Well, you’re not going to believe this, but it’s true. I’m in love with something that’s older than I am. His name is Mickey Mouse and he was born in 1928. That makes him two years older than I am. It’s been irritating all these 47 years having to confess I’m married to a younger man. I mean, it’s only four years, but ...
Anyway, you’d probably recognize me if you saw an 87-year-old woman bumbling around in the market with a great big Mickey Mouse wrist watch on her arm, squeezing fresh produce or bread. And I know you’d recognize Mickey in his red shorts, big yellow shoes and white gloves. If there’s any doubt, he’s got big ears and pals around with a feisty duck named Donald, a dog named for a distant planet and a friend he calls Goofy. Plus he’s been a film celebrity all his life and reaping mucho filthy lucre.
I had a great talk with Ronnie O’Keefe about Higgins Pharmacy after we wrote about it last week. Ronnie recalled, “Bill Higgins always had a nice, warm smile and always wore a black knit tie. That tie never went out of style with Bill.”
Some of you may remember Ronnie’s father, Henry. He was called Humphrey, and he used to call everybody else Humphrey, too! He hung around with Walter Knight, who worked at the First National when it was located on High Street, and Pawcatuck Fire Chief Joe Shea, and the trio kept things lively not only at Higgins but at Tom Dinoto’s barbershop on Liberty Street.
By the way, did you know Amanda Denison Quattromani retired last March after 34 years with Michael Lenihan at the Westerly Fire District office? We talked recently about trying to find four-leaf clovers in the grass when we were kids and the fun we had when summer rolled around. She was wondering if anyone remembers an ice cream place up by the light on Route 2 in North Stonington (or the Norwich Road as we used to call it) that may have been called maple something. If anybody has the answer to that, I’ll bet its North Stonington historian Anna Coit.
Have you noticed how wacky TV commercials are lately? I’m not crazy about housework, but I decided to give it up altogether when they started those nutty ads in which the floor mops fall in love with a rake or a bowling ball ... (and the Clorox ad, well, frankly, it’s in the toilet ... so to speak).
I see by the paper we’ve got a new resident in Watch Hill. Well, folks, that just goes to show you real estate is selling again. Maybe not yours or mine, but hey, give it time. Watch Hill could turn out to be a good location.
Speaking of location, a lot of oldsters are having to readjust to new digs, after having lived for years in that old familiar comfortable house or apartment. Maybe you knew a certain way of living for your whole life but can’t do it anymore because, well, damn it, you’re just too frail to shovel the walk or bring in the wood, and yes, drive the car. When that day comes, it’s one of the toughest in your life.
You were proud of having a job to go to, a wife who actually used the stove and children who did what you asked (once in a while). It was great until the dreaded “day” came and every standard you ever adhered to flew out the window.
Remember when you played a game and lost? You did what everybody else did. You took it like the good sport you were. I guess life is kind of like that now. We have to play by the rules, even if they are new and we don’t like them much. Thank goodness we have a few things left that can’t be taken away, so we’ll make it work just like we did when the Great Depression caused our parents misery and World War II forever changed the way we were.
The TV news is off the wall. ... They either tell the same story for days at a time or forget to give you some vital piece of the story. Like whatever happened to those chemical weapons they kept harping on. One wag I know suggested it’s time for the media to get out of the “groin area” and quit talking about homosexuals and abortion.
When I woke up Tuesday, I asked, “I wonder if they shut the government down?” The man who shall remain nameless but to whom I am married replied, “Who cares? The government’s no good anyway.”
Now for the good news: We have the power to change that.
Gloria Russell has lived in the Westerly-Pawcatuck area all her life and has been a reporter for 45 years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.