board, left to right: Americo Bracci, Stanley Winowski, Ada Bracci, Dino Bracci and Tony Cichanowicz.
The identity of the person in the car is uncertain but it may have been Serena Vitali. The car probably
belonged to Dante Bracci.
Some time after I posted this page, I received the following from David Allegrezza: "I believe the
gentleman sitting on the far right identified as Tony Cichanowicz is my father Aldo Allegrezza. Aldo
has passed but his brother Nello confirmed it is him."
We lived in "White City." However, we sometimes referred to it as "The Hill." We all seem to have
wonderful memories of our times there.
Even though we grew up during the depression years, we did not realize that we were poor. Families
that lived on "The Hill" were employed by Draper Corporation. The homes were owned by the
corporation. Each week a few dollars were subtracted from the men's salary for rent. However, the
upkeep was minimal. Our homes were painted periodically (inside an out). The company trained
plumbers, carpenters and electricians, who took care of all the repairs. They even supplied our light
Our neighborhood consisted of many immigrant families-Polish, Russian, Canadian, English,
French, Italian, Irish and one Armenian family. Our life style was different. It seems as if we lived an
all the homes.
Most families had gardens. If a home did not have enough land for a garden, it was no problem.
There were a lot of wooded areas around our hill. A small plot of land was cleared and a garden was
planted. We had fresh vegetables all summer. In the fall, families were busy canning and pickling
foods for the winter.
Christmas was special. Lisa, a true gourmet Italian cook, could even make dandelions taste good.
She had a big black stove and at Christmas the top would be covered with chestnuts. Another time,
an English neighbor came to visit us with home made plum pudding and hard sauce. She flamed it.
We were fascinated. The French introduced pork pies. When my mother made doughnuts, there
were enough for all the children.
Can you visualize a world without cars? I can only remember one car. We walked and walked some
more. At times we rode on the bus or took a taxi. In a way, it was great for us. The streets were our
playground. Generally, we could stay out until 9 p.m. We played tag, cops and robbers, etc. In the
winter, we used the hilly roads for sledding. Our family even had a pair of skis. We took turns-we
would ski down the hills, dodging garbage cans, ducking under clotheslines and at times bumping
into the bushes.
When we were older, we were allowed to go ice-skating on Hopedale Pond. It seemed that half of
Hopedale was there. At times the boys would form a line, skate fast and then "snap the whip." The
kids at the end of the line would go flying.
Everyone on "The Hill" had to be home by 9 p.m. We discovered short cuts through the cemetery or
we cut through the railroad tracks. I recall one evening vividly. We were just strolling along slowly.
Suddenly, one of the girls yelled, "Look!" We turned around and not far from us, we saw a silhouette
of a tall man clad in a cape and a top hat. He was so visible in the moonlight. Then he extended his
arm. We were terrified. We all ran fast! One of the girls dropped her skates. We retrieved them the
following morning. No one seemed to believe us. Hermina (Cichanowicz) Marcus, December
More Cichanowicz and White City pictures Hermina's softball memories.
John Chute's White City memories, with photos of construction in 1923
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