Every time I see another name added on the Champions of Historic Preservation page, I am deeply and respectfully awed. I sometimes worry that Newburyport is rapidly filling up with shallow, coffee-shop-dwelling Children of the Now who have absolutely no knowledge of our history, are ignorant of the issues in our city and the worst of it all, simply don’t care. Like a useless sponge, they plop down in the midst of this historic seaport and all that history refuses to be absorbed and just spills out on the ground to be trampled underneath.
Yes, I am an optimist but not an oblivious optimist. I see the misinformation being spread by the anti-historic preservationists. I can’t miss their ghastly signs with, of all things, an historic house painted on them! And again, this week, I saw the same usual suspects still passing out papers with over a dozen lies on them; and then I noticed their new tactic. They pal around with City Hall employees and the city councilors being ‘friends’ with them, filling the politicians up with their presence. Or, attend social functions and community events telling everyone, “See, we care about our community’s wellbeing and the future of our city, we just don’t want that nasty old LHD to pass.” Got to give ‘em credit for being single-minded.
And many have criticized me for ragging on the Preservation Trust and I understand the rocks and glass house allusion – but I am doing everything within my meager resources. And so I must with a clear conscious ask “Where is the LHD effort from the Preservation Trust? Thank God for the political* rank amateurs from the Citizens for Historic Newburyport!
Yet, with all that anger, hate, inaction (from the NPT), lies, misinformation and shameless disingenuous politicking; citizens are still signing up in far greater numbers on the pro online petition than those who have been fooled. It means you have explored Newburyport’s history, seen the facts and learned the precedents. Been alert to the self-serving developers who orbit our City patiently waiting like vultures to descend upon our town’s carcass. Noticed the indifferent new wealthy homeowners who callously destroy historic houses or additions and features because they are inconvenient or ‘in their way’.
I find from meeting so many, you are more passionate than I am, more talented than I am, more connected, more influential and thank heavens, more intelligent than I am. You just need some political leadership to channel all that incredible energy into securing our future.
I feel very privileged and much humbled to be in your company!
* Yes, they are making some minor political mistakes but they are DOING something? Making posts as to ‘How they should do it correctly’ smacks too much of armchair politics! (My computer chair doesn’t have arms but if it did, I would give them A+ for effort and an all around B+, still pretty good in the face of such opposition!)