Park Street’s got the smallest crosswalk in town, and I walk on it this morning. It’s a one way connection for Main Street and Gibbs Avenue, not quite a mile out of town center. One one side is Memorial Park, on the other one long residence – at some point, a small house on Park and the stately white home on the corner at Main Street grew together. Walking up Park Street to Gibbs, I see the congregational church and the war memorial. Walking back to Main Street I see Fearing Tavern Museum, the railroad crossing, and just a bit of the old Tremont Nail Factory. In years past, this was town center. These days, Park Street is a road less traveled: Its one driveway could easily be moved to another street, and Gibbs connects directly to Main just a few yards away. Park Street is no longer a necessary to get from one place to the other.
I walk on Park Street because it’s a vital connection – not so much between two roads, but from past to present, from commercial/political center to commemorative and recreational space. Connecting these things is vital for understanding, appreciating, and learning from the wisdom and folly of the past. Some day very soon, it will be the places and events of my lifetime that reside on plaques and markers – the wisdom and folly of my generation that is no longer the center of attention. What better place to honor this truth than Park Street?
Question: Will our actions be a blessing or a blight to future generations?