Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Get That Warm, Fuzzy Feeling For Ten Bucks

$10.00. Not much money. Nowadays every dollar must be accounted for, though, so what was just $10.00 in 2007 is even more dear today.

One thing $10.00 can buy today, that will not only be free from buyers remorse, but also comes with a good feeling, is a donation to Tables On The Common.

It only takes a few minutes to make a donation with the widget at the top of the page. If you're shy, and would like to donate anonymously, then send your donations in care of me at 60 Brookfield Road in Fiskdale 01518.

We have a unique opportunity here to do something that won't cost a lot, but be worth so much to those that use the Town Common.

Donations of any size are welcome, even large corporate, and business donations. I like those, too.

Imagine taking a walk with the family on a Saturday morning, stopping by the bakery at the Publick House, and then sitting at a table on the Common enjoying a cup of coffee and a muffin, or taking a lunch break away from the office, and relaxing with the paper in the shade of one of those 200 year old maples.

Simple pleasures that can be had for just $10.00. If 160 people donate ten dollars, we can meet our goal. We don't want to settle for just one table. That's a tease. Nothing worse than a Picnic Tease.

Please take a moment to give.


  1. Wally,

    I’ll start by saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so what I may think can't be wrong, though others may disagree my opinion.

    The common is a special historic site. What makes is special is the grass, the trees and the historic homes that shape it. The more picnic tables placed on it, the less simple it becomes and the further it drifts from the historic ambience it spawns.

    One picnic table may not ruin the look and feel, but sprinkle the Common with picnic tables and you will impact its essence. I hope your proposal doesn’t change, due to pricing or availability, to WHITE PVC tables, because the impact will be even more vivid.

    I value the simplicity of our Town Common. I’ll bring my soccer chair and picnic blanket and take it with me when I leave.

  2. I can see your point, and I absolutely respect your opinion. Here's the thing, though, the Town Common is not a hallowed battlefield, it is "a common", and a common is something set aside for the "common" use of the residents of the town. Back in the day when the town was first settled the land the meeting house is on and the land surrounding it was given to Sturbridge for just this purpose. It was used for animal grazing, training of troops in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and WWII. The Worcester Agricultural Society held cattle shows on the Common. As time evolved it became less of a "working" common, and more of a park in the center of town. Festivals and concerts are held there, people sit on the benches and enjoy the scenery, children play on the grass, and folks just enjoy viewing it against the backdrop of the older homes. Picnic tables won't affect the common in anyway. I agree that too many of anything can a bit much, and that is why I feel only a few will suffice. As far as white PVC tables goes, well, I was thinking of the wood clad PVC tables since they would last forever, and require little, or no maintenance. Once the money is collected, or we are close to our goal, I would ask for input from others as to what they felt would be the best table for the area. Personally, I like the traditional wooden 7 foot long tables, stained a nice green.

    As I've written, the Common is a special place to enjoy, and that enjoyment can come from listening to a concert, or having a few minutes alone with the paper and a cup of coffee. I respect the history of the area too much to allow anything "tacky" to take away from the "essence" of the area.

    A blanket and a soccer chair is a great way to spend some time on the Common, too, but a few tables are an alternative for those that act on impulse, or don't have those items in the trunk.

    It's a simple pleasure in a simple place.


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