Saturday, February 15, 2014

Shopping at Oakhill Market

Front Steps May 1955 by midgefrazel
Front Steps May 1955, a photo by midgefrazel on Flickr.

Oak Hill Market
At about the age shown in this photo, I was allowed to walk alone to the little market at the edge of the Plat. I think that I was given this freedom because my mother often forgot to defrost any meat for supper and she decided I was old enough to go get it from Mr. Alveti who ran the market. I remember telling him what my mother wanted and after a few times, he would just nod and grind meat into hamburger for me. His family worked in the market too and I often times think we would not have survived without our corner store. When I was older, I realized that one woman was his daughter whose name was Sandra. She kept a watchful eye on the candy display and the soda bin that was outside and rang up customers purchases.

One day, my father was sent to the store with a note that simply read, "three peppers". He must not have looked at it before he drove down Hilltop Drive to the store. When he got there he could not find the spice bottle labelled three peppers. Mr. Alveti came to his rescue. They looked and looked all through the store. Finally, Mr. Alveti went to the telephone in the back of the store and called my mother. My dad said he could hear him laughing all the way to the front. After a few minutes, Mr. Alveti showed up with a paper bag and handed it to my father. Then, my father, laughed as he paid for the purchase. What do you think was in the bag?

Mr. Raymond Alveti's (1911-1994) store was at 1100 New London Ave. He lived in the Auburn section of Cranston with his wife Annita and his two daughters and retired sometime in the 1980s. He sold the property and it is now a funeral home. He is buried in the same cemetery as Mr. Melocarro who built "The Plat". I am sure they gave my Dad a big welcome when he got to Heaven. Maybe they still tell the "three peppers" story. 

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