This is where something historical, the trolley system, meets something more. Something intimate. I read some research and I can tell you when the trolley system was put into place and when it was dismantled. Who funded them, who approved and disapproved of them, I can tell you this history of these machines even in our little town. What’s even more, I can tell you the role something so simple, a mode of transportation, played in Babu’s life.
Found on the Wistariahurst website. The Wistariahurst Museum is in Holyoke and is focused around the city’s history. (Holyoke is a neighboring city so when they share information about the trolley system, there is a lot of information about Chicopee as well.) There is a lot of neat information on that website. If you are at all interested then it is worth checking out!
These images are possibly images of the very trolleys Babu used to take to get to work in Springfield.
But there is that something more. What the Trolleys meant to Babu.
They were a source of collision:
Saturday, March 2, 1935
Jeanette and I went to see “The President Vanishes” and “Lottery Lover.” Both were good pictures. Francis Polchepeck sold the store to the man who brings Jeanette’s order. She also smashed her car yesterday. Skidded into a trolley but they bought a new one.
(A new car, not a new trolley!)
They were an indication of how bad things were getting:
Thursday, March 12th, 1936
It’s been raining all week so far. If the river doesn’t stop rising conditions are going to become drastic. Havoc has already been done in some places. Some small bridges and dams were swept away and trolleys didn’t run for a while today.
The trolleys were places she met wonderful people:
Monday, December 14th, 1936
Met Natalie Bartula a few times down street and rode back home with her on the trolley. She’s working everyday now in the 5 + 10.
Thursday, September 9th, 1937
Ride home on the trolley most every day with Adele Janik.
Friday, November 26th, 1937
Rode home on the trolley with Adele. She tells me that Zack is going with Mary Szelag. Gosh! Whose that man ending up?
If you remember, Zack is “WBZ” and he used to date Adele. Yes, much high school drama. Read about it in the links!
Wednesday, December 1st, 1937
Mom and Dad are rebelling against the ride “we” take after night school. We went out again tonight. John almost kissed me but I moved away. Took the trolley this morning. Jeanette was on it. Ray Balut and Jakey Stefanik too. The former attends BPI and the latter the Civil Service School.
Back when I was reading 1937 I gasped at reading his name! Little did she know sitting there on that trolley…
Imagine the many other conversations that were had on those tethered machines?
And the shenanigans:
Tuesday, March 12th, 1940
There were supposed to be quite a few of the boys going to our Nee-Wah card party tonight, but Jakey and I left to go alone from the trolley. At least Zosh, Eddie, Stretch and Nat came too. We had the party at the Y, and had a good crowd; mostly girls, but surprisingly there were a number of boys. We came home on the trolley and played airplane annoying the rest of the passengers.