Denise Moroney

    I grew up with my parents, David and Carlia Moroney and my two brothers, David Jr. and Paul on
    113 Mill Street. My mother’s name was Carlia Nealley Muller (Sam Yanco was her step-dad). My
    Dad and Mom used to take us up to see the boxcar house where she lived in as a child. My mother
    lived with her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Howell Nealley for years on Hopedale Street.  My
    grandmother was Fannie Nealley Yanco and was one of 10 children in the Nealley household. The
    rest were Mabel (Atkinson), Tina (Murphy), Arnold, Gene, Andrew, John, Martha (Banks), Pearl
    (Runion) and Dean. David Atkinson has always been one of my favorite cousins. My other favorite
    cousin was Ben Phillips Jr., son of Aunt Alice Moroney Phillips and Uncle Ben who I fondly called
    “Grumpy Ben.”  

    We lived at 113 Mill Street until my Dad; David J Moroney Sr. purchased the duplex home. Then we
    moved into the other side, 115 Mill Street, where my parents lived until they passed away.  I
    remember when the coal truck would come to deliver the coal to heat the house. When my Dad
    purchased the house he converted the coal burning heater to oil heat.

    During the winter months we would go sledding in our back yard which is now Laurelwood.  Across
    the street was the small pond which was great for ice skating in the winter and great place to catch
    frogs in the summer. My best friend Bobby Rae and I along with the other kids of Mill Street spent
    many summer days outside playing in the field and woods behind our house which is now
    Laurelwood.

    I played in a summer softball league in that same field. My Mother, Carlia Nealley Moroney had a -
    Lassie League softball team in the 1950’s. The softball equipment was kept in our cellar for easy
    access when I played in the summer softball league.  The golf course was a great place for
    sledding until the golfers decided that this wasn’t such a good idea.

    As an avid Celtics and Red Sox fan, I have great memories of Red Auerbach as a guest speaker at
    one of our Hopedale Jr.-Sr. High School Sports Banquets. Also of Bob Cousy's visit to the
    Blackstone Valley in May of 1976 to give a basketball clinic at the Milford Gym and the Whitin
    Community Center gym. He also presented the trophies to the winners. I was one of the hosts from
    the local BB/BS office located in Milford. As an avid Celtics fan, it was an honor to spend the day
    with “Mr. Basketball” as he drove around the area to lunch and then the two locations and then
    shooting foul shots with the Celtic Legend. I may live in a National League Baseball State but I will
    always be an American League fan.  Each time the Red Sox come to Atlanta I can be found sitting
    in the stands along with what seems like more Red Sox fans than Atlanta Braves fans, cheering on
    my favorite team, THE BOSTON RED SOX. I also try to see the Celtics as much as possible when
    they are in town.  

    I remember the clam bakes at the VFW on Mill Street; especially Friday nights when we could get
    the best clam cakes ever. Chet Sanborn, Police Chief, took our Campfire Group to his cousin
    “Shorty’s” Vermont maple sugar house for a weekend to see the operations of a Maple Sugar
    House. I can remember tapping the maple trees at Memorial Elementary School each year and
    then eating pancakes with the maple syrup served in the cafeteria. During the time when my Uncle
    Arnold Nealley was the Fire Chief I remember rides on the fire trucks when they were taken out in
    the summer.  Another relative, Aunt Alice Moroney Phillips, would check us in at the Bath House –
    Hopedale Pond for swimming lessons or just a day at the pond swimming. Memories like these
    are foreign to the youth of today. You don’t see a local Police Chief spending his/her weekend with
    local kids or a ride on a fire truck. This is unheard of in today’s society.

    I have many fond memories of my childhood living on Mill Street.  My last visit to my childhood home
    before the new owners moved in was bittersweet. My best friend here in Georgia encouraged me to
    take some of the left over tile from my old bedroom. At first I thought this is weird but a friend here
    took the tile and make a large eating tray for my cats. This is a constant reminder of days gone by
    living on Mill Street in Hopedale. Thank you Jan, for insisting that I take these memories with me.
    Denise Moroney, September 2011.
                    
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The Moroney home on Mill Street.

    This photo, in which Denise's mother is on the right, was taken at
    Gardella's Drug Store in Milford in the late 1940s. The man is
    Gardella, the pharmacist. Thanks to Tootsi Deletti for the identification.

David Jr. and Denise with neighbor, Bobby Rae.

    The Moroney family -   Mom, Dad, Grampy
    Moroney, Denise, Paul and David, Jr.

Summer softball team.