Archive for May 2010

St. Mary’s May Procession

May 13, 2010

Each May, hundreds of kids from St. Mary’s School and parish would parade down High Street to honor Mary in the May Procession. The girls wore flowing, gauzy, pastel colored robes and the boys wore white shirts with satin capes, unless you were in second grade and wore your First Communion suit or dress. Eighth grade boys led the procession carrying a statue of Mary. A May Queen was chosen from the eighth grade girls, and she had the honor of crowning the Mary statue. A selection of Marian hymns was sung, including “Oh Mary we crown thee with blossoms today- Queen of the angels, Queen of the May.”
Here are two pics of me in the procession, the first taken in 1967 with me looking oh so reverent in my First Communion suit (far left smiling at the camera). and in 1971 as a less than reverent sixth grade altar boy. There’s a family story behind this photo, which may be related in an upcoming post. But probably not.

Working at the Mall

May 13, 2010

My first job at the Mall was as a stockboy at Woolworth’s during my junior year. A few of the neon letters in the outdoor sign were always broken, so we called it oolwo’s. They let me have a bookcase they were going to throw out, and I still have it in the classroom in which I teach in Framingham. And I still have this name tag for some reason.

Wrangler Wranch
Senior year I moved down the mall to Wrangler Wranch, across from Bradlee’s. This was one of the Mall’s first stores and was originally called Mr. Slacks. It was a fun job, even though I was a lousy salesman. I remember making a little boy cry when I told his mother that maybe a “husky” size would fit him better. I used to go into Pewter Pot and get a chocolate chip muffin heated up in the microwave smothered in butter. I think I worked here through my senior year in college, when my retail career at the Dedham Mall ended.

Note the Wrangler corduroy flares and groovy Earth shoes


May 10, 2010

Recently I saw a news story about bobcat sightings in Chelmsford.

In its early days, Dedham offered a bounty for bobcats (as well as for wolves and rattlesnakes!). In 1957, Joseph Demling of Macomber Terrace not only spotted a bobcat out by 135 near the Needham line, but killed it and brought it to town hall to collect his bounty! After researching the ancient laws covering such situations, the astonished town treasurer Andrew Galvin, Jr. paid Demling a $10.00 bounty. Thankfully, the law also required that Dedham be reimbursed for the bounty by Norfolk County.

Transcript– November 8, 1957

DHS Alumni Choir to perform!

May 9, 2010

Not only have I written a book, but I also recorded an album. Some of the members of my group are getting together for a Reunion Tour, Tuesday May 11th at 7:00 at the DHS Auditorium, singing that classic hit “Happy Together,” among others. Maybe you were part of this amazing recording session back in 1976?

Yeah, that’s mold on the album cover.

Welcome to Dedham Tales! by Jim Parr

May 8, 2010

EXTRA!! EXTRA!! New Dedham Blog goes live!
Ghosts! Legends! Scandal! Crime and Punishment! Mr. Ed! Wrangler Wranch! Dedham has it all, and you’ll read all about it on these pages. This blog is a followup to my recently published book Dedham: Historic and Heroic Tales from Shiretown. Most of the tales in the book took place decades, even centuries ago, and some of those stories will be highlighted here. But there will also be tales from the Dedham that I knew as I grew up here in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. The Dedham from that time may also be the Dedham that you know best, so I hope that this blog becomes a conversation where lots of stories and pictures are shared. If you would like to buy your own autographed copy of the book, just let me know!

Who remembers Frosty’s?

May 8, 2010

I thought I’d start out with a sweet Dedham memory for all to enjoy on this warm spring night. These are a couple of ads from the Dedham Transcript in 1963. Frosty’s once stood where Legacy Place is now. I remember going there on summer nights and getting soft-serve vanilla cones. Frosty’s was replaced by the Showcase Cinemas. I’m told that the original Frosty’s was on the other side of Rte 128 before it became a six-lane highway. Anybody have any more Frosty memories or pics?

I like that they are open 11 a.m. “til closing.” Duh.