A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hole You Could Lose a Baby in

Here's a sinkhole on Mattoon Street in Springfield, Massachusetts, a block from where I live. I pass by this scary-looking hole at least four times a day....on foot, thankfully. As a pedestrian, I can stay on the sidewalk and don't have to go anywhere near the asphalt.

An orange construction barrel has been covering the hole, leaving just enough room on the one-way street for a car to get by. This arrangement is an excellent system as long as the barrel remains in place. Unfortunately, April showers have also brought some high winds, and the flimsy barrel doesn't always stay where it belongs. I myself have replaced it over the hole at least six times in the past couple of weeks. I'd wager that many people who drive past don't know exactly why the barrel's been there, and might not automatically avoid the spot it usually occupies if it was blown over. They--and their suspensions--would be in for a bad surprise!

At last night's quarterly meeting of the Mattoon Street Historic Preservation Association, I learned that the street is slated to be paved "sometime before the end of the summer." The pothole situation on the street has been noted, and needs to be addressed before September's Mattoon Street Art Festival, which brings thousands of people to the neighborhood. Last year, at least one festival attendee twisted an ankle while strolling the street.

No plans to make the repair of the sinkhole before the major repaving project seem to be afoot, however. Meanwhile, we've always got the barrel. I guess it's no worse or different than the rest of the country's approach to crumbling infrastructure.

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