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» Saturday, April 16, 2005A Sunshine Day
After the brief stop at Office Max, we went out to Oakland Beach in Warwick. This is a little cove along Narragansett Bay. Many, many years ago it had a small amusement park with a roller coaster, dodge'em cars, a house of wax, a carousel, and a couple of other attractions. (It was the small cousin to Rocky Point Amusement Park, just "up the bay apiece.") Unfortunately it was all wiped away by the Hurricane of 1938.
One of the buildings that did survive was a little clam shack called Gus's. This was the place I remembered from my childhood: we'd go there on summer Sundays and get in line for the doughboys (fried dough, elephant ears, or whatever you call dough shaped like small thick pizzas fried to a golden brown and sprinkled with granulated sugar) and a bottle of Warwick Club soda: they were one of the few places that stocked the lemon-lime flavor that was the only kind of soda I ever liked.
In 1989, one of the employees bought out Gus's and renamed it Iggy's (check out the whole history here). They also added a glassed-in small dining area (that's it there on the left with the big windows; the other part is the original beach stand). The crowds that lined up long minutes and maybe even an hour for doughboys, clam cakes, and chowder remained. (In fact, Iggy's now sells T-shirts that say "I survived the line at Iggy's Doughboys and Chowder House.")
We bought a dozen doughboys and walked back down to the concrete seawall that overlooks Narragansett Bay. Mom had a jacket on with a sweater under it, but the breeze was a little brisk, so I took the blanket out of the car, wrapped her in it, and we tied down her little "Gorton's fisherman" hat with a scarf and sat on the wall and enjoyed the breeze and the sun and all the people walking on the beach and the seagulls wheeling about waiting to cadge goodies. Despite it being only in the high 50s, there were still a couple of young girls lying on the sand already working on their tans.
The view was just spectacular. It was a true "blue-and-gold day," and you could see all the way down the bay and both the Newport and the Jamestown bridges. (You can check the gallery on Iggy's website, but I can't get the "larger" images to link, darnit.) I took a picture with my cell phone but it was so bright I couldn't frame it properly.
Later on we stopped at the cemetery to change the flowers on my dad's headstone, then went to church. St. Mary's in Cranston just underwent a $1M renovation (and I mean "just"; you can still smell the fresh paint!) and looks very beautiful inside: the painting of the Assumption in the altar area has been cleaned and the walls painted a combination of brown tones with gold trim. The Stations of the Cross have all been cleaned and the interior columns painted in a faux green marble effect (isn't green marble called chalcedony?). You can't tell they're not the real thing unless you sit close to them.
Had Chinesepork fried rice, of courseand came home and I used the new Swiffer and the wet cloths to wash the kitchen and bathroom floors. Afterwards my cousin Skippy and his wife Evelyn came to visit for a little while. (Skippy is named after his dad, John, but has always been called Skippy after the Percy Crosby comic character from the 1940s.) He took the glass insert out of the front storm door for my mom (this is a big heavy storm door that my dad bought after the school kids coming home from Bain kept messing with the old door and I couldn't figure out how to get the window out). Now that it's getting warmer she can get some air.
The sun hasn't washed yesterday away, but nothing can. This can't get better, but can only get worse.
I was lying on "my" bed (and it's still mine, it's still the same old squeaky mattress/box spring set I got in junior high) this morning wishing I could go to sleep in it and wake up sometime long ago in a world far away. Fifth grade would do. Who knew back then when I was tussling with fractions that I would want to go back there?