Saturday, September 20, 2008

Recycled walks

I won't forgive Wesleyan for pulling up all the ancient bluestone slate walks on High Street and replacing them with pedestrian (pun intended) concrete.

But I am pleased to report that at least some of those sedimentary slabs, or slab fragments, to be precise, are being put to good purpose here in Middletown.

While on a walk today, I bumped into Natt Holmes, a counselor and social worker who works at Middletown High School, as he was building a beautiful stone wall for Izzi and Jeff on Columbus Avenue.

When I asked about his labors, he said, "It's another hobby. I love doing it."

Well, his labor of love will be a complement to the neighborhood. With painstaking work, Natt, along with the resourceful homeowners, have scavenged and carried abandoned fieldstone, granite and brownstone as raw material for the wall from construction sites around the city. Always with permission of course. The wall which adjoins a post and beam structure they have built adjacent to their bungalow-style home.

Wesleyan gave the wallmaker and the homeowners permission to use some of the slab fragments removed from the walk on High Street.

As for Natt, who works 60 hour weeks at the High School, the thought of moving, cutting and shaping stones on a beautiful Saturday is less like work, and more like practicing an age-old art.

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