Archived Topics

Willimantic, USA...The music & song

Posted By: Ed Gervais <>
Date: Monday, 4 June 2001, at 4:40 p.m.

I believe it was written by Jessie Lauter. It was played on the state and local radio stations from time to time. Does anybody remember that one? The refrain was...Willimantic...Willimantic... Willimantic, USA. 


Posted By: michael sledjeski <>
Date: Tuesday, 12 June 2001, at 6:20 p.m.

In Response To: Willimantic, USA...The music & song (Ed Gervais)

I think I have the sheet music stashed away somewhere. The songwriter wasn't much of a lyricist; I recall that he managed to marry the widow of the owner of the American Screw Co. (Anybody remember the Chronicle headline: "Plan revealed to Screw Company employees"? It was mentioned in Playboy.) Anyway: ".. Miles of smiles keep chasing you around. You'll be living, life worth living, once you're here you'll stay. We have everything to make to make a man a king in Willimantic, U.S.A". Etc. Total fantasy. I wrote a much more representational poem about Willi as a teenager. If somebody begs me, I'll try to remember it. Lnes like "the threadmill stack belching soot on the shanties of Sodom." Dreary and dramatic. >> Greetings to all from the Smoky Mountains, mbs 


Posted By: Tom Beardsley <>
Date: Tuesday, 12 June 2001, at 7:54 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Willimantic, USA...The music & song (michael sledjeski)

Hi -- if you go to the following part of the site, you can read an article about Josephine Lauter-Greer that mentions the Willimantic song:

Does anyone have a 78 rpm or 33 rpm copy of the record that we could be digitalised? We can then load it up on the site in MP3 format.

Go ahead Michael and submit the poem, and we'll load that onto the site, too. 


Posted By: michael sledjeski <>
Date: Tuesday, 12 June 2001, at 9:22 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Willimantic, USA...The music & song (Tom Beardsley)

Selective memory - OK, it was Electro-Motive, not American Screw, and Jesse Greer wrote some successful songs. Nevertheless, "Willimantic, USA" was a mediocre piece of work, written as an over-the-top promotional piece when Willi was heading downhill economically. The lyrics fail to include any realistic reference and reek of artificial cheer - in other words, a great piece of campy nostalgia. >> I'll try to find my dreary neo-socialist epic poem about "da tread mill", it's perfect counterpoint to "everything to make a man a king'. >> I remember Josephine Greer performing. She and my father, Bill Sledjeski, were pals, and loved to ham it up for a crowd. Bill was president of the Chamber of Commerce during that period, and I was was most definitely rebelling against everything he stood for. And may he rest in peace. >> Regards, mbs 

2 posts missing

Posted By: JEFF
Date: Saturday, 4 August 2001, at 12:27 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Willimantic, USA...The music & song (michael sledjeski)

Willimantic-willimantic my home town there's a broad main street where the nabors meet and miles of smiles will be chasing you around /when you get there and youl get there and once your there youl stay (so and so on it been to long to remember it all but i do remember AL Sabo singing it at just about every event that was big in town. Maby some day the main street and surounding area will have smiles chasing you around instead of drugies and hookers GOOD LUCK ! 


Posted By: A guy from the hooker <>
Date: Tuesday, 5 June 2001, at 5:42 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Get rid of Hooker (nutmegger)

I have read with great interest over the last year all the posts regarding the hotel hooker. I have found the references to the people, and they are people, to be of particular interest. Twenty years ago or so I was one of the ones that spent time at the hooker, Although I never actually lived there. I was an addict and I was a drunk. While I was a very smart person with a high IQ. I never seemed to fit in. Right around 1983 I got very sick, I ended up (at tax payer expense) in Natchaug Hospital. I spent many months there. Turns out that I was told I had Non A Non B Hepatitis, today I know it as Hepatitis C. Anyway, I got clean, well sort of. After My release from the hospital I still used from time to time. In 1984 I took the cloths on back and 50 dollars and went to florida. Today I am happily married with a wonderful 9 year old son. I have been married 16 years now. I have a college education, a really nice house that I own. My wife and I have new cars that we trade in every couple of years and all the other toys of the middle class. Hell we have great retirement plans and even own stock. Oh I am also clean and sober since 1984. The next time you look at the folks outside the hooker, remember they are human beings. As for the hooker, it has a grand History and instead of complaining, BUY it and do something with it. Maybe I am exception, I really don't know. What I do know is that if the people of willimantic had not extended a hand to me and offered me help, I might still be vomiting in the hallways of that hotel. I was lucky, I didn't get HIV and for that I am grateful. If anyone cares to know, I do have chronic Hepatitis C, but thankfully I responded well to treatment and am in full remission if not cured. Yes I am one of the riff raff, or am I?

I hope you all don;t mind my rambling...

All my best