The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Holyoke Musings

A little stroll.

I had to go down to Holyoke this morning and I walked around a little bit. One of the cool things about Holyoke is that it has all these back alleys. There is something romantic about them. Can't you imagine a drunken Irishman singing and stumbling down one a hundred years ago?

These alleys are essentially narrow streets where there are no buildings with their fronts facing them. In other words, they pass behind the back of every structure. The alleys date back to the days of ice deliveries and food merchants selling out of horse drawn wagons, plus coalmen and garbagemen who all needed access to everyone's backyard. Technology has made the alleys pretty obsolete, although here's one I passed with an oil truck on it.

I also passed Holyoke's John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial. The flags were really being whipped by the wind today.

The youthful visage of the slain Massachusetts born president keeps a watchful vigil over the homes of Holyoke.

Around the statue are stones with memorable sayings on them. Kennedy made some great quotes, but I've never cared for what was probably his most famous one.

Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.

That sentiment is incompatible with a free society. We do not serve the government, the government serves us.

One of the oldest churches still standing in Holyoke is the First Congregationalist, built in 1799.

Here is the cornerstone, but note how on a cable TV box nearby someone has stenciled some aliens and the date 2012. How strange!

What curious omen does this portend? Is this the date of the long awaited return of The Mothership?

If you've only lived
On Earth
Then you've only known
One Sun
Not the promise
of the thousands
of other suns
that glow beyond here.
If you want
to see the future
then look into the eyes
of your wild, laughing children
Don't be afraid
of their ways.

"When the Earth Moves Again"
by Paul Kantner


Tony said...

I've always liked that JFK quote. I thought the sentiment encouraged self-support, as well as helping your fellow man.

He did say "what you can do for your country", He didn't say "what you can do for your government".

I think unfortunately, in this age of 'entitlement', government and country seem like one in the same...

Anonymous said...

As a taxpayer who reads your blog I think your blog is plenty of repayment. (Not to mention that I believe that everybody should be fed and housed even if there is no repayment.)

Jim Boone said...

I would guess that the corner stone on that church is from their previous church, this was often done when a new church was built to replace the old one. This church is of a style and architecture from much latter, maybe 1870-1890. thanks for the good pics.

Tommy said...

Tony you may be right but I think most people think it implies a duty, which I reject.

Thanks Anon, I do my best.

I suspect you are right Jim, in fact the assholes on Masslive are saying the current structure was not built in 1799.

Mary E.Carey said...

Nice shot of Kennedy with the beautiful house in the background. Holyoke has got some beautiful architecture.

Jason Burkins said...

Jack Dunn's book "Holyoke, The Belle Skinner Legacy" is a fascinating, if depressing, look at what a great and powerful city Holyoke was in the late 1800's and early 1900's. I learned a lot about the city through reading the book. Once you get passed the ham handed attempt at current day political commentary in the book and read it for its historical content, its definitely worth reading.