My father was introduced to Adamsville by Ralph Blanchard who was a professor of English at Brown. They had this very nice old home up on Coldbrook Hill. Dad came down with him one day and said, “This is for me.” He had grown up summers in Little Compton. He liked Westport, Adamsville. It was a lot less social, more low-key. The Acoaxet Club was a lot smaller than Sakonnet.
The Blanchards were interesting people. Ralph had been engaged to a French woman who had a chateau in France and died in the war, and he married her sister Monette. Monette worked at the Athenaeum in Providence, a very bright, intelligent, small woman. Her mother was still living, Madame LaCaze, and she was like a little bird dressed in black sitting next to Monette, whenever we went up on Coldbrook Hill and had Cambric Tea, went through their beautiful garden. We, the little kids, had to say, “Bonjour Madame!” That was our French, and she’d twitter on with something else and we had no idea what she was talking about. I mentioned the fireplace. There is probably the largest—best old cooking, baking, you could do anything in it, you could stand in it upright—fireplace in the area. You would see [Monette] driving around in a huge blue sedan, barely able to see over the steering wheel, and everybody was in fear and trembling. One day she did miss one of the curves going down Coldbrook Hill going toward Adamsville, but she survived. Monette always pronounced it Adamsveeeel.
Based on an oral history interview with Richard Desjardins.
First published in “Remembering Adamsville” by the Little Compton Historical Society, 2013.
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