I am James L. Parr. I grew up on Tower St. and went to St. Mary’s and Dedham High School (Class of 1977). I recently retired after teaching elementary school for 34 years in Malden, Needham and Framingham. I have published 2 books of children’s poetry: My Name is James and Lost and Found, as well as 3 local history collections: Framingham Legends and Lore, Murder and Mayhem in Metrowest Boston, (Kevin Swope co-author) and Dedham: Historic and Heroic Tales from Shiretown.  All of these titles can be found at the Blue Bunny Bookstore in historic Dedham Square, where you may also find me behind the counter 3 or 4 days a week.

7 Comments on “About”

  1. JP, I enjoyed your blog and hearing about the personal accounts of first jobs in Dedham. I wondered what ever happened to the “husky” boy at Bradlees and if he remembers that moment as well as you. There were great memories growing up in Dedham. Some of my favorites included the carnivals in the Lechmere parking lot, the best Flag Day parade and maybe worst 4th of July parade, walking around Geishecker’s as a kid and wondering what to buy, movies at the Dedham Community Theater being a real event, walking to Helman’s Store for penny candy and being half afraid and fascinated by old Mrs. Helman (near McGolf’s in Riverdale), meeting up with friends at Tahitis, being deathly afraid of falling in the polluted the Charles River while canoeing at the boathouse, attending CYO with my friends at St. Susannas Church without being Catholic and cross-country skiing to Route 128 during the blizzard of ’78 with hot cocoa, home baked banana bread, chocolate cookies, fruit, crackers and peanut butter in a back pack to feed the somewhat buried and very hungry drivers and passengers halted in their snowy tracks on the highway – an unimaginable site for people even to this day.

    If you haven’t seen this website, check out the attached Facebook site for more on various people’s wonderful memories!

    Thanks for the memories!!


  2. Gayle Capone Says:

    Reading this blog was like a walk down memory lane.
    The pictures of the Mall and Frostys were great. I loved the Italian Kitcheb with the small juke boxes in every booth. I worked at “Danny’s” in Oakdale Square for ny first job. Most people were scared of Danny but his wife Mrs. D was great.I remeber the original Midway, where Chilis is now and seeing Grease on the drive in before they shut it down. The St Mary photos were also great I remeber having my mother put a bobby pin with a tissue in my hair because I ddin’t have a hat on lol and kneeling at the alter for communion. Snow cokes at Woolworths were the best and I remeber when Pier One opened,were Lappens was as well as Tahiti’s first spot. Who would have thought Steve Tyler sang at the old middle school. Thanks for the photo’s!


    • jameslparr Says:

      Thanks for sharing all your great memories. We lived between Oakdale and Endicott, so we went to the stores in both areas, including Danny’s. Sometimes I’d ride my bike to the Oakdale Spa or Pharmacy and buy cigarettes for my parents (I had a note!). The only time I saw a movie at the drive-in was when I snuck in through the pipe company in the back and stepped on a board with a rusty nail in it and figured I was being punished for being there so I left. I’ll be featuring more personal Dedham posts this summer- the ice cream man, playing hide and seek, 4th of July parades and fireworks, going to the rec program at Paul Park (remember the Stagemobile plays at Memorial?) so keep checking the blog and if you have any great pics of Dedham scenes feel free to share them.


  3. Norris Shook Says:

    I came across your site after a Google search on the Milen-Faber trial.

    My grandfather, Norris Pinault, was a deputy sheriff in Norfolk County and I have photos of him escorting the accused during the trial in and out of the court house. He was also a bailiff in the Sacco-Vanzetti trial.

    Thank you for posting the information about the Milen-Faber trial. If you have any other resources on it, please let me know.


    • jameslparr Says:

      I’m glad you found the blog! There is a much longer description of the Millen Bros. in my book. Much of the information came from contemporary newspaper accounts. I can get you some copies of the articles I have. Any chance you have jpegs of your photos I could look at? TBy the way, the Millen Bros. is by far the most web-searched topic on the blog!


      • Norris Says:

        Actually, if you could e-mail me your mailing address I can mail you photos of my grandfather with some of the trial participants as well as this little blue handbook I found that details what the weather was like each day of the trial. I also have some clippings of him with the jurors when they made a day-trip to Nauset Beach in Orleans and their bus got stuck in the sand. The jurors had to push it out!


      • John E. DeFalco Says:

        My grandmother got in big trouble, being in that trial.


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