GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Letters/My View

April 15, 2013

Letter: Dogtown wasn't meant to go digital

To the editor:

Last week, there were two articles in the Times (Tuesday, April 9, Friday, April 12) about a dedicated and selfless Boy Scout who installed markers in Dogtown as part of his Digital Dogtown project for becoming an Eagle Scout.

At first, I was shocked that a good work had been so quickly targeted by vandals. Motherhood, baseball, apple pie. Who could want to destroy such a project?

But then I realized that this might not be a simple case of vandalism and wayward teenagers. So I am writing to suggest another side to the story.

Dogtown is a wilderness in our back yard. We all praise and cherish it. I have memories of 40 years ago when I used to await the full moons of winter so I could ski for five hours on my hickory cross country skis in Dogtown with the only light of the moon, and six inches of untouched powder snow sparkling under my skis. It was a silent, stunning and ecstatic experience.

It is so rare to have such beautiful land within walking distance, a place to immerse yourself in nature, away from the getting and spending of the daily world. Dogtown is Cape Ann’s Walden Pond, as yet unspoiled.

So despite good intentions, someone has innocently laid claim to this land. Stakes have been driven. Cell phones are welcomed. Signs will be needed. Overnight, Dogtown has become a tourist attraction.

In the quiet seaside village of Rockport, if you have an extra $1,000, you can buy a bench, and put your name on it, and plant it forever on town land with a $5 million view of the ocean. So why not civilize Dogtown?

The real value of Digital Dogtown, however, is that it reminds us what an incredible place Dogtown really is — not to be advertised, not to be monetized, not to be synthesized.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Letters/My View

NDN Video
Crews rescue elderly woman trapped inside flooded minivan Taylor Swift Reveals New Album 1989 is Full-On Pop Serious Flash Flooding in Arizona Man Poses for New Mugshot Photo Wearing Shirt with Old Mugshot Photo On It Disquieting times for Malaysia's 'fish listeners' Caught On Camera: Johnny Manziel Obscene Gesture Rita Ora Embraces the Ice Bucket Challenge Bird surprises soccer player Ashley Young during game Chapter Two: Never too late to become an artist Ice Bucket Challenge Goes Viral, Raises Over $15M For ALS Damaging Winds Stop the Show! In the Cockpit of the Air Force's Elite Squadron Pathologist: Autopsy Shows Teen Repeatedly Shot Christina Aguilera Has a Baby Girl Marvel Fans: Watch Dancing Baby Groot Over and Over! Raw: Protesters, Police Clash in Ferguson Gov. Rick Perry responds to indictment Breaking: Officials release name of police officer in Ferguson shooting Man Shot As Protesters Defy Curfew in Ferguson Justin Bieber & Selena Gomez Back Together for Two ‘Secret’ Dates