It Takes A Shtetl - Leonard Nimoy's Boston
Other Appearances

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2013 October

 

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On Twitter Leonard shares: "My son Adam is doing a documentary about my early years in Boston. Here's the first ten minutes. LLAP"
Link

(Thanks to Lynnet for passing on Leonard's announcement on Twitter
and Thanks to Grace for this Link to the film)

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Director, Producer and Interviewer: Adam Nimoy


Beautiful phictures of Boston are shown. 

 

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Leonard and Adam Nimoy walk the streets. 

 

 

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Some b&w photos from Leonard's private collection are inserted.  
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They meet the camera-team 
and get to the various places by car. 

 


 

"All right", Leonard says. "Where are we going first?"
Adam Nimoy explains the route. "That's a very smart idea", Leonard confirms the plan. "I didn't raise a dumb kid." 
Again beautifil photos from Boston are inserted. 

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At the boathouse Adam Nimoy asks how Leonard could have afforded a sailing course.
He learns that it had cost 25 cent a month at the time to keep the young people off the street. He had learned a lot how to handle boats during that time. 


Their next place to visit is the Hatch Memorial Shell where Leonard had worked as a 12 year old. alt It had been a walking distance of 15 - 20 minutes from his home. Concerts were free  when he sat on the grass or 10 cents for a chair. altThe concerts were conducted by Arthur Fiedler, a very famous Boston pops conductor. "I worked with them later", Leonard shares. He was the MC of an Inauguration ball for Michael Dukakis where Arthur Fiedler and his orchestra were playing. 
As a 10 year old boy Leonard had sold newspapers in downtown Boston and as a 12 year old boy he had worked stacking hundreds of chairs after the concerts. He got $2 for two hours.


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He shares a personal story about his coming home late after that. His father had been upset because his mother had been worrying.  

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With about 17 years: 

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They stop at Boylston street.
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Here Leonard had worked as a vacuumer - salesman when he was 18 years old. He got a car from the company to get around and sold vacuum cleaners for Electrolux.
altHe had been convincing though he had not had any experience as a salesman. He employer had convinced the Nimoys to allow him to get the car because he was so succesfull. "I've been dangerous", Leonard says. 

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The film promises to be very interesting. It is well done, taking the viewer along not only for a beautiful introduction to Boston but to Leonard's past as well.

(Thanks to Grace for this link from WGBH:

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Actor Leonard Nimoy returns to his native city of Boston for a sentimental journey. Accompanied by his filmmaker son Adam, Nimoy walks the streets, sharing memories of his early years: selling newspapers near the Common, sailing on the Charles and growing up in a Ukrainian immigrant family in the West End, a neighborhood that was largely razed in the 1950s. 

Bounded by the Charles River on the West, and Cambridge Street to the South, the West End of Boston was developed in the late 18th and 19th centuries by the well-to-do who moved there from the overcrowded North End. As these Boston Brahmins finally settled on nearby Beacon Hill, the West End became a center of African American culture during and after the Civil War. By the end of the 19th century up to the 1950s, the West End became home to a wave of immigrant groups Armenians, Greeks, Irish, Italians, Jews, Lebanese, Lithuanians, Poles, Russians, Syrians, Ukrainians and many other Eastern and Southern Europeans.


Nimoy was raised in this community. By the end of the 1950s, more than half of the neighborhood would be completely leveled and replaced with residential high rises as part of a controversial urban renewal project. Join Leonard Nimoy and his son, Adam, on a sentimental journey through the West End and other parts of Boston.
A WGBH exclusive premiere, Leonard Nimoy’s Boston is an engrossing story of home, community and urban change. 

 
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