Karen Rosinha Daniels-Ambrifi
The Bus Stop
We always were just Adamsville kids. We waited for the bus at the Odd Fellows Hall in Adamsville. There were tons of kids. There were the Cook kids, the Guay kids, the Governo kids, the Rosinha kids. We’d all go to one bus stop every morning right across from Dr. von Trapp’s house. One morning we went into the Odd Fellows Hall. We found a door open and we went in. There was a stage, because we’d never been in there, and there were costumes, and the next thing you know the horn is blowing and no one’s out. Then some kids that were afraid to go in were going, “The bus is here!” We’d come running out.
The Ball Field
I grew up knowing that it was left to the children of Adamsville. It was our place. It wasn’t nearly as nice as it is now. It was just a field with a back stop. We used to just meet after school sometimes and play baseball, hang out, push each other around. Horse chestnut fights were big because the trees were all chestnut trees there and the big bulbs with the spiky things were dropping.
You Just Showed Up
Right before Christmas we would decide on the school bus on the way home, “Let’s go caroling!” We would just all meet after supper and we would go caroling all around. It sounds so old fashion now because I don’t know if any kids just do that. We didn’t have adults with us. We just said, “Oh, we’re going to go caroling around the neighborhood.” We would go to people’s houses that we knew were friendly and receptive, not anybody that we thought didn’t really want to hear us or see us. We’d do that for an hour or so, and then we’d go home.
Walking with Your Skates On
I wasn’t a big ice skater, but I would go down to the pond and go through the motions. Ed Cook ran the store then and sometimes he let us go in there and get warm, put your skates on in there, at least me because I was the wimp. I didn’t have blade covers so I’d put my skates on at Ed’s store and then go down the steps and across the street and try to get my skates to skate after walking on pavement with them.
Glad I Lived Here
I was glad I lived here. There was a girl on Willow Avenue I was friends with and I was like, “Oh, she doesn’t really have any neighbors,” because there weren’t half the houses that are there now in the sixties. I kind of felt badly for her. I could just go walk to the store and I would probably run into one of my friends. I think other parts of town didn’t have that. I know Adamsville did get that little tag. “Ooh, is that the ghetto?” The ghetto of Little Compton! But I was always happy that I grew up here. At least it had people around, activity. You always felt safer, I thought. And if you wanted quiet, you could walk down to the river or just go to the pond.
My Parents, Charlie and Eleanor Rosinha
He was very active in the community. A lot of it started with him with the volunteer fire department when I lost my finger. The ambulance that they took me to the hospital in, Francis Bullock was driving it, and the siren didn’t work right and my father’s like, “Whoa, the town just needs…” you know. I think he helped and got things going because he was a great fundraiser. He could get people to donate and help. He could sell anybody a raffle ticket, even somebody who never bought one. So he was always active that way.
And my mom, too. She helped out getting the lights put back up here, which was important to her because she grew up here, and she thought, especially since the Commons had theirs. We didn’t have any. I’m like “Mom, why is this such a big deal?” “Well we just need them. We should have them.”
73 Stone Church Road
My parents bought a house [at 73] Stone Church Road which belonged to a women named Myra Davis. [It] was the Philip Tabor house. I think he was a minister and that was built for him to live in originally. I know it was built in 1864. I don’t know what parts of it are still there anymore. I know Dennis Talbot tried to leave some original things here and there after we sold him the house.
Chester A. Gray
My grandfather was a totally self-educated, unique, Yankee. He must have been trying to write this patriotic play. He had all the papers from NBC in New York that he had filled out to try to get them to take on his script. He worked at the Fort Church during the war. He was a guard or an attendant there. He was born in 1890 and died in 1968. I was twelve when my grandfather died and I was very close to him.
I was running downstairs one Sunday morning. He’s like, “Where you going?” “I’m going to Church, Grandpa,” I said, “I’m a Baptist. What are you?” And he said, “I’m a Home Baptist.” And I said, “What’s that?” He goes, “You’ll find out when you’re older.” Meaning he stayed home and I was going to walk up to Old Stone Church.
Old Stone Church
My mom was raised in that church. My grandmother was actually a Methodist who belonged to the Methodist Church at the Commons and my grandfather, I guess, was a Home Baptist. So when they moved here when my mom was little, from Sakonnet Point as renters, they sent my mom to Old Stone Church. She was seven or eight-years-old. They didn’t go to church that much. My grandmother just didn’t, and my mother just kind of went with her friends and their parents. Then when we were born, as soon as you were in your big girl pants, you went to Mrs. Vanderburg’s class, Sunday school, every Sunday. We went to Sunday school and my parents went to church. My parents were baptized from that church. I was married, baptized, and buried my daughter, all from that church.
John Hart and the Calf
John Hart let me see a calf being born, because I was a nosy little kid, right down in the little building at the side of the road, when you go down around the driveway by the store. I was on my bike one day and rode down the dirt part and I saw John, Mr. Hart, there. He was delivering a baby calf and he let me stand there and watch. It was the most exciting thing. He was a very sweet man.
Based on an oral history interview with Karen Rosinha Daniels-Ambrifi.
First published in “Remembering Adamsville” by the Little Compton Historical Society, 2013.
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