With nowhere to go and nothing to do the fine spring weather and the not so fine Coronavirus brought out the masses in recent days in an attempt to avoid cabin fever. Dog walkers, bicyclists, joggers, and just plain strollers meandered around the village in larger numbers than usual in late March offering pleasant greetings and nods while adhering to the new social distancing norm.
Many ventured over to Depot Street and down the old railroad bed to Goodspeed Island for what was likely their first encounter with the under-construction bike path. No doubt many were surprised to see that their view of the Eel Pond was now obstructed by a long ribbon of grey steel barriers like those one would see on the medium strip of a major interstate highway.
As they approached the beach they discovered that the bike path we voted for at town meeting months ago had become a major construction project. It became apparent that the old sandy path between the shore and the Eel Pond would not merely be paved leading to a quaint wooden Concord Bridge-like structure over the fifty-foot wide inlet channel but rather a gigantic superstructure of massive steel beams rising high above ground level stretching all the way to Reservation Road at the Shining Tides.
What a shock for an old townie like this scribe who spend many an hour as a kid playing on the island and meandering along the beach collecting shells, clamming in the shallow waters or searching for old railroad spikes. In those days there was no channel. Later as a teenager we could drive our cars along the path. I remember a giant beach party with a bonfire and all which seemed as though everyone in town attended. As an adult my wife and I would walk the dog along the path. Before dogs were banned from the beach our kids would enjoy throwing a stick or ball which old Daisy would chase at warp speed.
Nearly every morning since our retirement the missus would take her daily walk by the Eel Pond to the channel and back often photographing various birds and waterfowl and enjoying the quiet and beauty of mother nature’s landscape. Thankfully the ocean view will remain when the construction is completed and many more people will enjoy it. Alas, the last area of town which, until now, remained the same as when the Wampanoags arrived on our shores is forever changed.
Dick Morgado, Mattapoisett
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