I know how fortunate I was to grow up in Hopedale and it shaped my whole life.
Having read other biographies from this web page I believe I am the second State Kid (Ward of the State) to graduate from Hopedale High.
I remain the President of Class of 1958. No one could have better classmates than I. Thanks to the reunion committee anyone interested can get the complete list of members.
Special thanks to many members of my class still living in Hopedale and towns near by. These class members made sure we had class reunions that were fun and imaginative. Especially our last one in Poland Springs Maine. I have kept in touch with Margaret Jean Dowdell D'onfrio at least once a year for the last 43 years. She has kept me abreast of our common interest in family and Hopedale.
I grew up at 46 Inman street and had great parents, the Hoglunds, Victoria, and Charles. I grew up there with my brother David and their son Harold and of course, Uncle Gustava Safstrom.
I went off to college thanks to the Hopedale Foundation. I graduated from Worcester Junior College and then on to American International College. I then did some graduate work at Harvard. After Graduation and before I was in the restaurant Business; White House Rest. Worcester, Old Mill Westminster, Yankee Peddler Holyoke, Haye's Bickfords Pancake Houses, and then I began teaching Business in Athol.
I moved to Chicopee and Married a beautiful girl, Dorothy M. Gawlik. Had 3 children; one girl, two boys and we adopted a son. We have been active with children ever since, raising 9 others.
We worked for many years raising funds for the Chicopee Boys and Girls Club and was completed in the 80's. becoming the first professional home. In the past it had been located in store fronts in many parts of the city. We raised over ¾ of a million dollars.
I have been a community activist most of my life some times in the Republican Party with John Volpe, Elliot Richardson, and Senator Brook. Now that I am in Western MA I have been active as an independent and now the Democratic Party with Congressman Richard Neal, Shannon O'Brien, Senator Kerry and Senator Kennedy on issue of Children's health care and the elderly Medicare,Social Security. We are always involved in the issues of our community and nation and the best way for us all to express it is to vote.
My journey in life was laid with hands that loved me. People meet me with goodness. The horror stories of what happened to state kids in Hopedale and around the state were not visited upon me. My mother Tora and her husband Charley and Brother Gus always made me understand that they were my family until the grave. Then their love would become apart of my soul enabling me to begin my own successful family.
All my children went to college. The two oldest boys completed their degrees. One went to Bridgewater, one to Westfield State, and BC for his Masters.
My daughter Denise attended Holyoke Community college, and was a model. For four years she was a food supervisor for the employees. Her shift involved 1100 plus people to feed. My wife worked at Two Trees. My youngest son worked in house keeping and I in the main Dining Room. It was a good part-time job. My oldest son Dana & Susan have two daughters 2yrs.Grace-4yrs.Hannah, my daughter has one son who will be 4 this Oct. Dana is in Canton, Denise is Nashua with son Simon.
All of us have traveled from Iceland, Europe, Asia, Caribbean, Hawaii. I believe we have only missed Alaska and maybe three other states. we have yet to cover western Canada. My daughter had a tour in the Israeli. The program was in-service to Israel. For 3 months she participated in it's military program.
I always think of how important the concept of Hopedale was and is. It provides an environment of love, reflection, and beauty of how the town is set up as a habitat for Humans. Hopedale is well thought out.
It surrounds its citizens with, housing, parks, schools, library, water and woods but most of all, share their space as family. I have had wonderful experiences all my life because of the foundation laid down for me in Hopedale. Discrimination, hate, class structure was not a pressing issue in my life all that I meet view me as a person to share with. Ready acceptance is the word to describe my every encounter with others even if on occasion I was sometimes intense about what I thought needed direction. The future would be what I could dream of. For me the dreams of my youth came true because I was immersed in Hope. Hope has an energy of its own and that foundation was given to me in the years I spent at 46 Inman street, the bowling alley, the pond, the parklands, band, concerts, Chapel street school, Park Street School, Dutcher Street, Hopedale High, and Finally Mrs. Ferguson Liberian, Mr. Mrs. Daffon, Mr. Mrs. Draper, Mr. Mrs. Nutter Neighbors who prodded me on from the day that they met me and called me sonny a nick name not known by many.
Let me end by thanking Glenis Bishop Hachey and David for being the scribes of our life and a dimension that makes our life a joyous reflection on days gone by but not forgotten.
Because of my daughter and the Internet I got to meet my biological mother and learn of my family history. Like Kevin Bacon there were a lot of connections, Virginia Cutter, Stepmother, was a business teacher, I am a business teacher, she was a volunteer of note in Boston, I was always active also in my communities, she was in the restaurant, I was also chef manager/owner Her best friend was Chinese and a restaurant owner, I have a great friend who is Chinese and a restaurant owner. So the circle was completed and she saw that her decision provided me what she was unable to provide; A family.
Dana C. Cutter
President Class of 58
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