Joe DiPietro has been a fixture in the Bellingham, MA educational program for as long as many of us can remember. He was the superintendent of Bellingham Schools his last five years in the school system, and before that he taught high school, was a guidance director and spent twenty-five years as elementary school principal of South School Elementary, Pinecrest, Keough, the old South School and Assumption School when it was under the purview of the Bellingham School Department. [As told to Marjorie Turner Hollman] Continue reading
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Joe DiPietro reflects on being a first generation immigrant, teaching and more
Pierrette Corriveau: Fond memories of Silver Lake
Pierrette Corriveau was born in Bellingham, MA at Silver Lake, but says that she and her mother must have been transported to Woonsocket, RI immediately afterwards since her birth was registered in Woonsocket. She has stayed in this area her whole life, raising seven children with her husband, the late Eugene Corriveau, who for many years was the town collector and Treasurer in Bellingham. [As told to Marjorie Turner Hollman] Continue reading
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Filed under Blog Posts-Personal Histories
There’s no Place like Home
Barbara Eldredge Eltzroth has lived in Bellingham her entire life. She and her brothers grew up directly across from the First Baptist church in the center of town at the corner of 126 and 140. In those days almost anything they might need was within walking distance of their house.
I don’t think I did much exciting growing up, sitting on our front porch and watching the army trucks go by on Saturday mornings. Continue reading
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Filed under Profiles- published news articles of businesses and individuals
Harpin Recalls Adventurous, Mischievous Times
Courtesy Bellingham Bulletin by Marjorie Turner Hollman
Roland Harpin was born and raised in Bellingham, and other than his military service and ten years in California, he has lived in this area his whole life.He now lives in Blackstone and has been a home builder, architectural designer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Semi-retired, he is working on his latest business venture, ProSaver Cards, which offer discounts on services from hundreds of area merchants.He sat down in his office in Hopedale recently to talk about growing up in Bellingham. [As told to Marjorie Turner Hollman]
Poirier Street in South Bellingham, where I lived from 1951, was a dead-end street. The cul de sac was added later, along with more houses. Just through the woods at the end of the street is a brook, part of the Peter’s River. We had plenty of fun there, playing with frogs and snakes. Continue reading
Jeanne Kempton remembers Bellingham
Jeanne Thayer Kempton has lived in Bellingham her whole life. Many people know Jeanne from her days as the secretary at Clara Macy School Elementary School. On top of her secretarial duties she also played the piano for school functions. She started getting involved in elections as a clerk, back in 1949. These days you’ll see Jeanne working at the polls on election days, or playing the piano for weeknight services at the First Baptist Church. [As told to Marjorie Turner Hollman]
I was born in the house right next door to where I live now in Bellingham. My grandfather owned the Thayer General store—the building that is still right across from the police station in the center of town. The [present day] nail salon was the horse barn. Continue reading
Kathryn Whiting: Growing up with a mother who loved all of her children
Many people in Bellingham know Kathryn Whiting and her husband George from when they ran for many years Country Charm, a hair dressing salon on South Main Street. George was born in Bellingham while Kathryn moved here from New York when she was six months old. Both Kathryn and George grew up here in Bellingham, met in high school, married and raised a family here. Kathryn spoke to Marjorie Turner Hollman about her mother who was widowed when Kathryn was six years old, and the challenging life her mother led as a single parent.
My father had a successful upholstery business in New York City and met my mother there, where she was a registered nurse. My father was from the Boston area and took sick when I was just a tiny baby. Because of his illness he lost his business in New York. They came back here to Bellingham when I was six months old. Continue reading
Ida Hood Parker—Electricity Comes to Bellingham, and Simple Stories of Farm Life
Ida Hood Parker has lived nearly her whole life in Bellingham. She has lost two beloved husbands, seen many changes, and is still ready to make new friends. She shared some stories with Marjorie of growing up in Bellingham and has clearly retained her sense of humor. The following is an edited version of the conversation Ida and Marjorie had in Ida’s home.
The day electricity came to town here in Bellingham everyone else but me was in school, so I stood alone on the front steps as they put the poles in on South Main Street (where I lived), one pole after the other. I was five years old. The workers had to trim so many trees to get the wires through. Continue reading
I Remember…Life In the Tropics
My Dad, Don Kuhl, was born in Minnesota, but his family left there when Don was fourteen, hoping to find a place where his father could live in less pain from his arthritis. After traveling to California and finding that Don’s father still had a lot of pain—it was 1937—the family drove back across the country and finally settled in Miami, Florida. Don embraced life in South Florida, especially the easy access to the ocean. He spent many hours fishing, skin diving, and just plain enjoying the wonders of life in a tropical climate. Don died recently, at home in his favorite green chair. He was always my best listener; I will miss him.
The following are excerpts from Don’s memoir, “From Minnesota to Florida: Finding a place in the Sun—Kuhl Family Stories. http://tinyurl.com/cwk3prv Additionally, I’ve included a story Don’s sister Betty told me after Don’s memoir went to press. It gives me a hint of where our family’s sense of humor came from. MTH
Life in the Tropics: Miami, Florida in the late 1930’s
Don: When I was in high school, I enjoyed skin diving in Miami with my friends. We couldn’t go out and buy commercial masks or flippers then; we had to make them ourselves. My friends had made masks, and they helped me make one for myself out of red rubber. You cut it to fit around your face, cut a piece of glass to fit your face, then used metal to hold it together. The fellows I was with right after high school had made the masks and they helped me make my spear gun. Continue reading