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Main Street musings as we watch the watchers
For more than four decades, late summer in Falmouth has been defined by the Falmouth Road Race. The 7.1-mile journey, which originated as the fanciful brain child of local legend Tommy Leonard as a bar sprint from the Captain Kidd in Woods Hole to the Casino in Falmouth Heights, has become an amalgam of superlatives—it is one of the world’s best athletic events, one of road racing's top fundraising occasions, and one of the most inspirational undertakings around.
I lost a longtime friend this week. He’s been a friend since my youth. For years, he made me laugh just at the right time. He brought me comfort during my sometimes awkward teenage years, and showed me that it’s okay to be unique, eccentric, spastic, and all those other tags and labels that were stamped on me with and without my permission in my younger years. They say he died from his own hand, butI believe he was murdered, killed by two sinister and insidious cousins, both ruthless serial killers.
I got to know Troy this week, and what I saw was a disappointment. This once-great pillar of strength and vitality has withered and declined. No, this is not a column about self-discovery and self-awareness; I actually traveled to Troy, New York, this week and saw the remnants of what was once one of the most prosperous and vibrant cities in the United States.
The imagery of a caterpillar morphing into a butterfly, of the plodding, slogging, uninspired worm-like being altering its outward and inward state and turning into a high-flying, beautiful work of nature’s art, is an oft-used metaphor to describe a metamorphosis in peoples’ own lives. Who among us has not felt like the caterpillar, plodding and slogging through our days, only to experience some sort of metamorphosis and be transferred, transported, or even transcended into a new, more brilliant and glorious state?
I love to sing. I sing in public, I sing in the bathroom while I’m brushing my teeth (that can be messy), I sing while I’m cooking, and even while I’m working. At the office, people know when I’m coming down the hall, as my sounds precede me. As a result of that happy propensity, and an ill-advised governmental policy, it’s unlikely that I’ll be traveling to Winnipeg any time soon.
When did we get so angry?
The local reaction—and angry overreaction—to the news that unaccompanied children detained by the federal government may be housed temporarily on Joint Base Cape Cod, paints a sad and sorry picture of the dismal state of the public discourse in our community, in our commonwealth, and in our nation—and is a stark reminder of the regretful lack of compassion and understanding by many in our midst who oppose the idea of providing refuge for children without even knowing the details of their proposed brief visit.
Sometimes, a good idea sounds even better when considered against the backdrop of a little local history. On Wednesday, as I enjoyed the ebbs and flows of the sea of humanity that passed before me at the Falmouth Village Association’s super-successful Arts & Crafts Festival, I listened intently as two long-time locals, who have seen more than 160 years of Falmouth history between them, shared their perspective on Falmouth, its people and its history.
Vienna. Moscow. Paris. Mashpee.
The success of the evening was indicated by the multiple drippings of short rib gravy on my notepad. I’ll readily admit that I dipped into dinner before, during, and after it was served, occasionally dropping a splash on my notes for the evening. It’s not easy to cook, write, and sneak a taste of your handiwork all at once, but I couldn’t resist and I’m sure my gracious and gregarious hosts wouldn’t have minded even if they caught me stealing a forkful (or handful). It was a night of laughs, liveliness, libations and...food. Lots of food.