WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2016-2017

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/745407

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Page 209 of 211

208 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 6 / 2 0 1 7 when Sturdy Waterman was growing up, his dad, Frank, would tell him that shoe giant Nike got its start in the small rental house behind the Wellesley funeral home their family owned. In 1966, Frank Waterman leased the building at 592a Washington Street to a man named Jeff Johnson, who was lead- ing the East Coast operation for Blue Ribbon Sports, a running shoe distributor that was soon to become Nike. Legend has it that the shoes were shipped in cartons that once contained funeral home supplies. Sturdy suspects that was most likely "an embellishment. But if he was snitching the boxes from J.S. Waterman & Sons' dumpster, then maybe not!" Legend also has it that Wellesley played a central role in the naming of the company. One night while sleeping in his Cottage Street bedroom, Johnson (now known as Nike's first employee) dreamed of Nike, the Greek winged goddess of victory. He awoke from the dream with a new name for the fledgling shoe company. And the rest is history. Fast forward forty years to this past June when Wellesley became one of the first stops on the Nike Heritage Tour. Sturdy was finally able to meet Jeff, who returned to show current Nike employees where it all began. top: (l to r) Rick Lower, Product Heritage Director Department of Nike Archives; Jeff Johnson, first Nike employee and retired vice president of Nike's former research and development facilities in Exeter, New Hampshire; Bill Rodgers, local running legend and four-time Boston Marathon winner; and Sturdy Waterman, owner of Page Waterman Gallery in Wellesley; bottom: 592A Washington Street B E T H F U R M A N narrative capturing a moment suburban sketches creative expressions your voice painting a portrait reflections Nike's Starting Point J I L L N I L S E N writer last but not least Be Creative This page is designed to give our readers the opportunity to express themselves creatively. If you have a short piece of fiction or nonfiction (300-500 words), a poem, illustration, or photograph depicting life in Wellesley and Weston, we would love to hear from you. Please email your submissions to jill@wellesleywestonmagazine.com.

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