Neil Diamond had it right. "What a beautiful noise, comin' up from the street, got a beautiful sound, it's got a beautiful beat." I don't suspect he had Falmouth in mind, but it occurred to me listening to that song, one of my favorites by one of my favorites, that as much as I offer laudatory comments and observations on the people and places in Falmouth, we don't often pay attention to the sounds that make this 44 square miles of an auditory smorgasbord such a great place to live, work, and participate.
I was driving around last weekend, and actually rolled down the window and listened to the waves crashing ashore at Menauhant Beach, which by the way, has been duly recognized as one of America's best restored beaches by the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association. Kudos to Beach gurus Don Hoffer and Bruce Mogardo, and to our Conservation Commission and staff, and the town hall team who brought this south side jewel back to its former grandeur. Anyway, as I listened to that distinct, peaceful sound of each bundle of Cape Cod water gently reach its denouement on the soft sands of the summer hub of the 02536, I took a moment to reflect on some of the sounds that add to the character of our community. There are many - if you take the time to hear them.
Who hasn't had a similar experience of the soothing nature of Vineyard Sound peacefulness? I polled some friends this week, and actually crashing waves was the number one vote getter for favorite Falmouth sounds, with Eastie standouts Paula Kapulka and Rick Corey specifically mentioning the tranquil sounds at the end of Davisville. I'm not sure from whence the comforting warning of the fog horn emerges, but old friend and Peyton Place pal Gina Palanza identified that reassuring sound that emerges in stormy weather. What a great metaphor. Thoughts of that sound can ease any difficult day. Thanks, Gina.
I've often cracked a smile just thinking of the distinctive and hearty laughs of local legend Tommy Leonard, old chum Eddie Marks, and educator turned cabbie Jim Nidositko. All from different walks of life, but all genuine and affable, these Falmouthites always brighten a day with their joyful sounds.
If you listen closely this time of year, you can hear what Chamber Chief Jay Zavala identified as a beautiful noise - the "cha-ching" of our visitors supporting the local economy. He did offer a qualifier, though, that a more melodic resonance is a satisfied visitor noting that they'll be back. That is, indeed a sound we love. I try to take a walk down Main Street each weekend to soak in the local flavor. I love hearing the shrieks and giggles of happy youngsters, and their contented grunts as they enjoy a cone from Ben & Bills or a chunk of creamy delicious fudge from Ghelfi's. I love the "whoosh" of bikers (the pedaling kind), fresh from a visit to Corner Cycle, zooming by on their way to the Shining Sea. I usually walk in the mornings, and almost always encounter a satisfied sigh from a couple of filled bellies and fulfilled customers leaving a breakfast at Artie's or the Country Fare. I've enjoyed many an apple and sausage omelet there and added to the pleasant harmony of sounds.
What of the magnificent and melodious sounds of the bells of St. Patrick's humming through the early morning salt air on a sunny Sunday? That's one of my favorites. My brother K.C., who is known for a few merry and musical sounds of his own, suggested that the jovial greetings of Tom Mountford, who dutifully tends the drawbridge in Woods Hole from time to time, are a welcome sound. Agreed, my brother. Visitors to the south end will enjoy another summer of superlative sounds from this Sergeant.
Everywhere you look - and everywhere your ears lead you, there are utterings, mutterings, and melodies that contribute to Falmouth's beautiful noise. This weekend, take a moment and listen.
This column is reprinted from the Falmouth Enterprise.