Friday, August 30, 2002

RINHS Lecture Series

The Rhode Island Natural History Survey is a consortium of organizations and individuals seeking to further knowledge and understanding of Rhode Island's biota, geology, and ecosystems. On their board are representatives from federal and state agencies, academic institutions, NGOs, professional organizations, and private companies. They serve as the umbrella organization for ecological information in Rhode Island.

The RINHS Lecture Series on Rhode Island's Fauna, Flora, Geology, and Ecosystems was begun in 1995, to provide science education to professionals and the Rhode Island public. Four lectures are given each year. In July 1999, the lecture series was renamed the "Mark D. Gould Memorial Lecture Series on Rhode Island's Fauna, Flora, Geology, and Ecosystems," in memory of Mark Gould, a founding member of the RINHS. All lectures are free and open to the public; no registration is required.

The first lecture will be on Thursday Sept. 19 2002 at 7:30 pm in the Weaver Auditorium at the Coastal Institute at URI. The speaker is Peter Schulz a Brown University professor and the director of the Rhode Island Space Grant Program. The subject is Cosmic Catastrophes in Argentina: What's Next? The lecture is free and open to the public (with free refreshments at 7 pm!) All of this follows the annual meeting of RINHS at 5:30 pm.

To find out more about becoming a member of RINHS, or the many other events they sponsor, visit their website or give them a call (401) 874-5800.

Thursday, August 29, 2002

Ego Bike Test Drive

A friend of mine came out of the elevator with a really cool looking bike. I started asking him questions about it, and he told me about this company right here in Rhode Island that makes these cool electric bike/scooters. I checked out the website (handily painted at the bottom of the bicycle itself) and signed up for a test ride. In a word: W O W !

This thing moves fast-- it'll supposedly get up to 20 miles an hour and go for 20-25 miles (depending on the terrain, your weight, and some other elusive factors) but basically, it goes fast! (esp. on the straight-away). I went up a huge gravelfilled hill (probably a 20% grade), and it went up a lot slower (which is a good thing!)

It handles easily-- just turn your wrist, and it goes. Stop turning and it slows down. Turn it the other way, and it slows down . It's got bike brakes, a headlight and tail-light for night driving, a little mirror, and accessories such as a speedometer/odometer, saddlebags, and even a cargo trailer if you want to start delivering things! And due to special legislation passed around 3 months ago, the bike does NOT have to be registered as a vehicle in RI! (other states and cities may vary!)

The body is molded aluminum, with a designed 1950's retro look, and four possible colors, red, light green, light blue, and orange (also known as Very Well Red, Wasabi, Caribbean Sky, and Chutney.) It runs on electricity,so when you are not using it, just plug it in! The bike looks and feels very sturdily built-- weighs about 100 lbs and just feels really rugged.

The bike retails for $1399, and the coolness factor is WAY HIGH! I'm hoping that I can find the cash to make it work!

See their website for lots more info:

Call them to ask questions or to arrange a test drive: 401-461-2108

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Stone Soup Coffee House

September 7, 2002: Opening Weekend

Bill Harley, Joyce Katzberg, Kathy Danielson, J.J. Baron

As the August sun sets earlier and earlier, and the promise of September nights hang in the air, the passage of summer often brings a bit of sadness to us all. Yet, the coming of September also heralds in the opening of school, giving respite to child-weary mothers, and, for music lovers, the opening of Stone Soup Coffeehouse. Every Saturday night from Labor Day to Memorial Day, Stone Soup brings Rhode Island some of the finest folk, old-timey, and acoustic music in the country. Stone Soup is an all volunteer organization (and if you'd like to volunteer, call volunteer coordinator Judie Jamison at (401) 461-7687 or e-mail her at

The first concert of the season [ their twenty-second!] will be a mix of artists who are perennial favorites at Stone Soup.The line-up includes Bill Harley, Joyce Katzberg, Kathy Danielson, and J.J. Baron. The concert is on Saturday, September 7th, 2002, at 8:00 p.m. at the Slater Mill Historic Site, 67 Roosevelt Avenue in downtown Pawtucket, RI. Tickets are $10.00. [By the way, Rhode Island A to Z is also available at the Slater Mill Gift Shop! Sorry, just a shameless plug!]

Advance tickets can be reserved by phone with major credit cards, with a $1 processing fee, by calling (401) 725-8638 from 9 to 5 weekdays. The tickets can then be picked up at the door the night of the concert. Tickets are also available on the night of the performance (if it's not sold out!)

For further information, please e-mail or visit their website for a schedule of upcoming concerts.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Perishable Theatre's 2002-2003 Season

Perishable Theatre, Providence's non-mainstream avant-garde theatre, just announced their season, along with a unique subscription plan. (the Feed Your Head plan)

For $80, you can buy a subscription that allows you to come to the theatre as many times as you want, whenever you want. For $395, you can feed your body as well as your head. You get the pass, plus four gourmet dinners at the restaurant Empire, including free valet parking, Godiva chocolates at the box office, and a hand-quilted seat cover. It's kind of a different way to sell the season.

Tickets? Who needs tickets?

Their season consists of the following:

September 21-October 26
Erik Ehn's My Baby, written and adapted in collaboration with students of the International Institute of Rhode Island and directed by Vanessa Gilbert. A tale about a family that forms overseas, resolves to migrate to America and the ghosts that transmigrate along with them.

February 15-March 22
The Long Journey to Whereto, written by Oana Maria Cajal in collaboration with artistic director Mark Lerman. A multimedia extravaganza that combines modern myths, linguistics, coffee, and the itsy bitsy spider.

April 12- May 3
Three One Acts, written by Aishah Rahman, author of Only In America, which was produced at Perishable in 1997-98.

May 17-June 21
11th Annual Women's Playwriting Festival, A forum for women’s voices from around the world, featuring three one act plays by emerging female playwrights.

To subscribe or find out more, visit the Perishable website or call them directly at 401-331-2695 x101.

Monday, August 26, 2002

Les Yeux Noirs [The Black Eyes]

Friday, September 6 at 8:30 pm
At Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Arts & Cultural Center

Tickets now on sale! $25.00
All proceeds benefit the Convergence International Arts Festival
Purchase tickets at Ticketmaster

World-renowned Paris based sextet, Les Yeux Noirs will be traveling to Providence especially for this one night only performance that will kick off the festivities of the 15th Annual Convergence International Arts Festival. Les Yeux Noirs creates a rich blend of music that is part Gypsy, part klezmer, both joyous and reverential. Virtuoso brothers Eric and Oliver Slabiak, both classically trained in the violin form the foundation of Les Yeux Noirs. The Slabiak brothers are backed by band members Francois Perchat, Pascal Rondeau, Franck Anastasio, Jean-Pierre Onraedt, Marian Miu and Ionica Minune who bring the sounds of cello, acoustic guitar, electric bass, double bass, cymbalum, accordion and vocals into this decadent musical mixture. Come join Les Yeux Noirs for this special concert, as they take you on an intense sensory journey through stories of travel, love, celebration, and heart-rending lament. You cannot listen to Les Yeux Noirs and be unmoved.

Friday, August 23, 2002


The Pawtucket Red Sox are our local professional baseball team. They are affiliated with the Boston Red Sox, and in Pawtucket's McCoy Stadium, you can see future stars and past players trying to work their way up (or back) into the bigs. It's intimate, exciting baseball, and sometimes more fun than going to Fenway!

Their last homestand of the year is upon us, and with that, prizes! Call 401-724-7300 or head right out to McCoy to check out the action! CHECK THE WEBSITE FOR LATEST NEWS!

The first 4,000 youngsters (aged 14 & under) coming to McCoy Stadium on August 23 will take home a Pawtucket Red Sox Autographed Baseball. Signed by the 2002 PawSox team, this baseball is sure to be a collector's item. The Autographed Baseball is compliments of Dunkin' Donuts & NESN.

AUGUST 25 - PAWSOX BACK-TO-SCHOOL GYM BAG 1:05 pm vs. Rochester
The first 3,000 young fans (aged 14 & under) entering the ballpark on August 25 will take home a PawSox Gym Bag just in time for back-to-school. Youngsters will receive their gym bag courtesy of CVS, Bayer, BJ's, WPRI-12, and FOX-Providence.

AUGUST 26 - BACK TO SCHOOL BINDER 7:05 pm vs. Rochester
Another back-to-school item will be given to the first 4,000 youngsters (aged 14 & under) coming to McCoy on August 26 when the PawSox host Rochester as it will be back-to-school book binder night compliments of Sovereign Bank & WSNE Radio. This sharp-looking binder features PawSox stars from the past like Jim Rice, Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, and Nomar Garciaparra on the front cover and a full color photo of McCoy Stadium on the back cover.

Thursday, August 22, 2002


Actors from the WhoDunnit Murder Mystery Theater will pose as famous detectives as they circulate among the audience at an eight-hour Mystery Cabaret Open House on Sunday at the Radisson Airport Hotel, on Post Road in Warwick.

The event, a benefit for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, will also include music, two-minute mystery performances and other activities.

The cabaret will feature music from the '30s through the '90s, as well as audience sing-alongs and an open-mike session.

WhoDunnit is a troupe of actors who perform interactive murder mysteries at restaurants and hotels throughout New England.

The event will be held from 3 to 11 p.m. at the Radisson, 2081 Post Rd., Warwick. The public is invited to drop in or to stay for the entire event.

Tickets are $10 at the door, or $8 in advance. For tickets or more information, call 580-1668 or email them at

Evening Sail on the Brandaris

Photos of a fun time aboard Brandaris

Last night I sailed aboard the Dutch yacht Brandaris. Captained by owner Doug Somers (and crewed by his wife (Tina?) and his daughter Sam), we sailed out into Narragansett Bay, enjoying the beautiful evening (sunset and moonrise at the same time!) and singing along to some sea shanties (provided by the Dingle Regatta) as well as some mango juice. It was great fun!

Home-ported in Wickford, Brandaris is a traditional Dutch canal barge with an authentic tabernacle mast, built in 1938 by the Amsterdam Shipyard in Holland for the shipyard owner, the design family DeVries Lents. Called a lemsterak in Holland, Brandaris was used in the evacuation of Dunkirk. It has an extremely shallow draft -- only two feet -- and weighs 60 tons, making it heavy but stable and capable of exploring shallow inland waters.

The evening was part of South Kingstown's Park and Recreation programming.
They've got one more cruise for their summer listings-- A Cruise for Pampered Ladies (And A Few Smart Men) It's a two hour evening sail [Wed. Aug 28, 7-9 pm] that features Wickford's finest selection of bath toiletries, fragrances, bath oils, lotions, potions and oceans of fun! (leaving from Wickford Harbor's Brown Street dock (behind Brooks Drug, formerly Earnshaw's) Tickets are $27 or $30 depending on your resident status. Call 401-789-9301 for reservations

If you can't make that on the 28th, get on the South Kingstown's Park and Rec mailing list. They offer a full complement of Fall and Winter programs (including more sailing on the Brandaris, as well as cooking classes, nature walks, and other fine educational pursuits.

Visit the South County Parks & Rec Website

Call Them at 401-789-9301 for more information

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Where does Rhode Island Rank in Giving?

I'm sorry to admit this, but Rhode Island ranks 47th out of the 50 states on the Generosity Index, a national measure of wealth to giving.

It’s not that Rhode Islanders aren't generous. Ninety percent of all Rhode Islanders made a contribution to charity last year. It’s just that we don’t give as much as people in other states. (The state of Mississippi was #1 on the index!) On average, most Rhode Islanders give less than $500 a year to charity. Fewer than 5% of Rhode Islanders have left a gift to a charity in their will or estate plans. That’s farbelow the national average.

Giving RI is part of a national nonprofit movement towards philanthropy. They don't ask that people give to a specific cause, or to a specific movement. They just ask that you give.

PLEASE NOTE: THE WEBSITE LISTED IS A BETA-SITE--if it doesn't work, you may want to try this site:

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Find Your Polling Location

The elections are coming up fast! The RI Primary is Tuesday Sept. 10, 2002

You can find out where you need to vote by going to This handy website is sponsored by the RI Board of Elections.

Of course, you need to be eligible to vote! If you have some questions about voting in Rhode Island, check out the Board of Elections FAQ

Monday, August 19, 2002

Pursuit of Happiness -- The Movie

Ad executive Alan Oliver, a man fed up with his job and series of empty, failed relationships finally realizes that romantic fulfillment is right under his nose in the person of Marissa Kiley, his best friend from kindergarten.

This edgy romantic comedy follows Alan and Marissa as they try to cope with frustrating romantic ups and downs in their lives. Alan's fanciful chase after the mercurial Tracy Jennings is countered by Marissa's realization of her unhappy marriage to Paul, a coworker of Alan's. From these journeys, Alan and Marissa learn to trust the inherent power of friendship.

Pursuit of Happiness is playing at the newly renovated Castle Cinema Cafe on Chalkstone Avenue through August 23rd. Showings are at 6:45 pm. Ticket prices are $6.75. Call the Movie Hotline for more information 401-751-FILM (3456)

Friday, August 16, 2002

The 25th Annual Fools' Rules Regatta

The Twenty Fifth Annual Fool's Rules Regatta, sponsored by the Jamestown Yacht Club, is scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 17th, 2002 at 9:00 am on the Town Beach at East Ferry, Jamestown, R.I. The rain date will be the following day, August 18th.

Participants have two hours to construct their vessels with the cannon signaling the start of the first race being fired at 11:00 AM sharp.

This marvelous event is open to persons of all ages, sizes, sexes, and is free. Because only nautical and sometimes naughty language is used at this event, they encourage communications between crews and spectators to be best handled by an interpreter or perhaps, the police.

This year, in honor of the Silver Anniversary of this spectacle, they are urging participants to utilize the color SILVER in their design.

Here is an excerpt from the rule books for the event:


1) All vessels are to be entirely constructed on the beach. They may be prefabricated prior to the event, but must be completely disassembled before coming to the beach. All persons constructing the vessel must be the vessel's sailing crew. No bystanders assistance will be acceptable except in the operation of the launching and in vociferous encouragement. The crews are warned not to retaliate against other crews' or spectators' insults, but to attend to their work in a gentlemanly and ladylike manner. There will be no hurling of tools, materials, bottles or cans at any overly excited spectators who might have heavy bets on certain vessels. No manufactured items such as dinghies (inflatable or otherwise), surfboards, masts or sails may be used. Hull examples might be beer cans, auto bodies, bathtubs, trees, or an old wornout sofa. Sails could be made of old sheets, old rugs, burlap bags, or your grandma's petticoats. Bystanders must not steal materials from crews they have no bets on.

2) Vessels shall be propelled by nature's wind only. There shall be no mechanical means of propulsion. Because of the possibility of gales, hurricanes, and such during the competition, all vessels must be equipped with some sort of life saving device such as beach balls or water wings. There shall also be bailing equipment, for example, an eye dropper, chamber pot, beer mug, or ear syringe.


Kicking, oaring, paddling, punting, ooching, sculling, pulling, pushing, or cheating will not be tolerated. No eye-catching beauties shall be used to distract and confuse competitors. There shall be no hurling of missiles at competing crews, nor shall harpoons or cannons be fired at other vessels or at rowdy or boisterous spectators on the shore. There shall be no deliberate ramming of other vessels. In the event of a collision or violation of standard sailing rules it is suggested that those involved fight it out amongst themselves or anyone else. No time allowance will be given for running aground, sinking, drifting off to Newport, Block Island or Providence or becoming disabled by inter or intra-crew fighting. The very high grade character of this event demands best behavior and tempers must be controlled. The protest committee's responsibility is to call local and state police and the National Guard on occasion when their assistance is required.

The Chief Fool reserves the right to change any and all of the above rules at any time.

Find out more about the Jamestown Yacht Club

Thursday, August 15, 2002

Two Greek Festivals This Weekend (Aug 16-18)

This weekend in Rhode Island might well be known as the weekend of the Greeks. Two Greek Orthodox churches will host Hellenic festivals, extravaganzas that typically include plenty of moussaka, pastitsio, souvlaki, and of course baklava, as well as a lot of drinking, dancing, and community celebration. Oh I forgot to mention the spanokopita! And the baklava!

The Assumption of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Pawtucket has their Grecian Festival starting tomorrow (Friday, August 16) from 5-10 pm, and noon to 10 pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Admission to the big tent is free, but you must buy your own dinner and drinks. The church is at 97 Walcott Street in Pawtucket.
Call 725-3127 for more information

Newport will also be full of great Greek food, as the St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in downtown Newport will host its annual Hellenic Fest Friday, Saturday and Sunday under a big tent at Thames and Brewer Streets. The festival is open from 4 to midnight on Friday, noon to midnight on Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Call 846-0555 to find out more

Read an article in the Projo about the festivals

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

The Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket

The Emperor's New Clothes plays at
the Stadium Theatre on August 16

The Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Center has been a center for performing arts since 1926. In its heydey, no theatre of similar size and class in the country offered musical equipment superior to that of the Stadium. The "Mighty Wurlitzer", one of the most modern of the Wurlitzer Companies creations, still works, and is still played at the theatre. An original Steinway grand piano is also in good working order.

The carefully preserved acoustics, artwork and architectural qualities of the Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Center make it once again a premiere venue for the performing arts. Plays, movies, musicals, comedians, musicians and variety shows all perform on the Stadium's stage, bringing laughter and joy to thousands of Rhode Islanders ever year.

Every Friday during August, the Stadium Theatre hosts Kaleidoscope Theatre's FairyTale Series. Bring the kids , and see some excellent homebrewed theatre in one of Rhode Island's theatrical architectural marvels. Shows are at 11 am, and tickets are just $8.00

The Stadium Theatre is located at 28 Main Street at Monument Square in Woonsocket.

Call them at (401) 762-4545 for reservations or Visit their website

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Russian Sub Discovered in Providence Waters!

Juliet 484 is a former Hollywood star that now lives in Providence's industrial waterfront. The Russian submarine was used in the Harrison Ford movie K-19: The Widowmaker, the true story of a Russian nuclear submarine disaster during the Cold War. After shooting wrapped, the fate of Juliet 484 was unclear. The Saratoga Museum Foundation placed a winning bid on eBay to buy the 300-foot, 38-year-old Russian submarine, and now the diesel-powered, nuclear cruise missile sub has a new home on the Providence waterfront.The sub arrived in Providence in April, and after removing such Hollywood additions as the conning towe, the sub is now ready for public self-guided tours. The foundation hopes to restore the USS Saratoga aircraft carrier and moor it next to the Juliet 484 in order to tell the story of the Cold War between the U.S. and the former U.S.S.R.

The submarine is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ticket prices are $5 for children; $6 for uniformed military personnel and senior citizens; $8 for all other adults. Major credit cards are accepted; no reservations are required. She also is available for special events and private parties. For safety purposes, guests must wear appropriate footwear: high heels, flip-flops and open-toed shoes are not allowed. Visitors must demonstrate their ability to pass through a mock submarine hatch near the ticketing area. Infants and toddlers are not allowed to tour the submarine. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

The submarine museum is located in beautiful Collier Point Park. The park entrance is on Allens Avenue, immediately south of the city's newest electrical generating plant. Collier Point Park, on the waterfront, off Allens Avenue. For more information, call 401-823-4200 or visit the Saratoga Foundation website.

Monday, August 12, 2002


As part of the services of, the Rhode Island Government Portal, you can send your friends pictures of Rhode Island! The pictures are beautiful, by noted photographers Richard Benjamin and Michael Melford (of the Providence Tourism Council), and you can add your own message to them. It's a great way to remind people of the beauty of Rhode Island.
Of course, this service is provided by THE GOVERNMENT, so if I were you, I'd limit what you say in your postcards to clean and family entertainment, with very few secrets, unless you wouldn't mind the Internet gurus over at One Capitol Hill scurrying through your innermost thoughts!

Send an Internet Postcard from Rhode Island!

Friday, August 09, 2002

Gilbert Stuart's Birthplace

picture of Gilbert Stuart's birthplace

Gilbert Stuart was one of the 18th century America's master portrait artists. Stuart is best known for his portrait of George Washington, which has been the identifiable image on the U.S. dollar bill for over a century. This image has also appeared on U.S. postage stamps. And best of all, Stuart was a Rhode Islander

The Gilbert Stuart Birthplace is a multifaceted attraction that takes one on a journey back in time. Not only is it a showplace for reproductions of the works of one of America’s foremost portrait painters, it is an authentically restored and furnished workingman’s home and the site of the first snuff mill in America. The lovely wooded homestead on the banks of the Mattatuxet Brook also features a partially restored grist mill and a fascinating fish ladder. In spring the ladder is packed with migrating herring, swimming furiously to reach the pond above the mill dam. The grist mill houses the original fine-grained granite stones used to grind corn for the famous Rhode Island Johnny Cakes.

Today, you can visit Gilbert Stuart’s Birthplace and museum from April Through October The museum is open Thursdays - Mondays 11:00 am to 4:00 pm (and closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays) A small admission fee is charged. Call (401) 294-3001 for more information or visit the Museum online.

Thursday, August 08, 2002

Discover the New Voices of Independent Film
At the Rhode Island International Film Festival

Over the next 5 days, you can see over 175 films from over 30 countries right here in Rhode Island.
I attended the opening night at the Columbus Theatre last night to see the world premier of the documentary about Honeyboy Edwards. While I didn't love the film I went to see (I thought the subject, bluesman Honeyboy Edwards was good, but the film rambled too much and Honeyboy should have been subtitled, that's how thick his dialect was.) Despite all of that, I did love the three films that preceded it. And that's the beauty of a festival like this. Films you had no idea about will grab you by the throat.

The schedule is too long to list, but take a chance, I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Most of the films are being shown at the Columbus Theatre, 268 Broadway in Providence. Don't bother calling, the staff is too busy! Just stop by, and see a couple of films. You'll be glad you did!


Wednesday, August 07, 2002


As a professional circus guy, I'm not a huge fan of Cirque du Soleil. Not that I don't think their productions are breath-taking (they are), their performers extraordinary (they are the best) or their sets imaginative (they are!). It's just that for me, when I watch Cirque du Soleil I say to myself "Wow, this is unbelievable what they are doing! I didn't know that humans could do that!" And the circus that I love is when you are watching the show and you say to yourself "Y'know, if I worked really hard, I could do that!"

I love the human and frail aspect of the circus, the cotton candy guys and the family that operates the ticket tent, the performer who first appears as "The Ninja Knife Thrower" then later as the Trapeze artist, and then still later as the Lion tamer. To me, that's the best part.

You won't see that at Cirque du Soleil. You will see some of the finest, slickest, and most spectacular entertainment money can buy. The sets are beautiful, the performers exquisite, and the price is expensive. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. I'll also see it. But my heart is in the less polished and more human circus.

Cirque du Soleil is at Suffolk Downs, just a couple of miles north of Logan Airport, through Sept. 8. Performances are Tues.-Sat. at 8 p.m., with 4 p.m. matinees Thurs.-Sat. Shows on Sunday are at and 5 p.m. Tickets range from $45 to $65, with discounts from seniors, students and children. Call (800) 678-5440.

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

ART GUFFAW at Theatre by the Sea!

Jim Jackson is a very excellent clown that I had the pleasure of meeting last year at a theatre event. He's presenting his show "Art Guffaw" about a house painter, who is afraid of color and cannot draw a straight line, who ends up getting stuck in an art museum. I saw a showcase presentation of this, which was fabulous. I'm looking forward to seeing the whole thing! Tickets are a measly $7.00! The show is at Theatre By The Sea on Friday, August 9 at 10 am and 12 noon. For ticket information call (401) 782-8587. The theatre is located at 364 Cards Pond Road, Matunuck, RI

Monday, August 05, 2002

John Brown House-- The House that Slavery Built

Click the picture to see a full colored picture of the John Brown house. The image was designed by Donna Atwood for our book Rhode Island A to Z, and is copyrighted 2002.
The John Brown House is featured in our book for the letter H-- Historic Preservation.

The Rhode Island Black Heritage Society, the Rhode Island Historical Society, and the Providence Human Relations Commission unveiled a historical plaque at the John Brown House on Emancipation Day, August 1, 2002. The plaque honors the lives of enslaved Africans in Rhode Island. The new plaque is part of an effort by the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society to create an African-American History Trail in Rhode Island.

The event was held at the John Brown House at 52 Power Street in Providence, a national landmark structure built in 1786. The house was owned by John Brown, a wealthy industrialist and shipping magnate who made some of his vast wealth by dealing in the West Indies slave trade. This triangle trade saw at least 100,000 slaves taken from Africa and brought to Rhode Island, South Carolina, or the West Indies on Rhode Island based slaving ships.

While his brothers Joseph and Nicholas and Moses left the slave trade by the early 1780's, (in fact Moses Brown was instrumental in Rhode Island's active involvement in anti-slavery.), John Brown stayed in the trade until long after. and became the first man tried by the 1794 law prohibiting trade of slaves from U.S. Ports. Much of the money that went into the lavish John Brown house can be directly linked to the slave trade.

John Brown is an important figure in Rhode Island history (he was one of the citizen's involved in the burning of the Gaspee, the first blow for American Freedom) He was also a philanthropist, a patriot, and an entrepreneur, (he was partners with Samuel Slater in a project that was one of the first American Industrial factories in Pawtucket) Sadly, he was also a slaver, and it's important to remember the bad along with the good, and to honor the memories of those who toiled and died as slaves.

website of the RI Black Heritage Society.

website of the RI Historical Society.

Friday, August 02, 2002


Not to toot my own horn, (but if I don't, who will?)

I've got a passle of booksignings this month at various Rhode Island bookstores. Come out and talk to me about Rhode Island! I'd love to meet you, and everybody who comes gets a free removable tattoo!

Saturday, August 3, 2002 11am-1pm
Walden Books (Bellevue) (401) 846-5067
181 Bellevue Ave Newport , RI 02840

Saturday August 3, 2002 2pm- 3:30 pm
Walden Books (Connell Highway) (401) 846-7160
199 Connell Hwy Newport , RI 02840

Sunday August 4, 2002 1 pm - 3 pm
Walden Books (Wakefield) (401) 783-0554
160 Old Tower Hill Rd Wakefield , RI 02879

Saturday August 10, 2002 1 pm - 3 pm
Barrington Books (Barrington) 401-245-7925
184 County Road Barrington, RI 02806

Saturday August 17, 2002 1 pm - 3 pm

Barnes & Noble (Warwick) 401-828-7900
1441 Bald Hill Road Warwick, RI 02886

Thursday, August 01, 2002

JEKYLL AND HYDE through August 17

Theatre by the Sea in Matunuck is our state's top summer stock theatre. They put on professionally produced musicals in an old historic barn in a beautiful setting, and a children's series during the summer. They've got a restaurant, a late night cabaret, and some pretty good shows.

Their current show is Jekyll and Hyde The Providence Journal gave this a rave review, so if you've been looking to catch a musical this summer, this might be the one to see!

Jekyll & Hyde runs through Aug. 17 at Theatre-by-the-Sea, 364 Cards Pond Rd., Matunuck. Performances are Tues.-Fri. at 8 p.m., Thurs. at 2 p.m., Sat. at 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., Sunday at 5 p.m. Tickets are $30. Call 401-782-8587 or VISIT THEIR WEBSITE for more details.