Listen to Massachusetts 8, a 65-year-old man from Dorchester, Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Click or tap the triangle-shaped play button to hear the subject.
DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 1940
PLACE OF BIRTH: Boston (Dorchester neighborhood)
OCCUPATION: groundskeeper, former structural engineer
EDUCATION: parochial school and high school graduate
AREA(S) OF RESIDENCE OUTSIDE REPRESENTATIVE REGION FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS: N/A
OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:
One of seven children, the subject is a first-generation American; both of his parents are from Ireland (Donegal). He grew up near the “Southie” border, in a mostly Irish neighborhood.
RECORDED BY: Rebekah Maggor
DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 07/2005
PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A
TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:
Well I was (uh) born in Boston in (uh) 1940. (Uh) My parents came from Ireland in their — probably in the early ’20s. And (uh) I’m one of seven children, and (uh) we went to parochial schools, (um) the whole family. And then I went to (uh) public high school. But I was (uh) born in, in Boston, the Dorchester section, grew up in (uh) more or less an Irish neighborhood. Generally the, the area was (uh) mostly three-deckers, and these, these three-deckers were (uh) typically five-room, five-room houses. Five, five rooms and (uh) three floors … be a kitchen, two bedrooms, (uh) the, a dining room and a living room, or a parlor, they used to call it in the old days. And in my particular family, with all that, with nine people, the (uh) dining room became (uh), became a bedroom for my parents. Well I went to after (uh…uh) getting out of grammar school– parochial grammar school, I went to a (uh) public high school. It was a technical school, where we (uh) — we had (uh) various, various shops. (Um) You could take a college course if you wanted to. I took a college course for a couple years, then I got into a technical course. I had drafting for four years. I had woodworking courses, sheet metal courses, (uh) machine shop courses, and (uh) after getting out of (uh) — graduated from high school, I got a job at a civil engineering company as (uh) what they called in those days was a plan clerk. And you just (uh) took drawings to the printers and had them make copies, ran (uh) — did various messenger work. And eventually I (uh) started on as a junior draftsman. And continued on in (uh) — the next process was to become a regular draftsman. And there was some large — in those days these were basically civil engineering companies who were building highways. These employees were, if they were employed, were two, three hundred employees. And I did that for several years, and then I went and (uh) — I went to work for a (uh) map company for a while. I stayed there maybe for a year or two. That was pretty tedious work. They’d call Leroy, and just Leroying street names all day wasn’t too (uh) — wasn’t too adventurous. So, shortly after that, I (uh) I went to work for a structural engineer, and that was a little more — that was something new for me. It would’ve been — that was more diversified, and (uh) I stayed there for (uh) maybe 30, 35 years. Till the place actually went out of business. I then went to work at Harvard University, as a groundskeeper, and (uh) I’ve been there for maybe about eleven years now. Growing up in Dorchester, it was (uh) preliminary — (Uhb-uh) Typically it was (uh) basically an Irish — (uh) an Irish neighborhood. (Uh) There wasn’t an awful lot of money around. (Uh) Most of the immigrants came here with (uh) not an awful lot of education. But they’re extremely (uh) hard workers. And we lived (uh) close to the beach. Y’know we spent an awful lot of time at the beach. If we weren’t at the beach, we were (uh) at the ballpark. Sports was (uh) — sports was very central to our lives in those days. There wasn’t much — there were no th– (uh) we had no automobiles, so you either went to the park, or you went to the beach, or you hung around the corner. (Uh) Typically (uh) the park and the beach were a little more fun. I’m sure our parents encouraged the kids get involved in sports. “Keep the boy in sports, and keep him out of the courts,” was (uh) — was somethin’ that they said in those days, that’s turned out to be, be pretty truthful. And then we would (uh) — we would occasionally go — two months there we’d go to the beach. We’d go to Castle Island. It was a place where– where the Irish immigrants would meet. And (uh) you would– you would wander around Castle Island. The airport was there, and the boats were there, and it was a place where people would gather also. But it was also a place you could go walk around and enjoy the ocean. And it (uh) — it was fairly close to home. As I say, since there were no automobiles. But (uh) and it’s still — it was at the time called — called the Irish Riviera. That’s what most of the people in Dorchester area and Southie would, would go. And it (uh) — it hasn’t changed. The generations (uh) still — still go there. And (uh) it’s been a focal point of the Boston Irish (uh) people for a, for an awful long time. Yeah, I grew up in Dorchester, but (uh) typically right near the (uh), right near the (uh) South Boston line. We spent (uh) as much of our youth down at the (uh), the ballparks and the beach, which are in South Boston. And (uh), and, and, as I say, typically, my time, my time was spent in Southie, and when I went to high school, I (uh) had, had a bunch of friends. Had a lot of friends that (uh), that grew up in the projects of South Boston. They were — they were pretty much the same as us, as near as I could see. They, most of them were first-generation (uh) Irish, and (uh) we, we had an awful lot in common.
TRANSCRIBED BY: Jacqueline Baker
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 18/01/2008
PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A
TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY: N/A
COMMENTARY BY: N/A
DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
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