May 29, 2018. You know, this used to be a great place for a dog. When the highway came down, they sprayed grass seed all over the place. I could run for miles, it seemed, in nice, soft, green pastures.
Sure you had to watch out for broken glass. Some people think the District is just bars and a convenient place to throw empties... and most fun when they shatter on the sidewalk and bounce into the grass.
But aside from that, things were pretty cool, back in the day. Rabbits all over the place. You could chase them to your heart's content. Until they started mowing once a week, the grass got really high and you could hear mice or something scurrying around. If you paid attention, you might catch one. Of course, THEY wouldn't let you keep them, even if you just kind of mouthed them. But then THEY did let you chase the geese which seemed to amuse THEM.
On a nice day in the summer, if you knew the right spot, you could wade right into the river and cool off. Or you could just mooch around sniffing things. It was like one huge grass field from East Franklin, across Claverick, across Chestnut, across Richmond, across Dyer and there you were — the riverbank.
Then things started to change. First JWU built that white place with the big windows. Took away a favorite hill of mine (boy was that great when they piled snow up there).
Then, down by the river, that place with all the scrub brush and saplings where I used to chase rabbits through the cyclone fence, you know, where Barnaby used to store WaterFire firewood, yeah, next to the dead power plant. Suddenly machines were all over the place, they patched the fence and fuggedaboudit.
So you kind of make do. You could still go along the north side of the Bay Commission's storm outlet and find stuff. There was still a pretty good selection of nice old trees, and you could walk along and get right onto the river walk. Not bad. But it couldn't last.
Suddenly, more black mesh, all along the river front, from the NBC overflow to the south end of the river walk. Whole place blocked off (unless you knew how to go around the end along the rocks). I had my moments, though. Kicked a rabbit out of that big rock pile around noon one day. Rabbit took off heading for the gate into the work area, me hot on his cottontail. Zoomed in right past construction guys having lunch. Got a lot of cheers on that one. But no chance to mooch some scraps. THEY called me back.
Still had the rock pile at the edge of the river. And the walk back across Dyer and into those fields. Until something THEY call Wexford walled everything off with more mesh. You could still edge your way alongside Nabsys and get to that field along Richmond. It wasn't the same. And now they've blocked that off for cars. Nothing but cars where all that great grass used to be. Where they made a mountain of snow one year. Gone, all gone.
So, then, a couple weeks ago, they COMPLETELY walled off from the river to Dyer. Everything. I bet not even a rabbit can get in there. I sure can't. Back when hundreds of cars were parking all day for free, it was great. People threw all sorts of lunch scraps out. Never knew what you'd find. THEY yelled at me when I crunched into a luscious chicken scrap. I pretended I didn't know what "Drop it!" means. THEY'd yell louder. I continued to play dumb, you know, like an animal.
But why do THEY say all these fences are Progress, and "Progress is good"? This week Progress meshed up two more of my favorite areas up the hill. What's more important? Having a place to park oily smelly machines, or big expanses of nice, lush (OK, not exactly golf green caliber) grass to run around in? I ask you. The way things are going, pretty soon, I won't have a plot to pee in.
Anyway, thanks for listening.