The Quest - Memorial Day May 26th, 2003
Memorial Day, 2003: though it was a cold and rainy day, the Lerman Family set out on a quest. The destination for this quest... Dorchester, MA.
It was 65 years ago that Bubi and Zadie were married on a cold night in November 1937 (11/21/37 to be precise). Recently your author had found one of their wedding invitations pictured right below (click to enlarge). And then the idea for a quest was formed...
Per the invitation, the location of the wedding is at the Dorchester Plaza on 5 Tonawanda Street on the corner of Geneva Avenue in Dorchester, MA. The quest for the Lerman family on this cold and rainy day 65 years later was to find the Dorchester Plaza and pay homage to this location that united two young people who would someday produce 3 children and 9 grandchildren. One of these grandchildren was limited with grammer and never fully understood the rules for a run-on sentence. But never-the-less, this author has digressed...
Before leaving on the quest, three of the great-grandchildren were set down on the couch and were lectured on the meaning of the quest. Main topics of discussion were primarily "who were Bubi and Zadie"? Pictures were passed around among the three girls. As well as the wedding invitation. The weight and gravity of the quest was slowly sinking in on these young minds. #1, the oldest, wondered if there was anyone still alive that attended the wedding. #2, the middle child, inquired what kind if wedding dress Bubi wore on this day. #3, the youngest, asked if she could have a peanut butter and fluff sandwich before we left. Here is a picture of the girls before we left the house:
What will we find on our quest? Will the Dorchester Plaza be standing proudly as it did 65 years ago? Would it now be an abandoned building? Was the Plaza converted to another building such as a medical office, professional building, or check-cashing store? Condominiums? Housing projects? To find out was one of the goals of our quest. But finding out what became of the place where Bubi and Zadie were married was not the only goal of the quest. The journey itself was the primary goal. Maybe we would learn a little bit about ourselves along the way. Get to know a little of our history. Or maybe we were just a little too stir crazy after spending a long holiday weekend cooped up in the house as it rained the entire time and we just needed to get out!
How would we get to Dorchester? Should we drive? Absolutely not! That would be no fun. Zadie used to drive the busses, trolleys, and trains of the MBTA; so it was only fitting that we would take the MBTA to see the location where they were married. We drove to Oak Grove, the last stop north on the Orange Line.
We took the Orange Line into Boston and switched to the Red Line at Downtown Crossing. (Downtown Crossing was called Washington Street when Zadie used to work the trains). On the Red Line we took the Ashmont train to the Fields Corner stop. From there we used our map and walked about 1/2 mile to the corner of Tonawanda Street and Geneva Avenue.
So what did we find when we got there? Was the Dorchester Plaza standing regally as it did many years ago when Bubi and Zadie were married? Let's let the pictures below answer these questions...
As you can see there was no Dorchester Plaza to be found. Maybe we missed the building by days or weeks. Or possibly years. Nothing but an empty lot where construction is taking place for water and sewer pipes. But overall it did not matter... we made our quest. We made the best of a rainy afternoon. We made some friends on the train. And most of all, we had fun.
This site was last updated 01/03/05