I wrote this after the 2017 municipal election, and although this year someone else took down the signs (thanks, Gwen!), and nearly twice as many of us voted, and our votes were for different (I won’t say more important) offices, the thoughts I offered then seem no less valid today.—Chris, Nov. 7, 2018
Yesterday, as I drove around Bolton taking down the Democrats’ campaign signs, I was struck once again by how beautiful our town is.
My path led from Bolton old to Bolton new. From our historic Town Green and the pre-revolutionary stone walls of Heritage Farm past much newer buildings and the promise of buildings yet to be. Up winding lanes past pond and marsh. Down straighter thoroughfares where colonial-era houses mingle with neighbors of far more recent vintage. Past farmland tilled for generations and sites of commerce undreamed of by Bolton’s earliest residents.
I count myself lucky to live here. Like so many, I came for the schools but quickly realized Bolton offers so much more. I marked them off as I drove around: the Hop River Trail, Bentley Memorial Library, Herrick Park, Pesce’s Farm, Bolton Lake, Fish Farm, Tinker Pond.
All of these places (and many more) form the tapestry that is Bolton. Threaded through that tapestry, bringing to life its scenes, are the people who built these places or made them possible, the people who frequent them today, the people who care for them, and the people who dream or worry about their future.
This past Tuesday, 1,500 of us made our way to Town Hall, a biannual pilgrimage to express, not with weapons and epithets but with marks on paper, our frustrations and hopes. In voting we further enriched the tapestry that is Bolton. Not because of any particular outcome but because voting itself is an act of hope, a reminder to ourselves and to our neighbors that what we have is worth continuing, worth preserving, worth building on.
The removal of campaign signs is both an end and a beginning. Having served their purpose, these bald appeals for votes are overnight rendered little more than litter across the landscape. Their removal, the symbolic end of the campaign, restores Bolton’s familiar landscapes and vistas.
This clearing of the fields, as it were, also signals that the time has come to begin anew, to sow the seeds of rejuvenation, to roll up our sleeves and begin with our neighbors the hard work of making democracy work in this small town we love so dearly.
Thank you, Bolton. We are humbled and honored and excited to begin the hard work that lies ahead.
—Christopher Davey, Chair of the Bolton Democratic Town Committee