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The Good Old Days in the Fourth Ward



"It was ordinary," says May Flannery McAndrews of her anything but ordinary childhood in Depression-era Greenwich. At eighty-three May is the oldest of the four Flannery siblings and the acknowledged matriarch of the clan. "I can't see that my childhood was any different than any of the other kids in the neighborhood," she says. "We were all the same, but it was happy. We did with little things, small pleasures and hard work. Although I guess in one sense it's remarkable that my brothers and sister and I are all still alive."

"It was sleeping in that unheated attic," says Bill, the baby of the family at seventy-nine. "It made us healthy. I know we never got colds, and I don't remember us ever getting shots." He laughs and adds, "This is a tough generation." They are known as the Greatest Generation now, although Bill jokes that maybe they should be called the Last Generation, since, as he points out, "There's not another one older than us, is there?" The four Flannerys — May, Eileen, John (called Coog) and Bill — were shaped by the excoriating poverty of the Depression, the fierce work ethic of their immigrant parents and by five years of world war. They're practical and plainspoken and funny, and at the root of their humor and the unspoken sense, always, that you take whatever life hands you and keep going, is their upbringing in the Fourth Ward. The Fourth Ward is a National Register Historic District that includes Williams Street, Northfield Street, Sherwood Place and Church Street and is the oldest moderate-income neighborhood in Greenwich. It was settled between 1836 and 1925 and was the nucleus of the town's Irish and African-American populations.

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Greenwich Agenda

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    2014.12.21
     @ First Congregational Church of Greenwich

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  • Parties at the JCC Center

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  • The Best of 2014: Cecile Chong, David, Ruth Hiller, David Licata, Loanne Mattera, Jill Parisi, Kristen Thiele

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     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

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  • Christmas Tree and Wreath Sale for Charity

    2014.11.29
     @ First Congregational Church of Greenwich

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  • Antarctica: Photographs by Diane Tuft

    2014.10.28
     @ Bruce Museum

    October 28, 2014 - February 1, 2015 Selections from Gondwana, Images of an Ancient Land Bruce Museum, 1 Museum Drive, Greenwich, CT...

  • Exhibition: Native American Pottery from the Bruce Museum Collection

    2014.11.22
     @ Bruce Museum

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  • Family Gallery Tours

    2014.10.26
     @ Bruce Museum

    Designed for children ages 6-10 and their families, these tours will provide an interactive, discussion-based tour of the museum’s current...

  • IMAGINE CANDY- SWEET TASTINGS!!!

    2014.10.24
     @ Imagine Candy

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  • Shakespeare's 450th Birthday Celebration

    2014.12.31
     @ Hyatt Regency Greenwich

    New Year’s Eve - Shakespeare’s Big Birthday Bash: A UNIQUE ELIZABETHAN FEAST CELEBRATING the 450th Birthday of William Shakespeare...

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    2015.01.11
     @ Whitby School

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    2015.01.12
     @ Greenwich Ballet Academy

    Greenwich Ballet Academy will be holding Open Auditions for their Spring Semester and Summer Intensive the week of January 12th, with a designated...

  • Family Fun Day Sunday

    2015.01.25
     @ Hyatt Greenwich

    Best family bonding day ever! Get your tickets now! Enjoy 9,500 square feet of fun, pampering, and family togetherness! Baby loves disco...

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    2015.01.30
     @ Junior League of Greenwich

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    2015.02.03
     @ Temple Sinai

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    2015.03.06
     @ Greenwich Country Club

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  • 2015 United Sole Sisters Luncheon

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     @ Greenwich Country Club

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  • Greening our Children's Annual Benefit

    2015.05.01
     @ Hyatt Regency

    Greening our Children's Annual Benefit May 1, 2015 Start Time: 6:30pm Hyatt Regency Greenwich With honored guest and Champion...


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