Rye Lifers is a MyRye.com series that introduces you to people that have spent their lives in Rye – people who have grown up in Rye, worked in Rye, come back to raise their family in Rye. Do you know someone we should profile for Rye Lifers? Tell us.
Today, meet Traci Fiore.
Why are you a Rye “Lifer”?
Traci: My grandparents moved to Rye in the 1950’s from NYC. They bought a small cottage, and my mom and uncle went to Rye Middle School, then Rye High. They built a second floor when my mom got married and pregnant with me. I have been here 57 years and never left. I live here with my daughter and husband making us second and third generation Rye locals. I wanted my daughter to have the same experience my mother and I had growing up in Rye. In my mind, when you have an amazing childhood with tons of memories, the LI sound, and our little town all at your fingertips, why would you want to leave?
Tell me about the Street you grew up on.
Traci: My mother, my daughter, and I all had the chance to grow up in the house my family built on Tyler Circle. Playing kickball, riding bikes, and hanging out at “suicide hill” (named because it was a steep hill that led to Midland Ave that we would go sledding down). We stayed outside till the bell rang for dinner and then headed right back out to play flashlight tag. We had so many amazing neighbors. The Anderson’s introduced me to some awesome music, The Bastones, Robbens, Mangiameli’s and Massy’s all were great. I loved sitting in the middle of the street with all the neighbors with our lawn chairs watching the fireworks during the summer!!
Where in Rye do you live now?
Traci: My family and I live on Nursery Lane now, very close to where my husband grew up and where his uncle still resides.
Who was your favorite teacher at Rye High School and what year did you graduate?
Traci: I graduated from Rye High in 1986. I didn’t have a real favorite teacher, but there are few that stand out. Miss Mary Mooney, Mr. Yedowitz, Mr. Roy were some. All of them had a sense of humor and a strong, caring way about them, but also didn’t put up with any shenanigans.
Where do you work in Rye and what do you do?
Traci: I work at Rye Presbyterian Nursery School and I am entering my 28th year there. I found a passion in working with young children. It’s so rewarding, inspiring, motivating and exhausting. But, I absolutely love those little faces.
What in your view are the two or three greatest Rye traditions—current or past?
Traci: Halloween Painting for sure is the best Rye memory of all!! There was always a great parade, and the one at Midland School (my alma mater) as always was top notch. I remember one year I was dressed as Betsy Ross, and a fellow classmate was Uncle Sam!! I also love how Rye now closes down the center of town for Mistletoe Magic.
What, in your opinion, are the greatest Rye institutions?
Traci: Sadly, there aren’t many mom and pop shops in Rye anymore. I would say that Rye Country Store and Sunrise Pizza definitely still know me. My grandparents owned and operated the Rye Sweet Shop for years. The shop stood where Bareburger is now, and there is a tree in front dedicated to my grandparents. I remember walking up and down Purchase Street, knowing to be on your best behavior because everyone knew who you were. The Smoke Shop, Jay Dee Butcher Shop, Jerry’s, Butler Brothers, Milano’s Hairdressers, Kids Stuff, McCullagh Pharmacy all stick out to me as Rye institutions. I grew up going to Middle Beach in between Playland and Oakland beach, and swimming at RGC, all are fond memories. There are quite a few Rye Lifers in this town which makes it such a special place to be a part of.
Thank you, Traci!