Greenfield, MA: Scale Model Town in His Backyard
He would like to open this someday as a museum. A while back he cleared a place for a small parking lot below his house, but the weeds have grown up in that. Every few years a write-up comes out on his endeavor, and he is quoted as saying that he will open it up for tours “when the project is completed.” Two years more, he usually estimates, whether it is 1968 or 1988.
It isn’t that he isn’t sincere. It’s just that it’s all very involved. For one thing, there are still so many things to do to get ready to have people coming in. The weeds have to come out and curbs have to go in, paths made straight, piles of scrapwood tidied. And then there’s the butcher shop he wants to put in this winter, where the church pews are stored now. Besides, could he handle everything — showing people around and safeguarding all the exhibits at the-same time, just himself? “I don’t know. I was hoping maybe my wife would help.” He pauses, eyes alive with the fun of it. “But I haven’t asked her yet.”
And then there is the matter of permits from the town. A big hurdle. Nowadays there are so many fire codes and rules about this and that. What will he do if he isn’t able to get the proper papers? “Well, then,” he says, trying to appear unperturbed, “we’ll have one heck of a tag sale.”