Saturday, December 23, 2006

Pawtucket from 1942 by WebguyRI

I was born in 1942 and remember growing up in the Darlington section of Pawtucket, RI.

Back then the city of Pawtucket was very busy and at Christmas time so many people were shopping in Pawtucket at times you had to walk in the street as the sidewalks were so crowded. A lot of individual stores as well as some major departments stores were available in the city.

One store was the Planters peanut store and they had Mr. Peanut, a person dressed as the plantners peanuts mascot walking in front of the store. The city contained a large varity of stores that streached over over 7 blocks. I belive we also had three movie theaters.

Home and life was so different back then. Not all streets were paved and a number of people would come by the house to sell items or services.

Some of these people were:
  • Breadman who came by with bread and pastry a couple of times a week. You could pay him at the end of the week for what you purchased.
  • Fishman that sold fish and seafood.
  • Produceman sold fruit and vegitables.
  • Milkman delevering milk and dairy products.
  • Ragman that sold rags.
  • Knifeman sharpening knives and scissors.
  • Garbageman we placed the garbage in a covered pail and they would come in the yard and pick it up.
  • Iceman delivering blocks of ice for the ice box. The icebox was used to keep food items cold and was used before electric refrigitors. If you wanted ice you put a special card in the window and the iceman would then deliver the ice to you. He was not happy if you did not want ice but left the card in the window as a mistake. When he saw the card he would take the ice to your door and place it in the icebox and some times it could be on the third floor depending where you lived.

Local markets also provided food and other items on credit.

Heat was with coal, the coalman delivered the coal into a coalbin or you could buy it in bags.

School conducted air raid drills and when the special bell rang you moved under your desk or went to a designated area for shelter.

Narragansett Race Track was a Horse racing track that was in operation and we could hear the races being annouced from our house. So many people attended the races that Newport Avenue was backed up with traffic and they also had a train stop at the track.

Radio contained shows and stories as if you were watching a Movie or TV but without the pictures.

When Television first came out it was very expensive and only a few people in our neighborhood had a tv. Only one channel was available and it was not on the air all the time. At times someone who had a TV would let a number of people comeover to watch the television. While we were waiting for the programs to start a test pattern would be displayed on the TV. Also TV was in black and white.

Also later on in life I remember going to "Rhodes on the Pawtuxet" on New Years eve with my fiancee and another couple. That was when the blue laws were in efect. New Years eve was on a sunday and the band played all night. But we were not allowed to dance and the police would stop anyone they found dancing. People moved around to dance and the police would keep moving to stop them. It was not a fun night.