The good part was when we got ice cream at Sullivan’s gas station at the corner of Pawtucket and Ferris Avenues, across from the Newman Avenue Church while waiting for the streetcar. The bad part wasn’t far away at Hunt’s Mills.
It was 1926 and the fashionable dress for spoiled little boys was the Lord Fauntleroy suit and not by choice, the writer wore one that day. No effort spared, the whole caboodle, wide white collar, dark velvet short pants, velvet jacket, bright buttons down the front, but thankfully no wide brim hat, just a Dutch cut. Then, Mom and Dad, brothers Ed and Bill, caught the electric car at the corner of the cemetery to go to the merry-go-round at he end of the line.
That suit, I was reminded, had been lovingly hand made by my mother from her honeymoon trousseau because, being her fist born, she wanted her little offspring, Joseph, to look elegant. Well la-de-da! Nobody asked Joseph.
Guess what? This six year old boy might have developed an anti sissy attitude all by himself but kids like Steve Weeden, Googie, Kela Pierce, Dave Aiken and others promoted it and we didn’t like girls either. When we got to the merry-go-round with “In The Good Old Summertime” playing and all those people standing around gawking, no way would I display myself rigged like that. Not in that sissy garb. It didn’t matter that my tickets for rides would be given to my brothers.
When we got home and could get off alone, sobs would come for missing the merry-go-round rides we loved. The hurt we caused our parents, we didn’t realize until a long time after but it was much too late to apologize.