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The tale of 93 Cambridge Street

Dan

 

Hi. I’m Dan. That’s me, second from left. We’re all dressed up because it’s Easter Sunday! Our grandmother makes our clothes all by herself. Her name is Beatrice Pimentel. She and my grandfather came here from Portugal a long time ago.

Easter Sunday 1956 Pimentel, Burlington MA

We live at 93 Cambridge Street, on a big farm. It starts near Arlington Road and goes almost all the way to the old white church Simonds Park, and all the way over to Stony Brook Road, almost.


 

We made one of our buildings into the town’s first gas station. But now we changed it into a regular house. That’s my mother at the front door.

House

We have a few buildings from 81 to 91 to 95 Cambridge Street. My grandfather makes cabinets and other nice things in this building. He built it in the 1930s. That’s him near the front steps. He’s little.

Pimentel house with lettering

F.M. Pimentel with car, Burlington MA

 

The building might not look like much, but he does some really nice work from here. People come here from places I’ve never been to, like Nahant.

Here he is, my grandfather. His name is Ferdinand. He is also Burlington’s building inspector. A company called Raytheon wants to build a big laboratory near the highway, but they can’t do it unless my grandfather says okay. I think that’s funny.

Ferdinand Pimentel Burlington MA

Raytheon lab rendering Burlington MA

 

 

My uncle Leonard does some really nice work from that old building too. He even made the red silk walls in the Raphael Room at the Gardner Museum. That’s a really pretty place.

Raphael room

 

Here he is, my uncle Leonard, graduating Lexington High School. He went there because Burlington didn’t even have a high school yet.

Leonard Pimentel BHS grad picture

 

And here he is again, but now he’s teaching at Burlington High School. That’s him way over on the right. He teaches mechanical drawing.

BHS staff, 1950. Pimentel on the far right.

 

But time is passing. Things are changing. We’re selling our land to new people. I wonder what will happen to 93 Cambridge Street.

 


 

Ottfried Weisz

Hi. I’m Ottfried Weisz, but you can call me Fred. I’m from Austria. My parents died in the Holocaust. My sister did too. I almost did too. An Italian guard made sure I got out of the concentration camps. I went to an orphanage in Italy, and then I lived with my cousin Fini. Then I came to the United States in 1955 and joined the Air Force as soon as I could. It was a job and a place to stay, all in one. So here I am.

I met a guy named Eduard Pass at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford. We started a business together. It was the Flying A service station in Woburn. Ed and I got really good at fixing Volkswagen and Porsche cars.

We even sold these for a while. It’s a German car called NSU Prinz.

NSU Prinz

But we decided to take a big chance and open a Porsche and Audi dealership. Major leagues! But Porsche and Audi didn’t want us at first, because Ed and I planned to split our ownership 50/50. They didn’t like a partnership like that. But after a while, they changed their minds and said okay.

Burlington didn’t want a car dealership at 93 Cambridge Street, right near houses on Arlington Road. But after a while, the selectmen changed their minds and said okay. So here we come.

 

Pass&Weiss logo

A customer made that double-eagle logo while he was sitting in the service department waiting area, just doodling on scrap paper. We liked it so much, we decided to put it on every car that left the dealership. See it on the front of the car in this ad?

 

Pass&Weisz picture ad

 

But now a lot of time has passed. The century is coming to a close, and I’m getting old. It’s time for me to retire.

Fred Weisz, retirement age, Burlington MA
Fred Weisz

 

I’m sure my partner, Ed, will carry the torch for a few years and then sell the franchise to someone new. There must be someone who wants 93 Cambridge Street.

 


 

Hi. I’m Herbert G. Chambers, but you can call me Herb.


Herb Chambers

14 thoughts on “The tale of 93 Cambridge Street Leave a comment

  1. Uncle Leonard was my Mechanical Drawing teacher when I was in BHS in the sixties. Thanks for the History lesson about his family heritage. I can remember passing by his house on Cambridge St. that had some history to it too. I also remember Dan’s grandfather was the building inspector in the fifties too.
    Thanks for adding another piece of Burlington history for us to learn about.

  2. Mr. Pimentel once said to a fellow student, “yes Mr xxxxxx what would be on your mind, if you had one”
    I remember that, from over 50 years ago.

  3. Excellent history. My husband had shop with Mr. Pimentel and I had math with Ms. Hutchinson
    Thank you

  4. We moved to Burlington in 1955 on Alma Rd and the pix bring lots of fond memories especially of Mr. Pimentel !!!!!!

  5. Such a great site. I grew up in Burlington in the 60s and 70s. I enjoy learning so much about the town.

  6. I enjoyed the article. We moved to Burlington in 1952. When I look at the picture I recognized Mrs Murphy as being the in the front row 2nd from the left. When I saw the name I thought that I had been mistaken then I realized that they were both home ec teachers so since I didn’t graduate until 1962 that picture was taken before she was married. Boy she didn’t change much. Mrs Billings was my guidance councilor when I was in high school. My sisters had Mr Mohen as a history teacher but he made the assistant principal in 1961. I had Mrs Hutchinson in 7th and 8th grade as a math teacher. I still remember some of the things that she taught me. But most of all I remember her white hair with the Purple rinse in it and Mr Horton and Mr Lynch were still with the school system. I think that Mr Lynch went to Woburn to be its Asst. Superintendent in 1961. I never had Mr Pimental but I saw him around the school in the late 50s and early 60s girls weren’t allowed to take “boy subjects”. As a partial answer to the question about when the First high school was built. I forget the year but it was a WPA project so it must have been in the early 30s.

  7. I had Mr Pimental for woodworking shop. ( late 50″s) The shop was right near the side entrance to high school he would always catch the kids that were late for school trying to sneak in. That was often me !!!. Great story, thank you.

  8. An important and interesting story to be included in Burlington history…great article…really enjoyed reading! Thank you!

    Mary Nohelty

  9. Great article and photos! I grew up on Arlington Road in the 1970s and 1980s, right behind where Pass & Weisz was. This is the first I ever learned about the Pimentel family and their farm! Thank you!

  10. so glad to see mr Pimentel of bhs, 1950s,got some recognition………………..he was a superb teacher of woodworking and and a kind and thoughtful man…………………he often worked on projects of his own in the woodshop and they were excellent pieces of woodworking…………….carved cabinets,etc………………….few of us became woodworkers,but jimmy stewart , bhs,1954,was one of his star pupils……………………rest in peace,mr Pimentel…………..carl johnson, bhs, 1954

  11. Is it just me or does the first photo with the little man in the bow tie bring a smile to your face?

  12. T.C
    Anonymous is correct. The inaugural year for the first BHS was 1939. It became the Center School and is now a Town Administrator Bldg.

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