Six months ago we were riding our bicycles down McDonough Street in Manchester when a jogger came up beside us and said something along the following lines:
“You know Manchester is on fire-it’s going to be Richmond’s next big neighborhood.” He then abruptly shifted topics and continued: “You know that house would sure look great if it was still here, but they took it down board by board and rebuilt it out by Trinity. Have a good day!”
We only half understood what he said at the time, and I looked at my wife confused. She looked back at me, clearly intrigued. Unfortunately, we never did piece together exactly what he was talking about. We suspected it had to do with the house that once stood at the grand steps pictured above at 1000 McDonough Street, but we weren’t 100% certain. That is until Mark Holmberg did his story on the Mary Tyler Moore movie that was filmed in Manchester and the grand “Hey House” the mystery jogger had alluded to on our bike ride half a year ago.
Manchester’s Hey House plays a prominent role in the Mary Tyler Moore 1985 HBO movie, “Finnegan Begin Again.” As Holmberg explains in the story: “They dismantled it piece by piece and moved it across South Richmond to a new site near Trinity Episcopal High School.”
My wife and I were so intrigued by Mark Holmberg’s story we decided to watch the Mary Tyler Moore movie on YouTube this past weekend. I was fascinated to see the various scenes featuring numerous Richmond streets. It was a sobering reminder of just how far Richmond sank in the mid 1980s. Richmond looked downright rough. Manchester looked even worse. We clearly have a lot to be thankful for with the new construction being done in Manchester and the general sprucing up that is taking place. Both Richmond and Manchester have come a long way in 30 years!