Sunday, June 26th, 2022. 1:04 AM.
I Met an Angel Yesterday on Sweet Avenue
It happened like this . . .
On the street where I lived and grew up as a boy in the 1950s and 1960s – a long Time ago . . .
Lived there for the first 18-and-a-half years of my life.
I’m 70 now — 70-and-half years old.
Yesterday was June 20th, 2022 – the last day of Springtime
I began my walk about 6:38 PM if I remember correctly – memory isn’t so good anymore.
Wasn’t even sure which way I’d walk. As the elevator was going down, I asked God [silently] to lead me the way He wanted me to go on the walk. Yes, I talk with God – most of the Time there is no one else around to talk with]. When I got outside, I turned left in the backyard; then when I got out front, I went right, toward Eddie Cournoyer Memorial Square. Eventually I turned right again at the Woonsocket Housing Authority building and began walking on Elm Street. With all these rights I take, I guess I’m going the right way. I hope so. I hope to God I am. Noticed as I was walking up the long and gradual hill that my breathing was labored – didn’t notice that when I was younger. I guess that wasn’t happening when I was young. Walked past the apartment building where I had lived for 15 years – 12 years there with my sweet and pretty cat Charcoal – the prettiest and sweetest cat in the whole wide world – my one-and-only cat – my one-and only pet — in all my life. What a heart-toucher Charcoal was. She still touches my heart every Time I remember her. Her name is Cathy now. She got born again. She’s an 8-year-old girl now. The sweetest and prettiest little girl in the whole wide world. Once while we were living there at Sadwin Apartments [formerly St. Ann’s Convent where my mom and dad had been married in the chapel on the second floor (mom told me this) on, I think it was June 19th, 1948 – as I was saying: Once while Charcoal and I were living there, on a Sunday evening, I put Charcoal in her pet carrier [she never liked getting into that pet carrier – and I understand that] and carried her all the way to mom’s house on Sweet Avenue where family usually went on Sunday nights to see mom – about a ten-minute walk. I just had this idea in my heart that I wanted Charcoal to be in our house where we all grew up; and to have in her own life history that she had been on Sweet Avenue – just like the rest of our family. I wanted her to be part of the family – part of our family history – I love her so much. This happened many years ago. I don’t know what year it was. Charcoal came into my life in 1996 – on July 12. So, I just figure this walk with her to Sweet Avenue may have happened in the early 2000s. We moved away from Sadwin Apartments in January of 2008. I was 56 and Charcoal was about 12 years old.
I don’t remember all the details of that evening at mom’s house with Charcoal and family; only this. At one point during the evening, I came back into the house looking for Charcoal; found her sitting on the windowsill in “the new parlor.” She was just quietly sitting there. Maybe she wanted to be “away from it all.” Maybe she was listening to the sounds of the birds outside through the open screened window. The “new parlor” was usually off-limits to us when we lived there. It was a nice room with wall-to-wall carpeting; and there was a comfortable couch there. It was for company – not for us. On Christmas Eve, though, we were allowed to be in there. The Christmas tree was in that room; and all the gifts under the tree were there. My older sister, Lesley’s artwork in pastel colors was hanging on the wall near Dad’s closet in that “new parlor” room. And the small bookcase I built in 9th-grade woodworking shop was in there – below Lesley’s pastel artwork. And in the bookcase was the entire Funk & Wagnalls encyclopedia set. Charcoal also walked outside on our property that evening. It was a summer evening. One of my brothers or sisters gave Charcoal and me a ride home that evening.
I Won’t Let Go- Rascal Flatts with lyrics
I Won’t Let Go – Rascal Flatts (Caleb + Kelsey Cover) on Spotify and Apple Music
Getting back to my walk to Sweet Avenue a few days ago
On my walk on Elm Street, I reached the corner of Sweet Avenue and stopped; looked down Sweet Avenue and then further down Elm Street where my dad’s TV shop had been in the late 1950s and 1960s and . . . and later than that, too – into the 1970s. My dad departed in late 1974 – three days after Christmas that year. He was 49; but the business continued for many more years – thanks to Dave Bourgery of Bellingham, Massachusetts who kept it going for many more years. I turned onto Sweet Avenue and continued my walk. Went passed Annette Masse’s house. She was a piano teacher. She even taught my mom when mom was a child. Then went past Kim and Mike Grennon’s house. Their dad had been a professional baseball player, my dad told me: Lefty Grennon. Across the street was Mr. Sutherland’s house: a big dark brown 3-decker with six apartments. Mr. Sutherland was a retired fireman. He showed me his hands once. They were scared from having been burned in a fire. He usually had a cigar whenever I saw him. I can’t picture his face anymore; but I can picture his wife’s face. She was tall and slender. A young woman was sitting on the front steps of that house. She was looking down at her phone. It was a beautiful evening now. Peaceful and quiet. I always feel touched in my heart when I walk on Sweet Avenue. There is a song: My Hometown. Maybe someday someone will write a heart-touching song about: My Home Street. I’m feeling like crying now about Sweet Avenue. You know how some people cry at a wedding; or they cry when hearing a song about America? I wanted to talk to someone: anyone. I crossed the street at Mr. Sutherland’s house; and stopped on the sidewalk about 14 feet in front of the young woman sitting there on the steps. I can’t remember my exact words; but it went something like this: “Hi,” I said to her. She looked up from her phone. “Hi.” She replied. “I grew up on this street a long Time ago.” [I feel like crying again as I write this]. “I lived in the house right next to this one. My grandmother owned the property. She had a garden right next to this property. Mr. Sutherland owned this house. He was a retired fireman. And my dad had a TV shop right up the street and around the corner. It faced the pizza place – which was The House of Brides back then. I worked there at my dad’s shop. Sometimes, through the windows of my dad’s shop and through the windows of The House of Brides across the street, I could see them changing the mannequins in that bridal shop. I knew almost everyone who lived on this street back in those days – the 1950s through the 1960s;” then, I young man came walking out of the house. He walked down the steps where the young lady was sitting. I said, “Hi.” He said “Hi.” It seemed Time for me to go, too; so, I said something like: “It was nice talking with you. My name is mark, mark richer. And yours?” She said her name so quietly I couldn’t hear it. “I’m sorry; I didn’t hear that.” She said her name again, quietly. “I’m sorry; I guess these 70-year-old ear drums aren’t working so well anymore.” She said her name again – just a little louder. Angel, I think she said. “Your name is Angel?” I asked her. Yes, she replied. “OK. Bye now.”
Later that evening, I was recalling my walk and talk with the young lady on Sweet Avenue; and I thought: “I met an angel on Sweet Avenue this evening. Things are still happening; and memories are still being made in my life – on Sweet Avenue – even though I don’t live there anymore. It is still a living and ongoing part of my life. And it’s in my history now; that I met an angel on Sweet Avenue – 52 years after moving away when I was 18 years old. Life goes on . . .”
Someone reading this may think: “Hey, Come on! You met someone whose name is Angel – but, wait a second; that doesn’t mean you actually met a real life angel from heaven.”
“Well, she was real; and it happened in life; and her name is Angel; so, she’s an Angel to me. OK?”
“Johnny Angel” (Lyrics) 💖 SHELLEY FABARES 💖 1962
Mannequin (1987) / Starship – Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now (Music Video)
Chris de Burgh – The Lady in Red
Ghost • Unchained Melody • The Righteous Brothers
TITANIC (1997) Rose & Jack Dawson – My heart will go one
The Shadows – The Power Of Love with lyrics – love song
Jennifer Rush – The Power Of Love (Official Video) (VOD)
my hometown by Bruce Springsteen.