Granted, there are more important issues in the world, and even in Bourne. However, the town made a critical error back in 2006, and the responsibility for fixing it falls on us.
Bourne used to have her own landmark, right on the Belmont Circle rotary. It wasn’t the Statue of Liberty or the Washington Monument. No, it was just humble little Tugboat, loved by all.
Somebody went out of business, someone put in a CVS… and our little tugboat was allowed to slip away. NY Central #16 (picture from the New York Times) went to the Great Canal In The Sky, and Belmont Circle has been whack ever since.
We need a new tugboat. We need to acquire it, transport it and plop that sucka right in the middle of the rotary island.
To say that a slump has hit Buzzards Bay (the Bourne village, not the body of water, which is doing fine) is being generous. Main Street has more shuttered businesses than, uhm, ah… well, let’s just say that business is not good there.
Pols and business leaders will offer explanations for this, many of which are correct. None of these explanations cover town spirit.
I am a certified expert in school spirit, as I won Most School Spirit during my high school days. Granted, I won this award because the gods blessed me with a big booming voice that can be heard over just about anything, but let’s not allow technicalities to cloud the argument or the achievement.
Buzzards Bay has no school spirit.
It is a malaise that eats to the center of the town. We are something that you drive past on your way to somewhere else.
A tugboat isn’t going to solve all of that, but it would help give us an identity, and that’s a start. We can’t recreate the old days, but we can take advantage of the fact that people grew up looking at the tugboat, and kind of miss it now that it isn’t here.
We have several options if we decide to press forward on this issue.
We could get a real tugboat. It doesn’t have to be seaworthy, or new… sh*t, it might look more authentic if it’s a bit rusty. Used ones are cheaper anyhow.
I saw one for $25K, but it actually floats and drives and all that unnecessary stuff that a rotary tugboat wouldn’t need.
There must be one sitting unused and unloved in New Bedford or Gloucester or Mystic that we could get our hands on for short green. Throw it on a flatbed, cut down a few trees and drop her right in the middle of the rotary.
I even read about a tugboat sitting in the Potomac River. It belongs to some business, and they use it for various projects involving the Pentagon. Thusly, it lives in semi-permanent anchorage in the Potomac River. The article was from 2010, so we may be too late as far as working on some sort of trade goes.
The name of the tugboat? Her name is the “Bourne.”
If that proves problematic, why not build a fake one? It’s not like she’s ever going to have to go into the water or anything, right? It would be a lot cheaper than buying or transporting the Bourne up to Bourne.
Also, building one allows us a certain creative freedom that we would not have if we needed to build the tugboat that would actually work. It can have two bows if we want, three sterns, or it could be the size of what you think of when you imagine what Noah’s Ark might have looked like. It should also have cannons, because reasons.
You could also build it without doors, so kids won’t be drinking in it and homeless people won’t be sleeping in it.
A new Tugboat would also give us an excuse to rename the high school sports teams mascot. “Canalmen” is so lame, it limps. “Canalwomen” is worse, neighboring on a metaphor for working girls. Many names would be better… among them, “Tugboats.” I’d hang that name on the Braves, too.
The bow, or one of the bows, should be aimed due East in a manner that gives it a Stonehenge effect when the sun rises on the day of the Summer Solstice. You could conceivably do the stern so the same effect is seen at the sunset of the day when the Autumn Equinox begins. That will at least get us attention.
Someone should already be working on this.