Saturday, September 3, 2011

Trailered and trottin'

Ok, so the title's lame, but hey.

Three weeks ago, I was given a pickup truck, so, since I was able to do so, I put the scooter on the back, strapped it down, and went north to Massachusetts. I have been long overdue for a visit home and needed some time to myself, but due to the holiday weekend, I was unwilling to travel the 300+ miles home on two wheels.

As soon as I arrived at my mother's house, the scooter came off the truck, and I took it all through about seven towns. It's running on fresh rubber since it wouldn't pass inspection without tires, and it had an oil change earlier today so performance is at peak levels. I ran it up some back roads through Russel Mass into Huntingdon, then up into Chester to a fresh water spring in Becket, then up into Blandford to walk around the fairgrounds and take in the horse draw.

I sketched a little while watching the horses, then continued on my way back down the mountains into Westfield, stopped in for supper at my mom's house, then headed to Holyoke to visit my sister and her family.

While the ride was fun and the mountain air refreshing, There was something that struck me; everything is run down, the people, the roads, the buildings. Everything.

Mills stand empty, where thirty years ago they bustling with activity.

Weeds and trees have started to reclaim these old buildings. Unfortunately, they seem to be reclaiming the people too in a way. The faces of the people I saw reflect a hopelessness I have never seen in this country. I spoke to three folks I met while riding, and each of them indicated they were out of work and unable to find any employment. These were just average folks, each of them very different in appearance and skills, and each of them struggling to cope with the difficulty finding a job in this state.

On an upward note, I visited with some old family friends who were quite taken with my scooter. They are older folks in their 70's and she's had hip surgery and can't ride his Harley. She loved the step through frame and the big wheels. So, I believe I have won another convert.

I'll have more pictures and comments in a day or two.

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