Every day walking and driving around in Pawtucket, I am swept by a feeling of both strangeness and familiarity that takes me by surprise. Something is missing in a long-known place. More often than not I am looking at a building that once housed a store and now it is all gone or it is obliterated and seems to have disappeared into an entrance to an apartment. In my old childhood locale I look for places that are no longer there. Just to name a few--at the corner of Pond Street and Prospect St. there is a vacant lot where once there was a drug store, Another favorite drugstore has also been razed at the corner of Summit Street and Division Street. This was a dear place because it had a cool and welcoming soda fountain and a friendly soda jerk who would flavor cokes to order with cherry or vanilla flavoring. Also he dispensed strawberry and root beer floats. The floors were tile and the overhead fans created a cool oasis on a hot summer day. Now there is nothing there but a small fenced lot. Right next door on Summit Street there was a cleaners --I think it was called Keenan's--now it seems to be a church. Division Street still has many stores but no where can I find the cobblers. The tavern at the corner of Brewster and Division is there but it looks different and it is no longer called FORD's. Most missed is the small grocery store that sat on the corner of Meadow Street and Brewster Street. Because we did all of our grocery shopping there we went most days to that store which was owned and managed by Modesto "Mike" and his wife Helen. I miss it and think of them both every time I drive by the building that still stands there but is not a storefront. Also I was a daily visitor to a store that was close to my school then called Saint Joseph's now it is part of Saint Raphael's Academy and takes up the corner of North Bend and Walcott. There were two stores across the road--one was a grocery store and I think it was called McCormicks. The other right on the corner was more like a drugstore. Now there are no stores, but I can see where they once were in the buildings. When I see the students from Saint Rays changing classes I wonder where do they go when they want and need a quick coke or a candy bar or a wonderful salty pickle from the barrel in Mc Cormicks. That is what we used our milk money for --what do the students today do with their milk money.Do they actually buy milk with it?
No treats, no adventures no forays into small cool, dark places on their ways back and forth.