Tom Malloy

    A.S. -  Mr. Malloy, could you tell me when your birthday is and how old you are?
    T.M. - I was born on April 9, 1898 and I'm 97 years old and still going strong.

    A.S. - Did you have any brothers or sisters?
    T.M. - I had four brothers and three sisters. One brother and two sisters are still living.

    A.S. -  Could you tell me about your first day of school?
    T.M. - In those days there was no kindergarten. On the first day of first grade, I was brought to school
    by my mother,  and on the way back I was right behind her. When she turned around and saw me, she
    slapped my behind all the way back to school and I never tried skipping school again.

    A.S. - Did you have any segregation in school back then?
    T.M. - No. There was one black family living in Milford then. Little Jimmy used to wait for me, and if he
    wasn't there I would wait for him and we would walk to school together.

    A.S. - What type of games did you and your friends play as children?
    T.M. - Well, being the oldest of my family I was always babysitting, but I used to take the baby and put
    him behind a tree and while I was in the field my friends would watch him. We used to play baseball
    and football. Our football was made from a sugar bag filled with leaves. Back then we made things to
    play with..

    A.S. - When you were growing up in the early 1900s, did you find the chores for boys and girls different
    or were they the same?
    T.M. - Things were very different. The boys would go outside and chop the wood or run the errands.
    We would do all the outside chores, whereas the girls would do the inside chores, such as making
    the beds and doing the dishes or anything else that needed to be done inside.

    A.S. - Did you date a lot as a teenager?
    T.M. - No, I only had about three dates before I met my wife, Elizabeth, at a party, and I knew as soon
    as I saw her that she was the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

    A.S. - What sorts of things did you do for fun when you were a teenager?
    T.M. - Well, at the [Milford] town hall on Saturday nights they used to have sunset dances from 2 to 5
    pm, and then from 7 to 11 pm. Everyone used to go and have a good time.

    A.S. - How old were you and Elizabeth when you got married?
    T.M. - I was 27 and Elizabeth was 26. Everyone thought I wasn't going to ever get married because I
    was so old. Back then 27 was old to be getting married.

    A.S. - Did you have a big wedding?
    T.M. - Yes, for those days it was a very big wedding. It was at St. Mary's Church. [Milford] The reception
    was held outdoors. The best part was the last song we danced to. It was "Three O'Clock in the
    Morning" and we danced the rest of the night away.

    A.S. - How many children did you and your wife have?
    T.M. - Back then, when you had a baby people had them at home. When my one and only child was
    born, my wife and daughter almost didn't make it. The doctor came out of the room and told me that
    they weren't going to make it. I said, "What do you mean!!??  Get back in there and do something!"
    Well, a few minutes later I heard my baby cry and the doctor told me everything was going to be fine.
    He told us that it wouldn't be wise to have any more children, so we only had one daughter, Mary June.

    A.S. - How long have you and your wife been married?
    T.M - Elizabeth and I have been married for seventy years.  She's been in a nursing home now for the
    past seven years. I go up and visit whenever I can.

    A.S. - What was Christmas like in your home?
    T.M. - Christmas was mostly for children. They would find fruits, nuts, and maybe a toy in their
    stockings, but it was certainly different from nowadays. We would always have a big dinner.

    A.S. - What did you do for a career?
    T.M. - I was a police officer in Milford for 2 ½ years before moving to Hopedale where I was a
    patrolman for 14 years, and finally Chief of Police for 20 years. I retired in 1963. I also served as a
    Milford selectman for one year.

    A.S. - Did you enjoy being a police officer?
    T.M. - No, I didn't want to be a cop, but a man I was in the army with asked me to come work for him.
    After leaving Milford I was working at another company when someone came and told me that the
    Hopedale chief wanted to speak to me. When I went to see him, he offered me a job. I told him I would
    think about it. When I went to give him my answer, I told him that I didn't know him and he didn't know
    me, so I would take the job for a month to see what would happen. I ended up retiring as Chief of
    Police.  [Tom was appointed police chief in 1943 and remained on the job until his retirement in 1963.]

    A.S. - Are you independent now?
    T.M. - Oh, yes, no woman has to come down and make me my breakfast. I can do it myself. I also
    make my own bed every morning.

    A.S. - At what age did you give up your license?
    T.M. - I was 90 years old and I gave it up willingly before I hurt someone or hurt myself.

    A.S, - Do you have any regrets about the way you lived your life?
    T.M. - I have no regrets. I lived my life to the fullest, and when I pass away I don't want people to mourn
    over me. I want them to dance on the curb for me.

    A.S. - If you were to give advice to the teenagers of the nineties, what would you tell them?
    T.M. - My advice would be to behave, get a good education, and settle down and be happy.

    A.S. - For having such a long and happy marriage, what advice would you give a couple about to get
    married?
    T.M. - I would have to say be fair, understanding and treat each other with respect. My wife and I used
    to say, those who wash and wipe together always live in peace.

    A.S. - If you had three wishes, what would they be?
    T.M. - That's a hard one because I lived a good life, and was always happy with what I had. But if I was
    to want anything it would have been to have had a better education.

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    As I conclude this interview, I must say this was the most interesting paper I've ever written. I learned a
    lot of interesting things about the past, and it made me learn to appreciate life to the fullest. Mr. Malloy
    also taught me that everything that happens to us happens for a reason. I feel he has led an
    unbelievable life and should share his experiences with more people, because I know that my
    interview with him was wonderful and if the right person heard his stories they could write a very nice
    piece about his life. Amy Sharon, November 28, 1995.

    Tom died the following July at the age of 98.

            A story about Tom during World War I             Memories of Tom by his grandson, Bill Wright   

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    When this picture of Tom and Betty was taken,
    they were living in Milford. They had taken a
    Sunday afternoon walk to Hopedale, and a
    friend who had gone along with them had a
    camera and took this picture in front of the
    Statue of Hope.