Thursday, July 30, 2015

I'm Homesick -- That's Why

Why would I set my all my contemporary stories in Rhode Island? you many ask. The answer is two-fold--

For years, I've heard the phrase -- Write about what you know. Well, I know Rhode Island.

The second reason -- I'm homesick. Wicked homesick.

I miss my little state with such a ferocity I sometimes pull up Google maps and look around. I feel like an ex-Patriot living in a foreign country. And somewhere out there, I know there are other Rhodies who feel the same way. I guess that's why I reconfigured this blog. Even if people don't read my books, they might stop here as a way to reconnect with the place they miss.
The Big Blue Bug

Not every one who moves from their origin of birth gets homesick. Some people (like my mother) have no ties. They're free as a bird and flit from one place to another. Life is an adventure for them. And hey, well, if that's your thing, go for it.

Me, on the other hand, I'm a Taurus and we like to keep our feet firmly planted in one place. For me that means home. I always thought home would be Rhode Island, but when my parents decided to move to North Carolina, I had to go with them. (Yes, I HAD to go with them.)

the ice cream store was next door
Part of why I like writing about Rhode Island is the nostalgia. Because Rhode Island is so compact, when something isn't working, or antiquated, they tear it down and build something new.

Do you remember Peerless in Pawtucket?
Or the original Del's Lemonade on the Cumberland Lincoln line?
The drive-in? In Lincoln and Smithfield?
The little ice cream store on Front Street in Lincoln before you got to Lincoln Woods?
B.A. Dario's horse farm?
Crescent Park Carousel
The original Lincoln Downs?
Jolly Cholly's? Rocky Point? Crescent Park?
Climbing to the top of the Fire Tower in North Kingstown?
The old Jamestown Bridge?
Route 6 before the big box stores took over?
Downtown Providence before Waterfire?
The highway system before 295?
Johnson & Wales before it became famous?
Lido and Olivo's beach?
The Fo'c'sle?

on 146 near the drive in
Then, there are those places that I hope and pray will never be transformed.

Trinity Repertory Theater.
George's in Point Judith.
Aunt Carrie's.
Federal Hill.
McCoy Stadium (sadly, I've heard that's on its way out.)
The clock tower in Jenks Park.
Newport Creamery.
Wiener Genie.
Federal Hill
The Carousel in East Providence.

There are so many places I've forgotten it's hard to think about sometimes. But then, like a wave hitting the shore, memories crash into me. I want to say to somebody, "Hey, do you remember that?"

Sadly, there's no one here to do that with.


Tell me -- What do you remember from your hometown that isn't there anymore?

Robynne Rand (c) 2015

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