Oakland Parkway Neighborhood Association Turns 50!

Ted Cormier-Leger, OPA President
Ted Cormier-Leger, president of the Oakland Park Neighborhood Association, enjoys the evening with several current and former neighbors at their 50th anniversary party. Elizabeth Burch, Jamie Van Buren, Harriet Stoddard, Kristine Perry, Sheila Peterson, Maria Dowling, Mindy Gilbert, Paula McNulty, Jennifer Driscoll, Heather Edouard, Alyson Duchak, Ted Cormier-Leger
Issue Date: 
February, 2019
Article Body: 

The year was 1968. President Lyndon Johnson was in office. Madison Square Garden was about to open for the first time while 911 was being launched nationwide on our phones. Intel was founded, and Apollo 8 made its first manned orbit around the moon. Americans were in love with the Beatles, and Simon & Garfunkel released “Mrs. Robinson.” “Bonanza,” “Gunsmoke” and “The Beverly Hillbillies” dominated night time television while Funny Girl, Planet of the Apes and The Odd Couple were hits at the box office. If you were lucky enough to make the national average of $7,850/year you might also have bought a house for $14,950. Gas costs .34 a gallon, stamps were .06 and a gallon of milk cost you $1.21. It was certainly a simpler time.
But 1968 was an important year for many in Franklin. It was the year the Oakland Parkway Neighborhood Association was officially formed. Homes were popping up everywhere as developers continued to map out what would eventually become Coronation Drive, Oakland Parkway, Brenda Lane, Beverly Lane, Paula Lane, Ashbury Drive, Olde Carriage Lane and Downingwood Drive. In 1968, a group of neighbors got together and got organized. They formed the OPA or Oakland Parkway Neighborhood Association, with the goal of bringing everyone together for social gatherings, creating a sense of community for their families and being a voice to town officials should problems or concerns arise.
One of the earliest OPA traditions began right around 1968- the holiday luminaries! To this day, people drive around the Oakland Parkway neighborhood each Christmas Eve to see hundreds of white candlelit bags laid out along the sidewalks. It’s a peaceful and beautiful reminder of what the season is really about.
Over the years, other traditions have formed, like the Annual Easter Egg Hunt, the end of school BBQ, the summer ice cream social, the back to school BBQ and the Halloween costume parade and party. And, like any great neighborhood, we are there to celebrate birthdays, births, anniversaries, and all kinds of special occasions, as well as be there for each other when life gets hard and a loved one passes.
On Saturday January 5, 2019, nearly 90 people gathered for a celebration at the Alumni Restaurant in Franklin. Friends and neighbors, spanning several generations, got together for dinner and lots of laughs as they looked back at the last 50 years in their beloved Franklin neighborhood.
“We moved in 1972. What a blessing this neighborhood has been to our family! We, Parents, shared common interests, goals, parenting…watched over each other’s children…a family! Not many places- if any like it in today’s world. To see everyone, hear the stories, and to know you were a part is very special to me. My husband Bill would have added much to last night’s conversations…oh the stories! Laughter! A huge thank you to the committee and my wish for you present neighbors- keep it going- your lives and your children’s lives will be enriched because of this.”
– Dorothy Maciejewski