Paul Hupper

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Member of the Silver Stringers
Contributor to the Melrose Mirror

I was born in the fair City of Melrose on September 4, 1919 at what was then called the Melrose Hospital.

Our home at the time was on Grove street for my first 13 years and spent eight of those years at Washington School, graduating in 1933. This was the last graduating class before it switched to grades one thru six.

In January of 1934, our family moved to Beverly Street and from there I attended the New Melrose High School on Lynn Fells Parkway which had just been completed during 1933. I graduated in 1937 -- the first class to complete the full four years in the new school.

During my high school years, I delivered the Melrose Free Press each Tursday and a shopping paper called The Boston Shopping News each Saturday morning with a buddy of mine. Later I delivered the evening papers for Hill News Store. In my senior year I got a job with Andrews Market on Main Street and left there just before graduation.

My first real job just before graduation was as a Mimeograph operator in the purchasing department of the Boston & Maine Railroad. Graduation was not until June, but I was allowed to leave early to go to work as my grades that last quarter were the best on all 4 years! My starting salary -- $96.00 -- per month! Remained with the railroad from May 20, 1937 through December 19, 1938 when I had the opportunity to go to work for Sun Oil Co.(Sunoco gasoline) in their newly opened branch office in Revere, Mass.

Married my first wife, also a MHS 1937 grad, on January 1, 1939. Rented a small apartment in Stoneham just over the Melrose line and not having a car travelled to Revere by bus. Later I purchased my first car, a 1937 Ford Coupe, used of course. This made travelling to work much more convenient!

One of my first jobs at Sun Oil Co. was checking in the tankers when they arrived at our terminal in Revere. This was done at any time as I was on call 24 hours a day. During the summer months, this work was fine, but in the winter it was extremely cold standing on deck and gaging the tanks and then climbing the shore storage tanks also to gage the tanks.

Our first and only child, a son, was born in January, 1943. He was also born at Melrose Hospital. Our son is a grad of MHS, Class of 1960, as were his daughter and son. When our son was six months old, Uncle Sam decided he needed me to win the war!! So in July of 1943 I entered the U.S. Navy where I spent the next 2 1/2 years, a year of which I was on North Atlantic convoy duty, but that is another story!

In November of 1957 we opened The Bible Gift Shop in Maplewood Square which we operated until 1963 when my wife and I travelled to Cartegena, Colombia, South America and spent about six months with a missionary. For awhile, I tried to teach some of the native children how to subtract fractions, etc. Not knowing but a little Spanish and they no English, it was a lot of fun!

Upon returning to the states, we moved to DeLand, Florida where my first wife still lives. I moved to the Daytona Beach area and in 1978 moved to Winter Park, Florida, just north of Orlando and remarried and and have been married for nearly 21 years and all in Winter Park.

I worked full time in the printing business up until about three years ago but still do some printing in the garage of my home, such as numbering, diecutting,scoreing and perforating for other printers. This is mostly a part time endeavor and is something that I really enjoy having been associated in one way or another with printing for over 70 years!

Articles by Paul Hupper
id 2063 My father had work, but many didn't -- Great Depression - 11/7/98
id 2322 Even Half-dozen Atlantic Crossings -- In a DE -- Remembering WW-II -- 11/9/98
id 2865 Total Eclipse of Sun in 1932 -- Features -- 9/2/99
id 5539 Hard times : the 1930's -- Feature -- 11/2/01
id 9911 Growing up in Melrose (Part One) -- Feature -- 10/01/04
id 9912 Growing up in Melrose (Part Two) -- Feature --11/5/04
id 9913 Growing up in Melrose (Part Three) -- Feature --12/3/04
id 9910 Christmas eve warmth -- Features 12/3/04