“Old Timer” is fast becoming a popular expression around the town in many different fields,— and it may well be applied to several South Norwood merchants who have had business establishments in that locality for as many as fifty years.
Probably the oldest name to be found down on Washington Street is that of Abdallah. Nicholas Abdallah came to South Norwood forty years ago when the district was nothing much more than a swamp. People laughed at his boundless faith in such an unlikely location. He had the courage of his convictions however, and today his dreams have been realized When he first arrived in the town, he became interested in real estate Later he entered the hardware business and the South End Hardware is the result of his efforts. His son, John Alexander, is following in his footsteps and they are still in the real estate business, operating the Abdullah Package Goods Store as well.
Over fifty years ago, John B. Abdullah, father of Nicholas and grandfather of John A. Abdullah, came to this country and settled in Boston. Many Syrian people who came to the United States at that time worked for him, covering the Northern Atlantic Coast with packs on their backs. Now all those men whom he employed have settled with their families in various sections of New England.
Alerk Hirshenson who now operates the Norwood Auto Parts Company, Inc., at 1049 Washington Street, came to America thirty-six years ago. He was first employed at Winslow Brothers and Smith, but when he had saved enough money, he bought a horse and wagon and started a small junk business. He fared well and soon his work grew to include the wholesale as well as retail business. He finally gave the junk business to his son, and opened a used car agency In 1931 he established the auto parts company and he has added all kinds of electrical appliances to his regular line of merchandise. Within the past three months he has established the Hawkinson Factory for the re-servicing of tires and the sale of Texaco Products. Mr. Hirshenson has three sons and two daughters who are all active in the business.
It has been twenty-nine years since Salvatore Gulla came to Norwood. His first work here was in the Berwick Press and he helped organize the Press Club, which is known as the Elks Club. The bakery business claimed his attention for some time, but he sold out to a relative. He was a success in the sale of macaroni for several years, but he is now manager of the Gulla Package Store. In addition to light wines and beer, his store offers tobacco, ice cream, candies and new papers for sale;
Ermando Morini, proprietor of Morini’s Market, has a fine, twenty-year reputation for service in the market field. He came to the United States when only seven years old. Previous to the opening of his own market, he was employed at Moro’s Market for about six years. At Morini’s are to be found famous Italian foods and the delicacy of goat’s milk cheese.
Mr. Morini is married to the former Adajgisa DeAngeles and they have one son, Enrico, who attends the Norwood Junior High School.
John Kelly, owner of Kelly’s Market, has not always been a grocery man. When he first came to South Norwood in 1907 he opened a dry goods store. For a two-year interval between 1910 and 1912 he returned to his native land, and when he again came to Norwood, he bought a farm of 107 acres on Summer Street. In 1923 he opened his present business and today is a well-known grocery man selling quality foods. His special foods include Ceci Cotti and Lentils.
Mr. Kelly is married to the former Mary Ellis and has a fine family of 11 children, eight boys and three girls. He says he likes baseball, but his favorite sport is football.
Bicycle Repair Man
George J. Howard, the familiar bicycle repair man of South Norwood, came to this country in 1901 at the age of 10. He was employed at the Tannery for a time doing small jobs, and later worked at the Plimpton Press where he held his job for 14 years. In 1915 he started a bicycle repair shop which was expanded in 1920 to a hardware store. Only recently he withdrew from hardware in favor of his bicycle work and a position at Winslow Brothers and Smith.
He is the son of Joseph Howard, the first Syrian settler in Norwood, and the founder of the St. George’s Syrian Church on the present site.
Barnet Kneznek, the manager and owner of the Independent Furniture Company, was a junk dealer for 30 years in Norwood. Before entering the furniture business, he was interested in real estate. Mr. Kncznck is the father of four boys and three girls.
The last of the old timers on the list is John Pauplis, manager of the South End Tailoring Shop. Mr. Pauplis was born in Lithuania, but has had tailoring shops at various locations on Washington Street for twenty years. He is a fine presser and is famous for altering and remodeling suits to fit.
All these merchants have remarkably long records of service and benefit to the community in which they live. In a section that harbors people of 21 different nationalities, their cooperation and mutual goodwill is particularly noteworthy.
THIS DAY IN NORWOOD HISTORY
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