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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Listener Letters

Air Date: Week of February 26, 1999

This week, a listener who was inspired by our story on the Gloucester fishery calls to read from Thoreau's journal following a visit to the town.

Transcript

CURWOOD: And now, comments from our listeners, or should I say in this case, listener. Of all the responses we received about a recent program, we thought one truly stood out.

ROUSE: This is Glenn Rouse in Maple City, Michigan.

CURWOOD: Like many listeners, Glenn Rouse called to tell us he was moved by Sandy Tolan's report on the hardships of America's oldest fishing community, Gloucester, Massachusetts. But Mr. Rouse, who hears us on WIAA in Interlochen, Michigan, didn't stop there. The story inspired him, he said, to dig up a much older report of Gloucester, a journal entry by Henry David Thoreau, following a visit to the fishing port.

ROUSE: "September 30th, 1858. In our late walk on the cape, we entered Gloucester at mid-evening, traveling partly across lodge till we fell into a road. And as we were simply seeking a bed, inquiring the way of villagers who we could not see, the town seemed far more homelike to us than when we made our way out in the morning. Yes, it was comparatively still, and inhabitants were sensibly or poetically employed, too. And then we went straight to our chamber and saw the moonlight reflected from the smooth harbor, and lighting up the fishing vessels, as if it had been the harbor of Venice. When entering the town in the moonlight, we could not always tell whether the roads skirted the back yards or the front yards of the houses. And the houses did not so impertinently stare after the traveler and watch his coming, as by day. Walking early in the day, and approaching the rocky shore from the north, the shadows of the cliffs were very distinct and grateful, and our spirits were buoyant. Though we walked all day, it seemed the days were not long enough to get tired in. Some villages we went through or by without communicating with any inhabitant, but saw them as quietly and distantly as in a picture."

CURWOOD: Thanks, Mr. Rouse. If our program moves you in any way, call our listener line any time at 800-218-9988. That's 800-218-9988. And by the way, Living on Earth is looking for stories about how people mark the change of the seasons. If you have one or more, call producer Jim Metzner toll free at 877-785-7399. That's 877-785-7399 for your stories about the change of the seasons.

 

 

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