Dorchester Girl

Dorchester Girl

by Judith Kirwan Kelley
Dorchester Girl

Dorchester Girl

by Judith Kirwan Kelley


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Judith Kirwan Kelley provides a unique "lived" perspective on growing up in Dorchester, Massachusetts, during tumultuous socio-political times. Deeply impacted by the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the decade of the 1960s dramatically shaped the contexts of living in America. The changing family as well as the social movements for Civil Rights, Women's Rights, Gay Rights, Rights of the Disabled, the sexual revolution, among other forms of cultural upheaval, all played their part in the life of one Originally from Dorchester (OFD).

Written with humor and pathos, the stories are based on the author's experiences, backed up by a comprehensive investigation of written sources which explore the complex history of mandatory school desegregation in Boston, and other cultural phenomena occurring at the time. Kirwan Kelley's detailed elaborations of family, neighborhood, and complex cultural dynamics are reflective of both the consistency and unpredictability of life.

Intended to inform as well as to entertain, Kirwan Kelley clearly demonstrates appreciation of having come of age in Dorchester. She is, and always will be, a Dorchester Girl at heart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781736199015
Publisher: SDP Publishing
Publication date: 04/16/2021
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 1,070,179
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.47(d)

About the Author

Judith Kirwan Kelley was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1954, and lived there until the family joined in suburban migration, otherwise known as "white flight," in 1969. One of seven children in a typical Irish Catholic family, her relatives included, among others, Boston police officers, laborers, and housewives. Kirwan Kelley, a scholar with a Brown University PhD in Sociology, considers herself a lifetime creative writer. However, Kirwan Kelley's most valuable roles are as a socially conscious, married mother of three adult daughters, and Mimi to her six grandchildren. Storytelling has always been part of her life.

Table of Contents

Introduction, 9

1 A Formidable Father, 12

2 Make Way for Mothering, 20

3 Kindergarten Days in Dorchester, 26

4 Fields Corner and Food, 31

5 Saint Ambrose Church, 36

6 Urgency and the Alphabet Game, 39

7 Memories of My Years at Saint Ambrose School, 44

8 The Triple-Deckers of Dorchester, 53

9 Neighborhood Life in Dorchester: Privacy, Pilfering, and Table Talk Pie, 57

10 Kathy's New Bike, 62

11 Fire!, 66

12 The Aptly Named Sister Miseria of Saint Mark's, 71

13 Girls' Latin School and Society, 78

14 Catholic Church Leadership During My Teen Years, 91

15 French Toast, Egg Salad, and Crybaby Jeanie, 99

16 Bologna on Friday, 104

17 Boston: Separate and Unequal, 107

18 Dorchester Avenue, 115

19 Fun and Games on Florida Street, 126

20 My Hideaway, 132

21 The Enabler, 136

22 Diddling, Dinks, and Tiddlywinks, 143

23 The Loss of Innocence, 151

24 White Gloves and Patent Leather Shoes, 155

25 Enrichment Without Riches, 157

26 Once in Town . . . The Stores!, 162

27 Down Victory Road, 168

28 An Entrepreneurial Spirit, 173

29 Linda Mae's and the Chocolate Pudding Tarts, 176

30 Grandpa Tom and Grandma Sadie Currivan, 179

31 5 Hopestill Street, 185

32 The Problem with Free Candy, 190

33 "We'll Take a Cup of Kindness Yet", 193

34 Tallulah, 198

35 Don't Call Dad at Work, 203

36 "Mrs. Kirwan, Call the Police!", 207

37 Dorchester in My Heart, 214

Notes, 219

About the Author, 221

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