Next week's Townie Tuesday column will be about native Don Pollard. Never fear, my dear readers - I've spent the better part of today researching all about Don Pollard (found out some good stuff, too).
Anyway, I met him earlier today in the laundromat. I don't usually hang around the laundromat (which would be the Village Washtub on Water St.). I usually run around downtown doing errands while my clothes are in the washer and then take the wet clothes home to the clothes line.
Damn if it isn't winter now.
I also don't usually talk to strange men (as in, men who are strangers), but he approached me because he had seen me on TV. Of course, as soon as he introduced himself, I recognized the name as one I had heard numerous times.
We talked way beyond the time when his clothes were clean and mine were dry.
One of the values of doing Townie Tuesday is not only interviewing the people but hearing all kinds of things that I don't have the room to put into the small column on Newburyport Today.
During the summer, I would also write a full story on the person for SeaCoast Scene, but that's done for this year.
I love hearing about the corner stores, the decrepit downtown that still inspires fond memories and, depending on how old the person is, whether or not they were allowed to swim in the river.
So Don was telling me about the factories downtown, and I guess I never thought about those buildings on Pleasant St. being actual factories. And I certainly did not know that the Custom House had been one, after it was de-commissioned by the feds (or at least I hadn't remembered; I do have Jean Doyle's first volume of Life in Newburyport).
A lot of heels were made in Newburyport. I mean actual heels for shoes.
So one thing I really get a kick out of are those people - and Don is one - who are descended from a First Settler. Oddly enough, the people I have met who are in this category are all descended through their mother.
The usual answer to a question about their father's family is something like, "Oh, the Pollards have only been here since 1850."
My family, on both sides, were kind of rambling folk.
So I'm always impressed when some family has stuck it out in one locale for even 160 years, much less since the 1600s.
Newbury turns 365 years old next year, you know.
I love it here.
It really is the best place in the world.
2 weeks ago