My family moved to North Attleboro when I was four years old. My parents had graduated from Norton High School and we lived in Attleboro and Norton before moving to North Attleboro. We moved to North Attleboro for the schools and their reputation as a great place to raise a family. I can tell you first hand that North Attleboro in the 80’s was an amazing place to be a kid.
After two years at Animal Crackers Nursery School, I attended Martin, Woodcock and Falls Elementary Schools, all while living on a small farm on Smith Street. We had fruit trees and chickens and I remember selling rhubarb for my parents at a roadside stand in front of our house. While bouncing around schools was stressful, I had the privilege of getting to know many future high school classmates and had amazing teachers along the way.
My parents divorced while I was in the fifth grade. Several years followed of moving among apartments in town, spending time living on Everett Street and Colburn Street. During this time I attended Amvet Elementary School and then the Junior High School in what is now the Community School. In spite of the challenge of a divorce, I remember thriving during these years, being involved in sports and clubs and having lots of close friends. The teachers I had during this period were instrumental in helping me excel.
By High School, I was living on Donald Tennant Circle and fully invested in North Attleboro High School. I was involved in everything I could get my hands on: sports, clubs, and student government. I truly loved those years. And speaking of love, I first met Melanie in our junior English class. She had just moved to town from New Jersey, and I can still remember my so-called friends harassing me during class singing the lyrics to Bruce Springsteen’s Jersey Girl while Melanie was just out of earshot. “I’m in love with a Jersey Girl….”