Old Orleans Memories of a Cape Cod Town
by Mary E. Mc Dermott
What was life like on old Cape Cod? Lunch counters. Working the telephone switchboard. A song called Who Threw the Overalls in Mrs Murphy’s Chowder. Love during World War II. Hurricanes. A time when scarlet fever could kill, doctors made house calls, and locals brushed shoulders with celebrities such as Anaīs Nin and Dr. Scholl in Provincetown. These and other poignant memories of a Cape Cod town are preserved in the stories of an Orleans family bringing local characters and simpler times to life. Told in vignettes spanning from the 1920s to the Baby Boom, these stories preserve the grit and charm of Old Cape Cod.
Praise for Old Orleans
A glimpse into a bye-gone era on old Cape Cod. McDermott captures the atmosphere of the old days in Orleans with anecdotes of telephone switchboard operators, soda fountains, old-fashioned courtship, hilarious colloquial phrases unique to Cape Cod, and the comfort provided by a close-knit community. Be prepared to step back in time to a special place. ~Rick Cochran, author of Wellfleet Tales
A gem of a book. Featuring women who could dig clams, shuck ’em on the flats, and bring them home to make chowder, fields of cattle, and doctors walking through the snow to make life-saving house calls. McDermott’s memoirs and short stories reveal a Cape Cod life that was simpler but no less complicated when it came to love, marriage, and family, and her stories burst with love for her home town, “With its harbor and seagulls and the salt tang in the air when it was right. She was part of it, and it was part of her.” ~New York Times best-selling author Paul Kemprecos.
Mary E. McDermott is a 13th-generation Cape Codder living in Orleans. She worked for 17 years in the Orleans Assessor’s Office and 23 years as a commercial insurance broker at Pike Insurance Agency. She has been a justice of the peace to solemnize marriages since 1976 and has previously published two books of poetry, Tapestry and Handle with Care. Her poems have appeared in several publications including the Christian Science Monitor.