Nice to meet you


I’m a native of Randolph MA.  I have the amazing opportunity to spend several months researching and writing about my home, trying to figure out why this place is special and what exactly it’s done to all of us.  I’ll call it a thesis and at the end of it they’ll give me a very fancy piece of paper.


You probably have a lot of opinions and knowledge about this place.  You might want to see what I’m finding out about it.  And, I’m sure you’ll have opinions on what I say.  You will correct me, argue with me, and maybe even support me.

Theses are usually lonely endeavors, but from the start this has been a community effort.  People from in and around Randolph have strong opinions about the place, and so far no one’s been shy about it.  At all.  More than that, many of you who are reading this asked me about what I’m finding and are hungry for more information.

The project is coming together with huge amounts of help from people in the community.  This blog is a way for us to share information and discuss this unique place as I am in the process of my study.  I’ll be posting parts of my research and my writing as I go.  Please question, comment, and complain.


4 Responses to “Nice to meet you”

  1. jeff connors Says:

    very interesting,i would love to see these charts compared to those of 1980 to see how much it has changed in 30 years. if thats possible. i remember that it was 70 percent jewish or that is what i was told.the “black” section was one street up near where good brothers ford used to be..again very interesting..i will look at it further.but i have a twelve year old daughter looking over my shoulder trying to get her turn on the computer..take care

  2. Kathy Madden Says:

    Very interesting comment that Jeff made about the “black” section being in a particular location. In the mid-’70s, that’s how it was where I was living in Dorchester. When we would play touch football with the kids from the other end of the street, the cops would be called being told there was a riot of some sort going on. To us, it was just kids playing ball. But then, again, it was the first year of forced busing. I moved to Randolph the following year and did not notice any “black” sections, not even in the high school caf. But once again, I had transferred from Dot. High, where I (irish chick) was a minority. All relative, maybe????

  3. darlene sullivan Says:

    Hi Jamie, truly fascinating. I’ve had a home in Randolph for almost 50 years. I’ve seen many changes. I found it very interesting that there was an 89% increase in population in 1960, that is when I moved to Randolph as an infant. My neighborhood, growing up, was all white, Catholic, predominantly Irish and Italian, two Jewish families. We had one of the smallest families, two children. Most families had five or more.
    Today, the neighborhood is multi-racial. There are still some of the same famiilies I grew up with, as well as Hatian, Nigerian, African American, Columbian, Guatemalan, Chinese, white, a mulit-racial couple, a gay couple, a lesbian couple, as well as a single-parent home. I still feel that our neighboorhood is wonderful. Everyone is very considerate of each other and there is still an old-time feel to our very diverse neighboorhood. I still feel as if it is one of the best neighborhoods in Randolph, and my daughter has had a great experience growing up here as I did as a child.

    I think Randolph gets a bad rap. I know the high school has a lot of problems. I’ve heard that a large majority of the kids that go to school there are troubled, whether it’s the use of vulgar language, total disrepect for staff, teachers, public or personal property, no desire to learn, et cetera. I have no experience with the high school, directly, or any public schools in Randolph. (My daughter has gone to private catholic school K-9. However, my husband and I did vote for for Prop 2 1/2, and were very pleased when it passed.) I’ve only heard reports of this kind of behavior from teachers who work within the school system, be it full time or part time. Unfortunatly, this makes it a difficult environment for the kids who want to be there and get what they can out of their high-shcool experience, (as well as for the staff.)

    I know there are a lot more reports of drugs going through the town, crime, and gang activity. I am not sure why exactly, but feel that Randolph is a thoroughway between Boston and Brockton. But it seems to be permeating many towns, even the more affluent. I found this the most disturbing change in the town, as it would be anywhere you lived.

    I remember when Randolph was really a beautiful town, literally. Main Street had large oak trees that lined Main Street all the way up on both sides of the street. Now, Main Street is very honky-tonk looking. It’s really a shame that the same rules for esthetics are not maintained in the building codes as they are in other towns when it comes to signange and frontage for stores, et cetera on Main Street and throughout the town. There is no consistancy and it makes it look very trashy.

    All in all, I’m okay with living in Randolph. I like my neighborhood. I have wonderful neighbors of all ethnicities. It’s been a great place to raise our daughter. The people we’ve encountered along the way through town sports, town businesses, church in large part are truly good, warm, caring, respectful people who are just trying to live and lead good life, maintain their homes, raise their children and be happy; and that’s all you can hope for anywhere you live.

    Well, those are my comments for now; nott sure if they’ll help, or if that’s what you’re looking for. I’ll remain very interested in others’ comments on our town and how it has changed over the years, and will probably chime in with additional comments if you don’t mind. Thank you.

  4. Sandra Pimentel Says:

    Hi James
    I am so happy and excited that you are doing this. For years I have been hoping that this would happen. You may have some memories of the Alliance Against Racism and Violence at the Randolph High School. My daughter Lisa Pimentel was an advisor for the group in Randolph. I worked for Bill Delahunt when he was a DA and I started the Alliance County- wide with his support and funding. He put lots of resources into the City because he recognized the potential. I ran hundreds of workshops over the years and can say that while they were all powerful Randolph was in a class of its own for several reasons. I grew to love the town and particularly the people who made it such a special place. I saw so much change over a ten year period. Unfortunately it sounds like the ball got dropped by some adults in critical positions. I suspect that your work could help document if this is so.
    There has been a discussion about a Randolph Alliance reunion and I would love to see this happen. If anyone would like to join a planning meeting on Martha’s Vineyard, please email me. In addition I think I still have information that may be helpful. There were demographic studies done in the mid 1990’s that look similar to what you are doing. There is also a history of the Alliance and a plethora of VHS films that could be useful.
    Best wishes
    Sandy Pimentel

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