In Her Words
Candid Profiles of Strength Told by the Women of Northbridge
Throughout the month of March, we have collaborated to celebrate Women’s History Month and the rich history of the amazing women living in our communities. Their candid stories are brimming over with love, happiness, passion, family values and the markings of individuals who have truly lived well and loved life.
Tina’s Story (Resident of Ledgewood Bay at Milford)
What is your name and where were you born?
Septima L. Gaidmore, but I prefer to be called Tina. I was born in December of 1919 in Milford, NH to Maria and Francesco Luongo, Italian Immigrants. I was the fourth of seven children and my siblings are: John, Fred, Frankie, Antoinette, Joe and Terry (there’s a 24 year difference between all of us).
How did your parents choose your name? Does it have a special meaning? Did you have any nicknames?
Although I was the fourth child in the family, I was named after my father’s sister Septima, who was the 7th child in my father’s family. Septima means “the seventh.” My brother Joe couldn’t pronounce “S” or “M” very well so he called me Tina. I liked the nickname and it stuck.
What kinds of things did your family do together when you were young?
My father took us to his band’s concerts. He played many instruments, including banjo, mandolin, cello, trombone, violin and piano. We loved going to Baboosic Lake in Amherst to go swimming. We played cards together a lot, and lotto (which is like bingo). We also worked in our garden, which was very large.
What did you love to do with your friends?
The family didn’t have much money, but there were a lot of kids in the neighborhood, so we mostly played outdoor games with them. We played tag, kick the can, baseball, and run, sheep, run.
What schools did you attend? What were your favorite subjects?
I started school at The Old White School in 1924 when I was 5 years old. When I was 6 years old I went to elementary school on Cottage Street, where the Milford Police Station is now. I attended the Bale School on Elm Street from 7th through 12th grade. My favorite subjects in school were History, English and Math.
Did you marry? If so, what is your spouse’s name?
I married Frank Gaidmore on September 1, 1941. We were married for 57 years. We adopted two wonderful boys; Jerry was 6 years old and Dennis was 10 days old. We adopted them within days of each other and we went from having no children to having two boys in the house almost overnight!
Have you had jobs? Who did you work for and what did you do?
I started work right after high school working as a cashier at Public Service Company of NH. I worked there for 8 years. When we adopted our sons I stopped working and stayed home with the boys. In 1954 my father-in-law came to live with us. Since the boys were 14 and 8 years old and could be left with their grandfather, I headed back to work. I started part-time at Souhegan National Bank on Nashua Street in Milford and worked there full-time within a year. I started as a teller, but wanted to learn more skills. I went to night school at the Nashua Business School and learned how to type, shorthand, and accounting. During my 35 years working at the bank I advanced to the position of Vice President of Human Resources. I wanted to retire when I was 65 but the bank wanted me to stay, so I worked for 5 more years before retiring. I was elected to be the Town Treasurer for Milford in 1970. I served the town in this capacity for 10 years. I was also the treasurer for the Milford chapters of the Salvation Army and the Red Cross.
Where have you lived?
I have lived in Milford, NH for most of my life. In 1990, the summer after I retired, my husband and I bought a home in Lakeland, Florida and spent winters there.
What are your hidden talents?
I’m very good with numbers!
What are some of your favorite things?
I love people, and especially spending time with her family.
I have belonged to St. Patrick’s Church in Milford since I was a baby. It is where I was baptized, had my first communion, was confirmed, and was married. I joined the Junior Choir when I was 13 years old and was very active in the Senior Church Choir until 2002.
I am an avid golfer. I was a member of the New Hampshire Ladies Golf League, the Cleveland Heights Gold Course in Lakeland, Florida, and I am currently a member of the Ponemah Senior Golf Group.
Favorite colors? Red
Favorite flowers? Lilacs
Favorite songs? Oldies music from the ‘50’s and ‘60’s, “when music was still music and not caterwauling like it is now.”
Favorite foods? Lasagna, stuffed shells, Chinese food, junk food and sweets.
Favorite pets? Dogs and cats. I had a cat that had so many litters I became known as the ‘cat lady’. People knew that if they wanted a kitten I was the one to go to.
What are your favorite things to do now?
I enjoy reading, doing crossword puzzles, playing golf and spending time with family.
What are your favorite experiences to partake in at Ledgewood Bay?
Tina likes to play Bingo, Rummikub, bocce ball, and Wii Bowling. I greatly enjoys the entertainers who come to Ledgewood Bay.
What is your biggest piece of advice for young women today?
- Keep your body and mind active
- Establish and keep good habits and a healthy diet
- Do unto others as you would have done unto you
- Keep a positive attitude and always have a smile on your face.
Sum your personality up in 1 word?