A ‘Story to Tell’ – Westborough's Charlie Fay
Westborough – A group of Westborough High School (WHS) students has been talking to local senior citizens as a way of ensuring that the elders” stories have been written down, in order to be preserved and shared with future generations.
The project called, “A Story to Tell,” was founded by WHS senior Michael Colbert, who was inspired to document stories after enjoying many hours talking with his mother Liz's great-uncle, Stelio Repola. (For more information on “A Story to Tell,” go to http://communityadvocate.com/2011/10/01/westborough-high-school-students-hope-to-hear-seniors%e2%80%99-stories/.
Here is Westborough resident Charlie Fay's story, as told to Michael -
Only three graduates of the Westborough High School Class of 1937 still make Westborough their home; Charlie Fay is one of these people. Fay was born on July 21, 1919 in Westborough, MA. He enjoyed delivering papers on his route through town throughout his time in high school and made eight dollars a week which was “a lot of money in those days,” Fay says. Although he admits he did not enjoy reading Shakespeare, he was an honor roll student and excelled in economics. This pushed him to study business at Bryant and Stratton Business School in Boston. After college, Fay began working in the accounting department at Wyman Gordon in Worcester. He bought his first car, a 1937 Ford Coup which only cost two-hundred dollars, to get to work every day. Although he transferred to the Grafton branch after the war, he worked for this company for several years.
During the war, Charlie went to New Zealand and served as a sergeant in the dispensary clinic of the 39th General Hospital. For about three years he administered pills to and checked the blood pressures of wounded soldiers from the fighting in Japan. Being a career accountant, he enjoyed this change in work. It would be unlikely for people to go into his office at Wyman Gordon for first-aid assistance, so being in the field in New Zealand was a once in a lifetime experience. Sometimes Maoris, the indigenous people of New Zealand, came to the hospital to perform a show; Fay also got to witness the New Zealand culture through traveling on the weekends. He returned to America and married after spending three Christmases abroad and never returned to the clinic.
When in high school, Charlie sat in front of a girl named Anne. He gave her the answers and enjoyed talking to her in class. Once, he asked her to a school dance, but she was already going with somebody else. However, he didn’t give up and, luckily, there was another dance later on in the year and she said she would go with him. Charlie and Anne stuck together and have now been married for sixty-seven years. He says of Anne, “She was the love of my life, and still is.” Although Anne has been affected by Alzheimer's disease, they both still smile when they see each other and their love for each other shows in how Charlie cares for his wife.
The Fays enjoyed traveling to Bermuda. Anne had cousins and aunts in Bermuda, so they decided to take a cruise to this island. They had such a wonderful time that they went on the same cruise again. Mr. Fay laughs that there was food around every single corner.
Several aspects of Westborough have changed since Fay was a child. Fay went to Westborough High School in the Forbes Building, not on the campus we recognize as the high school today. Additionally graduation was in the Town Hall. While Westborough High School now boasts a number of sports teams, the athletic program offered when Fay was in high school was much smaller. However, there was an extremely popular horseshoe team, which Fay played on as a student.
Downtown Westborough has only recently seen the development of numerous corporate retailers. The town used to be home to many more local and family-run businesses. But, Charlie says that his neighborhood hasn’t changed one bit. He lives in the same house where his children grew up. Though some things may be different, he is surrounded by welcoming and warm neighbors. Fay enjoyed working in and around the house. For fun, he used to take care of chickens in his backyard and gave their eggs away to friends and neighbors.
Charlie's humorous, considerate, and affectionate personality shines with his devotion to his loved ones and hometown. Fay served as a library trustee for six years and his wife was the school nurse at Westborough High School. While Anne used to play the violin, Fay says he can only “play the television.”
Fay has seen many changes in Westborough during his lifetime and says that it's a great town. He has certainly contributed to making it the place it is today.
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