6 days a week, 50 weeks a year, for 30 years my father (Garner T. Corson) went to work as the caretaker of Boston’s famous Paul Revere House. My mother was already in charge there when they met in 1932, having gone to work in 1917, and she hired my father to take care of the furnace, an old coal one at the time. Over the years my father assumed more and more duties, top executive: a dress shirt when my mother retired due to illness in 1945, he just took over full responsibility. Among other things this included doing the hiring, making nightly deposits and filing weekly reports, making sure the house was in perfect repair, and keeping souvenirs stocked.

Each morning he would set out for work dressed as a top executive: a dress shirt and tie and a suit, usually a three piece one. In one vest pocket he carried a watch and in the other a pen knife. His shoes were always polished.

Oh, and he wore a hat, always a hat: felt fedora in the cooler months and a Panama straw hat in the summer. He always wore a hat when he was outside, even when working in the yard, but you can be sure he never wore a hat inside. He would be horrified these days to see hats worn in school, even in church, and worst of all at the dinner table. A gentleman removed his hat upon entering a building, and in movie theaters and other auditoriums- including Tremont Temple Baptist Church,  there was a special rack on the underside of each seat to accommodate a hat.

Now once he got to work, he took off his suit coat and put on what he called a dust jacket, blazer-type that could be washed. His first job was to make sure that everything inside was ready for the day, and then he might go outside to sweep or shovel the sidewalk. Back inside, he would open all the wooden shutters and put the American flag outside a second-story window.

Promptly at 10 o’clock he would unlock the front door, ready to admit one of the many visitors of the day.

———————————————–to be continued—————————————-

Dorothy C. Judd   (c) 2017


About twofelines

What to say? I love my family and friends. I also love kids, cats, and books. Oh, and potato chips and Cheez-its. I am a retired teacher who still loves to be in the classroom, so now I am a substitute teacher.
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3 Responses to GTC

  1. annromer says:

    Love it! Wonderful job. Can’t wait for part two.

  2. Carol D'Agostino says:

    Did not realize your parents were both working at the Paul Revere House! This is where they met. Interesting! Boston archeology department is doing a dig nearby this summer. Hope to go in and check it out.

    • twofelines says:

      Actually my mother was already working at the Paul Revere Housenwhen they met at the Boston Baptist Seaman’s Bethel on Hanover Street nearby. Her sister was a missionary there, and my mother would go over and help her set up for meetings. My father was a seaman and usually shipped in and out of ports in a day or two. However, he had decided to “come in off the sea,” and Boston was his last port. Soon after they met, My mother hired him to take care of the furnace and do other heavy work at the a Revere House. And as they say, the rest is history.

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