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  • Yesterday I came home from the "Church of People Who Love Too Much" with two cement angels. I saw them and had to have them. The owner started the sale at 25 and before I had a chance to ponder (about three heartbeats) he dropped the price to 20. Ten buck apiece and faster than thought they were mine.

    When I bought my house in 1980 the neighborhood was a little rough. It was what we could afford. The main street is named Wickenden and formerly was called the Den of Witches. It makes sense... the man who founded Rhode Island was kicked out of a settlement in Massachusetts known for its witch trials and dunking women in water till they drown. So, Rhode Island attracted the independent, the rogues and the believers in something else.

    Providence is known for its thieves. Thieving is considered an occupation in this city.

    Once a student moved into next door and had a housewarming party with loud music that ended at dawn. The next day the stereo was stolen. This, to the relief of the other neighbors, myself included.

    Another time I found a young boy jumping my fence with a garden tool I had used to whack weeds. I yelled at him and he stopped... the next words out of his mouth questioned ... "Is this your yard?" ... "What difference does it make that's my weed whacker!" I yelled back.

    The neighborhood was also known for its Blessed Virgin Mary shrines. . I miss those alcoves of contemplation now that the former immigrant neighbors made their fortune selling houses to yuppies and vanished with the statuary.

    When I saw the cement angels I knew I wanted to put them where they could be seen from the street. I thought of them as little guards at the gate. My wife and a close friend have warned me to move them. They say they will get stolen.

    As I contemplate my tendency to love too much ... and my resistance to clingy impulses - I wonder what kind of thief would steal an angel?
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