Background photo by Don Sylor

John Murphy, Sr

Restaurateur & Artist

Dan Cutrona

I was in the Navy. I was stationed in Newport, Rhode Island on a destroyer from 1959 to 1961. I had a cousin, Frank, who spent summers here during law school in the middle 1950s. I came up to visit Frank in 1959, and it was my first visit to Cape Cod. Unless you count passing through the Cape Cod Canal a couple of times on a ship.
I spent a great day here. I was really quite taken by it. Frank took me down to Nauset Beach, and it was just such a gorgeous place. I came up again in 1960 for Labor Day weekend and I met several people that I became good friends with. We had a lot of fun going to parties on Nauset Beach at night. There weren’t any drugs or problems of that sort. With the exception of having a bonfire and a bunch of beers, it was pretty laid back.

I ended up at the Butera School of Art on Beacon Street in Boston. That was for a short time because I got a job at the restaurant Anthony’s Pier 4. I tried doing both. It was a good job at the largest restaurant in the world at the time in terms of volume and in dollars. When I realized that if I became successful in commercial art it would be 10 years before I would be making close to what I was making at that time, I made a decision to pack my art supplies away and drop out.

I was working for the Sheraton Hotel Corporation for a few years. I transferred to Boston eventually, and I had an apartment in Brookline. I was taking the subway in to work one day. I had the never-ending echo in my head of conversations I overheard in the early 60s, of people buying real estate, buying a retirement home with 15 more years or 20 years until they retire, talking about how they can’t wait, blah blah blah. I had that running through my brain. I was looking at my reflection in the window, of me wearing a three-piece suit. And I said to myself, is this really what I want to do? I’d really rather be in Orleans.

Page 1 of 212


Jeff is the Managing Editor for Cape Cod Life Publications.

Facebook Comments

Historic Photos

We've collected historic photos from around Cape Cod & the Islands

Share your own photos!

Main Street, Orleans, Cape Cod, Mass

Main Street, Orleans, Cape Cod, Mass