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October 06, 2007


Born Here

have anything from S&H Green Stamps? I use to look foward to pasting those stickers in every week !

Ron Newman

Fortini's Gulf on Beacon Street still had an S&H Green Stamps sign up, until a year or two ago.


I find it weird to think the other way around. Think about it. People are extremely complex systems. Lots of things can go wrong with them and they will sooner or later. And when they do, people get sick and die. What can go wrong with a leather shoe? Not much, it'll get old and crappy, but it'll stay a shoe for a long time. Same for your own bones. Those will last a long time too.


so roger clemens just this second walks off the field. hopefully for the last about an old crappy shoe.this remind me of when the red sox used to send out old washed up pitchers like saberhagen and torrez in important games just to lose those games in the late innings. i must have lost my mind. why am i even righting this? it has nothing to do with this article! good nite.


Jimmy DelP;

Talking about shoe polish from Bradless, and the PRospects and MOnuments reminded me of a couple of "discoveries" I made a while back down the cellar.

One was a can of black pepper (it still had some product in it) packaged by "First National Stores--Somerville, 45, Mass."

The other was an electric hedge trimmer--still in its original box--from the S&H Green Stamps Store that used to be over in Wellington Circle. Also, a coated-paper bag with a roto-stripper paint removal tool with the J.M. Fields price tag ($3.99). No UPC bars on any of these things...Kinda fun.

Another "sound" from the past that I'm sure you'll remember: the distinctive whir/valve-clatter of the slant-sixes in every Plymouth or Dodge taxi-cab that plied the city's streets.

Or how about the firehouse horns blowing for lunch time or school cancellation? (I used to love lying there in the dark of a snowy morning and hearing that welcome sound!... roll over and go back to sleep).

Just out of curiosity, and this goes out to the senior Jakes out there: did they keep an air compressor in the houses just for that purpose?

Thanks for the memories!



I could sit here and talk about the old times too -- what was the name of the curtain store in Davis Square?
But my question to you is -- what are you looking forward to in the future of Somerville? What changes would you like to see in five years, ten years, twenty years? According to you, what will a great Somerville look like in 2050?

Ron Newman (SF)

In a great Somerville, everyone will have an MBTA station within 15 minutes' walk.


Jimmy, another great article; thank you for stirring all those wonderful memories.

Oh, yeah, those telephone exchanges: I grew up in Medford and used to give my number as MY(stic)6-... and later EX(port)6-...., took a while to get used to saying 396-....

My sister now lives in the house we grew up in, our parents are no longer living and there, still, sits our father's shoeshine box, that we gave him one father's day.
Paregoric, there's a word we don't hear anymore.
Barbo's, I never would have thought about that again in my life, if you hadn't mentioned it.

I understand what you mean about thinking of the past. It's very comforting, and those memores are always there, ready to be You'll continue telling your children these stories, and it won't be long before they'll be so happy you did, so that they can pass them on to their children.

Born Here - you just zapped me back to 1972. I traded in my last S&H stamps for a chip'n'dip bowl and a braided rug, at the redemption center at Wellington Circle. I loved collecting those stamps. Didn't Stop & Shop have yellow stamps?

JAR - Ahhh J.M.Fields; they had a hoola hoop contest in the parking lot, I can't remember what year. Remember that Kappy's was first located at the opposite end of the building from J.M. Fields? Tile City was in between them. First National Stores, another fond memory. The one at Wellington Circle opened after the smaller one, located up a few blocks on Middlesex Avenue, closed.


Ron Newman chimed in. Is everone else looking backwards instead of forwards?


In reply to JAR - yes, there were air compressors in the fire stations for the horns. The large compressor still remains in the basement of the Highland Avenue station and the horn is still atop the old hose tower.


Thanks for the reply. I remember the Highland Ave. house (E-7, L-4) had a sharp, almost staccato "bark" but seem to remember that the old Central Station had more of a "steamboat" style chime.

Regardless, you could hear them all over the city, echoing on the hillsides, etc.

Offhand, do you know when these were last used? I'm guessing in the late 70s or VERY early 80s.



Also, I recall the "curfew horn" which used to sound nightly.


area rugs

Seems that things stick around for a long time in my house as well. I keep finding things that I forgot about a long time ago. It makes it kind of fun to rummage through things in the basement randomly. It brings back such fine memories.

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