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
Friday, July 24, 2009
Yes, You Did Say That Out Loud
I don't know why this is, but it seems to always happen.
Take for instance the comment made by our towns select person:
“Personally, I’m not in favor of putting picnic tables all over the place,” Mrs. Blanchard said. “We certainly have a few benches that people can use … It’s not a picnic area.”
Say what? No picnics on the Town Common? OK, folks don't your dare give one of your kids a juice pack on the Common, or even think of uncorking that wine to serve with your crackers and cheese on concert night. And, forget about that coffee and danish on Saturday morning.
“I think that putting cheap picnic tables on the Town Common is totally inconsistent with the historic atmosphere on the Town Common,” Mr. Malloy said.
Cheap? $800.00? Maybe he met "cheap" in the qualitative sense. Naw, that can't be it. He meant cheap in the quantitative sense. "Historic atmosphere"? Cripes. The whole town is historic. Should we start removing everything that the last century has brought?
Or how about this one?
“The Common has been around since 1738 and there has never been a need for picnic tables so far,” Historical Commission Chairman Brian D. Burns said.
No picnic tables? Really? They were there a few years ago, and had been there for some time. Oh, but that's in the past. History. Sounds like the convenient re-writing of history to me.
I guess my point this morning is that when a silly issue rears its head, like the placing of a picnic table on the Town Common to replace one that has outlived its usefulness, that it causes people in certain positions to speak before they think. After all, it's a minor issue, no need for a great deal of thought, right?
I do have to say that I have a great deal of respect for each of the people quoted above, but they are not infallible. They are human, and like me, their lips can move faster than their heads.
The fix? Well, there isn't anyway to take back what was said, however, if one sits back, and gives the matter some thought, and speaks as a representative of the people, and not as a private citizen, maybe a bunch of different words will be said.
Words like, "I'll get back to you on that.", or "Let me look into it more.", or even better, "Hey, it's only picnic table. Let's look into the best way to place it on the Common for the enjoyment of our residents and visitors."
Of course, I'd like to hear, "Did I say that out loud?" after each comment.
It covers a whole variety of slips of the tongue. Believe me, I know.
Source of quotes: Worcester Telegram article.