Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 03-28-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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2 AT HOME MARCH 28-APRIL 3, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE LIVING EDITION refused to give it up. "Gone With The Wind," "Doctor Hudson's Secret Journal" and its companion piece "Magnificent Obsession," a cheap but thick paper- back book of poetry that cost 50 cents off the revolving rack at Woolworth's almost 60 years ago, and glossy paged books of impressionist art all share space with old classics like "Little Women" and new classics like a bunch of Laverle Spencer books from 20-some years ago that I am not yet ready to part with. I treasure my frail 65-year-old Scholastic Book Club copy of "Sue Barton, Student Nurse" that inspired me to become an RN, and Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet" that opened me up to other areas of thought in the early 1970s. What are still missing from my col- lection, however, are all my old Trixie Belden books, given away years ago when I was judged to have outgrown them. Back around 1954 Whitman Publishing was pumping out shiny covered, inexpensive (88-cents aver- age) books aimed at young teen and preteen girls, somewhere along the lines of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. My friends and I loved them. We gave them to each other as Christmas gifts, hounded our par- ents to purchase more, and swapped them around among ourselves as we acquired each new one. They mostly all involved kids in our own age bracket who solved mysteries and had adventures. There was Ginny Gordon, usually pronounced with a hard "G" as in "gun" (and like an Italian slur) since to the best of my knowledge none of us in our parochial "little Canada" mill village full of Lucilles, Louises, Jeannettes, and Claudettes had ever met anyone named Ginny. I read the Ginny Gordon books because they were there, but I could never really relate to her with her plaid pleated skirts and matched sweater sets (I have still never in my life owned a sweater set), and how she and her friends opened a Swap Shop in a real storefront in their town. A swap shop? Really? Trixie Belden, however, was a whole different thing. The Belden family lived in the Tarrytown, N.Y., area also known as Sleepy Hollow country. Trixie was a tousle-headed 13-year-old tomboy who wore scuffed-up loafers and dungarees (what jeans were called back then), lived on a small farm where she had to weed the garden, and she had two older brothers and one younger one. Her best friend was Honey Wheeler, a poor little rich girl whose family had purchased an estate not far from Trixie's home in the first book of the series, "The Secret of the Mansion." Written by Julie Campbell, the series incorporated new characters and adventures as it went along. Trixie was my alter ego. I had col- lected and read the first six books of the series. I happily loaned them out to good friends like Yvette Lambert and Sue Marcotte, but I retained pos- session ... always. Then one day I "outgrew" them and they were gone, given away to younger readers. I realize how stupid this may sound, but I have mourned their loss ever since. And then, many years ago, while browsing through a used crime books store on Wickenden Street in Providence with my friend Sue, I spotted an original old Trixie Belden book identical to the one I once had. It was like running into an old friend I hadn't seen in years and had thought lost to me forever. I clutched it to my chest, paid the asking price, and brought it home with me. Since then, through the wonders of the electronic world, I have located a couple more, the latest just last week when I searched on the Thriftbooks site. My new book with a flysheet inscription: "Christmas, 1967 To Carol from Tommy, Mike, Brian," is in mint condition and I already read it from cover to cover yesterday. I felt the same reading it then as I know I must have felt reading my original copy back in 1954 or 1955. Me and old Trix were in there togeth- er, and when (spoiler alert!) she and Honey finally found Jim, the 15-year- old who had run away at the end of the previous book, I confess I once again had tears in my eyes. Some things never change. I also bought a Ginny Gordon book at the same time last week, because it was the only other one there that I recognized. I will read that one next ... and would still be happy to loan it out to anyone who wants to borrow it ... but the visceral connection just won't be the same. Rhea Bouchard Powers is a writer from Cumberland. RHEA From Page One Weighing in on the college admissions scandal To the many readers who recently asked: Yes, I do take requests, and yes, I will riff on the "Perpetually Beautiful People Who Laid Out Mega-Bribes to Guarantee That Their Beautiful and Everlastingly Entitled Bratz Get into the College of Their Choice Scandal." Why would anyone who's been paying attention be surprised? When polls find that a majority of high school students believe that cheat- ing on tests is acceptable if it means they might get into a better college, why would anyone be aghast at their parents paying big bucks to fudge transcripts and test results to guaran- tee their admission to said schools? And let's face it, if more people made mega-bucks, this scandal would not be limited to people stalked by paparazzi. There are three factors at work here (and I've already identified one of them): entitlement, self-esteem, and co-dependency. In order … First, the parents and children in question come from two genera- tions disproportionately populated by people who believe they are entitled … entitled to be entitled, even. The individuals in question believe three things that until recently were reserved to European royalty, toddlers, criminals, and career politi- cians: 1. What I want I deserve to have. 2. Because I deserve it, the ends jus- tify the means. 3. The rules do not apply to me because I am special (semi-divine, if you must know). This mentality, which defines a sociopath, began to spread in the 1970s as America's collective parent- ing goal shifted from instilling self- responsibility and the work ethic – as in, preserving culture – to fostering success and happiness. That shift accounts for the dramatic increase over the same time period of children and teens in therapy and on psychiat- ric medications. Second, the ongoing encroach of entitlement has been accompanied by the post-modern notion that high esteem for the self is a good thing and that parents should do whatever possible to guarantee that this psycho- logical virus finds permanent lodging in their kids. The mental health community tied self-esteem to achievement, so parents got busy helping their chil- dren achieve. When is the last time you heard someone brag about their child's manners? Or his character? His morals? You probably cannot remember unless you are Amish. Come to think of it, Amish parents don't brag about their kids, period. That explains it! My parents were closet Amish! Which brings us to the third fac- tor: Parent-child co-dependency has also become ubiquitous in recent years, a symptom of which is parents who, when their kids do bad things at school, deny they are culprits or could even be culprits and say really dumb things like "My child has never lied to me!" and "My child would never do such a thing!" Today's parents feel their children's pain (as opposed to understanding why their kids are in pain and after offering helpful suggestions, wish them well with it). That is the opera- tional definition of co-dependency. When you feel someone else's "pain," you enter into their reality. At that point, you become their personal enabler and enabling is the primary feature of a co-dependent relation- ship. Parents who are in co-dependent relationships with their kids are beyond being helicopters; they are now called lawn-mower and snow- plow parents. I call them "Cuisinart Parents," because their lives and their children's lives are blended together – pureed, even. Their children's suc- cesses, failures, disappointments, frus- trations, rejections, upswings, down- swings – every swing in every way, in fact – are theirs as well. No wonder mothers take more anti-depressants than any other demographic. My final word on the subject: We ain't seen nothin' yet. How about paying for your kid to get a prime job and then paying his or her salary? I'm not kidding. Family psychologist John Rosemond: johnrosemond.com, parentguru.com . Traditional Parenting JOHN ROSEMOND Jeff Gamache joins Roger Bouchard with news, sports, weather, light commentary and fun Daily Monday-Friday 6 to 8 a.m. sports with Tom Cuddy and Tommy Brien plus "Dear Bouch" advice column to solve your domestic problems Heard simultaneously on WNRI 1380 am; 95.1 fm; 99.9 fm wnri.com; tune-in radio app; simple radio app Daybreak Southern New England WNRI AM & FM Do you know someone celebrating a May Birthday? The Valley Breeze Birthday Club for MAY will be printed on May 2, 2019. Forms should be received by The Valley Breeze by Friday, April 26, 2019. Send in the name of someone with his or her May birth date and $2 per edition and we'll include them in the club. The check should be made payable to The Valley Breeze for use in the Breeze charities fund. Mail to: The Valley Breeze, 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite #204, Lincoln, RI 02865. Thank you! Greetings should be 10 words or less. Name: .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. Date of Birth: ............................................................................................................................................ Age: .............................................................................. From: ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ Contact Phone Number (for questions, not publication) ................................................................................................................................................. Edition (please check): Cumberland/Lincoln edition ($2) Pawtucket edition ($2) Observer edition ($2) North Smithfield/Blackstone/Woonsocket edition ($2) North Providence edition ($2)

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