From first grade I walked over Rider’s Rocks, between
Don’t think that because we were young we didn’t want to observe the world from any height or angle available to us. There were no distracting TVs in the 1940s. And radio, while it may have kindled our imaginations—who wouldn’t have been excited by The Shadow?—didn’t Disneyfy our perceptions. No, we were noticers, we kids who lived down the Cut, on
But it’s the hills I’ve had on my mind ever since I recently walked up to Governor’s Park. Dusk was approaching, that magical hush as the day ends and the night has not quite declared itself. I stood listening to the muted sounds of the city—the voices of kids playing after supper, the barking of dogs, the muffled roar of automobile engines. Robins sang, swallows darted in the muggy air. And beneath me the city spread out from
Where else would one ever want to be? What else would one want to do on such a summer night but stand and take it all in? There was the familiar roof of the Hovey School, now condos, the assorted 19th and 20th century houses of Beacon Hill, just below Commonweath Avenue where I stood, and the harbor itself, spotted with small craft heading for their moorings as night began to fall.
It was here on Governor’s Hill, in the big Victorian house to the right as you face the park, that I was taken one Sunday morning during the war by our neighbor Gardner Deering.
So hills served a wartime purpose, as did the concrete watchtowers on Eastern and Halibut points. But as children I think it was more the wonder of heights that drew us, as we envied the people whose houses commanded such a view through all the seasons. I remember following a narrow wooded path at
And what about Fiesta from Governor’s Hill or the top of Ledgmont, high above the blue carillon towers of Our Lady of Good Voyage? You may not be able to see the crowds or smell the sizzling peppers and sausages, the fried dough; but you can hear the vibrant music of the Italian bands and the voices of the revelers as if you were looking down on it all from the heights of