Letter: So many wonderful memories of growing up in Bristol

Posted 5/14/20

I often find myself, in memory, walking by the Phoenix office, Tuplin’s garage, the ice house, Franklin Street Garage, Frank Rainey’s Plumbing Shop, on my way home from school. I recall …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


Letter: So many wonderful memories of growing up in Bristol

Posted

I often find myself, in memory, walking by the Phoenix office, Tuplin’s garage, the ice house, Franklin Street Garage, Frank Rainey’s Plumbing Shop, on my way home from school. I recall baseball games in the area adjacent to the High-Wall and Railroad property and summer swimming at the Low-Wall. I have always considered that Bristol was a wonderful place to “grow up.”

I recall so many wonderful things about the Bristol of my youth. A few years back a popular book was titled, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Bristol was MY village.

There are so many things about Bristol that shaped my life; of course my mother — whose positive attitude and respect for others made me aware of the good that existed in the community and how best to absorb that good.

The religious training provided by St. Michael’s, the basics of “be prepared” received from Troop 5 BSA. The principles of good behavior and good citizenship, courtesy of the town police (Sgt. Texeira, Capt. Baker, et. al.) to name only a few. A wealth of public school education provided by a most outstanding school system. A system that allowed me to earn both a high school GED and college level GED, even though I left school in my junior year to join the U.S. Navy.

I guess I was destined to be Career Navy. I recall, during World War II, Herreshoff was building Patrol Torpedo Boats (PT). My godfather was a security guard for Herreshoff and arranged for me to get aboard a boat during a test/trial run. Imagine the thrill of 60 knots (at night) on Bristol Harbor/Narragansett Bay!

A few years later I was fortunate to have John White of Bristol Highlands as a friend. His parents gifted him a Herreshoff S Class sailboat for Christmas, and along with Jack Mattheson I crewed (Surprise S5) in Narragansett Bay regattas and Class races.

So many other people helped me to get off to a good start in life. Too many to list; but I do know I had a lot of help learning to take responsibility for myself. I swept sidewalks, shoveled snow, polished brass (doorknobs and flower cache pots at the “big houses” on Hope Street — including the DeWolf Mansion), mowed lawns, and delivered the Providence newspapers as a vacation sub for Jack Mattheson. Opportunities were abundant.

Bristol is the reason I am such a believer in the American way. I have always hoped that I am a worthy Patriot. It is the reason I fly the flag 24/7, lighted flagpole. One of the very first things I have done upon occupying a new residence is make provision for displaying our national flag. My wife and children gifted me placement of a brick in Bristol’s Freedom walkway at the flagpole on the town common. Just knowing it is there means a lot to me.

I hope this sentiment has not bored you. I sometimes get a little — no make that a lot — carried away emotionally when I think about “growing up in Bristol”! 

Even though I live a long distance from Bristol, R.I., I am just a few miles from Bristol, Tenn./Va. In fact, Kingsport is in Sullivan County, Tenn., as is Bristol, Tenn.

I could go on for too long. There are so many wonderful memories.

Gordon P. Fields
Kingsport, Tenn.

2020 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.