Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 01-02-2020

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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12 SMITHFIELD JANUARY 2-8, 2020 | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | SMITHFIELD SCITUATE FOSTER GLOCESTER EDITION In making his case, he recounts the various activities at the hall in which he took part as far back as the 1940s and '50s, including work- ing as a pinsetter in the four-lane bowling alley that was part of the edifice, serving as a disc jockey for dances, and playing the guitar for square dances. He also was a Scoutmaster at the rec center. Surely a good number of veterans or veterans-to-be must have partak- en of the events sponsored there. A third situation related to signs forms the basis of yet another outrage for Al. It is the removal of the village names from the fire stations in town. Al is upset by the de-emphasis of village identities, a move undertaken by some previous town officials in a purported desire to tamp down sectionalism. For Bruno it is "another bee in my bonnet." He claims that keep- ing the village character by return- ing the names of Greenville and Georgiaville to the places they once held will deepen the understanding of town history for new arrivals. He sees it as a unifying act, not a divi- sive one. "I think it's time for everyone in town to pull together," he observes. "I am what I am because I am," he continues when asked if he gets a lot of push back or anger for his relentless disputation of policies and changes he disagrees with. As to whether he considers himself a gad- fly in the usual sense of the word, he remains silent. When he speaks again, he says "I'm a little bit different, ain't I?" As for angering those in authority with his salvos and questions in letters or in person, he adds, "My thing is helping people any time I can. That's what you're supposed to do, right? I also like to entertain people. I can't think of anybody I don't like or who doesn't like me. If something comes to my mind I feel like I have to accomplish it. It's not personal." One way he entertains folks, other than provoking officialdom, is by playing the guitar, an instrument he first took up 80 years ago at age 8 under the tutelage of his late brother Jim, who was a Providence Journal reporter for many years. Al still plays with the Old Fiddlers Club of Rhode Island. Of his love for Smithfield, he notes, "I've lived in a lot of places. This is the best that I've seen. Nobody had more fun than me. I don't care if they were millionaires or paupers, no-one had a better childhood than I did. It's been one hell of a trip along the way." (Contact me at smithpublarry@gmail. com) Bottom Lines Fast quiz: This will be way too easy. What garden variety animal made one of Smithfield's villages famous world-wide? First answer gets a shout out in the next column. SASSO From Page 5 • New or Used Autos (includes refinanced autos from other institutions) • ¼% (.25%) off of qualifying rate (rate is determined by credit worthiness) Members can also save an additional ¼% (.25%) off if loan is paid with BRFCU payroll or automatic transfer • Membership eligibility is required • Please mention this coupon or bring it in to receive the additional savings! Main Office 10 Monument Square Woonsocket RI, 02895 (401) 767-1990 Branch Office 100 Old River Rd., Lincoln RI, 02865 (401) 333-0780

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