A PPL Memory – in Two Parts
When I was at Classical High School in 1957, there was a fire that closed the school for almost two weeks. We students thought we were free of study, but no! Our teachers called us and gave us assignments, papers to write for when we returned to school.
Off to Providence Public Library we went to do our research. I’m not sure how many of us went to that Library each day, but there were enough to drive the librarians crazy with our requests. Trundle back and forth to the stacks they went, finding what we needed, gracious and never complaining, always asking if we had what we needed.
I completed my paper with the help of those patient librarians and have never forgotten their call to duty.
While never really a writer in school, years later — now in retirement — I have taken up my pen once again to record memories, stories from my youth. The spark came one day while recounting my family’s celebration of the Christmas Eve Vigil to my oldest son. I realized how dear this and other memories were and how important they are for passing down knowledge, values and meaningful traditions from one generation to the next. The result was my first book: Growing Up Italian: Grandfather’s Fig Tree and Other Stories, and a second and third followed: What Ever Happened to Sunday Dinner and Other Stories and My Story Continues; From Neighborhood to Junior High School. I confess that I’m blessed with a pretty good memory, lots of old photos, and a healthy, 90-plus year-old aunt who helped me out along the way. While I generally stick to mining my own memories – many just everyday experiences – I admit that I don’t always recall all the details or facts exactly and that my greater goal is to inspire others who read these tales to supplant my details with their own, likewise, reliving and sharing their own youth and memories for posterity.
But, this is where I’m very grateful for the historical resources and wonderful reference librarians at PPL helping immeasurably – providing certain key pieces of information about places and events that serve to make my stories real for everyone!