The Mast-Head: A Better View

I have become aware of how many near-misses there are on Main Street

In the weeks since a dead tree outside my office window was taken down I have become aware of how many near-misses there are on Main Street on any given day. 

Until Kevin Savastano came with his saws and bucket truck one cold Friday, the beech, with its silvery bark like an old elephant’s hide, had blocked nearly completely the sight line to where Buell and Dunemere Lanes come face to face. Now, if I glance away from my computer, within moments, it seems, some driver has dashed across another’s path. 

Staring out the window from my second-floor perch late last week, I watched a truck hauling a double-deck trailer that had just delivered golf carts to the Maidstone Club nearly collide with a big diesel from Mickey’s Carting hauling a roll-off container filled with what looked like half a torn-down house. Somehow, they managed to miss each other, the Mickey’s driver braking hard, the golf cart guy sailing through at full speed.

On Tuesday evening as I wrote this, an older man in a Prius avoided an oncoming sedan only by inches as he made a hasty left from Buell Lane.

During the summer, the village cops block off the approach to Main Street from Dunemere with a row of orange cones. For some time, there has been talk that the state (Main Street is a state road) might put in a roundabout there or stop left turns from Buell Lane altogether. If drivers continue to take chances, that may soon come to pass.

In truth, my perspective had been limited to the sounds of actual contact, so I had no idea how bad it was out there. The tree had given me one sense of things; its absence gave me another. 

Kevin Savastano said it was a good thing that we had taken it down, as it was in bad shape and going to fall one way or the other.

Woodchips alone mark the spot in the Star driveway where the beech stood. I miss it and am, if anything, more aware of it now that it is gone. I thought it was just a tree, not a shade pulled over what turned out to be a whole other view.