The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Saturday, January 19, 2008


A touch of nostalgia.

I like the psychedelic designs on this Northampton hot tub store.

An equally trippy wind-fish flutters from a rooftop flagpole.

I like hot tubs but they're expensive and hard to maintain. It's better to know a friend who has one, especially a friend you can have sex with! There's something primal and pure about doing it in the water. It's hard to explain, but it's like you're communing with nature as well as getting off.

On West Street in Hamp I came across this cross by the side of the road.

Roadside crosses usually mean there's been a fatal car accident at that location. Just a little something to make you think twice as you cruise past while going over the speed limit. These memorials present a problem to public road maintenance crews. You want to respect people's wish to honor their dead, but at the same time they tend to clutter up the roadside if you leave them up for too long. Generally the authorities will let them remain for a while, then one day discreetly remove them. Life belongs to the living, and like it or not the dead have to fade away.

In Amherst I see that the town or someone is attempting to make a skating rink in downtown's Kendrick Park. If so, it looks a little choppy and in need of some more flooding.

Seeing that rink reminded me of the temporary skating rink the Springfield Fire Department once made on the "playground" of The World Famous Thomas M. Balliet Elementary School. I put the word playground in quotes because we really didn't have a playground, just a rocky, hard-scrabble field whose only virtue was that because it was nothing, you could easily pretend it was anything - a baseball, football, or soccer field, a track or gymnastics area, or even the deck of the Starship Enterprise.

One day when I was about ten years old a fire truck came and hooking up to one of the hydrants on Breckwood Boulevard they began pouring water all over the field. This was done for several days in a row. By the end of the week we had a beautiful ice skating area that was as smooth as glass.

Of course we already had a skating area just down the street at Breckwood Pond, but that was dominated by the "big kids" who used it mostly for hockey. This was a rink of our own, and we elementary kids swarmed over the ice after school and stayed on it until it was dark. When it snowed, we shoveled it clear. Once my parents even brought me and my siblings over to slide around after supper. I remember it was a very starry night.

The January thaw came and the ice rink melted. When it refroze, it was not as good. The next year the Fire Department did not return to remake the rink. They never did again. But it was a nice thing for them to do, if only that once, and it cost almost nothing and made a lot of little kids happy. Weird how I'm thinking about that rink and writing about the good deed those firemen did all these decades later.

That's the funny thing about good deeds, you never know how long they will be remembered.


Anonymous said...

Hi Tom,

Just catching up with your recent posts and think the dude who told you that you were a loser and couldn't start over at your age was just pissy because he couldn't score with you. I think he probably had hopes of being mentioned in your blog as the provider of one of the most amazing sexual encounters of his life. Some people are like that. Also... he is wrong... you can always start over... always.

I am extremely happy to hear the good news about your brother. I am also glad to read you are doing well. Keep up the good work.

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