Cunningham Pond | Elizabeth’s Gift
What is it you want? Liz Thomas had once asked of her dogs, and she listened to the answer. Then she asked a town the same question and gave us more than we knew we wanted. Which is why, when you pull into the parking lot of the Lawrence K. Marshall and Harold B. Thomas Recreation Area and flash your resident sticker, you have two choices: a broad, sandy beach off to the right, punctuated by a Nantucket-style cottage, or a smaller, rougher beach straight ahead. It’s more boisterous at the second place, and chances are one of these beachgoers will shake all over you at least once.
“I’ve been a selectman here for 15 years,” Liz Thomas says. “The town does surveys to see what people like and don’t like about the town. And Cunningham Pond is among the things they like most.” She reaches down to scratch Sheilah’s ears: “I was at the beach one day, talking to a grownup, and I felt something tapping my knee. I looked down.” Her eyes fill with tears. “It was this tiny little kid. He looked up at me, and he said, ‘Thank you.'”
Annie Graves is a frequent contributor to Yankee. In summer she can often be found swimming at Cunningham Pond, thankful for Elizabeth Marshall Thomas’s gift. anniegraves.com