Being Boston-born and DC-domiciled, I must admit surprise at being reminded of an early childhood memory by a New York community newspaper!
While I was too young to remember the heyday of the Automat (I was born in 1965), they still existed during one of my earliest childhood (toddler?) memories. In perhaps 1968 or 1969, I remember going with my mother to an Automat on Tremont Street in Boston. I believe the Automat was located near Kennedy’s (a now-closed department store) and across from Boston Common. It was probably supposed to be a treat and my mother must have had the day off from her then-job as a keypunch operator at MIT. I was fascinated by all of the choices, the chrome and glass boxes, and the seemingly complex mechanics of how it all worked. Where did the food come from? I think I liked the pies.
The Westview News article more than revealed a very interesting history of an eatery once common but now gone; it brought back a very pleasant and sweet childhood memory. It also reminded me of how special my mother is and the comfort, security, and love that she provided a little boy in a very tumultuous time.