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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Little Brush with Fame

A Little Brush with Fame

So many memories of growing up in Winthrop are fun to revisit and think about the carefree time it was, for the most part. We still had air raid sirens that blasted off and we would duck into the nearest friend’s home until the all clear sounded. We knew we were supposed to do this and to know what to do in case there was a real attack, but for the most part, it was a very loud annoyance that interfered with our afternoon of fun. There was also the occasional polio scare in the summer when some of the beaches would be closed down, or even those powerful storms, Nor’easters, that could scare the pants off you.  But seriously, Winthrop was “Happy Days” and Beaver Cleaver rolled into one. The memories are truly cheerful and rosy.

 One that stands out is playing with the girl across the street.  My mother had graduated from Winthrop High with this girl’s aunt, her mother’s sister. She was a bit younger than me but she had a sandbox, something I didn’t have in my yard. I remember quite a few happy afternoons playing in that sandbox. In the summer, there was often another girl there, a bit older than me. This girl was a cousin who had come to visit from New York City.  She stayed with her grandparents on Point Shirley most of the time, but she came to the house across the street frequently, too.  These two cousins were so blonde. I remember thinking what beautiful hair they had and wished my more honey colored blonde head looked more like theirs.

As time trudged on, my family moved away from Winthrop and I soon forgot about some of those earlier activities as other interests took my focus. We always got the shop at home catalogs and scoured through them for all the latest fashions. A friend, who still lived in Winthrop, sent me a letter telling me to look at one of the models in one of the catalogs.  There, modeling teenage clothes, was the girl from NYC who had come to visit her cousin. There, looking so grown up, was my sandbox friend. Wow! I was so impressed. Not long after, I got another letter from my friend in Winthrop, saying that this young model was going to be in moving pictures. My Winthrop friend and the family we had lived across the street from were friends, so there was much exchange of news.

 Then in 1958, my Winthrop friend wrote to me telling of a special even to be held in the Winthrop Theater. A special viewing of Walt Disney’s, A Light in the Forest, by invitation only, was to be held there. My friend was able to go, but I lived too far away. This special premier type showing for family and friends was to honor Carol Lynley who had spent so many of her younger years on Winthrop’s beaches and in her cousin’s sandbox.




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