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

Friday, October 18, 2013

Worth Sharing

I received the following email earlier today.  I am going to respond to it here.

Wally, I'm commenting here as it was the easiest place for me to write something to you. It has nothing to do with this particular subject.

I guess you've notice that the "audience participation" has decreased markedly since you've gone to a required name with a response. I think the idea was good, but I don't think anyone wants to put it out there when they really have something to say. 

Me--I look forward to comments, but it was well past the time to limit the inciting, hateful, non-productive, moron speak.  It worked.  Those with passion, or at wanting to own an opinion, still respond, but remember, not everyone that has an opinion one way or another wants to share.

I've also noticed that the last couple of ideas from you have been of the non-confrontational variety. 

Me--This is not a confrontational blog.  Read back over the years.  I never wanted to be a confrontational platform.  All I am doing is thinking, and sharing, about life.  The town in which I live is part of my thoughts, but only a part.

What's going on... When the going gets tough, the tough get fluffed? 

Me--I am a fluffy kind of guy.  Always have been.  I've been told that caring too much about things is a curse.  Guess I'm fluffy and cursed.  I like it.

I said this before to you in a personal email. You hold the keys to a very powerful tool to getting information out there regarding our town, and who's running it (is anyone?). But I feel your "thinking out loud" ideas have to be regularly published, and you have to be prepared to let everyone make comments, and rebuttals. 

Me--No.  No, I don't.  You see this is my blog, my ideas.  If someone agrees with me, so be it.  I am not writing for approval, I am writing as a catharsis, and to act as that catalyst for change when needed.  That change can be related to Sturbridge, or life in general.   This format has worked well.  Inspiration is drawn from words, and built upon by others with like ideas.  Remember, this blog is not, by any means, a political blog about Sturbridge.  Sometimes, I will write about issues when they get my back up, or I feel the passion.  I don't write as often as I once have because my life is quite full.  When I have down time, I write.  Having a full life is a blessing.

When you pick and choose the comments to post, it does nothing to help a debate. The public would rather walk than put time into a rebuttal that never sees this site due to censoring.

Me--Really?  Censorship?  Again, my blog, but I don't pick and choose.  The public is always free to walk, but enough of them stick around.  If I think a comment is designed only to inspire hate, or to cause a flame war with others then I choose not to publish it.  If a comment is so off the wall that it can not be published out of good taste, then it is deleted.  Very few comments over the years have been deleted.  Basically, I've let everyone with a half a thought post their opinion, and that was most of the problem, they only had half a thought.  Now, they just have to own those thoughts like I own mine.  Even those comment sent with a legitimate name attached have been rejected.  Sometimes hate has no problem wearing a name tag, and I have no problem clicking delete.

When I found this site, I was hopeful that it would be a place to air the public "voice". Perhaps this is all you can give, or as far as you want to stick your neck out. Sturbridge needs an independent site or a bulletin board forum where we can discuss the "monkey business" that goes on around our town.... and most likely do it with a screen name for privacy. Thanks for your time. 

Tom Hybiske

Me--Great idea.  This blog has been used by many over the years for just such a reason, but when those with other agendas began to frequent it with only their own "all-about-them" personalities to be stroked, it was something that I needed to control, and I did.  No regrets.

Tom, I  thank you for your thoughts.  Look back over the years worth of postings.  Read them.  Everything from country walks, to historic houses, to plain silliness has been written about in addition to some political issues.  This page is far from a political forum.  I agree with you about a place to air thoughts about "monkey business", but using a screen name serves no purpose other than to perpetuate the problem.  Folks will continue to sit in their underwear, typing their thoughts on their iPad, not stepping out, showing their face, and causing the change that they bitch is not happening.


  1. I am bummed that participation has dropped. This is a great place to share ideas and opinions about our town. I am active on a lot of websites that have nothing to do with politics and the amount of internet hero's that hide behind the keyboard is humorous. Requiring a name attached to a post simply holds one accountable for their words. We are now at the participation level of town meeting, not surprising.

  2. Wally; Nice share!

  3. I always find your blog interesting, whether silly, political, thought provoking or all three. Couldn't agree more with your new policy, if you can't put your name to something, seems you shouldn't have written it in the first place.

  4. Me, too: I'm still scared of the direction the BOS has us headed in!


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