Way Back When

July 1, 2013


I remember what it was like back in the 50’s as a child being one of eight siblings growing up in the City of Medford.

photo of Medford, MA in 1953

Photo from 1953 Medford Citizen Handbook

We had:

  • one television in the living room, a Black & White with an 8 inch screen
  • one bathroom for ten people
  • one telephone to be shared
  • washing machine but no dryer ( Clothes Line)
  • one car (Mom was a stay at home mom).

Gasoline was 25 cents a gallon – Autos got if you were lucky, 10 miles to the gallon.

Our home was heated by coal, then we upgraded to oil – Talk about excitement.

Our one radio was operated with dial knobs.

We had Power Plant smoke stacks almost in our back yard. Seeing yellow plums of sulfur being expelled was common. Energy was cheap but dirty.

No swimming in the Mystic, Monsanto in Everett polluted the river.

How we survived is a wonder, but yes we did.

Fast forward to 2013, still living in Medford.  A lot older and hopefully wiser. I have been on the City of Medford Energy Committee for the past seven years and having the distinction of being the only grandfather member. I looked back in time and see what my generation has passed on to my children and grandchildren as far as our environment moved me to get involved hopefully to make a little difference.

Fossil power plants disappearing, being replaced with environmentally designed gas fired plants (No more sulfur plums).

Today there are energy appliances, energy saver light bulbs, high efficiency furnaces and boilers, home solar panel installations just to name a few energy saver products.

Toyota Plug-in Prius that was on loan to Medford

Toyota Plug-in Prius that was on loan to Medford

We see state of the art water treatment plants for cleaner rivers and streams.

The time has come for all ages to not look back in time but to look forward to a safer and healthier environment for all of the next generations to enjoy.

Rick Sacco
Medford Energy Committee Member

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