Dick Loynd

Interviewer: Michael Kline
Date: May 7, 2014
Place of Interview: Trustees' Room, Concord Free Public Library
Transcriptionist: Adept Word Management

Click for audio: part 1, part 2.
Audio file is in .mp3 format.

Dick LoyndMichael Kline: 0:00:02.3 Okay. Today is April--May 7th--May 7th, I believe, and we're at the Concord Free Public Library. We're in the board room. It's mid-morning, a perfectly beautiful spring day--April day in May.

Carrie Kline: It's the Trustee's Room.

MK: Trustee's Room. I'm Michael Kline here with Carrie Kline. And would you say "my name is" and introduce yourself?

Dick Loynd: My name is Richard Loynd, and I live at 20 Crest Street in Concord.

MK: And your date of birth, please?

DL: Is October 6th, 1934. And I was brought up in West Concord, so I'm very familiar with the town.

MK: Well, why don't you tell us a little bit about the people and where you were raised there.

DL: Yes, I was raised--well, I wasn't born in Concord. I was born in Waltham. My mother and father brought us here I guess when I was probably two or three, I don't remember the exact date. But my mother and father had four, two girls older than me--we were all two years apart--and one younger brother, two years apart.

MK: What were their names?

DL: My oldest sister was Jean and my next sister is Gertrude, and then Richard, and then Francis. But we called him Roderick. And it's Francis Roderick, so we never called him Frank. We always called him Roddy or Roderick. And my mother always called me Dickey as a kid. But I grew up in West Concord. Now, mentioning West Concord from Concord, in my opinion--having grown up here--quite a difference, and I'll explain a little of that if you would like me to.

MK: Take your time.

DL: 0:02:07.5 And as a young boy, we went to school in West Concord. We had our own separate school. We used to walk to school. There was no bus transportation for those that were going to the Harvey Wheeler School. And we would go to school in the morning--go in at the kindergarten grade. The school was designed so that every year you would progress one year and move one classroom down. And then when you got finished with 6th grade, you were at the other end of the building. So, at that point, you would walk across or you would--when you left that school, you would go out and then they had a larger older building--three-story building--that was the West Concord Junior High School. That's where you went to your 7th and 8th Grade. When you left the West Concord Harvey Wheeler School, you were then bussed to Concord to Concord High School. It was not Concord-Carlisle in those years. It was just Concord although Carlisle children went to Concord. It was only just Concord the school was named.

It was a nice town. We had our own school; we had our own church; we had our own post office; we had our own ZIP code different from Concord. So, we were self-contained. And we had our own railroad station, so we could easily take the train from West Concord to Boston or to Waltham or to any other place you wanted to go to along those lines.

MK: Including Concord, I guess.

DL: Including Concord. It would leave West Concord, stop--if you were going east, it would stop at West Concord. We would get on. It would stop at Concord. Concord-Lincoln, Lincoln-Hastings, Kendal Green-Brandeis which was known in those days as Roberts. I don't think Brandeis was there at the time.

CK: Roberts?

DL: Roberts. R-O-B-E-R-T-S. That was a section of the area where Brandeis is presently located. And then the next stop would be Waltham and then it would be Waverley, Watertown. And then from Watertown, it would go to Belmont, Belmont to Cambridge, Cambridge to Boston to the North Station. That's where the end of the road was. So, that would be the North Station.

My mother and father were from Waltham. Well, my father was born and raised in Waltham, and my mother was born and raised in Newton which is the next town. So, when we were always getting ready for school, she would want to buy us school clothes, and we had an annual trip to Waltham to the--we would get off the train at Waltham, and she would take us down to Grover Cronin's clothing store which she was very familiar with being from that area. It was a larger department store--very busy. And a lot of the people used to go there to buy their children's' shoes and clothes at that time for school because West Concord--we had no stores that provided clothes for children, clothes for kids. We did have a shoe store, but she always used to like to take us to Waltham to do it all in one store and get it done. As we started to age, we would then go into what we would call West Concord shoe store which was run by Carl Hay. Very popular.

CK: 0:05:45.1 H-A-Y?

DL: H-A-Y--now, it could be -E-S, H-A-Y-E-S, Hayes. His name was Joe. He was a cobbler, started the business as a young man right in the center of West Concord. And he was a true cobbler. In other words, everything he did was with a knife and leather. So, he could--many of his customers--if the customers had problems with their feet and they went to their podiatrist--foot doctor--they would give them a prescription to go to Joe Hay, and he would fit their--he would carve the leather to fit the person's foot. If you had a child that say had imperfections in their legs or feet, he would make them and put steel braces across and they would require to stay or keep the shoes on and sometimes sleep with them. So, he was a real craftsman.

And it was sort of a hangout for the younger fellows in Concord to go there because downstairs he had a boxing ring. And whenever the kids would get a little rowdy around the neighborhood, he would say go downstairs and settle your problems down there. And he always had someone overlooking it. So, there was a lot of fun to go down and watch or to sit there and see these kids get in. He would put the gloves on them and they would whack one another. And it was over and you would go--we had no intent on buying any shoes, but we would just go to go downstairs and watch the boxing.

So, that's how we sort of lived. We walked to school. And at noontime, the bell rang, and we walked home, had our lunch, and then we would walk back to school for our afternoon sessions. At 2:30 or 3:00--I'm not counting the exact times now--we would then go home or we would leave the school grounds. Now, I'm sure as kids we always didn't go right home. There was always things that were going on that we could kind of get attracted to. And you had to--West Concord, at that time, was a very, very busy intersection for two major railroads to Boston, the Maine railroad and the New Haven, Hartford, and Connecticut Railroad. And they crossed right there. That's why they call it the junction. Now, if you read a little sign there in a small park that has been built by the town recently, there's a sign that says there were over one-hundred, twenty trains a day that went through this junction. And as a kid, you could always lay in bed and hear the train whistles and it was very--it was always nice to hear those. I can remember as a young boy laying in bed saying I wonder where those trains are going to, and I wonder where they're coming from. And it always fascinated me. So, as you age, you begin to realize that the railroad was a significant part of the town of West Concord. Concord only had the Boston and Maine. But West Concord, we had the junction. They still call it the junction--or some call it--in this day and age, it's a village.

So, I mention that only because as kids, we always sort of migrated--everything that happened from the outside seemed to end up at the junction. To get our newspapers, we had to go to the train station and get the papers off the train. And many times the trains--if they didn't stop--they would throw off the bundles of papers. So, my mother would always say, "When you're coming home today, make sure you stop at the drugstore and get the paper." Well, she would give us a nickel and papers at that time cost a nickel for the Globe or the Boston Herald or whatever we were getting. So, we would go down and when the papers got off--were thrown off--the train, a few of us kids would go over and get them, carry them to the drugstore. And on the way, we would probably slip one out and put that in our pocket and then bring the papers to the drugstore. And then if we had a nickel, there was a little candy store between the drugstore and our home, so we always stopped in that candy store.

There was a gentleman by the name of old Johnny Bart. Bartolomeo. We called him Mr. Barts. And we would walk in. He had these old case--round candy cases--where you could look in through the glass. So, we always had the nickel. We would ask Mr. Bart, I'll have one of those. He would reach in, pick one up. I'll have one of those. So, we would get three or four for a nickel, and we would eat those on the way home. Of course we never let our mother know that until later years. Those things, you sort of remember as kids.

0:11:15.1 We did have--one thing about growing up in West Concord at that time is all the kids knew one another. Their families knew one another. We were all poor. Most of the families that we associated with rented their home. I wouldn't say no one, but many of the people didn't own their homes. We just rented little apartment buildings or one side of a double home. Depending on where you lived, you rented the whole house. There were four or five--what I would say--not prominent but who were businessmen who owned most of the homes or most of the properties. And I could almost name you the five or six that owned--Burly Pratt, 0:12:03.2 West End Land

MK: Billy Pratt?

DL: Burly, Burly--

MK: Burly Pratt.

DL: Burly Pratt. Yeah. He's one of the owners of West Concord. I think he owned the West Concord Whitney Coal and Grain Company which is right next to the tracks and used to get all the coal deliveries from the railroad, and then he would take them from the railroad cars on to his sheds--his coal sheds. And then he had coal trucks. And they would deliver the coal to the homes from there. So, he was a very nice man, very good business man, and was very good to the families. And I think that West Concord, when I was growing up, was the--those that owned those properties were very liberal with their rents and things. They weren't out to try and get--make sure you paid your rent every week or every month and we're going to charge you an arm and a leg more so than happens today. They were men and women who lived in the community. They owned the properties, and they were very good to their tenants and that was very, very nice to have to live through as a kid because I'm sure--and probably in my own family, there were times when you couldn't make the monthly rent or something came up, whether it was an illness or whatever. They would probably say well pay next month.

MK: Was your dad employed?

DL: Yes, he was.

MK: 0:13:40.7 What did he do?

DL: My father worked at a dealership--an automobile dealership. He was an automobile man. Now, he worked in Waltham, and I think the company that he worked for provided an automobile for him, so he had a company car a lot of time. But he couldn't use it to--although we used to go places in it. But he was always very careful of taking it and using it in case something happened. So, we walked everywhere. There was very little public transportation in West Concord. There was one bus that would come from, I believe, Arlington and go to Maynard. We could--on a Saturday afternoon--walk to the bus station and for nine cents take the bus to Maynard which had a movie theater. They had two or three movie theaters at the time. Those were the only movie theaters around that ran movies pretty consistently. I know that there was a smaller theater in Concord, but we never came there. It was something that they only had them on certain days. But we could always knew Saturday afternoon we could go to Maynard on the bus for nine cents and watch the cowboys and indians, Johnny Mack Brown, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry. For a kid, that was a big thing to do in those days was to go to--and as we got older and you were able to get a few extra cents, you would probably go to the movies and then stop at what they call Pete Carbone's restaurant which is a popular restaurant in Maynard.

CK: Carbone's? Can you spell that?

DL: Carbone's, C-A-R-B-O-N-E. It's Carbone, but we always called it Carbone's. And he was a very nice guy. He used to come out and greet all the people all the time. Very popular restaurant in Maynard. On Sundays you would drive by and the people would be lined up on the sidewalk waiting to get in. He always had fried clams, lobsters, french fries, great pizzas. So, we would go in, go to the movies, and then go in there and have our pizza. Then we would take the bus home. Now, on many occasions as kids, I remember we would spend all our money in Maynard with our pizzas and our movies. We would have to hitchhike home. So, it was not uncommon for kids to hitchhike to get to the closest--from West Concord to Concord. If you missed the school bus when you were coming down, you would run out and put your hand out and nine times out of ten when you were going to school, the person that picked you up--you probably knew them or they knew you. It wasn't like you were strangers because a lot of--I wouldn't say a lot, but there were many people who lived in West Concord who worked in Concord for the town, for instance.

So, that was a little bit of how we got along. Now, later on as we left the junior high school, we then had to come to Concord and went to our high school which was on Stow Street here. It's now the Emerson Umbrella. And as a result of transportation, we had to either get the school bus--if you missed the school bus, then you would just run out on the street and throw your thumb out and somebody would come along and stop. You would jump in. They would drop you here, and you would run over and catch class on time. So, you always knew you could--and if worse came to worse, if you didn't get a ride, you could always run over to the train station if you heard the train coming and get on the train for a nickel and take it from West Concord to Concord. So, you could always get from the two areas or where ever you were going somehow.

0:17:39.3 Of course as we aged and were in high school, one or two of the high school kids were able to have--we had--I had a friend that was a car enthusiast and he bought an old Thirty-seven Ford and used to work on it himself and kept it running. And on days he would say to me why don't you meet me in the morning and ride with me to school. So, he had a license and so I would do that. We would ride. Sometimes he would pick up other kids that were out hitchhiking or walking. So, that's how we got around in those days. It was good--there was quite a difference in traffic. We didn't have the traffic problems that we have here today.

From the high school, I went up to the University of Mass, and I stayed there almost 2 years. Then I left. I was at the point where I was saying is this really what I want to do? And I don't want to get ahead of myself. As a child--I want to just go back a minute. As a child--say eight, nine, ten years old--my mother and father always encouraged us to go out and get a job. That was it. Go get a job. In a community that had a lot of farms, that's what we did. We rode our bikes to the farms and we would work on the fields weeding carrots or whatever. We had a very large and popular farmer here in Concord. His name was Thomas McGrath, M-C-G-R-A-T-H . He was--at that time, during those years--I'm talking '40s and early '50s--he was probably the largest farmer in the area for his production of potatoes, corn, squash. And on any given day he would be sending four or five truckloads of fresh vegetables from his farm to the First National Warehouse in Somerville. So, in the summertime, we always went there to get our jobs because he paid twenty-five cents an hour. And we would ride our bikes there and work on the farms all summer all day until school started. And then you could go up on Saturdays if you weren't involved in other activities in school and work for the day because he always needed the help, so much so that he began to bring Puerto Ricans from Puerto Rico to work on the farms too, and he housed them right on the farm. We used to work closely with the Puerto Ricans and as a result, learned a little bit of the street language from Puerto Rico as kids.

Then I was playing sports in school. So, a lot of times, I couldn't make working on the farm on Saturdays. So, I just--I always felt that whatever the school was offering, I should take advantage of because it didn't cost me any money. In those days, schools didn't say bring fifteen or twenty dollars in if you want to--it was everything was free. So, I always thought well, look, they're offering this, and it's not going to cost me money. Why don't I go and take advantage of it? So, I played football, baseball, and basketball. We didn't have a hockey team because we had no hockey rinks although we had many ponds. We skated a lot during the winter. Fortunately growing up, where I lived, there was a pond right in the back of our house. You could walk from here say--I would say a quarter of mile. You would be on the pond. And many of the families that lived there could look out their window and watch the kids out there. So, it was a good place to grow up.

MK: Could you get a neighborhood game of hockey going?

DL: Always.

MK: On the pond?

DL: 0:21:50.2 On the pond.

MK: Without the walls of the rink?

DL: Oh yeah. We would put sticks down as goals, and we would just skate. If the puck went off, you just skated off and got it. We had no walls; we had no rink. There was only one rink in the Town of Concord at that time. That was at the Middlesex School. That was a private school that's out on Lowell Road. From time to time, somebody could make an arrangement where we could get on there and skate a little bit. But most of the time we skated on the ponds as kids.

CK: Boys?

DL: Boys, girls. My sisters always skated out there on Saturdays. On weekends during the winter, there would be a hundred people out there--families skating all around with their little children. They had two islands--what they called Boy Scout Island and Girl Scout Island. We used to skate all around in between those islands. The Boy Scout Island was available during the summer to the Boy Scouts so they could take their canoes or boats or rafts or swim over--you could swim over--and spend the weekend there doing--on the island. It wasn't a big island. But they taught you how to build a fire and build a campsite. Taught you how to hike, trees, and things that any Boy Scout would do. The Girl Scout Island was just next to that. That was available for the Girl Scouts. I don't think it was as popular with the girls as it was with the boys. I mean there were times--I never was on Girl Scout Island when the girls were there. I've been there--we would go out there on the boat and walk around during the day. So, those were two areas that were always available to the kids. So, we always had something going on with the ponds.

Many times we would have--somebody would fall in because we had the falls. It would never freeze around the falls. I did have an experience of being pulled out of it New Year's Day 1952 or '53. The fire department pulled me out with two others. We went in, spent a day or two in the hospital.

MK: Were you eighteen or nineteen years old?

DL: Yeah. At that time I was older. I was about seventeen or eighteen. And the only reason they kept me was--the doctor--well, you've got a little bit of shock and emersion, soaking wet. And I had all this hockey equipment on, heavy, heavy pants and pads and sweatshirts and jacket, hats because it was cold. But it had thawed out. Several days before we went out on the ice and it had--underneath there was a current which we couldn't see and it sort of washed the ice away from underneath. When you looked at it from the top or the surface, it didn't seem to be any different. So, we were skating over to another group that was playing hockey in the cold. As we started across--as I started across, I went in first. I broke an area probably bigger than this room trying to get out. Every time I would go to get out, the ice would come down again because I was so--my mother happened to be looking out the window and saw me in the water and yelled at my brother who came down. He had a rope. But every time I grabbed the--I tried to get up, the ice would break again. But by that time, the fire department was on their way. So, they pulled--

CK: 0:25:35.3 What did they do?

DL: They had a--like a boat. They slid it along the ice, and there were two firemen in the boat. They just got to me and pulled me out. And I wasn't the only one that fell in that pond. It was about fifteen feet deep--at least fifteen in some areas.

MK: Do you remember feeling really cold?

DL: Oh. I was--yeah--

MK: You must have been freezing to death.

DL: Yeah. I was. Once I got there, they took my jacket off, and they had dry blankets and they threw those around me. Of course it didn't take long to get to the hospital. Emerson Hospital is just--well, actually it's the other side of Route 2, but it's a little south. And probably a ten-minute ride they had me there, took me in, stripped me down. The doctors checked me out, gave me all kinds of--probably a couple of shots to get things going. But we had our days.

Going back--if you happen to notice these scars on my face. Those were as a result of an acid--somebody threw acid at me. And it was a friend of mine. And we happen to be--I believe--probably fifth, sixth, seventh grade--I'm not sure exactly. We were coming home from school and, like all kids, taking a shortcut, and we were going through a wooded area. And it was next to what they call a woolen plant, the old Garnett factory that was owned by Mr. Dan Hayes. He was a very successful business owner in West Concord and ran a large woolen cleansing business, and they used to use a lot of acid. And this building was right next to Nashoba Brook which was a heavily run brook. And obviously somebody had thrown a bottle of this acid out across the brook into the wooded area. So, there were about five--probably eight or ten of us walking home as kids just joking. One of the boys picked up this--thought it was water. He took the top off--because it was clear. The acid was clear. Took the top off and we were in front of him walking. As he threw it he yelled, "Hey guys!" I turned around and it caught me here. It caught a couple of other kids in the back. But I think I got the worst of it. When it first hit, it was very, very cold. I didn't think much of it. Then it started to get--then it started to burn. And then it was running down my face. I started running trying to get home hollering, screaming, and there was a woman that lived close by, Mrs. Prentiss. She was out there talking to another lady and saw me coming and realized something was wrong because I had this guttural cry. And she took me right in the house and washed off my face and all which probably helped and then called my mother and went out and brought me home.

0:29:02.0 My mother got me right down to the doctor, Dr. Johnson down here--I think it was Dr. Johnson. And he put this blue solution on--I can't remember the name of it now. But I had to wear it for six months. So, I had to go to school with a large apron on and put this material on my face. So, I was very fortunate I didn't get it in the eyes. And it just did a lot of damage to the skin. So, it's never gone away. People often ask me over the years, are you sweating. It can be fifteen degrees out in the wind and they look and say are you sweating. It always looked like I had sort of a sweat running down. I would say oh no. Those are just scars. So, that was--it was always a traumatic occurrence now and then in West Concord like any place else growing up.

Once in high school, I began to enjoy sports, enjoy--well, I then got a job on the railroad in the summertime. And I was seventeen years old. I heard that they were hiring on the railroad in West Concord, and we were told to be at the West Concord train station, 9:00 Saturday morning, and fill out your applications and they were going to do some hiring. So, I went down. There must have been 100 kids there that were looking for jobs. So, my thought was there's no way they were going to hire me. I was--I think--seventeen. I don't even think I was eighteen then. But it was just a step up from working on the farms. I figured well, I'll try the railroad--and because they offered a little more money and you got extra overtime and things you didn't get on the farms. So, lo and behold, I ended up getting a job on the railroad, and we were working at Waverley then. They were putting a grade crossing in--removing the grade crossing to put an underground. So, I spent the summer there working as a Gandhi dancer, and that's swinging a hammer, raking. It was a hard job.

I would come home at night. My mother would see me coming. She would throw a bar of soap and a towel and say go down to the pond and take you a bath. That's the pond we all swam in. A lot of my neighbors would go down, and they would swim and take a big bar of Ivory soap and take their baths and towel off and go home. They were all set.

The next year--the next summer--they put me on what they call a work train. I liked that because we were going from Pittsburg to Boston picking up rails, picking up ties. Very dangerous job though. It was hard work, but it was--you had to be aware of other trains. The crane would come in with these large heavy rails, and we would have to load them on the gondola cars. And you would be down there watching that. And if it slipped or if it wasn't just on there in the center where it was equally balanced, you could--when they were bringing around, one of those rails started to come loose, you had to get out of there quick. So, I survived that. I worked there two summers, and then I went up to the University of Mass. From there--

MK: Where was the university?

DL: In Amherst.

MK: In Amherst.

DL: Yeah. Right. I left there and came home. And I--my mother's sister's husband--we always called him my uncle--was an electrical contractor in Concord--in West Concord. And so he would often call the house and ask me if I was busy Saturday or if I were going to be off after school if I could help out. He was busy, needed some young blood, somebody that could crawl around open spaces. So, I worked with him a while, and he taught me a lot about the electrical business. So, I continued doing that.

0:33:21.8 And then I became a state policeman. I found out that they were hiring. So, I applied. I was notified that I had been accepted and to come in for the physicals and the oral exams. I went through the recruitment process. I was accepted for the academy, and then I left and went to Framingham to the State police Academy and spent four months there training to be a state policeman.

Now, in those days--that was 1957. In those days, state policemen were required to live in the barracks. You only had one day off in every four. So, you would work three days and have one day off. You could come home. But when you were on duty, you were required--they housed you; you had rooms there; they had beds; we had cooks. That's where you had your meals. So, when you went to work, you were theirs. They paid you no overtime. You're going to see at least salary which I think mine when I started was $5,200 a year. There was no overtime. They took the position then that you're one of us. You're going to live in the barracks. We're going to feed you; we're going to house you; we've trained you; and we want you here to do the work; and we need you. I met a lot of very fine gentleman that I worked with. There were very few--there was no woman on the uniformed branch at that time.

The uniformed branch of the state police had a mandatory retirement. You had to go on between the ages of twenty-one or twenty-nine unless you were in the service at the age of age of twenty-nine. They would then allow you--depending on when you got out--to come on at a later time if you had military service. And the retirement was after twenty years, you could retire at half pay. If you decided to stay after twenty years, you had to retire at age fifty. So, in those days, a lot of men that were age fifty had to leave that were uniformed branch. So, usually the way the system was set up was after you did your twenty years and you became eligible for retirement, you then began to look for a job in the industry or outside or wherever. So, you then left honorably with all the flags flying and went into industry or wherever else you could go. Some would just leave at the age of fifty and go out and just try to find other jobs. After seeing that way of life, I didn't want to do that. I want to get my twenty years in and then when I got my twenty in and I was eligible for retirement, I would then--

I was hired by Raytheon Company. I had a friend that worked in security. I happened to run into Norman there, and he said what are you going to do when you retire. I said I'm just looking now. I've got my time, and I can retire any time. I knew I had to get out at age fifty. And so usually they would accept the jobs. I applied, and I was accepted at the Raytheon Corporation security. Went to work for Raytheon.

MK: Where was that located?

DL: Lexington--their headquarters, their corporate office. I worked at Raytheon for twenty years. I went directly from the State police to Raytheon, stayed twenty years, and retired at the age of sixty-five from Raytheon. I was hired at their corporate office. I was there about six months, and they sent me to what they call a computer division in Norwood.

CK: 0:37:23.9 Say it again.

DL: Their computer division--they owned a computer division--Raytheon Data Systems they called it--and it was a computer division that Raytheon had gone into.

CK: In where?

DL: In Norwood, Mass. N-O-R-W-O-O-D.

CK: Thank you.

DL: Norwood, Mass. They had a large manufacturing place in Norwood, so I went there as a security officer. From there, Raytheon. After there three or four years, Raytheon decided to sell that business because they were competing against the Wang, Digital, big blue computer company--what's the big blue--

CK: IBM or something?

DL: No. What's the big--it's still in business today. IBM. Yeah. IBM. And Raytheon was a defense contractor. Most of the people that worked in that business down in Norwood came out after a defense industry, and they were now working for a--in a business that they weren't really trained in. And they were competing against commercial divisions that were flying high. So, they ended up selling that to Telex Corporation.

Now, the way the Raytheon security was organized at that time, you reported in to the headquarters. So, the Director of Security called me and said, "I'm going to move you to Burlington," which is a Raytheon service company which is a very, very busy service company. And they provided service to all over the world to contracts they would bid on, and they would go out and put their people in locations. So, I was stationed in Burlington--or assigned to Burlington--but I travelled extensively for the company on all kinds of security manners.

I was there about three years and the director called me and asked me if I would be willing--would I consider going to Saudi Arabia as a Security Director in Saudi Arabia. I then was married, of course. We were living in West Concord, had four sons. My oldest son had gone into the military after college. My second and third sons were in college. My wife wasn't prepared to go at that point because of the kids. So, I declined. And then he said if the offer comes up again in a year or so, I'll get back to you, keep you in mind. I said fine. So, he did that. And at that point, my other children were in college. They had gone. They had left. And Paula and I and my youngest son went to Saudi Arabia.

MK: Wow.

DL: 0:40:32.0 And I served in Saudi Arabia for three years. My wife stayed two. As you know, the Kuwait invasion by Iraq became a concern. And being a defense contractor and living in Saudi Arabia, it was best that I send her home with my youngest son. And she came back. We kept our house. We didn't sell the house, just closed it up. Raytheon had a very generous--retained--what they would call a policy to retain your home. They paid your taxes and anything that had to be done. So, we didn't rent it. We just left it vacant. My neighbors were very good, and my brother was still living in West Concord and my sister. So, she would swing by. My brother, who built our house back in 1964, was in the building business in West Concord. So, I could always call on him if I had a problem or something came up. So, we enjoyed our stay in Saudi Arabia.

My wife was a flight attendant for American Airlines when I met her, so she had the travel bug. So, we took our young son, Andrew--he was at that time I believe eight or nine and went to school there. And Raytheon had the policy where if you have--I went over as--they have two policies. One, if you go over sort of as an employee on a visitor's Visa or if you go over on a residency Visa. Where I was going to be there for an unlimited time, I went on a residency Visa. That means we were residents of Saudi Arabia. Now, I don't want to get into all of the details about dealing with the Saudis because it could drive you right through the wall about their Visa policies. Because once you land in that country, you give them your passport. They invalidate your Visa, and it's all through computers. So, they take your passport. They took my wife's, and they took my young boy's, and that's it. Although the company had a policy to keep it in our office, it was at the behest of the Saudi government. So, if we wanted to leave, we would have to petition the government of Saudi Arabia to leave the country, and that didn't happen overnight. And they would want to know why you're going and where you're going.

So, where I was the security person there, what we call the Visa section and the meet and assist section reported to me. So, the local Saudi man that I dealt with--I got along pretty good with although you never quite knew--you always had the kind of--"Wait a minute, let's talk this over." So, he was always pretty good at getting the Visas. Other people he wasn't so--I would say, "So and so needs a Visa to exit the country, and they need it soon. They have a death in the family."
"Oh no. We can't do that."
"Wait a minute." His name was Muhammed Mahmoud. I would say, "Muhammed or Mahmoud, I need that Visa."
"Ah. I can't do--I can't do that."
And then I would say, "Well by tomorrow, you better either say you can or I'm going to go to my boss and have him deal with it."
So, he would come in the next day and he would say, "I need fuluus." Now, fuluus was money. And I always controlled the money for the Visas and all. So, I would have to give him--you never knew where it went, but it was in Saudi money. He would come up with a Visa, but he always used to come back to me and say, "I had to "go like snake," meaning he had to work all these back angles to--so, I always got--I always was able to get along with him fine and he always came through for me, so I always felt that I got my job done anyway.

But we had--my wife--when we first got there--took a while for her to get adjusted to it. It even took me a while too because when you go there you have to put a lot of things that you used to do on the side that were just foreign to their culture. And you had to--you go through--I went through about two or three-week training period with those people who had been there before. We were in the office of--and responsible for sending people to foreign countries and that was in Andover. I would go up there and meet with them and they would give me tapes and all kinds of things and I would take them home, and we would study them together. And I think one of the driving forces behind me going there was the fellow that was in charge at that time and I had been reporting to, I worked with in Norwood in a couple of other locations before I went over, so I knew him well. We got along fine. So, I think he had convinced me look at--take advantage of--so, I looked back on it now. We both--my wife and I--look back and say, "Hey it was a good experience." We were able to travel and visit other countries. We would go to Europe. The company would give you the opportunity to--every year you could come back home to your home of record, and they would pay for that. Or they would give you cash in lieu and you could go off and make your own arrangements to go somewhere else on vacation. And we used to do that, take advantage of the--we went to the UAE, went to Egypt--see the pyramids and things like that--went into Cairo. In those days it wasn't like it is today although you had to be careful.

MK: 0:46:37.8 So, when this was all over then, did you come back to West Concord?

DL: Yes. We came back to--I came back to work for Raytheon. They brought me--they asked me to come back. There were some changes going on in the security function back here. They were looking for a new director. And they were also, at that time, sending other security people to other locations. So, there was a lot of movement going on, and I was asked if I would come back. And the war was beginning to heat up over there. Things weren't good. We knew we had to send the youngest son, Andy, back to go to school. Now, the company would pay for him to go to school in Europe to a private school if we wanted to--chose to do that--but it would be a boarding school, and we just weren't going to do that. He wasn't at the age we thought that was the wise thing to do. So, my wife came back. I stayed for a while because they sent another man over, and we had an overlapping in transition. Then I came back. They sent me to Waltham to the security department in Waltham. And at the same time, they began to ask me to do more work for the executive office of the corporate office. And the chairman of the board lived in Concord and was looking for a security person to be concerned about his home when he wasn't there. He was very security conscious. So, I ended up doing that. And I did that until he retired. And then I was 65, had 20 years, and then I retired. I wasn't retired very long when I went down to the Volunteers of America twelve years ago and asked if I could volunteer because they were looking--they just had built a new independent living facility in West Concord, and they were looking for a van driver to take the folks out on different excursions around. So, I went down to volunteer. They told me that I couldn't volunteer, that they would have to pay me and I would have to come on as an employee. I said well, I really--you know, I've had enough of work. But I did, and they hired me. I've been there ever since. I'm still there.

MK: Which place is that?

DL: The Concord Park they call it. It's an independent living facility. It's right near the train station in West Concord. And the woman that was in charge of it--I knew her family and knew her brother. And when I went down to talk--she's sort of--I saw her one day after church, and I said I see you're looking for a van driver. She says why don't you come down? We would love to have you. Come. We need someone that would--you would be perfect. So, I ended up going down. And that was twelve years ago, and I'm still there. I drive the van one or two or three days a week whenever they need me.

MK: 0:49:48.5 That's great.

DL: Yeah. So, it keeps me busy, keeps me off the street. So, I've been really busy. I don't waste any time. My wife says where you going today. So, every day I have something I have to go do. Monday, I--growing up in a small town, you develop a lot of friends that stay in the town or don't go too far away and you become friendly with and socialize with. Well, one of my friends had a--has a big basement, and he has a pool table and a Ping-Pong. And he's got a lot of friends. We go down there every Monday, 9:00. We all throw two dollars in on the pot and then four will play Ping-Pong and four will play pool. Or six will play pool--those that don't want to play Ping-Pong play pool. And then the winners usually win the pots. And we have coffee. Every week it's someone else's turn to bring the food. So, we have a great time.

MK: Nice.

DL: So, we do that Mondays. Tuesdays I usually go down to Concord. I drive the van. Well, I'm here today, Wednesday. So, tomorrow I'll probably do what I haven't done Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, like rake the yard or go out and do things around the house. I stay busy doing that.

Then my sons--three of them are here. One of them is living over in Brussels. He's in the Marine Corps. He entered the Marine Corps right from college, and that was almost twenty-seven years ago, and he's still there. So, he'll be probably retiring within the next three years from Brussels. He's at NATO headquarters. He's an aviator, flies the EA-6B. And second son works as a teacher, schoolteacher. My third son works for a company--and he's single and travels a lot. My fourth son works in Waltham. So, they have families and children. So, we spend a lot of time with them.

MK: It's interesting that you raised four boys. How was West Concord different for them growing up than it was for you growing up?

DL: Probably changed tremendously because when I grew up, very few families had cars. If there was a car in the family, the man probably took it to work. The wife stayed home with the children. Very few ladies worked although there was some industry in West Concord where women were working. I know my mother during World War II worked at Dover Ski Binding Company for a very short time. I'm sure just to make extra money.

We had--there was a company--Dover Ski Binding. It was a very popular company. It was owned by two Norwegians that came over and settled in West Concord from Norway as young men and started this small ski binding--developing ski bindings for--they developed a lot for the military during World War II--those soldiers that were on skis and in the mountains. So, they had a lot of business with the government. The two owners, Odd Overgaard and Leif Nash were two great men. They hired a lot of local people. They hired from West Concord, some of them for very important jobs for their engineering departments.

0:53:46.5 They were the first company to develop what they would call a--the toe-heel release--safety release. So, if you fell frontward, you automatically came out of your skis or if you fell backward, you automatically came out of your skis. So, that saved of course breaking legs and ankles and things. So, they were one of the premier ski binding companies in the world. They sold all over the world. And it was right there in West Concord. I can remember as a young boy walking by there in the summertime when all their windows--they had no air conditioning. They had three floors of a large building, and all the windows would be open. And those machines would be bang, bang, bang making these--forging these ski binding toe releases, heels, springs. Their shipping and receiving department--the man
that ran that was a friend of mine, very popular in West Concord. I wish he were alive today--he died a couple of years ago--because he was a real historian.

CK: His name?

DL: Roy Anderson. Have you heard that name before? Roy Anderson? He lived close by. They've since torn his house down. The town just bought that. As a matter of fact at the Town Meeting, they just passed a petition to have the Town use that as--the Town bought the property because it bordered the playground. He had a brother, Kyle, who was a Concord fireman, who was an avid fisherman and a hunter. And whenever he was free, he was either fishing or he was hunting. Roy was pretty much the same. But Roy was--he started as a young man at Dover Ski Binding, and he--Roy--worked year around there. That was his full job. But I used to go visit him there, and he would be sending these ski bindings all over the world. And he knew all the addresses, knew the people because he talked to them on the phone.

And my friend and I took a ski trip--this was before I was married back in 1962. My friend Jack Condon who I grew up with--one of the finest persons I've ever met--his father ran a liquor store in West Concord. Then his father died. His older brother and Jack took the business over. Convinced me back in 1962 that we should take a ski trip to Europe. And at that time I was on the state police, and we were working crazy hours. So, I thought about it and decided I'm going to do this. I'm single. Why not? I was able to get the time off from the state police. So, we went over to Switzerland on a ski trip. And before we went, we went to Dover Ski Binding and talked to Leif Nash and Odd Overgaard to tell them that we were going over. And he gave us all kinds of little goodies, bags with Dover Ski Binding, little cards, little chain--little things you--he said when you go there, go to this place, give them my card or give them my chain. So, we did that. We into Zermatt, Switzerland. There was a gentleman by the name of Mr. Fuchs who owned a ski shop there.

CK: 0:57:15.7 Where did you say?

DL: In Zermatt, Switzerland. I don't know if you ever heard of it.

MK: Z--

DL: Z-E-R-M-A-T-T.

MK: Zermatt.

DL: Zermatt. They call it Zermatt, I guess. We left Boston, went to Geneva. From Geneva, we were bussed to Chamonix--Chamonix, France. And we skied there for eight or ten days. And we left Chamonix by train and went to Zermatt. Zermatt is up in the Alps, in the mountains. And there's no cars allowed in Zermatt.

So, you had to take the train. When you got there, the train--in those days, there were horse and buggies. And the drivers would sit up there and they had the name of the hotel across their head. So, you would walk down the line and see--you always had your itinerary. Look, we're staying at the whatever hotel. Oh there it is. He would wave and we would bring our suitcases, throw them in the back of the wagon, jump up, and he would take you to the hotel. No cars. There was no emissions.

It was--of course we were both single and we had a great time. We met a lot of nice people. Skied a lot--every day. And it was probably one of the best trips I ever--I don't think--we were gone probably seventeen or eighteen days and I don't think the whole trip cost over $1,000 for each of us. But he was a good skier. I was not as proficient on skis as he was.

But when I came back when we would go up to New Hampshire, I would say we're going to ski this little hill because over there you get on a cog car in the morning, the hotel would give you a boxed lunch, and you were gone all day.

CK: Get on a what?

DL: You get on a cog car--what they call a cog rail car. That's where these cogs--they have them in the White Mountains. You get on these trains and they take you to the top--takes you probably an hour to get there. You're loaded. It's like cattle all squashed in. Everybody's got their skis. And then when you get off, you're at the top of the mountains and you have--either there was a guide there or you would have to hold on to these ropes with the skis on your shoulders. And you would walk across--because if you look down, all you saw was crevasses, just drops--just wow. Then you get out into a flat area and put your skis on, and then you would start from there.

But it would take you all day to get down. Halfway or so they had a couple of what they call these restaurants so they could sit outside, take off--you're so close to the sun. You could take off your ski jackets. Girls used to do that and sit out there for an hour or two and get tanned. And then you could get your coffee or drinks or sandwiches, and then you had your boxed lunch with you and have that. Then when you ended up, you were in a different town, and they would put you on a bus and bring you back. So, it was a great trip. And we were single--both of us. We liked to ski. We liked to be active. So, we had a lot of fun. We would go out and eat at night, met a lot of nice people. It was a friendly time.

MK: 1:00:41.8 Let me see if I can reel you back into Concord for a minute.

DL: Yeah. Go--okay.

MK: I'm not a student of Thoreau's, but when you read through Thoreau, you find these references to "the boys."

DL: Right.

MK: If there was a fire, he would go to the fire.

DL: Right.

MK: The boys were already there.

DL: Right.

MK: If the berries were in bloom, he would go out to pick berries. The boys had already been there--

DL: That's right.

MK:--and picked his berries. The boys were ubiquitous. They were everywhere.

DL: Right.

MK: And that resonated a little bit with your own childhood, I think.

DL: Absolutely.

MK: You were talking about all your friends and how you could get on a train and go to
Maynard and go to the movies and come back--

DL: 1:01:30.1 Yeah. We would go to--take the bus to Maynard. The train didn't go through Maynard. It went from West Concord to Acton.

MK: So, was that the case for your boys growing up? Did they have the same kind of liberty to come and go as they chose?

DL: Oh yeah. Oh sure. Yeah. They could walk downtown. Our house is on Crest Street. To get to West Concord, you just had to walk probably no further than I would say three-quarters of a mile. But we would let them go. They would go down. They were avid fishermen. I belonged to a club--what they called the Musketaquid Club.

MK: Can you spell that?

DL: M-U-S-K-E-T-A-Q-U-I-D, Musketaquid. It's an old Indian name. There's a Musketaquid Road from the old Indian days going back to 1600s. It's a club that's--a lot of my friends are members there. A lot of the--that I knew as a young boy who were members there. It was started by a group of Concord men that decided they would like to go and start their own club. They were members of the Concord Rod and Gun Club. But for some reason, they went off on their own, and they went over and they had this pond--self-made pond--that they enlarged, built a cabin, and that's where they used to go and do their fishing and play their cards or drink their rum or drink whatever they drank. It's very secluded. Many people in Concord when I was growing up didn't know it was there. It was the best-kept secret in the world. We, as kids--you had to be a member there. We, as kids, used to ride our bikes over and go in through the wooded areas, and then we would fish because they would stock the pond twice a year.

Hot summer days. We would get on, ride along the railroad tracks of the New Haven and Hartford line and go over to White's [sic] Pond which Henry David Thoreau said was one of the joys of Concord. At that time, there weren't many people that went over to White's [sic] Pond. We used to go over and go on the back and then we would swim there--stay there all afternoon and stay there--and then get back on our bikes and ride our bikes back to West Concord along the railroad tracks. So, it was always a place to go. Later when I was--after I was married, I joined the White Club. It's an association.

CK: 1:04:12.0 (???) (inaudible)

DL: An association.

CK: What's it called?

DL: White's [sic] Pond Association. It may have changed now. There are a lot of homes over that way, old home cabins that people have bought and they have enlarged them or enhanced them so they're their year-around homes now. When I was a kid, people just used them as camps. They had a small beach area, and I used to take our kids there for the beach to swim--to teach them how to swim--although they did go to camp. We were fortunate in that they went to a summer camp over in Weston at the Rivers School, and it was a great, great--it was one of the--the kids still talk about it today, how much fun they had there. The director of the summer--camp director--was a friend of a friend of mine, and I was able to--who asked me if I was interested in having my boys go there. My wife drove them over in the morning and then picked them up.

MK: 1:05:18.3 So, it was a day camp?

DL: It was a day camp.

CK: At the Rivers School?

DL: Rivers School. Have you been to the Rivers School? It's a private school. It's in Weston. It's a beautiful place, not easy to find. But my kids went there--all four of them I think. I had three boys and then we had eleven years between the third and fourth. So, he's a little trailer. I think I brought--I used to take him over there. If I didn't take them there, I would take them to Musketaquid. They loved to fish. They would go over there. The rule of the club is that if you're a nonmember or a family, you had to have the member of the family there who was a member of the club. But I would go over sometimes and one of the members--"Hey I thought I saw your boys over here yesterday." No. They never told me they came over. It was one of those things.
So, I would go home and, "You guys over at Musketaquid yesterday?"
"Oh we just went over on our bikes, Dad."
"I said did you fish?"
"Well, Ted had his fishing pole." One of them was a real enthusiastic fisherman.

I read the riot act to them, you're supposed to have me there. Members see you there without--if I'm not there--they don't like that. "Oh okay. We won't do it again." Of course, you know, as kids--but I have three boys, and they--

MK: So, if the freedoms weren't offered, they would kind of take them anyway.

DL: Yeah.

MK: Like boys do.

DL: Yeah. Exactly. I mean not to any degree that they would offend anybody. They would go over to--I don't think they really realized that there's a rule here. You've got to abide the rules here. You've got to go by the rules. If you don't--but they all turned out well.

My oldest son went to Colby College in Maine. You're familiar with Colby? And then went to the Tufts Fletcher School, got his masters there while he was in the military. And my second son went to Villanova 1:07:29.2 (???) (inaudible) School. My third son went to Colby where his older brother went. Then he went to Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, SAIS School. It's in Washington DC.


DL: 1:07:46.7 SAIS.

CK: Spell it.

DL: S-A-I-S. Well, that's an abbreviation for the School of Advanced International Studies. It's a two-year program, graduate program. He went to Italy for the first year at the Bologna--at the SAIS Center in Bologna and came back to Washington DC and finished up in Washington.

CK: What about Andy then?

DL: Andy went to the school of--he didn't go to college. He didn't want to. He just went out and got a job, just felt it was more--so, he had a little different outlook on things.

CK: So, how is it now? Can you compare what it would be like for a child growing up in West Concord today?

DL: Not the same. West Concord has changed so much. The traffic is a real problem in West Concord. When I was a kid, your mother could give you a five dollar bill and say go down to Parinda Gas and get a pound and a half of hamburger; go here and a get a loaf of bread. You can't do that now in West Concord. They just--Mandrioli's market was the last meat market and little variety store that they had in West Concord. They've sold that, and now they're going to make it into a restaurant. So, you can't buy a pound of fresh hamburger in West Concord anymore.

There's a lot of building going on. The properties in West Concord were always affordable for a lot of people, and that sort of--I think--brought a lot of them here recently--recent, I say in the last ten or fifteen-to-twenty years--to West Concord. It was always known as a place where if you rented a building or rented a space to open a little business, until you get the business going, if you couldn't pay the rent, it's all right. When things get better, pay it. But that's not the same now. It's--you go into West Concord, and the rentals are probably really high. They've ripped a lot of the old buildings down. There's major construction going on in West Concord now where they're going to--they've ripped down what we call the old Damon Woodworking Company. Damon was a very popular name in West Concord. The family started that business many years ago. They were very successful. They built furniture; they built fencing. But now that's all been leveled, all gone. So, they're building a new area there where they're going to have rentals, probably some apartments for sale, and some retail. And they're locating it so it's on the Nashoba Brook, so you'll have a little park in the back. I've seen pictures of the plans, and it looks pretty good. But I'm sure it's not going to be the same. If you decide that you want to move there, you're going to have to have a few bucks because it's all new. Some of the old buildings in West Concord--we had an old hotel, the Elmwood Hotel. That's now more apartment buildings.

CK: Homewood did you say?

DL: Elmwood.

CK: 1:11:19.1 Elmwood.

DL: E-L-M-W-O--and we had a pool hall downstairs. There was--let me see. Adams and Bridges Hardware Store there. And at the other end, we had Joe Hayes shoe store. And then upstairs there was the Odd Fellows Hall which was what they called the Odd Fellows which is a group of men that would go up and spend their afternoons there and had their--it was like a little club. Across the street was the post office. Next to the post office was the drugstore. Next to the drugstore was a little office area where Dr. Davis had his dental office, and he was a great guy.

I can remember being in elementary school and they would march us in the 3rd or 4th Grade down to his office, and he would check our teeth because, in those days, a lot of us didn't care for our teeth as we should have. So, we would go in, line up, and he would sit you in the chair and check you over and say well you should have this fixed, I should have that fixed. Why don't you come back. So, he was good. I'm sure he did that without cover charge to the Town.

It was a good school to grow up in because the teachers were good. They were there for a long time. Some of the teachers I had at the elementary level my sons had and they still remember them. So, they stayed. When I got to the high school, the teachers were--the principal was a Mr. Donovan. He was a wonderful guy. Most of my teachers were coaches too, so you saw them on the--not only in the classroom, but then when you went out--the new sports, they were also there as your coaches in track or whatever.

CK: Donovan spelled?

DL: D-O-N-O-V-A-N, John Donovan. I had a teacher by the name of Bill Bulger, B-U-L-G-E-R. He was a civic and history teacher in high school.

MK: Is that one of the ones your sons had later? Who were some of those?

DL: I don't think that--he had retired before my sons--

MK: Who was one who taught both you and your sons?

DL: Mrs. McKenna. She was a teacher in the elementary school. Mrs. Fiske. She was like a 3rd or 4th Grade teacher. So, it was in the early grades that they taught that I had, and they went in years later and they were still teaching. So, it was fascinating because probably when she was teaching them or talking to them or whatever was going on, she always knew, "Well I had your father."

So, in high school, one of the things that I think got me interested in a lot of the local things that were going on in the town was Mr. Bulger. He used to say to me, "Loynd, you want to get extra credit in this class?"
I say, "Sure. What do I have to do?"
"You be down at the armory Saturday morning at 8:00. Make sure you have a necktie--clean shirt, necktie, and a jacket. You're going to get on the tour bus, and you're going to show them where these spots in Concord are located. Lake Walden, the Old North Bridge, the Old Manse, the Wayside, all the historic places." And I learned a lot myself. Because when I first did it I said I don't even know if I know where these places are. Being from West Concord you didn't come down here. We used to ride our bikes down here to go to the parades and then ride out to the Old North Bridge and watch the ceremonies. But I don't think, at that age, we realized the significance of what the re-enactments and all. 1:15:36.1 (???) (inaudible) tri-cornered hats and they're all marching with muskets.

1:15:43.9 So, I used to do that Saturday mornings, and I got to enjoy it because I would get on the bus. Bus drivers didn't know where to go. Most of the people on the bus were from other parts of the country. They were here in Boston--they would come out on our tour from Boston to Concord. So, I would show them where Lake Walden, tell them where the Walden's camp was, take them out to the Old North Bridge, show them the Bullet Hole House which I since learned has been a myth, and Meriam's Corner. And they would ask questions and I would answer it as best I could. So, I thought that--I think back at that. That was good. Mr. Bulger knew, probably, that this is good that you should do these things.

And he used to require that we also go to the Town Meetings. Now, the Town Meetings were held in the armory, and we were in high school. We weren't old enough--we weren't registered voters but he would make sure that they had a place on the stage where we could sit and listen to discussions and watch the--yeah. So, you know, at the time I didn't realize it was that important.

MK: Applied civics.

DL: Yeah. Exactly. And he would always give you extra credit. I knew that if you need a little help, fine. Go down, let's--my English teacher was my track coach and was the trainer for the football team. He lived just up the street from me. His name was Skip O'Connor. Harold "Skip" O'Connor was a very successful track coach at Concord, had some great teams, wrote several books on track. He took us on an excursion by train to Montreal and to Ottawa, and to the capital of Canada.

CK: Was there a difference in the West Concord versus Concord kids?

DL: Oh much. Much. We never came to Concord as kids.

MK: That's what I wanted to ask you. Was there a certain pride in being from West Concord or did everybody wish they were from the Concord families?

DL: Did we miss some?

CK: 0:00:02.5 No. We're fine. You said rivalry again?

DL: Yeah. There's sort of a rivalry because when I was in elementary school, it was at the Harvey Wheeler School. That was the only school in West Concord. The other school in Concord which was down this hill was the Peter Buckeley. That was the only--

MK: Peter?

DL: Peter Bulkeley. B-U-L-K-E-L-E-Y, Bulkeley. Peter Bulkeley School. That was named after one of the originally Concordites, I guess, that came here back in--was a teacher at some point, I'm not sure--16-1700s. Came over from England which most of them did at that time and dealt with the Indians. From what I understand. I wasn't around. But anyway, that elementary school and Harvey Wheeler School in West Concord--we used to have basketball games between the two or baseball games or football--I even think football. Yeah. It was sort of a rivalry. We never got to know those kids closely until we came to high school and then we were all in the same class. So, they joined us together. When you see somebody every day that's sitting next to you in your class, on your teams, then you get to know them then very well. We still have talks about it. Mondays when we go to ping-pong and pool, there's several of them that grew up in Concord. They say in West Concord, "Hey, there's a Concordite. Don't tell him anything." We always viewed--it was a myth, but more people in Concord were in a different class than we were in West Concord.

MK: A different--

DL: Class, a different class. By that I mean, there was more wealth. There was more people in Concord that had money, lived in bigger houses, lived a life where you didn't know they had money. They wore old clothes, wore old sneakers, drove old cars, didn't want you to know that they lived in communities such as Nashawtuc Hill.

So, we all lived right around West Concord. Most of the families that lived in the center around the village of West Concord, parents, worked in either the prison, Allen Chair Corporation which was that building built by woodworking place--three large buildings--on the railroad. There were three or four other small businesses in West Concord. They had the Garnett factory, the woolen mill.

Now, Dan Hayes, his transportation man was a fellow by the name of J. R. Kelley. He a large trucking company. He used to do all of Dan Hayes' woolen mill transportations to and from by J. R. Kelley. Now, J. R. Kelley was a successful transportation person, had a lot of trucks with his name on them around West Concord, hired a lot of local people, had kids in school with us. Never knew--sadly, the one that was in my class was killed in an automobile accident just before we graduated. So, that was a traumatic experience. Handsome looking boy too.

The other owners were--we had what they called a Conand Machine Company. They used to make the graters for the coal. If you wanted to send coal up to a second story or down, they would put them on these graters, and they would unload them on those. And those would mechanically send you--or the snow removal. They made the snow removal from the streets.

CK: 0:04:08.7 Can you spell Conand?

DL: Conand Machine Company.

CK: Spell?

DL: C-O-N-A-N-D, Conand Machine.

CK: So, they could do snow removal too?

DL: Yeah. They used to do all the--in the center of town, they would bring these big snow removal cranes, and they would drive them along. They were slow. Drive them along, and then these tracks would take the snow up and load it on to the trucks, and they would take the snow from the centers of the town in West Concord and Concord. More so in Concord than they did in West Concord. We always complained that they get all the snow removal. We get nothing over here. But we had a lot of fun with it over the years. But there was a lot of truth to it too because during the days that I grew up, the town--and I can remember talking--didn't really put a lot of effort into West Concord. They always felt that it was self-sustaining. We had everything up here we needed. We don't have to do too much. Properties were mostly owned by eight or ten families; land was mostly owned by four or five people, wealthy people who made a lot of money. There was one doctor that lived--we had one doctor in town, Dr.--let me think of his last name now. He lived on Highland Street, owned a lot of the property over by some of the schools, over towards White's [sic] Pond area. His name--I don't know it as good as - I think I had to go to him to get vaccinated before we went to school. His name will come to me.

So, anyway, that was West Concord. It was different than Concord. We never would come to Concord as kids. Never come to--because there was nothing here. There was nothing here to come to. There was one place on Saturday mornings up here at the Monument Hall they called it. They used to have roller skating inside on Saturday morning for the kids. We used to come down. We would ride our bikes or we would hitchhike down. They would have these clamp on roller skates you could clamp on your shoes, and we would spend hours going around in there. That was the only thing that would come to Concord. There was no other--they never had anything here. They never had--the town never had a swimming pool, didn't have an ice rink. We built one ice rink in West Concord on the Rideout Playground. It was built by the locals themselves interested in playing hockey, built the boards themselves.

We had a family, Beharrell. Mike Beharrell was, I believe, an old Norwegian that came over here probably at the turn of the century, was a craftsman, built a lot of the houses around the center of town. He had two sons, Reed and Ted, and they followed along in the business. They all passed away. We had what we call a Harness Shop which is where I lived on Harness Shop Hill. It was a large shop--a building--and they made leather. They processed leather for the horses, for saddles and things like that. They sold a lot to the military during World War I and II I believe. So, that was a very busy place.

0:07:39.7 We had several farmers that lived in town. Mr. Derby lives right where the Seven-Eleven--he had a big farm and a house next to it. He had cattle and he used to graze his cattle along the Assabet River. He would bring them down Route 62 and bring them down into the--he would let the cattle drink out of the river. So, it was a unique place to grow up.

If we went someplace, we went to Maynard. Now, as we got older--a lot of the older kids if they wanted to get a drink, they would go to Maynard because Maynard was loaded with barrooms. And some of the--let me put this in perspective.

During World War II, it was very quiet around town. I could still remember the day that World War II ended. I was on the playground. It was in the summer, and we had a teacher--a counselor--a young lady. And I still see her. Now she's at the independent living facility. She's older now. So, I see her quite often. She still remembers those days but is having some memory issues. So, I talk to her a lot about the day the World War II ended. We all got on our bikes and we went down into West Concord. Everybody that was coming through, they were blowing their horns, and we were just--then the--a lot of the veterans, the young men that were coming back from World War II that were just a little bit older than we were would hang out in West Concord. They had no place else to go. Some had cars. They were all what they would call members of the Fifty-two Twenty Club--I believe they call it. You used to hear that term a lot. Fifty-two Twenty. What's that? That's how much they were getting a month from the government after they--for their service. And many of them came back, had been through a lot. Of course we never realized that. They used to hang out at Joe Hayes or the drugstore, and they would decide where they would go. It was always they would go to Maynard because that's where they could get a drink and have their laughs and be with their buddies. Never come to Concord because there was no place to drink in Concord when they got older. So, that was a period when it was very active in West Concord. A lot of those young men who were from the families of West Concord came back. There's a square in West Concord called Kenny Dunn Square.

CK: Spell it.

DL: Kenny--his first name is Kenneth. They called him Kenny. Last name is Dunn, D-U-N-N. He was the first West Concord boy that was killed in World War II. He was killed on Guadalcanal in 1941. He was with the local National Guard, the one from Concord. They named the square after him.

There's another fellow. I mentioned the name of a friend of mine, Jerry Moscariello. His brother was killed on Guadalcanal also.

CK: Moscariello?

DL: 0:11:04.6 Moscariello, M-O-S-C-A-R-I-E-L-L-O, Moscariello. His brother was killed on Guadalcanal. And they named--they gave him a battlefield commission, I believe. Now, a lot of those veterans, when they were going to high school before they went in--and some of them were in high school, left to go into the military, did two or three years in the military and then came back and went back to high school. Some played on the football teams. So, it was fascinating now when you look back and understand that they were high school kids, the war broke out, they were seventeen years old--probably seventeen, some sixteen probably lied about their age--and went into the service, went off, and fought in foreign lands, and then came back, and then went back and got their high school diploma. There were a number of them. I still have some that I know. Some have passed on. So, that was a fascinating time.

Right near the--what they call--Kenny Dunn Square was a gas station. It was a little Texaco station. It was right at the end of Dan Hayes' Garnett Mill. He sold Texaco gas and oil there. His name was Winnie. And all the kids that were waiting to go to school would always go in there--the same kids every day. And they would call them Winnie's gang. So, they were Winnie's gang that hung out there. Mostly boys. And they would crowd into this little gas station to stay warm waiting for the bus. All the girls would have to stand outside. That's where my sister would be. She would have been great to have here because she could probably remember those days too. But I'm sure that the girls didn't feel comfortable. There were twenty or twenty-five young men in there waiting to go to school. So, they called that Winnie's gang. And a lot of those guys went off and fought in the wars and then came back.

There were I think three Concordites that were killed on Guadalcanal. One had the Kenny Dunn Square named after him, and the other was given a battlefield commission. And the third one, I think they named a ship after him if I'm not mistaken. His name was George Heyliger.

MK: Heyliger?

DL: H-E-Y-L-I-G-E-R. And his brother was my teacher in high school. He was like the shop teacher. Nice guy, good guy, strict. When you went to his class, you had to pay attention or you would get one of these big erasers off the head.

CK: His name?

DL: I'm not sure his first name. We always called him Mr. Heyliger, but he was George Heyliger's brother.

CK: What did they have you do in shop?

DL: Well, they used to bring--don't get me going on these. They used to bring cars or they would go down and make--they had woodworking shop. They would make woodworking. We had a woodworking teacher by the name of Mr. Ashline. And he had all kinds of polish tools in there, and he would show you how the proper--I made a table there. My mother kept that table for years. It came out pretty good. Only because Mr. Ashline made sure that we followed the directions and did everything and used the blades and the polish power machines properly. And then when we finished, we glued them on, put a coat of varnish on them, then brought them home.

I can remember there was a Red and White store in West Concord. A friend of mine, his name was Rodney Pierce--I think his mother was part owner. But he worked in there from time to time. Mr. Heyliger said to us one day at class, he said if anyone here knows of anyone or has a car that you want to have directional signals put on, we have directional signal kits that have been given to us, and we will install them here, and we'll teach you how to install them. In those days, no one--they didn't have directional signals. You had to put your hand out the window. You remember those days? If you were going left, you put your hand out; if you were going right, you put it up this way. So-

0:15:56.0 (???) (inaudible) early '50s, so I was going by--walking home one day after school and going by--the Red and White store in West Concord. Rodney was in there, so I go in. I say hey Rock, you have a car. Are you interested in having your directional signal--oh gee. He was fascinated by that. He said, "Yeah." I think it was an old Ford he had. I said, "Okay, we have to get it down to the high school. I'll check to find out when you have to get it there. And we'll get you a ride back or something." So, he brought the car down eventually and we worked on it for I don't know how long. And we installed these directional signals. You know, had to take out all the lights and get all these wires and run them under the floorboards, around the back--and Mr. Heyliger knew what he was doing, of course, but we had no idea. So, we did Mr. Rock Pierce's car, and when I got the car back to him about a week later he said, "Hey, Dick, how come when I put on my signal to turn right, sometimes the light on the left rear will come on? "(laughing) We had a great laugh about that. I said, "It may be something in the wiring that got a little mixed up." (laughing)

But those were great days because you dealt with the community and you dealt with the teachers and they taught you a lot about how to--don't ask me. Then of course they were all installed in the factories and you didn't have to worry about them.

MK: Well, if how you speak about all this is any indication, then it sounds like there was a certain amount of pride in West Concord.

DL: Oh, very much so.

MK: Rather than people wishing they could have been from Concord proper?

DL: Oh absolutely. We always--we loved the fact that they could--they left us alone up there. We had our own little community. And as kids, we liked it. We stayed there. We didn't come to Concord. We weren't--we never felt part of Concord. I don't think Concord ever felt part of West Concord.

0:18:15.1 Then it began to change back probably in the '60s and the '70s. They started to develop large--lots of land and build houses and people from the--from out of state or from other parts of Massachusetts came and said, "Oh, Concord." Now, what was interesting--I don't know if this is true or not, but we had our own ZIP code in West Concord. It was different than Concord. People moved to West Concord in a development area and realized after they moved here that their ZIP code was different than Concord's said, "Hey I thought we lived in Concord."
"No, no. You're in West Concord."
"Oh. Is there a difference?"
"Big difference." And I understand that some people that had a different ZIP weren't happy and got together and approached the post office or whatever. I don't know if that's true. It could be a myth. But we always kid about it. Hey. We have our own ZIP code up here. We have our own post office; we have our own train station; we have our own church; we have our own stores. What else do we need? Nothing. And what we have, you don't have in Concord. A community. Most people in Concord in those days lived in Monument Street or--there were a few that lived around here, of course, that had close friends, three or four or five of them. But we had--every young kid in West Concord--most every young kid I have to say--would end up in West Concord because that's where all your friends were. That's what you did on a Saturday, on a Sunday, or a night, and you could always know when you went there somebody would get a bright idea. Let's go do this. Let's go do that. And that's--that was a great place to grow up.

MK: Well, you've painted a really beautiful picture of it.

CK: Yes.

DL: You think so?

MK: We've heard other people talk about West Concord, but not the way you talk about it.

CK: It's just wonderful. Thank you.

DL: Oh, you're welcome.

MK: I mean just--

DL: I'm sure I could go on for another--but you get the picture. You understand.

MK: It's a wonderful picture.

CK: Beautifully stated.

DL: I appreciate that.

MK: Yeah. Thank you.

DL: 0:20:41.4 If there's anything else you would like to know about it, any difference, probably people could--it's hard unless you did grow up there. If somebody did read this, they would say what's he talking about? No. It's not like--but it was. Back in the--I mean I was born in '34. So, I was in the '30s, we came to West Concord. So, I saw it from the '30s to the '40s to the '50s. And now it's altogether different. Yeah. But we're all older and we expect those things to happen.

CK: Thank you.

MK: Thank you.

DL: You're welcome. Thank you. My pleasure. I hope I haven't bored you--

MK: No, no. Not at all. This is very, very intriguing.

0:21:29.5 (end of audio)

Dick Loynd

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Text and image mounted 16 July 2014 -- rcwh.