Fast Company with the Two Jacks of Hampton Beach
Compiled by Dave Waller
Edited by Carol and Lynn Waller
[Special Thanks to Peter E. Randall for Facts and Photos]
This is the story ...
of two boyhood chums whose friendship forged a bond that two world wars and a depression couldn't break. They were both born in the late 1890s in "The Brickyard", a poor working class neighborhood in Lynn, Mass. Both boys quit grammar school to work in the factories to support their families. That work ethic -- and that drive to save and invest would serve them well in the decades to follow.
[Photo above] That's 23 year-old Irene Hopkins on the left. Charming, smart, and sporting a "bob" she was a modern 1920s woman. Her mother owned cottages at the beach, and her family would come from Lawrence, Mass. to beat the summer heat. She taught the school year and took a summer job at Cuddy's Rexall which proved to be an A+ move as we shall soon see.
The Scene 1927:
Photo above from left:
* D Street
* Ocean House Hotel
* C Street
* Dudley's Souvenirs
* White's Cafe
* Ring's Fountain
* Mahoney's Lunch
* B Street
* Cuddy's Rexall (Managed by the Two Jacks)
* Carnival Dance Hall is 1 mile to the right
Doctor Harry Hewett was no ordinary medical man.
He was a licensed dentist; or rather used to be a dentist, but by the time Hines met him "He was a semi-cripple and he couldn't pull teeth anymore - he had a bad arm." Doc enjoyed a drink now and then - once he left a priest in his dentist's chair and skipped out the back of his office when an old crony tapped on the window. They embarked on a 6 month "bender" to Canada, and on his way back the ship was wrecked. The crew cried "Women and children first", but always seizing an opportunity, Doc grabbed a crutch hollering "Make way for a cripple." He was the first onto the lifeboat.
While drifting at sea, one of his shipmates suffered an attack of Appendicitis, and Doc performed emergency surgery with a sailor's knife and a borrowed first aid book.
True story? That's how Jack Hines told it. "Doc worked at Cuddy's Rexall on the corner of B Street dispensing suntan lotion and home made remedies. People would come in and want to know where they could get a dentist. He'd say 'well, if you're in trouble I could help you out' so at 11:00 at night we'd close the store and go down to the cellar and pull teeth with an old pair of pliers from on top of the carbonator. He did a lot of favors -- never got any money for it.