The Springfield Rifle: Springfield Armory's Mill River, a power source for its Watershops metal operations. The North Branch of that river ran behind our home inWilbraham, MA. A gift of nature for a young nation.
The Windup Boys Return...about 1965
Copyright 2013 Franklyn E. Dailey Jr. (Some of this moves the action into the 21st Century)
(A locale note for this story: The North Branch of the Mill River, in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, joins the South Branch in Springfield, Massachusetts. The rushing waters of this Mill River formed the basis for constructing the Watershops, a facility of Springfield's historic Armory. At Watershops, just before this rushing Mill river flows into the Connecticut River, turbine wheels furnished the power to shape metal for the guns for the early Armies of our nation.)
Forty five years in one home deserve comment. Those are three times as many years as I spent in the home of my birth. We had 17 addresses during a Navy life with wife Marguerite (Peggy) Dailey, nee Marguerite Parker of Virginia. We had eight children and the reader has met some in these pages. Here, the "windup boys" of an earlier story return. They are John whose Christmas gift in an earlier year had been a Jersey Central electric train set and Paul who had received a "windup train" that same year. It is now 1965 and we are living in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. You may also have read of our poll tax experience in that town in another page on this website.
Husband and wife homebuilders, the Mascaro family, had created a beautiful center hall Garrison colonial, with four bedrooms, and finished basement. Built with cedar outside, all plaster walls inside, two fireplaces, 2 ½ baths. A tight fit for 7 boys and a girl, but that basement would furnish 2-bedroom space for older boys, the daughter would have her own bedroom, and bunk beds in two of the upstairs bedrooms would help make it fit for the others. A new baby could stay in with Mom and Dad for at least a year. Maybe somebody would leave by then. The dining room became backdrop for anniversaries, first in Ektachrome and Agfachrome slides, and later in digital pix. We will see one of those 'instant' photos shortly..
Outdoors, I contracted for a tennis architect. He built a fine court in the wide rear yard, taking out 57 swamp maple trees. Plenty of woods to the rear, and plenty of oak trees, front and side. We were a long ways from playgrounds, so hundreds of neighbor folks made this a recreation activity spot over the years.
For their creativity, I need re-identify two participants from that Windup story. Six years have passed. John Dailey, now 12 years old, and brother, Paul, just a year younger, cooperated in a way that siblings are not wont to do. They went to work right after the tennis court had been installed.
I have guilt. I contributed nothing, played no part in the planning, execution, or encouragement of the little shed that graced the property until the day we departed. Their mother may have taken shingle money out of her house money.
The two middle-school brothers created a simple utility building, in faithful New England style. A camera caught its winter 'shadow.' Not your familiar sun shadow, but here, a wind shadow. The home from which this picture was taken is at 19 Brookside Circle, Wilbraham, MA, 01095. Don't go looking for this view. The next owner bulldozed the tennis court, the fence, and the utility house and created their new view. We wish them well.
Just behind this little shack, is the North Branch of the Mill River. You will not likely see the woods in between for a long time. The tornado in the summer of 2011 bulldozed all of the trees down.
A new era begins, if only in our imaginations. See below.
That endearing little shingled shack no longer exists in reality. That does not mean it is denied to us in webland. So, I am going to put it to use once again, this time for a different purpose. Most readers know that our U.S. debt is mounting to numbers over $15 trillion! So we will have to hunker down, especially those still to come to retirement age. Three of our sons have retired (early 2012 is the time of this update) and will be looking for appropriate digs. SS and Medicare will lose viability rapidly in the current decade. I am putting John and Paul's little shack back into use for retirees. And since John, the original architect of the real utility shack, is one of the retirees, perhaps he can create a series of reproductions of his original creation, so that each retiree can have low cost digs that will fit future Social Security payments. Next, I begin a series of vignettes that will help to identfy the retirees. January 2012 IDs the first one.
Retiree Philip Talbot Dailey (glasses) ,aboard the gift that Caterpilar gave him upon retirement in lieu of a watch. Aboard with Philip T. are James (dark hair, foreground), and Philip (red head), sons of Michael Dailey Jr., Philip T's nephew, and Patricia (Patti) Dailey, who understandably avoided the picture. This work crew are gettng back together soon to see if they can get the gift started.The battery did not come with it.