, Gloucester, MA


September 2, 2013

Fishtown Local: Refreshing change on Eastern Point

The birds are tweeting and the waves rush gently to shore.

It feels like a new day where we live. Never has a neighborhood changed so much in six months.

When the sound of a chainsaw buzzes through the adjoining forest, experienced longtime neighbors no longer signal to each other that something is up and take turns dashing into the woods to see who’s trees have been attacked now.

Have you ever have neighbors who did that? Stealthy removal of branches and whole trees that could expand or open a new view the moment your back is turned? They always blame it on the cutter — he misread the plot plan, or it was hanging over our border line (no it wasn’t) or no explanation at all, just denial.

Even the sound of lawnmowers in the distance used to summon several of us into the forest battle zone, but not any more. Now we know it’s just noise from harmless intentions and on their own property, not ours or our friends’.

We have these new neighbors who just moved in next door. They are quiet and friendly and enjoy the neighborhood, you can tell. But I’m sure they are wondering why everyone seems so grateful to them. Almost too grateful, too cheerful, it must seem. I mean all they did was buy the house.

But if they are greeted as the American liberators were greeted in France in `44, who could be surprised?

We all agree on one thing: the land feels different all around. Like land again, not borders and boundaries.

Not like a combat zone, in which walking your dog down the street could attract territorialists who claimed to make the case that your dogs weren’t allowed to be on their side of a private road, or on Eastern Point at all. They didn’t belong here and neither did you. Sheesh, what a load of malarkey and that began the moment they moved here almost ten long years ago.

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