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Letter: Missing Out in Norwich

To the Editor:

Like a distant relative who manages only annual visits to family, I look forward to my annual August pilgrimage home to Norwich with a mixture of anticipation and apprehension. While I can’t wait to return, the long lapses between visits makes it inevitable that I am struck by changes that remind me that I cannot visit as much as I would like. This year’s first surprise was an unhappy one. I visited the Norwich Pool one foggy morning resolved to take an icy plunge. I found nothing but orange construction fencing and a trickle of water running over the rubble of the dam washed out two years ago. I felt awfully sorry for the kids in the community who had missed another summer’s worth of ... summer. But the very next morning, I was delighted by another surprise. We arrived at the Gile Mountain parking lot and found 10 cars there. We expected that meant that we would bump into many other hikers, but we didn’t see a soul until we encountered a work crew halfway up the trail. The trail below had been widened and renovated and this crew was there on a Sunday morning hauling up rocks to continue the renovation. When I asked if this was a town project, they replied “Nope. We’re all volunteers.” I am sure that there are many people working on the Norwich Pool renovation with the same energy of these Gile Mountain volunteers. If the delays are due to money or manpower, I encourage an effort to reach out to the Norwich diaspora who grew up testing themselves with an icy swim to the big white rock. Two dry summers are unfortunate. Three would be tragic.

Robert Oden

Bedford, N.Y.