Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Rhode Island - Do You Really Exist?

Posted August 31, 2007
Updated September 1, 2007

I am beginning to think that Rhode Island does not exist.  I know it is said to be a tiny state in New England.  Providence was a thriving metropolitan center.

However, we have heard from all of the United States this week in our Carolina Conversations contest except for Rhode Island.

Please, if you know of someone in Rhode Island and especially someone who has visited or lived in NC, please have them make a post on this blog or send me an email at

Just a line or two will do.  You know, their impressions of North Carolina.

Today we heard from Montana, both Dakotas and beautiful Idaho but still not a peep from the Ocean State.

Please Rhode Island.  Makes our lives complete by knowledging that you do actually exist!


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  • bleslie Sep 1, 2007

    I moved here from there nearly 11 years ago. I still go back and visit and believe me it is there! Have not followed the blog so not sure what you need from me. But I did want you to know that even though the state is small it does have the longest leagal name. The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
    It has the best beaches in the north, the best chowder and clamcakes and something called doughboys that puts funnel cakes to shame.
    However, I would not move back there at all. I love NC, love our beaches and so what if funnel cakes are not my fave food...I love our state's BBQ and great diversity!

  • bleslie Sep 1, 2007

    More correspondence on Rhode Island:

    My husband and I lived in Rhode Island for four years. North Carolina is very nice. We have lived here for three years. It's much more like our home towns than Rhode Island. More rural I guess and not as much ocean. We like living here and moved here when we relocated again due to having family already here, but our heart will always be in Rhode Island.

    Sherry Sloan


  • bleslie Sep 1, 2007

    Another Rhode Islander email.

    Saw your posting on-line suggesting Rhode Island doesn't very much does. I am here to say that although I am now as a resident of Providence, I also was a resident for in Winston-Salem, NC for over 2 years (1989-1991). I loved living in North Carolina and the people of that small city! I remember being in line at the local supermarket on more than one occasion when the person who was checking out in line was a dollar or two short (this is before one could charge their groceries on their ATM cards, etc.), and people in line would take up a collection for that individual. I remember the people enjoying arts and cultural activities a great deal. I remember the founder of Texas Pete hot sauce calling me into his office after reading something I had written to the Winston-Salem Journal about my positive experiences living in the South (as a Yankee), and bestowing upon me an incredibly generous gift basket of delights from their company.

    I only hav

  • NC_VET Sep 1, 2007

    Born in NewPort, Rhode Island - long time ago but went back
    to Providence for meeting with New England Telephone in 1999.
    Small state, great seafood the lobsters ie the large crawdads. :P

  • ADN4now Aug 31, 2007

    Bill, I love your blogs, but re-read the last line in this post.

  • bleslie Aug 31, 2007

    Here is the rest of the letter from Jim in Montana:

    found out about this blog from a friend of mine that I met while attending NCSU on national student exchange in 1984.

    Last year I found it difficult to root for a team in the football NCAA 2-A National championship- Appalachian State vs. The University of Montana, tough choice but either way I was a winner.

    Come on out to Montana for a visit and let’s go down the river!

    Best regards,

    Jim Cummings

  • bleslie Aug 31, 2007

    And a nice letter from Montana:

    Greetings Bill

    Jim Cummings here from Fort Benton Montana also known as the “Birthplace of Montana” Situated on the banks of the Missouri River, and the head of steamboat navigation.

    I run a river company and provide guided trips down the river, but it was North Carolina where I cut my teeth in the river business.

    I went to graduate school at Appalachian State University and worked for an outfitter in Blowing Rock guiding white water trips on the Nolichucky, French Broad and section 5 of the Watauga rivers.

    In the off season now and for the last four years I have spent my winters with my “Carolina” family living between Bath and Belhaven. I worked as an electrician for Coastal Electric out of Fairfield, and most of our work took us to the Outer Banks.

    I love North Carolina like I love Montana. The people are great, friendly and always willing to help a stranger. I look forward to coming there each winter.

    I found out a

  • bleslie Aug 31, 2007

    Another comment from Rhode Island:

    Hi My name is Tanya and I am from Rhode Island. Ihave lived here for 12yrs. I can assure you RI does exist and it is a beutiful New England state. Anyone who ever gets a chance should visit. I do every year. But I am also proud to live in NC which is also a great state. Thankyou

  • bleslie Aug 31, 2007

    Quest 50 by Friday is complete. We have now heard from all 50 states in our Carolina Conversations campaign. Thank you to all!
    Rhode Island I knew you wouldn't let us down. Here is one of the emails I received this evening from the Ocean State:
    In October of last year I took my wife and two boys
    to visit Raleigh. We absolutely loved our visit. Wake
    Forest was beautiful, donwtown was so clean, and the
    people were very friendly. We liked it so much that we are considering moving because of the plentiful jobs, fantastic museums, and low cost of living. As you can tell we are on your WRAL website contstantly to stay in touch with what is going on down there. Sorry to say but Raleigh beats Providence hands down. Feel free to email me back.

    Thank you Louis Valentino 9 Stuart Street Warren, RI 02885

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