If he were alive today, Andy Warhol would have amended his statement to say that everyone would have 15 minutes of blogging. I’m going to aim for 20.
My intention is to write about my adopted city, Northampton MA, and my family’s life here. If my affection for Northampton becomes nauseating, I apologize. Most of us who chose to live here can’t believe our good fortune.
First, a little geography and exposition for the 4-5 readers who don’t live here already: Northampton is in Western Massachusetts, about an hour and forty-five minutes west of Boston, forty-five minutes due north of Hartford, Connecticut. It lies along the Connecticut River and is nestled above the Seven Sisters, part of the Holyoke Mountain Range. People who are used to real mountains dismiss these as hills, but to those of us from the Midwest, these may as well be the Alps. When we first visited our house and I could see the peak of Mt. Holyoke from the bedroom window, I was instantly sold.
Northampton is a college town. Smith College is down the street, and we’re close to UMass Amherst and Mount Holyoke, Amherst, and Hampshire Colleges. I like to think of it as the bluest town, in the bluest state, in the bluest part of the country. (However, as Massachusetts sent Scott Brown to the Senate, I’m might be deluding myself). Lots of artists, writers, musicians. I’ve had Eric Carle compliment me on the color of my car in the grocery store parking lot, and I have shared a visit to the dump with Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth). There is also an excessive number of therapists and quite a few bears. We compare it to Richard Scarry’s Busytown (we’re still trying to decide which character in town is Lowly Worm), and Joni Mitchell’s “Morning Morgantown.” It is the locale of “Valley Winter Song.” (Go listen, because it is simply beautiful). We’re never leaving.
Taped up and posted on our bulletin board is a clip from our local police blotter. If I ever need reminding about why I live here, I just go back to this:
Friday, July 12, 2002
Police received a call at 9 p.m. Wednesday from a woman at Hampton Gardens who said there were youths walking around with baseball bats, police said. Further investigation revealed they had been playing baseball, police said.