Cecilia Lewis Brady
Mom & Dad Met in Adamsville
I remember my mom, Cecilia Lewis, and dad, James B. Brady, always talking about how they met at a dance that took place at the Odd Fellows Hall in Adamsville back in World War II.
When we had the coastal fortifications of Narragansett Bay, which encompassed everything from Little Compton, Newport, Jamestown, and Narragansett, there were large influxes of men that came into the area to man these coastal artillery units. The USO would do things to help the GIs. One of the events that would take place every now and then would be the USO dances. The GIs could have some contact with the civilian world, meet the local people and just get away from the military installation for a little while, and relax. “R and R,” rest and relaxation. What I was told by my mother and father was that one of those dances was held right there in Adamsville at the Odd Fellows Hall.
My father was too old to serve in World War II, but he worked at Fort Adams as a fireman or a boiler tender. He took care of the steam plant, which kept heat in the fort, everything dealing with the cooking facilities in the mess halls, and of course hot water for the barracks. When the USO would hold dances, they would put up announcements for the GIs. However, notices would also go out in town for the local girls. Little Compton was strictly an agriculture-type community then. What would happen is, you would meet the local girls. You would dance, relax, get away from that regimented, military-type life for a while. My father, who had an automobile, would drive some of the GIs to the dances.
It was in the Odd Fellows Hall, at one of these USO dances, that my mother and father met, towards the end of the war. They were married around 1945. I was born in February of 1946. My grandmother and all of my mother’s people were in Little Compton. So there’s always been that particular connection. But every time I drive by the Odd Fellows Hall, I say, “My God, that’s the place where my mom and dad met.” And if they hadn’t met, well, for the last sixty-six years, I wouldn’t be here.
Based on an oral history interview with James Brady.
First published in “Remembering Adamsville” by the Little Compton Historical Society, 2013.
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