Thoughts of old Dot, via Dotnews guestbook

Dorchester and Mattapan people like to stay in touch, and on the Reporter's website, dotnews.com, a lively "virtual community" is developing, with neighbors old and new sharing their stories about their lives lived in our neighborhoods. Here's a sampling of some recent posts:

Bill Howe OFD, Cerritos, CA - Dorchester - The Last American Neighborhood. Grew up on the "other side" of Dorchester. Edward Everett Square - Norfolk Ave in the 1950's. Went to St Kevin's & Don Bosco. I'm just about to retire. I'm a little younger than Harry The Cat who wrote extensively on Uphams Corner. And Karlo Bossi who wrote "Just call me Moose."

In the late 40's and throughout the 50's enclaves such as Uphams Corner, Fields Corner, Codman Square, Mattapan etc. defined your viewpoint and associations simply due to the fact the automotive mobility was not yet in predominance. The "adventure" of growing up in this era was to travel to these other enclaves and witness who, how, where and why without any mental or physical fears.

Really big adventures were in the summer to go to the Museum of Science (admission was free), Old Ironsides, The Charles Street and Brighton swimming pools - again which were free - Museum of Fine Arts, but as a kid you were really watched by the guards. A trip to Castle Island, which was not open to the public, was an adventure in itself to try to see inside the fort. I finally got to walk inside about three years ago. It was worth the wait.

The list goes on forever but the message is the same: I had a lot of fun growing up in Dorchester. And oh those beautiful Dorchester girls!!!!!

Bill
- The Charlie's they are talking about was right at the split of Dorchester Ave and Adams near the old Station 11. That was an ice cream shop similar but better than Brigham's. I used to get my hair cut at Farina's. I remember he would always have a kid hanging around he called Bird, to get him the scoop on the neighborhood. When the kid would outgrow hanging around, he would be replaced, and that kid would be called Bird also. The old timer Al was really funny, too. Al Farina and Sons. Big Yellow Caddy parked out front.

To St Ann's Neponset Class of 1979 - There will be a Class Reunion on November 6, 2009 at Florian Hall, Dorchester. For more details, contact Barbara G through Classmates.com.

Mark J. Curran
- I'm an old Dorchester boy now living in Nashua, NH, and its nice to be able to catch keep up with the old neighborhood around Vera Street.

Mary (Karpowicz) Stankiewicz
- Yes, I remember roller skating in the late 50's with borrowed clamp skates from Evans Street where my home was and around the corner to Hopkins St, sometimes up to Crowell St. We had a key to tighten the skates which we wore on a string around our neck. Funny about the tripping up on them; yes, it would be just another skinned knee.

The skinned knees brought back another memory of a boy named Philip who didn't usually play with us, who threw a rock at my forehead for no known reason, then running up my friend Jeanie Eunson's back stairs with blood and tears streaming down my face for a bandage. Another rescue occurred when I was brought home the whole two blocks down Evans St. by the kind Perry sisters after being bit in the cheek and lower lip by a collie dog. It happened in front of Mrs. Mason's house because I had surprised it by patting it from behind! Did I wail, then had to go down to my childhood doc, Dr. Levine on the corner of Morton & West Selden St. for a shot in the behind.

You, too, can stay in touch, add your thoughts and read more from Dot folks, current and former, at dotnews.com/guestbook.