Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Green Freakin' Habah, 30 Years Latah

30years ago there was a little storm, not forecasted to do too much, here in New England. Of the communities hit hard by the Blizzard of 78, my own was among the most devastated. Green Harbor and Brant Rock flooded. My own home, right by the harbor river and marshes, sits high enough on a knoll of sorts among the antique apple trees to be spared the floods, winds, hurled boulders, and ocean damage that wiped out many of our friends.

My Labrador retriever, Charcoal, was kind enough to deliver 11 puppies at the zenith of the thing. The horse, my chestnut mare Becky, was spared any trauma. We broke through the ice on her drinking bucket every morning for a while. We all put coolers on our back porches and let mother nature keep our perishables safe. We offered our gas stove to cook for anyone who lost theirs to electricity. We checked on, and delivered to, friends, neighbors, loved ones, and even strangers stranded among the powdery drifts as we waited-- some for weeks-- to dig out and have power restored.

Things have changed, but not much, in Green Harbor. There are more houses. Many were rebuilt after that very storm. But a significant chunk of this old Yankee neighborhood-- working class people with homes worth more than their retirement, many passed down through generations-- are the same faces. We are a quiet, tough little neighborhood. Townies, most of us-- Marshfield born and bred, but prouder of GREEN HAHBAH than of anything else. Many of us will never leave, not even for the more affluent northern borders. We'd rather eat dirt than cross the borders to Duxbury. We're not budging. We didn't evacuate when the world came down upon us in '78, and we're not leaving now, either. We're in a class by ourselves. You are welcome to visit, but please take your crap with you when you leave-- it spoils the beach. We'll see you this summer.

For it takes a particular brand of stick-beat mean to survive in Green Harbor year round. The same people who will load a sleigh or fire up the snowmobile to make a grocery run for a dozen snowed-in neighbors will give you wrong directions come June if you have the nerve to pull up as we walk OUR sidewalks with the obnoxious question "whayah is tha beach?" Feel free. We send those people to Duxbury, where they can pay to park and visit the snack stand. The beach sucks, though. It has been eroding for ages. Guess where all that delightful powder ends up?

Yup. We dredge the harbor every season to scrape Duxbury's overpriced sand out of our gullet. Have to keep it nice and tidy, you know. And guess where all the sewage passing through Brant Rock University ends up?

Enjoy those hot-dogs, tourists! I hear they boil them in very special water.

Anyway, it's 30 years later. The tide, this morning, was ridiculously high as it generally is this time of year when the moon starts pushing full. That was the special ingredient for that perfect storm long ago. It hit just as the moon was full, and followed the various harbor rivers to sit waiting for the tide to turn... then rather than blow out to sea it came right back with the tide again.

But it didn't beat us and nothing ever will. This is Green Freakin' Habah, not Mahshfield Hills, baby. We can take anything you got!

2 comments ]:[ Add your comment:

Diana Castilleja said...

Sounds like a solid community. Pretty nostalgic at that. I was way too young (Yes I was!) back then to know that anything outside of Texas had, you know, people and stuff. ;)

I promise, if I ever get up that way, to not make a mess. :)

Dana Belfry said...

Awww very cool!

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