Fast Company with the Two Jacks of Hampton Beach

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Compiled by Dave Waller

Edited by Carol and Lynn Waller

[Special Thanks to Peter E. Randall for Facts and Photos


Section I

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.
Sole Agents (below): In 1925, partners Jack Walsh and Jack Hines drove the seacoast north of Boston selling ice cream cones in a Model T truck. They heard about an opportunity to run the concession stand at a new Dance Hall. "We'd be taking care of all the thirsty people getting hot and bothered dancing" said Hines.
Carnival Dance Hall (above): All the big bands made it to Hampton NH -- Guy Lombardo, Rudy Vallee, Paul Whiteman -- we'd shave half a ton of ice to keep the tonics cold. The cash register would be full of water since we were dipping our hands in the cooler all night. People would complain -- 'No Wet Bills!'"

Rumble Seat 1926(below): As these pictures indicate, the Dance Hall wasn't such a bad place to meet people, and the Two Jacks got the lay of the land pretty quickly. They put up a used Army tent on a lawn behind the Dance Hall and rented cots to summer help. "It used to get blown down every third night, but we made it." -JH
Wet the doorsteps (above): Was it the dashing good looks or was it the free tonic? Jack Hines is "in the berries" on the front steps of the Dance Hall with these two lovely ladies in the summer of 1926.

Hot Stuff:

[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

"Doc" Hewett:

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.

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