Memories of Rhode Island!

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"Memories" (Are Made of This)
by Dean Martin - 1955


Memories of Rhode Island
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I'm SSG (Retired) Robert Taylor formerly of the 115th Military Police Company. I was the Person that wrote back to New York System while I was in Iraq, asking for Weiners, in hopes that they would Lift the Unit's moral and spirits while away from home. I think that makes me the Longest requesting person for Weiners on Record, to date.
I've since retired from the Military, and Moved to California in order to be with my Wife and Children, but not one day has passed that I don't think of the Kindness that was shown to me or my Unit for that Request. (not to mention eating a Weiner!!!) I just found this site and Needless to say I'm in Heaven!! Making my own Weiner sauce may be great but it doesn't compare to the real thing from it's real home (N.Y.System Weiners) Hopefully when I come back for a Visit, I'll be beating a Path withy my Family,to the store and Chowing down on some Gaggers with Coffee Milk (Something else I miss dearly)
Here's hoping that Buisness is as great or better than ever and that there is a Big picture still standing over the grill of some Grateful Soldiers chowing down on some of the best Food Ever made..........WEINERS!!!!"

SSG(R) Robert Taylor


"I really enjoyed your web site and it brought back many, many memories for me, for that I definitely want to thank you. I joined the United States Army in 1994 and left Rhode Island, I try make it home at least once a year but sometimes it is more like once every two years. I am stationed in Ft. Hood, Tx. And let me tell you Texas food can not compare with Rhode Island food not even close. However currently I am not experiencing either Rhode Island food or Texas food because I am deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 05-07. This is my second tour here in Iraq with the 1st Brigade Combat Team ,4th Infantry Division. We were here when the war initially kicked off in 2003, and now we are here to assist the Iraqi military train and be able to protect themselves. Being so far from home and finding your site has brought back many memories home and make it just a little easier. I have a few soldiers and friends in my battalion from the Rhode Island area and we all enjoy your site. Thank you for bringing us the happiness from Rhode Island."


Edward J. Markey Jr.


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"1. I did remember ~~ The Maryland Chicken Coop on Bald Hill Road in Warwick.  Will have to find out if anyone knows why it was named Maryland. They had fried chicken & fried fish on Friday.
2. In Coventry, RI there was a boat that was turned into a restaurant called "Blaire's" (?) & they offered a famous buffet (one of VERY few in RI at the time).  My son was quite young then & it was a real big treat to choose what he wanted to eat on the nights we went there :)
3. A short distance from the "tent" = Warwick Musical Theater - was a restaurant called the Golden Lantern.  After the show at the tent, many of the celebrities could be found relaxing at the Lantern. Rosie, who owned the Golden Lantern, became extremely close to Liberace & when he was here to perform, he stayed at her home!! The "tent" was in the 'round' & we sat in chairs made of canvas material in a bright yellow & the one next to it was bright green. When it was 1st built it was like a round circus tent but then they made it bigger but kept the same canvas top. In June they had 3 high school graduations but on the summer nights when the celebrities were there if it was a hot humid (or rainy) night it could be tough:)  Has been all torn down now & there is a Lowe's, & several restaurants on the site."

Carol T.


"I wish I had a photo of me from Salty Brine's Shack!  I can still recall exactly what I wore that day! 

Another interesting note: my dad worked downtown - he had a shop at 44 Washington Street - he was a leather craftsman and did lots of work for the State Police and also local and visiting celebrities.  In the course of his work, he got to know a lot of people, and he knew Salty somewhat, and his sidekick on the show (Ollie?) and that is how I was able to be on the show.  I guess my dad had a little "pull" so I didn't have to wait forever on a waiting list.  My dad also knew the woman who played "Miss Bonnie" on Romper Room - boy I thought my dad must be nearly famous to know so many "famous" (to us RI-ers!) people.

Growing up in my neighborhood near Olneyville, we were bounded by Hartford Ave & Plainfield Street, not too far from the Hartford Housing projects. We walked to the Joslin St. Pool daily in the summer (of course taking a shortcut through backyards and lots, avoiding the traffic).  When they built the pool at Newnaconicut Hill ("Unie" as we used to call it) we went swimming there instead.  In the winter we sledded down hills at the Hartford Housing projects and also at "Unie" - there was a single park bench on the hillside we sledded on, and I always seemed to crash right into it!   As a teenager, I lived in Chepachet, and participated in the Chepachet "Ancient and Horribles" 4th of July parade once.  So I have both city and country memories."



"I love this site....I laughed so hard I cried. I have forwarded it to my brother, who now lives in Florida. He will laugh til he cries also. EAT YOUR HEART OUT ROBERT!!!! WE ARE STILL EATING WEINEES!!!! NANANA NA NA NA!
We spent most of our youth at Crescent Park and all of our teen years, dancing at Alhambra!
Thank all of you for the wonderful memories and greatest recipes!"


Watch this silent movie of Crescent Park during the 1950's>>>>


"How you doin'?
I lived on "The Hill", where I attended Knight St School until I was 8 yrs old. Moved to the Manton Ave. Projects in 1954. Then moved to Nort (north) Providence in 1957, where I graduated NPH in 1963. Graduated RIC, and taught art in Pawtucket for almost 30 yrs. I retired from teaching in 2000, and moved to Clermont (pronounced Claremont), Florida. God, what culture shock! Oh they have theaters, and opera, and symphonies, and one or two decent museums, but they are all more than 100 miles away from each other! I mean, it's like an overnight trip to see a Picasso! And ..." good ole' southern cookin'" means everything is fried TWICE! Wieners? They have never heard of them, but you can get all the deep fried corn dogs you want. NEVER ATE ONE NEVER WILL!! Clam cakes? They say yuck at the description, but suck down hush puppies ( little balls of corn flower with, if you are lucky, a single kernel of corn) and completely covered in confectioner's sugar, like pop corn. ATE ONE, NEVER AGAIN! Iced coffee? Why would you drink ice coffee?...for the same reason you drink ice tea!!! Pizza? Only chain restaurant pizza. Will Caserta's open a satellite store down here? Haddock? When you can find it , it is over $10 a pound! They have all the tilapia and cat fish you can handle. The good Italian food, veal & peppers; eggplant; bracciole (say what?); sausage and peppers, or pasta choices are difficult to find with a search warrant! I won't get into voting; municipal amenities, and the fact that you need to make at least 5 phone calls to get public information. "No body knows nuttin..." down here! But, I must admit Florida is beautiful, with beautiful weather. It is unfortunate it is run by Floridians!! Unfortunately, my arthritis keeps me here so I can paint. Thanks for an oasis of sanity."

Bob, favorite brother of Kitty


"Love your site!!! I am laughing and crying at the same time. And oh, by the way, my sons beg for,"weiniz" and "Del's" every time we visit Nana! ( Both are non-existent up here in MA) and oh no! My
daughter just discovered AWFUL AWFULs. Do you still get one free if you drink three?
Salty Brine was across the street from my house (in W.W.R.I.) (early '60's) one day with "Jeff" and the little sea shack. I think he was promoting Duncan Yoyo s. Not sure, I'll have to check with my older brothers on that one.
How about Alex's Ice Cream? Older people from West Warwick will remember that one. I think they stopped business when DeCiantis Dairy opened a stand.
And who remembers shopping in ARCTIC? People came from far and wide to shop here.
You missed a big Portuguese festival in W.W., the Holy Ghost
Festival, Labor Day Week-end.
Yes, I remember when Bald Hill Road was undeveloped, it's STILL MIDLAND MALL to me, and my HS graduation was at the Tent.
How about Warwick Shopper's World and Nianza? And Valley's Steak House? and the Chateau De Ville? The restaurant in Coventry, on Lake Tiogue, shaped like a boat, was called the "SHOW BOAT" famous for it's SMORGASBORD!!(buffet)
The annual Bristol Parade on the 4th of July and annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, in WW.
I'm not sure if I ever even ate at ZENGA'S ITALIAN RESTAURANT but the jingle has stayed with me for years."

"When you're in the mood
for the best in food
It's Zenga's Italian Restaurant
When you're giving a party
for folks who eat hearty
It's Zenga's Italian Restaurant
(then something in Italian that I don't remember)
Good Appetite and good health(I think)

Thanks for the trip down memory lane."


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Woolworth Menu - 1950's
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"I was born in 1953 at. guessed it…Lyin-In Hospital. The funny part is, when I moved here some people had not a clue what I was talking about…But my new wife is from Denver, and she caught on very quickly.
Some of my fondest memories of growing up in “Prah-vi-dince” were neighborhood things like Freddy, the vegetable man, the fish man and the rag man...all of who we thought we would be sold to if we were bad (if the Indians didn’t get us first). And lets not forget about the ice cream man…Now when I tell stories of my childhood, my new wifes’ kids answer with…noh suh!?!...especially the stories of when I worked for New England Pest Control and stories about going to “the beach” and the beach house.
One quick story that I would like to share is about when I first moved to Springfield, Missouri. For the first few days, I thought I would never find groceries. The first day that I went out shopping, I tried to find a “mahkit”, of which no one knew what that was…”Ooooohhh, you want a grocery store!” When I finally found one, I went inside and asked where they kept the carriages…With a puzzled look the store clerk said…”Why? You don’t have no baby with you….Ahhhh…the shopping cart is what I should have asked for. So I gather a bunch of groceries, go to check out and the little clerk behind the checkout says, “So do you want a sack for that sir?” I said, “ Here, in front of all the other customers?” “No, no she replied, paper or plastic?”….alrighty then, a bag…Well, at least I ate that night.
Anyways, I do miss the books from Don Bosquet…Lost my quahog books in the move….sigh.
But I will pass this website on…"

Thanks again, George


"Okay, I was just a little kid in the back seat at the time, but I remember a Piggly Wiggly next the Weybosset Market at Wayland Square. Amazingly, I still have a vivid memory of the ’38 hurricane. That, and having been born at the Lying-in Hospital, might qualify me as a Rhode Islander. A picture of Dennis J. Roberts in his Naval Officer’s uniform appeared in the Journal when he first ran for Governor. Arnold’s Bakery and Hood’s Dairy delivered to the door. As a kid, the Red Bridge was still there. Later, the BLT’s were great across the Seekonk at Harry Crawshaw’s. John Howland School was still standing and Nathan Bishop was a Junior High. At Hope High, the legendary Joe Delaney was still a teacher and basketball coach. The route to Newport took you across the Mt. Hope Bridge. Chris Schenkle announced the stock car races at Lonsdale Speedway. The Ocean House at Watch Hill and the Cold Spring House in Wickford were great places for summer jobs. Maybe South County doesn’t exist, but it was the South County Bottling Company in Peacedale that produced the Coca Cola I delivered to beaches from Narragansett Pier to Misquamicut and camps like Yawgoog during the summer when I was a student at URI under the GI Bill. Years later and now living in Virginia, I suppose I still have some of that accent. It’s with you forever."

Ralph Nourse


"As a way of explaining my life in RI, to my grandkids, I emailed them a little about their grandfather's childhood. Read it below.

I had to walk about two miles to grammar school and about three miles to junior high (even in the worst of weather)--and took two busses to high school. One to downtown Providence, then another that went through a tunnel, and on several more blocks to school.
The attachment is a photo of the house my mother and father, myself and sister lived in. The door to theClick here for a larger view. left led up to the second floor. We lived upstairs and rented from the people who lived downstairs and owned the house. We had two bedrooms, a kitchen and bath room, a dining room and parlor. There was no air conditioning, or hot water--and we had an ice box (an old fashioned refrigerator.) The ice man came and filled a compartment with ice to keep everything cool. At the bottom, there was a drain where the melting ice drained into--and under was a very large tub to catch the water. When I was old enough, it was my job to empty the water tub. Luckily, the bath tub was close by where I dumped the water, because sometimes I let the tub get to full and I spilled some along the way. It was very heavy.
To take a Saturday night bath, we had to heat the water on the stove and empty it in the bath tub. Every day we took what we called a sponge bath. Many years later we got hot water plumbing and a real refrigerator, before I went into the air force during the Korean War. But never air conditioning in the house or car. We had one car and my dad needed it to go to work. My mother never got a driver's license and couldn't drive.
I remember one time when the ice man let me drive his horse and wagon. I sat so low on the wagon bench that every time the horse swished his tail, it hit me in the face. If we asked nice, he'd always chip off a piece of ice and give it to the kids. Then there were other interesting people like Tony the vegetable man. He pushed a cart full of vegetables and fruit up and down the neighborhood hollering, "Fruit! Vegetables!" and the housewives would come out and buy his goods. The fish man did the same thing, "Fresh fish! Fresh fish!" And a man in a truck would drive slow saying, "Knives and Scissors sharpened!" Someone would shout from a window for him to stop. And of course, there was the ice cream man. The milk man brought milk in bottles and would even sell meat if it was ordered in advance.
There reply was: COOL.
(Below is a special addition: "A Walk In The Snow")
There's a layer of snow on the ground, and each year that I enjoy the winter view, I think of my dad.
One year, after sledding down suicide hill at the Broad Street entrance of Roger Williams Park, I lost a mitten in the snow and couldn't find it. Often, my dad and I would walk together in the park. That spring while taking our walk, I found my lost mitten.
One time, when the snow was deep, he fell up to his waist in a snow drift. I pelted him with snow balls.
The day of his funeral the sun was shining. After a while I decided to go outside the funeral home where he was laid out for some fresh air. The scene had changed. It was snowing. It was dad's gift so we could take one last walk in the snow together. I'll never forget that!"

Bill Park 

Memories of Rhode Island
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