It seemed like such a big beach we had back then in the 50s. Hopedale Pond in all its glory! We could
    hardly wait until opening day, stand in line to check in, and then head for the locker room to adorn our
    beachwear!!!  Back then, a strapless bathing suit for the girls was the "hip" thing to wear, and the guys
    always seemed to wear the same style bathing suit. (Boxer shorts style unless you wore one of
    "those" bathing suits that looked too tight to swim in!!) The best time of all was when the bathhouse
    stayed open at night and we could spend afternoons and evenings there with our friends. If you were
    really lucky you might have gotten a summer job as a lifeguard. I think most of us took our swimming
    lessons there, and learned to swim at a young age! Do you remember the rafts we could swim to?
    What a big deal it was if you could go out "over your head" because you had passed the test and were
    an Advanced Swimmer! Those were the days!!!

    It's not the same now. In fact, the pond that seemed so big, and the beach that seemed to always
    have room for all of us to lie in the hot sun, seems so small. The sliding board is gone now. I guess
    time changes things, but can never erase our fond memories of Hopedale Pond and the hours of fun
    we had there.

    Just recently Priscilla Knight Elliott (Class of 1956) jotted down the following summertime memories.

    As summertime approaches, I think back to all the activities and fun times we had growing up. We
    didn't realize at the time how lucky we were to live in a town like Hopedale. So much was done for us
    to keep us busy.

    The Town Park was a "must" every day. Morning classes making gimp bracelets, and plaster of paris
    molds, What a mess we made, but it was fun! We would go home for lunch, and be back at the pond
    for swimming lessons at 1:00 p.m. Oh those "Beginners." It took so long to be able to go outside the

    On Wednesdays, we girls dolled ourselves up for the big Band Concert in the evening. Wasn't it
    great? Popcorn, soda, "Birch-Beer" or "Cream," and ice-cream for 35 cents. How we used to chase
    the boys all around the park! Wow!  I remember all the neighborhood kids putting on a backyard
    variety show. There were about fifteen of us, and everyone had a part in the show. We went through
    the closets, the "rag bag," and asked our neighbors for clothes to make our costumes. We had
    clowns, tap dancers, ballet dancers and acrobats. An old wind-up Victrola played our music. W sold
    our tickets for 10 cents, and had Kool-Aid and home-made cookies for refreshments. The highlight of
    our show was Grandma Janes, Mrs. Mongeon's 80 year old mother. She loved us kids and told us
    stories all the time. We had to have her in our show. She was so happy because we had asked her to
    share a story, and we were so proud to have her. From "Moments to Remember," a newsletter of
    the Hopedale High Classes of 1955 and 1956.  A series of these newsletters were written in 1995
    and 1996 as the classes prepared for their combined 40th reunion.

 Now and Then at Hopedale Pond                     Pond, Park and Sports Menu     

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The Pond Is Open!!!

By Carol Strobeck Fannelli
and Priscilla Knight Elliott