Chester Chatter: When owning a car was a luxury

By Ruthie Douglas
©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC

My father though himself mighty lucky to have gotten a job at the Fellows Gear Shaper during the early 1940s. He had five daughters to support.

His pay did not stretch far enough to allow him to purchase a car and he instead walked to work each day. It was quite a long way. He worked 12-hour shifts and carried a lunch pail. He was certainly tired by the time he got home for supper.

When I was in the fourth grade, we got a car. It was a 1941 Chevy. Black. No heart. No radio. No defroster. It also had running boards.

Come Sunday after dinner, we all went for a ride. My sister Marie and I sat in the back seat. In cold weather we had a lap robe to keep us warm. At long last we had a car and we could go places.

Come summer, we took trips, such as to Bensons’ Animal Farm and Lake Sunapee. Every one in a while, we went down to Greenfield, Mass., to visit Aunt Lou. This was quite a trip and my mother packed a lunch. My sister and I would be hungry before long  — and before it was time for lunch — because we could smell it from the trunk of the car.

For lunch, we always stopped at the roadside coming down the hill into Putney. One the way home looking out the back window we always thought the moon was following us home.

We traveled far up into Maine. We’d rent a cottage on Lake Hortensia for two weeks and took day trips from there. This is how I know you don’t have to go far or spend a lot of money to have a good time and, most of all, make wonderful memories.

Out and about

The Domino Chicks gathered at my home one day last week. It was a time to catch up on my year residing at the Springfield Rehab. We quickly fell right back into our old routine. Popcorn, watermelon and cold drinks made for a fun time. Elaine Amsden was the winner.

Joe and Jean Bolaski celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary on Sunday. Happy days you two.

Happy birthday to Myrt Graham.

  • Answer to last week’s trivia question: Steamtown pulled out of Chester on Aug. 3, 1983.
  • This week’s trivia question: When did Neil Armstrong walk on the moon?

Street Talk

Where is your favorite place for a picnic?

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Filed Under: Chester ChatterCommunity and Arts Life

About the Author: Ruthie Douglas is originally from Springfield but has called Chester her home for 58 years, and has been writing the Chester Chatter column for more than 40 of those years. Ruthie is also a longtime volunteer throughout the community.

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  1. Hi Ruthie,
    Glad to hear that you are back in saddle and riding high!
    I will try to stop in to visit and teach you how to play cribbage, if you want to.
    Have a wicked good day!
    Phil 🙂