WHAT DO YOU DO, AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU DONE IT? I am a presence at the Wild Colonial. In February it will be 10 years.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING 30 YEARS AGO? I was floating in a wooden rowboat listening to soul, disco, and Barry Manilow on my purple plastic Tandy AM radio.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO BE DOING 30 YEARS FROM NOW? I hope to get that radio fixed.
IF YOU HAD A VANITY PLATE, WHAT WOULD IT SAY? WCOLON — which is probably why I have not gotten one.
WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT? Apart from raising the most remarkable kids on earth, I am grateful that we’ve been able to create a place where people want to come on their best days and people want to come on their worst days, where they come when they come back to town and where parents bring their kids to show them where they met.
FAVORITE THING ABOUT RHODE ISLAND? Rhode Islanders are open — in a way that is perhaps apparent only to other New Englanders — and they take great pleasure in this place.
LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT RHODE ISLAND? I am worried that downtown Providence could turn into Celebration, Florida. Some of what they were trying to do in Celebration was high-minded and some of its residents seem to be good people but something inorganic and imagineered should be viewed with suspicion.
COFFEE MILK OR DEL’S? Del’s.
ANY ANECDOTES INVOLVING THE NEWPAPER OR PROVIDENCE PHOENIX? The most critical moment I remember was when the NewPaper was in the process of becoming the Phoenix. As I recall there was some question — at least in some people’s minds — whether the paper would begin to charge as had its Boston counterpart. It remained free and re-tained many of the important features that made it so local and that, as the man says, has made all the difference.
FAVORITE LOCAL DISH? Lort and beef satay Noodle at Apsara.
IF YOU DIDN’T LIVE HERE, WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE? New Orleans or Kohala, Hawaii.
FAVORITE FORMER PAWSOX PLAYER? Mo Vaughn.
WHAT BAR/RESTAURANT/LANDMARK/PERSONALITY THAT HAS CEASED TO EXIST IN THE LAST 30 YEARS DO YOU MISS THE MOST? DorrWar Bookstore.
PHILLIPE OR JORGE? Yes.
BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I’VE NEVER BEEN TO . . . Roger Williams National Park.
FAVORITE PLACE TO GET AWAY FROM IT ALL FOR A MOMENT OR TWO? Sand Hill Cove.
YOUR MOST MEMORABLE [OR HALF-FORGOTTEN] NIGHT OUT IN THE LAST 30 YEARS? There is this one Halloween party I go to every year. The “year of great costumes” was the most memorable in a good way. The Sea Monkey year was memorable for a different reason altogether.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PORTRAYAL OF RHODE ISLAND ON TELEVISION, IN A MOVIE, OR IN A BOOK?Outside Providence — the book and the movie. The Farrellys have it down.
WHAT’S ON YOUR WIENERS? Sauce and mustard.
IF YOU COULD HAVE THREE RHODE ISLANDERS [LIVING OR NOT] OVER FOR DINNER, WHO WOULD THEY BE? Miantonomo, Thomas Dorr, and Roger Williams (the obvious choice but I’d still pick him).
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN RHODE ISLAND? IF YOU’RE NOT A NATIVE, WHERE WERE YOU BEFORE YOU GOT HERE? I’ve been here off and on for 22 years. I came here from the Berkshires via Boston. Then I left for Montana and Pennsylvania. Then I came back. I recommend staying here.
ASK YOURSELF A QUESTION AND ANSWER IT. “Is there any real point to voting or getting involved here in Rhode Island?” Like the rest of the country, we’re at a point where we have to step up and make clear and far-reaching choices about how we want to be. Will we care for the Bay? Will we be fair and welcoming to the newest Americans and newest Rhode Islanders? Will we assert ourselves and refuse to be overrun by the large and powerful? Will we give children the education they deserve and on which we will depend? Will we see to our neighbors who need a hand with things like food and heating assistance? Are we going to give our kids the better society we owe them? I hope so.
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