Dana Cutter

    I never tire of my story. Second State Kid in the 50s to graduate from Hopedale High Class of 58 as its
    president.  This year a Naming Plaque was hung at Chicopee Comprehensive High School listing my
    contribution as a Business Teacher and my community activities in building a new Boys and Girls Club,
    serving on the School Committee when two new high schools were built, Veterans Planning Board
    Chairman and more.   

    Hopedale, the Class of 58 laid the foundation for me for my career as a chef, teacher and community
    activist for children.  ONCE it starts it expands to whatever the community calls you to do.

    Here are a few of my memories from my Inman Street neighborhood in the 1950s. Gus Safstrom moved
    into senior apartments near the post office. David Harris was a couple of houses to the right of 46, and
    Priscila Knight was a couple of houses down, left of your house.  Owen Dow was down the street, and
    Garfield Moon and Dan Gorman lived on Inman Street. Ethel Draper and her husband Earl lived on Dutcher
    Street, below our house on 46 Inman Street.  They were like an aunt and uncle. I could always go there
    when the state supervisor came. Victoria never let them talk to me if possible.  She would say that Dana
    was at a neighbors receiving tutoring, which was the case a lot of times.  They took joy in teaching me
    multiplication and soon I became quite good at it and could always follow clerks as they rang up the bill.  
    They seemed to know I was there many times so I would not feel the sting of being a state ward.

    Henry's Farm on Dutcher Street had  milking machines.  They also had a henhouse that housed
    thousands of chickens.  The operation included slaughter of chickens; throats slit conveyer belt took them
    down by feet thru hot water and workers plucked feathers. Then the chickens were boxed in ice and sent on
    to distribution points.  Yes Chicken Pluckers were many in Hopedale - over a hundred.  The wrath of God
    destroyed the operation –the chickens were infected with Rhode Island Red Disease.  It caused chickens
    to peck at each other causing death. All chickens destroyed and building leveled and taken away.  

    So ended a great Chicken Plan. Eggs dispensed by machine and the employment of many of us as
    chicken pluckers. It was kind of like picking blueberries.  But blueberries never attacked you.  Our
    Halloween story - Death on Dutcher. Thousands of chickens picking all in the way to death. Want a chicken
    leg, or why I became a vegetarian.  

    What your efforts have done is give me time to examine my past and breathe it all in.  Not to many of us
    have that chance and treasure the place, the people; especially Mrs. Blood who was the first in the
    neighborhood to get a tv and let all of us kids watch Howdy Doody. Mrs Daffon told us stories gave us
    treats,  while her husband visually examined us all to make sure we were listening between puffs of his
    cigar. There was a woman who made peanuts around Christmas. Mr Moon and his son Garfield built a
    mahogney speed boat and had to open the cellar to get it out. Across the street two woman elementary
    teachers boarded during the school year, and of course Mr. Dow, the school superintendent, lived at the
    end of Inman Street. I  almost forgot Mr. Drisko, our great history teacher.   Yes, you are on the Right Street
    Demanded that you there because minds of inquiry were all about us reminding each generation must
    leave a page to a book. The story continues.

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