Ye Olde Medfield: Afterschool Hangouts Then and Now

Ye Olde Medfield: Afterschool Hangouts Then and Now

Alex Rider '18, Feature's Editor

When I was in sixth grade (way back in the dark ages of 2011 and 2012), there were no Brothers or Starbucks in the quaint little town of Medfield. In retrospect, I wonder how any of the upper school students back then survived without their coffee.

Honey’s, a small bakery and coffeeshop that closed at the beginning of this year, was sandwiched between Go Fresh and Larkin’s, but the only time that Montrosians could ever go there was after school on Fridays, or any morning (if you arrived at school early enough). Starbucks was once a gas station that turned into a pile of rubble by that time I was in seventh grade. Dunkin’ Donuts was once a Friendly’s, and I (and many others) still mourn its loss. I remember with fondness how my friends and I would run across the street to Go Fresh after school, hoping that our order of fries, chicken nuggets, or fried dough would be ready in time for the start of play practice.

Today, everyone asks for a sip of your frappuccino; back then, everyone begged for a fry or piece of fried dough. For the hot chocolate lover in many of us, North Street Market offered Swiss Miss packets, hot water, and cream for one to concoct their desired ‘perfect’ cup of cocoa.

I remember that right before Christmas break, sixth grade religion teacher Mrs. Baker, led my grade through the gently falling snow and along the sidewalks of Medfield. When we marched into Lord’s, our destination, we shared a platter of cookies with the Lord’s employees- all the while singing Christmas carols. We tromped back to school laughing and in high spirits.

Lord’s – now known as Brothers – was an old-fashioned, CVS-like store, carrying cards and candles and other gifts; and, similar to North Street Market, Lord’s provided a daily candy fix to those with a sweet tooth. However, my absolute favorite part of Lord’s was the 1950’s style counter in the back, where one could order a sandwich and a milkshake and have a down-to-earth conversation with the amiable woman who worked at that back counter. Lord’s closed in February of my seventh grade, and we all mourned in dramatic seventh-grade ways.

To my delight, Brothers has kept and renovated that counter, where one can order from a menu similar to the one that existed at Lord’s.  A year later, everyone was ecstatic at the news that a Starbucks was popping up right next to our school — the news spread to all in a few hours. Initially, I dismissed my mom’s warnings that going there too often would leave me “broke and fat,” but eventually I came to believe that she was, at least partially, right.

Against my conscious will, I found myself waiting in the long line at Starbucks more and more and ordering fries and Swiss Miss hot chocolate less and less. Over time, I found the friendly baristas and laid-back atmosphere at Starbucks to be the perfect place to have a conversation with a friend, listen to music, or do my homework and avoid the restraints of quiet after-school Study Hall. More recently, I have discovered the magical mac n’ cheese and milkshakes at Brothers, and I often choose to spend time there as well, chatting with friends and doing some schoolwork.

Yes, I do look back on my early Montrose years at Go Fresh, North Street Market and long-lost Honey’s with loving remembrance: Those early middle school Montrose years were a truly beautiful time, one filled with laughter and happiness. Today, I recognize that life is just as beautiful and shining as it was five years ago.  Though definitely in a different way, the joy of attending Montrose and experiencing the hang-outs of Medfield has not yet lost its resplendence, and I doubt it ever will.