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Great Barrington Main Street revival is at hand

About the removal of flowering pear trees from Great Barrington's Main Street, Cindy Caminiti writes: "It is never easy to give up what one has known. But change is life, even if what is changing was beautiful. The broken water lines, pot holes and crashing branches were not."

To the editor:

In the vein of “moving forward,” my husband and I have just returned from a cross country road trip and thanks to the “magical mystery tour” aspect of modern life provided by our car’s G.P.S, travelled through many, many small towns and cities.

We were impressed with how many were trying to retain or create a community identity in the midst of obvious depression. The streets were kept clean and repaired. Even shops that were closed, perhaps never to reopen, had pictures or signage or, even curtains. Something to give hope and a sense of a more positive future.

The was no judgment in our eyes. We will not pass that way again. But knowing these folks, far from our storied village, continue to push ahead with dignity and grace gave me hope that our little community would do the same.

So when we returned just as the mighty Pears of Main Street were meeting the axes’ blow (or chain-saw’s whining buzz), I was heartened to see, as if for the first time, the “Shining Faces” of our Great Barrington building’s architecture.

I was able to see past the “road work” signs, into the storefronts with their colorful “spring is here” optimism. I was able to visualize the new sidewalks, repaired infrastructure, and fresh, young trees too youthful to detract from the fascinating facades of our historic, Main Street edifices. It is clean, bright and beautiful. Even with the construction equipment, the challenge to get through the “yellow tape” and the dust of the disappearing cement sidewalk, there is a promise of a wonderful future here.

It is never easy to give up what one has known. But change is life, even if what is changing was beautiful. The broken water lines, pot holes and crashing branches were not.

So, our lesson from the road is, “embrace change.” Accept that spring truly does hold the promise of a new and positive future. And make the effort to support our local shopkeepers during this challenging time. Even the most spectacular caterpillar must one day become a butterfly.

Cindy Caminiti

Great Barrington

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