Monday, April 12, 2010

Retrospect: Pittsfield 1987-1990

Welcome to the third installment of the first-three-decades-of-my-life-in-chapters: Pittsfield, Maine. Maine's a pretty big state and Pittsfield is a small town kind of right in the middle. Read: land-locked. Read: not close to the beach at all. Read: what's a kid to do there? But at this point, we were used to living just about anywhere. And it turned out, Pittsfield was kind of rad in its own way. I was 7 years old when we arrived and 10 years old when we left. Here are some key points that I remember:
  • We lived in the parsonage right by the big old church on Mason Street. I really liked the church in Pittsfield. It was old and beautiful and had wooden pews. Most of the parishioners were older and they liked to sing the good oldie hymns. We sang a lot in church. That's when we girls got better at singing. And I still love hymns.
  • We had a huge garden out back. As soon as the cucumbers were big enough, I remember plucking them off the vine and eating them dipped in salt and vinegar. They were so good, still warm from the sun.
  • Papa taught me to fish on the Sebasticook river. I caught a pickerel there once. There were lots of pickerel in that river. Bony and teethy, but tasty too! Eventually I got my own fishing pole. It was smoky blue and shiny. Papa’s was black I think.
  • There was never a lot of money in those days, but I never felt lacking for things to do. On special occasions Papa would get us Hawaiian pizza for dinner with cream horns for dessert. And Moxie to drink. Moxie was the soda of choice in our house (if we ever did have soda in the house). It was Papa’s favorite, but we would sneak sips too. I always thought it tasted like a sweet rusty penny.
  • My best friend was Kristi. We did everything together. I had another friend, Yuri, who lived next door. We both collected stickers and we would do sticker trades. I had a tan album with a baby dear on the front. It had sticky plastic sheets to protect the stickers.
  • There was a department store downtown called Reny's. They sold Whatchamacallits for 25 cents each. I used to save up my paper route money and use it to buy toys at Reny's. My biggest and best purchases: a barbie Hawaiian beach hut and a purple Fashion Star Filly.

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