October 15, 2007
    Hopedale History
    No. 93
    The Home Front  

    Hopedale in October An interesting item was donated to the Little Red Shop Museum this week by Muriel
    Tinkham. You can see a picture of it on the Hopedale in October page.

    The Little Red Shop Museum project -  Week 4     Week 5    

    Vehicle Fun Fair at Hopedale Town Park, October 20, ten until two.

    Here's a link, sent by Peter Metzke, on the history of street railways in Maynard.  If you're interested in
    trolleys, you'll find that the site has a lot of interesting information on the subject. It also has a link to a
    Maynard history page, which includes a section on the Boston Post cane. Someone asked about
    Hopedale's cane a few months ago. According to the Maynard site, the Hopedale cane is "gathering dust."
    Heres a site with everything you ever wanted to know about Grafton, also sent from Melbourne by Peter.

    For information on events to assist the Chambers family, whose son Kevin was paralyzed in a diving
    accident, go to the Kevin Chambers website

    .                                                                     *************************

    The Home Front

      After watching The War on tv earlier this month, I thought I should ask a few Hopedale people who were
    born before World War II what they remembered of how it affected their lives. Among those I asked were
    some of my classmates, even though we were only four when the war ended. As I usually do, I'll put what
    I've received so far on my Hopedale history website, and I hope to find more to add to it in the future. The
    memories below begin with those of three of us from the Hopedale High Class of 1959 and continue with
    the more extensive recollections of Dot Stanas.

      I was an infant at the time of Pearl Harbor - just 2 1/2 months old!  The only clear memories I have are of:

      Saving tin cans for the war effort; although I know there were many other household use items that were
    also saved, I forget the specifics.

       I also remember planting a victory garden, with the help of older siblings. Unfortunately, I didn't have a
    green thumb then and it didn't yield a harvest.

      My clearest memory is of celebrations in the street at news of the end of the war - though I don't recall if it
    was victory in Europe or Japan.  I had to ask my older siblings awhile back if I had dreamed that or what.  
    They assured me that it had been real - there we were in our nightwear, yelling and dancing in the middle of
    Route 140. Liz (Gaskill) Demars                                                         

      I remember the ration stamps for sugar and other condiments. Also, my dad pulling me around Bancroft
    Park in a galvanized washtub to celebrate the end of the war. It was a great noisemaker!  I think he was
    exempt from the draft by virtue of his weak eyes--couldn't see a darn thing without his coke-bottle lenses.
    Phil Roberts

      My earliest memory is of my father jacking up our car, a '39 Plymouth, and putting it on blocks in the
    garage under the house.  I suppose I must have asked him what he was doing, and he must have told me
    that he'd be going away for a while and no one would be driving the car. It remained on the blocks for the
    two years that he was in the Army. During that time, when no autos were being produced, my mother had
    offers from people who wanted to buy it. For much of the time she was living on a private's pay, so it must
    have been tempting, but she didn't sell. My father was happy that she hadn't, because it took a while after
    the war for car production to catch up with demand, and buyers often had long waits.

       My mother used to save fat, another bit for the war effort, in cans that would be picked up by the Patrick's
    deliveryman when he brought the groceries. Dan Malloy                                           

      My father would have the radio on for the news frequently and that's how we heard about Pearl Harbor. I
    remember hearing Roosevelt's speech the next day. Years later I went to Hawaii and I cried when I went out
    to the Arizona.

      We didn't feel deprived. We took what was happening for granted, even though things were sometimes
    difficult with the rationing. I was delighted once when I had a coupon to get a pair of shoes. We had to plan
    our use of gas carefully when we wanted to go to the beach for the weekend. When you bought margarine
    then, it looked like lard. The coloring that made it look more like butter came in a separate wrapper. It was
    difficult to mix and didn't always get mixed well. One weekend when we were at Matunuk, a friend was very
    excited about getting some good meat. It was just hamburg, but it was a better grade of hamburg than was
    usually available.

      The men from Hopedale who were killed in the war were near my age, so I knew or knew of them. I
    worked at Drapers one summer. A woman named Avis worked there and lived nearby. We heard about it
    when her husband was killed. I remember hearing about Francis Wallace, Donald Midgley and Robbie
    Billings. Francis was Marge Horton's boyfriend when they were in high school. The Hopedale chapter of the
    National Honor Society is named for him.

       At times there were air raid drills and no light could be showing from any of your windows. The only time
    my mother worked outside the home was during the war. She worked at Drapers on what was known as
    the "gun job." I started teaching at the Dutcher Street School in 1943. I could go home for lunch. With no one
    there during the day to prepare meals, my father or mother would often make beef stew because it was
    convenient to heat it at lunchtime. Near the end of the war I remember seeing the liberation of the prison
    camps on the newsreel at the movies in Milford. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. In the summer of
    1945, I worked at Virgie Earl's in Milford. That's where I was when I heard about the end of the war. There
    was a lot of commotion in the street as people passed the news. Dot Stanas


    Recent deaths:

    Barbara A. Mistretta, 67, September 24, 2007.

    Angelina (Comastra) Tumolo, 82, October 4, 2007.  

    Barbara (Creamer) Rostanzo, 76, October 7, 2007.

    Josephine M. (Crivello) Creasia, 89, October 10, 2007.

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