Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Well, no.  I mean I was born in Lowell because that's where the nearest hospital was, but I was raised on a small farm the next town over.  But when I was very young, our town did not have a supermarket, or a grocery store, or much of anything, really, except a cranberry bog.  So we were in Lowell a lot.  Kitty and I were married in Lowell and out first apartment and our first house were in Lowell, both of our girls were born in Lowell -- nearby hospital, remember?

James Whistler was born in Lowell, a fact he tried to bury.  Davy Crockett once visited Lowell, and Edgar Allan Poe once did some courting there.  Lowell was the home of Jack Kerouac...he, Bette Davis, mezzo-soprano Rosalind Elias, actor Michael Ansara, crime writer Dan J. Marlowe, and the Ray half of Bob and Ray were all born in Lowell.  The United States Industrial Revolution began in Lowell.  CVS pharmacies started in Lowell, as did Moxie, the first mass-produced soft drink produced in America (remember Moxie? it tastes like sarsaparilla with an onion thrown in it), and Father John's Medicine.  Game manufacturer Milton Bradley and entertainer Ed McMahon grew up in Lowell.  And remember that Mark Wahlberg movie The Fighter?  Yep, Micky Ward is a Lowell boy.

My daughter Jessie sent us the link to this song and it brought back many memories or places and people no longer with us.  We ate at Elliott's and the Owl Diner, we shopped at Mammoth Mart, we ate at the first McDonald's (but preferred Kelly's which had opened earlier and had ten cent hamburgers, five cent hot dogs, and -- gack! -- clam fritters), we skated at the Hi-Hat roller rink, partied at Prince Spaghettiville, worked at Jordan Marsh (which had taken over the Bon Marche), filmed the Lowell Folk Festival for local television, worked for the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, and volunteered at Boarding House Park.  I once sent former presidential candidate Paul Tsongas on an errand to get plastic trash bags, and spent a night in the Lowell City Jail for paying a parking ticket (don't ask).

So let me share some of my memories with you.  The song was written by Michael Noonan and sung by Kevin G. Moore.


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