I remember my Grandparent’s house as a place where my family would visit on weekends. Nana and Grandpa lived in a two family house at 87 Bartlett Street in Somerville MA. The street was narrow as most city streets are. Two family homes dotted the street on both sides. Whenever we traveled to Nana’s house my father would always have to look for a parking space on the side of the street. Sometimes he would have to double back to where we started in hopes that someone left their spot. The task of finding a parking spot was even more difficult in the winter time because of the snowbanks caused by the poor plowing.
I remember the house as being warm, a place where we would have Sunday dinner. My Grandmother (little Nana) would have the dining room table already set by the time we arrived. My Grandpa would always carve whatever meat we were having for dinner that Sunday, either a roast, a chicken, turkey or ham. He was a short order cook by trade and used to work at the Triangle restaurant which was across from Fenway Park. I can remember the small pantry which was off of the small kitchen. The pantry is where my Grandmother would keep her canned goods and boxed cereal. She also stored her three stair stepstool which would fold up. It was yellow in color and I always used to sit on it.
My Grandfather was Jewish and I remember always having or Manischewitz wine on the table for the adults. The children (my older sister, younger brother and I) would always have orange soda to drink during the meals. Nana would then pour a little of the wine into the soda allowing us kids to feel like adults.
Our meal times together were so much fun. After the meal I remember that we either would settle in to watch some television or go out onto the front porch to sit in the lawn chairs. One of the programs that my Grandmother would like to watch was Hogan’s Heroes. My Grandfather would always sit in his favorite rocking chair which had an ashtray standing by it’s side, always overflowing with cigar ashes. I can still smell the aroma of his cigars today. My Grandfather used to save the cigar bands for me in a cigar box. I think he would give them to me so I could redeem them for a small gift, but I do not remember ever getting any gifts from them. My mom used to collect S&H green stamps as well. I can remember licking those stamps and placing them in their booklet which was then mailed away for gifts.
My Grandparents lived on the lower floor of the two family house. I think it was gray in color, with white trim. We had to climb at least fifteen stairs to get to the front door. My Dad always had a key to that front door. Along the side of the house was a long cement driveway which led to a two car garage which was made of cinderblock or a cement like substance. My Grandfather never drove a car however, and I never remember my Dad trying to park his car back there.
Those are some memories of my Grandparent’s house.