100 Years Ago in Warren: A sticky situation
Taken from the pages of the Warren and Barrington Gazette this week in June 1913:
They say that in South America, asphalt or pitch flows, in some localities, like a river. In Warren we have a fair specimen of nature, transferred from southern climes to Main street, of a flowing river of pitch, under the influence of summer suns. To show how soft, plastic and molten it is beneath the rays of heath, the story is told, that the other day a pert young miss, dressed in the height of fashion, with silken hose and dainty foot gear, the heels of which were well beneath the instep sought to cross Main street just after noon. All went well until she reached center of the car track. All was well until she reached this point. Oblivious to that which was under foot, nor deigning to look she stepped heavily to the center of the track and paused. Why the pause, is not known. Whether she had forgotten something or wished to make other purchaser, is not revealed. In any event, she assayed to turn back, but found her foot firmly adhering to the sticky street. She was caught like a fly on sticky fly paper. She pulled and hauled, and jerked, first one foot and then the other. Result — as she pulled the harder, the firmer the shoe stuck. At last a mighty pull. But instead of releasing the shoe her silken clad foot gave way and the shoe was left in the oozing tar. Entirely self-possessed, she gathered up her skirts, extricated her dainty shoe wnad hobbled to the sidewalk, entirely unabashed. It was a trying experience. Had the perpetrators of the job witnessed the perplexity of the young woman in her position, they would have blushed for shame. That tar is a nuisance. How long will it abuse our patience?
Hard at work
Just at present Highway Surveyor Mason is the busiest man in town, and the force under him have no reason to complain for lack of work. He has a good many irons in the fire and everything he does is worth while. For one thing, he has had the drinking fountains thoroughly cleansed. Armed with pails, broom and a can of Dutch cleanser, his men made an attack upon them and gave them such a scrubbing and scouring as they have not had for some time. They were dirty, filled with slime and mud, and afforded a good breeding place and one for all sorts of filth to accumulate. Now they are clean. So much for the fountains. An attack has also been made on the moths and worms and every sort of pest that is destroying the trees. Part of his crew is at work giving the trees a shower bath of the usual chemical exterminator. The spraying apparatus is in use to do the work. The road gang, proper, is at work among other places, on Croade street again. THis street has recently been curbed and now it is receiving a coat of heavy gravel which will improve it greatly, bringing it up to grade. A top dressing of crushed stone will be added. Besides the above tasks, there are other things attended to. Cleaning up Main street again and some of the side streets, has occupied some days. The watering cart is busy and affords welcome relief, whenever its contents are distributed.
Warren has about as decent a lot of shops and stores as may be found in any town of its size in the state. They are as varied in character, as complete in stock, and that stock is as good quality, as could be asked. THe difficulties under which they carry on their business is easily appreciated. Their nearness toa large shopping center or their position between two such cities, make their task a difficult one. The railroad tariff is exceedingly low and traffic accommodations are superlatively better than any other section of Rhode Island. All of this means a great deal to Warren merchants. Yet we repeat, that with this competition of stores and tariffs they do well to set before the people of the community stores as attractive, commodious and well stocked. We believe that Warren folks would do well if they gave them as liberal a patronage as possible. Many times the same quality of goods, at reduced or lower prices, can be found right over our local counters. Bargains are not always economic values as many a housewife has learned to her sorrow after her return from some shopping expedition. If Warren trade goes out of town, it does so because attracted by the flaring advertisements that appear in the daily papers. But how many times after you have gone in person to indulge in some of the rare sales "now going on," have you found that they were all sold out, or that the articles did not compare with the "ads" or did not meet your expectations, and you were inveigled into purchasing something more expensive, or that you did not want. Patronize your own town's trade people as far as you can, and give them encouragement for larger business. The people make a store, not the proprietor always. It is up to you to say, by your patronage, just what a store will do.
Wow-wow-wow-the last one drawn off in a tremendous shriek. It was a cross between a diminutive siren and the pop of a pistol. It fell upon the reporter's ears as he entered the basement of the town hall to see what unfortunate was resting behind the bars. That somebody was in durance vile, he had no doubt. He was expecting to find some hardened criminal under the "inflooence" as Mr. Dooley said; so much so that he was seeing things and making noises. But no! IT was unlike the faces, that the reporter is accustomed to see pressed close against the iron grating. There were no bleary eyes, and befuddled tongue to greet him. Pressed close against the iron bars, its little black muzzle small enough to stick through them; its bright beady eyes watching every move, was a small fox terrier, beside him a well gnawed bone and a tin cup of water. Ofall strange occupants of a cell. Perhaps you won't see the funny side of it, as the Gazette man did, on Sunday morning. "And still he gazed and still the wonder grew." He looked at the police blotter - for arrests and there was the record - "Name not given. Arrested for vagrancy and having no visible means of support." But the report was unsigned. And it is still untold whether the poor doggie was brought in, on the patrol wagon, or handcuffed. And more as to whom the arrest was made by, the record is also silet, though we can have a guess.