trr .FI


a bridge that carries the Eesr or rnr GxBEN MouurarNs' under over the Third main street of the t"*" "r Randolph, Vermont' iJ*t ft of the White River, lies a small mill' its
are seem to be abandoned' There smokestack, the plale of whose inland' much many deserted f..t;;;tl;this b"autiful for a century ' But even from a disdustry has seen hard times turn that leads from the tance, walking ao*n the steep' hairpin tti"tt that the place' though bridge to the ,i""r',';i;;,;;;";; '"" ramshackle, is not emPty' fifteen-foot-long logs' In the yard are g*.iti"tts of twelve- and of- irregularly piles of three-foot-wid" tt""-"t"t 'ottJt' heaps ftt"y suggest firewood' shaped slabs, and cords of tarp-covered the made into a 'u*-ltt' and' indeed' out that the place has been sounds turn But those distant whine .ipJu*' ;;; b" heard' "f ,.;; Jr;iiv- *i,r"r the felled trees. The tools are to have nothing size ttt" ora *iii- to increase the actually being "."i;;;;^"i * tqe wild ows are tilh""T""til.uv i., g, shin gl e- cov ered bui I di nc' poke's through an i"t;i;;; covered with plastic; pink frber-glass u"telv under in iit! *all; th"- *"ti;;;l"iti" occasional hot.

-"tignt With the words sARGENT RouNDY


fading on

her.nostril, wearing a floor-length skirt' sweeps ieweled pin in explode out of an office and' -..,rrnd one corner Just as two dogs the side door toward the river. The burg through i:fi"J-;;, ir*Jr .f thump, clang, and grind fill the air with a resonance inu, t""-t to belong to the Past' work"'iurt of gray -"tul pu'i' ut" heap,ed on shelves' where grinding ",, what thev need' andhave at them with Down the line' a *frJ"It tni.wing off o'utgl streams of sparkles' at a finished aswitir a ponv lail spravs black paint ;;;;;;" controls are attached' In a side *tri.f'r ##ir;;. "i&el-plaied m.odels of proposed new prodroom, artists are making wooden molds that ;.;r,^';hi.h will be con"verted to aluminum master will then be translated into iron' in a space, no larger a*.V f-m the noise of metal on metal'perhaps a dozen teleth;;g;od-rit"a living room, a bank of between them fash;;;.;L;.les has been"set up, the partitions no attempt having i;;"ii*r_Uv fours that aie still exposed, and a large bag been made to cosmeticize them' A box of apples of doughnuts sit near a beat-up wood-burning stove at of of the room. It is throwing oui strong heat' The conversations drafts, therthe folk on the long-distaice lines aie of chimneys, mostats, combustion efficiency, and dampers' But the conversation always comes back to wood' For this is the headquarters of one of the biggest employers in central Vermont, and certainly the fastest-growing' It's Vermont Castings' makers of arguably the finest air-tight cast-iron wood stoves in North Americi. In less than five years, Vermont Castings has gone from nothing but one impoverished yet curious tinkerer freezing his butt off, trying to figure out how to stay warm, to an operation employing hundredi, selling more than fifty thousand stoves a year at prices that can approach $6oo apiece. The White House, rn order to demonstrate iti commitment to energy independence, bought six. In, its display of such Yankee virtues as ingenuity and shrewd ^ trading, a"a i.t its ability to take the liabilit! of Vlrmont's cold and depend"n.. tn imported h"uting oil and turn it into I1t"It lj.ltkJi"g asset, Vermont Casiings is a fascirating display of the contradictions that make New Enlland so distincdy on" oi North



one invigorating if kind of purposeful chaos rhar can be swirling g"a it maddeni";;;J itt" &o*a a is young enough toi'i" i' d"fr;?;i;t"""e' a girl with tt" ...-i"J;;;;'; through

lru," o,

who realize that they



rffi .,K


o*hose n""n'i


is unusual ?,,, ,1,, continent


3;*,,"' .


which' with its northern New Brunswick,

t$iffi'.'' d"'"*"s to be H,m::*;"i:;:r*n:,,rl*H-il#'i:{Jli**i:*',m* 'JH*n:'$u*-**:fi:j"il?h:::'i:31rit'a;:i:l Massachusetts, n;;"i '{;""+;: tn-","ltti;"rt:;itit terms of states: Maine, New Hampshire, vermont,

cut, for example, is not part of New England T\1t area'.like


ffi,:T-,i:'xiti-i3;H:;;"ff;:"1":i[x,fJ:.3'J,H*! stu-fo'a' u"a affluen.", iir.";;;,
Updike-studied commuter


tr*il?fu5'Sil#il:ffi"Tii;4rqa""'"'ql,{ii::#' H:1tr;lif*?..?I*#::*iK',-ti'tFl::i*r*il'tr']'?* as the Atlanoi-"tt'" gosto" stutes"'

them are really

^" ";;;; q{:'fffi}ftt::ft:Y:tr3":1T:'^8ff11""i'"u

New Engrand

)."H;3t".i:#"jff*,:g#:L:if,l::ffi?i,T:lm.*;:'#: '-'#T'1i;*ri'f*t#';"xlJ JJ"""'"#: *1"'il:;'ff"" " ttt:::*" :ffii#,li;,,."iil:,,lxl""liln'1""liii,?:il:T[T;J:Tiiu, o-*ll" bought'p ffi,ff:,T.f*iit""J$:] :"::.:'l:",::^are ginning to look a rittle tacky. rhey,re uli,'g the two regions another


have to dtop" u' riuch as extensions to hundred thousand dollars or so on ."rrouutiorrs and return them to their proper status position rhis is i,{.;k, with the now decades-ord theme "r oriiJr'i,r." "^.1* that money doesn't Bay, and Larchmont, which is to try ,o f.olr. nagging have to go hand-i.,'r,u.,a with vuigariiy, despite New England' evidence to the contrary' That is hardly


Apart from

consistent ovster

ttt"t' tttJ d"iff-"'""t"' l"ly"""

;HilTxh'::;l"J,ffiil;t":1,1";*iyf;:FTilti!:tri:{I"*??il -N".,h;;l;;;i.;;;';'i;;;il;h;"1 in Nova Scotia' winter
comes through

t"". i;;t#ii;#i;Nil;;;;-N"*s*"swick'voucanseepeo-


in lu," September'


The Nine Nations of North America



ple digging for potatoes with their hands. potatoes are so ch 1gaD, anrl this work I'o-.l that nobody has ^--^- thought , and +hi" r^r -L.^so hard, +L.^+ -^L^l-. L^^ even +L^---L- to sirAB the blues about it, as they did about chopping cotton. pl$ beaches of eueens county on prince
r ssoil eg -1!:11 .t', the been redtrced to"11 point that ,t ,fr"rrnlil .hu: " are 1:!rl:l too valuable to be plowed into the fields as fertilizer. fhuit how plentiful they once were. The Maritimes are so much a part of New England that busi_ nessmen wishing to travel from Edmundston, New Brunswick, to, say, Montr6al, Qu6bec, 39o miles away, find the best way is to fly 8oo miles via Boston. The case of Cecille Bechard, of New Brunswick and Maine, was celebrated recently in the Nau York Times:

I::_:n., iid .'i'\i i*l:l :'l{::. :l:,:r.1 "', "0."1. i" ]ry,"T*": it'.'1.."0J 1']:11 tY " ::Tll:1 i':15


^:"'"ll .1,:h


the war was over' m"telv Utll"-d vrcrory ior the re a glorious?t:t.ii:,1ld"ll::?* ;;;; Itu, tottg been regarded as a tvpical New Engftl"i, It's no -oi" "tt""tti': tnt" clav, with iit]'lt?::: solution' of rock and T:ftLi;. their four;ii'",H:'; ?;;;" ..'es t^:*, i, e-* t "t' eas on' ?'" 3:iTl l{ tural 3t but i t has essed. agriculfll, l:l' lv' T,';" ?. n ^. unbl f, if# ffilil''N;"E;;iand ,j-]^;^,,. little raw miterial and, with approximatel)', thirteen ait"i"ithed population' Long ago the texile #'#;i",^l moved to ni"l., with its plentiful cotton and ,rrfacturers moved to the Foundry' where the

#*'dd'*r'iu-r**+*i[*q$lffi toinnounct.tllt ;il:;;ffi


make tea, for instance. To read and sleep she stays in canada, and she eats there too if she sits at the north ehd of the kitchen table. Mrs. Bechard's home sits on the united States-canada border. The frontier cuts through the kitchen wall and across the sink, splits the salt and pepper shakers, just misses the stove and passes througi the other wall to sever the Nadeau family's clothesline and cut off the candy counter in Alfred sirois's general store. Almost anywhere else in the world, Mrs. Bechard might need a passport to take a bath.
limit is lower there. The- border checkpoints are jammed at quitting time and when
agers drink in the Maritimes because the age

cecille Bechard is a canadian who visits the united states several dozen times a duy when she goes to the refrigerator or the back door or to

T#;;i TO"tt

*"'"le"a, i" g"""'ul'

i"iii."',tte il! -trt critical point, though,

ac-enbecause it's e-asier to distribute goodsfrom it is from' say' Manchester' New continent than

*"!il?:^t: T1*

Maritimers work and vacation in New England. Maine

.l-rtr"-4t"".i"u, t^h" thunde.itg qotU". and Ecotopia, and tf,e uranium and synthetic fuel the fishi" of in" et"ot d;;; Except for its proximitv to resource Bank, New England has sparse riches of the G"otg"t from i'he remnants of an industrialism that de- apart historical accident of first settlement' frorn the

is that New- England lacks the cascad'es of hydro power found


the bars close. And if any more proof were needed that Maritimers and New Englanders belong to one nation, it is provided by the ubiquitous cable TV connections, which allow Nova Scotians to be driven just as crazy by the Red Sox as the Worcester tenement-dweller' When the boys boot another one to the Yankees, you can hear lhe curses all over Halifax. The argument has been made that if North America had been settled from west to east, instead of the other way around, New England would still be uninhabited, and there's something to be said for this theory. It's only inertia, for example, that preserves any commercial agriculture in New England. The standard storl about the Vermont dairy industry is tliat it is trying to breed a

itseft into America's first truly twenty-first-century' industrial society, and, as such, it is again a land of pioneers' s one Boston banker, who thinks that New England's -eco:ally stable state is a euphemism for stagnation,-"fNe don't any theories about *hui yot do when you reach this state of >mic maturity. The finest brains have been telling us how,to . NoU"ay .""irr a t what to do when yow g3t grown'" "o* and inexorably, is about to show t New dngland, intuitively world howlo find out, for it is producing an amazing consenconsidering ii. .i.."-ttances, about the futures that it will will not aciept. its energy future, for example, e in othlr parts of North America might think that a nathis short on iurh, this cold, and up to 8o percent dependent

adoxically, the scenery and the surroundings have become England's primary urr.t. New England is rapidly transform^Irlorth


r lle t\ The Nine Nations of North America



on imported fuel oil for home heating, would be racing headlong toward any promise of relief. But that is not the case. The Pittstown Company, of New York, has been trying for almost a decade to put an oil refinery in Eastport' Maine, the easternmost point of land in the United States' In ry79, Eastport fiqd an unemployment rate of zo percent. Four hundred families in this town of two thousand were getting food stamps. The sardine canneries that used to be the major industry had closed down long ago. At u5o,ooo barrels a day, this proposed refinery could meet r9 percent of New England's gasoline and home heating oil

-^]] "tOrt iJ"utidl3l.l'i'"i^ns F{OUS[url

r,,,ud9f "li,':'1"-t'.::"'l'*ut?';J:iil';Ti{;uilt"':*"'".: for a sight will be able to g; t" Iio'tott ^^. ii"it t"nt"t'.i],",1*irir"a city looks like'


"#:; l::,ilili: *?lgrounds Eshing ,"ll'"nJ;"tt"?^lLl,ta.,lling ior oit in *rI i"rtif" or one natural ;;t;"'r1i3'ii:" state thc u'g"'n"'"-in i"'*' ?illi ."'loljll
i'^":llfr'J :'J','ff fhe prou'""' ,- -'rt
argument ln, i

\;; this




But will it ever be built? Don't bet on it. Half of the waters in which the tankers would have to travel belong to Canada, which says that an oil spill would endanger its fisheries. (The more cynical think that the Canadians really see it as a threat to their own underutilized refineries.) The summer home of Franklin D. Roosevelt, an international park, is a mile downwind of the refinery site, and that outrages a select constituency. But more important, beyond the blueberry-covered hills, in Cobscook Bay, dance humpback whales. And of crowning significance, through the local spruce glide more bald eagles, making more baby bald eagles, than any olher place in the Northeast. Both the whales and the United Stut"r nitional symbol are endangered species, and jt has been made abundantly clear that as long as oil refineries issue mercury, sulfur dioxide, and other pollutants, there is no way that one is going to be built anywhere near those eagles. Does the local population buy these priorities? In a recent Fourth of July p^.ud", the Little League's vastly popular Red Sox float was defeated for first place honors by the Youth Conservation Corps' entry, with the theme "Don't Let Eastport Become a Pits Town." This, in fact, represents a general New England belief in the equation that eneigy development in its backyard equals an inevitable decline in the quality of its civilization. The subliminal part of this is an a priori assumption that New England sets a standard of civilized behavior that is far more rare New thaln kllowatts, and is thus more valuable. That is the reason contiEnglanders see no contradiction in asking the rest-of the .,.rit to subsidize the price of their home heating oil at the same iime that they frantically resist efforts to drif for it off their

spill rhey conte"a ,r,"i'u" oil *^t r€source ^vsr'll,-,-. one of God's great gi[ts.t" tomorrow' or *"'" to disap pear Tllt^: ;""1i u- tot l:n the Breadbastainly tru'' '-l.".r'tr increase in beet ptodt"tiot"t in t to the Deu 1"" thutt q-"i::: for any loss in protein' according


Let could


;t*r"",1-i{11"S":,':j:il:t"Jill$[:;::f 3il*lr",t:l:
a te

screwed up' Take not th"'threat l: itJd*: o"ttt"" "r the'flanet of Engineers has and caretullY c tidv the;;'t;;J;h;t tn" e"ni cotp' the example ol

ch p r' ;';l[::l i:'J"t#:*"J' n qn 1I "'iwo mile-long Dickev-Linhigh' to build the twentvls;;";-t;t;t rn"-p'opotal' grander than coln dam across tli";i'';;;-niu"i 267 miles o[ river and streams flood a Egypt's Aswan D";';;i; of timb"t in order to create

th e corp s w an t s

and eighty-"ignt t't.'ot";;J";;"t lt tot'tJpt"duce would replace reservoir 57 miles long' The power

"'H'i'il'"ifff fi ;i?i,:::*:ipt;';::J:Til3:"1':l:

,vi'Xil:TlT:'::".iil:",Jo"lil,li:X;';;;;;u,d habitat' *""at' The louseworts'


ize the existence'li'if;l' tilt""ti are under detailed propagation, and microciimatic t"oJ;;;;ts and the corps study to determine if they can be grown elsewhere' But meanis now looking into buying lousewort sanctuaries' sinc-e it was while, the dam's cost estimates have quadrupled million is originally authorized in 1965' 'q p'oj"ltJJ cost of $zr8 drawbacks now pushing a billion, and at ,h"t- orl;' to-" of its there is so little are becoming glaring ., ,tr"^ i"., that the dam - such water in the St. John River during tilt-t"**"t.llut out of would operate, on the average, ,rntv t*J il ; half hours every twentv_four. Dickeyil,',h"li;.."t rt economic arguments thrown upthe real reais not 'by oppo"""tt

r*..rir r".r.."ffi;pl1;,i."iJa


The Nine Nations of North America



son this dam probably will never be built. The real reason is that northern Maine has some of the prettiest wilderness in the Northeast. You can dip into a river and safely drink its waters. And in a land as crowded as this continent's Northeast, that's a rare, ancl thus valuable, commodity. If politics allocate resources, then it would seem that in this case, New England politics are again based on the premise that recreational wilderness is more scarce than Middle Eastern oil, and that, of course, is in fact a defensible

position. Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, is by no means wilderness. The North Atlantic surf curls in the same gray-green, foamflecked fashion there as it has for millennia, but behind the white sandy beach, the Hampton Beach Casino ("Jewelry, Ice Cream,

Food, Snack Bar, Rides, Golf, Gifts, Doughnuts,


Leather, Boutiques, Jewelry") is jammed. So are the taco parlors, fried dough stands, sweet shops, T-shirt emporiums, discos, and motels that make up the resort. The competition for a few linear feet of New Hampshire coastline is fierce because there is so little of it only seventeen miles between Massachusetts and Maine. Hampton Beach State Park marks the spot where the Atlantic breaks through the dunes to form a pleasant harbor, where meandering creeks with grand names such as Browns River, Blackwater River, and Hampton River create salt marshes. The salt marshes, in whose sensitive
and fecund ecology the marine food chain begins, boast reeds and cattails that, rippling like wheat in a breeze, are hypnotic. The small harbor guards from the riptides both the wide, highprowed, low-gunwaled commercial fishing and lobster boats, and the sleek cabin cruisers with names like Shenanigans and Anstrice. Bright-colored lobster buoys line a wall by a small store where you can buy bait, tackle, and cold drinks. If you're careful not to let your eyes wander a few hundred yards inland, it's possible to forget that the town just across the inlet from Hampton Beach is Seabrook. The motel operators of Hampton make a point, for example, of quickly correcting guests who think they've come to Seabrook. But although the map of Seabrook put out by Preston Real Estate does not choose to take note of the town's most famous landmark, it's impossible to ignore forever the concrete forms of the


ear mov ement' ;r"t ri" e-"tican antinucl people were arrested one thousa"o' rot'if"tt'lI*a' of Mav 2' e;7' and charged with ""a'[ot"t""'t at Seabrook o''' thJ'ui';;;;;"" criminal trespass"' enamored - i-t; chief public -^l^+innc nerson at Seabrook is of the prorelations person z account Foundation enough of the 'igt't-*i"g-H"titugt it on visiting reporters' .""Ji""gt to press Abrilged, it goes like this: constmction permits in July with the issuance of the original seabrook events took place' Most of the turn of of ry76,a new t"d ;;-;;t"; assumed that winning planners engaged i.t ih" *t't'-'ction at Seabrook meant an end to the battle in court and before the regulatory agencies A group of jndividopposition to the facility. In this they-were -ittlut"tt' had uals unhappy with ,ir"-'r"Jrt of the legal pr.oc.ess felt that.thelime the.Clamshell come to go outside th" lu*. Towards ttrls ena they formed opposed Alliance, a group which is by its own declaration "unalterably all other nuclear plants"' to the construction ;i;ha (Seabrook) and

largest construction project ever attempted in New England. They're easily visible over the roofs of the shore cottages. For that matter, looming over the forms are dozens of red and white

Certainly, in ry76 no one would have been prepared to,believe that over May Day Weekend, ,977,the Clamshell Allianie would return with a thoroughly trained, coordinated group of some 2ooo persons ' -' fh" allowed the demonstrators to enter the site and occupy "olttpu.ry an area .rr"a ft. parking, and to set up their tents and camping equipment ' . as long as th; were peaceful and agreed to lear e [belore construction worker-s arrived Monday morningJ. iarly Sunday afternoon' it was decided that the time had come . Th" lCtu*shell] leadership, after conferring with the demonstrators' indicated that they would not be willing to llave, and that they would also insist on being arrested . . and ,4i4 *"... As-they refusedlo post bail, they were temporarily incarcerated in a



of National Guard Armories u.o,mi the state' Their



The Nine Nations of North America



against posting bail was maintained for two.full weeks during which time they continued to be housed in the armories. one result of this incarceration [and these are the Heritage Foundation's words] was that it gave them time to organize. In aieal those two weeks amounteJ to the period of incribatio" r". tr-," iiiiiltji the national anti-nuclear movement The cost of renting the National Guard Armories, along with cerrain services required from the Guard during the period of incarceration, such as feeding the prisoners and caring for the sanitation taciliti"s, came to $3ro,863.9o. Public health services came to gr3,ogz.z6. State po_ lice (including those borrowed from other states) cost g5r,169.75. Local police, $5,o9o.84. Finally, the initial cost estimate for the r"rui..s of th. Attorney General's staff as a result of the arraignments associated with the arrests of the demonstrators came to $ ro,ooo. This cost, of course, as has been mentioned, will escalate severely with time, as a consequence of the appeals process. Thus, the total for the demonstration whicir took place over May Day Weekend, r977, comes to g3g9,zo6.g5. those figures-do-not reflect any increased costs which might - Further, incurred have been by Public Service company of New Hampshire lthe

,,,:l:lf,':1#fl ,l'ffi?,1'*T,fl ll'ff :,;1"'1ii"o;:'"Tl;,i13

iffiitllfi-:;"pi":a;f'fr",ffi '[iplif#t$;1
an-d the tourists and sav, hev, if we build this thing going to be trouble? Did it ever occur to anybody i."#,-it "r",s is emotionally impossible for New I'fr"i'"'"".tea-r reactor here



which would be reflected eventually in the customer's electric bill.

whose idea Seabrook isl in preparing for the demonstiation, and

hundreds of thousands of people. Meldrim Thomson, then governor of New Hampshire, who backed a surcharge on the electric bills of the state's residents to help pay for Seabrook's construction, has been ignominiously defeated at the polls twice. A plan to build reactors of the Seabrook design on Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island has been rejected. (The 6o4-acre site considered for that power plant will, in classic New England fashion, instead be made into a wildlife refuge.) Public Service of New Hampshire is in deep trouble with its financiers. By tg7g, delays had increased Seabrook's total price tag by an estimate d $ r,gq7,+gz,zoo. It's perfectly possible that if arguments in Congress over nuclear technology's safety don't get Seabrook, arguments on Wall Street over its affordability will. So I asked Norman Cullerot, the public relations man at Seabrook, about the problems. I had lusi taken the tour of this mindnumbing, you've-never-seen-so-much-steel-and-cement, makesthe-Pyramids-look-like-sandcastles construction project. I was sitting among the natural wood surroundings of the $r.Z million "education center," and I said, Look, I know you've already spent

of course, since all this, the Three Mile Island nuclear accident has occurred. Antinuclear demonstrations have brought out

riur".-.ootlng towers that became the symbol iurrdl S"uUrook Station doesn't have any of those, he explained. intt"ua, a little east of the reactors there are two holes, 375feet deep and wide enough to swallow a small house' On a platform 275 feet down have been pieced together a couple of 34oton machines called moles. These moles bore through rock with fifty-two cutter blades, pressed up against the stuff by hydraulic rams that produce a thrust of 9gS tons. The moles' average speed is about four feet an hour. The granite here is referred to as "stubborn." These moles are drilling two tunnels straight out to sea, one 16,483 feet long, the other r7,4ro feet long. These tunnels pass directly under Hampton Beach State Park and the harbor on their way a mile or so out into the ocean. When completed, they'll be more than big enough to drive a trailer truck through, although that's not what they'll carry. One of the tunnels will carry 85o,ooo gallons of the North Atlaniic every minute into the powlr plant, where it will cool and condense the steam generati. The other pipe will take this water, instantly made 39- degrees hotter, and dt}o- it back into the ocean. Much to the *.pri-r" of the fish. that, he explained, is why Seabrook was built here. It's as ^,Atd close to this big beautiful body of cooling fluid as possible while ut. far away from the ciiy of portsmouth as it can be with::lnC
out leaving New Hampshire.

Englanders? r -r -) into praise -'roo,,.., he responded to my question' He launched :,--- ,-curved fo. ?t" planr's cooling system. Remember those tall, for Three Mile Is-

Sd.h." waited for my next question. tnt* that means that the answer to my original question is not

I*l::.,":. uamPshire

G';:'.'#il'il::.Jfil'"::n:iH#f '3ii;::;:::T,fi

occurred to the planners at public Service of New that their ideas would be viewed as controversial,


The Nine Ndtions of'North America

come the classic and enduring example of technology gone bg1This is not, however, to say that management is unaware that it has a public relations problem. And that's why, outside the nature trail with the carefully labeled plants, just down the wqy from the redwood picnic tables, across from the entrance to th; education center with its diagonal wood siding, has been built Seabrook Unit Three. One and Two, of course, are the 23ocmegawatt reactors. Three is a windmill. Very futuristic-looking, it's shaped something like the head of an eggbeater, with three bowed, fifteen-foot blades revolving around a vertical axis, allowing it to accept wind from every direction. It will supply Iz kilowatts of electricity. On Block Island, twelve miles off the coast of Rhode Island, looming r6o feet tall, is another windmill. It's rated at u oo kilowatts, but has a completely different story. The U.S. government in ry7g spent over $6o million on windmill development, and this island, on which 459 people were recorded at a recent Ground Hog's Day census (an annual event that takes place at a local bar) has, quixotically, managed to snare $2.3 million of that in the form of its new monster. Block Island was thought to be a dandy place for this wind machine, which has a rz5-foot wing span and sits on a Ioofoottall tower. The islanders claim they pay the highest electricity because twice as high as the mainland rates in the country their power is generated by inefficient diesels, the fuel for which mustiome from the mainland on barges. Fortunately, the wind gales up to a hundred miles an hour over the island in the winter' The average breeze is a stiff seventeen miles per hour, which is just a hair under small-craft-warning strength. Equally important, the island g"it hntd.eds of thousands of tourists in the summer, so the slJek orange and white National Aeronautic and Space Administration-built turbine is good p'r' for the government's energy program. There are a few hitches, but they're being worked on. One ts that the wind turbine is calculated to rurr. o.tly $3o,ooo worth of diesel oil a year, and so, in order to become independent of OPEC' the island will need a platoon of these things to be self-suf{icient' At several million dollars apiece, of course, this is no small thing' There is the question of what the Department of Energy calls "airborne fauna." Block Island is in the migration path of everything with wings that calls the coast home, and th. tips of the

27 NEW ENGLAND per hour' But an expensive r^r^.rec travel at ry8 miles can blauc> ";;; ,,-tmill's ,il" tentative decision that birds the h1l than Htji?"i-t*av a wrncr: -tl-ill, and most normallv flv higher hear Y-)"a.|r ^rrr\U2v. 5e- -, been discovered windmrtr, ":::.::: fhere's the TV reception' It's * d television signals to tlud" 'u"'" otq'. *at bi| whirrtnB,.a chinson, the septuagenarian Yankee who il"it1t"' ll":H",T"ttju.Jto*"t companv"' was quoted as saving' who rt"tat yq tlt-"1::i in u*frt lot parttcula'lv to the people and i;i"r"ulil-o^1.ll^,1t "*tntertime' The movie theater is closed'' govout are I:l: lij:: ,t"tt" "i entertainment"' So the flederal untj;?,::,i"u" an to ir's the :ltt ,"*alng unoth". $7oo,oooandpush the *^6+ hAq Of)ItH'r! to wire ernmen'ii:;:^: er"tt Island



A6rcP2. CabI€ lI-urrr r'


'"1'l*,^]t,^-'; ,h" '"L"a In such a rASIrru'

for cable television'



century built in New Engsaga is

t1'^:^t:'lJ:'il1 parts of the more instructive -", federal money' The way one reby that the project *ut n"u"t"d *ortd is to be poriiical, and from the ceives federar -oni'i;l-hi, shooting at Redcoats from befirst days that the ilt"ft't'^"ed New England

iotl,i.ut ii slomething hind the trees of B;#;;ii one of New England's leading has always b."n. t" iutt, politics-is poJitical novel of this cenindustries. terhaps tliJ-itt t"t"Utated on the career of James firy,The tos tlunoi,-tf ""f solidly baied for re-election from Michael curley, ,h;";;t;;;'*uvoiwho ran as jail and won' The K""""Jt i";;ty alone marks New England governmuch being overe.ta"*.i-*Jirt-poliiitiuttt' There is so has a separate section for its ment that N"* n.ifu"J'r'"i"ptt""e the BIue Pages' , telephone numbers r- r r But this hu, ,roi b""r .r unmiied blessing for New-England' b..urrr" the flip side of government is taxes, and with those New England also abounds. The property taxes in New England are among the highesfi"itt" urriit recently, houses evaluated "",i.rr. could be taxed so heavily that at no more than $4o,ooo in Boston governthe assessed structure was handed over to the ".fr" of the four years. ln r98o, a statewide-tax revolt ment in cash once every changed this, U"ipr"U"bly ai the cost of oth"t taxes' Meanwhile' every single New'England state is in the top 3o percent, nationwide,in per capita pioperty taxes. And the burden is more onerous when yon,"rn"-ber how low the adjusted per capita income here is. \dr;; . rtiff sales tax, like Maine'r, urr^d a nongraduated of income tu*, iik" ""tts', are rig,-.t"d in, clearly the bite

ffi"l'l Ji ::i:i,':":i1;: T,T"jilertv,

The Nine Nations of North America local gover"-"1., of New England,s causes of pov l?.orr. since the money ofren as being poor, wha'l yo., t.,uu" "", gl.T to ameliorate the li?^.anq i-'"*tol ,r nor the governmencrrecrs of












ni.: 0...: thought

sition to be know" ro.alifJr" l.riryf ::*H;?TT:1.f,.1?:"'"0" i;;ri,'."T:'T:^y:l:,not rn_ a po. roraunus€tts' seabroot

1f i,"1i"",*tt"iifl

liquor stores. tr," .",i ;rN"* Eng,and jr. ,l^*d.l,ro .lor* iJ Bosron lu-o'r"t, i',.knamed ,,th. g,rb, ing heavy ru*uiion. rhi, ...ui",

New Hampshire is a renelade in New England in that only srare wirh no ,ut", o,^ iLr.o_l'il,1 The philosoph;i,ir is the vide as much state.incom" lo pro_ ;.;;."r,ble lotteries, and barg.air,_uur._..,i;;;; through aog-,L.i.r, .rur.





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When Governor rlornron abour all rhe srowrh, nri.f,u"f "b..,i;il,r,Hampshirc was gloaring rhen governo, ofl_Murru_ chuse*s, sniffJd ,n",, ,rrr"gr.'*l; ^il ;o,l:"rue might be righr abour New Hampshire being u niE";iliH talenred young r.iorkers rrve, rts services ,tr"bU' 1f,", i, *urr,,, u ,,,." place to which to be otd in ":^:,.k ";;;;;1.;;;'.d o. u.,"ducared or down and out' It is selfless-concern fo. th" ress fortunat", tr" impri.d, that is the core "f "ld;;r;i;;#;;:"".husetts liberalism. (Massachusetts was the onlv ,r.i"^i"!;;;;b""rre McGovern for pres_ the w"1"-,e"ii br_p"r sticker ;];;:,#.,'if

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educational i:#;,;;;-un ublol,rt" glut ofentrepreneurs. In the Boston area by pre_income tax and universities. And, as one ""?"*"a ;ffi, itr"." ur" sixty-five colleges are trying to be just like Har;;;;.; put it, sixtv-four of those ;;;J- ro-" to the point of caricature' Then you begin to grasp fro* ro-" cultural values are diffused among the educated'

institutions originally

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m r'.'


r'' .""i J

a, * r r-r"rr, i"".a i" r"irthatr,.,ur

more than a chance

There is no settir

are looking do*.r. When it comes t" al!."rri"g New England elitism, there is one obvious place to start. rr mal"r"#'i,n"rence rhar a Bosron banker asserrs that ,,you ;;"ldJ;;iulytni'g any dumbe r than

:,"k"*,,i#,:';"J.?,il":,1,1,1i".ffi":r,i:ffi ;1.;,ff.,ilfi :,J l?rrl, i. .'a?r..iUJ no* ir is rhar population an entire even ,nJro*". .r".."r'iit, can aspire ro a rittle moral arrogance, and by ,fr" ."_" ,"fi".r, ,o describe precisely on ----^- '"""'' whom they
England." What,s

But that still doesn't explain how elsewhere uncommon ideas, such as respect for the furbish lousewort or reading or public television broidcasting, are so widely accepted in New England' It certainly doesn't explain the north star of New England moral certitudes: Houston-based oil companies are always lying. It's true that polls have shown that the non-college-educated are increasingly taking on a lot of the attitudinal and sociological characteristics of the college-educated. It's also true that New England is overburdened with people who do sport degrees. ("Overqualified is the name of New England's game," said one teacher who has been out of work ever since he fell off a roof in the course of trying to make it as a carpenter.) But try this idea: "The roots of the [average] people's disbelief in anything that comes from the private r"itoi gois back to that old heritage of tne sweatshop and the textiie mill. It really shouldn't be rooted tn that area, but it goes back to their woiries about being exploited.,,

,-Th" man who said this (he asked to remain anonymous) has tnvested a lot of money in New England's booming computer bus-iness.
He went on:

,*^fh"tu': a great antipathy between the owner and the worker back to llll^qt"t people the Industrial Revolution. The people generally in business as being those old-line-Yankee basi::tf Don't tards' believe a goddamn thin! they say. Don't believe the


The Nine Nations of North America



that they come up with, because they're their facts, ayr4 they're not the tr-uthl" This is a singular phenomenon. A postindustrial phenomenol. What you have here is the privileged members of an educate4 "best and the brightest" coughing out warnings elite - the about our dire future should we continue to depend on nonrenew_ able resources and massive corporate solutions to our problems. At the same time, descendants of Italians, Irish, Qu6becois, por_ tuguese, and Jewish mill laborers are listening to these alarrrms and buying them or at least giving them careful consideration. So what you have -is the progeny of the oppressed identifying with the progeny of the oppressors. In Detroit, it wouldn't work like this. In Detroit, the ideology of the United Auto Workers is so ingrained jobs, more jobs, more jobs with more money, more money that the UAW has literally come around to the old capitalist slogan that what's good for General Motors is good for the U.S.A. Only there's a minor twist. The twist is that it's Chrysler in whose interest the UAW labors in Washington. Bail out Chrysler, whose products have always been associated with fat-cat consumption, the union pleads. By contrast, in New England a different kind of philosophical union, cutting across traditional class lines, is being formed. And this new sense of everybody being in it together is reinforced by the aforementioned tax structure, which affects the trappings of the class structure. This is to say that a New Englander making $z5,ooo a year doesn't live in terribly different circumstances from a New Englander making $rz,ooo. Neither is starving; neither frequently dines on steak. Both inhabit modest houses or apartments. In the summer, they swim off the same public

j.:Ti jr::f, :::f rll,lTu '*+m""'r+:,il:;,:$'+,r*:ru :r.rj{iijl'Til1iill1r,i::il::
rnthewinte..l-T:T,1r",t;H;1illy.ti":t#:"Hi:;:#ffi ilJ,"f; in,ib::,i^:::it flf:;';;,ii""i, ,"'^*hitects of any community arpracti cin g two censed'

Ht"t;*rtd:ffi:Ji; ;;";;i"five hundred' ' orp was some buildins :i;;;'f" a population o[ so there *aq .ome building going It was a big ski "'";-:il;;tU11n d; r1f iie so11 i:n tt' o Po'.":-:]i:':::";:::; :: i:ff"-^"i; rs Dorn
thi rtvI



If a guy jn Essex' cnnnecric't. which Connecticut' r tp""t most of mv lile ;;t;;""ti;;t?t'" Sound a little west of on Long Island is a little sailing, o"iioo- town New l.ondon' and I were living in a building Anyway, at the time, Dindy fhis wife] The deal was that if I I'd designed to. u gtty'ut u *ood*orking shop' we were living in this So built it, I got to llv. iri iiiot u y"ut fot ''toi-hlttg' of heat ' we wood shop, freezing. Freezing io death' our only source went out' It had this old wood stove, *hich was horrendoers' The thing it wouldn't was kind of an old t*"' u"J it was real leaky and stuff' and two o'clock every morning to fill hold a fire overnight. I had to get up at this damn thing up, to keep it going so it would make it through the night. One -otttittg in Marih, I said screw it, I'm not going to get up'

l* *;il"#::i:Iff: ;[:

And so I reached over and turned on the electric blanket and I went back to sleep. The next morning we woke up, and our inside air temperature was eleven.

In Houston, the contrast would be much more marked. The difference is that in New England poverty has become rather chic. I have a theory that the entire history of twentieth-century New England has something to do with the sad surplus of Harvard architects. Here are these fellows, superbly trained and motivated to modify man's habitat. They find New England so stimulatin9 intellectually that they don't want to leave. Yet New England is so poor that nobody can afford to put up new buildings. So they're broke. But clever. And so they get into mischief. Take Duncan Syme. He's not a Harvard architect; he's a Yale

architect-but close enough. Syme is the man who designedthe Vermont Castings wood stoves mentioned in the beginning of this

what So I ended up doodling around on a piece of paper about it would a good wood stovele like. My eleven degree experience became a catalyst for becoming interested in stoves per se. Not totally as a marketable entity, but juit because I've always been a curious kind of guy in terms of mechanical gizmos and stuff . A couple of us went and talked to a whole bunch of people, did some ,"r"u..h, began to get some papers on studies that had been done during the war, state-of-the-art papers from Europe, and stutT like that. I came up with the stove I wanted. I didn't know whether you would want one, or anybody else, but it seemed like a pretty nice stove.It had fea-tures that combustion-technology ,"r"u..h said was imporljt-}tt". it t"Tt'uld had all the features I wanted frJm a kind of user number. r hadn't even heard of half of the major activities which are required

The Nine Nations of North America

in order to build a wood-burning stove five years ago. I didn't even kns\,v what the names meant, or what the jobs were, or anything. I had this stove all designed. Murray [Syme's partner] and I built ong out of steel, welded it all up. And it took two days. And we said this is hopeless. The thing is so labor-intensive that there's no way we're goine to make any money out of this. And to put all those goddamn air chanl nels and stuff in them . . much too much time is involved. So at that point I said to myself, well, lookit. We got twenty-seven parts to this stove, but the old wood cookstoves-beautiful, magnificent things.-must have had eighty billion parts, and I'll bet that a guy assembled one of those things in three or four hours, bolting them together. So I said, it must be that, because you have the ability to kind of cast all these little things in place . . cast iron must be the solution. So we started calling up foundries. The first foundry we called up, we said, "Listen, do you guys cast iron?" And the guy said, "Yeah, we're a class thirty gray shop, what do you need done?" And there'd be a long pause from Murray, and he'd say, "I'll get back to you." And he literally went and got a book out of the library to find out what a class thirty gray shop was. That's why we have our own foundry today, because it turns out that making stove plate is such a specialized thing. And it turns out that the stove I drew up . . It just turns out that quite a few other guys on the continent have my kind of leanings.

t5 NEW ENGLAND inside their because the snow's rd they're whining



'lhirissomethrns';;?;,'1Ji:1::1,",:*,"ii;'liin'.',";t""i'i;"1 t'i^,-;:fftfiT;r*;J,.ii i" it himselr andhe made that 'nopp"ar tY:tl,: gala*v It isn't a fire that lfi::i li:::::t"f:

ll t"".'"1".* *;T F_ j1*}, :alternative' u'ottttd iot tom" Iike it, u"o t' to"ti"g






Yeah, I said, but how many of those guys are sitting in New England farmhouses where they've got a couple of two-by-fours propping up the chimney and a pie pan over the flue hole, just waiting for your stove to be installed? Wood burning in New England is now becoming attractive to the middle class. If that's not what it amounted to, you wouldn't have designed your latest model so that it slips comfortably into the opening of a suburban fireplace. And this is how he got launched on a discussion of poverty chic: "I would not give up wood heat now, even if I could afford to have a nuclear fower-plant of my own. I would not do that because I like the type of heat you get out of wood." What do you mean? I asked. Heat's heat. Either you're warrn or you're not. I was greeted by a chorus of dissent from the stovemakers. Syme went on:
A single source of radiant energy that ultimately heats the entire habitable invelope is incredibly diflerent from having this whole envelope amazingly uniform in temperature. You're busting your butt, trying to get the car out of the ditch, or help

,ttu" the dial the subtletl::-"t^tl:,1t:i::^:: I think we must b"""*;;;iugged in to relaxing thing and it allows t"i':*t I' a. ' : St[ X fiH;.'J"fr;"j see the wood-stove boom guy to get plugged b""[;;;""d ini't *tty I intimatelv involved with ra real hope. It i. u uu.i' il;;;pilt""o-i"g

'u*;;;; fiffii'}.i'#;;;;; on the wall'

hell or a lot closer to the


source. And energy is everything'

usetts, amid the narrow, twisted streets that were of along patterns literally-.r,uttittt"d by the meanderings basic rdead cows, there's a small monument to a single' se of radiant energy that has nothing to do with poverty chic' a less-than-.o*uriti. reminder of what is behind New Engof an t p;;J;; ;;;d#";1. it'i. i' a faithful re-creation a big' is Ctihen of a textile-mill worker, and its centerpiece coal stove. stove was called a Glenwood C, and in this model room' it :fully dated;ai;.; ,9oo." Note is taken that "thousands of nt buildings were erected to accommodate" the immiwho flocki to the rnills of Lowell in the nineteenth cen1gh lhe neighborhoods were separated

:twohundredmilessoutheastofRandolph'inLowell' taro

'r L[c most part, similar in styie. The kitchen played an-important style. The krtcnen prayeq alr uuPvr Lc'! -t:T,h." the lives ofihe tenants, in that it was generally the onlyroom in rnment with heat. All of the rooms *"." b,tilt off the kitchen as a

by nationalities, the houses

The Nine Nations of'North America 34 lif'e, the result. The kitchen thus became a vital part of tenement of all the family's activities'




Everything in the re-creation of "a typical tenement apartment" during the depr"ssion of the r93os is brightly labeled and noted:
linoleum lloors. Thc furnishings include pressed tin ceilings, and printed dated at r9I5. Although electric refrigerators rvere ih" i." box iJroughly rvouldn't in use by I93o, \ue can assume that a tenant of this apartmcnt particular interest is the coal fclothes] have been uit" to afford one. Of iron, circa I895, r.vhich r'veighs seven pounds without the coal Thc soapwere normall,v stone sink has a clothes r,r,ringer attached tci it. clothes
r,.,ashed on a vu,ashboard and h.,ttg

#:#rfi ':Tt#J{i'ffi



clothes lines across the kitchcn in


at r9ro. It had three comThe bottom of the pail held a drink' The second lavcr *'a5 partments. bread or lmit' used for either soup or ste$'' The top for meat' vegetables' do''u'n to the mill by one .f the 1'ounger ift" p"lf *u, g".r"iully carried children at lunchtime
The lunch pail on top of the ice box is dated

l*: :! i:] "*J;'l fi:;?: ilH::* i.: ;;' t'll1'; i i i"?l I explain-s. "The rest.of this
^11."-";i;ili, lowell' "We ;ust rt

The cheerful singsong of the plaque ends:

*".; "' she using these old looms whole complex '' ';':;';;;;il-"'a 1n-1v're # ;;.; i' n.''" ?+J{';:X" iH# :h-*" ;}:1't ":T:il; T:l: s i::f fl J : J,l,? :, l'" ii :: t ii;! l:, was i"':, x ;, H : : \:,. tough l,: Colombians' It's rhJn it





Try asking your parents or grandparents about the kitchens in homes. It should prove quite interesting'
Yes, indeed,


pu."ni, about the yea"rs of the bepres-sion, when the textile indusif *u, in full flight from New ingland to places like. Calhoutt' rickety C"o.giu. ask therriabout the staineJ oilcloth covering the

I thought to myself, ask your parents and grand-

"separated by kitchen table. Ask them about the neighborhoods luncrr nationalily." And about how much they loved carrying the pail down to the mills. paper Ask them if they remember the Sunday Advertis-e-r' the England' that once boasted in" tu.g"r, Sunday circr-ilation in New A yellowed promo recalls its glories:
r,xposr.o! Starvation wages, unhealthy surroundings' it't Massachucrooked shop or'r'ners, revealed in actual 'iotl"t of 'Ltk and deStories of shocking abuses, cr-uel t.eatment, setts. swEAr suopsl that cancerous evil plorable conditions. The tr-uth about srveat shops' Exclusively eating out the fiu", ui '"'ta"rpaid worke" i'-t Uut'uthusetts' in tomorrow's SundaY Advertiserl

close and then it was J;;;i;"'' u"i""ttvuodv's reluctant to let it it's for the mill to k.;;i;;;' go over there' left' You should down because it's .li";;i;;;e like the Tower of Babel'" of Lowell' As it has ul*uy'-b""" in the mills It one big museum"' she continues' "It's like th. *hlit-'i"*" in the best of "There's an antique on every corner' il;" are not have been restored condition, but theyire all there' They may not th" federal-monev is irtit't -h^t to their former toi.;;;t;i,l"t will come to going to do, and that's *hut th" tourists' we hope'

grinding toil'

"What they're hoping for in the long run is a Sturbridge Village kind of thing, or Williamsburg." . , Lee Cott,; y"";;;;;i"-*i5" architect whose office is haltwav between Harvard and MIT in Cambridge, is one of the people who came up with the iJ"u, utt.rly mad Jn the face of it, of making one of New England's grittiesi cities into a theme park to misery' after the fashiin of Colonial re-creations the tour guide mentioned.

think of the federal And while you're at it, ask them what they memories' but government ,p"nai,'g tax dollars not to bury these

of the reasons the Lowell project was so relevant to us lCott exglainedl' was that it really brought together a',vhole lot^o{ things for us tn this office. General Motors grir orriof the tradition of Lowell' As an architect or a designei- or a visionary, in your best moments -



Nine Nations of North America


you have images of what you want the world to be like' Lowell conforry15 i" ih" image."It has the kind of thing you push for. The idea of doing q you end up large build"ing, then a couple of buildings together-until was the ideal situation for a gr-oup of young, doirg u whoi-e city. This creative architects and planners who wanted to get it all out of their

,yrr"rn.Here'sacity.Whatdoyouwanttodotoit?Redoacity' 'Eight years ago, when we first started we were among the first to do "kin; people had of lar-ge-scale adaptive reuse of older buildings
this real trepidations. "I'm going to live in a factory?" they'd say' "Soon'


S#""J;:'^:l::"J*i#l*'il'J* ;;'i;






n v en t

ion of



er e

ct ri c

worked in ihat building. I

I grew up there l who wants to live don't want to live there?,, They don't see ii as part of their life that is worthy of recall. We did have a l-ot of that attitude about Lowell, among the local people.
act together to apply for frfties u.rd sixtie-s. Which is exactly buildings was torn down. The old tear down, are now the city's great

renovatlon' ffi#:.Tl',::l;ffi lilq',gm****-i*il*i lffi*'iJi:T;;;"-il;;tbulb are the best ones for

The people's attitudes about themselves had deteriorated. The city had gone t; n"ll. tn fact, the city was so far behind the times, they never even

iot their

federal urban renewal money in the what saved the city' None of the old buildings, too big, too monstrous to hope for the future'

Boston' fffi '*?f

il'#f :h??:l:*?l''}i:l?:trii1?i: "#'.1ffi g::l; HJ':H$i: lor exa'rPN;;;'f.;g :J'l:;J:ilii:j+i:,*;*:m,*':t,f l: close to

*:^1:"":nH ;i transit peoole onto rapid


Cott says that he's lost interest in the project on a- day-to-day basis, now that it's off the ground, "mainly because I never saw the Lowellians having confidence in the project.I think, like most things, the people *io ur" closest to it have the least confidence in it." But that doesn't mean he's lost confidence in restoring old New is England structures, making do with the fact that New England toopoor to generate extensive new building'
Ten years ago, when I apariment rinit for the eldeiy

disappear tomorrow' Boston would H:",tlt-1:l^lf. t hardly find it as crushing as *,,,,"" *ua" that New England's tuture ffil;'J t"g;"n.1);:,,::?: n its being tully deprl"ci"t"J' u"fifte newer ror examp-r e' the' tuture is

scale' with T:T""tio,i';';;;";;il;; ;^t ihe onlveverything kind of-scat::1.":: ns else, back when -*"re


#;;;;;""i :'#;ilili'J;;'ftri: ;;;;";' ;;;;;; T.r the presenJ. Growth.F":" t' *Y:*1?, H: L* pollution controls' new fire;"#"1"*t,;#

typitul HUD fDepartment-of Housing und U.bu.t Developmentl unit, sii hundred and twenty-five. square for well ,r.ra".i*".tty-five doilut'' Now you can't touch feet - under thirty-five thousand. it for Now, in Central Falls [Rhode Island], we're doing an old mill bujlding proJright on Main Street horr.i.g for the elderly. And it's a beautiful - going"to do is have hydroelectric power there' ect because what we're in alterWhen we got going on ttie LJwell job, ue gotieally intereited t::? g,r".ybody talks 'about solar' but native sources of """tgy-part oi the century' The solar power'1"{ "-. LIrs strrrrury' rrrs svrar P""" indus# fo. tnls off base, at least Ior tfri, pan ol oll ' and hundreo *' at LrrrJ Pvrrr!' rrvr!v'-^, '-_-.;^-.:;^*--.,^r-totally cllluryurrrr LOtarly embryonic 4L thi; point. However, there are two n^wer. we p?Ill , ,"v"niy sites in New England that are appropriate for *ul"t SsvcIlLJ >rlss rrr l\Lw lrrSrsrr ,,o,
: *"tj-.,r.n went ouT looKlllB lul urrs' YYL rvurrq went out looking for one' We found our own developers' A."9 hltjt" a '--.Aro ubor'rt.o-plet""*ith the housing, and we're going to be doing wi" he ill be just

first got going in this business, we could do a new


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fasf,ion, would u" trtul'tft.'loo- would slow' becausethe I doing business i., ;;";;. would suddenly soar' The last Denvei, or anyplace else in the South and West, wants to slow the bo"m. So Los Angeles, for example, went into to build freeways. In Houstori, the plan was to avoid finan[ligations by ttot building any new i.""*uy for y-ears.' Buf in ases, citizens of the futurie wiil pay the price.In Los Angeles' at last have caught up with financial realities, ut th::: ibecame due. In nJ"", frouston, the evening rush hour, now forrr hours long, will continue to lengthen until new transion facilities ire built, or the population becomes so outaJ the inconvenience of getting around the place that peoto leave.

Denver were paying' for ., it *"rr, along, tn" tu""t on each newcomer would be ns. What would h.;;;;, i" the classic checks-and-bal-


'";;;r, services of all sorts'



The Nine Nations of North America



By contrast, New England sports almost four centuries of ital expenditures, built-to lasi, as the restoration archit".,.tll" discovering. Blessed with great seographic diversity in a very ."-p".t u!.u - Massachusetts is three and a half hours wide and forty-five minutes deep - New England's transportation needs are less formidable than, say, those of Texas. And many of the solutions are in place; public transportation has been a tradition since well before the automobile was developed. Unlike most of the West, New England has a wealth of water, and though municipal sewer systems may be falling into disrepair' at least they already exist, which is more than you can say for the new, highgrowth areas. Housing, education, recreation, and cultural facilities are all there right now. And almost everything that it was possible for New England to is already gone. This area jobs, industry, money, power lose went through the agonies of decline decades ago. Survival was hardly a picnic, but what's left is a paid-for asset. Thus, even Jim Howell, senior vice-president of the First National Bank of Boston, who readily concedes he prefers the go-go business methods of Kansas City to some of the tight economic circumspection he sees among Yankees, discerns some advantages to New England's position.
The difference between us, now, and the Great Lakes is that the Great Lakes region has got a wage structure that is probably thirty, forty, or fifty percent above ours. Wage structure levels get set by the dominant industry, and the dominant industry in the Great Lakes has been automobiles. The dominant industry here has been low-wage industriestextiles, apparel, Ieather. So our wage structure right now is highly competitive even with the South, because in the South, wages have risen' The difference that may help us is that the decade of the eighties is going to be one of critical labor shortages. Skilled labor' Blue collar' Because everybody wanted to be a white-collar worker in the fifties and sixties. All you have to do is look in the working-class bars, and the people are all old.

ffir'"o'nput:fi-T"?;'no uj;i'it'"se

plants' ut'd th" onlv :$$ff',-lri'ililiitii'*:t""'*:ril*"*ri#



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lffir,iiif,','.ffieraiHlfrt"1i'+$}lidru;l]til# our'vsD' o ^"" ";;" fiom right here' commercial spinpost-Sputnik
of '" jttll"rit]#i";il;''ili"s
the advances

t'iet' tlchloloey, *til^.::"t:tir":l::t; Boston' No*' N"* England is a electronics ter of one of the hotte-sT tt"ut-i" -:P:t:lTlltr:i


Howell points to the considerable tradition in the ethnic cornmunities of New England of working with your hands as precision instruments, .iih". in the 1"*"t.y U"rin"rr, or the texrile
business. That's why we're building on a strength. It's unusual to have a policy sorneoption thai actually addre*sses a major problem . . that builds on good at. thing you're Pretty

, thousand' is word:processing systems, it employs three is,buyi"g ttp-.17 . ftign-tise irithe heart of Lowell'.andand warehousing' " ;;;;tff;;;;n" "ttlls for manufacturing in ry46 in apX.E. w."g, who got his Ph.D' from Harvard really saw-his physics, f,u, b".i in business since 1952, and t tut. off when he made a major breakthrough in the elec'calculator field in 1964. In part of the valley of the M:fiof Lowell - the river that originally powered the mills big employer is Raytheon. , ut- orr. poirrt, if somebody came to the First National pf Boston to ask for money, and he had a government-conassociated with a high-technology scheme, the loan offi.cers ing orders: No matter how crazy either this person or seemed to be, neither could be turned down without auttion from a senior vice-president. tnan credited with convincing the appalled banking comthat such aggressive support of high technology was to pay off big was Peter Brooke. Now an independent venpitalist, he sees New England's future this way:

ih" bigg"r, employer in the Lowell area nor'r" for ttTp^L'^:Tr"t is Wang Laboratone.' tutuk"tt of small

$letand is still an area that smart people like to go to. I think it's illmate of intellectual ferment. To me, Boston is the best of the rn We've got a first-class symphony, first-class art mu,cities. and the places oiinterest u.".*uil, attainable, well run. For a



Nine Nations of North America



is a nice place to be. You're easily mobile, an4 the seas[e1..' ' the mountains' be even more ;;\'; but I think it may I think it may be mature econ-omically' pace. *"-." pfr*r"rophically. It doesn't have the hazard of meaningless about rushing toward some goal wrthoyt thinking v"" a""', find people We're like the British what it is they,ie trying to uJhi"'". We live on less. in that regard. ^--A;; ,fu;t people have a way of lasting. They always generate new certain kind of person,


got all these interesting things '


If that is true, Peterborough, New Hampshire' in turn' has dismoney' and that covered that new ideas have a way of making ."-" .f New England's underdevelopment can be its greatest
strength. -F"tZrUorough, near the ski areas of Mount Monadnock, is achingly quaint.lust up the road from the requisite-' perfectly propo"riio.r"d Congregaiional church, with the delicate' graceful complete *hit" spire, is . qult. large, s-tately, red-brick building' American labeled the ;ith f;. white pillars it the entrance' Guernsey Club Headquarters' -;;;;;"y cows, like all aspects of New England agriculture' not Hampshire' being the irot it"m1h"y onie were-in southern New

,ffii{it#t'-:#+:'"t,fr l1:j;**:jt=1*}t# ''l:il'?':*t'tr;:lt: $ffi *t'"*H"ffix,t*i:"T*ryff ;'ffi u';:";dli{;ffi+,:t'i"."i';f"Tfi #;liie;,}'{i+i


#.;:"rr- i3't'r!lt *til **,i"f* fr ffiHJ,m:d:'ru:n;tf*:1";:m":*ql{}$ decrarative sentence ;;;"; l" "was asked for directions to a :l=t:i f-t";X3lil:ir:; iaxi driver

ffiti*;*;li::.# j


+*#g*r*{*'* l;lll

hsn a Massachusetts "Gee'th*:Ii*;:r,rcrance to museullr' rur !vrr-----*ibv museum, hrs ,"rpl"t" *as is matched onlY bY tl:Ieir reluctance at all. one man tro*'ii*i"-*n',y^ coueasu Js cons idered r,i, Y,"ll1lg-f:::'T3i:i

theclubrentsout-".t'ofitsbuilding.Anditisherethat,tothe of partitions out

u'"-building scream of circular t.*t.*-t"t' to expand natural wood, ..r, ui tft" olligatory diagonal' in-order the offices of BYte. Bi;, or, to b. -o." precise, -a byte (pronounced like.^Ylat you babble' do to a hamburgeri i, i-rr"it of iniormation in computer and fastest-growing magIt is also the name of the first, largest, Every azine directed to the home-computer owner in America' pages' in perfect binding' month, it contains-r;";t *ott ilo"y Many' with a full-color, gr#hically intriguing, heavy-stock cover' giants from the many of those 250 pages are high-rent advertising fi"1d. circtilation is pushing and would-u. giu.rl. Zi *ri, fo"o*irrg outstrip' two hundred thousand as of this writing and is regularly callJd oncomputing' ping the ur.rait ,"porir. A second ^uglin"' has been aimed at less technical-minded to"'p"1"' dilettantes' is expected that started up so u, t" b.u.["ithe markelzuffv' r' oiCo*p"ii"g will soon dwarf Byte in circulation' into the whole Publishing eiu'i h"' #;;*;;;; tnililf;nrs in out of the American Guernsev club Headquarters Peterborough' r. - r:r^- n^-l rrolme".. but he l'd comeio talk to Byte's founding editor' Carl Helmers'

l -^1:, :::r:*r"1,?: unf;i:?t:"i:il"'#fi ;h"h *u''"ott'i"g but barelv explored t":-l.i tiaveling
$antness. rs and ask

ii;iii#T.#ffi ;;i.*;+ii;?;l mi les to't'"i'l"'

Conversely,-i* i:t:::; "ttitat"n t$"il1";J,ilft;'i;';h";;;;- ;;;"porl, mothers pack ;u" make it att

tuntain roads with tn"E atop-offs that make automobile frtght: a genuinely ,.uty .*". rft. one thing equally The only way a out New Engtncl-is its insane drivers' ever finds an-ything in New England is through a proc:s: the native tries lor several strangled minutes to grve on the phone and then says: "Oh Lell. Get as far as the Johnsont and call, and t'il come and get you'" It was this process which led me to be following the young emfrom Byre.) ters, it-turned out, lives off a dirt road, in a comfortable' new, if rather conventional home set among everand tall birches. In it, he had just installed a Vermont s wood stove. He considers both the house and the stove
going to build my own house sooner or later," said the

if they think-,f;t the.,Y1)i !1c,1 to this The only pfu."'*iifi u t""t" of space similar Le day. the,excut-:{Pl: Virginia, and West Vitgi"i. at le-ast hai


The Nine Nations of North America



bearded, mildly rotund bachelor, who, in his early thirties, lqsl$ like the semi-grown-up version of the kid in your high school 116o always went around with a slide rule dangling from his belt ] the one who called it a "slip stick."
This is a temporary measure. I have fifty acres on the other side of Hancock. It's a very nice fifty acres, covered with pine. If I w_ere to log it flai, I probably could pay for it out of the wood va^lue.But I'm not going to do that. It's where I'ru going to get firewood for the next year. I know enough people who want free firewood who'll cut it down for me. The main reason for the Vigilant [the wood stove] is not to be noble and save energy. It's a fine stop-gap in case the power fails. But then I'm going to get rid of that. I'm hoping to get installqd, before the winter comes, a propane-fired five-kilowatt generator for my standby electricity, in which


ror other costs' ;1,iil',rx,,"ir{it*i*yi$:n:m::ft:Ki"H:i"":i; Hui ;;;o"nsates


ff ';fi*fi*"',"mx$;:r'*tffii;Ly";;::;l:[ wltn rne Pr'sr onlv as far as Boston'

ffi"lr'*lF$:ft i"1:l;*q**rti*l*'r* il'Jl^1,',,';,ihilil;l*:,T;-?:"':i::"fi :: j:li:
t:::l:?:l:"1if:"t:l fiLr\ffij'rfi.X], u"o way camera'#i' :#$: ilfi"ooil:? ;F;:Tlll'i""'t d" i: """"','"T:; to be edited in Peterbori,H"l,o"r, o.lll:1 o.ri, "if ,ht ,i' ri"lm"rs pointed

I don't really need the Vigilant. My land has a nice stream flowing across it that, in the driest part of this year- like two months without significant rain - was still flowing at fifteen kilograms per second, and it flows down fifteen meters across my property. That works out to about fifteen hundred watts, which would charge a lot of batteries. And that's just at leanest flow, and that's
if I intercept the whole stream. A week ago, when we'd had five inches of rain in fifteen days, it was flowing as much as when the snow run-off was happening. That I can roughly estimate at three hundred or four hundred kilograms a second, which works out to be about fifty kilowatts. That's a lot of power. The technology involved is getting an impulse wheel and putting an automobile alternator on it and running it to some batteries, and charge them up and have semiconductor inverters on them. The semiconductors are the same technology as is involved in my computers. The whole system will not save money. It's done primarily as a neat thing to do.
Was forming a serious, high-technology-related publishing empire in Peterborough also primarily a neat thing to. do?
You can publish

fft;:'::;; d;;;;*-t'u"" *"eu'11; of t1" -:lt::t^t":ryltl?A very senior "aito', o"" Helhe is going to go off on the road," fri"'i""r"ilTli;;;;, I said. "He and hit ;if; u;""U'ylttg a tractor-tr"it:.tillil:: things

be hauling to have a contract with Mayflori"., and of the world' he' his md forth. Look at fri*.-g"'t tn top make the monev he's making lat :il;;;;;;tr"-.utt to turns out, his wife has always had a burning desire ! tractor-trailer. he's quitting in January or so. And he has thi.s vilion.3f riti;,ippi" ih. .ab of the truck while his wife "i-p",.t-i" io, it to power it off the truck and hg. H;b got an i.rrr"ti., . He has visions of doing fifty pages a month as a quota lcopy preparation, *hilh is what he's been doing' Th.e wif be used for more than just word processing' He'll in programming ideas in the articles tob. And then he'll a disc [computeimemory device], and I'll print it out on computer. I'll show you the computer. Come upstarrs' are two computers upstairs, as it turns out each about of a generous wastebasket. The computer that is about to America is hardly the more fascinating. New England oiiital Able/6o attachedlo what appears organ keyboard, two speakers, a television set, and a that's the real eye-catiher.


out in Boston [workirig fo, a


magazine anywhere.

live space-ship brainsl for fJur years, looking for an economic excuse to


It's an idea industry' I camped called Intermetrics, which designs

in New Hampshire. That was my explicit philosophy when I Ttt,"g..:: I Boston. I had friends who lived in New Hampshire, and I liked it' ius' thought it was a neat place to live. There are a number of advantages right around here' First ".f,^l:!*


varrr"--Oe tnrng COUIO u"' SalO OI r""";;;';"i^ JUlrullra Luurrty [r b"rir"'nru -:ea11! L-EcoIOpraItJ "? anct nncr LIls errcJ wn:'j-;na tnese have to pick and choose among these people and find,the ones '""- t, gnd will work. But because of the fact that you're the only jobs arounu

:ffi i.'i

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;;;;;;'4";6 i"

Nine Nations of'North America 44 aiso made by The musical keyboard is a Synclavier synthesizer' the keyboard' switche's Xew England Oigital' Helmers steps up to a little Bach' i;;"1;? lights-flash, and he tinkles awav atkeyboard' o"a The the oui computer sorts out rvhat he's doing at speakers comes a little Bach ' ifrr"itgft the Far out. lOtt ,-to, you haven't heard the far-out part yet'". red lights come on, Helmers makes some adjustments' different sounded like an-organ is uJ,fr" ai,ty he's just played on what this time sounding as if the con-rputer' but ;;;.t"gn"a o,rttyon a harpsichord' played iiwer* being




"* ing like piPes.


back at us, memorized by the computer, sound-

it,s been slorved Now it,s chimes, and with the twist of a dial speed' do*n ro 645lroooths of its original "And if you get tired of that' you can always '" of an what's .ro* .o*irg out of the machine is the beginnirrgs have instmments' all of which orchestra. fU" sorrnd! of different and pour over each been given their voice by the computer' blend other. "Here, let me play it back'" r-;^L - TL.- high ,;;T;:;':,'u",r1".,o- each insrrument is different. The had the part that part, which hua U""rt".ulfitp" It now violin' and been chimes is Piano. What the hell, I saY, what is this? computer to a teleHe explains that h'is tt^t step is to rig the onl-v will'l1,tontt vision screen so that when he plays a turie' not t""t;;;"; wili automatically come out of the speakers, but the each- instrument write the score on tt-t"-r.t"""' Not only ttat' but its olt'n color on the screencan stored in the computer will have so that an entire symphonv the tuba .tot., -uy*b" p"tpf" playing each instt-tlbe r,r,ritten on one score by one person srmply ment's part on the keYboard' "This is definitely not a toy'This is going t<-r y" u.'.'-'l,comrneron the sroe' cial product. I'm siarting a little company -,' finish got this 'straisht -- when you contlet me ,"t it I;ve And



;in: :ru i"J;;" ;;', "' a,. * :"""'ii,:Hi : : l.liil L ;l : "X';: Pror idencc we *"'d g" ':i ..,1. A::fi:".|,'iilln'l.:,;;;;;iofincoursc it took us ";; pitl g"l u tlli


v\'ry \\ cll read'

*il .,i"*"trtt' ro it -- every couple used to look fonvarc j, ; i'"oj" "t -'"-'':l*i j,'il,.ij j3;i Jx m:;"'l :;'Til,l'''il
are short You

ih. rhird fl,or o[ a tcnenrcnt o'l h e seeo n d lu ;i'r"tli?5-^,*i' ) ::'\:"J: : l'l'lu o "'"i," "d'l ii":r, floor, so now I'm paving t\\enl)-n\-e' .r rht ughtful, and ht'rt. h.' is.



;;i,,:'i';:';.u'* _.6.ff.;t,i[.*lli,,',',J,i.1::lillil:, his tt'it'ng' t"'m thc samt wav' l'm his art' terfere with f,,, On"i'*'^phS ,.oute' I'm a nc'erthirty years.,o',,11'"?"""i1"'""i^ ktd' i';;;;ap\'r a B'A' from do-weil. I admit it.I don't care' l'm a year ar'vay
grew- up on DickPaul is from a family of fourteen children who eduiated' and ens Street. He and five of his brothers"^t" Uttgn"t' with

ni.r. d,resn'r in.

building yo.'. horr."r;;; ii"'-i"a"ili-ononv-wriling p"i"t *-rriue fired up by your w.ater wheel? fun?" '-litrr-t't doing .l"ctrot'it mt'si<: in the woods

yit * *lt:J

f il'i*,T.fl' : Ri'5? i jil"o"j *



he rv a s'i

ttl9led enormously talented musically. Th;it:;;tn,,t: to describe the phrases like "soothing, low-freq.t"tto rumble" sleep at sound. the freighi i;;fi; made as ttt"y trtt"a the boys to night, passing right by the back doo.. e".ttupt because of their ttr or absurdist humor unaln"it chronic.inability "u-""n'r" ttut ever been htppy lee money as an end in itself , ,tot-t" lf ilt"* ln a conventional job. apartment . R.b B;;;;;;, in his mid-thirties, the man wh<.ne thisis,has left his job as a puppeteer because ol what one ol nrs brothers J""r as "a persorrurity iruJ *i,h ,h" puppets'"


The Nine Nations of North America



Now, he says, "I'm just working. Working in a mill. Weaving _ like chain mail for watch bands. It's just work. Let's no1 1q1tr about it." rrv u 6vvq cttoug\ Nights, he plays guitar in smoky clubs, and he's good en, to make up to $ roo a gig. Aime, also in his mid-thirties, with a degree in music, is working for the city government, counseling the long-term unemployed. "Lord knows I'rn qualifi.ed for this job." He laughs. "Experienced. Nobody wanted to hire me because I had a fiveyear gap in my work record." The gap occurred when he ripped up his back, working as a manual laborer because there were nq jobs for music instructors. Charlie, in his twenties, has abandoned his paper route to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. Buzz has left for Los Angeles. He'd had it with playing rhythm guitar in trashy Woonsocket clubs for $25 a night. No matter how many songs he wrote, he figured, that's no way to become a star. So now he's delivering papers for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. But he says that he's about to turn the corner in his musical career, and he keeps sending copies of his demonstration records back east. Buzz's going-away party was held in the tired old Knights of Columbus hall on Japonica Street. The music came from manhigh speakers wired to a maze of microphones, amplifiers, guitais, and keyboards, accompanied by a thicket of dr-ums, all bought on time from the Ray Mullins Music Company. The fact thar all their equipment is acquired in a dollar-down, dollar-aweek fashiott, uttd is rar"ly paid off, amuses the brothers. Off the crooked ceiling tiles of the l,ow, dark, crowded room bounced the Ioud Rolling Stones question: "What can a poor boy do, save to play in a rock and roll band?" ^

ff: iT:,

il;'iff *



ffigff*#*$ff""*"lii* ,'#H
h+il#,#j'$ii*:+*ili:;J*:tfr:f; England'
Ma s sachus ettf :

nff ;li, j"i ii,,ir Jttion intersected' with his thoughts, for, are l#fi;";i:[""'-s!"" read'familiar g"gf""ders' theY
life but from the impartial or wise observer-of human call voluntary poverty [he agreedl *" ti-t""fa fge ground of what well emplov"Ulll:l"l:"1::t:11; I do not speak to trrose who are u'" we[-emploved or not;'- but :;T and idly.coTlg:11.: to the mass of men *no ut" iiscontented' the times, when they might improve rhirjr*.r'"iil;l;, or of ; . .I also have in my mind that seemingly wealthy'b:tfl?t'ljll, but know roverished class of alt, wtro ha"e accumulated dross' thus have forged their own golden tL rr." it, or get rid of it, u"ti
; can be an

l|,i-' ll}', Tiil i *1,:X: .i:",il"'#ilt, l"J -'l f,ff 1ll;ffiffi ;i';;;*'::11-:::u.^f "::",,:llliii "';idering where material



'er mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call Love .*names . . . The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant' thlillne, h,


dipped in melted butter, and their nutty sweetness chased

ih"up, fresh, exquisite-tasting local clams were steamed' bJ


which, ir

not exactly MicheloU:'was at least cold. rrJ Michelob:'was I 'r !Aq! , n Li.t i"gt"tter off ih"i. fing"rs, and keeping an eye,on tl:,l1i not Sox game on the television ,.t orr". the bir, ih" ,"lo.l"ts did talk about a California where there are * l"rr"*"tts demandin8 rnote expensive heating oil. It wasn't a day of pining for a better ' and new songs' middle-class life. The talk was of old schemes Said one of the brothers of a plan *itn ,o-t.rt,,,'ut econornic und ramifiiations: "We were going to have ,ntt U""!a-ni"ty

sun is reflected from ows of the alms-house as brightly as from the rich man's abode; melts before its door u, in the spring. I do not see but a "uily rl may live as contentedly there, and have as cheering thoughts' palace. The town's poo. ,""* to me often to live the most indet lives of any. May be they are simply great enough to receive misgiving. tuto.t ihlrrt that they u." uUL*'" being r; but it oftener happens that they are not above supporting by dishonest *"u.rr, which should be more disreputable' Cul:ty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much things, whether clothes or friends. Turn the old; return to iles-a" not change; we change. Sell your clothes and keep your ' God will see tha"t you do nol want society hours, even in u poor-horr.".

ihe setting

48 409

The Nine Nations of North America

410 411 412

414 415

Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his ."*Oiiu.h p".irup, it is because he hears a different dr-ummer. Let him st",-, ,xols, -' "'i' ro the music which he hears, however measured f;a;;uy-



418 419 420


424 425 426 427 428

On a warm summer day, when children ride in 1|re swan_shaps4 paddle boats in Boston's Public Garden, and, in the ever irundreds gather on the Esplanade to hear a free Brr;;'ltffJ symphony concert, this New Englander's words echo across the decades. This is also tme next to a salt marsh near Brunswick, Maine, as a man shows off the house he built himself, cheaplv and with great beauty, out of planks salvaged from an u".i;;l barn. And, of course, even in the high-decible world of the Japonica Street Knights of Columbus Hall, thoughts turn to him. For New England is c-ontinuing to learn his lesson, especially a-s it was stated by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson was talkini about his friend Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau wrote the wordi quoted above on the banks of Walden Pond, out beyond what is now Route ru 8. "He chose," said Emerson, "to be rich, by making his wants few."



' "ilii;;; say can v"tto* tips' theheftv cranes up on towers c lus*iitt incon,.;tffi;i; th" -utkittgs of gethlehem.steel' Amid them'a threeof ;;"1;,-;;" nestled vardarms Constellation'
y.ou see

' '"

ilastediailing ship, the U'S'S' "By the dawn's earlY light - . '" rrom the top of u ilt.'i" the lush park, the eye slowly pans the horizon. The park is on a sharp poini of land guarding the. harbor' which surrounds'it on all sides. The view is of brick smokestacks

and white and black water towers. Across the harbor over to the left, a tall, blocky gray tower with the look of a grain elevator is actually a storage place for concrete. LEHIGH cEMENr, it says on the side. e real grain elevator, its tall cylinders bound together like a monstrous"six-pack, looms in the other direction, dwarfing the-crab apple trees of port McHenry. 'What so proudly we hailed Actually, dozeni of cranes spike the horizon, a closer examina^. tron reveals. The Maryland Shipbuilding and Drydock yard over !.th: right has its collection, as does ihe lundalk Marine Terlt::I, and many more belong to industries even lifelong resilll}:"'t_teadily identify frim this perspective. The Francis Bridge, il?ll K"v Beltway a businesslike crisscross of steel, carries the over the wid.e water. The smoky black, coal;,Ht|:t"

ilff .;.J;i,mn::","T"Hn.lii:Hff


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