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Continuing to Look Back ~ Gloucester Depot
Memories from Peter Todd

Looking at today's building construction work I cannot help but bring to my readers my recollection of that area when I used to have a shoeshine stand at the Gloucester Depot.

First I must say the building that is being built is nothing like the Gloucester Depot. The Depot as I remember it was long, but the back of the building ended where the walkway is now. My fondest memories are with the working people of the Depot. First and foremost I remember the man that ran the Newsstand & Concessions. His name, or at least I called him Bunny, I think it was because he had pure white hair. The ticket agent was Roger Edwards, a kind and loving person who was always concerned for my safety. In my working with my shoeshine box I would shine peoples shoes on my knees along the walkway. My Dad, being concerned and he working the railroad, asked Roger if he could get me a shoeshine stand, and before I knew it Roger was sending a message to North Station and the next day I had one.

I not only shined shoes at the Depot, but also I would shine all the Yellow Cab Drivers' shoes, and the Gloucester Auto Bus Drivers' shoes. I fondly remember Mr. Hildonen's shoes, they were about size fourteen or larger. Mayor Corliss was a steady customer of mine, just as Elliott Parsons was. The Depot Cafe was another place that was to me my second home. Mary & Jerry were like adopted Aunts & Uncles. They would give me parties for all occasions. Harbor Cafe was also a good stop, but usually Bob Whynott would beat me out there . Next door to that we had the Clam Shell. I remember when George wanted to clean the place he would open the front and back door and hose the place down. Dave Spittle had the best do-nuts in town, something that Dunkin Donut could learn from, and the best fried dough came from Station Lunch. They had the best food around and were always busy. Sadly the building no longer is there, but its family still is. It is this tiny little spot that was the center spot for all seeking good food to eat. There was a lady on the corner of Commonwealth Ave. who had her own taxi, her name was Dora Dickerson, and She would give me free rides.

Goves Gulf Station and Rielly Pontiac & Cadillac were next to that. Nausses Lumber was my special hangout, as I loved to play cowboys in the yard, although today you could not do it because of the filthy condition of the grounds. Let's hope with all the restructuring they finally clear up all the built up waste that exists on this once beautiful site.

So there you go a little bit of a look at the real Gloucester Depot community within itself. Let's hope that the builders try to incorporate the distinction that Central Square once had.

Posted October 22, 2004 09:21 AM
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