A New Mom in Adamsville – 1961
It was very different [than Attleboro]. In fact I found it difficult because we only had the one car which my husband [Bob] had to take to work because he worked for the United States Navy down in the Middletown area. So I found that I had to put the baby in the carriage and go down to Adamsville to the village. We had Manchester’s Store, which was very handy. We also had Simmons’ Store and we also had Gray’s Store. The three little stores that we could buy things from—milk and bread and of course the Adamsville cheese at Gray’s. Manchester’s also had dry goods above the store. They used to sell men’s work clothes and things like that. I went upstairs one time with my little baby and they had little sneakers and shoes and I can remember buying her her first pair of little Ked sneakers and they were red. So it was so different!
I didn’t really know where to go shopping for food when I first moved there. Somebody told me that, “Well if you want to find a big grocery store you have to drive all the way down into Fall River. Get onto Crandall Road and keep going.” I did that one time and I found that the market was called “The Big G.” It used to be a trolley barn. That was a long way to go but if you want to stock up on a lot of groceries, it was clear you went. I didn’t know anything about Lees Market at the time.
I didn’t have a washing machine. I used to have to do the washing in the bath tub, the diapers and everything, and hang them up on the clothes line. But then when I went to The Big G there was a wash-a-teria or a laundromat next to it so I used to go in there and throw the laundry in. So that worked out good. But when my husband traveled, then I’d have the car and I would be able to go here and there which was nice.
Lindsay Plant and Leslie Wordell used to come over, before they could go to school, and they used to knock on my kitchen door, and they used to say, “Can we come in and play with the baby?” I had her in a room in the playpen. They’d go in there and they would amuse her so I could get together with my laundry to wash diapers in the bath tub. So they finally started to go to school, and I lost my little babysitting in the morning. It was cute because they loved to come over and play with the baby.
I shopped in Manchester’s most of the time and we always went to Gray’s for the cheese because they were noted for the cheese and to get the newspapers. Manchester’s at the time had a family—the Morses.
I’d put the baby in the carriage and I’d walk to the post office in Adamsville because we did not have a mailbox in front of our house. We were told that if you lived within a mile of the post office you had to get a post office box, which we did have. So in the springtime it was nice to put the babies in the carriage. You would meet some other young mothers with their children, and I met Jean [Morse.] At the time her in-laws bought Manchester’s. Her husband ran the store for a while. We used to get together up at her house because she had about four children at the time and she used to like us to come out and have coffee and have the little toddlers play together for a little while. So that was nice socialization.
I really thought [Adamsville] was quaint. It was quite different from what I was used to. I was lonesome when I first moved there, but I’m usually the person that can stop and talk to people, which I did. Walking down with the baby carriage one time in the springtime, this woman had the house that’s two left of mine. She was an elderly lady and she used to like to be out near her front gate there near the road and if I’d go by she’d say, “Oh, hello,” and she’d say, “Oh, could I see the baby?”
Myra Davis, her name was, and she lived all alone. She was never married that I know of, and every time I’d walk by with the carriage she’d be there and she’d like to chat with me and one day she said to me, “Would you like to come in and see my house?” I said, “Oh, I’d love to.” So I picked up the baby, put her on my shoulder and I walked into her house. She even brought me down to her basement and it was very nice and clean. It didn’t have a lot of junk in it like mine does now! Then she took me upstairs to show me how many rooms and along the stairway wall she had all kinds of pictures. I guess it was from her life and family. I thought it was so nice of her to do that. She was all by herself, a little lonely spinster. She never married and I guess she didn’t have any family because I never heard her talk about anybody, so… she was lonesome. She saw me walking by and stopped to talk so I thought that was very friendly. So I’d always say “hello” to her, and, “How are you doing?”
I would never want to live any place else.
Based on an oral history interview with Connie Buben.
First published in “Remembering Adamsville” by the Little Compton Historical Society, 2013.