A family sits on a rock and picnics, right next to White's Bridge
By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter
The people of Walpole were out and about on Saturday morning, doing whatever they could to get outside and enjoy themselves while maintaining proper social distancing protocols. As for me, I was headed to check out White’s Bridge to see how it looks after some landscaping work was done nearby, and to Blake Cemetery to see the Revolutionary War soldiers' tombstones just ahead of Memorial Day.
After I got off the highway, I quickly noticed that a group of hot rodders were having a de facto car show in a local parking lot. When you think of activities that might prove more popular in the future, car shows are something that sticks out. They’re outside, plenty of people have more time to work on their vehicles than ever before, and the six-foot rule is a great excuse to keep people from getting too close to your prized automobile.
The golf courses were full, too, which makes sense, considering golf is the sport that best allows social distancing. The Walpole track was also filled with people training for something. For what? Who knows at this point? When sports come back, there is going to be a huge difference between who took their lockdown time training and those who didn’t. I’m personally looking forward to watching an NBA season where, all of a sudden, half the players are in better shape than ever, and the other half are forty pounds heavier.
With its proximity to the high school, White’s Bridge was full of people hiking. Families with kids were the number one group, followed by groups of women jogging. Various people were picnicking on the rocks or just looking at the water, but everybody was doing a nice job keeping spread out.
While one can debate the necessity of a car show or a round of golf during the lockdown, what the volunteers at the cemetery were doing was particularly impressive. Consider that the group wanted to keep its numbers relatively small because of the coronavirus, which meant more work for each of them, and that every year, more and more of Walpole’s veterans die, meaning more flags need to be replaced.
Simply put, it was a lot of thankless work at a time when leaving your house is a risk in and of itself. For their effort, the group members were given challenge coins, which, as it was explained to them, mean a lot in the military.
On Saturday, I saw many Walpole residents outside in their community. But I only saw one group doing something truly worthy of celebration.