Memory Lane: The Boarding House

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There must still be boarding houses, somewhere. People still have extra rooms, don’t they? Why not take in a few boarders? But it really doesn’t seem anywhere near as common as it used to be.

I stayed at a boarding house once, back in the early 70s, in Putney, Vermont: rented a room for a week. There were other young people renting there. Most of us had just been hired as reading instructors, and were in Putney for our training. This boarding house didn’t serve communal meals because it had a little family restaurant attached to it: but you could sing for your supper, which I did a few times. (Some people will listen to anything!) It had a nice TV room, complete with piano, where you could lounge with other boarders, maybe play a card game or two. Or watch the Red Sox game. It was nice.

You see boarding houses all the time in old movies. Much of the action in the sci-fi classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still, centered around a boarding house. And Our Boarding House, with Major Hoople (“Fap!”), was a staple in the Sunday funnies.

I don’t know–the boarding house I stayed at seemed a lot cozier and more personal than any motel, and a lot nicer than being all alone. I would be sorry to hear that the boarding house has passed into history with rotary phones and mimeograph machines.

 

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

3 responses to “Memory Lane: The Boarding House

  • Erlene Talbott

    Well, I do remember the old boarding houses. There were a few around in “my day”. The nearest thing we have now is the Bed and Breakfast and there are a few of them around. In a little Idaho town where I lived previously, a very nice couple own a restaurant and a separate Bed and Breakfast which is very nice with old fashioned furnishings- huge comfy beds, dressers and antiques. Then, you can run over to the restaurant and eat.

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  • marlene

    Lovely memory. There was a time when it was safe to be with total strangers. Even better in your case where many of you had your work in common. Today, however, there are B&B’s, which I personally wouldn’t want to go to. PS: If you had to sing for your supper today, would you starve? -lol- just kidding. Would love to watch a short video of your musical talents.

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