the city. It is different now, but the memories still remain. Jimmy you forgot to mention two of the greats in Davis Sq., Speedy's pizza and The Venice. I am looking forward to reading your articles.


So am I the ONLY one with fond memories of Greek and American Food by Ted and Libby?

Pies made great late night snacks!

I myself was a big fan of Yee's Village (as bad as it was) and even a bigger late night fan of "Dollies" (coming back from the "Town Line" of course with my new evening companions for the night)!
And YES, I have the balls to include my real email address you, as James calls you, POD PEOPLE!

Nice to see you back PieMan!

Nice to see you back PieMan! Maybe you should run for some type of political office if you already aren't a politician already?


Run for office? Are you CRAZY? So The Mole, Somerspeak, Dr. McCarthy, JAR, JAN and myself can tear me a new behind and send me to Pod People Hell! Are you Nuts?


Jimmy, good to have another wiseguy on board. Dr. Mrs. McCarthy should be by soon to offer you a seat on the editorial board at the Cambriville News.

Since someone brought up JAR, this reminds me: one of the epic threads on this site, which partially dealt with the history of Davis Square retail (and the advent of the Cambriville News) can easily be found if you Google (in quotes)

"Gewirtz Wins"

or, better yet:

"Santangelo Boat Storage Facility"

But you gotta scroll down the page about a third of the way before it starts getting informative.

And zany. Enjoy.

Bad hair guy

The picture of the guy in the article is scary...

Real email?

Given that one can make up a new Yahoo email address in less than 5 minutes, what does "real" mean in this case?

And YES, I have the balls to include my real email address you, as James calls you, POD PEOPLE!


I remember hearing about Ted & Libby's, but that was before my time. But how about going to Kay & Chips before it was Dollie's. Nice ladies room they had there.

Paul Carafotes

A cold but beautiful winter's morning. Enormous white fluffy flakes are rapidly turning the small town's square into a wonderland.
"Davis Square" in fact is not a true square, it has three corners and a round-about or as the locals call it "the island." Train tracks cut straight through the square's unorthodox center. There is a man in the watch tower who sits waiting for those steel wheels to come roaring through town and with a flick of a switch he lets the people know by dropping those long safety arms with the flashing red railroad crossing lights.
We knew as kids that a train was approaching and then your imagination would take over and you would begin to daydream about who, what and where the train had come from and where it was headed. It was a wild ride for a young mind. Those five or ten minutes while you waited were magic. Not to mention the actually size and power of these locomotives once they were upon you, was awesome.
On each corner, respectable storefronts existed. The northeast corner had a Store 24. It's still there. A great place for late night munchies or a quick pack of smokes, those days we were all smokers. On the west side, The Bank of Boston. My first bank account was opened there. But the place I remember most, the place where my earliest and most provocative memories were derived from was from the southwest side of the square.
It wasn't exactly on the corner either. Directly on the corner was a Greek coffee house, I never acquired a taste for Greek coffee or any kind coffee for that matter. As a Greek person myself that fact was a matter of great concern in the family. However, a few feet away from the coffee house and yet connected to this cement block nonetheless, stood a relic. A mystic vortex in which all my youthful journeys emanated from.
The Somerville theatre. Right there on Broadway. It wasn't a gargoyle behemoth, grandiose over the top movie palace like most of theatres built in the early thirties. It was a very simple stage theatre converted to a movie house where the likes of Ms. Betty Davis performed before she became a Warner Brother's movie star and returned to that same theatre a celluloid screen idol. It was the place my father referred to as the pictures. He'd say. "Were going to the pictures." and we'd go crazy with joy. As a child, when I saw my first MGM movie when the lion roared I was so frighten I ran out of the theatre. My family took the piss out of me for years because of it. I made up for that mishap and then some. You could go all Saturday for seventy-five cents and see cartoons two-reelers [short film] then the feature attraction. You could easily spend five hours in there and usually you did. Your parents especially enjoyed this concept.
I don't know if I can describe what it was like for me to sit in a large dark room filled with people you don't know and experience the same emotion's laughter, tears joy and fear. Incredible really. This was the apex for me. All of a sudden and at once I knew where it is i belonged, where i was going. That place fuelled my imagination and ignighted my desire to try and see if I could do it. I will forever have a debt of gratitude. Somerville was the place I came from. Somerville was the launching pad. I am part of the fabric woven togehter with my brothers and sisters, my friends and family the memories, some good, some bad. It is my make-up. but from a distance and from afar no matter what happpens there, I will aways be just a boy from Somerville.

it *is* funny

Awesome post Paul C! I'm new to Somerville (only been here 16 years) but I love hearing your story and the others here ... the Somerville you grew up loving is the same one I grew to love. Thanks for posting.

Ron Newman

Here's a link to the old 'Gewritz wins' thread with a discussion of Davis Square retail history, mixed in with lots of other stuff.

Holly Wood

Paul, you've been out west too long. But we're glad the creative writing class is paying off. I'm sure you now sip lattes', pronounce your "R's", and tell people you were in a movie with Tom Cruise.

Thanks Jimmy,I feel so old now.

Thanks Jim,

I really feel like an old fart now. Great story. I have been feeling kind of gloomy today and you lifted my spirit by reminiscing about good ole Somerville and Davis Square.

Somerville has changed in so many ways over the years but it still maintains its charm.

Your story triggered so many memories of my childhood and made me think of places I had forgotten. Do you remember the BP gas station where the Citizens bank is? Or the Texaco where Wing works / Dominoes is? I remember the Samari Warrior karate school upstairs. How about Steve’s Ice Cream mmmmmmmmm. I also have fond memories of the Gas Light. We bought cigarettes in their machine for 55 cents. My mother hated that place. I remember my father would get a ride from the cops when he had a few too many. No need for a taxi in those days. I remember that store FFC (Friendly Family Center). You could buy a whole house full of stuff for like 2 dollars. I remember the clothing store that was next door to that. It had an upstairs and downstairs and everyone bought their clothes there. Anyone remember the name? I Can’t.

Most of all. What I remember about Davis Square and College Ave was a young man who had long hair who used to jog around with these really tight short shorts, a muscle shirt and tube socks with colored stripes. I think his name was Jimmy Delponte. Ha Ha Ha. Remember those days Jimmy?

Nice job on this piece. I miss the good ole days but change is good, as it will change for our children as well.

An Old Friend.

Bud Wiser

funny how alot of your childhood memories revolve around booze. OLD FRIEND writes "I remember my father would get a ride from the cops when he had a few too many. " Most posters can remember all the bars. Now with the MBTA in Davis Sq, the drunks from all over Mass. can take the T to Somerville and pass out in statue park. Can't wait for the green line, huh ?

An Old Friend

Bud Wiser,

I never said my childhood memories revolve around bars. Nor did I say my father was a drunk. It was a metaphor you asswipe. Somerville was a different place when I was a kid is all I meant. Back then, if you had a few too many, the neighborhood cop would drive you home instead of letting you drive or calling you a cab. I recall my father saying to the cop. “don’t drop me off in front of the house, she’ll think I’m drunk. Drop me off at the end of the street and I’ll walk from there”. It was simply funny to see what such a big teddy bear of a dad would do to make his wife happy. My childhood memories of my father were great. You never had a couple after a long week of working a 90 plus hour workweek supporting a family? Or maybe you are one of the POD people that have no roots here and grew up with no funny stories to tell other than your brother Brent who borrowed Daddy’s Mercedes to take his date Miffey to the opera and accidentally put a scratch on the door. Uh hu hu hu. What a gas that was. He spent the next day polishing Mommy’s Bentley while she was shopping in Somerville at (Damn, I still cant remember the name of that clothing store next to the old FFC). See my point asswipe?

The green line will be a wonderful addition to Somerville when it is finished. It will reduce emissions, noise pollution, and create positive change to Somerville’s landscape. Times change, people change, scenery changes. It always has and always will.
It will give my kids the opportunity to have this very same discussion when they are grown and have children of their own.


Remeber when:

The White Tower on Broadway, just don't run into the guys from Pal Joeys or the Marshall St. garage there and give them any lip.

Cross St. Drug....who needed a prescription back then? There soda jerk counter seved the best ice cream.

Apollo Cake off of Lower Broadway....those choclate rolls were to die for.

The Highland Lounge at the intersection of Highland and Medford Sts. Best burgers and steak tips around.

The guy across from Glenn park who sold beer on Sunday's, "The coldest beer around", even though he kept a shotgun handy.

The Friendly's Ice Cream shop on Highland Ave.

665 Lounge, Kevins Korner, Embassy Lounge, Monument Liquors, two blocks of pure stupor.

Lucy's Pizza/Bar on Medford St next to the existing Burger King, I had my first beer there when I was 13.

Doctor's still actually made housecalls.

Don't ever get caught in the old Police Station when being aressted, they brought you through the garage and if you had a big mouth it was closed for you post haste. No cameras then.

F.W. Woolworths in Davis Sq., I remember being dragged there on a regular basis.

Stick ball behind the Pope School....Oh what fun!

Remember "Brownie" up at the YMCA?

Buthchie the Ball Eater....he deflated three of my basketballs.

Including the above mentioned from other posts there are still many, many stores that are now gone.......what a shame.

The 60's and 70's was so much fun in this city!!!!!!!

Alcohol is a problem

Not only in Somerville. You have no idea how many people find that their life was totally wasted by alcohol abuse once they reach their mid 30s or so. By that time they are losers who only feel good by making others into losers as well.

To Old Friend

Great Post!!!!!!!!

To Alcohol is a Problem

AA holds regular meetings. Just give them a call and they will send you a meeting book in the mail.

Ron Newman

> the clothing store that was next door to [FFC]. It had an upstairs and downstairs and everyone bought their clothes there.

Was this Almy's? or Mark's?

To Ron

F.W. Woolworths.

I Remember

The store next to FFC was Gorin's, my mother & everyone's mother bought their clothes & sneakers there, oh my god I remember. It was great.

Ron Newman

By the time I got here, the original Woolworth's had closed, but then a new "Woolworth's Express" opened and stayed around for a short time (3 or 4 years).

Old Davis Sq

Don't forget: Mickey Finns were the Deisel is
Grants where the SS ofice is
Cummings where Morgie's is
Thom McCann's
Park Snow's at new CVS
The Cadilac Cafe
Paramont Liquors
The Stop and Shop
Henry the Jeweler
Beltram and Son Locksmiths
Fanny Farmers Chocolates
All Star throphy's
New England Telephone Garage
Also the old Bueno Vista Drive

Ron Newman

Right, the Osco Brooks Rite-Aid used to be a phone company building.


Ahhh...the Venice cafe.... seemed it burnt every couple of years and then came back. I remember as a small kid jumping on the fire engines when the bargain center went up.

I can't remember names much.... I got busted a couple of times in Davis (long before the T came). Once for breaking one of the jukeboxes at that late night diner... small and narrow place. Another time for just hanging in the square being all F'd up, but not bothering anyone. Cops didn't take grief back then. Also, dust was big back then, remember? Now it's H. The more things change the more they stay the same.

An Old Friend

I don’t remember a store named Marks. I think the name of the store was Sparks. Yeah that’s it. Gorins became Almy’s in the 80’s I think.

This trip down memory lane has got me in the mood for a little trivia.
Does anyone remember the name of the old auto parts store in Davis Square?
Begins with G.

Anyone here old enough to remember when Foss Park was a pond?
What year was it filled in to become the field it is today?

I do believe that times change, people change and all that, but there are some things I miss and wish would come back. Mayor Joe has brought back things of yesteryear such as the Fireworks, Family day and the Sunsetters to name a few. That’s great but it shouldn’t stop there. I believe there are other things that should be brought back. Such as: The fishing pond at Foss park. (Dig a big hole, fill it with water and fish. It’s easy) We should Flood and Freeze the ball fields in the winter so we can all enjoy outdoor skating and sledding like we did when we were kids. During the holiday seasons, my old neighborhood in west Somerville had a contest of who decorated their house the best. My family never won but it was fun and made the whole street look like a winter wonderland.

Although I have never left Somerville over the years. I do love this old expression:
You can take the kid out of Somerville but you can never take Somerville out of the kid.

Lets show the youth of this city that we have family values. We can continue moving this city forward even if it means taking a couple of steps backwards to reap the benefits of both worlds.

An Old Friend

Dr. Mrs. McCarthy


Oh my captain. You are one of the few that remember the good old Cambriville days. Ah the screams of terror, the smack of the bats on the kneecaps. God I miss the old days. Be that as it may, you may have noticed that the old gal has been absent for a little bit. But now that the primary for Mayor is over and it's clear that I will not be advancing to the finals, I'll come clean with you.

That nutbag Sirroco had a restraining order AGAINST ME! Can you believe that shit? So what if I happened to slip him a little something one night at the City Club(what a shithole) and had my way with him in the back of a GreenCab down behind the Waste Management dump? So what? Big deal. He asked for it. Flashing those pearly whites constantly. It just was not right teasing me like that.

Well now that he's history and I won't be moving into City Hall anytime soon, it's back to the old Royal typewriter and making a living writing, editing, publishing, and changing the ribbons on the Royal for the CAMBRIVILLE NEWS.

Yes folks, just when you thought it was safe to spew your venom on the Somerville News weblog, McCarthy is back!

Our next issue is sure to be a doozy. Look at the material we'll have to work with. I mean c'mon people.

Gewirtz vs. Chisholm?

Curtatone vs. Bremer?

O'Donovan vs. Lynch?

Trane vs. Heller?

Butters Newman vs. Himself?

Casino gambling?

Deval and the broken promises?

A new Police Chief?(I hope he knows how to ride a freakin horse)

Senator "elect presumtive" Gallicio and his new Union Square School of Driving?

A new plan(#45) for Assembly Square(now includes a casino, waste management sludge plant and a new maximum security jail for all of Massachusetts).

God I'm goning to have fun.

We are about to go where no Cambrivillian has ever gone before. So hold onto your hats boys and girls. You thought the first year of God awful Cambriville humor was bad, you ain't seen nothin yet.

Until the Haldol Wears Off

Dr. Mrs. McCarthy

PS. If the rumor is true that Studs Curtatone is having another child, someone should really neuter that boy.

Hasnt Ben Sober

You want some "Memory Lane"..... Well I gots some for you........

Kay and of the sickest places on the Planet....Where else in the world could u go for steak and eggs at 4 AM and have an all out brawl break out because someone wouldn't give up their seat to a local thug..........Remember Billy Wright "one eye" he would always show up at the park and take his fake eye out for u and bounce it on the ground ......hen put it back in place.....(tricks for a beer was bill's theme back in the day....)The "Infamous and ever popular "Butchie the Ball eater" u could alwayys count on him showing up on openming day of the summer park season to check out all the new balls and other new equipment. He broke many a ball through out the city and remember his girlfriend from up on Summer st across from, the old "MORSE SCHOOL" IF anyone out there in Somerville news land can tell us her name there will be a "get out of jail free card" for you as a prize for the right answer''''''

Club III and all the fools that hung out along the "AVE"...Brian Halloran, as Whitey " The Scum bag Rat Homo Bastard" Bulger called him "BALLOON HEAD" One of Brian's trade mark moves was to snort coke off of the edge of his switch blade and anyone that indulged with brian would have the tell tale "whisker marks " on the their faces to prove it....What a Freakin Nut bag old Brian was...God rest his soul....What about the annual summer inter city playground track meet at Trum field....Remember Rickie Salvo and Stevie Costerelli (Great athletes in their younger days but both sucummed to heroin and are no longer with us .....What about Ronnie Negelli, he attaacked the Richie Powers, the bball ref who was doing the celtics playoff game at the "OLD BOSTON GARDEN" on national TV because of a bad call he made against the Celts....Speaking of the GARDEN..Tech Tourney basketball.......Somerville's best Billy endicott and the time he got jumped by the nuts from Charllestown and took that vicious beating ....then left the hospital to play with a mask on in somerville's next didn't get any better than that..What about sneaking into any game / event we wanted to at the Garden by goin up the old fire escape and gettin someone to open the door for us.....and then going back out to a local package store and comein back in with cases of brew and consuming the beers up in the "HEAVENS" with the ushers up there.....what wonderfull memories....What about alll those "Bunker Hill Days " spent over in Charlestown crashing their parties.......and there is so much more...What Legendary Somerville Iron Worker's "ashes" are in a steel box spot welded to the main carring beam in the NEW Boston Garden right above the BRUINS LOGO at center ICE ? (just where he was meant to be) no better final resting spot for a true "GALEREY GOD" watching every future B's game....Those Iron workers are a breed like no other Great stories (true ones all) perfect for a screen play and / or sitcom.......until then ....But who was Butchie's main squeeze from summer street ? someone make a guess........peace

One More Store

If MY memory serves me correctly there was another store just outside of Davis Square going east on Elm Street. The store was an auto supply store I think and if I can remember, I believe it was called Goff's or something like that. Frascardi's was also a bar back then maybe where Red Bones currently stands.

My memory is old and tired and if I am incorrect, I am sure some whipper snapper will clear my thoughts.

Ron Newman

On the Redbones sign is a faded marking for a bar named Barnaby's, with an almost-painted-over shamrock. I guess it's had a few names over the years.


Poor woman, another child?...



Barnaby's did exist there for a period between The Coronet and Redbones.

Jim DelP:

I gave a slide presentation at the Somerville Museum back in November 2002 on the Bike Path and Davis Square. Included were many of the landmarks you (and others) wrote of. My main interest at the time (mid-late 70s) was in the railroad. I also have a very small collection of 8mm color movies I made of the square from that same period (actually, from mid-late '75) One of these days I need to get these transfered to DVD for long-term storage and easier accessibility. Same goes for the slides.

I was asked by Evelyn Batinelli of the Somerville Museum to do another presentation, to which I agreed. We just haven't settled on time yet. The show I gave in Nov. '02 seemed to be pretty well attended and received (Ron Newman was there--maybe he can give his thoughts on it). It showed on City Cable for several weeks thereafter. George Wood taped it. I have a couple of copies (VHS) at home. Possible if you give a call and a well-placed tickle to City Hall they'll show it again some time.

BTW, do you remember Richie Bono? He was the engineer for Matty in the Morning years back. He used to live at the top of my street on Brastow Ave. before moving to Billerica (gee, that's a shock!) around 1970. Richie passed about 10 years back unfortunately.

Paul Carafotes:

If you're at the 30th reunion in November, look me up. I enjoyed your comments above. The watchman (crossing tender) at the time was Frank Quill. He lived at 119 Morrison Ave. The slide show I spoke of was dedicated to him and Isobel Cheney. Officer Benny Callahan was the Route 20 (Davis Square) man and used to spend parts of his shift up in the tower since it commanded a great view of the Square and was heated. One of these days I'll do a write-up of things there.

Oh, and by the way, congratulations on your family addition (Tammy mentioned it to me--I think she's planning on coming to the 30th as well).

One More Store:

I SO WISH I'd had a chance to go through Goff's stock before they closed. Same goes for Knox Bros.' parts dept. But that's a story for another day. I always considered everything east of Grove Street to be Cutter Square.

Frascati's was a big-time bucket of blood in the later years. Somerville had 78 bar rooms in 4-square miles. Arlington was dry. "Fun City" as one cop remarked to me at the time. Remember the "Play Lounge" up by the "Gas Lite"?


Ron Newman

Where was Frascati's?



Frascati's was located on the south side of Elm Street a few doors west of where the Goodwill Store is today.

It was your typical long, relatively narrow place with booths or table on one side and bar on the other.



The Dairy Queen (was that the name?) on Cedar Street. The Ten Hills on Mystic (between Temple and Grant).

Was there ever a car dealership on McGrath, where the Hess gas station is currently (next to Stop & Shop)?



Yes. I believe it was Burnett's Ford that was located at that site. Kolligan Rambler (AMC) was located next to the incinerator. Burnett's closed in the 60s I believe. Kolligan was there until the early 70s.


Ron Newman

Where was the Dairy Queen on Cedar?

Someone told me once that the East Cambridge Savings Bank at Highland and Cedar used to be a Friendly's.



What is today the Royal White Dry Cleaners was formerly a Dairy Queen (note the distinctive gambrel-roof, a dead giveaway).

The ECSB was, indeed, a Friendly's Ice Cream when it was built (around 1968-'69). It was, incidentally, the first Friendly's Restaurant in the history of the chain to ever be closed...problems with the night crowd, or so they say.


Ron Newman

Thanks, JAR. I very much enjoyed your talk at the Museum, and hope you do it again some time soon. I'm sure the Library would oblige if you wanted to do it there.


Thanks Ron:

I'm working now on making the conversion from hand-fed slide projector to LCD projector with digitized images. This will make it easier to present things like maps and such, which should enhance the interpretive value of the whole thing (I hope).

Any encore will be done at the Museum. It's just a question of setting dates with Evelyn and getting the material together, etc.


Ron Newman

By the way, where Enterprise rent-a-car was until recently, was that built as a gas station? Looks like one.

Ricky's Flower Market in Union Square was once a gas station.

Ron Newman

Jimmy's column seems to imply that the bowling alley is gone, but it's still there. If you go to tonight's Davis Square Task Force meeting (7 pm at 167 Holland Street), you'll hear from someone who plans to buy it from the Sacco family.


By the way, whatever happened to Dave Stefanelli and his band Xenophon? They were a presence in Davis Square at the time. Dave was the drummer (he graduated in '78 from SHS). Just a name from the past.

Maybe Jimmy or Paul will know.


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