Born Without Memories
I was born in North Adams Massachusetts near the Vermont and NewYork State borders. Both my Grandfather and my Father worked in the same building complex that is now home to Mass MOCA, one of the worlds largest contemporary art museums. My Grandfather worked there during World War II and my Father worked there when it was the Sprague Electric Company, an early pioneer of electronics that employed a significant part of the cities population. My family moved when I was an infant making an eastward trek following my Fathers employment. Each move brought us progressively closer to the capital city of Boston. When plotted on a map it strikes me that this was a slow economic migration from Upstate NewYork and rural New England where jobs and population had been shrinking for generations. We were migrating to the economically robust and populated Boston beltway. Shortly after my family moved from North Adams, Sprague Electric closed leaving a tremendous hole in the local economy that is still not filled today, despite having a world class art museum as the cities most prominent feature. Having literally no memories of North Adams I returned four decades later to visit the place where I easily might have grown up. I contemplate my own life trajectory had my family stayed in North Adams, or if I had grown up in one of the many cities like North Adams across the country.