Sunday, January 04, 2009

Cold as Ice

The economy has tanked. The New York Times reports a dozen successful Broadway shows will be closing this month. On NPR yesterday, Keith Lockhart, conductor of the Pops, explained his hope that people would continue to attend concerts in spite of the recession, but, let’s face it: entertainment is no longer a priority. Everywhere folks are hunkering down, clasping their last dollar bills to their chest, determined to sit out what may require years of endurance. Still, as Mr. Lockhart pointed out, we all need to be entertained in these desperate times. Rest and recuperation becomes even more valuable. For this reason, I hope visitors will continue to journey out to Wellfleet to escape through its beauty. This afternoon Sven and I crossed Uncle Tim’s Bridge and walked along the former railroad track until we reached a sign that indicated we could go no further. The sign read Private Property, No Trespassing. I could not help but wonder at the arrogance of the new owners, up on the hill, undoubtedly rich, since able to afford a harbor view, who did not care what the neighborhood thought of them, as I reported last year. Indeed, we were standing on what had once been a popular path. For years, this path was enjoyed by Wellfleetians and tourists alike who rested on the bench provided by Nancy Durkee and signed her visitors’ book, during all seasons. It is the mentality that bothers me. (I bought this house. It was expensive. With it, comes a view. I do not intend to share. I do not care what neighbors think. Screw them!) In some ways, these homeowners, whom I do not know, represent the new generation of economically successful individuals who have too much hubris and not enough empathy for other human beings. Perhaps, with the economic crisis, such people will learn that we are actually all dependent on each other and might do well to take the wishes of others into consideration.