Melrose, as it was 50 years ago

... Ah, such sweet memories

from Don Norris

When we moved to Melrose in 1947, this beautiful (but unusual) mock-up of a ship, located on Route 1 in Lynnfield, was the place to be seen. As I remember, the food was adequate, but the ambiance was outstanding. Unfortunately, The Ship went under not too long after, replaced by some sort of sailing vessel, which then was replaced with some other nautical dressings. The restaurant is still there, however, sitting now among a string of house facades that serve as a front for an oddities store.

Left-over from the 1960s is this beautiful news photo, which first appeared in the Melrose Free Press, of the key people in the new chapter of American Association of University Women. Stretching our memories, we can identify half the ladies: At the left is Jean Creedon; in the middle is Joanne Walker, and standing at the right is host Lorry Norris. The time was mid-1960s.

This is from more modern history: 2014! Two Melrosians, both editors of this Melrose Mirror, joined some 50 other seniors at a week-long seminar on the works of Ken Burns. It happened at what was a religious camp in the deep woods of New Hampshire, just south of Keene, was well-worth the $600 tuition (which included adequate accomodations and meals) and several day trips. We did not, however, get to meet Mr. Burns, for he was elsewhere (Hollywood) putting the finishing touches on yet another historical film -- the Roosevelts. The two Melrose reps were Louise Fennell (key person on the MMTV program, "Have You Been Here?"), and retired journalist Don Norris. Don is the tall fellow with the white cap, right in the middle; Louise is two bodies to the left. We both endorse the study program. Cost for the two weeks course was $600, including room and board; a further trip Norris wants, to Cuba, is a little more: $2000, plus airfare to Florida.

Memories: A class of art students met regularly in the lower hall of the First Baptist Church, for instructions from Don. The group travelled about New England over several seasons, stopping to paint some attractive scene.

How times change: This is a copy of a 1949 airline ticket from Newark, NJ, to Boston. Lorry Norris (a school nurse in Melrose for many years) was returning to studies at Simmons College, from her home in New Jersey. Note the price to fly 250 miles, Newark to Boston: The fare is $11.15, plus $1.67 in taxes, totaling $12.82.

And finally, the traditional family photo of the Norris clan: There is Lorraine and Don with children Namcy, Joanne and David. The year was about 1964 -- just about a half century ago.

December 5, 2014

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