SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

November 2, 2013

Letter: A new pool could bring neighbors, generations together

To the editor:

I have to admit, I did a little happy jig when I heard the Patton Park pool redesign would be brought to vote at the Hamilton Special Town Meeting Monday. There are so many great reasons to vote in favor of the new pool, like the increased value it will add to area homes and the additional revenue it will bring to local businesses, but the most important of them all is the way in which it will strengthen and enhance our community.

My husband and I have lived in Hamilton for 10 years. Before we moved, we were living in a place that while fun and hip was completely devoid of community connections. We barely even knew the names of our next-door neighbors, much less those who lived down the street. One weekend we came to visit friends who lived here in Hamilton, we watched them greet their neighbors as friends, heard them discuss cooking meals for local families in need, and witnessed their calendar full of community events, and realized all that we had been missing. Within six months we purchased and moved into a house down the street, our little slice of Hamilton. It was one of the best decisions we have ever made, a feeling which has only multiplied over the years as we started a family and began raising our kids here. How amazing our lives are here, filled with neighborhood cookouts, Mother’s Club holiday celebrations, school ice cream socials, and community fundraisers. We love living here, each and every one of us is blessed to be able to call Hamilton home.

That’s not to say that our town doesn’t have its areas in need of improvement. One of the biggest things we are lacking in is a shared heart. Our community is one made up of many ties. What school your kids go, or went to, what neighborhood you live in, what club you are a member of, what sports your kids play, even what restaurant you prefer to get drinks at. All of these small things bind us, but they also separate us. Honestly, how many issues in town have you heard simplified to an us vs. them explanation? Little ties are wonderful but a strong town, a tight community, also requires spaces and experiences shared by all.

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