Thursday, February 19, 2015

Here There Be Dragons

      For quite a few years I belonged to an organization for women teachers. It had no purpose I could ever discern other than to meet every month in order to plan the next meeting.
We did raise money for worthy causes, but this seemed like an afterthought compared to the pre-meeting micro-planning. We had bi-annual national conventions and on the off-years, state gatherings, where officers would be elected. These provided dandy opportunities for travel if you never had a chance otherwise, and you didn’t mind most of your time being taken up with earnest women in large halls.

          Our chapter was the only one in Western Massachusetts; the rest in the state orbited around Boston. As a result, the majority of the state meetings were back east. A month or so before, the color-coordinated invitations would go out and they’d include directions for whatever part of the state you were coming from. 

    There was a Boston-centric focus and so inevitably the driving instructions would encompass every possible starting point except Western Mass. Our chapter was on its own. It was as though there was an invisible line of demarcation to the left of Worcester (pronounced “Wista”) like those warnings on ancient maps, and anything beyond that point was unchartered outback. Our section of the state is too often looked upon as just a corridor to the Berkshires. 
     So it’s wise to use caution  with anyone from our side of the state when you bring up the topic of funding equity for projects like the Big Dig (the 15 year re-routing of Interstate 93 under Boston), which at $24 billion cost almost three times as much as the Panama Canal. 

     Now, after 9 feet of snow and $35 million already spent in its removal, Boston’s transit system is still at a standstill.  It was a little satisfying to those of us in this forgotten neck of the woods to learn that Boston had lowered itself to borrow 23 busses from Springfield to help with Beantown’s current snow-related transit crisis. 
     As a side note, my favorite story out of Boston this week is Mayor Marty Walsh’s most recent appeal to his city’s residents. As if he didn’t have enough on his plate, now he’s had to ask thrill-seekers to stop jumping out of their windows into the 10-foot high snowbanks below.



  1. We’re the poor relations too; we’re too rural, too far away from cities, don’t have any industry to speak of and no great centres of learning or culture. Even our broadband is slower than elsewhere.
    But beauty, peace and quiet are worth something too.

    How do these jumpers get back inside if thei snowdrifts outside their houses are 9ft high?

  2. Delores beat me. The poor mayor must be so frustrated. He can't make the subway move, he might as well vent on some idiot twenty something jumping off a deck rail.

  3. Wait till we get the Casino, then they will pay attention to us. I'd rather be overlooked though.

  4. NINE FEET OF SNOW? My God, I can't even imagine. (I have not been watching the news this week, as you can tell!)

  5. This is a clever piece. I had t go back to the beginning to see how it was tied together. S dragons to jumping into snow drifts is related.

  6. Jumping off balconies into the snow?
    That's nuts.

  7. It sure does look cold there. And yeah, jumping off balconies into the snowbanks is a bit on the crazy side, but heck, you've got to entertain yourself somehow! :-)

  8. You are so funny! That last paragraph! I can just picture the Mayor speaking that to the people.

  9. why would he care if people jump into police are everywhere.

  10. Are they taking up precious beds in the hospital ERs? Where in the world would they put the plowed snow?


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