Weekly Update

Hello to all my fellow history lovers! It is a very nice, sunny day here in North Easton, hard to believe that Mother Nature is going to play a snowy trick on us for the 1st of April. I hope the weather cooperates for the many people who take part in the National Multiple Sclerosis walk here this Saturday. For the past half-dozen years or so we have allowed the MS people to set up a refreshment stop here at the Museum where walkers can get water and snacks, as well as be cheered on. Perhaps we might need hot coffee this year!

The other day I saw the first crocuses pushing up through the ground, and what a lovely sight that is. That, to me, is the first real day of spring (unless you count Opening Day for the Red Sox!). Another sign of spring was Tom Truman. Some of you might remember him. He was a Bay Roader for many years. Back in the 1950's he and his wife Hildur (Johnson) were living with her mother in the family home on the east side of Bay Road (#248), just south of Summer Street. The house was a small bungalow, and was surrounded by farm land. Tom was a rubber worker by trade, and also raised hay and crops in the land surrounding the home, and a second lot of land on Bay Road near Wheaton Farm (now conservation land). They lived a quiet life there in the wilds of Bay Road. One reason it was so quiet is that his wife would never allow him to have a telephone installed in the house. She would not spend the money for one. When I was a youngster Tom was in his 60's. His house was well known to us who traveled Bay Road frequently. It was very overgrown with brush and in bad need of painting (I remember a slightly pink or beige tinged house very faded). However, each spring brought forth his beautiful crop of brightly colored flowers that he sold by the roadside. We could stop there and purchase pansies, with the money being left in a container nearby. Those were the days when the "honor system" was still put to good use! The flowers were always so pretty and spruced up a good many yards around town. Tom continued to sell flowers for many years, supplementing his retirement, into the late 1970's or early 1980's. When we were old enough to ride our bikes or walk to the Five Corners from our homes in Furnace Village, we all came to recognize Tom driving his old stake body farm truck. It rattled and shook as it came down to the Five Corners, where he could stop for gas at Maplewood Garage or food at Mrs. Burrill's store (later the Village Store). Whenever we heard the sound of his truck coming we all made sure we gave Tom a wide berth - not because his truck was so large, but because his eyesight was so poor! Somehow he managed to complete his rounds and eventually arrive back at his home with he, his truck, and the rest of us all in one piece! Tom Truman died in 2002 at the age of 90, preceded by Hildur a few years earlier. Today their house is gone, and the land is developed with very nice single family houses. The road that was built into the property is appropriately named Truman Drive, and each time I drive by, it is a gentle reminder of a quiet man whose life brought wonderful color to ours. Have a great week! Frank

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