Christmas on Hinckly Street Somerville


By Arthur Moore

It was probablyaround 1952 I think. Seems like it was not that long ago. We lived in a one bedroom apartment. At that time it was just Richard and me, the other four arrived much later on.
Kerosene heat off

the stove in kitchen and a kerosene heater in the living room. The dining room was my parent’s bedroom except for Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner.
My father was into woodworking and not yet a cabinetmaker. Worked at Hood Rubber. This Christmas I remember more than the others, why I do not know. Except for the one on 1966 when I gave my future wife her engagement ring. Of course we didn’t know we were poor which later on explained the gifts we got back then.
We would get a Christmas stocking with fruit and some of those gold coin chocolates. We thought it was such a big deal. The gifts under the tree were clothes of course. You can imagine our excitement to get clothes. But this year we got those Lincoln Logs, tons of them. We could build massive houses and forts and whatever else we wanted. My father for weeks ahead of time hand made them in the cellar. I can still remember the smell of the stain on them.
We also got a huge bag of these cheap army soldiers that were that green color. So we built forts of course. My parents had made some of the ornaments for the tree. They had moulds for a Santa and used Plaster of paris and then painted them. And we did the old popcorn on a string thing. All this seemed so much fun back them. We were happy. Dining room came apart and then we had table and chairs in there. I still don’t know where they came from.
My grandparents were going to come for dinner. We had snacks, mixed unshelled nuts, celery with mixed cream cheese and dates. I can recall the Bessey apple cider. We had the same thing Christmas and Thanksgiving, turkey, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and parsnips.
This one was so special, I don’t know why but it just stays with me and I recall it often. I hope everyone has special ones. Sadly not everyone does.
I know at some point we got those cowboy hats and guns and holsters and they used caps in them. Another we got the Daniel Boone coonskin hat and the coat with the fringe on it. I recall those but not sure when they came into the picture. I can also recall getting trains with a transformer. Again, I don’t know at what point. But we already had the Lincoln Logs so that fit into the picture. We had a hobby shop at the top of the street that had trains. Not sure if they got them there or not. Was a great place to go look at them.
Granted it was similar to my Thanksgiving story but the meals for both pretty much stayed the same for my life. Never seemed right to have anything else for dinner.
Then we moved to Park Street, that’s where we really got into Davis Square. I can’t tell you how many times we walked there regardless of the weather. But it opened up a whole new world to us for Christmas shopping and just looking around. Granted Magoun square was a great place back then but I don’t recall it having stores like Davis. Although they did have a lot of business back then. We did get down to Ball Square a little bit but just for movies as I recall back then. But Hinckley Street was where we landed when we got here. Always fond memories of it.Christmas on Hinckley Street.

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