Friendly’s { a New England tradition}

Leaving Hinsdale I drove cross-country, over hills and around mountains, catching some marvelous scenery in my mind’s eye.  I was on the clock.  I was leaving western MA much later than planned.

The decision to pass up seeing Tanglewood in Lenox, MA was a difficult but necessary one.  I needed to get to Troy, NH by nightfall.  My friends were expecting me.

It was hot.  It was humid.  It was the middle of a heat wave.  I enjoyed the beautiful ride, following my paper map (no GPS) without getting lost.  I came out as planned in Shelburne Falls, where the Bridge of Flowers is.  Without stopping.  Without taking any photos.

Photo by Jammy, Greenfield, MA

Photo by Jammy, Greenfield, MA

Photo by Jammy, Greenfield, MA

Photo by Jammy, Greenfield, MA

When I reached Greenfield I called my friend and told her how far away I was, and that I had stopped to eat.  Just couldn’t drive past Friendly’s without stopping.  {I think I missed a good supper at my friend’s though.}

I did not grow up with Friendly’s.  It was in the town where my grandmother lived.  The same town my mother lived in after I grew up (when my parents divorced), and where my children spent a good portion of their childhood.  Friendly’s is home.  Or was. (it is no longer there)

Here is the history of Friendly’s, in case you are not familiar with it.  I learned a few things from reading it.  Friendly’s began during the Depression, and has always focused on families.  Here are a few photos from the Friendly’s Pinterest board, Making Memories Since 1935.


This is a Jim Dandy

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Enjoyed my meal, back on the road, arriving at my friend’s house just as it was getting dark.  They helped me put my tent up in their yard.  Not so easy to do at the end of a long day.  I don’t think we staked it down.

Pictures can’t show the beauty of the night in the country in New England.  And the quiet.  Oh, my.  It was beautiful.  You literally could hear nothing.  No road noise, no people, nothing.  Absolute quiet.

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Here are a few pictures the next day.  I met these folks in 1968 in Vermont, when they came from Michigan to pastor our church.  They are my ‘oldest’ friends.  He built this house himself.  They used to live on the righthand side, but have moved into the smaller side, and let the house out to a married granddaughter.

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Hence the signage.  And the tent.  Their space is very small.

Grandmother and granddaughter piano duet practice

Grandmother and granddaughter piano duet practice

She was my piano teacher.  She has a standing date with one of her granddaughters when they practice duets.  What fun to hear!

Next time we’ll get back on the road.  Oh, by the way, this is not a place where I lived in my childhood.  But they have photo albums, and I took pictures of the photos that pertained to me.  {saving those for another post}  Here’s one of grandma in the 70s, playing the same piano in their living room during a church party game.

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And here’s one that explains why Bash Bish Falls was not the place I was remembering.  We put the pieces together from my friend’s scrapbook and my memory.  It was Texas Falls, Vermont.


Memory book given to them when they left our church in the 1970s.

We went to Texas Falls as a youth group.  As I remember it, I had recently received a new wrist watch for my birthday.  For whatever reason, not a smart one, another girl was carrying my watch for me while I waded in the water, and she lost it.  It fell into the river.

Rather than panic, we prayed.  {We had a wonderful youth leader.}  It was like looking for a needle in a haystack.  But God is able.  And He is good.  And He knew that having us find that watch that day (even letting us lose it) would strengthen our faith, which would bring glory to His Name.

One of the boys found it, glittering gold at the bottom of the shallow bubbling, rocky river, in the sunshine.  Praise God!  That is the story of Texas Falls, and why I went to Bash Bish Falls, thinking it was the place where my watch was lost in the river.  Next trip, Texas Falls, Vermont!


7 thoughts on “Friendly’s { a New England tradition}

  1. Magnolia Tea says:

    It sounds like you had a nice trip. You’re a brave one for sleeping in the tent. So glad your watch was found! Yes, the Lord knows just where everything is. I couldn’t tell you how many times He has showed me where I lost something. Have a great day.


  2. Cindy says:

    Oh Friendly’s! They had the best hamburgers and those ice cream samplers that I could eat back in my thin days 🙂 My church youth group used to go there after our Sunday night meetings and it’s where my high school sweetheart took me on many dates. What great memories, is it really gone?


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