Simple in New England

I rediscovered the scale of early America this week in New England. The Plymouth Rock, that rock on which the pilgrims first set foot in America? Based on the mythology around the rock, I expected it to be at least a small hill. It turned out to be smaller than a two-seater convertible.

Franklin Public Library, the first public library in America? About half the size of Norman's public library. Norman, of course, is going to be building a new library because the current one has been deemed to be too small. I even got on a library planning committee in Norman to ask why they needed a new library, but was told politely that the purpose of the planning committee was to decide what to do in the extra space, not to question whether the extra space was even needed.

After seeing gigantic museums in the south dedicated to the civil war (the one in Richmond, Virginia manages to have thousands of square feet without mentioning slavery), this nice simple statue to the Union dead was moving.

Beaver Pond is a smallish swimming hole minutes away from town. The trees on the other side of the pond screen out a 8-lane interstate -- you can hear the cars, but can't see them. I got talking to a local there. He told me about a father who'd drowned his children in the pond a few years earlier. I told him about noodling, but he thought I was putting him on.

Went for a refreshing swim in Beaver Pond Friday evening. Then, to a nearby pub for a pint of locally-brewed amber ale. The beer was cold and the hops had the just the right hint of bitter. Aah ... the life!

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