Jerry Navleris

Tile image

Current name: Jerry Navleris

Age when this tile was made: 8

Where did you live when you made this tile?

I lived on 228 Broadway, in the Winter Hill area.

Where else have you lived in Somerville?

We've lived in the Clarendon Hills apartment complex, and at 36 Liberty Avenue and, for most of our time in Somerville - for 14 years - at 228 Broadway, across the street from Foss Park.

Where do you live now?

My wife, 2 sons and I live in the North Shore area.

Do you consider Somerville your hometown? Yes

What is your earliest Somerville memory?

My brother Perry and I playing with our "Big Wheels" tricycles in the front common-area yard of the Clarendon Hills apartment complex. I also remember my brother, my grandparents and I sitting on the our fifth-floor apartment's porch one afternoon, watching the storm clouds roll in from the west, and hoping our parents would be home soon before the rain hit. I fondly remember sitting there and my brother and I eating Premium saltine crackers, while waiting for them.

How would you describe Somerville in the 1980s?

Since we spent our years in the 80s, living on Broadway at the intersection of McGrath Highway, I would say that life was always moving and people were always heading somewhere. But a lot of people were friendly and would stop and talk with you from time to time.

How would you describe Somerville today?

Although I don't go to Somerville as often as I used to, my opinion on what I have seen makes me believe it to be more of a "trendy" place, much like Cambridge. It's very expensive to live there now, as it is in many cities in Massachusetts. But a lot of Somerville, to me hasn't changed at all.

How has Somerville changed?

No, not to me. When I do go back there, I see my old neighborhood in the Winter Hill area and it hasn't changed at all. The pizzeria place that my father, brother, and I used to visit, Mama Lisa's, is still there. The Portuguese bakery that my dad used to buy fresh bread from, is still there. The market I used to work at, Star Market, the Chinese food place we used to order food from, Dragon Island, and the convenient store I used to go to, to stock up on soda and candy, are all still there.

I also had some great memories, attending Somerville High School on Highland Ave while living on Broadway. My brother and I used to walk there every day. And if we woke up late on a school day, we both knew how fast we would have to run to get in the door by the time the late bell rang, so we wouldn't be late. If you ask my mom, though, she'll tell you her favorite memory is of my brother and me, one day waiting by the MBTA bus stop across the street, to take the bus to Powderhouse school. It was pouring buckets but we wouldn't take an umbrella so we would be standing there, getting soaked while waiting. My mom would come running out waving her arms wildly, motioning us to come back and get one. My brother asked that morning, "Who's that crazy woman waving at us like that?" I said "Uh, Perry, that's Mom." Perry said "Let's pretend not to notice her."