‘Redeem the Dream’
To the editor:
Dennis Minsky’s column in the July 9 Independent [“A Higher-Stakes July 4th, ” page A3] spoke to me.
This past July Fourth, being like no other in my lifetime, I spent much of the day thinking about what I’d like to be hearing from our president, yet realizing that this was an exercise in fiction, because what needed to be said would never be said by the current occupant of the White House.
I must have composed half a dozen speeches in my head thanking the people of this country for their recent sacrifices, laying out a future that furthers this great idea of a country (as Dennis’s daughter put it), and reminding everyone that we’re still a work in progress. Like Dennis, I thought about what makes us unique and what makes this 250-year-old experiment so difficult.
Sure, I remember lying on a beach blanket with my family and watching a splendid fireworks display, but I also remember the subtle and not-so-subtle racism on display in my own family. The disconnects among pride in country, bombs bursting in air, and the us-and-them mentality of people living side by side in a supposed melting pot continue to be our challenges.
Reading that column, I remembered last year’s Boston Pops celebration, 21-year-old Amanda Gorman, the first U.S. National Youth Poet Laureate, and her amazing poem, “Believer’s Hymn for the Republic.” Her cry “to redeem the dream” is even more moving this year.
Her Sun-filled Harbor
To the editor:
Some recent discussion in Provincetown has been about renaming Bradford Street Extension. One idea that has been floated is to rename it Mary Oliver Street.
Another possible way to honor and recognize the “Bard of Provincetown,” as she was referred to by the New York Times, could be to name the new East Park the town acquired from the late Elena Hall for our own Pulitzer Prize-winning Mary Oliver, who lived in the East End for over 50 years before she left us.
This fall and winter the town planning dept., public landscape committee, and recreation commission will begin a formal community input process for the park’s design and use. Maybe renaming the park for Mary Oliver could be considered in the process.
Such a park might include a plaque with her own words: “My sun-filled harbor, no more than a blue comma on the map of the world, but to me, the emblem of everything.”
Too Many Still Maskless
To the editor:
The Provincetown Select Board has now extended the hours of mandated mask wearing on Commercial Street from Bangs Street to Franklin Street, 24/7. But a mandate is only as effective as its enforcement. A fine would go a long way towards compliance.
The town has installed signs, but more are needed. Visitors most likely don’t know where Bangs and Franklin streets are. And signage should not be confined to just the mandated zone. For instance, signs should be at all pay stations and other heavily trafficked areas.
As I drove down Commercial Street Monday, I noticed too many people still maskless. I stopped and reminded each one that they were in a mask-mandated area. Four apologized and quickly pulled out a mask. People nearby who heard gave me a thumbs up. Unfortunately, most ignored my polite request to put on their mask and protect Provincetown.
Provincetown must protect the health of its residents, visitors, and economy with diligent monitoring and enforcement.
To the editor:
I’ve been vacationing on the Cape for many years, and I have long been puzzled by traffic signs along Route 6, mostly in Eastham. I write in hopes that someone on your staff or a fellow reader can elucidate. These signs say: “High Traffic Enforcement Area.”
For years I have searched in vain to see how this was carried out. How on Earth do they enforce high traffic? Do the local authorities go around knocking on doors and forcing people to go out and drive around?
There’s plenty of traffic but I have always supposed that’s because the Cape is so popular during the summer, not because the crowded street was created by cops or someone making people get out on the road.
Okay. I guess one of you is going to tell me that the signs actually mean something else. That a key word like “Rules” or “Regulations” should have been included. Indeed! This should be the worst that is happening to our language.
Clarity in speech leads to clarity in thought.
Bronx, N.Y. and South Wellfleet