by Nat Frothingham
As part of our April 19 issue, I wrote a few words about the rather remarkable grassroots history of The Bridge. Then I went on to describe what I’m feeling as I leave the paper.
Now, 40 to 50 days after I wrote about the paper and why we felt we needed a paper, how it started, how it sometimes lurched–even staggered–forward but stayed alive, I’m still hearing from people on the street, sometimes perfect strangers, or by phone, or in notes, cards, letters–often thanking me–but really thanking everyone who has worked here, written for us, printed and delivered the paper, and made it happen over and over again.
We have all heard about that tree that fell in the forest and no-one saw it fall or heard it fall. Then comes the follow-up question: “Was there a tree in the forest and did it ever fall?”
Henry David Thoreau wrote that the great mass of men lead lives of “quiet desperation.”
I don’t think that ought to be our fate. And to the extent that we can be alive and measure each day by the intensity of what surrounds us and what’s beautiful, mysterious, or enchanting about our lives and prospect in this world–to that extent the tree did grow in the forest, did put out leaves, did make a mark, and did gloriously fall.
The earliest mission of The Bridge was to celebrate the life and diversity of Montpelier.
We need to celebrate that life and diversity–if someone has ever overcome a disability, or won an Olympic gold medal, or conquered mathematics (that was always the hardest subject in school), or started an orchestra or a theater or dance company, or written a novel, or taken a chance and succeeded on a risky mission, or even confronted something in the world that wrong and needed to be made right. If none of these things matter or get noticed, did they ever happen?
To conclude, let me thank everyone who has been in touch or in many other quite diverse ways has made The Bridge what it is today and what perhaps it can become tomorrow.