Everyone Knows Her as Mimie!

July 26, 2011
In 1954, 18-year-old Mimie Winston moved to the Back Bay to attend school at Chamberlayne. She loved the excitement of the city so much, that she’s still here at age 75 and still enamored with city life.

Her first job in Boston, at the James H. McManus Ice Cream shop on Newbury Street, led to romance. “Mr. Winston used to come in from the flower shop next door to get his coffee. And, that Mr. Winston became my husband.”

She grinned, “I would give him his change, and he would squeeze my hand.”

The couple dated for two years before marrying and having four children. They lived over the Winston Flower shop on Newbury Street for 12 years before buying the Commonwealth Avenue home where she still resides.

Back Bay Transitions

The Winstons moved into an area that was very different from today. When she wheeled her baby carriage home from the flower shop, supermarket, or library, she had a definite route.

“When I would walk back home, I would cut down Fairfield Street and go over to the Mall, because,” she explained, “the upper end of Newbury Street was the dark end, there was nothing there.”

Mimie has witnessed changes to the residential community as well. Pointing to the buildings surrounding her home, she recalled that, “These were all dormitories, on each side of us.” From dorms and apartments she watched the conversion to condominiums. “And, now they seem to be turning back into one family homes,” Mimie said.

What was it was like for her children growing up in the area?

“I used to have a League of Nations in my house, which was wonderful,” she said. “Of course, their friends were transient. We were the only ones who stayed here because of the business. Even my girlfriends became transient. They moved to homes outside the city.”

Staying Young

Winston credits the Back Bay with keeping her young, “I feel great for my age!” Living in Boston inspires her to get up, dress up nicely, and get out and walk. And, she revels in, “Just the atmosphere, the energy from the city!”

This is a woman who engages life with energy. Sitting in front of her home, she chats with neighbors, smiles at passersby, and takes every opportunity to make new friends.

“I travel a lot! I’ve been every place,” she explained. “I’ve been to Cypress, Istanbul, Capri, Australia, New Zealand, France, Paris, Italy, all over the world.”

And, she loves the Boston Marathon. “I hold a marathon party every single year!” Her eyes sparkled as she joked, “I swear if I die, people will still come to my house for the marathon party!”

Giving Back In Retirement

When she stopped working at Winston Flowers, her best friend Rosie Lonborg recruited her to volunteer at the Dana Farber Jimmy Fund Brain Tumor Clinic. Mimie’s been helping cheer and support patients and their families at Dana Farber for the past 15 years. These days, she can be found at the adult infusion center where she says, “We perk them all up!”

“I’m very blessed to have my health, my family so close to me, and good friends, and good neighbors,” she said. Anyone who has met Mimie Winston will understand how her effervescent personality, and positive outlook are a perfect fit for her Dana Farber volunteer work- as well as for city life and staying young at age 75.

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