This affectionate look at the 1940s and '50s in Boston concentrates on some of the key places that gave the city its character then: Scollay Square, the Old Howard, the Boston Braves, Revere Beach, and the Totem Pole. Narrator Thomas O'Connor, a Boston College history professor, lets older residents tell their stories on camera and then segues into the history of the places using archival footage and sepia-toned photographs. The colorful operator of "Rosie's Cab" recalls taking fares to Joe & Nemo's on Scollay Square, where they could eat nickel hot dogs before taking in a show. Burlesque queen Ann Corio recounts the crush of a particular Harvard boy (and future president) on a fellow stripper named Peaches. The son of a newspaper sports editor remembers sitting in the Braves box and his short-lived days as a manual scoreboard boy, and 200 gray-haired couples gather to waltz and share memories at a "Relive the Totem Pole Days" dance. Although racial discrimination is touched on briefly in a segment on South End jazz spots, this hour-long tape is more light reminiscence than social history. The second volume (available separately) looks at the Boston Garden and the South End. --Kimberly Heinrichs
Travel back in time to a unique time and place - Boston in the 30s and 40s. Memories and music tell a story about the treasures of the past - Scollay Square, The Boston Braves, Revere Beach, the Cocoanut Grove and the Totem Pole Ballroom.