Tag Archives: Newton Highlands

Tad’s Footprint

I was born in 1939 and not as was in the record there (with Brett); it was 1930. That’s not correct.

[Dawn]: Did I write ’30?

It was ‘30 instead of ‘39, at least Mom [Marcia] speaks of that.

I was born in Newton Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Massachusetts, where also Tad, my brother two-and-a-half years older than myself, was born.

We grew up, part of our lives, in a place called Newton Highlands. That was outstanding, as far as I was concerned. I never remembered that from earlier time. But they took my brother Tad’s footprint and put it in the cement out in front of the house. That stayed around for years. I don’t remember whether we saw it or not, but I think we did.

[Other Voices]: We saw it.

When we passed by [in 1983, there was] his footprint in the cement.

story told by Steve to the family reunion gathering on January 10, 2014; recorded and transcribed by Dawn [Steve’s daughter]

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below. (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.)

  • I seem to recall a photo of that family reunion visit that showed the footprint and Tad’s bare grown-up foot. Does anyone have it to donate to the story’s cause?
  • Aunt Lee, Aunt Betty: do you remember living in Newton Highlands when Steve and Tad were born? Can you tell the stories of their births?
  • Do you recall Tad making a footprint in the cement? Can you tell us how that came about? What year do you suppose that was? How old was Tad?
  • What was the exact address of the house on Hartford Street where this took place?

Duncan Clan Reunion Uproariously Good

June 1965 Family Reunion, courtesy of Colin Duncan

Mr. and Mrs. Taylor A. Duncan of 16 Washburn Ave., Auburndale, with their six children and families, hired a motel near Manchester, N. H. last weekend for their first family reunion in 13 years.

Betty, Taylor, Virginia, Wally, Harley perhaps, 06.12.1965, courtesy of Colin DuncanWeary but happy after the excitement of family baseball games, musical sessions, and en masse church attendance, Grandfather Duncan’s two-word description of the Friday-to-Sunday gathering was “uproariously good.”

The 28-member clan, lacking only one youngster who had the mumps, included Mrs. Willard Kindberg (Virginia Lee Duncan) and Mr. Kindberg, who have returned from the jungles of Peru where, since 1952, they have been working with the Campa Indians, translating and defining the language of the people, preparing young natives to teach it, and establishing schools. Mr. Kindberg is a translator with the Wycliffe Bible Translators, a Protestant mission society. Mrs. Kindberg was the first graduate of the nursing school at Wheaton College in Illinois. There are six children in their family.

Mrs. Harley Smith (Betty Duncan) and her husband and two children, [sic] home from Paris, France, where they operate a school for Greater Europe Mission (Protestant). Mr. Smith is business manager for the European Bible Institute in Lamorlaye, France. Mrs. Smith, a graduate of Wheaton College, Illinois, is a teacher of music.

Mr. and Mrs. J. Wallace Duncan and their four children [sic] from East Haddam, Conn. Mr. Duncan is a quality control engineer with Winchester Electronics Co. in Waterbury. He is a B. A. graduate of Gordon College, Wenham.

The Rev. and Mrs. Robert Duncan and their three children [sic] of Mattapan, where Mr. Duncan is the minister of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church.

St. Louis, Mo., is the home of Mr. and Mrs. Taylor A. Duncan Jr. Taylor, a graduate of Northrop Institute of Technology, Inglewood, Calif., is with McDonald Aircraft Co. in St. Louis.

The youngest son, Bertrand Stevens Duncan, was graduated this June from Boston University with a degree in psychology. “Steve” is working as a laboratory technician at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Brighton. He plans to study medicine.

The senior Duncans, who will have been married 40 years on July 25, have lived in Newton since 1935. They left their first address on Hartford St., Newton Highlands, at the outbreak of World War II when Mr. Duncan reentered the service.

He had been in the Navy during World War I and after that had gone into public accounting, getting his CPA in 1925. He entered teaching when he was called upon to fill a temporary vacancy at Temple University in Philadelphia, continued on a part-time basis, and was later called upon to set up business courses at Girard College.

During World War II Cmdr. Duncan spent three years in Philadelphia where he was in charge of a $115 million airplane contract between the Navy and the Budd Co. Later he was transferred to Portsmouth, N. H., where he served as the yard’s fiscal officer.

Mr. Duncan says he has retired twice. He left the Navy as a captain in 1932. Then he worked for General Electric Co. for more than five years as manager of a special auditing project in which he organized a staff of auditors. He retired in 1957.

For five years before World War II and for five years afterward he taught accounting, economics, and finance at Bentley College. He has also taught in the Boston University School of Business Administration.

June, 17 1965 News-Tribune newspaper article entitled “Newton-Based Duncan Clan Reunion Uproariously Good, courtesy of Polly Duncan (Bob’s wife) via Colin Duncan (Bob’s son)

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.).

  • Colin or Aunt Polly, what’s the name of the newspaper and the date of the edition in which this article appears? Best guess, anybody?
  • Which cousin had the mumps and couldn’t come? Can you tell who stayed home with you? Tell us about having the mumps. How long did it last? Did anyone else in the family get it?
  • Virginia, what year did Aunt Lee graduate from Wheaton as the first graduate of the nursing school? What was it like being the first graduate? What, exactly, does that mean? Was there no one else in her class? How big was her class? Was the program up and running or were there fits and starts? How long did it take her to get through? Why did she choose nursing? Why Wheaton?
  • Uncle Harley, Debby, Sandy, did Aunt Betty teach music in the school in Lamorlaye? Or did she take private students only? Did she teach anything else in the school? What was the school’s name? I presume it’s Aunt Betty playing the piano in the photo above. Am I right? Is Uncle Harley holding the trumpet?
  • Jimmy, Diane how long were you all in East Haddam? Why did you move? Can you describe your house? Remember your address? What ages were all the kids? How long was Uncle Wally with Winchester Electronics? Was he always quality control there or did he move around in jobs, up the ladder or otherwise? How did he get that job? Why did he leave?
  • Aha! The name of Uncle Bob’s church in Mattapan was St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church. Aunt Polly, what position did he serve there? What were his dates there? Was he still in seminary? Where did the Bob Duncans live at that time? How old were the kids? What happened to St. Paul’s that I can’t find anything about it on the web?
  • Gloria, Trey, how did Uncle Tad end up on the other side of the continent in California? What did he do with McDonald Aircraft? How long was he there? Did he move up in the ranks, move around? Why did he leave? What did he go to? Does your mom remember that time? What does she recall? How did they feel about moving to St. Louis?
  • Dad/Steve, can you tell about getting the lab tech job at St. E’s? How long were you there? I’ve never heard about that lab tech job. Why not? What else was going on at the time? Were you dating that painful pre-mom woman still?
  • Anything else anybody wants to tell us?

Family Vacations in Kentucky and at Lake Winnesquam

[Barb]: That island you talked about must have been off the coast of Connecticut.

[Virginia]: Yeah. ‘Tis. This was right off of. . . . You know where Cos Cob is? You know where my aunt lives, lived? And it was right near there because we went up to visit her. And she said, “When you get up, leave your things, if you want to, in my house and then come on over to our beach.”

[Barb]: Did you go on vacations every year?

[Virginia]: Yes, I would say we did, but most always we went to Kentucky.

Lake Winnesquam, post marked 1938, cost to mail from Laconia 1 cent, courtesy of cardcow dot com[Wally]: We went to Kentucky often and then we spent two or three years on Lake Winnisquam, which is the lake on which Laconia, New Hampshire is located. And we were right directly across the lake from Laconia. So our landlord J. Comer Jones, who owned our house back in Newton Highlands, also owned a summer cottage and he allowed us, what for a month at a time?

J. Comer Jones Power and Pump Co. Notice of Incorporation, Electrical World, vol. 77, No. 22, 1921 enlarged[Virginia]: A month at a time.

[Wally]: To rent the summer cottage. So Mum would go up and Dad would come up on weekends. Right?

[Virginia]: That was right.

[Wally]: Yeah. For two different summers, I believe, I was up there and then I went to camp, which must have been when I was eleven [b. May 9, 1929, so this would have been summer 1940], I think, when I went to camp. Then I never went back even though you went back at least one additional year. I never did go back.

[Virginia]: I would go back. If Daddy would have come, I would have gone back all the time. He was not one to go on vacation.

[Wally]: He never stayed. He would go for a couple of days and then come home.

[Virginia]: Yeah. He’d want to go right back to Boston and work. He was a workaholic if ever there was one. He really was. 

[Wally]: Yeah. There was another family who took care of him.

[Barb]: I don’t know about that.

partial conversation between Virginia, Wally and Barbara Duncan (Wally’s wife) in the summer of 1987, courtesy of Barbara Duncan

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.).

  • Grandma remembers lots of vacations to Kentucky. Lee, Betty, Dad, what do you remember of these visits? Did you drive? What car was it? Where in Kentucky did you go? Who were you visiting? How did you feel? How did Mother Virginia and Dad Taylor seem to feel?
  • Grandma references her aunt. About whom do you suppose she is speaking? Have you got stories about this person? Photos to share?
  • By Wally’s estimation, visits to Lake Winnisquam would have taken place in the summers of 1938, 1939, 1940 and 1941. Lee, Betty, Dad, do you remember these months on the lake in New Hampshire? What do you recall?
  • J. Comer Jones was a power and pump company in Boston, probably named after a person. How did the family come to be renting from him/the company?
  • Does anyone have photos of Kentucky or Lake Winnisquam to share?