Chapel street ends at the light, running into High street. Walk straight through the light and it becomes Marion road/route 6 on the other side of the intersection. A few hundred yards away are the library and town hall. Behind the town hall parking lot is Spillane Field; it’s the summer home of the Gatemen, Wareham’s Cape Cod League baseball team. For $2, you can see some of the best college players, MLB scouts, and lots of residents enjoying the great sport of baseball.
Past the town buildings, at the Shaw’s shopping center, Marion road widens to four lanes. Roads on the left lead to popular beaches, roads on the right to Rochester and West Wareham. Straight ahead, Kool Kone offers fabulous food and ice cream at reasonable prices and Gateway Tavern serves drinks and terrific seafood to locals and visitors alike. Just past these places, a bridge offers views of osprey nests, tidal marshes, and people fishing. The bridge is not the end of route 6, but it is the end of Marion road; Wareham ends here, becoming Marion and route 6/Wareham road. Change the town, change the road name.
I’ve never walked across the bridge into Marion. There isn’t much on that side for a couple of miles, and there’s enough on the Wareham side to keep me happy. The two towns have very distinct identities, and most who live in one wouldn’t choose to live in the other. It’s one thing to name a road after a neighboring town – it’s a great way to let walkers and drivers alike know where they are headed, but it’s quite another to claim kinship with the town next door. Marion road in Wareham, Wareham road in Marion: both the same(route 6) and both different.
I think about Marion when I’m walking on Marion road. It’s a beautiful town on the same water as Wareham. I’ve spent time in its shops and churches, on its beach and in its preschools. But it’s not home, and I don’t spend my days and nights there except to visit. But the road that takes me there is part of my daily life: it’s the road to my library, my town hall, and my team’s baseball field. Whoever named Marion road showed wisdom in his or her selection: at the very heart of home is the road that leads to the next door neighbor.
Question: What are the main roads in your town? Do they lead to your neighbor?
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