My First Credit Card by Mary Ann Sheridan Woods

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.

© 2018

By | 2018-12-06T14:25:17+00:00 December 6th, 2018|Guest Author, Stories of the 1940's and 1950's|10 Comments


  1. Peter Voccio JR. December 7, 2018 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    Another sin to confess, but well worth it!

    • Ed December 7, 2018 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      And a lasting memory

  2. Ray Penza December 10, 2018 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    Brings back memories of my years at Blessed Sacrament ’48 – ’55. Lived on the other side of Academy, so Mary Ann and I probably never crossed paths.

    • Ed December 10, 2018 at 5:31 pm - Reply

      One never knows, Ray. Mary Ann will have to confess where she lived in those early years.

  3. Ed Wilson December 10, 2018 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    What a great story, thanks for sharing. Hopefully the punishment wasn’t too severe. 🙂

    • Ed December 10, 2018 at 8:24 pm - Reply

      Agree, Ed. Mary Ann’s stories are fun.

  4. Natalie L McKenna December 11, 2018 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    Laughing and remembering, especially going to confession on Saturday. I had a bit of a walk to St.Agnes Church, abutting Branch Avenue, from my house and I would try to remember what sins I had committed that week. I knew I could not say “I did not sin!”, so I used to make up sins. I hope I was forgiven!

    • Ed December 12, 2018 at 1:40 pm - Reply

      I suspect you were ‘full of the devil’, but I doubt you had any REAL sins, Natalie.

  5. Ellen Cyronak December 20, 2018 at 11:28 pm - Reply

    I remember a jean Sheridan I lived on Huron st remember all yourplaces. Such memories

    • Ed December 20, 2018 at 11:34 pm - Reply

      Where on Huron, Ellen?

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