Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 07-30-2020

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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VALLEY BREEZE LIVING EDITION | JULY 30-AUGUST 5, 2020 AT HOME 28 and the clock had spooked her. It all began when my great-grandmother died. The clock had sat on the mantle in her dining room for almost 50 years, religiously wound and keeping good time, but the clock stopped at the same time my great- grandmother died in 1947. Coincidence, they thought, rewinding and resetting it. Five years later, when my great- grandfather died, the clock stopped again. My grandmother's brother, Uncle Kid, and his wife lived with my great-grandpar- ents and they of course remained there after his parents' deaths. Same house, same furni- ture, same clock. Then in 1955, on a November afternoon, my uncle died. My aunt Esther who lived upstairs from them heard a loud bang. Glancing up at the kitchen clock on her wall, she noted the time and thought to herself, "Uncle Kid is home from work. He must have dropped something," and didn't give it another thought until a little while later when she heard the screams. Aunt Theresa had just come home and found her husband dead on the kitchen floor. He'd had a massive heart attack and the loud bang had been the sound of him hitting the steel kitchen cabi- net as he toppled from his chair. When some of the fuss died down and the upstairs aunt glanced at the old Victorian clock, she was stunned to note that it had stopped at the precise time she had heard the thump. Needless to say, that was one of the main topics of conversation during the wake, along with the retelling of the other times. I found it fascinating. Since Uncle Kid and his wife had no chil- dren, my grandmother, as the oldest of the family, got the clock, which she then kept on the floor behind the door of an unused bedroom in her house. Every year when we went to upstate New York to visit our family, I visited the clock and begged my grandmother to tell me the stories again. And every year she promised me that as the oldest daughter of the oldest daughter of the oldest daughter (each of us with the middle name Rosalie) the clock would someday be mine. Memere died in 1964 and my mother got the clock. She'd had it looked at by some- one who repaired clocks, but to our regret it couldn't be fixed. The clock never ran again. Fast forward to 2012. My mother had been admitted to a nursing home following a fall at home. Fearful of anything happen- ing to the clock, I took it to my home for safekeeping and placed it on a bureau out of harm's way. My mother died one week later and as is our custom, the entire family had congre- gated in one place, this time at my house. It was late on the day after her funeral when I walked into my bedroom and was stunned to hear the sound of my great-grandmother's clock ticking. The clock that hadn't worked in 57 years had spontaneously started not only ticking, but chiming on the hour and half-hour as well. "I know you're not going to believe this," I told the gang in the dining room, "but the clock has started working. It's ticking like mad and I haven't touched it. I don't even have the key to wind it. It just started up on its own." Everyone rushed into the bedroom to see it for themselves, and throughout the eve- ning many came back in for a second and a third look, commenting that, given its his- tory, they didn't want to be around when it finally stopped again. "I think it's Nana's way of telling us that she made it to the other side and she's OK," theorized my daughter Kathy. "Yeah, and maybe my great-grandmother telling me that I'd better take good care of her clock," I added. But whatever the reason, it ticked and chimed for three full days before finally falling silent. I immediately sent an email out to the whole family stating, "The clock has just stopped ticking and the cat and I are both fine." A few minutes later an email from my nephew Frank facetiously asked, "How about now?" "Still breathing," I replied. Rhea Bouchard Powers is a writer from Cumberland. RHEA'S FAMILY CLOCK RHEA From Page 24 Do you like to read The Valley Breeze? Then please shop with our advertisers, and tell them 'I saw it in The Breeze!' answers Do you know someone celebrating a September Birthday? The Valley Breeze Birthday Club for SEPTEMBER will be printed on September 3, 2020. Forms should be received by The Valley Breeze by Friday, August 27, 2020. Send in the name of someone with his or her September 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) Talk to Roger Bouchard or Jeff Gamache and plan your own show. One hour segments of radio time available for specialized talk or music segments. Programs can be Spanish, Italian or Greek. Programs can be jazz, blues, oldies or whatever. Use your imagination. Less expensive than you think. Your programs also stream on the internet at wnri.com Interested? Call and discuss the possibilities. 769-6925 News/Talk 1380/WNRI since 1954 WNRI/1380 Host your own Radio Show?

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