Snapshot Newton

The following submission appeared in “We Are Newton: A Neighbourhood Anthology.” See here for more information about the project.

By: W.B.

It’s just home, it’s always been …
The pieces stay the same, but the picture gets bigger

Long ago the library was too small, so they added on piecemeal to its end. It was before I could clearly recall it all, but I remember it as a runway for small children who sprinted end to end, to parents in the adult area and back to storytime in the kids’ section again, running by the checkout desk.

Long, tall, dark wood counter, overhang, though maybe that’s just how I recollect it from childhood, with a cavernous rectangular book drop slot.

Kids would run, thundering, echoing steps, Jump down an unknown number of stairs that I somewhat recall were there.

Past beige metal shelves, numbered by Dewey, with wood-grained ends. Around wheeled book carts, back to the fireplace and curtained puppet show stage in the corner.

Just before the washrooms in the centre lay to the left the novel Auto-Door (everywhere now but novel then), slid open to a ramp out back.

It was the Literary Hub of Newton, a quiet town laid down, with its sharp vertical angled roof sides and flat top, beside and under a tall Grove of cedars.

Then one day the library was torn down, a new one built. But this had already happened at least once before, according to the historical lore. A rec centre came in its space, as the already expanded library was now too small for the place.

So onto the new …

The library was relocated to what was at the time nowhere, next to a seniors centre they soon built there, a bigger library planned for a future Newton with great care,

A giant open book, with tables tucked into every nook
And a waterfall … that only works when it’s raining …
One of the many nuances of Newton’s past, present and future.

Long past, the grocery store that burned down, the railway trolley that used to roll through town

EJ’s store, the old Surrey Inn, before my time, photos of old Newton, over-scaled by seemingly towering roadside signs

New clusters of stores opening doors, and fresh new faces from distant shores
A garage sale every weekend in the spring,
While another car horn rings from the Highway, now a Boulevard thing.

Changes in Newton, new things added to the landscape:

Giant grocery stores, new schools and more, filled in a grid of streets in and out of its core.

Community groups took over where past block watches had been, and a new business improvement association arrived on the scene.

It’s hard to convey all the changes I have seen, or quantify the Newton that had been.

Will you participate in the change, or just in the background mill?
For Newton IS community.
From the ills of the world it has no immunity, no ingrained impunity

As new things in the headlines generate buzz,
You may look back and recall how it was ….

Newton is what it is, and change will come
But I hold in my mind a vision of just how it was.

It’s home and always will be.

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