I grew up in Pawtucket and moved away, but pieces of me still live there. I left many memories there on those sidewalks. The halls of Tolman echo memories, my memories, the lockers share stories with me and the pavement outside speaks to me in a language few understand. I remember every game at McCoy Stadium, every strike thrown at EP Lanes; every fish caught, every Little League game, every holiday from Christmas to Halloween and every carousel ride at Slater Park. It’s where I met my best friend Keith, and took hour-long walks that should’ve taken 15 minutes. I spent 16 years of my life in Pawtucket. People make fun of Pawtucket, “Pawtucket the bucket”, “Poortucket”, but it doesn’t matter, its home. I swear I know every crack in the sidewalk by heart; my emotional footprint is on every slab of concrete in Pawtucket. Especially my last couple of years there, I would walk aimlessly around, usually with Keith, talking, reminiscing and, laughing. Pawtucket is my querencia, my familiar place.
January 21, 2009