Time Spent On The Cape In The Forties
We usually managed to load up 2 or 3 cars for the trip. By loading up , I don't mean two many
clothes or food.
The cars were full of young guys in their early twenties just out of the Service after WWII.
The plans were made about
ten minutes before departure from Avon Square.
Route 3 , the present Rte 53 , led of course to the Sagamore Bridge and Rte 6 and a
the Sagamore Inn, a place made famous for it's clientele of soldiers from Camp Edwards during the war.
Bear right at Main Street
Sandwich and stay on Rte 6 , which is currently known as Rte 6A.
( The present Mid Cape Highway , Rte 6 , was in the planning stage)
favorite place to stay was at a cottage grounds known as Strom Villa in West Yarmouth.
The rent was right and the old couple were fairly
tolerant of young guys who liked to celebrate anything at anytime.
Even the Stroms couldn't take us for more than a couple of times
and forced us to find shelter at a new place.
Mrs. Strom wasn't the only resident of West Yarmouth who was glad to see us leave. Much
of our week-ends were spent
dodging or out-maneuvering Chief of Police Cressy. The Chief, at the time, was the force.
We split up and
rented rooms at various locations. I was with the small group who had rooms
at the Klims on Pleasant Street in Hyannis. Mrs Klim was
as pleasant as the street she lived
on implied, which forced us to tone down the revelry out of respect.
Friday night was spent at the
Mill Hill Club in West Yarmouth. Just about every guy our age
from every town and city surrounding the Cape tried to get in the doors
when it opened.
Bottles of Budweiser were twenty-five cents and there were opportunities to meet
what we called " broads" or " dames"
from all those places mentioned earlier.
Saturday night and the place to go was the Panama Club on the corner of Main and Sea street
in West Hyannis.
Sometimes there were so many young people on the corner that it looked like Times Square in New York City ...almost.
would nearly starve before being able to get a hot dog or hamburger at the Snack Bar across the street.
The summer of 1948 presented
a new opportunity. Four of the original week-enders from 1946 and 1947 decided to try
for jobs on the Cape and spend the summer. Three
got hired at a clam shack on Rte 28 in West Yarmouth. I think it
was Bill and Thelmas.. a place still in business or recently dissolved.
I was hired at Liggetts Rexall Drug Store
on Main Street Hyannis. Since I had just completed my sophomore year studying Pharmacy and
the requirement for
State Licensing required a year of training, the manager was glad to put me on the payroll.
Friday nights at the
Mill Hill Club had to wait until about 11:00 P.M. due to my hours at the store. Friday was the
busiest because the train from Boston
came to the Hyannis station late afternoon or early evening and the week-ending
families had to store up on those items they usually
forgot to bring with them. The small and medium size packages
had been stored away for the summer ..only the Economy or Humungus sizes
were available for the tourists .Enough toothpaste
and Noxzema filled their bags to last a year
At the drug store ,we had a soda fountain-luncheonette
which was quite popular. The manager of the luncheonette felt
she should augment the menu with clam chowder and was soon unable to
satisfy the needs of the hungry customers so she
cooked the chowder at home and brought it to the store each day. Her chowder was so
popular she decided to leave and
open her own place. I knew her as Mildred. She went on to have many successful years with her Mildred's
There were three other eating establishments on Main Street. One was mentioned earlier...the Snack Bar across
the Panama Club. Another was Myron's and the busiest was the Mayflower. Other than the drug stores , Liggetts and Dumonts,
eating places just mentioned and a few other non-descript places , there wasn't much on Main Street. Pizza was
relatively unknown and
Our schedules were ideal. We worked evenings until closing time ,visited the clubs after work, celebrated anything
think of until the wee hours , slept until noon and beached the rest of the day until it was time to get
something to eat and get ready
Without a job paying at least twenty dollars a week we wouldn't have been able to live in our grand style .