en English
en Englishes Spanishpt Portuguesear Arabicht Haitian Creolezh-TW Chinese (Traditional)


Your Local Online News Source for Over 3 Decades

Saugus historian shares some memories: Return to the Cliftondale School, Marleah Graves Revisited

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

(Editor’s Note: Saugus historian Thomas Sheehan, 97, a 2022 “Person of the Year” Award recipient who has authored 58 books about Saugus, recently offered his remembrances of the old Cliftondale School.)


By Tom Sheehan


So, in a moment of truce, my memories flagging a bit but scratching for all they were worth, I walked past the school that had captured three years of my life, and ever afterward. Things long gone to the wayside, fallen away from everyday thought, found spirit, movement and voice, and came back from their dim repose at the sides of all the roads I’ve long traveled since then. An applied stain, a summer application on every board face in the building, has a remnant smell that seems to get triggered by an open paint can, a painter in his work clothes in line for coffee at a diner, the taste of gasoline in the air near a station. The odor is as ripe as the long hallways it filled the middle of those summers. I sneaked inside the building, anxious to see what had been accomplished, whose initials covered over, what shadow left. And chalk smell comes freely and its dust; and a coatroom always dark where homes could be smelled as they had filled and followed my classmates to school, hardly ever letting go the mother’s kitchen, the father’s cellar or garage, a bedroom shared with a sibling.

Contact Advocate Newspapers