PRINCE SCHOOL

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS








Mr. Ernest W. Anderson was our principal.








 

Above the doors of Prince School it said "1875".  For at least 100 years pupils went through these doors.  Each era of pupils had their special characteristics.  We were from the World War II and the Korean War eras.   The pupils in these class photos were alive during World War II.  This meant we each had been issued ration, coupon books by the government for items such as sugar, meat, baby food, shoes, etc. I was too young to remember the reason we had a WWII. I remember going to the Assembly Hall and each classroom was being requested to bring toys, coloring books, dolls which would be sent to the children of London who had been gradually returning to their homes.







The following class photos are in not in any chronological order. Our different classes overlapped one another. So somewhere in one of the hallways, assemblies, or stair cases we each passed one another.





 

The above photo includes A VISION OF ME!




We remember the "Atomic Bomb" and were told not to look at the blast lest we go blind.  We had "bomb drills" when each class marched two by two to the basement. We "ducked and covered" and heard of people building bomb shelters.  We learned if we were outside when the bomb dropped then we were suppose to lay down in the gutter with our faces against the curb.

 

 
 

Most of the families I knew in this era did not portray "Father Knows Best", "Ozzie and Harriet" or "Leave It To Beaver".  I only remember one family in the neighborhood where the mother stayed home, cooked meals, cleaned the house and took care of the children while the father went to work. Their house had not yet been converted into a "rooming house"; they had every room on all four floors to themselves!

 
 

 
 
The Back Bay, where Prince School was located, mainly consisted of "rooming houses". Many of the rooms still had the dark green/black shades which had been required during WW II. In these rooms dwelt the elderly who were alone, the single mothers with children, and a variety of individuals that no one knew what they did.

 
 

 
 
In the 40's and 50's a woman was expected to be a housewife. There were not many opportunities for women to find employment that offered livable wages. This required some mothers to work two shifts in order to support herself and her children. Many of these single mothers tried their best to raise their children in a happy home environment.

 
 

 
 
In my neighborhood most of the elderly people were on welfare. When the welfare worker came for "unexpected" visits, the elderly roomers had to ditch their food. It was against the rules to have food in your own room. The elderly often asked some of us kids who were playing outside if we would run an errand for them. A basket with money would be dropped from the fire escape.



 
 
Maybe as a kid, I saw "through a glass darkly". What I saw were a lot of lonely people, young and old, living in these rooming houses.

 
 






Does anybody ever remember Mr. Mahoney laughing?





Going to school in the city of Boston had many advantages. We lived where much of our country's history began. We knew the historical landmarks. We knew where Paul Revere had lived and where he was buried along with John Hancock, Samuel Adams and Mother Goose. They can be found in the Old Granary Burial Grounds along with the victims of the Boston Massacre. We lived where Old Ironsides is docked and where Bunker Hill can be climbed. We didn't just read about these things in history books. We could go to where many of these famous events took place.

 
 

 
 
I don't remember any mother being on welfare so she could stay home and raise her children. There were some mothers who stayed at home but the ones I knew all seemed to be too drunk to make sense. I would go into the houses of some of my friends and there would be the mother passed out on the couch.

 
 

 
 
Somehow in the midst of all the problems of "growing up", we found ways to have fun and laugh.

 
 

 
 



I am sure most of the teachers I had at Prince School are now in heaven but please don't let Miss Tavender know when I arrive there. She will have me kicked out of heaven by God just as she had me kicked out of Prince School by Mr. Anderson!!


 



 
 
No matter what any of us confronted, we had our friends and that is all that really mattered.

 
 

 
 
Perhaps there were a few that had "cookies and milk" waiting for them when their school day was done but I didn't know them.

 
 

 
 

Many of us were what sociologists referred to as "Latch Key Kids". We got ourselves ready for school. After school we did whatever we wanted to do. One of these kids, who had to take care of himself, was written about in the Boston Traveler newspaper. Here is a short excerpt from a report about an unconscious woman that was found by the Charles River:
A policeman from the Back Bay Station brought a 14-year-old boy to Massachusetts General Hospital where he identified his mother.
Then the boy broke down and told police she was always taking "those green pills and going to sleep or always being helpless."
"I HAD TO GET OUT and get things myself," the boy said. "I was always hungry. When I saw something in a car I would just take it.
"I went and came as I wanted. Nobody told me anything or helped me any way."
The boy said he had been shifting for himself for "three or four years since my father died."



We each are the sum of our experiences. As was said in the opening webpage, "Every life has a story...." Each one of us who were kids in the Back Bay has a story to tell. I wonder what happened to my friend who had a brother fall out the window and die. I wonder what his story is....



 
 

CLASS OF 1947

(As they were leaving, others were beginning.)








As the song, SUNRISE SUNSET says: I don't remember them growing older....









We followed after and we came before .... A never ending line of classes.





We were and are all connected and don't even know it.





Harriet and Phyllis standing outside of Prince School.




A few "notables" that went to Prince School were: Arthur Fiedler, Mayor Kevin White, Jack Lemmon, and George Hamilton. George did not get his tan in Boston!

 
 



As the rich took over Newbury Street so did the rich take over Prince School. It is now converted to luxery condos where a one bedroom has a listed  starting price of  $550,000.  The hallowed halls of my school have been tainted by money.  It is now called "The Prince". I could come up with a different name....



FOLLOW ME TO "OUR CORNER"


As a child and teenager, it was here that I found my refuge and comfort. It was a place to forget what was happening elsewhere and only focus on having "fun" or planning "pranks".....