— By Dianne Ballon
Cherry Hill Farm
My earliest memory of going on a field trip was a visit to Cherry Hill Farm in North Beverly. I was in the first grade. We lined up on an early, cold, spring morning on the lawn of the Wildwood School, waiting for the school bus to take us to the farm. I remember the cows and the barn, but mostly, I remember the class project after the visit.
With a baby food jar in hand, we were each given fresh cream from the cows that we had just met at Cherry Hill Farm. For a lesson on how to make butter, we were instructed to shake and shake that small baby food jar until the cream turned into butter — which took forever.
What I don’t remember is the refrigeration factor. Somewhere along the line, that one inch sample of cream in each classmate’s baby food jar, needed refrigeration. Especially since, when the cream finally turned into butter, we got to taste it and bring it home to the family.
Aleta Piantedosi Devaney went to Cherry Hill Farm several times in elementary school. “For me, the most exciting part was that we could wear shorts! When I was a first grader in 1958-1959, girls had to wear dresses to school.”
Diane Osbourne remembers, “Cherry Hill Farm was my most frequent school trip destination. I loved it. We saw the cows, the barns, and the silo. Then we ran and played in the field and rolled down a hill. I can remember thinking we were somewhere far out in the country, until I was shocked to see Route 128, in the distance! Nowadays, there’s an ice cream stand in that area called Cherry Farm Creamery, but it is not related to the old Cherry Hill Farm that we knew.”
Cherry Hill Farm dates back to the time of the Civil War. In 1912, H.P. Hood & Sons purchased the farm and opened it to the public as a demonstration dairy farm and an educational center. Thousands visited each year. There were cow barns, a silo, a milk processing plant, a picnic area, swings, a petting zoo, and an ice cream shop. By 1965, the farm was not financially sustainable, and Hood closed the farm, and that opened the land for industrial development.
The Babson World Globe
In middle school, we went on a field trip to see the Babson World Globe at Babson College in Wellesley. Built of porcelain tiles in 1955, at 25 tons and 28 feet wide, the Babson Globe continues to be the world’s second largest rotating globe. Eartha, in Yarmouth, Maine, holds the number one record.
I found these photos of Doris Osbourne and me standing in front of the giant globe in 1965. We were both twelve. Doris looks like a movie star, sleek and stylish. I’m on the chubby side with no waist whatsoever dressed in a heavy pink Easter suit. Notice the orientation of my white socks: one sock up, one sock down.
Some 50 years later, when I showed Doris the photos, she said, “Oy! Look at that stylish dress of mine! Ruffles? My sisters know that I can’t stand ruffles!” Notice that neither Doris nor I waited for the globe to rotate to a continent before snapping a picture. All you see is ocean — The absent mind of a twelve year old.
The time stamp on the photo is dated AUG 1965. That meant that I did not have my own camera, and the Kodak Instamatic was shared by the family. One had to wait endlessly until the roll was finished, before getting it developed.
Bell Corporation, Franklin Park Zoo and Canada Dry
The excitement of going on a field trip was to get out of class. Diane Osbourne recalls, “If we got back from our field trip early, we’d go to Simonds Park. It was always exciting NOT to go back to school!”
Noreen Osbourne Cassidy attended the Union School. The only field trip she remembers was directly across the street. “We walked across the street to the ‘NEW TECHNOLOGY’ building of the Bell Corp. No buses, no packed lunch, and no getting back to the classroom late, in hopes of not having enough time for anymore school work! That was the beginning of my disinterest in technology and has not improved much over the years. But I am still in wonder as to how they get my voice over that telephone wire!”
My sister Jackie remembers a trip to Franklin Park Zoo. “I remember in third grade going to Franklin Park Zoo and Miss Lee making me squeeze a snake. Gross!” Doris Osbourne and her brother Dean remember a field trip to Canada Dry in Waltham. Everyone got to bring home a six-pack of ginger ale, a real treat for the Osbourne kids as their father didn’t allow soft drinks in the house.
Nike Missle Site
At the height of the cold war, Nike missile sites were built in the mid-1950s right in our own backyard to protect Boston from a nuclear attack. Diane Osbourne recalls, “Our neighborhood Nike site did have at least one missile. My Nike visits were always at an open house and never with the school. I walked up from our house. They showed us the facilities including the bunks and mess hall, and mechanically brought the missile up from underground. Our brothers scared me when they said that if the Russians attacked, Burlington would be a first attack spot because of the missiles. We always ended at the mess hall for cake.”
I remember the Nike site. We stood in a room with the missiles in a circle pointing up to the sky! My best friend Donna Casa-Martin was appalled that we were visiting a military site. My sister Jackie softened the blow. “I remember having a hot chocolate with a cinnamon bun at the Nike Site.”
Minute Man National Historical Park: Don’t Shoot Till You See the Whites of Their Eyes!
Eventually we would all move toward high school and instead of generalized classes, the learning curve went up and the classes were many.
Aleta Piantedosi Devaney remembers a visit to Lexington and Concord. “We went to Lexington and Concord, perhaps as a combined English and Social Studies field trip. My most vivid memory is that we were allowed to walk around Concord center on our own. My friend Jackie Ballon and I were in Woolworths. My half-slip’s waistband had lost its elasticity and kept ‘hanging’. Totally fed up, I let the slip fall down to the floor in the middle of Woolworths, stepped out of it, and stuffed it in my pocketbook, all to the horror of my friend Jackie!
“I also had Hope Luder as a Social Studies teacher. I don’t remember taking any field trips with Miss Luder, but she did tell us that she knew where Robin Hood’s grave was in England. She wouldn’t tell us exactly where, because she didn’t want us to go there and deface it!”
A Field Trip to the Big City: New York, that is.
Aleta also went on two field trips to New York City. “I was lucky to go on two field trips to New York City by bus. When I was a junior in high school, there were extra seats for the Senior Social Studies trip. Mr. Carl Stasio invited my friend Christine Gilbert and me. I think we went to the United Nations and the Guggenheim Museum.
“We were allowed to wander around by ourselves. Chris tried to call her parents in Burlington from Rockefeller Center, but not knowing much about long-distance phone calls, reached a family in Brooklyn! We also went to Mama Leone’s restaurant, where the young Italian waiters were very sweet and made us feel pretty important!
“The next year, when we were seniors, Chris & I went to New York City with our Problems of Democracy teacher, Joel King. I think we went to the Stock Exchange by subway. Don’t remember much except that the heel came off Chris’ shoe and we went to the cobbler to get it fixed!”
Man of La Mancha
Burlington High School students would go on to attend many film and theater productions in Boston. Chris Toto Zaremba remembers going on a trip to a Greek restaurant with Mr. Fogleberg’s class and then seeing the play Antigone. Doris Osbourne remembers Miss Ross taking her Problems of Democracy class to see the political film Z.
Donna Casa-Martin remembers our Spanish teacher, Mrs. Jellison, taking us to see the Broadway musical Man of La Mancha. Starring José Ferrer as Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha toured nationally from 1966 through 1970. The musical had two runs in Boston at the Colonial Theatre in the winter of 1966 and in the spring of 1970.
Aleta Piantedosi Devaney also remembers her Spanish class going to see Man of La Mancha. “I was impressed that we got to see José Ferrer, such a well-known actor at the time. Once, Mrs. Jellison took us to have lunch at a Spanish restaurant in Harvard Square. I remember that I was stunned to find out that the ‘tripe’ I ordered was not fish, but cow intestine!”
“After we graduated,” Aleta recalls, “Mrs. Jellison invited a group of us to her home for dinner. That is my lasting memory of her, that she treated us like adults, cooked for us and went beyond what you would expect from a teacher.”
Donna Casa-Martin remembers another Harvard Square lunch at a Spanish restaurant serving chocolate chicken mole after a field trip to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. And we also remember when Mrs. Jellison invited our class to her house for supper.
Donna adds, “Many of our Harvard-educated teachers at Burlington High School helped us to critically think about what was happening in the world around us. By taking us to the theaters in Boston, they opened a cultural world. It was inspiring.”