Dana Newcombe

                Memories of Aerosmith, the Hopedale Airport crash, and more

    Whenever Aerosmith played the town hall, I used to help them with the equipment. But far beyond
    that, Joey Kramer used to let me play his drums so that he could do a sound check. I'm a drummer
    and, at that time I had a little Sears drumkit. Playing his Tama drumset was one of the high points in
    my life.

    Another quickie is that I worked on weekends with a guy named Dino Bracci. Dino was a very
    polished auto mechanic and we worked in my uncle Fred Philpot's garage which was located next
    door up from Joe Perry's house. During the warm season when everyone had their windows open,
    Joe would be lying on his bed playing his Stratocaster guitar through a small battery operated amp
    that actually got feedback sound. When Dino would hear Joe playing, he always used to say, "That pot
    smokin, long haired, hippy freak ain't goin nowhere!" He was very wrong. Cheers to you Joe! You guys
    just keep getting better!!!!!!!!!!

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    Here's Dana's response after I sent him a link to the photo below.

    I loved the pic of Dino and friends. I actually worked for Dante at his Chrysler dealership in Franklin,
    cleaning cars to get them ready for sale. I clearly remember sitting down to lunch with my grandfather
    (Arnold Nealley,Sr.) and Dante, Dino, Americo (Matty) and many others. My grandfather was Hopedale
    fire chief for a short term until he had his last heart attack.I think that was around 1970 or '71.

    And a little later...I just got off the phone with Dino Bracci and the car they were sitting on was a 1931
    Ford model A which belonged to Dante, who was in the service at the time.

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    And here's another memory from Dana.

    Dan; I was flipping through the Hopedale related questions. I was shaken a bit to view the question
    about the Hopedale plane crash. If the reference is to the crash that took place around 1972, I was
    the first person to the scene of the crash. I was a freelance photographer for the Milford paper. It was
    just a couple hours after noon and I heard the call come in on the scanner in my car. I didn't have to
    go far, as I was right in front of the Texiera residence heading towards Mill St. You have to bear with
    me for I've forgotten many of the street names in Hopedale. I looked off to my left and saw a cloud of
    smoke climbing from the wooded area  just below. I grabbed my camera and ran to the scene. The
    flames had almost subsided in the short time it took me to get there. I was shocked at what I saw.
    There were three very badly scorched bodies still in the seated position. I later learned that two of the
    bodies were students at Hopedale Jr.Sr. High. Kenny and Phillip Melin (of 65 Hartford Avenue) were
    their names. The pilots name was Paul Pasquantonio. He was from Cape Cod. The boys weren't
    supposed to be on that flight. They had convinced the pilot to give them a ride. The pilot tried to climb
    in altitude too rapidly causing the plane to stall. I believe the plane went down approximately 300 ft.
    from the runway.

                  Interview with Melin parents, 2002                        Memories Menu                          HOME   

    Sunday in White City.  Helen Beal and Hermina Cichanowicz (with cat) seated on car.  Fender,
    running board, left to right:  Americo Bracci, Stanley Winowski, Ada Bracci, Dino Bracci and Tony
    Cichanowicz.  The identity of the person in the car is uncertain but it may have been Serena Vitali.