Googling Framingham and Posting Without Credit

Researching and collecting old Framingham has been a hobby of mine for many years. I was born in the town, and lived and worked in Framingham for over 20 years.

I used to enjoy sharing my collection, posting pictures I found, either at the Library, the History Center, or more often or not, some I’d found over 30 years of collecting at flea markets, yard sales, and estate sales. People would enjoy the photos, read the narrative, and comment.

It’s not much fun anymore, when my work is found by people whose only work involves opening google, downloading search term results, then re-post, claiming the photos are from their own collection. Facebook has a page called “You Know You’re From Framingham When..” where a man named Paul Mitchell seems to think that whatever he finds by googling “Framingham” has been “found” exclusively by him.  I’ve seen pictures I took myself back in the 1960’s, re-posted with comments like “I found this” and narratives at the end like “tomorrow, I’ll dig out some more” as though he had a closet or box full of personal stuff that’s been hidden from the public for years.

Well, Paul, the well has run dry for you. I have lots of stuff in my own personal collection which won’t be out there anymore for you to steal as your own. Research is work, taking years, with lots of good luck. Maybe someday you’ll find something interesting on your own. More likely not, as sitting in your room using Google has become your tool of convenience.

The Jack Alessi Trio

I noticed an obituary in the paper today, for Jack Alessi. The name sounded familiar and when I looked him up, I recalled meeting him at the Monticello between sets when he opened for Jerry Vale, probably in 1972. Ralph Kelton and I would sometimes go to the Monticello after closing the Cinema and sit at the bar, still wearing our tuxes which were the uniform of the time. Here’s what was written about Jack.
“Originally from the Boston area, Jack began his musical career as a drummer in the early sixties working with his father, guitarist, Don Alessi. During the late sixties and early seventies Jack landed the coveted spot of M.C. at the Famous Monticello Night Club in Framingham, MA. Jack has performed with and opened for Tony Bennett, Vicki Carr, Jerry Lewis, Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Durante, The Mills Brothers and many others. He has been the featured vocalist and toured with such big bands as Tommy Dorsey, Glen Miller, and Stan Kenton. It was Jack Alessi’s concept of the “3 Swinging Tenors” that brought this trio together.”
The times have changed, and I don’t think we’ll ever again see the great shows that Framingham hosted for many year.

Game Machines in the Lobby

Circa 1981, here’s a photo of the Cinema Lobby with the game machines of the day.

I’m sure there’s a Pac Man there, and an Asteroids, as well as Donkey Kong. There were experts who were regulars, that knew the patterns on all these games, and would come in every day to play. There was a game called Defender, which was pretty hard, but I remember someone who could play it for hours on one quarter.

I’m sure there’s someone out there who remembers the red carpet, and the glass chandeliers in the Cinema Lobby. The photo is bright, but if you could see outside, you’d be looking out on the stairs that went up to the Jordan’s Basement Store, or the Roundup which was just outside the back exit from the theatre lobby.