SOUTH BOSTON UNWRAPPED: Southie Speak Deciphered

SOUTH BOSTON UNWRAPPED: Southie Speak Deciphered

(Written by a ten year Southie resident with much help from “Original Southie”)

This piece is meant to be a walk down memory lane for those of you who grew up here and a crash course in all things Southie for those of us who have lived here less than 30 years. I called on many residents for information for this piece and welcome more as I’m sure we missed some.  I hope the newer residents learn a lot and I hope those of you who coined these phrases enjoy it!

If you didn’t grow up here, you might not know:

  • Rite Aid will always be Osco’s, not Brook’s
  • Stop and Shop will always be Flanagan’s
  • The L Street Tavern will always be Striggies
  • A Boss of tonic= a 2 liter of Pepsi

You might hear people refer to Woolworth’s 5&10, Pober’s, Robel’s, Bay View Men’s Shop, and Kay’s to name a few.  These are all stores that were on West Broadway between Dorchester Street and F Street on the same side as McGoo’s & CVS.

  • The 5&10 or Woolworth’s had a soda Fountain.
  • Pober’s was known for beautiful children’s clothes.
  • Robel’s had clothes for both men’s & ladies.
  • Bay View Men’s Shop was just that & was the place to go for a Scally cap.
  • Kay’s was a shop for teens & ladies.
  • Slocums (Slocie’s): Tiniest over-packed toy store that had everything you could think of for toys & had penny candy too.  If you were hunting shops everywhere for a hard to find toy, they * always had it.  Probably would now be considered a fire hazard.  There was one very skinny aisle to the back of the store & boxes of toys stacked to the ceiling around the entire store.  It was located across from the library on East Broadway.  Oh & the staff would watch you like a hawk!!
  • But….…..no more than the staff at Jones on the corner of K & Broadway… They would follow you around the store & had mirrors above the dressing room!!! So you could literally watch people trying on clothes from certain areas in the store!!!  Jones or we always called it ‘Jonesies’… always had the coolest sneakers or latest sweatshirts or jeans that teens would be clamoring to get.  Think Girbaud Jeans, Champion sweatshirts, Gazelle sneakers in their hay-day.
  • Pizza-Rama – way before McGoos – great juke box (.50 for 3 songs – Still Rock n Roll to Me by Billy Joel and I Love Rock n Roll by Joan Jett were worn out). 2 slices (just like the old pizza truck slices) and tonic (nice and syrupy from the fountain) combo for $1.50

Big Broadway (West Broadway) & Little Broadway (East Broadway). West Broadway was where all the big shops were and was often used as a marker when kids from City Point (East Side) that you were old enough to go to West Broadway on your own.

  • City Point – G-Street down to Farragut Road – Although some City Pointers say it’s not City Point until M Street down to Farragut Road.
  • Lower-end – Dorchester Street down to A Street (basically when street signs turn from east to west).
  • The Bug House: The old movie theater on West Broadway across from CVS.  Take a guess why it was called that?  Yup… No joke!!  Your feet literally would stick to the floor from soda that had spilled & hadn’t been cleaned!!!

Someone might say…

  • Crickets (usually during an awkward silence in a conversation… Liken it to… ‘that went over like a lead balloon’)
  • Hicks: Anyone from anywhere outside of the Boston, Southie, Dorchester, South End, Charlestown, North End area. Or perhaps might be easier to describe as folks from the suburbs.
  • Alligator Arms or Crocodile Arms or T-Rex Arms: Someone who is notoriously cheap. Their arms are too short to reach into their pockets for cash!!
  • See you at the ‘Q’. (The Quencher Bar on I Street near 7th)
  • Can I have a tonic? (a soda… Pepsi, Coke, Sprite, Ginger Ale… Basically anything artificially flavored with bubbles)
  • Pill Hill (used to be a lot of doctors offices going up the hill on Broadway from I street toward H street)
  • Flood Square (I Street & Broadway area)
  • Pie Alley (alley that runs between houses on K Street between 6th & 5th)
  • The Orchie (large empty land between H& G & 6th & 7th… It was an orchard… Not sure it still exists)
  • The Pit (This is where folks go sledding down by the skating rink)
  • J Street (yes, Southie does have one but it is spelled ‘Jay Street’…. It’s a dead end Street located on 5th St. between K & I streets & leads toward 4th Street & to the Tynan School.
  • Kick the can: An outside game with teams of kids where you actuallykicked a can.
  • A Runner: Someone old enough to buy underage kids alcohol from alocal liquor store.
  • The Packie or A Packie: Any package store (not UPS or FedEx silly!!). It’s a store that sells liquor. I guess back in the day alcohol was ‘packaged’ up. You might hear someone say… We need a packie run or I’m going to the packie, you need anything?
  • Book it: To get away quickly. Run as fast as you can.
  • The Golden Stairs: The Stairs off of Thomas Park they lead to Covington Street.  I was told they were called that because boys used to pee down them…. Hence Golden Stairs! However, there could have been someone named Golden they were named after!!! It was always funnier to imagine someone peeing down them.
  • No Man’s Land: A plot of land behind Southie High & Dorchester Heights monument that belongs to no one. It’s been recently (last 10 years or so) being taken care of by various groups including; The Medicine Wheel, Girls Scout Troops, etc.
  • “Lover’s Lane “: The small street that runs next to the Pop Warner Football Field next the Murphy Rink.

Groups of kids that hung on certain corners or areas in Southie…
You might hear someone ask where did you hang (out) when you were a teen. Sometimes there were rivalries between different groups – real Jets/Sharks stuff.
P & 4th
P & 6th
O & 6th
O & 3rd
Ticknor (between L & K Streets & off of Marine Rd)
L & 8th
K & 8th
K & 7th
The Tynan
H & 5th
M Street Park
The Heights (Dorchester Heights Monument behind Southie High)
Hub (corner of I & Broadway where Edible Arrangements is)
L & 8th
F & 5th
F & 4th
E & 5th or 5th Street Park
3rd Street Park
F & Silver
F & 7th
The (Boys) Club Yard
The Gavin (School) – walkway between the school and Saintee’s church (St. Augustine’s)
Eddie’s Gym on F & Broadway

The D Street projects area was covered with a simple going down “D” – but also could be broken down to:

  • The Platform (train tracks area)
    Various courts in D St.:
    (Orton Morotta, Crowley Rogers, Joyce Hayes, etc..)
    The (basketball) Courts (behind the Condon).
    110 – Meant Joyce Hayes Way
    74 – Meant Condon Basketball Courts

Old Colony Projects was simply “going down OC” but could be broken down specifically into:

  • 301 (Mercer & 8th in Old Colony)
    Patterson Way (Old Colony)
    Billy’s (pizza – Old Colony Ave.)
    9th street

The Old Harbor Projects

(Always say the letter before the number as in L & 8th - Never 8th & L)

80 Comments

  1. Fitz said,

    April 17, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    The Heights corner was actually G & Thomas Park (Where we hung to be seen!)~~ although the entire back alley area of Southie High, and up to and inclusive of the monument and Thomas Park was considered the Heights gangs domain — and it was definately the largest piece of hang out real estate in the town ~~ and we threw some great parties !

    • Roger Sinclair said,

      October 26, 2010 at 4:53 am

      Amen on the Thomas Park Hangout!! I remember staggering my scrawney ass back down to ground level many a night to the OCP from there!!

      Bye the way which Fitz are you?

  2. Maureen said,

    April 18, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    We used to hang behind the annex when we were in high school. The annex is now the K Street Side of the Curley Rec. Center aka the “L”. It was like a third world country back there. Crumbling concrete, broken glass. We loved hanging there! We’d stay until the cops chased us out of there and even that was fun – of course unless you got caught! I guess that was the original caught in southie!

    • Roger Sinclair said,

      October 26, 2010 at 4:35 am

      I’ve Been there w/you on that count!! We used to run from the cops all of the time in the OCP back in the 60’s with Booze in Hand!!! Really Awesome Time in My Life!! Can’t get away with that stuff these days :-)

      • D. Kelley said,

        February 28, 2011 at 2:04 pm

        I know that I won’t remember them all but every area had a gang that they hung out with in the fifty’s I hung out with the Clipper’s other gang’s that I recall were the Mercer’s, Blackhawk”s Saint’s, Barnboy’s C.P.Mohawk’s Mullen’s, Wildcat’s Shamrock’s Knolton’s, I’m sure that there were a few more. Nobody had to fear any of them as Southie was the safest place to grow up in. One could walk anywhere in Southie without fear. “My…how things have changed”

  3. Chris Covell said,

    April 18, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    You forgot. “rent and roll ” the video arcade

  4. Anne From South Boston said,

    April 20, 2010 at 12:41 am

    You forgot about Spuckies AKA what the kids now call a Sub Sandwich .
    I still call it a spuckie .

    • Roger Sinclair said,

      October 26, 2010 at 4:49 am

      Yes Maam…..I still call them Spuckies as well, and to this day here in Texas I still get dirty looks when I say “Lets’ go get a Spuckie” What’s up w/that? :-)

  5. Tommy Flaherty said,

    April 20, 2010 at 2:50 am

    Remember when you got to be 17 or 18 and you were on the lookout for someone over 21 so you could get their “papers”? That was huge.
    Getting someones papers was the slang used for getting someone’s legal documents(birth certificate, credit card receipt w/signature, baptismal record or other legal proof of age) so you could go to the registry and get a duplicate driver’s license and liquor ID(do they still have those?) so you could go to a club in Fanieul Hall or Aquarius. If you got real lucky the registry would screw up and forget to write DUP on your fake license and you got an original which gave packy clerks, doormen, and bouncers less of a reason to question you. Is that statute of limitations up on that??? I’m not admitting anything until I speak with a lawyer.

    • Maureen said,

      April 20, 2010 at 8:20 pm

      I know! We basically committed a crime – fraud right? Very bold we were!

    • January 27, 2011 at 5:01 pm

      Hahahaha Hey Tommy you are a hoot! How are you? These people didn’t know what a real pizza was until they got a meatball on top from Charlie at Pappa Ginos or when you were waiting for Paul Lafferty to pay close attention to John from Johns spucky show him how to chop the celery a certain way.Remember they would give you a heel to a sub while you were waiting. Only if they knew you because that was cutting into their breadcrumbs hahahaha. Those were the good olddays. Remember when we were board and we used to use the payphone outside Johns and call a cab.The poor guy would be in tears because little did he know we were just going in one side to the other and then we would take off into the tunnels !hahahah That was real excitement for us. Unless we got a really good snow day and we stupidly dragged the back of a car for a thrill. It was really a stupid thing ,but we were careful and then all the Johny Daredevils came out and wanted to compete with what they could do like drag a truck going 30 0r 40 they ruined that gig for us. Unfortunately we ended up loosing some really special people all because we wanted something fun to do.

  6. Doc Howie said,

    April 20, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    What about the Wall Gang and Sterling Square in Old Harbor?

    • Roger Sinclair said,

      October 26, 2010 at 4:23 am

      I remember Half Ball very well!! I used to play all the time in the Old Colony Projects in the Court yards by the incinerators. We used Pimple Ball Halves, and Pinkie Ball Halves as well….I’m sure some of you remember Pinkie Balls!! :-)

      • KC said,

        November 13, 2010 at 11:44 pm

        We use to play Half Ball at the Patrick F Gavin school yard on 7th street side as well. I remember we use to comb the rooftops looking for them priceless pimple balls that had monkey piss inside them, at least that what we were told down at Slocums, lol … I bet there’s still a few just waiting to be found, white pimple balls that is …..My mother use to wonder where her mop handle use to go … hehe … that was our bats … lol

      • D. Kelley said,

        February 28, 2011 at 2:32 pm

        Boy, there were some great have ball players in Southie, I’m from the lower end, so I didn’t see much of it played up in the point area, we played at the corner of E & 6th st, hitting the half ball from Vangel’s variety across the st to the Egans house on 6th st. Across the st. to the side walk was a single,Below the 1st. floor ledge was a double, above the 2nd floor ledge was a triple, 3rd floor ledge and over the roof was a homer.Some great kids played there, Skinhead Sullivan,Shagger Hogan, Bobby Nee, We alway’s had to keep the peak out for M’carthy the cop as there was no ball playing signs up, “M’carthy was the beat cop when they use to walk a beat. Nobody ever went to jail for playing if you got caught but you were sure to get an ejection of shoe leather in the ass if he caught you playing.

  7. Susan Gailunas said,

    April 22, 2010 at 12:17 am

    Does anyone remember halfball? My brothers used to play it all day. Basically, you cut a pimple ball in half and used a broomstick for a bat.

    • JG said,

      November 18, 2010 at 6:40 pm

      Definitely remember / played halfball. Most times didn’t cut it in half until the purchased ball was dead. Best players had an uppercut swing, as there was more ball to hit that way

  8. Michael Quinn said,

    April 26, 2010 at 12:42 am

    I stood outside Miller’s Market on saturday nights trying to get someone to “make the run” for me! Which is of course is getting someone of age to buy us beer and if with a girlfriend…wine coolers.

    • Roger Sinclair said,

      October 26, 2010 at 4:46 am

      I Don’t remember Wine Coolers Back then!! But Maybe So :-)

    • KC said,

      November 13, 2010 at 11:48 pm

      Does anybody remember, Moon Eyes and Charile the bikie from down the D … Al’s liquors … Still there too … Always had to have someone keep an eye on the back … they (runners) use to try and sneak out the back with their White Port wine … lmao … but the best place was the tracks … Miller Highlight Freight trains … Sit under the Summer street bridge and pass out from all that warm bottled beer … lol

  9. karen said,

    April 26, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Maureen, Great Stuff….ooh the memories that we will always treasure….Our H & 5th gang also hung up “the Wall” we were called the Walnuts on 4th st. between H & G streets. Southie had the best hang outs ever. Keep up the great work, love reading your blogs…

  10. Dolley Carlson said,

    April 27, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Omygoodness!!! Love this article. I lived in Southie as a child and as the saying goes, “You can take the girl out of Southie but you can’t take Southie out of the girl:)”
    I’m putting the finishing touches on my novel based on Southie in the day…1941 to 1956…it has been the work of my heart and I’ve done my best to honor those old establishments and expressions.
    Blessings to all,
    Dolley Carlson

    • KC said,

      November 13, 2010 at 11:49 pm

      Hope you have your Southie Dot … lol

      • Dolley Carlson said,

        November 16, 2010 at 4:27 pm

        :) ?,
        dc

  11. Steve said,

    May 1, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Don’t forget the guys that hung out at D and 5th

    • Roger Sinclair said,

      October 26, 2010 at 4:44 am

      Let’s See:
      I remember the Hogan Bro’s, Billy Frazier, Tommy Connors etc;

      Hell I used to live right around the Corner from fifth st. at 195 D ST. Which last time I was there was a vacant Lot….What is there Now I Have NO idea :-)

      • KC said,

        November 14, 2010 at 5:25 am

        They were know as the “BLACKHAWKS” if I’m not mistaken ….

    • D. Kelley said,

      February 28, 2011 at 2:47 am

      I grew up on west 6th st between E st & D st, the gang that hung out on D & 5th I believe were the NocKie’s, they played some great football, they use to practice in the park on w. 5th. some of the names that I remember were Tom Ostiguy, John Mullen, Josie Burns,Mousy Burns,Bart Nee, Louie Fontonova, Strech Cloherty, Most of them are probably gone now

  12. Nancy said,

    May 1, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Born and raised in South Boston, I was told by my father, also born and raised here, that the Golden Stairs were called that because when James Michael Curley was mayor, they never cleaned the snow off of them.
    If someone was down on their luck and needed money, they would go into city hall limping, tell Curley that they fell on those stairs off of the Heights and Curley would say to his aide, “give him five bucks.” Thus the name of the Golden Stairs.
    Who knows for sure? They have probably seen their fill of urine in their day also from kids hanging and drinking up there.

  13. Paul F said,

    May 10, 2010 at 3:25 am

    Remember the Southie Cut – hair parted in the middle? The shamrocks that we put on hats and jackets to support the Academy?

  14. Lori said,

    May 24, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    how about the phrase: “I offer you out”, which of course was a threat to fight a person in which you actually made a place and time to meet up and fight! priceless!

    • Jim A said,

      June 21, 2010 at 6:56 pm

      Oooooh…. now that’s a phrase that brings back some bad memories….. Who knew that we were carrying on the dueling tradition…. LMAO.

  15. Megan said,

    June 7, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Old Colony also had Maintenance and the Echoes. Good Times!

  16. carol said,

    July 9, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Who remember’s those dances in the hall near the OC’s office ?

    • Roger Sinclair said,

      October 26, 2010 at 4:29 am

      I Remember them Well!!! I used to play some of those dances with the weed’s
      Jimmy Mahoney, Billy Scobaleff Roy Banardi, Bobby Kubera, Joe Vadala, Kenny McDonald, and of course My Self…..Great Times those were!! :-)

    • Kathy Kelly said,

      January 18, 2011 at 2:53 pm

      I remember those…we used to wear our Maxi skirts!

      • carol said,

        January 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm

        I understand there were some tough broads at the door…. lol

  17. David said,

    August 4, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Is Bay View Men’s Clothing still around? If not, where does one go to get a scally cap these days?

  18. carol said,

    August 6, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    How many people had a job @ sands….. remember the owner above us in his office…. not only watching people coming in and out but also watching the workers

  19. kelley said,

    September 15, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    what about the haunties, anybody remember those? god they were scary at night when you’re 7 years old…

  20. Sylvester Robinson jr said,

    September 29, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    I loved to read all of the comments… My name is Sylvester, but also know by friends as (Sniffles.) I lived at 110 Joyce Hayes Way Facing Al’s liquer store, Victors Puerto rican groceries and Jimmies. This is when Kamps was “Kemps and there was a Mobil gas station on the corner of -B-st leading to Petes groceries. I went to the Bigelow School in the early 1960,s until forced busy was in effect. I wonder if anyone remembers Mrs. Lowe. When she wanted our attention at recess she would shout: “ALL EYES UP HERE!” Wow! What a gas!… I had to leave at 6th grade when I was in Mr. Peters class! We were the Robinsons. One of the few black families living there at that time. Because I’m black I had to leave behind a lot of friends like Bobby. Hey bobby, here’s a laugh. Like lori said: That “I offer you out” thing was real. Remember when Chris and I had it out? L.O.L. He was a handful. It’s funny though because we became good friends after that. Oh well, I just got some good memories from reading the blogs. Hey! is it true that M Fitz is a judge? Well, thanks for memory lane friends. Take care!

  21. Charlie Adler said,

    October 1, 2010 at 3:19 am

    Well I saw many references to the corner of L+8TH,but we had a good group at L+7TH.I will always remember the friday and Saturday nights hanging out by Millers Market sizing up people to be our RUNNER,and of course everyone knew Millers had the Coldest beers in Southie.After getting the beers,depending on your wealth they could range from Heinkens,meaning you were flush our Haffereffer bottles which actually looked liked old german hand grenades,but they were cool because you could spend some of the night trying to figure out the puzzles on the back of the caps.Most weekends were spent in the L.st annex trying to convince pretty young girl to make out or if it was just the guys we would go a little further and hang in the outside showers in the mens side of the L.One distinct memory was of Benie Sweeney and the boys from I+7TH making some kind of bomb amd blowing a green trash can about 50 feet in the air.Also when we started having the handball banquets by the courts and at the end when we were all well lubricated we would start digging up steamers and cooking them,red tide,what red tide.Of course you had to wear your gazzelles and your barracuda jacket and have your laces untied on your sneakers.We thought we were the shit and we knew we were.

  22. christy said,

    October 8, 2010 at 6:52 am

    so i was tryin to find out if charlesstown was part of southie? any one. Ok. so here is whats what when ever me and my man plan a trip to go into boston for a few days or when i visit my cousin my mother even though i am thrity three still says stay outa chinatown dont go in north end, keep outa southie. ok but were irish on mom’s side and i look irish with pale white skin and deep blue eyes and brow hair and black eye brows? so why cant i go there is there nothin there for a torist to explore no architechture to take pics off or what is the big deal. i understand the china town thing, not the north end they have good resteraunts but why cant i go where the irish go even if my last name is not irish and i am. ok also is charlestown part of southie? cause i never been there far as i know so tell me why was the town the movie about charles town but it seemed like what i had heard about southie.

    • KC said,

      November 14, 2010 at 4:53 am

      Christy,

      To your question of Charlestown being Southie? No, they are in two different areas of Boston. Don’t always go by the book or movies you see about any part of Boston. Just always be aware of your surroundings even if your in Beverly Hills. Lot of history in all towns of Boston. Just goggle it before you come and don’t forget to check out CASTLE ISLAND.

  23. Karen said,

    October 14, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    What about hanging up at the Muni (Gym behind the courthouse)? Or down at the lagoon on a hot summer night, walking to Kelly’s for fries or a clamroll.

  24. carol said,

    October 15, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Who remembers all our Seminarians from Saint Augustine’s and those dances?

    Good Times !!!!

  25. judy said,

    November 4, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    how about the MULLENS AND THE PASQUALES and THE GATE OF HEAVEN and MAY PARADES and how everyone stuck together and looked out for eachother. WE were all FAMILY and everyone knew what was going on so no one could LIE to their parents!!!

    • KC said,

      November 14, 2010 at 12:07 am

      Another good spot for Half Ball – lol – Check them roof tops out for them pimple balls ……

  26. Barb Hartwell said,

    November 17, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    My greatest memories of Southie were going to taylors market and getting the biggest sour pickle from the big wooden barrel, also waiting in line on Sat to see 2movies and cartoons all for 25 cents. I never did mind back then that I was poor because everyone else I knew was poor too. Do you remember Jimmy Condon`s farm?

  27. Barb Hartwell said,

    November 17, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    I went to the Norcross school the year before it burned down does anyone have any pictures to share?

  28. Barb Hartwell said,

    November 18, 2010 at 12:27 am

    Hey does anyone remember the rag men My father was a rag man . He would rent a horse from the stables I believe I and 3rd St. and ride around yelling rags I never really knew why. When I tell this story to people in the N.W. they look at me like I`m full of crap. I`m still not sure if we sold rags or collected them.

    • KC said,

      November 18, 2010 at 3:14 pm

      I remember the Rag Man – use to go around the neighborhood saying or yelling Rags, Rags, Rags, plus back then we had the Fruit Truck Guy and this other guy that had the WHIP RIDE (think it cost a quarter for the ride) … How about the PIZZA guy, he use to have a kid ring a bell before he arrived in your neighborhood … Ding, Dong, Ding Dong … Red pizza truck and last but not least … The pony rides … yep the stables were down H Street and East 2nd or East 1st …

    • Paula M said,

      December 28, 2010 at 4:05 pm

      The Rag Man was the original recycling bin – he bought old clothes to be recycled into paper – some rag man collected scrap metal, newspapers, or bones too. I remember him well.

  29. carol said,

    November 18, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    I’m not sure if I remember the rag guy, or just people tell me about him ( I must be younger then the rest of you… lol I do remember the whip…. the pony rides and the pizza guy, but his pizza
    was not as good as “Take Outs” .

  30. Barb Hartwell said,

    November 18, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    when I was a kid I loved shopping at sands The place sold mostly trinket toys like cap guns, jacks and a lot of junk., but what I remember most was looking through the books of decals to decorate my shabby furniture. My mother would say pick out your decal (she pronounced decal with a soft e) I still say it that way sometimes. Sometimes after shopping we went to Maryanns on F & Broadway, or woolworths. There was another place on Broadway it had a mural on the wall of Italy. We could either have a hotdog or french fries never both.This was our once a month treat Kids nowadays could not understand.

  31. Barb Hartwell said,

    November 18, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Hey you guys I just found this site yesterday and I cannot stop writing I`m sorry if I`m boring you but I keep thinking of more stuff like buying beer on Sunday on B and broadway I thought that I was some kind of secret society really just a goofy kid.

    • JG said,

      November 18, 2010 at 6:45 pm

      Matty Landy’s? and no you are not boring

      • KC said,

        November 18, 2010 at 8:49 pm

        Yep, Matty Landy’s where they walked over to your car and ask how may 6’s you wanted … If I remember right it was like 6 bucks a 6 pack back then or if Matty’s was being watched you headed down Broadway to the Penn – miss them days – and let’s not forget the IA down on East Third Street for beer also …

  32. Dolley Carlson said,

    November 18, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Hi Barb,
    I remember the rag man, and the vegetable man, and the Italian ices man, and the fish monger, and the ice-cream man too. When I was a little girl, my family lived in Old Colony, circa 1949-’51. In my heart’s eye I can see and hear the absolute excitement when these vendors showed up. Mothers would scurry to the street with pocketbook in hand, their children alongside beseeching, “Please, Ma, can I have an ice cream, please…” It was a sweet time and I’m blessed to have been in Southie in the day:) and delighted to visit Southie today as well…Carson Beach,Castle Island, Kelly’s, Gate of Heaven, somethings never change…yeay!

  33. Barb Hartwell said,

    November 18, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Yea it was Matty Landys.

    • JG said,

      November 18, 2010 at 9:35 pm

      I remember when my wife and I were about 18, underage, I got us some port wine from Matty’s, which we then proceeded to drink, and both became sick as dogs. Quite a smoothie I was!!

  34. Barb Hartwell said,

    November 19, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Were the haunties old abandoned houses. I was always afraid to walk past that old victorian house next to the O`Reilly school we called it Skinny`s house Another place that was scary at night was that building they tore down to build Jolly donuts now a sub shop.

  35. Barb Hartwell said,

    November 19, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    I moved away over 30 years ago and it always bothered me that nobody could tell me who was ( DIP THE WICK ) His graffiti was everywhere. ANYBODY KNOW?

    • Paula M said,

      December 28, 2010 at 4:08 pm

      That’s a slang term for copulation – sexual intercourse. It used to be everywhere along with the “F” word – the original graffiti I guess.

  36. Donna Gregorio Keough said,

    December 2, 2010 at 6:58 am

    Does anyone remember going Downstairs to Goron’s Basement! I would walk down those stair and look over the railing at all the shoes. I would always put on the black tap shoes and dance and make noise while my mother shopped. Then after 10 min the lady would come over and make me take them off. She would say if your not buying them don’t wear them! Then we would make our way to Sand’s. My Mother would leave the baby carriage parked outside along with all the others and I would run to be the first to ride the Yellow-beige Mechanical Horse. All you could hear in that store was the floor creaking from everyone walking around.

  37. Barb Hartwell said,

    December 17, 2010 at 2:28 am

    I spent a lot of hours in gorings too. My mother bought all our shoes there. There was 5 kids in my family so my mother could not afford more than 2.99. I hated their shoes then but I adore the memories of them now.

  38. Cate said,

    January 6, 2011 at 4:25 am

    I thought the golden stairs were called that because the railings used to be golden before they got weathered and tarnished. And Bay View Men’s Store was also known for selling Baracudda jackets.

  39. Kathy Kelly said,

    January 18, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    How about when we had a benefit for some one in need and called it a “Time.” And how many of you remenmber first moving out of Southie and speaking “Southie talk” and the rest of the world not knowing what the hell we were saying!

  40. carol said,

    January 20, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    REmeber when they would freeze an area of the park for Ice Skating,,,,

    • Ozzie Ceurvels said,

      January 25, 2011 at 7:47 am

      Yes I would skate there with my Dad,till it was dark

  41. Ozzie Ceurvels said,

    January 25, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Does anyone remember Jimmies store at the corner of old harbor and dixfield street we would buy the sour pickels there for a penny and the walk up to the old Carney and play on the heights

  42. hazie said,

    January 28, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    ah the pizza guy, he was my uncle jimmy. we had to ring those bells for hours to get a free slice of pizza out of him. i lived in d street in the 70’s. they use to call us d street dirt balls, we had so much fun with no money and old clothes i would not changed a thing maybe one, moving away.

  43. carol said,

    February 3, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Who remembers the “Larboure ” I believe on the conner of 5th and E street?
    I remember my mother volunteer there with another woman and for the life of me I can on think of Mrs B. All the sneakers people would get……… I believe that was the first second hand clothing place in the city. I also believe all the sneakers were brand new but Have no clue as to where they came from…… Anyone remmeber this place. I believe the catering place in in the spot now.

    • Paula M said,

      February 3, 2011 at 12:10 pm

      Laboure – Sisters of Charity – was on W. 4th near E. It’s now on corner of Broadway and D. The caterer – Famolares – is on corner of E and W 4th. The Laboure building is now St Peter School – opened when the original St Peter’s School closed down by the archdiocese. I remember the nuns with those wonderful wings on their heads. The building was empty for years and when they finally started working on it, boy, was the neighborhood filled with mice. Same thing with their clinic across the street which is now apartments.

  44. D. Kelley said,

    March 1, 2011 at 2:08 am

    Ah Southie,”ya hadda” love the place, I’m 74 now and I left when they were going to bus my kids in 1974.Where the hockey rink is now was a free aquarium, I use to watch the 2 seals swim in circles for hours or watch the poor loger head turtle with very little room to move. On the other end of town was the royal crown cola co. one could stand outside the window on Old colony Ave and watch the whole process.. As I got a little older Some of us would hook school and face a pickup at the Army base and hopefully get a job for the day as a scallywag working as a long shore man at Castle Island or at the Base. Also as a little kid My Dad took me down to the Fargo building< I had a little sailor outfit and I would salute sailors on Summer st. I still Love Southie. Any time I'm going to a sporting event or any other kind of a gathering here in FL. I'll always wear something that says Southie on it and 8 out of 10 times someone will introduce themselfs. We're famous, "we realy are'

  45. Stephen McGinn said,

    March 15, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    you mentioned flanagan’s…there was one on each Broadway…I remember the East Broadway one as First National with their green stamps, and the West broadway one as the Supreme Supermarket…also Chris and Paul’s bowling alleys up the stairs, next to the gas station where the public parking lot is now…always got our good shoes…Easter…at Tom McCann’s…true about scally caps at Bay View Men’s Shop…a buddy named Kevin Wool worked there back then…but you can get excellent ones at Calnan’s down on East Broadway now…always got our barracuda jackets at Jonesey’s, sad that it’s a 711 now…Sands still looks the same inside as a Dollar Store, and those stairs at the back of Gorin’s we kids used to sneak down are still there, just walk to the very back of the Hispanic run dollar store past Land of Pizza…wasn’t there a Rix down in that block?…and I remember working as a soda jerk at Brigham’s…and Kennedy’s where we all bought our cold cuts…and the tenderized skirt steak…now very expensive, then a cheap cut…at Taylor’s Market…and Kostick’s Deli down the other end of Broadway…how about Helen’s Bakery, then Klemm’s Bakery….now a Tedeschi’s…and Mae’s Donut Shop next door to my grandmother on I and 5th, and their persian donuts…sure remembering a lot of stuff for an old guy…slocum’s was where I bought all my aurora models…and I remember Schubert’s when it was a true smoke shop and I bought all my comic books there….where The Junction is now was the Heights Tavern and next door on the corner of Silver was the old chinese laundry…and Robinson’s Hardware across the street that burned down…now it’s a parking lot for Marion Manor employees…remember when Hub Video was on the opposite corner….and wasn’t there a car dealership on that particular strip of Emerson Street where the Tynan is now?…I used to buy my 45s at Woolworth’s when I was too lazy to go downtown to the Jordan Marsh Annex…and the Bughouse, 50 cents for a double feature of classic horror movies with cartoons in-between, but what a bitch trying to get into the balcony.

  46. Stephen McGinn said,

    March 15, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    I remember Robell’s since a friend Frankie Medico was manager then, and Diane strobis’ mom Pat adn grandmother Kay worked there…she was one hot ticket with her smoking and raspy voice…wasn’t Osco’s something else before, and I kinda remember another supermarket in that spot…when I was a kid, you used to use Jay Street as a shortcut, but I think it’s fenced off now at the dead end…used to use Pie Alley all the time when I visited my friends James Greene and Joanne Looby down that end…I think that Orchy is still one big open lot, which boggles the mind with real estate prices nowadays…will have to take a walk around the corner and check…we used to play hockey and baseball up the Southie High schoolyard…and Doc Reid always gave us the evil eye when he saw us…but he never told us to stop playing….when I was little, the No Man’s Land and the heights was our playground, it was so immense to our eyes…and the little hill there at the top of Linden we called Suicide Hill when we used our sleds or coasters…it looked that big and dangerous to us….funny memories.

  47. Stephen McGinn said,

    March 15, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I remember the Lover’s Lane near the Murphy rink….it’s a one way now from the Farragut end, but I swear we called it by another name…I remember Sully’s when it was just a shack, and Kelly’s Landing for the clams…wearing alligator shirts was supposed to be cool back then…and the collars turned up…makes me want to cringe…and Southie Day down Marine Park was always such a fun time…and the concerts down Columbia Park, the name escapes me…and playing league basketball down Fifth Street Park near D…I still crack up when I see the fight scene in Good Will Hunting…or the phone call Damon makes in the rain outside Sal and Betty’s, right across from the L Street Tavern…anyone buy their nickle bags down Needle Park?

  48. Stephen McGinn said,

    March 15, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I know I was very little, but does anyone remember a big fruit and vegetable business smack dab in the West Broadway block between Dorchester Street and F?

    • Stephen McGinn said,

      March 25, 2011 at 12:24 am

      I remember just calling the lover’s lane by it’s name…Shore Road.


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