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June 23, 2002

There's No Place Like Home

I spent the morning driving around Waterbury, comparing my fading memories with the inevitable changes. Went past my grandmother's house (now abandoned), my Boy Scout camp, and walked through downtown. They've torn down most of East Main Street and are putting up a new branch of UConn and a performing arts magnet school. It's fun carrying around knowledge of the buildings of my youth and the buildings that I've learned from postcard collecting were there a century ago and comparing it with the present. It's like walking through three eras at once.

Manufacturer's ParkThe apartment building I grew up in was levelled twenty years ago to make way for an overpass over I-84. The last time I was here, the spot was a neglected tangle of weeds and trash between the overpass and the new Brass Mills Center Mall. According to today's paper, the new mayor asked St. Mary's Hospital to take some responsibility for it, and now it's been cleaned up and turned into Waterbury Manufacturers Park.

picture of the plaqueThere's a plaque on a millstone that used to be at the foot of the flagpole across the street from my bedroom window. With typical adolescent obliviousness, I don't think I ever read it. Now the millstone is back in this new park. I didn't know that this little patch of dirt went back all the way to 1680. Maybe someday they'll add another plaque that says "The Father of WebQuests grew up in a delapidated building near this spot".

Or not.