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January 23, 2012

River-rounded graveyard of Pocumtuck and the Mohawks, ransomed English, hand-skilled Germans, tap-and-die men, our fathers and ourselves. Twenty-two square miles, and Franklin County’s seat. 

Did you see? From where, Shelburne? From where, Northampton? Greenfield stood up, slapped its open space, scratched its infilled crusty hide—

—and soared! 

The suck of it, the slop. We heard the church bells then, and groaning steel with kettled pipes and fading car alarms. Bounced out as an afterthought: 100 nail salons.

Next day’s papers disagreed: Call-Clarion: “Obama’s Fault?” The Valley Times: “A City in Transition.”