I was at dinner with some folks last week when one of my friends started howling with laughter.
“I totally forgot about that place,” he laughed. “This is fantastic.”
My friend, who grew up in Warwick, had stumbled upon the “You Know You’re From Warwick…” Facebook group. For the next hour, he was completely engrossed in reading dozens and dozens of posts about Rocky Point, Ann & Hope, etc. He was having a blast and I was angry that I wasn’t. A North Kingstown resident since I was three years old, I was determined to find a North Kingstown version.
Then, thanks to the wonderful people who follow North Kingstown Patch’s Facebook page, I found not one but two Facebook groups dedicated to those who grew up in North Kingstown – “You Know You’re From NK, RI if…” and “You Know You’re From North Kingstown If….”
(If I haven’t responded to your email promptly in the past few days, you now know why.)
From long-gone memories (like shopping at Almacs, catching a movie at the Quonset Drive-In) to things that are still around (such as and Al Southwick blasting Queen on the recreation department buses) North Kingstown is coming together to remember its past.
Both groups starting recently and have exploded in popularity. Shelley Hazard (creator of “You’re from NK, RI if…”) made the group on Monday and had 145 members by the following day.
“Everyone is so stressed right now, going through tough times financially and emotionally and otherwise,” said Hazard. “People want to laugh. They want to think back to when things weren’t so stressful.”
Members of both groups have spent the past week reminiscing about old hangouts, old teachers and old businesses. North Kingstown residents — past and current, young and old — are coming together to share stories of the penny candy stores, days at Little Red Schoolhouse, class with Ms. Salisbury and half-day Wednesdays. Hazard received a private message from one man who joined her group that said “I’ve never smiled so much in one day.”
“The heart of it is making sure that our kids have the same kind of fond memories that we did,” said Hazard.
Both of these groups are closed. (Don’t worry, you don’t need to go through an initiation process to get in. Just click the button asking to join the group and keep your posts civil.)
Sifting through the swarms of comments, you can see people who haven’t talked in years (many not since Skipper graduation) reconnecting with one another. I think one Facebook poster said it best:
“You know you’re from North Kingstown if you know just about everyone posting on this page.”