Saturday, March 8, 2014

Narragansett Race Track

In the old way of  talking--my father  "followed the horses."  In the 50s that was  easy to do in Pawtucket--he had  two good options  Narragansett Race Track and Lincoln Downs.  Both are gone now-- he also had his pick of bookies. One ran a small store on Prospect Street and often my father would write down his picks and  give them to me to give to the store keeper. 
 Of course,  Building 19 has  taken over the space that was the  Narragansett. Whenever I go  there I am flooded with memories of going there with my father. He was a compulsive gambler and had little control in that area of his life.  He taught me to read  the racing form when I was a toddler, and we often discussed the horses that were running and  he would let me pick.  
He was superstitious--what gambler isn't?-- so if I insisted on some horse because I liked the name,  he  would usually bet on my hunch.
Recently I have been thinking about the life lessons that my father taught and have written a few poems about those.  Three have been published as  part of the Origami Poetry  Project.  I will include them here.
 I will try to attach their tiny chapbook to this  post. Hope I can do it.  If not look on line  for Origami Poetry and my chapbook is titled "The Long Count."


  1. The bookie on Prospect Street was probably Barney Donnelly whose store was located across the street from the former Prospect Street School.

  2. Yes, you got his name right. Now his old store is not there. I see a closed Pizza Place at the same location.
    Prospect Street School was torn down to make new apartments. And they built a new school down where Dunnell's pond used to be and I guess it flooded or was too damp. SO now that building houses Social Welfare agencies.