The Oak Street Market - James F. Roche Jr.

The Oak Street Market

The Oak Street Market was located about halfway up the steep Oak Street hill from Main Street to Chestnut Street, address 9 Oak Street. It was one of the older buildings, probably built in the mid 1800’s. It had always been a grocery store, and a slaughter house, owned and operated by Joe Boracci. Joe owned the building, operated the store and butcher shop on the ground level and lived in the upstairs, renting out the apartment on the third floor. Aldo, born in Windsor Locks on November 21st, 1914, was one of four children born to Anthony and Amelia Sartirana. Al was a hard working young man, and during his youth, when the depression hit, his dad lost his job. All the kids in the Sartirana family would get up at 4:00am and deliver morning newspapers all over Windsor Locks and neighboring Suffield, pooling the earnings to help keep the family together at 10 Suffield Street. Some time later, when things got better, Al got a job at the A&P grocery store down on Main Street working for Jimmy Franklin. His job was to take potatoes, shipped to the store in barrels, and divide them up into bags of various weights to sell to the public. Al worked hard, and that hard work was recognized, and in just a couple of years Al was promoted to the position of produce manager. He handled all the buying, arranging and selling of all fresh produce, fruits and vegetables that passed through the A&P. When WWII broke out, Al was drafted into the army, and the A&P was history. After the war, Al came home and married Yolanda Campominosi, and they soon had a son, Bobby, born in November 1947. I looked at the store for the first time, and noticed right off that the entry door was cut into the corner of the building, making it somewhat sheltered from the elements. A single light bulb suspended on wires would light up the doorway in the evening hours, and earlier in winter. A flat metal advertisement for Salada Tea was attached to the door so you could push it open without pressing against the glass.

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