Paul Roy Jr – Odds and Ends

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A Thousand Words

We have all heard the expression “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Here are a few recent pictures I’ve taken during my wanderings and my thoughts as to what they say to me. Not to worry though, I will only use one word. Feel free to let me know what they say to you.

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On Life and Digital Cameras

Don’t you wish life was like a digital camera? I have recently taken up a new hobby, photography. I spend my free time walking around, sometimes through the woods, sometimes around town, taking pictures of things I see. You may have seen some of these pictures on this blog or my Flickr page. I’ve noticed the more pictures I take, the better I seem to be getting.

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The End of the Big Pond

When you travel around New England, through any of the old mill towns, sooner or later will you not only pass an old mill but probably the remnants of an old mill pond as well. The mills are easy to spot, the mill ponds not so much.

The Wheels that Turned the Works
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Gone and Forgotten

I have found a new passion in my life. As I have mentioned I have been spending a lot of time in the woods, walking around and searching for whatever might be out there. I love finding evidence of what man has built. To me, this is real history. It is awesome to see what or ancestors built, whether it be in this century or ten centuries ago. But every once in awhile I come across something that brings some sadness.

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Bones in the Woods Part 2

I have spent a lot of time in the woods this summer, exploring what is out there. My passion for local history has been reignited by finding ruins of homes, barns, mills, wells, and roads. In other words, bones in the woods.

old saw mill foundation sturbridge

Foundation of an old sawmill

This week I went in search of an old sawmill that is depicted on a trail map for the area. Let me rephrase that, there is a trail called the Sawmill Trail on the map, so I assumed it would take me to an old sawmill. It is also shown on an old map from 1870 I found online although I can only assume this is the same one as the map isn’t as detailed.

Walking around this site, once again I am amazed by the work that went into building this. For example, looking at the picture above, the wall closest to you is about 6 to 7 feet tall. It is about three feet wide. Further up the stream is a smaller one. Along the stream there is evidence of large boulders having been repositioned by human effort in order to direct the flow of water to where the turbine would have been. Although I don’t have a time when this was built it was at least 150 years ago, in other words, when the only power what was provided by man and beast. 

Walking through the area I am overwhelmed by the work our ancestors were willing to go through just to try to make a living and settle the area. It wasn’t easy to establish this country, but they were willing to do it because they believed in the founding principles, the foundations this country was built on. Were there problems? Certainly. We can’t ignore slavery or the way the Native Americans were treated. But the people who worked clearing these forests and who built these mills were only interested in survival, in making a living and doing the best they can for their families.

In today’s culture, more and more people wait for someone else to provide for them. They want handouts and assistance from the government and the government perpetuates this. Look around at the health of so many of us and you can see many of us (and I do include myself) would be hard-pressed to build a structure like above. I wonder how many of us would even try? 

Bones in the Woods

Over the past few months, I have taken quite an interest in hiking through the woods throughout the area. And in my travels, I have been coming across lots of bones scattered around.

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Take a Walk

In the interest of trying to reverse the effects of not taking care of myself for the last forty years, I have begun walking around my hometown, Southbridge, and surrounding areas. I’m ashamed to admit it but for so many years I never knew of the beauty surrounding me. Whether it is walking through the neighborhoods of Southbridge or the many hiking trails (who knew?) around me I have been constantly surprised by what I see.

Southbridge Mckinstry Brook
Mckinstry Brook
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Beginnings and Ends

I have to admit it, I miss driving for a living. These days I spend my time sitting at a desk looking at a computer screen or my office mate or the same people that continue to come in and out of my office.

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Had This Been an Actual Emergency

This week I am sure you, like me, were terribly annoyed by the emergency warnings broadcast over our cell phones regarding the 911 system. I guess this was sort of a 911 about the 911.  Besides the annoyance factor, especially since I was in my office surrounded by 25 or so cell phones that would all activate at the same time, there were two other thoughts that came to mind. Read more…

Is Atlas Shrugging

Is Atlas finally shrugging? After our emergency alert from the president yesterday I am beginning to wonder.

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