Ann Hood

Running in the Family

Our parents can influence us in unexpected ways, and that can be a good thing.

My father was born on the Fourth of July. Until he died in 1997, every Independence Day I woke to the sound of John Phillip Sousa marches, the smell of Italian sausage and burgers cooking on the grill, and the sight of my patriotic father with a spatula in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other, humming…

The Rush of a First Summer Crush

Ann Hood remembers the first summer she fell in love.

After two years of going steady, my high school boyfriend and I had broken up during rehearsals for our school play, Oliver!. I didn’t want to be tied down anymore, but when he flirted with the girl playing Nancy I was crushed. Or at least, that’s how I remember it now, all these years later. Like the pictures I so…

Cresting the Dunes

The summer that I thought I knew everything, I worked as a cocktail waitress at the Dunes Club in Narragansett. This was 1977, the summer between my junior and senior year at the University of Rhode Island. The most unlikely sorority girl, I had pledged that year to escape pot-infused dorm life, meet boys and have fun. From my fourth-floor…

Love Shack

For one large Italian family a tiny West Warwick kitchen promised more than a traditional feast.

Imagine so much food that one table can’t possibly hold it all. Imagine so many people that one room can’t contain them. Imagine two stoves with all their burners on, spaghetti sauce simmering on this one, meatballs frying on this one, water ready to boil here, sausage browning here; on this one, leftover dough from the pizza is crisping in…

Opening Act

Each day, kids with a passion for theater spend hours at Trinity Rep learning about the basics, as well as themselves. It’s the first stage in their dream of a life on the stage.

Back in 1996, when my son Sam was three years old, he looked at me and with his voice both desperate and passionate said: “I just gotta sing and dance!” I’d already discovered him standing on his little stool and staring at himself in the bathroom mirror as he made faces, from scared to sad to happy. From his perch…

Spring Fever

Memories turn the pages of our lives in ways a calendar never will.

  When I was a little girl, every year on the first day of spring my mother took me outside and together we recited, “Spring has sprung, the grass has riz; I wonder where the flowers is?” A New England March usually didn’t have any flowers yet. Often, Mom and I had to step over piles of snow for our…

Take the Long Way Home

Thanksgiving with the family can become a whole lot more than you bargained for.

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to leave. Leave my little hometown of West Warwick where nothing ever happened. Leave my little state of Rhode Island, the house where I grew up, the never-ending cluster of relatives always barging in and asking questions and talking too loud.  As a child, I signed up for pen pals in…

Stage Struck

By day they’re sixth graders or techie nerds. By night they mount plays and dazzle a devoted audience. Despite glitches, jitters and very little money, in the tight-knit world of community theater, the show always goes on.

Lauren Pothier preparing her look for the role of Sally. Show Caption Hide Caption Chandler Cross being made up as Snoopy. Show Caption Hide Caption Pat Stevens giving direction for a bus scene. Show Caption Hide Caption Pat Stevens goes through a scene with the cast during rehearsal. Show Caption Hide Caption Grace Norton as the little red haired girl….

Learning the Ropes

It was always the men in Ann Hood’s life doing the tacking and jibing while she sat back and enjoyed the ride. Now, after a few sailing lessons, she’s taking the helm for the first time.

I want to be Hayley Tobin. Eighteen years old. Pale blond hair, long legs, golden tan. A sophomore at Stanford University. But for me the most envy-producing thing about Hayley Tobin, the reason that, as I watch her nimbly jump barefooted from dock to J22 sailboat, I want to be her, is that the girl can sail. Has been sailing,…

Stalking the Perfect Parsnip

Locavores say we should only eat food that’s locally grown, which is easy enough in the summer. But what about the wintry depths of February? One woman rises to the culinary challenge.

The New Oxford American Dictionary named “locavore” the word of the year for 2007. Not so long ago, we just had to be green. But locavores are far more demanding. Coined in 2005 by four women in San Francisco, locavores propose that people should eat food grown within a 100-mile radius of where they live. They urge consumers to buy…