FC: Marge & Charlie Stacey November 9, 1947 | 65 YEARS CELEBRATING LOVE, LAUGHTER, FAMILY & FOOD
1: for grandma & grandpa from all of us
2: MARGE Our Life Begins - A Long Story We met on Labor Day in September, 1945, at Grandma and Grandpa Bo’s (Boulter) house. Grandma and Grandpa had gone to Vermont for the weekend, as my other grandmother had died. Charlie was 17 and I was 19. Grandma and Grandpa lived at 22 North St, Norfolk, on a hill in the center of town. Charlie had gone to Bridgton, Maine, with the Topham’s, who were friends of the Stacey family. The Topham boys were cousins to my brother-in-law Allan Osborne (Uncle Al) who was married to my sister Ruth. Al and Ruthie came over in the late afternoon and asked if we’d be interested in going to a carnival. There were more people than there was room for in the car, so we had to double up. I sat in Charlie’s lap. After he went home, I received a letter from him, and we corresponded for a year, saw each other a few times, but neither of us had a car so our visits were few and far between. On November 9, 1946, we got engaged – down by the Cape Cod Canal. We corresponded another year and more visits, then got married on November 9, 1947, at the Federated Church in Norfolk. We went to live in a 2-room apartment in Onset, on the 2nd floor. We shared a bathroom with 6 other families (down at the end of a long hall). Charlie worked at the A&P Grocery Store and I worked at the 5 + 10 cent store in Wareham. We had no car, so took the bus to work every day. After 1 year, we got an apartment in Wareham, on the 3rd floor (we’d come up in the world), in Dr. Gleason’s house. It was heaven after our small space in Onset. We didn’t have enough furniture to fill it. For a year we lived there, but looked for another house as I was pregnant with Charlene and didn’t like climbing 3 flights of stairs at noon and at night again.
3: We found a small cottage that needed to be moved, and Grandma and Grandpa Stacey gave us some land next to their house in East Wareham. There we lived for 12 years, then we bought a house on Warr Ave in Wareham, where we lived for 16 years then moved to Wrentham as Charlie had a job at Norwood Hospital. Our oldest child Charlene was born on September 26, 1949, Gary was born April 9, 1951, and Sharon on October 2, 1956. In our married life, we took care of foster children – 6 altogether, some of them for only a short period. We got Edna when she was 1 year old, and she lived with us until she got married. Shawn came to us when he was 3 years old, and we adopted him a few years later. Years ago you couldn’t adopt foster children, but the rules changed over the years. Edna is now 60 and Shawn is 50.We also had a foreign exchange student from Sweden for a school year – 1973-1974. Our house was always filled with children, some ours and some one else’s. Charlie worked in the A&P in Wareham when I met him. After a few years he bought Carl’s Cab from his brother-in-law Carl, then changed it to Charlie’s Cab. He owned it for 15 years. It was a nice income, but tied us down as it was an ‘on-call’ 24 hours a day job – no vacations and no days off. Then Charlie went to work at Nemasket Transportation in Middleboro, working on the dock at night, loading freight. After a few years (as the plant closed) he was hired at Norwood Hospital. We moved to Wrentham and have been here 35 years, the longest of any place called home. On November 9, 2012, we celebrated 65 years together. Our children gave us a big party and a day that was one of the happiest of our married days. We have 5 children, 14 grand children, and 10 great grand-children. Quite a gang! (as of now)
4: CHARLIE Memories Shortly after we were married, B.C. (before children), we went on a trip to Tunbridge, VT, to visit relatives on a farm. In the evening Marge went to bed first, as I was still talking and it was getting late (like midnight). When I went to get in bed Marge was on the outside, so instead of walking around, I leaped over her and the bed broke. We yelled and the cousins came to see what had happened. They weren’t upset at all, just went outside and got a bucket and propped it under the bed. I was helping the same cousins skid logs and I was leaning against a fallen tree when one of the cousins hitched up the horses and they took off, leaving me on my own, sliding down the hill.
5: First Saturday in 1991 I had a heart attack. Was first day of my vacation and I spent 2 weeks in Beth Israel in Boston getting better. That was the end of my working days and I retired after 18 years at Norwood Hospital. I had a 3-piece band and we played at senior centers here and there. I played keyboard piano, a woman named Betty Long played drums and we had a trumpet player named George Clinton. We played together until Betty moved south, breaking up the band.
6: KIDS & IN-LAWS
7: CHARLENE Missed the Exit When I was in college at UMass Amherst, Grandma, Aunt Liz and Aunt Rose were coming to pick me up from my dorm so that I could go home for a long weekend. However, they were talking so much (no surprise there!) that they missed the exit and ended up driving all the way to NH before they even realized they had made a mistake. Meanwhile I was sitting by myself in a rapidly emptying dorm, hoping they really remembered to come get me. After awhile I began to get very nervous, since they were later and later - no cell phones in those days. I was a nervous wreck by the time they finally showed up, about 3 hours late. They of course were laughing hysterically, and had been giggling most of the way. I was relieved, but they were just silly over what they had done. I made sure to watch the road signs on the way home. Ernest and the Ice Cream One time when Grandma and Grandpa were visiting relatives in Vermont, Ernest kept distracting Grandpa and having him look away from the table. Every time Grandpa looked away, Ernest would add another scoop of ice cream to Grandpa's plate. Grandpa had a huge portion of ice cream before he realized something was going on with his dessert.
8: The Surprise Party I remember when we held a surprise 70th birthday party for Grandma--in her house-- without her even knowing it. It takes a lot to keep a secret from Grandma, but we did it. It was the best surprise party ever. We told Grandma and Grandpa that we were taking them to Benjamin's Restaurant for a family dinner for their birthdays, since Sharon’s family was out visiting from NY. Grandma couldn't figure out why no one was getting ready to go by changing their clothes, so she finally went in her bedroom to get dressed. While she was in there, lots of people arrived, and her house was decorated. She couldn't believe it when she came out. Grandpa was a little upset that he didn't get to go to Benjamin's, especially since he had gotten all dressed up. We made it up to him by taking them another time. The Birthday Cake One birthday of mine, before Grandma and Grandpa moved to Wrentham, Grandma made me a birthday cake and had Uncle Gary drive her to my house. He had a little sports car at the time, and she had to put the cake on the floor. She kept reminding him the entire ride to be careful of the cake, and not step on it. (They made a couple of stops on the way, and got in and out a couple times.) Do I need to say who ended up stepping on the birthday cake? Grandma was laughing like crazy as we had lopsided birthday cake with her shoe print on the top. | Trip to England Grandma and Grandpa took Grandma and Grandpa Bo to England to visit their relatives. They stayed for a month and got to visit everyone. Grandpa even learned to drive on the left. And he also got in trouble for eating Fanny's "special" jam. Fanny told them to help themselves to anything in the pantry, and then got upset when Grandpa brought out and ate her jam. He also got in trouble for "hooting" at the neighbors. He tooted the horn at them and waved, and Fanny was horrified. They were very formal, and no one ever "hooted" at people.
9: SHARON Lemon Lasagna I must have been in college at SMU, since I think I had just come home from classes to eat dinner. It was just Mom, Shawn and me as Dad was working nights. We were living in Wareham then, and I even remember that I was sitting at the head of the table where Dad normally sat. Mom was closer to the other end of the table since that seat was closer to the kitchen, and Shawn was on my left, between Mom and me. We were having skillet lasagna for dinner. Not sure if everyone knows what it is, but essentially, it is lasagna in a skillet...just add water and hamburger (and all the stuff that comes in the box!). Mom had cooked it many times previously. When we all sat down to eat, I took a bite and said "hmm this is sweet" and that set Mom into a fit of giggles....you know, the kind when she can't talk and has to wipe the tears from her eyes (with the handkerchief that is usually tucked into the sleeve of her arm). Well, in between more laughter and wiping tears from her eyes, we finally got the story out. Mom was making the lasagna and put all the ingredients in the pan, but when she put the envelope of tomato (powder) in, it did not turn red. She was a bit puzzled, since she had made this before, and didn't think you needed a can of tomato sauce, but since it didn't look right, she got a can of tomato sauce and added it anyway. | That DID make it turn red! And she finished cooking dinner and served it to Shawn and me.So when I commented that it tasted sweet, Mom confessed that after she added the tomato sauce she looked over the box, the instructions, all the ingredients etc...and found **another** envelope...which was the powdered tomato sauce! So WHAT was the envelope she added to the lasagna? Well, Mom was also making one of our favorite deserts....lemon pudding cake. And there is a white envelope in that box that looks just like the tomato envelope in the lasagna box (well, almost). And, you guessed it...she put the lemon pudding mix into the lasagna. Which explains why the lasagna didn't turn red!
10: Short-sheeting the Bed One of the biggest laughs we would get when we were kids was when Mom would short-sheet the bed when we had company. You don't hear too much about it anymore, but we would all wait in anticipation (trying to be quiet and not to laugh...) outside the "victim's" bedroom door, and burst out laughing when we heard the mumbling, grumbling and confusion inside the bedroom! I know that several of my friends and many of our relatives were the brunt of this joke, and some of them even went home to try it themselves!! Basically, when you make the bed, you lay the top sheet on the mattress like you normally would, then you fold the bottom of the top-sheet up to where the top of the blanket will go. Lay the blanket over the folded sheet, tuck everything in as normal and wait...When the person goes to bed and tries to get in between the sheets, their feet hit the folded sheet about half-way down...it is a weird feeling, and most people have no idea what is wrong, so they keep pushing their feet against the sheet, pick up the sheet/blanket to see what is in the way and mumble. All the time this is going on there are several people outside the bedroom door laughing away.....I think Mom caught Joe Rogers in it and got the biggest laugh of all from him! | I think Shawn liked it, but he was 12 and would eat anything in sight. So to get an independent vote, Mom called our neighbor, Laurel Weller and we marched over to the hedge to meet her. We gave her a sample and waited for her reaction. She thought it was pretty good...then took another bite. After the second bite she said, "maybe it's sweeter than I remember" or something like that, and of course, that set Mom on another fit of laughter! Needless to say, we did NOT have our lemon pudding cake for dessert. And thankfully, lemon lasagna never became one of the family specialties. But whenever I have lasagna, whoever is with me has to listen to my lemon lasagna story!
11: Dad was a fireman for over 30 years. First with the forest fire department in Wareham, then as a volunteer firefighter at the downtown Wareham Station. There were stories about a brush fire in Carver (or maybe West Wareham) where the fire started arching over the fire truck and all the firefighters--including Dad--had to high-tail it outta there. Dad said that the truck was burned to a crisp when they went back to it after the fire. There were also stories about the all-volunteer fire department: when the fire radio went off, all the volunteers would go directly to the fire and meet the fire trucks there---except that a couple times, no one went to the fire station to get the truck, so all the volunteers were at the fire without the truck! | Every year, the firemen put on a clambake for their families. As a kid, that was one of the highlights of the summer. It was a traditional clambake with the pits dug into the ground and the seaweed smothering and smoking all the food. Kids didn't have to pay, and the Stacey kids ate more clams than most of the adults. We brought our own vinegar to dunk the clams, as we did not like the butter (not for the clams, anyway!). We ate tripe every year, thinking it was a new kind of fish. It was pretty good when cooked as part of the clambake! There was always a fire truck at the clambake, and all the kids got to go for a ride, sitting on top of the fire truck. We all thought we were big shots. One year, the fire truck had to leave in the middle of giving rides to the kids as there was a fire! | The Fireman
12: The Organ Everyone who knows Dad knows how musical he is. From the time I can remember, there was always music in the house. We had a piano and either Gramma Stacey or Dad would play it almost every day. Dad's big dream was to have an organ, but he knew that it was way more money than they should spend. But whenever he had a chance to play one (like when we visited Aunt Stella, as she had one), he would sit at the bench and play, and would be lost in the music. I think it was 1975, springtime, as I was home from college (I lived away from home my freshman year) and Mom told me she wanted to buy Dad an organ for his birthday in the summer. She wanted it to be a surprise, so we had to be sure we kept it a secret. Mom and I went to the organ place in Sandwich...Dad had been there several times and the guy who owned the store would let him play the organs when he stopped by. Mom essentially put the organ on lay-away...but I think she must have been saving money forever since it was a small fortune to buy an organ. Mom arranged for a big party for Dad's birthday in July, and thankfully, he had no idea what Mom had done. We were all outside in the back yard when the organ truck pulled out front and wanted to know where to deliver the organ. I still remember the look of disbelief, awe and excitement on Dad's face as they brought the organ in through the front door and he realized it was for him. They set the organ up in the living room and Dad sat down to play as soon as he could and didn't stop smiling for days!
14: Baseball Four (going on five!) generations of baseball.... Grampa Bo used to play in the town league, and when us kids were growing up, it was not uncommon to have an impromptu baseball game in Gramma and Grampa's field. The aunts and uncles would play, Grampa Bo would play, and many of the kids would play (27 or so cousins at various ages and talent levels). It's no wonder, then, that for many of the Boulter clan, our lives revolve around the Red Sox season, and our moods go up and down with the success and failures of the Sox. We have had many tortuous years following the Sox, but the tortuous years were forgotten when the Sox won the World Series in 2004, breaking an 86 year drought! All of New England was in a state of ecstasy and many phone calls were exchanged, discussing the games in great detail. When the Sox repeated as World Series Champions in 2007, many of us had to pinch ourselves to see if we were dreaming! We had a few "teaser years" when the Sox came close to winning it all...1946 (most of us were not around for that one!), 1975, 1986. The 1975 World Series is often touted as one of the best competitions in baseball history, with Game 6 (Carleton Fisk's home run, bottom of the 12th) cited as one of the all-time classics. That was a very special game, since Mom and Dad were there. I remember mailing for playoff-tickets (before the days of the internet) and actually getting 4 tickets to that game. We went with Peggy Sheehy, who was as big a Sox fan as anyone I knew. Game 6 was rain-delayed for 3 days, which meant Luis Tiant was rested well enough to pitch again. The game went into extra innings and finally ended about 12:30 in the morning (October 22) when Fisk hit his famous home-run and "waved the ball fair" to beat the Cinncinnati Reds and tie the series. We all know the outcome of game 7, but the memories of Game 6 will be burned in memory forever!
15: Monica - What's One More? Mom and Dad always had a house full of kids. All us kids had friends over all the time, plus we had foster kids on-and-off as long as I can remember. In the summer, it was not unusual to have one of the cousins from Florida staying with us, and sometimes one of the cousins from Mom's side of the family would be with us for a week or two. So when I was a junior in high school, and there was an assembly about having exchange students at the high school for our senior year, why wouldn't I think that our family was the perfect family to host an exchange student? This program was sponsoring students from Sweden, and they had already studied English for several years so language would not be a problem. Well, at least I had heard of Sweden, but I am not sure I knew where it was located! We had to fill out an application to participate in the program and, once we were accepted, they sent some information on several students. We looked at several "applications" from students, but when we saw the application from Monica, we knew she was the right match....after all, she played piano! We started writing letters to get to know each other and I remember the excitement when the day came for us to pick up Monica at the airport...Mom, Dad and I all went. There were several students who were staying in the New England area, so lots of them were getting off the plane, but we recognized Monica from her pictures and I am sure we overwhelmed her with our excitement at meeting her! Of course, she was exhausted after a long trip from Europe and probably could not wait to get to bed, especially with the 5 hour time difference, but on the way home we decided to stop for ice cream because, of course, that is what you do on special occasions! | Monica had no idea what she was in for with our family, but she fit in just fine, and we tried to make her feel at home. She did panic a bit when Dad asked her to play the piano, but she would dabble at it now and then. A great testament to us choosing each other is the fact that we are still in touch almost 40 years since that first exchange of letters. Mom and Dad always considered her another daughter and we were all broken hearted when she returned to Sweden after a year in the US, from August 1974 to July 1975. She and her family have visited the US several times, and Ron and I and the kids have also visited Sweden.
16: ANN Babysitting the Kids Gary and I had broken up before we were married, and he moved home with Gram and Gramp on Warr Ave in Wareham. Gram and I chatted and she mentioned if I needed a babysitter anytime to let her know. So I took her up on it, and one night Gary came home late and said to Gram- “Mom...whose coats are those on the back of the couch?” She said “Oh...those are Derek and Michelle’s coats. Dad and I are babysitting. Ann’s on a date.” Gotta love her for that!! | The Basement Michelle used to love to go downstairs at Gram’s in Wrentham – first door on left at the bottom of stairs. Everyone knows how much toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, canned goods and soda are in that room. Michelle thought Gram and Gramp had a store in their house! | The Tissue Box We all know how Gram uses “other” boxes to wrap gifts and the family knows that if they get a box for an iPHONE, good chance there’s no iPHONE in the box, right? Well, when Michelle was about 4 she was ecstatic at our family Christmas when she opened a present from Gram and Gramps. She jumped up all excited and announced “I got Kleenex!”
18: Cribbage Chuck is a whiz at cribbage. Everyone who knows him knows that. I like to play but am probably not a big challenge for him. We used to play a lot, but I always got beat. One day that we were playing I had really good cards in every hand and was finally able to beat him. I got up from the table and danced like an Indian around the table whooping it up because I had finally beat Chuck at cribbage! Then I got cocky and suggested we start playing for money.....well, Chuck cleaned me out on that game. We all got a good laugh at my Victory Dance, and a few years later Marge sent me a cartoon about someone doing a victory dance around a table. She labeled the two people in the cartoon "Charlie" and "Ron.” It hung on our refrigerator for many years! | RON
19: The Submarine Races Growing up on the Cape, one of the euphemisms for going parking was "going to the submarine races", typically along the canal. And Chuck would know, since he grew up in Wareham too! So when Sharon and I were dating, he'd ask if we were going to the submarine races. At first, I wasn't sure what to say when he asked me that, but then as we dated more I began answering him with "yes Chuck" or "of course." One day he asked me if we were going to the submarine races and I said ‘yes’, and as we were going out the door he added "Well, keep your periscope down!" I almost choked! It began a long standing joke about submarine races....and one day in the mail I got a picture from Marge of a submarine going through the Cape Cod Canal! | Didn't Spill a Drop Sharon and I were supposed to go to a Red Sox game, but it got rained out. We had brought a jug of lemonade and vodka with us to the game (in the days when you could bring beverages in...) but since it was rained out, decided to go to Marge and Charlie's (Chuck's) to see if they were home and wanted to play cards. We were playing cards at the dining room table and drinking our lemonade. The problem was that the jug cover did not go on tight, and every time you poured a glass, it would leak all over the table and we'd have to get a towel to wipe it up. After a few times doing this, Chuck finally said "Give it to me. I can pour it and won't spill a drop on the table!" (we had all had a few glasses of lemonade by this time, even Marge who drank it before we could tell her it wasn't "just" lemonade!) Chuck took the lemonade jug and his glass, pushed his chair away from the able and poured his glass full of lemonade...which leaked all over his lap. Of course, we were all doubled over laughing--even Chuck-- as he got his glass full and his pants wet. And when he was done, he proudly proclaimed "See, I didn't spill a drop on the table!" I don't remember what card game we were paying, but we had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs that day!!
20: SHARON & RON The Fiddle Festival It was August in Minnesota, a time of year where it is hot and humid - hard to believe Minnesota has weather like that! Mom and Dad had come to visit and Gramma Bo was with them. Gramma Bo was 84 then, if I remember right, and quite active. We thought that it would be fun to go to a fiddle festival, which was being held about 30 miles away from Rochester, where we were living then. Everyone loves fiddle music and we could sit and enjoy the music all day. Well, someone forgot to tell the weatherman that it was August, because the weekend of the festival, it was about 40 degrees and drizzling rain! It was more like March than August and we froze, sitting there for a few hours, even though we had our winter jackets and lots of blankets. The music was great, but it was not quite the day we had intended! | Gone Fishing? There is a funny saying in our family, and Gramma Marge always said it drove Gramma Bo crazy because she and her siblings used to start it at the dinner table when she was young....and now our family does it too! At the dinner table, when someone says they are full, a second person says "Oh, you had sufficient?" and a third says "No, he went fishing." Then the second person says "No, he had plenty" and the third says "Oh, he caught twenty?" Then the second person says "Oh, go on you old fool" and the third ends the conversation with "Oh, he lost his pole?" It's rather crazy but it’s one of those family things that still gets a laugh!
21: The Slide Everyone who knows Mom knows that she is a big kid at heart. If there were kids around, she could often be found playing with them on the floor. Ron and I lived in Minnesota for three years, and Mom and Dad came out for a visit. We had to show them all the local sites, and of course, we also had to take a trip to Iowa, since it was only about 30 minutes from Rochester, where we were living. We stopped at one of the parks in Iowa where there was a playground. Eric was about 3 years old at the time, and climbed up one of the tall slides. Mom decided it looked like fun and she would like to slide down the slide too! Well, except that she forgot how fast some of the newer slides can be, and hit the end of the slide before she knew it, and then hit bottom (as in the ground). She landed with a bit of a surprise and had braced herself as she was falling....but caught her baby finger and broke it. Of course, she was laughing the whole time...and we were too! I don't think she ever went to the doctor...can you imagine her story if the doctor asked her how she broke her finger: "Oh, I was sliding at the playground in Iowa, fell off the end of the slide too fast and broke my finger..." It was a big joke in the family for the longest time – she must have been about 58 or so at the time, but not too old to go down the slide! | The Wedding Party We were married on August 5th, 1978. It was a cloudy day, threatening rain, but the rain held off until after midnight. Our wedding reception was at the PACC (Portuguese American Club) and it ended at 5. We had a party at Rose and Walter's house after the reception, and had food and beer for the neighbors and friends. There were about 50 (or more) people there. Dad had brought his accordion and played music for everyone until about 11 PM. We danced in the driveway all evening, along with everyone else, while Dad played song after song....It was the best wedding party ever!
22: WALTER Helluva Good Cheese Rose and I used to go on vacations with Marge and Charlie. Rose was never one who made friends easily, but as soon as she met Marge and Charlie, she liked them. Rose and Charlie were a lot alike and were always kidding around with each other. Marge and I would shake our heads and just say "we don't know them, do we?” We were on vacation in Vermont and we decided to go for a walk. Charlie said "when we get back we can have some wine and cheese and play cards" and Rose said "I don't drink wine.” Charlie said this is "helluva good cheese" (that is actually the name of it) so we have to try some. He managed to convince Rose to have some wine, too...and she said "oh, Charlie, this is good wine!" and of course they got laughing and kidding each other again, and Marge and I just said "we don't know them, do we?" We always had lots of fun kidding around with Marge and Charlie and enjoyed our vacations with them. Our friends couldn't believe that we went on vacation with our in-laws, but we did and we had lots of good laughs together.
23: On the Cruise Rose and I, Marge and Charlie and Phyllis and Joe all went on a Caribbean cruise together. One of the funniest stories was when Rose had to go back to her cabin since she had taken her water pill and (of course) had to use the bathroom. It was captain's night, so we were all dressed up, and for some reason, Marge went back to the cabin room with Rose. When Rose had to go, she had to go, and sometimes didn't make it to the bathroom on time. So all the way back to the room, Rose was telling Marge not to make her laugh since she'd never make it to the bathroom in time. And the more she said that, the more Marge would get into a fit of laughter and Rose would have to stop in the hallway for a minute, cross her legs and say, "now don't make me laugh, Marge, or I won't make it". The two of them were giggling and stopping while Rose had to cross her legs on the way to her cabin, as it was a long way from the dinner area. And while they were stopped (and Rose with her legs crossed, trying not to laugh, but Marge laughing) the captain walked by all dressed up. He saw them in the hallway, laughing, and said "good evening ladies" and Rose answered "good evening captain" while of course trying to keep a straight face and trying not to look like she was standing there with her legs crossed in her evening wear! She eventually made it to the bathroom in her cabin, but she and Marge always laughed about their run-in with the captain in the hallway while they were on their way to the bathroom. | Peeing in the Woods Rose and I were traveling with Marge and Charlie, probably driving to Maine since we used to go to Poland Springs together on vacation. Rose took water pills for many years, and we always needed to know where the nearest bathroom was. This time, we were in a rural area and Rose said she had to stop soon or she would have an accident. Marge told her we could just stop on the side of the road so she could go in the woods, but Rose said she did not know how! Marge could not believe that, since her family did it all the time with young kids in the car. So she explained to Rose what to do, how to stand, (how to "hide") and gave her instructions so she would not get her pants wet. Well, when Rose came out of the woods, we knew there was a problem since she was laughing hysterically. She followed Marge's instructions, but not exactly...Marge always thought it was so funny that Rose did not know how to pee in the woods!
24: THE GRANDKIDS
25: CAITLIN Grandma Mail There is nothing better than getting an envelope in the mail from Marge Stacey, and having no idea what's going to be in it. Grandma is famous for sending random and hilarious notes in the mail, whether it's a joke, an article that made her think of you, or just something she thought was pretty and wanted someone else to have. One time I got a piece of cloth in the mail, with a note that said it came under the cap of a jar of jam. More recently, we have been sending the wrappers that come on ice cream cones back and forth, with little notes on them. But the best was the time when I was in college, and received a small padded envelope from Grandma. I opened it, and there was something I couldn't immediately identify wrapped and rolled up in a sandwich bag. At first glance, it looked like something illegal (marijuana) but then I realized it couldn't be. I looked closely and still couldn't figure out what it was, and there was no note accompanying the package. I took it out of the bag and inspected it, and STILL couldn't tell what it was. I called Grandma to ask, and she said "it's a piece of our old rug, the yellow and black one from the living room. We had them replaced and you always said you liked that one, so I wanted you to have a piece of it!" I laughed so hard that everyone around me looked at me funny, but unless you know Grandma Marge, you wouldn't understand. | The $20 Bill One time when I was in school at UNH, Grandma and Grandpa drove up to visit me, and we went out to lunch at a seafood restaurant called the Weathervane. Walking back to the car, Grandma was walking and talking to me one second, and the next she was on the ground. It happened so fast Grandpa and I thought she fell! We stopped and kept asking her if she was all right... In reality, she had seen a $20 bill, and wanted to get it before anyone else noticed it. She was so excited, she told us it was the first time she had ever found any money.
26: The TV and the Tercel One year around Christmas time Grandma asked me to drive her to Best Buy, to help her with Grandpa's Christmas present. I was driving a 2-door Toyota Tercel, and had no idea Grandma was planning on buying Grandpa a newer, bigger TV. The TV box wouldn't fit in my trunk or the backseat, so we put the TV in the front seat and Grandma in the back. I chauffeured Grandma around to several stops all day. But the best part was watching her get out of the backseat at every stop we made...she would swing the door wide open, but keep her hands on it, and her feet would still be in the backseat of the car. She would be suspended between the open door and the car, parallel to the ground. We were hysterical every time she had to climb out! For years every time I looked at the TV, that's what I thought of. | The Gum I was talking with Grandma one day about funny things that have happened to us and she started telling me a story about a trip to Wendy's with Aunt Liz. They were leaving the restaurant, talking as they walked to the car, opened the car doors, sat down, and then Grandma swung her left leg into the car, but realized she couldn't move her right leg. As she was telling the story she was acting out trying to pick her right leg up to put into the car, started giggling and couldn't stop. She kept reenacting trying to move her leg, but by this time she was laughing so hard I couldn't understand a word she was saying and she was so funny that I just started laughing at her...even though I had no idea what was going on or what I was laughing at. In between giggles she was finally able to get out that she couldn't understand why her right leg wouldn't move, she thought she must be having a stroke...she kept giggling as she explained that she finally realized she wasn't having a stroke...she had stepped in a pile of gum and her shoe was stuck to the pavement.
27: CHERYL Hi, I’m Darcy Grandma Marge and Grandpa Chuck are some of the warmest, most welcoming people I know. They open up their home to anyone and everyone and I’ve never heard a negative word about any visitor to their home. Which explains this story: When I was in college a group of my friends and I were on our way to Cape Cod and we decided to stop and say hello to Grandma Marge and Grandpa Chuck along the way. I had been talking about my grandparents for years so it was the perfect opportunity to connect my friends with my family. Well after my friend Darcy greeted Grandma Marge by saying “Hi, I’m Darcy”, Grandma Marge’s response, without hesitation, was “Well we got iced tea, we got soda, we got water. Just help yourself!” Darcy was initially confused by Grandma Marge’s response to her name, until she soon realized that Grandma Marge must have thought she said “Hi, I’m thirsty.” While Darcy was absolutely mortified that Grandma Marge thought she would just walk into the house declaring she was thirsty and so rudely expect an immediate beverage, Grandma Marge didn’t seem to think anything of it and in fact offered the entire fridge for Darcy’s perusal. No worries, it’s just another person in the kitchen who needs a drink! | The Family Heirlooms If you’ve ever been to a party at Grandma Marge and Grandpa Chuck’s house then you know what I’m referring to when I say the Family Heirlooms. Over the years, grandma and grandpa have managed to accumulate the biggest collection of plastic silverware I’ve ever seen. They probably have enough to have used a different set of silverware in each of their 65 years together. We never throw any of them away, and one year I bought grandma a “fancy” set of really thick, colorful plastic silverware to add to the boxes. At least we know they will still be around for our grandkids!
28: Jackie and the Family After I studied abroad in Samoa I couldn’t help but notice the similarity between my Academic Director, Jackie, and Grandma Marge -- both are warmhearted women who cultivate a strong sense of community wherever they go; both consider anyone and everyone to be a part of their extended family; both possess a certain fondness for food that allows them to enthusiastically eat – and always finish – whatever is put on their (and often others’) plate, no matter what that food is. So when Jackie was making one of her few annual trips to the East Coast, I knew I had to introduce her to Grandma Marge and Grandpa Chuck. And it turned out to be a great visit, with Jackie and Grandpa playing Cribbage, Grandpa playing the keyboard, and Grandma and Jackie finally meeting in person and both enjoying some of Grandpa’s famous french toast – for supper of course. It was a special day for me as I shared two important parts of my life, and I know Jackie remembers that day fondly as she still mentions it often. | Grandma and the Mail Anyone who is lucky enough to have ever given Grandma Marge his or her address knows what an excellent corresponder she is. Not a week goes by that I don’t receive a “short note” from Grandma, often accompanied by the weekly church joke, an ice-cream cone wrapper (Caitlin knows this one very well), a newspaper puzzle, a riddle, or even sometimes the perforated oval of a tissue box opening, sometimes with a cute bear, sometimes just blank. Paper scraps are not simply paper scraps with Grandma Marge – they’re the perfect vessels for short notes, and in fact I have an entire box filled with short notes that I hope to one day make into a collage. Perhaps my favorite item to receive from Grandma came when I was a kid. I was really into Perler Beads (plastic iron-together beads) and used to bring them with me wherever we went. Well we had just come from visiting Grandma and Grandpa in Massachusetts and a few days after we got home I received a very light envelope in the mail from Grandma. When I opened it up all I saw inside was a single perler bead, all alone, no note or anything. When I talked to her later she said she found it on the carpet under the couch and thought I might miss it, this one-in-a-thousand bead. Well I certainly didn’t notice that this pea-sized bead had gone missing but I did appreciate the mail nonetheless.
29: The Eating Contest When I was a freshman in college I invited my friend, Patricia, to come home with me for Thanksgiving because she was from Oregon and wasn’t planning to go home herself. I also knew that on both sides of my family there would be plenty of food and plenty of welcoming family members who would be eager to meet her. Well there was certainly plenty of both, and by the Friday after Thanksgiving we had made the rounds and definitely eaten plenty of food. But we still thought we could muster up a pretty good appetite for next-day leftovers, so to make it interesting we decided to have an eating contest. We were still at Grandma Marge and Grandpa Chuck’s, and so whoever could eat the most leftovers that day would win. Well Patricia and I, being college students, didn’t wake up until lunchtime anyway so we were pretty hungry by the time we did have our first meal of the day. We each ate two sandwiches and managed to squeeze in two pieces of pie, but couldn’t really push any further. We were contemplating what to do with the other half of the pie when Grandma Marge said “Are you not going to eat that?” and proceeded to eat the rest of the pie in one sitting. Without even knowing about the eating contest Grandma Marge swooped in for the sudden victory because in addition to the pie, she had also just eaten her own lunch and a large pancake breakfast not too long before that. To this day Patricia and I are still trying to match Grandma Marge’s eating legacy. | ‘Grandma Marge’ is a Verb Anyone who knows me has undoubtedly heard me say “grandma marge it” or refer to someone as having “grandma marged” their dinner. Well, this verb-ing is an homage to Grandma Marge’s tendency to lick her plate clean after a meal. She’s been doing this for as far back as I can remember, and it never struck me as weird until I started doing it in college in front of my friends. One of them looked at me once and said “Cheryl, what are you doing?” and not realizing that this isn’t a common practice in public I simply said “What? That’s what my Grandma does. I’m Grandma Marging it!” Well it’s stuck ever since, and for the rest of our lives my friends and I will always know what it means to “grandma Marge it.”
30: DAVID Is Your Grandmother Home? Grandma called our house one recent morning, thinking she dialed Aunt Rose's number. I answered the phone, recognized Grandma's voice, and had the following conversation. Grandma said (thinking she was talking to my cousin Jimmy), "Is your grandmother there?" So, being totally confused by that question, I said, "You're my grandmother." Grandma laughed, and said, "Since when have I been your grandmother?" So I said, "Since I was born." Now we were both confused by the conversation. Grandma finally asked (or figured out) that she was talking to me and not Jim, and she had dialed the wrong number.
31: JUST WORTH REMEMBERING... The Tissue Box Some things, well you just can't make them up. Especially when it comes to Grandma Marge. We don't have to make up any funny stories because she creates them herself, then gladly tells us about them. Like the time she was on the phone with Aunt Liz and they were talking about how manufacturers were changing the sizes of what they sell to us, but not always the package it comes in. Like toilet paper (rolls are not as wide as they used to be) and orange juice (the box looks the same but is several ounces smaller for the same price) and tissues. Did you know that if you shake the tissue box you can hear the tissues move from side to side? Proof that they are making tissues "shorter" but using the same size box. So one day when Grandma was on the phone with Aunt Liz they started talking about this and Aunt Liz must have said something like "I didn't notice", because then Grandma said "if you put your hand in the box, you can feel the space at the end" and she of course put her hand in to show Aunt Liz what she meant. Except, Aunt Liz was on the phone, and since Grandma was also on the phone, she got her hand stuck in the tissue box and couldn't get it out. (maybe she forgot that if she put the phone down, she could have gotten the hand out of the tissue box?!) So Grandma got into a fit of laughter that everyone in this family knows only too well, and that got Aunt Liz laughing and of course, the more they laughed, the less likely Grandma was to actually get her hand out of the tissue box! So I guess they must have kept talking, all while Grandma tried to get her hand out of the tissue box. She eventually must have gotten it out, but we all heard about this story nonetheless and every time she talks about it, Grandma still laughs so hard that she cries.
32: MEMORY SNAPSHOTS...
33: Might as well start with food. Grandma is the only person I know that could feed a whole family of kids (at least 4) with one can of tuna. Then there was the time that Grandma ate a silver leaf decoration off the top of a fancy cake. She thought it was a sugar-made frosting decoration, but couldn't figure out why it was so chewy. When we were kids, Grandpa would always beep the horn when we went under the railroad bridge on Rte 140. It was close to the turn onto 115, and we always knew we were getting close to Norfolk, and our grandparents' house. The beeping of the horn became a family tradition, and we would remind him to beep as we got closer. Grandpa used to talk about going to watch the submarine races in the Cape Cod Canal. He said he used to take Grandma when they were dating. Turns out watching the races meant going parking with your girlfriend. When Grandma and Grandpa were dating, Grandpa skidded on ice while driving his father's car. The car spun around on the road. When the car stopped moving, Grandpa immediately hopped out and said, "I hope the car is OK". He never checked to see if Grandma was OK, since he was more worried about what his father would say if he had damaged the car. Grandpa used to be asked to play the piano every year for minstrel shows. That was before they became politically incorrect. We used to go to some of the rehearsals with him, and almost always got to go to the show as well. | When we were just kids, a regular tradition was to take a Sunday drive. Sometimes Grandpa had a destination in mind, but often we would just go out for a ride. We usually would have no idea where we were, and Grandpa would always say, "I know a shortcut." We would all groan when we heard these words, because his shortcuts were usually twice as long as the regular way, and he HATED to ask directions. We would drive aimlessly for what seemed to us to be hours before we would get home again. Luckily Grandpa has a good sense of direction, so we were never lost forever. (Just seemed that way) When we were growing up, Grandpa always had to take his spinach first at any dinner. If he didn't go first, there was never any left in the bowl by the time it got passed around the table to him. It didn't matter how much spinach Grandma cooked, all of us just loved it, and we would take huge helpings. Kind of strange, that all of us kids just loved spinach. Grandpa always made the best corn pancakes (or pancakes of any kind). Another family favorite, especially for Sunday night supper. He still makes great pancakes and french toast. And then there is Noodle Soup. Definitely a family favorite. I don't understand how only our family loves it, but none of our spouses or kids even like it much. And there is the plastic silverware. Or the family heirlooms... | CHARLENE
34: Grandma and Mrs. Weller would call each other to ask what the other was doing, if they couldn't figure it out by watching through the windows. They would start the conversation by saying, "This is your nosey neighbor." One time Grandma was very puzzled because she could see the Wellers on their hands and knees in their living room for a long time but just couldn't make out what they were doing. She finally called and was told they were restringing a blind. Our house always seemed to be filled with music. On Sundays Grandma would play the old hymns on the record player. Grandpa played the piano almost every day, often more than once. Grandpa always wanted to have an organ, and one year Grandma bought him one for his birthday. We were celebrating his birthday with family members out in our backyard when a truck came to do a delivery and pulled into the driveway. Grandpa was so puzzled, and then so excited when he found it was an organ being delivered for him. He had no idea that Grandma had gotten him such a birthday surprise. It was certainly put to good use, and Grandpa spent many hours playing that organ. When we were growing up, we always had lots and lots of company. Many people stayed overnight since we lived in Wareham, and not near the rest of the family. Grandma and Grandpa loved company, and never turned anyone away. We even had cousins spend the entire summer with us. Often we didn't have enough beds, but us kids would sleep on the couch or floor. One visitor remarked that our house must have rubber walls since we could always make room for everyone. | Grandma loves to send crazy mail. When I was in college, I asked Grandma to send me a box of goodies, since everyone on my dorm floor seemed to be getting one. She sent a box with dog biscuits and beef bouillon cubes in it. She knew I hated bouillon. She did send some good stuff too--like chocolate chip cookies. Caitlin got a piece of the black and gold rug when she told Grandma she was going to miss it. Caitlin also gets notes written on ice cream cone wrappers. Even Graig looks forward to Grandma's crazy mail. Grandpa played handbells with our church group for several years. He even played solo bells. He would arrange his own music while sitting in his chair at home and just thinking about the music. Then he would be able to play it as a solo piece, often using 18 to 20 bells alone. One time Grandpa, Dan, Caitlin and I played a quartet on bells for a concert. We played "Puff the Magic Dragon." Grandpa and I played "Silver Bells" as a duet for a Christmas concert.
35: Grandma and Grandpa used to go to dances at the Legion on Saturday nights. They loved dancing and were good dancers. Grandma dislocated her elbow once at one of the dances when she slipped and fell. I think it was during the broom dance. The other thing they liked to do was play cards. They would play cards with friends from the dances at our house. Whist was a favorite game. And then we have Grandma's famous Christmas (or birthday) boxes. We learned at a very early age not to get excited about a present until we opened the box to see the actual gift. Grandma recycled everything--even the bows and paper--but especially the boxes. You could never tell what was inside the box. For many years our church in Wareham, the Congregational Church, had a sunrise service on Christmas morning. I think it was held at 6 am. It would be dark when we entered the church, and daylight when we left. The service always ended with the words, "And now it is Christmas." We all looked forward to going, but when Christmas morning arrived, Grandpa would think it was too early, and say he wasn't going. We would all get after him, and of course he would always go . It made Christmas very special. After opening our own gifts and having breakfast, the entire family would drive around visiting Aunt Etta and Mrs. Parkhurst. Most of the time we would also go to Norfolk to Grandma and Grandpa Bo's house too. Christmas was always a busy day. Grandma never forgets a birthday or anniversary. She always sends cards to everyone in the family, and friends too. I don't think she's ever forgotten a birthday. Hallmark must have been thinking of her when they said, "Reach out and Touch someone." | Grandma and Grandpa always had foster children living with us. They were treated just like their own children, and we always considered them brothers or sisters. We drove to Florida one year to visit Aunt Carol and Uncle Carl. We went to the beach, and the men went surf fishing. Because Grandpa gets a sunburn so easily, he was very careful to cover up. He wore long pants and a long sleeve shirt in addition to a hat. But he didn't think about his feet. They were in the water for most of the day, and he got very badly sunburned. In fact he got sun poisoning and his ankles and feet swelled way up.
36: Grandpa used to own a taxi business, and he let us kids ride along sometimes. He had a parking spot in the center of Wareham, and I can remember sitting there with him, in the taxi. When he drove a school bus it was a big treat to ride on the bus with him and sit in the very back seat. It was bumpy back there and we loved it. Of course, you had to get up early if you wanted to go on the bus with him. He had a CB radio in the taxi, and got involved with a CB radio club. The whole family used to go to events with the club. I remember a very memorable trip to Martha's Vineyard the day after a big storm. The waves were huge, and almost everyone stayed in the cabin on the boat because they were seasick. Not our family! We stood outside with the crew, holding on to poles and railings, and loving it. Grandpa and Grandma taught all of us how important family is by their example. We never had a lot of money growing up, but there was always plenty of love. When we were children they tried their best to be at every event or activity that we were involved in.
37: EDNA I remember going to Florida when I was 12 years old. The whole family went in our car, and all of us kids were in the back seat. Charlene got an abscessed tooth on the way down and we had to stop to find a dentist. Dad got sunburned real bad when we were in Florida. I remember we went to Miami, and we went to school with the Haarala girls. There was a crossing guard at the school and I remember thinking how neat that was because we didn't have any in Wareham. There was also a cute boy I liked! I remember going to Grandma and Grandpa Boulter's house. At the top of the stairs if you took a left you were in the big bedroom looking out the front window. I always thought it was so beautiful. They lived "out in the country" compared to Wareham, and I always thought it was so scenic there. | I remember the outhouse at Grandma and Grandpa's and us kids would always go in it. We would go sledding down the big hill in the field at Grandma and Grandpa's. Dad would drive to Grandma and Grandpa's sometimes on Sundays. We'd go to church with the Pinks, then have Sunday dinner with everyone. We used to go hunting for old Indian relics with the Pink kids, in the woods behind their house. I remember the Town Fair on the hill across from Grandma and Grandpa's, and how much fun it was to go there. It was always decorated so nice. In Wareham, I remember the fish place (restaurant) on the corner as you were going into town. Dad used to get fish there every Friday for the old sisters and I'd always ask mom if we could get fish too! We used to go sledding on the hill across the street on Warr avenue. One time, we were on saucers and one hit Charlene in the face and broke her nose!
38: I remember when I was about 3 years old I got a fire truck for my birthday and it had a hose that squirted water. I remember that when I was about 10 years old I got to ride in one of the Wareham parades in the Fire Truck with Dad. I was in the front seat and got to pull the cord for the truck horn! I remember Dad calling me his little chickadee. I remember riding in the taxi with Dad to pick up the cranberry ladies and getting to eat some of the berries. I remember having chicken pox in second grade but while I was home from school I got to answer the taxi phone and send out the dispatches: KBA 2506. I remember going to Martha’s Vineyard with the radio club and it was a stormy day. I remember going to Joe's farm in Vermont on a family vacation and trying to climb the mountain in his backyard! I remember driving to Florida when I was in second grade, with us four kids in the back seat all the way there...and we stopped to see relatives in Virginia. Dad got sun poison from being in the sun all day fishing with Uncle Carl. I got to go to school with the Haarala girls and there was so much rain that we took off our shoes to walk home barefoot through the puddles. | I remember going to the National Bank of Wareham with Mom and getting the cranberry juice from the chilled dispenser they had. You knew summer was here when the cranberry juice was at the bank! I remember Sundays. We would come home from Sunday School and we would look forward to a big dinner. Mom would almost always have music playing on the record player. Once in a while we could even pick out what albums to play! Nat King Cole was a favorite...or Louis Armstrong. Christmas was the best as we had several Christmas albums: Burl Ives, Bing Crosby and many classics. Since we had a big Sunday dinner, mom let us kids take turns making Sunday supper. Sometimes it was Ritz crackers and peanut butter, but my favorite was a donut half with pineapple and cinnamon sugar, broiled in the oven and served with vanilla ice cream. We all had our special favorites! I remember playing games and cards growing up, especially whist. The best was when we played with Abby Seaver and she forgot to discard the kitty, and could not figure out why she had so many cards left in her hand when everyone else was out! I remember the two '63 Chevy's we had...one was red and one was black. Dad was driving one of them to work at Nemasket (he worked nights) and a deer ran out in front of him and smashed the whole passenger side door and front fender. I remember dad working nights, and coming in some mornings in summer or on weekends, commenting that he never knew who he would find sleeping on the floor. I used to have sleepovers and sometimes we'd sleep on the living room floor and there was no place to walk! | SHARON
39: Dad was a volunteer fireman, and I remember the fire radio was on top of the fireplace mantle. It would wake us up sometimes at night when it went off. Dad would have to rush to the fire station and we'd listen to the reports about the fire. I remember the chiming clock we had on the fireplace mantle. If I woke up at night and could not get back to sleep, I'd wait for the clock to chime....4 chimes for quarter after the hour, 8 chimes for half past the hour, and 12 chimes for quarter to the hour. On the hour it would ring 16 times, then a deep "dong, dong, dong" for the hour.(three dongs would mean 3 o'clock). Then within a few seconds, Gramma Stacey's cuckoo clock would cuckoo the hour (3 cuckoos for 3 o'clock). It was a bit crazy sometimes but it was a comforting sound! I remember when Pilgrim Memorial School burned down. It was summer time, and Aunt Carol and Uncle Carl were visiting from Florida. It was the summer between 4th and 5th grade for me ...1966, I think. The fire alarm went off in the middle of the nite and dad rushed out to the fire station. When we all heard what the fire was, we piled into Aunt Carol and Uncle Carl's car to go to the fire. I remember it was a big Mercedes and there were 11 of us crammed into the car (before seatbelt laws, of course....) I remember Christmas day. Us kids would all wake up early and go downstairs ooohing and aaahhing at the presents under the tree. Mom would let us open our stockings but that was all, because then we went to church. We went to the sunrise service for many years (I used to sing in the children's choir) then would open our presents when we came home from church. Later in the day we'd go to Gramma and Grampa Boulter's house in Norfolk, where the whole family would gather....Mom had 5 brothers and sisters and we were 27 cousins all together (more or less). Us kids used to sit on the steps at Gramma and Grampa's while we opened presents because there was no room in the living room for us all! I remember dad bought me a chemistry set one year for Christmas. Funny, since I always wanted to be a teacher. But then I actually studied chemistry in college :-).
40: Every so often, Dad would wake us up early and say "c'mon, we're going to your grandparents for breakfast"...it was always a treat because most of the time there were donuts there, and most of the cousins would be there too (because they all lived close!). It was a special treat for us to go there since it took about an hour and we didn't do it every week. It was before 495 was open, and we'd go 25 to 24 to 106 to 140 to 115. There is a bridge we went underI think it was Rte 1... And it was right before we got to 115. It was "Dad's Bridge", because every time we went under it (coming and going) he beeped the horn. Dad said he started doing that when he was dating mom and never got into an accident. He did it every trip while we were growing up, and when us kids started driving, we started beeping under the bridge too. Ron and I still beep under Dad's bridge when we go that way. Dad has always liked to drive...taxi, trucks, buses, cars. We would be going somewhere and dad would announce that he was taking a shortcut, sometimes his shortcuts were long cuts....and we would always joke about them (and sometimes groan about them if we were in the car!)...but dad was always able to find his way. He always had a great sense of direction, even if it was not the route originally planned! I remember dad getting a bushel of scallops from a friend of his one time, and I helped to shuck them. We, of course, ate some as we shucked them! We were at the kitchen sink so long, that Laurel Weller called to ask what we were doing...especially since she didn't usually see dad at the sink! Laurel was our "nosey neighbor" and we often joked back and forth about what was going on at our house or hers. | Dad did not cook too many things, but one of my favorites growing up was his beef stew. He used a lot of black pepper and it was the most spicy thing that we ate, I think! Later in life he has become more famous for his pot roast. Dad makes pot roast that will put any New England chef to shame. It is the best in the world, and if we know he is making it, we usually invite ourselves to dinner! Dad is also a good breakfast cook...pancakes and French toast are his breakfast specialties, if we are lucky enough to get there early in the morning! Family barbecues always had salad and baked beans. Mom's favorite meal is salad, and we always joke that if there is salad, Mom might not eat anything else. Mom's doctored-up baked beans are always the best and even our kids' friends make them the way Mom does, cuz they love them so much!
41: The biggest joke is the plasticware, however. If we are out in a restaurant (even sometimes at a party...), we will bring any good plasticware home for Mom. At all of Mom's parties she has three shoeboxes full of plastic ware...one for knives, one for forks, one for spoons. We have never run out!! Mom has never met a food she doesn't like. We always joke that she is not a good taste tester for new recipes cuz she likes everything! When I was young, I remember that she tried to eat the silver leaf decoration on a cake as she thought it was candied! Ron and I made spicy shrimp one day and mom wanted to try it. She took one bite and said "oh this is good" then very quickly " oh this is spicy" but then another bite with "oh this is good" of course, followed by another "oh this is spicy"! She had two servings and alternated each bite with those two phrases the whole time!! | Mom never wanted a clothes dryer. She always loved the smell of the fresh air on the clothes that were dried outside. Even in the winter she would (still does!) hang the clothes outside. Of course, that means many of them freeze before they are dry, then Mom brings them in the house to thaw out. I remember many days trying to bring in frozen sheets, frozen pants, frozen shirts, etc...they were not easy to carry as they were stiff as a board! We all know that Dad loves music. One of the best times was when he was in his band, the BCG Trio, with Betty and George (hence, the B-C-G). They played at many events, including the senior center and nursing homes. They even made a recording of their own!
42: SHAWN I remember my first pair of converse high-top sneakers that we bought in the shoe store in Wareham. When I put them on I felt just like Dr. J. I remember playing Cowboys and Indians at the field near Warr's Marina with Kevin Kahrman and Teddy Donahue...we'd hide out in the wooden cradles that held the boats and shoot arrows at each other... It's amazing no one got hurt! I remember Christmas mornings in Wareham. It wasn't all the presents I looked forward to, but the stocking bag with THOUSANDS of gifts inside, all individually wrapped. I remember the two large pine trees on the side of the house in Wareham. My first bedroom was right next to them and when the wind blew, they brushed against the side of the house and scared me to death. I remember going to Gramma and Grampa's and I'd drag out Gramma Bo's toy box from under the curio cabinet and play with all the cowboys and Indians. I remember Saturday chores. I was supposed to help clean the house on Saturday mornings so it would be done when Mom got home from work at noon. I'd do my chores for about 20 minutes, then turn on the TV to watch Saturday morning cartoons. When mom came home from work, I'd be in trouble if my chores were not done, which they usually weren't!
43: MICHELLE I remember when I used to think gram had a store in her basement when she would have it all stocked with soda and canned food. I was so impressed, I thought the food came with the house. I don’ t remember exactly but I hear the story of when I opened up a Christmas gift and it was a box of tissues. You know how you can never trust the box! But I guess I said “wow tissues” - I was so excited. Guess I was the joke that Christmas. | DAN I remember grandpa cooking french toast for me when I was a kid, and how he still makes it when I come visit. I remember the sledding parties we used to have late at night in the winter, sliding down the hill in the back yard. We would come in at night, frozen, and have hot chocolate.
44: CAITLIN I remember sleeping over at Grandma and Grandpa's when I was little. We would play Uno for hours, then I would get to watch Grandma take her teeth out, which I always thought was the most amazing trick ever. I laugh every time Grandpa covers up the "B" on his "Nice Bass" tank top, because he laughs every time he does it. I remember how Grandma used to keep Velamints in the front closet and Mentos in her dresser drawers. I remember the first time Graig and I played Rummikub with Grandma and Grandpa, and Graig nicknamed Grandpa "Cheatin Charlie." He would take extra turns or extra tiles if no one was paying attention. Graig asked me if I noticed it, and I said "we're used to it." I love that Grandpa loves going out to breakfast, and is always willing to go with you. I don't love that he always wants to go at 7am. But to see how happy breakfast makes him, it's worth it! I remember Grandma and Grandpa's matching jackets...and how he always kisses her hello or goodbye. How they laugh at each other, and don't take things too seriously.
45: ERIC I remember when Lucky the “Donut Dog” ate 11 out of 12 donuts that grandpa brought when he came to visit us in New York. He was so mad, and ever since she was known as the Donut Dog. But at least she left one for grandpa... I remember when Cheryl and I gave Grandma some joke salt-water taffy – it was a joke because it was really salty, and definitely not supposed to be eaten. Grandma ate the whole box, and when we stopped laughing long enough to ask her how it was, she said “It was good, a little salty but still good!” I remember Grandpa playing Frank Sinatra on his Keyboard during the holidays. | CHERYL I remember Grandpa and his band, the BCG TRIO, and how all of my friends thought it was so cool that my Grandpa was in a band. I thought so, too. I remember going to visit Grandma Marge and Grandpa Chuck when I was in college and living in Massachusetts for the summer. I would walk in and say “Hi Grandma, what’s for lunch?” and we would always end up having grilled cheese (or so it seemed), one of my favorites. It was even better after I learned how to butter the right side of the bread. I’ll always remember the blue and yellow carpet (the one Caitlin got a piece of in the mail) and all of the good times we had sitting on that carpet at family parties.
46: I remember sitting with Grandma on the breezeway and hearing about all of the foster children that she and Grandpa took care of when they were younger. I have always wanted foster children and so it was especially nice to hear about my extended-extended family, most of whom I’ve never met but who have obviously impacted Grandma and Grandpa. I remember a trip to Kathy Johns where we ordered a HUGE sundae and the whole family had to share it. I remember all the games we played (and still play) with Grandma and Grandpa and the family, like Uno, Rummikub, Poker at Thanksgiving, and the countless jigsaw puzzles. I remember sledding in Grandma and Grandpa’s backyard until the sun went down and I had a headache from going over all the bumps we made. It was always so warm and cozy when we finally came inside. I remember the Wrentham House of Pizza parties and getting to raid Grandma and Grandpa’s fridge for all of the fun flavors of soda like root beer, ginger ale, orange and sometimes even grape. I still raid their fridge because I know there’s always a secret candy stash somewhere I remember eating breakfast out of a wooden bowl and drinking juice out a blue glass. Those blue glasses are still my favorite – they make me feel so fancy! I remember on Easter Sunday, 2013, when grandpa rubber-banded the hose next to sink because he wanted to play a trick on "one of the girls". Well, the prank backfired when grandma was the first to turn on the faucet and got sprayed right in the face! | I remember so many trips to Rosewood and how we always had room for ice cream at the end. I remember all of the Thanksgivings where we would show up at Grandma and Grandpa's and basically just have a giant table of food at our disposal for the rest of the day. I always loved how informal it was – you could eat dessert, then eat a sandwich, then eat some chips and dip, then eat dessert, then eat another sandwich and keep going until you were full or sleepy. I remember Taffy, and how she followed Grandpa everywhere. I remember when Caitlin and I got Grandpa a tank top with a picture of both of us on it that said “From Your Favorite Granddaughter”. He couldn’t figure out why it didn’t say “granddaughters”, but that was the point! I’ll always remember how loving and generous Grandma and Grandpa are toward each other, their family and even complete strangers, and how so many of my memories revolve around simply sharing food and company in their home.
47: EXTENDED FAMILY | PHYLLIS Hot Pants Joe I've known Marge and Charlie for about 64 years, but I've known Charlie since he was in high school. I knew him from church, as my mother, Nellie Whiting, and Charlie's mother, Ruth Stacey, were friends from church. My mother went to Marge and Charlie's wedding but I did not. I met Marge after they were married. My husband, Joe, had a car and we used to drive them sometimes since they did not have a car. I think they were living in Onset and we drove them home one night. We had a small car and there was not much room in it. It was really a 3-seater so Marge used to sit in Charlie's lap. As we were driving we could all smell smoke but it did not smell like the car....finally we stopped and all got out to see what it was. It was Joe's pants! He had a pack of matches in his back pocket that were smoldering because of the friction from us all being squished in the car! Visiting Marge After Marge and Charlie moved to Wrentham, I used to visit them and spend a few days there. Marge was never one to waste anything and her leftovers were always in various small containers in her refrigerator. One day I was making toast and got the tub of butter out and put it on my toast. It was easy to spread (it was the soft kind) but it tasted a bit funny. Of course, when Marge heard me comment on the funny taste, she burst out laughing. She had scraped out the rest of the mayonnaise jar and put the last couple tablespoons in the (empty and washed) butter tub. Everyone who knows Marge should know that you can't always trust what is in the package and I got caught that time!
48: Marge and I worked in the office at Newman's department store in Wareham for many years. She was the bookkeeper and I was the office manager. Wilma Tribou was a sales clerk there. Wilma, Marge and I all lived in Pinehurst Beach, about a mile from the store on Main Street in Wareham. Every year for our wedding anniversaries the three of us, and our husbands (Charlie, Joe and Elmer), would go out for dinner. We also had a special strawberry shortcake feast at Wilma and Elmer's house every June when strawberries were in season. Wilma always made her famous homemade shortcake, which was Elmer's mother's recipe. I never liked cats. Joe and I had a dog named Freckles and I loved dogs, but not cats. Every time I visited Marge and Charlie in Wareham, their cat Peter would come jump on my lap and sleep with me. I finally just gave up and let him stay there since if I shooed him away he would come right back! Marge and Charlie and Joe and I went on a cruise to Bermuda with their in-laws, Rose and Walter Nunes. We had lots of laughs and lots of fun on that vacation! When I went to visit Marge and Charlie in Wrentham, we would play Uno or Rummikub. I always told Marge and Charlie's kids that I knew them before they were born!
49: Bob and I were next door neighbors to Marge and Charlie when we lived on Warr Avenue in Wareham, many years ago. Couldn't have asked for better neighbors. We watched their children grow up and always thought of what a happy, loving family they were! I knew Charlie even before that, in high school. Bob has gone to a Better Place, and we all miss him, of course. Marge worked for Newman's department store for many years as their bookkeeper. Charlie had his own cab company. We watched the kids growing up. I particularly remember when I had an accident while riding my bicycle and spent three weeks in the hospital, Charlene had her class at school write little notes to me. I was SO impressed! That's just the kind of folks all the Stacey's were, and are. So thoughtful and kind. | LAUREL WELLER | The Nosey Neighbor But I really wanted to tell you about why Marge always refers to herself as the Nosey Neighbor. The architecture of their house was a little different, in that the stairs going up to the second floor had a window which could look right into our living room. Nobody thought anything about it until this incident: One night Bob and I were trying to fix one of the Venetian blinds while on our hands and knees on the floor. Upon observing this, Marge picked up the phone, dialed 295-2187, and said when I answered: H-E-L-L-O, this is your nosey neighbor....what are you doing on the floor? Cracked us up! Ever since then, she refers to herself as the nosey neighbor. I just wish you could have heard her voice. She kind of drawled out the HELLO. She and Charlie will forever be known as our Nosey Neighbors. Currently, I am living in a retirement community in Florida, known as The Villages. Some "Villages" – at last count there are 144,000 homes here. Our other neighbors, who lived in back of us were the Kahrman's. They moved down here first, and encouraged Bob and me to come down. After Bob died, I looked into it, and decided to come and I am so glad I did because I was able to be of assistance to them when they needed it. We were all just one big happy family on Warr Ave. I keep asking Marge and Charlie to come to see me. No snow shoveling down here! Anyway, thanks for asking me to contribute. My pleasure. As I typed, I kept recalling so many happy memories. LOVE TO ALL!
50: MONICA Just a short note from the Swede for Mom and Dad on their 65th: Considering that it was 39 years ago and that I’m not all that bright eyed any longer (although still bushy tailed!) I do remember seeing you for the first time at Logan, after some 20 hours in the air or waiting at airports (It was more of a journey then, nowadays it’s more like a trip). Anyway, I felt right at home! But I did almost fall asleep at the table as we stopped for ice cream on our way to Wareham. I even let Sharon have the last bit of my ice cream since I was so sleepy – something that has never happened again after that day! I also had big problems choosing when the lady at the counter ask me what I wanted – 32 flavors, unheard of! 32, all under one roof! | Swinging on a Star I remember singing along when Charlie played the piano at home, I didn’t know any of the lyrics but got the hang of it after a while. Charlie played “Happy Days Are Here Again”, “Old Cape Cod” and a lot of other songs, but I liked “Swingin’ On A Star” best because the lyrics are funny. I still like it A fish won't do anything but swim in a brook He can't write his name or read a book To fool all the people is his only thought Though he's slippery, he still gets caught But then if that sort of life is what you wish You may grow up to be a fish And all the monkeys aren't in a zoo Every day you meet quite a few So you see, it's all up to you You can be better than you are You could be swingin' on a star
51: I remember going to Gramma and Grandpa Boulter’s and Charlie beeping the horn as we passed under a certain bridge, just because it brought him luck when dating, and later, when proposing to Marge. It must be proven that it works without a doubt by now, after 65 years and counting! I remember Marge’s meatball sauce with spaghetti, the yummiest you’ve ever had. I asked if we could have that for my birthday, and sure enough, a big pot emerged on the table on March 2nd, 1974, so now you know what you ate then. I remember Cracker Jacks and root beer too (which I don’t like) and cinnamon gum and stuffed clams (which I do like), and how I don’t want to do without any of it as it’s part of my American life. I also remember driving the Buick with a steering wheel stick shift, which impressed my father (and uncle) to no end – his daughter driving a car like that! I remember when you threw a surprise birthday party for me when I turned 18 and Freddie had to tell me that it was actually planned, because I said something about it being strange that so many people happened to come to the house at the same time. Me being naive, no I don’t think! I also remember that you took the trouble of arranging a party in my honor when I returned, very many years later, together with my husband, Nils and our three kids: Hillevi, Thomas and Niklas, to see you in 2001. The kids still talk about “Red Sox stink” – the sentence which is the solid foundation upon which their English skills rely... My uncle and aunt, Olle and Sonja, celebrate their 60th anniversary on Nov 9, but you are far ahead, you are the record holders! From all of us here on the other side of the Atlantic – All the best, we wish you many more anniversaries in the years to come! Love, Monica and family
52: JEN & ARTIE We are very happy to have been adopted into the family and to be included in all of the get-togethers. Family Christmas is always a fun day! One thing that we both remember as a fun day was when we all dressed in Red Sox regalia. Artie and I always enjoy sitting at the table talking to Marge and Charlie. We are especially interested in talking about Onset and Wareham since we have happy childhood memories of this area. | WENDY IEZZI & BARBARA PARKER A very happy 65th anniversary to my second Mom & Dad during school, especially in the summers. Pinehurst Beach was my second home! We had a lot of fun and laughs! Whether It was watching eels squirming in the pan while they were being cooked (I'll never forget that one!) or just hanging out with Sharon and me dressed in our smile t-shirts, coke pants and red, white and blue sneakers, I have a lot of cherished memories. Hope we can see each other soon like we planned. Happy anniversary! Love, Wendy Hi Marge and Charlie-I just wanted to say "hi" and wish you a happy anniversary. Thank you for your friendship over the years and especially for visiting me at the nursing home recently. Best Wishes, Love, Barbara
53: REVEREND SCOTT November 11, 2012 Happy Anniversary Charlie and Marge! It seems like only yesterday that you were two young adults falling in love. You stood before God and your families and friends and declared your love right here in the sanctuary of this church. And today we gather as your church family to wish you congratulations as you celebrate sixty-five years of marriage! I have only known you for five of those sixty-five years, but it has been a great pleasure sharing these few years with you. I thank you for sharing your family with us. It was indeed a pleasure to perform your granddaughter’s wedding! Thank you for giving us the gift of music. Obviously, the entire church and the community has enjoyed the gift of Southern Rail. What a blessing! But I also thank Charlie for those worship services at Hillcrest Village at which he played the piano with us. Thank you for your generosity. Your family provided a beacon for this community when you donated the new sign board for the front of the church. Sharing sixty-five years of marriage sixty-five years of love and commitment and faithfulness is quite a milestone. Even more, it is an inspiration for all of us in our personal relationships. May God bless you many more years of happiness! Sincerely, Reverend Scott W. Cousineau
54: Southern Rail Playing Bluegrass since 1978. Bookings: Sharon Horovitch PO Box 323, Watertown, MA 02471 781-891-0258 bluegrass@SouthernRail.com http://SouthernRail.com _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Dec. 3/2012 Dear Marge and Charlie, All of us in Southern Rail, Sharon, Jim, Rich and John, want to congratulate you both on your 65th anniversary. What an amazing accomplishment! The love that you feel for each other is an inspiration to us. (When Jim and I grow up we want to be just like you!) :>) It’s always a joy and a privilege to perform for you both. Whenever we see your smiling faces in the audience it really warms our hearts. (And if Jim ever forgets the lyrics, all he has to do is look in your direction! I’m not kidding... ) Please accept our fond wishes for another 65 years of health, happiness, love, laughter and of course wonderful music! hugs, Sharon, Jim, Rich, and John
56: “I’m the favorite because I live the closest and I’m the youngest.” | “I am the favorite just because. Not sure why any one else would even think they were.” | “I'm the favorite grandchild because Grandma and Grandpa told me I was. Obviously. I didn't even know there were other grandkids." | “I’m the favorite because I’m the weirdest.” | “I’m the favorite because I married someone with the right name AND I had the first great grand-daughter.” | “I’m the favorite because I’m the tallest.” | “I’m the favorite because of Miss July and food.” | “Im the favorite because I had the first great-grandchild.” | THE FAVORITES
57: CONGRATULATIONS GRANDMA & GRANDPA! We are so happy to celebrate 65 years (and counting) of... | LOVE | LAUGHTER | FAMILY | FRIENDSHIP | AND...
58: A WHOLE LOT OF CAKE!
59: WE LOVE YOU!