And oh so young to have credit …
In my formative years, my family lived in a third -floor tenement on the corner of Regent and Alton Streets in Providence, RI. My life consisted of attending Blessed Sacrament School during the week and its church for Sunday mass.
Saturday was confession. That was our favorite adventure because we would wear one of our mothers’ headscarves adorned from Cape Cod or Florida, tie them under our chins, wrap them around our necks and tie them again in the back. The movie stars wore them that way. why would we be any different? We made up our sins on the way.
We could travel east as far as the Regent Avenue Playground, and once a year to the Carnival at St. Vincent De Paul orphanage, hoping to win a cupie doll. To the west, we could go to our school and the church across the street, never to cross Academy Avenue.
I can remember spending many a summer day with my friends playing hopscotch, a bouncing ball game called “A my name is Alice, my husband’s name is Al, we live in Alabama and we sell apples,” and so on throughout the alphabet. We roller skated with our own skate keys and always the ubiquitous game of JACKS. There was a vacant lot on Alton spending hours calling Red Rover.
On one particularly hot steamy summer day, I summoned my mother to the window. I wanted to bring my friends to Franciscone’s for ice cream cones. She immediately said “No.” I didn’t realize she could not afford it. Franciscone’s was sort of an Italian Bottega, one block away. It was loaded with dry goods and had a large assortment of mouthwatering penny candy and ice cream, I told him to give me and all my friends ice cream cones and my mother would be right up tout de suite to pay for them,
As we rounded the corner licking our cones with glee, my mother opened the window with a horrified look on her face and shouted, “Mary Ann, where did you get the money?”
I smiled and replied, “I charged it to you.”
I don’t remember the punishment, but I know it must have been a doozy.