Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Meeting the Stow Police

I went on a journey to Bolton, to the borders of Hudson, driving in my Toyota and listening to Puccini's "La Funiciulla del West". After I while I started feeling guilty that I was going off rock pile hunting instead of playing with my family, so I decided it was not a good time for Puccini and turned it off. As I go I pass woods which, I tell myself, I better have a pretty good excuse for not having explored and today, although I planned to go all the way to Bolton, I was passing a small hill in Stow and realizing that it was the last hill near Stow center which I have not explored and I could not come up with a decent excuse why I had not already explored it. So I went in a "private way" and went to the end of the road and turned around and was coming back out and there was a small boy standing next to the road with his baseball on the other side of the road. He was frozen in position and was waiting for me, so I edged slowly past and then pulled over and went into the woods for a walk. As it turns out there were only the faintest of remnants of ceremonial rock piles - two rock-on-rocks and a split-wedged rock - and a nice remnant chimney on the hilltop and so I headed back out for the car. When I got there, one policeman asked me what I was doing, and the other one had my car door open and was looking -I think- in my glove compartment. I explained I was just out for a walk and the first policemen accepted that, saying that an agitated neighbor had called. The second one said: "You would think there would be enough places in Concord for you to take a walk without getting the neighbors here all agitated." I said I was sorry and they let me go. A few minutes later, I was driving along and continuing my journey to Bolton and pulled over to talk to Barb. She wanted to know if I had talked to the police. Apperently they called her. I realized that it must have been the little boy with a parent watching and worrying about a strange man going into the woods near where the child was playing. I said to Barb: "I guess getting in trouble for tresspassing is probably par for the course if you are going out hunting for rock pile sites. In fact, if you aren't getting in trouble occasionally that means you are not pushing the envelope. Anyway, by this time I was pretty bummed out. Where I planned to walk in Bolton was probably more private property and I did not want any more to do with that today, so I turned around and headed home. I went over to my friend from Carlisle's and we went over to the Acton boyscout land to have a look at the "crystal turtle" he has been wanting to show me. So we did that for a while, then went back to his house where I had some port. Then we played a little guitar and then I came home.

Update A couple of other comments: one is that I was sloppy letting a neighbor see me get out of the car and enter the woods. So this is a lesson: sneak properly. The other comment is this: there is a tradition in these small Middlesex towns of reporting suspicious people to the police. The Concord Journal sometimes has multiple entries in the police log about: suspicious person seen walking along the road....or suspicious person of the wrong skin color....or etc. The formula is to suppress the name of the suspicious person if they are from Concord, or put it in the newspaper if they are not local. So I imagine my name might appear in the Stow newspaper. I was thinking anyone from Stow who recognizes the name will know why I was tresspassing and might get a laugh out of this.

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