Jourgensen: Don’t knock it until you try it

This article was published 4 year(s) and 10 month(s) ago.

Another All Hallow’s Eve is in the books and a resident expert reminded me on Wednesday how he would make his way down to Nahant Street to trick-or-treat and money in the form of nickels taped together made its way into his candy sack.

I seem to recall always receiving those little boxes of Milk Duds, although similar-sized containers of Junior Mints were a more prized commodity and Butterfingers topped the list of desired treats. I never got any money but the occasional apple or even a homemade treat made its way into the sack to be quickly set aside in favor of candy once the counting and swapping started at the end of trick-or-treat rounds.


Lenny Desmarais wore a short-sleeved shirt on the coldest day this week and wondered why a guy from Wyoming was bundled up in a hat and parka on an October day. I didn’t have a ready answer for the deputy chief but I opined as how we were always ready back in Casper for the first major freeze to hit the High Plains. It’s funny to remember back to days when heavy wool provided what passed for cold weather gear. Gloves, hats, mittens and coats were all wool and there was nothing more memorable than the smell of wet wool on a cold day. Wool gloves invariably filled up with snow and froze hard enough to grate your nose when you ran the back of the glove across it.

I’ll never forget the time I wore a wool-lined coat with a vinyl outer shell one winter day and backed up into a hot radiator. I don’t remember what was worse: the smell of fried vinyl or the sensation of trying to get unstuck from the radiator.


An informed caller was kind enough to sing the praises of taxi driver Nate Dulong who was credited in February 1978 with saving people from a Lynn fire. “He was an outstanding driver and the people who rode in his cab really loved him.”


I hope the “cigar lady” mural between Munroe and Oxford streets and the small mural facing Oxford don’t fall victim to the construction poised to start soon. It’s interesting to contemplate a semi-high-rise building under construction downtown after years of residential development focused on giving new life to old buildings.


A dive into the Item’s morgue revealed how 1,200 people attended a cooking school held in the Paramount Theatre and billed as the Chamber of Commerce Kitchen Classics Cooking School. The Item described how “a throng of homemakers” descended on the theater on Sept. 22, 1959. Cooking schools apparently proved popular over the years with another held in 1950 at the Capitol Theatre and still another making the news in 1886.


I’m only 60 but the more I type up the weekly senior center activity listings in Lynnfield and Peabody, the more I want to drive over to Salem Street or the Torigian Center and learn about Japanese bunka, take interim Italian or find out exactly how to play Canasta.

Who doesn’t want a day built around learning to dance, going to a movie, lunch, a quick blood pressure check (there’s no way your blood pressure is high after a day of well-rounded fun) and a tai chi class followed by watercolors, then book club.

It seems the life of fun and games we enjoyed in kindergarten (at least in the 1960s) comes full circle thanks to well-run senior centers with enthusiastic staffs. Hey, don’t knock it until you try it.

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