NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

October 4, 2012

If powder house could talk, it would say 'Thanks'

To the editor:

Thursday, Sept. 20, was a banner day for history and preservation of our heritage, and if buildings could talk, especially a powder house, it would probably say something like this ...

“Good morning, everyone, and thank you for spending a few minutes with me, thus allowing me to show off how I look, and pointing out the many years I sat here praying that someone would finally notice what a disgrace I became, and how many wounds I had that if my condition continued, I’m afraid I would have been too far gone for anyone to bring me back to good health. Yes, over the many years I stood here by myself, I often wondered what I did to deserve this fate, because I was there when you needed me, and I played a very important role in protecting Newburyport residents during troubled times. Gosh, over the years to follow, you can’t imagine the abuse I received, especially from the weather, and yes, even vandals, who I guess, didn’t think I was important, but, in spite of all the neglect, I hung in there, and my prayers were answered.

“Yes, folks, I heard voices, and honestly, I didn’t know where they were coming from, but I did pick up words like “powder house” and “repairs” in the conversation, and my heart pounded, as I was sure I was the only powder house in town. Soon, I was having visitors, then came people with all kinds of equipment. I kind looked at them like doctors and surgeons. I was in pretty bad shape, and it took a long time to nurse me back to good health, but they did. People like Tom and Karen, a couple guys called Ralph, a family called Morrill, Frank and Ted, and a bunch of support from our state and city officials, as well as the National Guard, made it all happen. Where I stood by myself for hundreds of years was now swarming with all kinds of activity. Yes, the day finally arrived when everyone showed up to see how wonderful I looked, as well as the landscape around me.

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