Tools of the trade

The LewmobileI found myself behind the Lewmobile recently.  For a nanosecond I thought maybe Lew had become an advocate of bringing back crucifixion as a tool of law enforcement.  On closer inspection, however, those two “crosses” turned out to be the legs & feet of one of his spiffy campaign signs.

Mall Memories

I found this comment by Norm very moving:

It makes me very sad. I loved that mall. It was wonderful and represented everything that was right and new and wonderful about Worcester when I was a teenager.

This is something I’ve discussed frequently with my husband, and I thought you might appreciate his thoughts:

The older you get, the more that the cherished places and things of your childhood will vanish.  It may be the school you attended, it may be the teddy bear you cuddled with, it may be the grandparent you loved.  My grandfather’s watch and repair shop on Pearl Street is now a parking lot. The hill I sledded down as a child is now I-190.  Nothing is permanent. The only thing that is consistent about life is change.  Some day, one day, all of us eventually join the ranks of old timers fondly reminiscing about the way things used to be, while yet another new generation arises who adore the way things are in the “now’.  Then they will grow older and lose the things they loved.

The Galleria had its time and place; it was an idea that didn’t work out, and unfortunately it took some of the cherished places of my childhood.  And I, too, had some fond memories of the Galleria, but it’s time to try something else.  This didn’t work.

My fear about what will replace the Galleria is that the Galleria replaced a neighborhood that had arisen organically, and what’s being put in its place is being driven by the master plan of a developer who may or may not have the foresight to know how Worcester will want to use its downtown five years from now, let alone a generation from now.

My personal memories of the original Galleria consist entirely of brown tile and Orange Julius.  I spent much more time in the Fashion Outlets, because that’s when I was a teenager.

I had a friend who was a couple of years older than me — let’s call him Patrick — and he left Worcester nine months after he graduated high school.  I had always been fond of him, even before we knew each other’s names; he was one of those self-assured smart punks who impressed me so much in my youth.  We had grown close in the months leading up to his exodus from Worcester.

He’d left Worcester to reconnect with an old girlfriend, and I hadn’t heard from him for a couple of years.

Then, one time in my late teens, I was walking through the mall with my sister.

I saw Patrick walking along with his girlfriend.  “I think that’s Patrick,” I told my sister.

“The guy who wore safety pins as jewelry?  I don’t think so.”

And she would have been right, because the guy I saw was dressed head-to-toe in preppie wear, complete with khaki shorts.

I stopped him, and it was definitely Patrick, though he was now a preppie and — unfortunately — extremely aloof.

He recognized me, and said that he’d come back to down to tie up loose ends with various people.

I obviously wasn’t one of them.

I asked if I could have his address to write to him occasionally; he said, “No, I won’t write back.”

Well, then.

That mall is where I finally, definitively, lost someone who’d once been so close to me.

I welcome any other memories, good or bad, of a place that will be going away soon.

A bridge too far (gone)

The railroad overpass where Brooks Street meets West Boylston Street is seriously scary.  It’s not that the lanes below are ridiculously narrow (though they are), or that the clearance for an ordinary passenger car traveling under the tracks is only achieved by sending traffic down into a deep trough below the trestles (fun in a rainstorm!), but rather because the ages-old concrete supporting the passing railroad cars bears a striking resemblance to the molded sand of a sand castle.

Feeling Lucky?