Wickford Lighthouse in Wickford Harbor, North Kingstown. Photo credit: Walter Sulyma
Explore Our Town: North Kingstown
The local legends, historical happenings, and backyard secrets of North Kingstown, Rhode Island, are the focus of Our Town, a Rhode Island PBS community project. The documentary Our Town: North Kingstown premiered Wednesday, September 2, 2015, on WSBE Rhode Island PBS.
Earlier that summer, neighbors in North Kingstown became storytellers and filmmakers to capture the stories they wanted to tell in Our Town: North Kingstown. These stories have been woven together into a visual tapestry of nostalgia, humor, enterprise, history, even a surprise or two, all representing life in North Kingstown through the eyes of those who know and love it.
North Kingstown residents and friends involved in the production were in the studio on September 2 to share their experiences while working on the project. Volunteers also answered phones during the fund raising special to benefit Rhode Island PBS.
Among the stories that appear in the film is a segment about North Kingstown Community Chorus. A small group of singers wanted to create a choral ensemble to do what they loved best - sing. Under the direction of a dynamic leader, the North Kingstown Community Chorus has grown to more than 100 members of all ages, and has now enjoyed three decades of performing.
Old Salt is a segment about John Bradley, who rigs the sails and takes to the seas almost on a daily basis. He is also restoring an old sailboat to give him "the ride" he used to get from his old Scottie - his favorite boat - lost in Hurricane Irene. The restoration is a formidable task for anyone, but John Bradley sees it as an attainable goal, even as he turns 92 years young this autumn.
In Papa Pilot, a grandson brings the heroic history of his grandfather to life, exploring how the naval pilot survived landing his plane on carriers at sea and how he and his crew mates plucked an astronaut from the Atlantic. Also, see how Quonset Point served as the elder's place of employment and enjoyment.
Viewers will also take a tour with the Harbor Master, the law enforcement official on water. Discover the range of his "beat" from Wickford to Jamestown and what challenges he encounters on the job.
In Labor of Love, Paul DiBiase's morning starts early with sharp focus on the right type of grain. Local baker Paul DiBiase creates artisan loaves of bread the old fashioned way - with hand kneading and patience.
In a segment about re-purposing the outdated to give it new usefulness, we trace the transformation of the Little Red Schoolhouse. For decades, the historic building served as the center for education in North Kingstown for decades. After harnessing generous community spirit, the building once again serves a crucial community purpose - providing food for those in need.
Alvin Noss, turning 101 this year, lives in his childhood home in the historic village of Slocum. With his unique vantage point, Alvin Noss shares with viewers how Slocum has evolved and its important role to North Kingstown.
And what would a visit to North Kingstown be without stopping by the "must sees" in town? Viewers visit the annual Wickford Art Festival, The Gilbert Stuart Museum, Smith Castle, and Historic Wickford Village.
Part fund-raiser, part community builder, part historical and cultural documentary, and part "day-in-the-life" video scrapbook, Our Town: North Kingstown is the second documentary in the Our Town series. The first film, Our Town: Glocester, premiered in December 2014.
The purpose of the Our Town project is to share the charm and character of Rhode Island towns and villages - in particular, untold or uncelebrated stories that capture the essence of life in the town. Building community by enhancing connections and relationships between Rhode Island PBS and town residents, the stories are told by resident storytellers and videographers, who choose the stories they want to tell about their town. The role of Rhode Island PBS is to offer technical advice and then stitch together the stories into a one-hour film. Our Town: North Kingstown is the second in the series. The first was Our Town: Glocester, which premiered in December 2014, and the third was Our Town: Portsmouth, which premiered in December 2015.