My Neighbor Mrs Crowley

Mrs Crowley lived almost next door in my childhood neighborhood on Old Middlesex Road, Belmont Massachusetts. By examining the 1940 U.S. Census records on I have discovered interesting facts about my former neighbors. The Crowleys lived on Essex Road, just around the corner. I just went through the backyard of the McLoughlins and across Essex Road and I was at the Crowleys – a stone’s throw away.

I knew the Crowleys through church – Payson Park Congregational church. But I got to know them better through their granddaughter Sandy. Sandy and I were about the same age and she came to visit her grandparents often. So we played together from an early age. I can remember meals in their home and some special outings together – one trip in particular was to a summer camp for blind girls. This was a camp sponsored by Kiwanis and located in New Hampshire. I assume Mr. Crowley was a member of Kiwanis and was involved with their charitable activities.

I also have a specific memory of Mrs. Crowley in her sunroom (a room off the living room) – she was punching out texts in braille – presumably this work was for the School for the Blind which was located in nearby Watertown.

Sandy lived in nearby Lexington, and when we were in high school Sandy and I would meet on the field hockey field and on the basketball court.

The years went by and Mrs. Crowley (Nellie) got cancer. Mr. Crowley remained outwardly cheerful and reassured people at church that she was doing well. Sadly Nellie passed away in

March 1952. .

Next I heard was that Mr. Crowley had remarried. This was in 1953. By then I was in high school and was soon off to Middlebury. He moved to his new wife’s home in another part of Belmont. The new wife was a widow, but in younger days she and her husband had played bridge regularly with Mr. (Herbert) and Mrs. (Nellie) Crowley.

Sandy went to Russell Sage in New York State. When the Russell Sage girls came to play Middlebury in field hockey, Sandy and I met up. We remained in contact off and on through the years. The most recent contact was a year ago on her 82nd birthday, when I phoned her out of the blue. It took a while to convince her that it was really me (Janet Miller) phoning her. How did I know it was her birthday? Well for some quirky reason I’ve always remembered her birthday was April 11 and the twins (other childhood playmates) were born on May 2.

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