The City I Love: Alphabet offers plenty of memories



We seem to have finally turned another page on our Berkshire County seasons, although I can recall one year ago standing in the sand at Hampton Beach on Memorial Day weekend and feeling a wind chill that I think lowered the air temperature into the single digits.

There’s always the up side, parking was plentiful and traffic that Sunday heading into town was minimal. But it wasn’t what the doctor ordered.

While we watch the ebb and flow of the weather, let’s play my favorite A to Z local word game. Hopefully, there will be some people, places or things that cause you to say, "Oh, yes, I remember him/her/that."

Jim Andersen’s recent passing was a great loss. The former city educator and coach of the 1990 Pittsfield High state champion hockey team had that knack of turning whatever it was he touched into gold. I didn’t know Jim that well growing up nor his sister Katherine. But I played some sandlot ball with his late brother, Dave, and always looked forward to seeing Neil, the youngest of the quartet. Good people, good family.

Broyles roller skating rink. Someone turn on the light and bring another such venue back to our city. I think it would be a popular and safe place for kids to congregate, especially in the bad weather.

Call me skeptical, but are we all sure about this four-year term for mayor idea? I mean, OK, I’m in. But only if we’re sure.

Donut Man remains bagel and shoulders above the rest in the coffee shop category. And the gang at the a gazebo out back surely will be gathering more often with the nice weather. Love the view of Pontoosuc Lake from out there.

Extra crispy. That’s how we get our wings at Cim’s Tavern. It’s never a disappointing visit to that iconic neighborhood watering hole. If all goes as expected, we will watch the Preakness there on Saturday afternoon. Did you know I was at the 1976 Preakness and put $2 on Elecutionist, the eventual winner? Well, I was, and I did.

Fast food. As I get older I understand better why they call it "fast." They empty your pockets quickly and their fare rolls through me at a high rate of speed. I guess it’s a younger man’s game.

Grand Union supermarkets. Remember when we had a few?

Have we moved any closer to a new Taconic High School? I guess we have, but at this rate I hope that first graduating class of 2030 appreciates the time and effort going into the process.

I have to ask this question. Underwater researchers think they have found what’s left of the Santa Maria, the main ship of Christopher Columbus’ three-boat journey in search of the new world. OK, we might have found the Santa Maria, but we can’t locate that Malaysian jetliner? Something is wrong with that picture.


Jerry and Ben’s? It never would have worked in that order. It will be true ice cream weather soon, but the crowds at our local ice cream venues already seem to be in mid-season form.

Kudos to city teachers and students for forging ahead and completing another school year. Good luck to the respective classes of 2014. The world awaits.

Lakes. I’ve said it before. Pontoosuc and Onota are treasures. Let’s always make sure we maintain and respect these bodies of water.

M. Solomon’s on North Street. I remember it. Do you?

Neisner’s? Same deal. Do you recall this city store?

Oh, I have an idea. Can we knock down those buildings that housed the former Debbie Wong’s and Wonder Bread store and make space for an outdoor farmer’s market? That Dalton Avenue site is just so ugly now. I hate driving past it and having to look at the blight.

Pizza Hut. Someone told me the fellow who owned and suddenly closed this Coltsville store also was the one who owned and suddenly closed three Burger King’s a short time ago. If that’s true, here’s some advice pal. Find a new line of work.

Quillard Brothers Garage on upper Tyler Street. They’ve been there a while. Perhaps a story for another day.


Rick Hall was a former PHS classmate and good friend. Rick, where are you? If you read this, email me.

Sully also means to blemish or to soil. That bothers me, always has.

Thekla Doty was another friend I lost touch with. Great first name. Thekla, where did you end up? Jim Kennedy and Yvonne Starbird? What about it? You out there?

"Under the Boardwalk" used to be one of my favorite sing-it-in-the-shower songs. OK, more than you needed to know.

Victory gardens were popular locally and elsewhere during World War II. Anyone have a good victory garden story? Let me know.

Where do I go to get a good dish of bread pudding? Help me out here.

X-rays of the city reveal no significant damage. But Pittsfield should see its doctor in three months for a follow-up. Just a precautionary thing.

You can go to Neba’s, but I’ll see you at Mike’s Submarine. OK, that’s a Coltsville thing from back in the day. You had to be there.

Zee ya next week. Thanks for playing along.

Brian Sullivan can be reached at


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