My list for Santa...
Even though Falmouth's annual Christmas Parade was postponed and rescheduled for this Sunday, I was able to engage in a bit of unexpected holiday tradition this weekend.
As I was strolling down Main Street, I saw a jolly, giggling older fellow enjoying the brisk but sunny weather near the peace rock at Peg Noonan Park. I nodded hello and kept walking, hoping to catch a quick cup of chowder at Artie's.
"Don't you want to tell me what you want, you are on the nice list," said the white-haired gent. I didn't recognize him in his Black Dog baseball cap and Soft As A Grape Falmouth t-shirt, but the ho-ho-ho was unmistakable and the rosy cheeks the stuff of legends. It was indeed the man himself.
I took a few tentative steps back toward the n'er used chessboard atop the granite tabletop in the park and asked, almost rhetorically, "I'm on the good list?"
With a hearty laugh and the voice of reassurance that only Santa and Bill Belichick can muster, he replied, "Well, you may have been a little rough on those Webster Woods opponents, but you can still share what you'd like."
Here then, with thanks and admiration for my new friend, is a list of things I shared and what I'd like to see under the Falmouth Christmas tree:
I'd like to see a life-size "Thank You" etched in the sands of Menauhant Beach to Heather Harper, Don Hoffer, Jen McKay, Leslie Fields, and all others who worked tirelessly to bring the dredge spoils that Uncle Sam and Jack Moakley took from Woods Hole and shared with the jewel of Davisville.
"Well, I never thought I'd see you and Paul Rifkin debating respectfully and sharing a meal together at the Moonakis."
This beach, formerly the pride of the south facing beaches, had turned into a rocky adventure, and has been returned to its former inviting and welcoming self. The image of Bruce Mogardo surveying the landscape during this project was one of the highlights of the year.
I'd like to see a plaque for the newly completed portion of the Shining Sea Bikeway aptly named for one of Falmouth's truest friends and one of this project's heroes, George Calise. In his tenure in Falmouth, George has overseen more than $100 million in public projects, almost always on time, almost always on budget, and most certainly always with the public's interest at heart.
The Church Street Bridge is still rustic because of him. Countless Falmouthites have walked on sidewalks he had the vision to recommend. Without the determination and sheer will of this engineering angel in our outfield, this project would not be a reality. It's time we memorialized this extraordinary effort.
I'd like to see enough copies of John Busby's book "The Year We Disappeared" so that everyone in our town can read this chilling account of one of the darkest eras in our local history and vow together to never let a Falmouth family live in fear at the hands of its own.
I'd like to see a list of real cost-cutting reforms from Town Hall for when the budget stuff hits the fan early next year, like following the lead of the MA Executive Office of Transportation and reducing the amount of take-home vehicles for town employees.
I'd like to see an official Falmouth welcome to our new State Representative Tim Madden packaged with an assurance from our neophyte Rep. that we will stay sufficiently on his priority list to maintain a Falmouth office as promised.
"How's that old friend?" I asked. "Well, I never thought I'd see you and Paul Rifkin debating respectfully and sharing a meal together at the Moonakis," said Falmouth's newest Main Street fan, as he boarded his North Pole Whoosh Trolley, "So I think anything is possible in this town."
Indeed it is Santa.
This column is reprinted from the Falmouth Bulletin